By Landon Hope
Nebuchadnezzer the king made an image of gold the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon (Dan. 3:1). What a magnificent sight it must have been, over one hundred feet tall, all of gold! All men the world over bowed down before and worshipped the golden image the king had set up (vv. 4-7).
Today we are given to smug snickering when we think of the ignorance of the people for falling down to an idol, no matter how grand it might have been. But before we demean the actions of that generatoin, we need to consider ourselves. The Roman Catholic Church has set up a mass for Christ and it truly is “the image of gold” in our generation. All people fall down before it. This happens even without the threat of being physically cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire as then (v. 6); it is simply the same feeling of peer pressure and thinking (believing) we are better off in our lives by falling down before and celebrating Christmas today.
Christmas, as the golden idol of today, has nothing to do with worship to God in any way, shape or form. It, in fact, takes worship away from him and gives it to the brain-child of men in the same way Nebuchadnezzer’s idol did then. Consider, there is nothing in the Bible that even suggests any part of the celebration. The “three wise men” attending the new born Jesus in a manger is far from what the Scriptures say. A careful reading of Matthew 2 and Luke 2 shows they are not at the manger and no mention is made of their number. The pretty little manger scenes are from the minds of men and certainly not the word of God. Also, The World Book Encyclopedia informs us that “the name Santa Claus comes from Sinter Klass, Dutch for Saint Nicholas.” And from where comes December 25th as the day for celebration? Probably pagan worship of the sun and the time of the winter solstice, though this is unclear.
What is clear, is that God has nothing whatever to do with Christmas, it has been set up entirely by men. That it has no part in true worship is easily understood from two plain Scriptures: John 4:23-24 and John 17:17. Mark 7:6-8 then shows the folly of man authorized worship. Yet, with all of this, some would consider that Bible study or a worship service be dismissed if it falls on Christmas or Christmas Eve. Some would have a party or play (?) in its place. For shame brethren, how great is the world’s hold on you?
Do you think that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego would fall down before “king tradition” and worship its golden idol, Christmas? Read Daniel 3:13-18 for the answer about faithful men and worldly idols. Brothers and sisters read your Bible, think on these things, and learn. This is not a pretty little story for children, but an example of faithfulness and God. Is it really different for you today than for these three wise men of the Bible? With God’s help they escaped the blazing fire. It is not a matter of indifference, you see, but it is a matter of right and wrong.
Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 6, p. 172
March 15, 1990