Should Christians celebrate holidays? Is it okay for a Christian to celebrate holidays?
There is no biblical command that states Christians must celebrate certain holidays. Because of this, some advocate the opposite view—that Christians should refrain from the celebration of any holidays. This is particularly emphasized by the Jehovah's Witness cult, who celebrate only the death of Jesus and advocate against celebrating other days. Other traditions celebrate only what are considered "Christian" holidays, such as Christmas or Easter. Is it okay for Christians to celebrate holidays?
First, it is clear the Israelites celebrated certain holy days or holidays and were commanded to do so. These included Passover, Pentecost, New Moon celebrations, and other occasions. Early Jewish Christians continued to celebrate these days and did not see such practices as a problem with their Christian faith. In fact, the church began on a Jewish holiday—the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
Second, the Bible clearly teaches freedom regarding the celebration of special days. Romans 14:5-6 says, "One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord." Paul later adds, "So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil" (Romans 14:16). It is clear celebrating a special day such as a birthday or national holiday is not necessarily bad, but is a matter of personal preference.
Third, Christians should also consider whether celebrating a particular holiday is consistent with Christian beliefs. For example, many Christians refrain from celebrating Halloween because of its association with evil spirits. Other Christians participate in some aspects of the cultural holiday, but exclude themselves only from aspects associated with evil. Again, the holiday itself is a matter of personal preference, but certain aspects that are clearly sinful must still be avoided.
Fourth, Christians can consider how to use holidays for God's glory. For example, more people often attend church on Mother's Day than on other Sundays. This provides a great opportunity to honor mothers, share the gospel, and offer other options to help people become more involved in the local church and Christian service. In summary, Christians are given freedom regarding whether or not to celebrate holidays. Many holidays were celebrated by people in the Bible. For Christians, holiday celebrations are optional (Romans 14). Particular sinful aspects must be avoided, while Christians can also use the positive aspects of holidays for effective outreach and service that honors God and helps the lives of people.
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