Most people dismiss the commercialism, the pagan influence, and the impossibility of a December 25 birth, and take comfort in slogans such as “Put Christ back in Christmas.” But how many professing Christians would feel comfortable celebrating Christmas if they understood that you cannot “put Christ back in Christmas” because Christmas is Satanic?
This is no new understanding—but the churches of the world hide or ignore this truth. The Catholic Encyclopedia reveals that “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts” (“Christmas,” NewAdvent.org). Christmas was even briefly outlawed in Massachusetts in 1659 and in England in the mid-1600s as being unbiblical.
Many understand that before Christmas was the Roman Saturnalia, upon which Christmas is founded. Tertullian, considered an early Catholic church father, wrote that during the Saturnalia, presents were exchanged and “every pomp of the devil is frequented” (“On Idolatry (Tertullian)”).
But the Saturnalia was simply an adaptation of something earlier—Persian Mithraism. In Mithraism, the mid-winter festivals began with worship of Zurvan, whose celebrations ended on December 24. The celebrations then transitioned to worship the reborn Zurvan as the newborn Mithras, born on December 25, who brought back the sun after the winter solstice (cf. M.J. Vermaseren, Mithras, the Secret God, 1963).
The Romans eagerly adopted Mithraism in the form of the Saturnalia. Saturnus, as he was known under the name popularized by the Roman world, was in fact the ancient Persian god Mithra, the reborn Zurvan. As the Catholic Encyclopedia records, Emperor Diocletian built a temple to Mithra in Carnuntum, and “the 25 December was observed as his birthday, the natalis invicti, the rebirth of the winter-sun” (“Mithraism”).
The pagan god Zurvan was depicted as a winged, part-human, part-lion figure. Thus, we see that Zurvan depicts angelic cherubim characteristics (2 Chronicles 3:13; Ezekiel 10:14). Further, Zurvan was typically accompanied by snakes wrapped around his legs, arms, or body (Franz Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra, 1903, p. 93). Scripture reveals that Satan is a fallen cherub (Ezekiel 28:14–16), and is associated with the snake (Genesis 3:1–14; Revelation 20:2).
A righteous angel will not permit himself to be worshipped (Revelation 19:10; 22:9). And Revelation 9:20 warns that idolaters are actually worshipping demons. Clearly, the cherub who demands his worship at the winter solstice is no righteous angel. Whether calling himself Zurvan, Saturn, or another eponym, this deity is a proxy for none other than the fallen cherub called Satan.
But even the Roman Saturnalia and Persian Mithraism were remnants of an even earlier mystery religion—the Babylonian mystery cult. The ancient Babylonians celebrated the reborn Nimrod as the newborn Tammuz by worshipping an evergreen tree—now the common Christmas tree. The Babylonians also celebrated this rebirth during the winter solstice. Jeremiah condemns ancient Israel for copying this terrible paganism, and even specifically mentions the decorated tree in Jeremiah 10.
Regardless of fond memories or whether “everyone does it,” a true Christian will reject Christmas—because Christ refuses to have any part in idolatry (2 Corinthians 6:15–16). Christ was never part of Christmas, and He will not be “put back” into it.
God commands us to reject heathen ways (Jeremiah 10:2), reveals that pagan celebrations and Satanic “holidays” are abominations to Him (Jeremiah 10:3–4; Ezekiel 8:13–14), and tells us not to change the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles (2 Thessalonians 2:15). Understanding this truth, a true Christian will not even consider celebrating Christmas, realizing that these winter solstice celebrations are indeed Satan’s celebrations.
To learn more, watch the powerful Tomorrow’s World telecasts, “Christmas: The Missing Message” and “Insight into Christmas,” or read the insightful article “Should Christians Keep Christmas?” Also be sure to order your free copy of the booklet Is Christmas Christian?