Do Pentecostals Celebrate Christmas? Get the Facts


Christmas is an important time of year for most Christians because it’s when they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. However, some religious traditions don’t celebrate Christmas because adherents believe that it’s pagan, worldly, and superstitious. A lot of people wonder if Pentecostals celebrate Christmas or refrain from it.

Pentecostals celebrate Christmas to remind them God became a human being in the person of Jesus Christ in order to save sinners like them. Traditionally, Pentecostals sing Christmas carols, exchange gifts with loved ones, and decorate trees in their homes. Worshipping Christ, however, is their utmost priority.

What exactly do Pentecostals celebrate at Christmas? Wasn’t Jesus born in the Spring? Doesn’t Christmas have pagan roots? How do Pentecostals respond to religious organizations that say it’s wrong to celebrate Jesus’ birth? Keep reading to learn the answer to these questions and others.

Christmas tree
Wasn’t Jesus born in the Spring? See below

Christmas in the Pentecostal tradition

Most Pentecostals are firmly affixed to the Protestant theological tradition. This means that they believe and defend the core doctrines of the Christian faith, like the Trinity, the inspiration of Scripture, original sin, the atonement and resurrection of Christ, and the Second Coming. They also believe in the incarnation, which is when the second person of the Trinity was born to Mary and called Jesus of Nazareth.

What do Pentecostals celebrate at Christmas? Pentecostals celebrate the incarnation of Christ and reflect on verses like John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (ESV). They also read the birth narratives of Christ as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Christmas for Pentecostals isn’t only about Christ’s birth, but the reason why he was born, which was to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).

While they were there, the time came for her Child to be born. And she gave birth to her firstborn, a Son. She wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:6-7 (ESV)

Wasn’t Jesus born in the Spring? Some scholars believe Christ was born in the Spring, not on December 25. Like other Protestant Christians, most don’t have a strong opinion about the exact day of Christ’s birth. Furthermore, Christians should reflect on, and celebrate, the incarnation all year round, not just on one day. In essence, worshiping God, thankfulness to Christ, and loving others is what’s most important, not pinpointing the exact date.

Doesn’t Christmas have pagan origins? Certain elements of Christmas celebrations have pagan origins, like Christmas trees, although most Pentecostals, as well as most other Christians, aren’t aware of them. The heart, motive, and faith of the person are what matters. The members of religious traditions that don’t celebrate Christmas still wear wedding rings, which have pagan origins. [1] They also use the word “Thursday,” which has pagan origins, too.

The name is derived from Old English þunresdæg and Middle English Thuresday (with loss of -n-, first in northern dialects, from influence of Old Norse Þórsdagr) meaning “Thor’s Day”. It was named after the Norse god of Thunder, Thor. Thunor, Donar (German, Donnerstag) and Thor are derived from the name of the Germanic god of thunder, Thunraz, equivalent to Jupiter in the interpretatio romana. [3]

If a person in a religious tradition is asked why they use the word “Thursday” since it has pagan origins, the answer will probably be that they were unaware of its roots, and it doesn’t carry that meaning when they use the word.

Pentecostals Christmas celebration
Should Pentecostals celebrate Christmas? See below

Should Christians celebrate Christmas or not?

One of the most well-known religious traditions that don’t celebrate Christmas is the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Importantly, neither Pentecostals nor other Protestants consider Jehovah’s Witnesses to be Christians because they deny doctrines like the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and the penal-substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross.

Responses to Jehovah’s Witnesses’ arguments: the lefthand column gives readers word-for-word explanations taken directly from the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization. [2] The right-hand column offers a Christian response. Readers are encouraged to explore the arguments and their responses in more depth. The table is simply a starting point for understanding the key points in the discussion

Jehovah’s Witnesses ArgumentChristian Response
Holidays are rooted in the belief in or worship of other godsChristians don’t worship false gods, but only the one true God who exists in three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Holidays that are based on superstition or on the belief in luckSome Christians avoid superstitions at Christmas like Santa Claus, but others don’t feel convicted to completely refrain from them though they don’t subscribe to the “magical” elements of the legends. For example, most Christians wouldn’t teach their children to pray to Santa for gifts, but they don’t see a problem with coloring a picture of him.
Holidays are linked to the occultMost Christians don’t assume that the origins of a certain practice are equivalent to the present meaning of a certain practice. As noted above, wedding rings likely originated in Greece and Rome as part of wedding dowries. This probably isn’t the reason Jehovah’s Witnesses wear wedding rings. In this case, they don’t equate their origin and their present meaning.
Observances related to worship under the Mosaic Law, which ended with Jesus’ sacrificePentecostals don’t traditionally celebrate Old Testament holidays, though it’s noteworthy to some that Jesus was at the Temple during Hanukkah (John 10:22-23).
Celebrations of a religious figure or events that encourage united worship among people with different religious beliefsPentecostals don’t participate in inter-faith worship services.
Observances that are based on religious traditions not endorsed by the BibleCelebrating Christmas is a way to enhance obedience to Christ through reflection on, and reminders of, biblical teaching.
Does the holiday exalt a human, an organization, or a national symbolPentecostals seek to exalt Christ (who is human) at Christmas. Some Pentecostals, like other Christians, limit the influence of legendary figures like Santa Claus or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Pentecostals celebrate Christmas to exalt God in the person of Jesus Christ. Neither their beliefs nor their practices reflect pagan spirituality. Like other Christians, many Pentecostals strive to make Christ the center of their celebration and not focus on the secular aspects (e.g. Santa Claus) or the material ones (e.g. presents).

References:
[1] Source
[2] Source
[3] Source

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