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The Winter Holidays

“Christmas is pagan”

“Christmas is anti-Jewish”

“Christmas is Catholic”

If you’re a Messianic believer, almost certainly you’ve heard these claims. Are they true?

The Gospels record,

Today in the city of David is born a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord. And the sign to you is this: You’ll find an infant wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger. And suddenly, a multitude of heavenly armies appeared with the angel, praise God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest! And shalom on earth and good will to men!”

Luke 2

This Biblical event 2000 years ago changed the world forever. Today, it’s celebrated by billions of Christians around the world as Christmas.

But many Messianic believers don’t celebrate Christmas.

Some of us feel it’s un-Jewish to do so, especially given the existence of Hanukkah and its anti-assimilation themes. Some Messianics feel that Christmas is mere dressed up Catholicism, a view shared by some early Reformers. Some Messianics highlight pagan influences that have seeped in: Christmas trees, yuletide, and other “Christmas” symbols have more to do with Norse and Germanic mythology than the historical Jewish Messiah.

In this new episode, Messianic apologist and author J.K. McKee and I discuss how Messianic people can navigate the winter holidays while avoiding some of the doom, gloom, and heresy hunting too prevalent in today’s Hebrew Roots movement.

I argue we Messianic believers ought to have joy at this time of year. 😊 It’s OK to have joy that Messiah was born. It’s OK to have joy that billions of people are celebrating His birth, even if it’s not exactly on the right day.

Tune in for a great discussion between John, who celebrates Hanukkah, and Judah, who celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas.