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...they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4: 4)

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Should Christians Celebrate Christmas Pt.2 ?

Christmas Hymns


Why do Christians who defend God-honoring music against the inroads of Contemporary Christian Music, claiming that there is no Scriptural basis for using music for evangelism, then justify Christmas musical extravaganzas on the basis of their value for evangelism?

Why do Christians who defend Biblical truth, then get sentimental at Christmas and sing traditional, seasonal hymns that mix truth and error? Scripture clearly warns against adding to the Word of God (Proverbs 30:6). Eph. 5:18-19 and Col. 3:16, indicate that our singing is to be done unto the Lord, and that which is offered to the Lord ought to be well-pleasing to Him (Rom. 12:1; Heb. 13:15-16).

How do you suppose Christians would react if a pastor proposed that the following hymns should be introduced into the church to commemorate the birth of Christ? After all, the tunes are quite lovely.

Hymn #1
A hymn by a Unitarian (rejects the Trinity and full deity of Christ) minister that does not mention Jesus Christ and reflects the liberal social gospel theology of the 19th century.
Hymn #2
A hymn by an American Episcopal priest, the fourth verse of which teaches Roman Catholic superstition about Christ coming to be born in people during the Advent season.
Hymn #3
A song, the words by an Austrian Roman Catholic priest, the music by a Roman Catholic school teacher, containing the Roman Catholic superstition about halos emanating from holy people, with no gospel message.

The three theologically incorrect "Christmas carols" referred to above are: It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Silent Night. They have already been introduced into the church, and people would be upset if they could not sing them!

Consider the following (these are by no means the most unscriptual, they are chosen because they are the ones that I consider the most well known, your own selections would differ):

AWAY IN A MANGER Words: unknown, 1885 (wrongly attributed to Martin Luther) Music: William J. Kirkpatrick, 1895, "But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes," undermines Jesus's manhood. Since Jesus did cry as a man, being fully human, he probably also cried as a baby. There is nothing in the Bible that mentions crying or not crying during this time. "The little Lord Jesus," like other hymns of this nature, focus on the little baby Jesus and worshiping Him as such; the truth is that He is the risen, exalted Lord to whom we must bow. All the religionists would love to keep Jesus a little baby in the manger.

GOD REST YOU MERRY GENTLEMEN Text & Tune: English carol in "Christmas Carols Old and New" Verse 1 It is historic fact that Christ was not born on "Christmas Day". Verse 4 "This holy tide of Christmas all others doth deface" is completely contrary to New Testament teaching concerning "holy days" (see Gal. 4:9-11). The error still taints whatever may be good.

HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING Words: Charles Wesley, 1739 Music: Felix Mendelssohn, 1840; arr. William H. Cummings, 1856 Probably the best of the Christmas hymns as it is generally filled with Scriptural allusions, with the exception that the "herald angels" did not sing "Glory to the newborn King" (v. 1 & chorus; see Luke 2:14). Wesley's wording was changed by a later editor because his correct expression seemed quaint: "Hark how all the welkin rings, Glory to the King of kings. ..." It is of interest to note that the music was written to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the printing press.

JOY TO THE WORLD Words: Isaac Watts, 1719 Music: George Frederick Handel, 1742; arr. Lowell Mason, 1839 Based on Psalm 98, it is descriptive of the Millennium, and does not directly relate to the First Advent at all! Why not sing it all year round?

O COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL Text: Latin hymn, attrib. John F. Wade, 1743; trans. Frederick Oakeley, 1841 Tune: John F. Wade, 1743 The song's introduction into Protestantism is attributed to Frederick Oakeley, who became so enamored by the Oxford Movement that he was suspended by the Anglican Church and he joined the Roman Catholic Church. Note the strange expressions: "born the King of angels" (v. 1) and "born this happy morning" (v. 3). (Jesus was born to be King of Israel and most likely was born in the evening.) "King of angels" is not a Scriptural title. Surely He created them all, but His birth enabled Him to be born "King of the Jews" (a title that appears 18 times in Scripture). The advisability of encouraging people to think in terms of adoring a newborn baby is questionable.

O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM Words: Phillips Brooks (Episcopal), 1868 Music: Traditional Verses 3 and 4 reflect Roman Catholic tradition of the birth of Christ in human hearts at the time of Advent celebration. Guye Johnson, in Treasury of Great Hymns and Their Stories, describes Brooks' theology as: "rather weak, for he had a low view of biblical inspiration. Though he spoke warmly of Christ and often sounded evangelical, his dislike of precise doctrinal statements and his emphasis on the universal fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man put him in the moderate camp of his day." The concept of the holy Child of Bethlehem coming and being born in people on Christmas can be traced to the tradition developed and perpetuated in the Roman Catholic Church.

WHAT CHILD IS THIS? Words: William Chatterton Dix, 1865 Music: "Greensleeves," 16th century English Traditional melody. Verse 1, There is no record of angels greeting the Infant. Verse 3, calls for "loving hearts" to enthrone Him, when the real need is for sinful hearts to repent and receive Him (the adult, risen Lord and Savior). Chorus, There is no indication that the shepherds "guarded" the Infant. Why call to "peasants" to "bring Him incense, gold and myrrh"? What sense can you make of "for sinners here the silent Word is pleading" in verse 2?

WE THREE KINGS OF ORIENT ARE (John H. Hopkins, 1857 words altered Horrobin/Leavers) The number of wise men is unknown from the Bible, and there is no indication that they were kings.


Try these Christmas Song Parodies instead:

Song Words 1995 by James Dodson (Permission granted to use freely with our without acknowledgement.)

God Keep All of You Protestants
(to the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen")

God keep all of you Protestants
From walking in the way;
Of heathens and idolaters
To celebrate this day.
You resurrect this Romish mass
For you have gone astray.
O, I know that it's just a popish ploy,
Popish ploy,
Yes, I know that it's
just a popish ploy.
You celebrate the birth of Christ
Though God did not command;
This service of idolatry
Is from an evil hand.
You wed the devil to the Son
When Christ-Mass you demand.
O, I know that it's just a popish ploy,
Popish ploy,
Yes, I know that it's
just a popish ploy.


That Little Town the Vatican
(to the tune of "O Little Town of Bethlehem")

That little town the Vatican,
How well it tells a lie;
To lull you into hellish sleep
Idolatry to ply.
Their net of darkness closes,
O, Protestant to snare;
Your soul to popish wickedness,
Your mind their lies to bear.


Barks the Papist to His Friend
(to the tune of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing")

Barks the papist to his friend:
"Help us reach our wicked end
Keep the world in superstition;
Come and help in our mission.
Let them keep our Christmas day.
'Protestants,' the pope will say,
'Come and celebrate our mass!
Help us in our wicked task!'"
Dark the day that we give in
To that wicked popish sin.


Enslave the World
(to the tune of "Joy to the World")

Enslave the world with Godless lies
And help the pope to reign;
Let every Protestant
Prepare to celebrate
And keep that popish mass,
And keep that popish mass,
And keep, and keep that popish mass.
He'll rule the world in tyranny
And make the nations bow;
They all will celebrate
This blasphemy
And keep that popish mass,
And keep that popish mass,
And keep, and keep that popish mass.


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Wilson’s interest in spiritual matters was all-inclusive, all except faith in Jesus as the only way. For a while Wilson seriously considered becoming a Catholic. He described his relation to the church this way:

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