Skip to main content

Why Do Cults Shun Christmas?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
Edited 10-23-2015

Most Christians (and many non-Christians) celebrate Christmas. There are some Christians who choose to avoid it. Unfortunately, there are also legalistic, judgmental Christians who scorn those of us who choose to celebrate, but this is based on a misunderstanding of Scripture and history (and maybe a prideful desire to feel "better" than others). Some of those people are influenced by atheistic dishonesty and cult propaganda. I've seen cults actually start with a foundation of blatant lies, and then build an "argument" against Christmas with "logic" that is cringe-worthy.

Most Christians and many non-Christians celebrate Christmas. Why do legalists and cultists strive to keep their people away from it?

Some legalistic Christians (as well as the Jehovah's Witnesses) proudly assert that everyone else is wrong and they are right in avoiding Christmas. They assert alleged pagan associations with the holiday, and even torture the text of Jeremiah 10:1-16 to get it to confess that Christmas trees are evil. Except that their use is amazingly out of biblical, historical, and cultural contexts. Consider that Jeremiah was written hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, and that Christmas trees in homes were not common until even later, so associating those verses with Christmas trees seems to be an act of desperation.

Sometimes people will say, "We were never commanded to celebrate the birth of Jesus!" So? We do many things that we were never commanded to do. Here's a gold nugged I panned up for you: Jesus celebrate Hanukkah. Or, as it was known in his day, the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22-23). Although it was not one of the feasts commanded by God, he went.

Before we ride further down the trail toward cult things, let's stop a moment. "Cult" is a common and useful term, but can bring up images of dancing among torches and waving snakes on a tropical island, or the atheist Jim Jones and Jonestown. Sure, those are cults. But generally, Christians mean that something is a cult when it denies the essential doctrines of the Christian faith, such as the deity of Christ, the Trinity, the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and so on. Some religious groups have doctrines that are heterodox (such as annihilationism, soul sleep, infant baptism, and others), but those views do not define the groups as cults. But when someone holds to heterodox views, be on the alert and check further for unorthodox or cult beliefs.

Although cults pretend to be the One True Church™, they deny the essentials of the Christian faith. Groups like the Sacred Name, Jehovah's Witnesses, the old Worldwide Church of God (and its splinter groups), and others will rabidly deny the celebrations of Christmas, Easter, birthdays, and many holidays. (It's interesting that the henotheistic Mormons do not seem to forbid celebrating Christmas, but their Jesus is not the real Jesus; their Jesus is a spirit brother of Lucifer.) Be careful — just because someone rejects Christmas does not guarantee that he or she is a cultist, nor is celebrating Christmas a guarantee that someone is not involved in a cult.

Some characteristics of cults include their claim to be the only ones who are right (like I just mentioned), a persecution complex (try to talk reason with some, and they want to draw down on you like it's the gunfight at the O.K. Corral on a spiritual level), and isolation. Isolation helps cult leaders control their people and keeps them from examining the Bible for themselves. (Atheists tend to do the same kind of thing, telling people what Christians and creationists believe and think instead of sending them to Christians and creationists for first-hand information.) No need to think when the Watchtower or the Yahuwshuwa stormtroopers will tell you what to think.

But again, why do cults shun Christmas?

If cults let their members freely mix with Christians, they would be more likely to read the Bible with an open mind and see that the cult's doctrines are not supported. In fact, people might see that their leaders have been lying to them about what Christians really believe and what the Bible actually teaches. Can you imagine a member of one of those outfits joining in and singing such terrible words, or hearing them on the radio?

  • Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail the incarnate Deity!
  • Mary, did you kissed the face of God?
  • Emmanuel...Wonderful Counselor...Mighty God, Holy One...
  • By Thine own eternal Spirit rule in all our hearts alone 
  • Behold, the great Creator makes himself a house of clay
That last one gets the attention of this creationist. For that matter, in church last week we sang "Joy to the World", and did a verse that is often missed: "No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found...", referring back to Genesis 3:17-19 NIV, and forward to Revelation 22:3 NASB. Yes, the Creator became flesh (Phil. 2:6-7, John 1:3, John 1:18, Co. 1.16). That information could be bad for cult coffers when people learn the truth and leave for a Bible-believing church.

As for me, I'm going to celebrate Christmas (as I discussed in "Christmas and Creationists"). It's sure a great time to share the gospel of the Creator becoming a man, his crucifixion, and bodily resurrection from the dead so we can become children of the living God! Cults and God-deniers do not have this great hope, the promise of life!