Is It Wrong For Churches To Close On Christmas? I Think Not…

There have “been”:http://www.getreligion.org/?p=1227 a “lot”:http://cindybryan.blogspot.com/2005/12/cancel-church-on-christmas.html of “opinions”:http://www.internetmonk.com/index.php/archives/how-the-megachurch-stole-christmas-day-worship#more-257 on “this”:http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/13323398.htm, but the overwhelming majority that I’ve “seen”:http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2005/12/churches-closed-on-christmas.html have voted that it would be wrong to cancel services on Christmas this year. I’m not sure that I agree. Nowhere in Scripture is there a mandate that services MUST be held on a Sunday or that it is sinful to close the church doors for a holiday (or more righteous to keep them open, for that matter) or that it is displeasing to God to neglect formal worship services in favor of granting that time for family get-togethers. I tend to think that family is more important than a church gathering, especially for just one Sunday of the year. I don’t think churches are wrong for holding services this year, but neither do I think that they would be wrong to cancel them, especially since a lot of churches cancelling services are holding pre-Christmas services.

5 thoughts on “Is It Wrong For Churches To Close On Christmas? I Think Not…”

  1. I’ll take it a step further and ask you to find a place where it says that we’re to remember Christ’s birth… I think we’ve really gotten off on a wierd tangent with the whole Christmas thing… not that Christ’s birth isn’t important from a biblical canon perspective but we were not mandated anywhere to remember it and keep it holy… the believer is only commanded to do this with Christ’s death and ressurection and that’s not even an annual thing but something we should do often… what’s your thoughts?

  2. That’s actually a very good point. Remembering all these Christian holidays is not mandated anywhere in the Bible; it is a choice that the church has collectively made. I think it is important to do so, but I think we as a Body have, to some degree, become all too legalistic about it. Again, I don’t think anyone is wrong to hold services on the holidays, but neither do I think it is wrong to cancel them.

  3. This past year, Good Friday fell on March 25th, which happens to be a significant day on the Church calendar: the Annunciation. It was overwhelming to observe the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ on the same day we observe His incarnation. The church’s greatest joy and greatest sorrow fell on the same day.

    In a similar way, this Christmas – the advent of our Lord – falls on the same day that we weekly celebrate His resurrection. It will be quite meaningful to celebrate His birth and resurrection in the same worship service.

    Do ceremonial days matter to Christians? According to Luther, they do in a two ways: to teach and to maintain concord. If the Church changes its calendar and schedule merely to fit the whims of the culture or the flesh, confusion and isolation result.

    Worship as a corporate experience dates back to the old testament. My personal faith is important, but greater is the experience when that faith is professed among the congregation – and before the church victorious in heaven. Lost are the days (not that long ago) when the seekers were ushered out of the sacred assembly before the mysteries of the faith were truly embraced. Now, the mysteries are ushered out for the sake of the seekers. Eventually, the seekers are going to figure out that they are being cheated.

  4. But the church isn’t changing it’s calendar and schedule with regard to this particular high holy day, at least the Protestant churches, most of which normally do not hold a service on Christmas morning, are not.

    I would agree with Eric however, that in a lot of churches’ “mysteries are ushered out for the sake of the seekers.” I just don’t believe that not having Christmas services on Sunday when we just had services for seekers and finders and mystery lovers alike a few hours before is an example of that.

    Of course, my church is having a service on Christmas Sunday, so I get to have it both ways.

Have anything to add to the conversation?