gillPosted in 2013

It directs to the observation of several fasts and festivals, which are no where enjoined in the word of God, and for which it provides collects, gospels and epistles to be read: the fasts are, Quadragesima or Lent, in imitation of Christ’s forty days fast in the wilderness, Ember weeks, Rogatian days, and all the Fridays in the year; in which men are commanded to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving. The festivals, besides, the principal ones, Christmas, Easter and Whitsuntide, are the several saints days throughout the year; which are all of popish invention, and are either moveable or fixed, as the popish festivals be; and being the relics of popery makes us still more uneasy and dissatisfied with them.

Source: The Dissenter’s Reasons for Separating from the Church of England, Occasioned By A Letter wrote by a Welch Clergyman on the Duty of Catechizing Children. Intended chiefly for the Dissenters of the Baptist Denomination in Wales.


8 thoughts on “Gill on Christmas

  1. Sadly, this often is just an ignorance of Christian liturgy! We all know Christ was not literally born on Dec. 25, but we chose this day and season (Advent to Christmas and Christmastide (Christmas Eve through New Years Day or to Epiphany – Jan. 6), to worship HIM!

    “O GOD, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant, that we, which know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
    (The Collect, The Epiphany, Or The Manifestation Of Christ To The Gentiles – January 6)

    Of course I am an Anglican presbyter, and love the overall English Collects, from the prayer books of the Anglican Communion: England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, and the United States. 🙂

    1. Just for the record…I’m not against keeping holy days as individual Christians. I just don’t see the biblical warrant for the church to set up holy days and guilt Christians for not keeping them. Christian freedom.

  2. There is an argument that states that because the Christian is no longer under the law but under grace, they are therefore no longer under the command to not inquire after how the pagans worshipped their gods and to engage in the same in the worship or service of their God. They say that they are free to exercise their conscience to worship on any day of the year. With this I agree! I believe that a Christian should absolutely worship God on December 25. My only argument is that to worship God on this day, under the name and title of Christ Mass, following aspects of the same rituals that the pagans follow (merriment and gift-giving), is using your liberty for lasciviousness because nothing in the Bible justifies yoking the worship or celebration of Christ to that which has always been (from even before the birth of our Lord) a pagan holiday. Some see such judgments as being “legalistic;” but how is it less antinomian to embrace pagan ritual than it is legalistic to speak out against such things in love. Again, celebrate December 25 or any other day of the year… but it is purely of the flesh to append the name of our Lord to such idolatry; there is nothing spiritual about it. The Christian is to worship God in spirit and in truth, and not in the ritualism and materialism of Rome. Though the Christian must be more apt to stand for Truth than to stand against error — the Christian is to stand against error nonetheless.

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