Birthdays are a pagan ritual
Yeah, I know, you think that doesn't make them wrong for us to do. When you ask people why they celebrate Christmas, they answer, "We are celebrating the birth of Christ and worshiping our Lord."
Even if I agreed with a small piece of that, celebrating the birth of Christ in the manner of a pagan ritual is flat-out condemned in Deuteronomy:
1These are the decrees and laws you must be careful to follow in the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you to possess - as long as you live in the land. 2Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. 3Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.
4You must not worship the Lord your God in their way. (Deuteronomy 12:1-4)
Where does it say to ignore that?
Go ahead. Find a passage in the Bible where anyone was told to get trees, decorate them with silver and gold, put lights on your gutters, hang Santa-colored stockings on the mantle, and give each other presents in order to worship God. Every single piece of that "celebration" is from Paganism. Even the gifts of the event they are mimicking were for the newborn King, delivered to Him after some time had passed (years later in a house, not a manger) - not to each other. But God clearly said here in Deuteronomy, "Don't do that!"
"But, my pastor says..."
Yeah, I know. I can hear it now. "That's only for the Israelites!" Ok, keep going. "God doesn't care if we - er - act like... pagans... Does He?" Well, why in the world would God, who wants His people to be righteous, care if they act like the very people we, well, want to act like and He said not to act like? (Sorry about the grammar, but I think you get the message.)
OK, but God says...
In that same chapter, He not only said what not to do, He followed it with some very clear instructions about what He did want them to do. He even gave the reason why in verses 8 and 9:
8You are not to do as we do here today, everyone doing as they see fit, 9since you have not yet reached the resting place and the inheritance the Lord your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 12:8)
Check the Bible for birthdays
Other than the birth of Christ, see if you can find any birthdays celebrated in the Bible other than by pagans. The birth of a Savior is not what you would call a typical situation. And, there was no birthday party. A search for birthday verses in the Bible was frustrating. The first result was Just Disciple, listing 36 verses that do not even mention "birthday". They list awesome reasons why it is great to have been born, but did not even mention the pagan nature of celebrating birthdays. The second result was at Quora where they identified the only two birthday celebrations in the Bible - Genesis 40:20
20Now the third day was Pharaoh's birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials:
and Matthew 14:6, Mark 6:21
6On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much (Matthew 14:6)
21Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee.
- both Gentile.
We are not there yet
Now unless you feel like you are "in Heaven", as some erroneously believe happens after death, looking down on these events, it seems pretty certain that you have not yet received the inheritance your God is giving you. And if you act like the Israelites and just ignore this warning, well, you probably will not be getting the "inheritance" you expect. It will certainly not be just a lump of coal in your "Christmas" stocking or even that special gift you were hoping to receive for your birthday.
If you are a Gentile and act like a pagan, doesn't that make you a pagan? At the very least, it would make you a pagan-sympathizer. Either way, it is not Christian, and it will keep you from gaining the Christian inheritance.
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