But does Christ want to be put back in Christmas?

At the Confident Christianity Conference 2019 Dave Mann in his talk “Rebranding New Zealand” mentioned that the minority can have a large impact. He put some figures on it too: it takes just 10% of committed people to impact what the majority thinks as normal. So it's not majority opinion that rules, but minority! That means that Christians could claim back a bit of our public square. He gave the example of Christmas. Christmas is no longer about Christ. But we can do something about that. Something easy in fact. Minority opinion can impact majority opinion. So if just 10% of New Zealanders would send Christmas cards with a clearly Christian theme, it would increase demand for Christian themed Christmas cards. It would make Christ more visible. It would make Christmas more Christian. And if we keep doing that, in five years time Christmas would have more Christ in it.

That may be so. But does Christ want to be put back in Christmas? That's the question he didn't ask. He took this for granted. What his presentation missed was a Biblical justification: where are we commanded to observe Christmas? Does God want us to? Does he appreciate it? Christmas does not come from the Bible. We don't see the New Testament church discussing Christmas, or having a Christmas holiday. Does Christ agree with being put into Christmas?

There is a danger of doing our own things in religion. If we don't do what God commands, might we just be doing man's command? When are we in danger of Christ saying to us: “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” (Mark 7:13).

If Christmas is not in the Bible, it is a tradition of man. It's also a tradition where the truth is totally absent. With every Christmas Christians will have to defend themselves against the accurate charge that Christ was not born on December 25. That's the middle of winter. That's very cold up there in the Judean hills. It also does not align with the Jewish calendar. Why are Christians celebrating a birthday on December 25 that didn't really happen on December 25? That's not defending the truth, that's having to excuse it. If we want to celebrate Jesus' birth, we should do it on his actual birthday. His actual birthday is the first day of the first month of the Jewish religious calendar, Nisan 1, as Jonathan Cahn ably points out.

Not only is the date wrong, but the New Testament never asks us to remember his birth. Jesus asked his disciples to remember his death. Which we do in the Lord's supper.

But on what day? There's only one day that is suitable: the Lord's Day. What is the Lord's day? That's the day Christ rose. It's the day he met, twice, with his assembled church, first on the resurrection day, and one week after. In the Old Testament the church gathered on the seventh day. Every week. In the New Testament the churchs gathers on the first day of the week. Every week.

When God created the world, he created a day of rest. A day for His worship. A day separate from other days. Jesus said so: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) And he claims ownership over this day: “The Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” (Mark 2:28) It is the Lord's Day, and its change from the last day of the week to the first is very symbolic: in paradise we had to work first, then we could rest. In the New Testament we rest first in Christ, in order to be able to work.

If David Mann wants to turn us into a Christian nation, we need to start with Christians observing the Sabbath, the Lord's Day. Take it seriously that our Creator created that day for us, so we would have one day, free of the distractions of the world, to worship him.

If Christians would start to keep the Sabbath, our Lord's day, that would be a change that would be noticed in this country. If they would keep it as God wants us to, it would be noticed. If we keep it, doing not our own pleasure, and call the sabbath a delight, and delight ourselves in the Lord, it would be noticed. And God would bless it: “I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” And would have far more impact, and much more lasting impact, than a manger on a holiday card.