Matthew Perry December 1, 2021
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) loved Christmas. Hear the glee from the 21-year-old Spurgeon:
I wish there were ten or a dozen Christmas-days in the year; for there is work enough in the world, and a little more rest would not hurt labouring people. Christmas-day is really a boon to us; particularly as it enables us to assemble round the family hearth and meet our friends once more. Still, although we do not fall exactly in the track of other people, I see no harm in thinking of the incarnation and birth of the Lord Jesus.
While he loved Christmas, he also guided his congregation to discern certain aspects of Christmas from the cultural perspective and the biblical perspective. While other valuable articles are certainly found elsewhere on this site, this article focuses on how Spurgeon guided his congregation in celebrating Christmas, rejecting the superstitions of the Roman celebrations, embracing much of the customs of the day without forgetting about the Christ-child, the reason for the day.
Spurgeon’s childhood influences led him to embrace the Puritans. He valued them so much that many scholars deem him the last of the Puritans. As a result of this Word-centered influence, Spurgeon struggled with the origin and the day on which we celebrate Christmas.
There is no reason upon earth beyond that of ecclesiastical custom why the 25th of December should be regarded as the birthday of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ any more than any other day from the first of January to the last day of the year; and yet some persons regard Christmas with far deeper reverence than the Lord’s-day.
Spurgeon always struggled with the rites of both the Roman Catholic (which he would often refer to as suspicious and the Anglican Church and their Superstitious celebrations of Christmas (i.e., Christ-Mass). In 1871, he went into more depth as to the reasons why he struggled with this season:
We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly, we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and, secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Saviour; and, consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Saviour’s birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred.
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