True Christians hold fast to the exact same truths, teachings and traditions that JESUS CHRIST taught His Apostles in the New Testament book of the Bible, particularly in Matthew 28:18-20.
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Majority of the so-called Christians today claim that there is nothing wrong with celebrating New Year’s day.
Why true Christians do not celebrate New Year?
Let’s try first to know the origin of New Year’s day celebrations. How did it originate?
“The earliest-known record of a New Year’s festival dates from about 2000 BC in Mesopotamia, where the New Year (Akiu) commenced with the new moon nearest the spring equinox (mid-March; Babylonia) or nearest the autumn equinox (mid-September; Assyria)” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1998).
“New Year’s Day, the first day of the year. Among ancient peoples the beginning of the year was determined by one of various events, such as the spring or autumnal equinox or the winter or summer solstice. In Egypt, for example, beginning about 2773 BC, the year began with the heliacal rising of Sirius, which coincided with the start of the flood period of the Nile and came not long after the summer solstice” (Encyclopedia Americana, 1999).
The Ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians and Persians began their new year with the autumn equinox (September 21), while the Greeks, up until the 5th century BC, observed their new year with the winter solstice (December 21).
“Many ancient peoples…performed rituals to do away with the past and purify themselves for the new year. For example, some people put out fires they were using and started new ones” (World Book, 2001).
The Celts celebrated the new year on November 1, marking the end of summer and the harvest, and the beginning of the cold, dark winter ahead (this was a precursor to Halloween). They built “sacred” bonfires to scare off evil spirits and to honor their sun god.
In early times, the ancient Romans gave each other New Year’s gifts of branches from sacred trees. In later years, they gave gold-covered nuts or coins imprinted with pictures of Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings. January was named after Janus, who had two faces—one looking forward and the other looking backward” (World Book, 2001).
“By the Roman republican calendar the year began on March 1; after 153 BC the official date was January 1, and this was confirmed by the Julian calendar (46 BC).
In early medieval times most of Christian Europe regarded March 25 (Annunciation Day) as the beginning of the year, though for Anglo-Saxon England New Year’s Day was December 25” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1998).
We can see clearly in the history that New Year’s day celebration originates not in the Bible, not in the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. Just like Christmas, it originates from pagan idol worshipers and slowly developed over the centuries, and now, accepted by millions of people around the globe.
What is God’s view of New Year?
Is it okay to celebrate holidays with pagan origins, practices, customs and traditions?
What does the Bible say about New Year and other Pagan Customs and Traditions?
Let’s take a look at God’s commandment to His people Israel.
Jer 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. Jer 10:3 For the customs of the people are vain: …
True Christians know that God hates any customs and traditions which practice paganism or has pagan roots. In the verse above, God mentions the heathen as those who worship nature, like the sun, moon, stars, trees and others. This also includes man-made idols or images, which they worship other than the true God.
God really hates paganism.
In Leviticus 18:3, After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. This He told Israel after they were rescued out of the land of Egypt from slavery.
God also demanded the people of Israel not to defile themselves with the practices and customs of the surrounding nations.
Lev 18:24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: Lev 18:25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Lev 18:26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: Lev 18:27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) Lev 18:28 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you. Lev 18:29 For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.
Lev 18:30 Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.
Thus, God delivered Israel to the promised land.
And what did Israel do in spite of God’s love and protection He gave to them?
“Our fathers understood not Your wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of Your mercies; but provoked Him at the sea, even at the Red Sea…They soon forgot His works; they waited not for His counsel: but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert…They made a calf in Horeb, and worshiped the molten image. Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eats grass. They forgot God their Savior, Which had done great things in Egypt; wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red Sea…they despised the pleasant land, they believed not His word: but murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord…They joined themselves also unto Baal-peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead. Thus they provoked Him to anger with their intentions” (Psa. 106:7, 13-14, 19-22, 24-25, 28-29).
God had explicitly commanded Israel to cast out and utterly destroy all nations that occupied the Promised Land (Canaan).
Above all, they were not to make political alliances with them or marry into their families.
Deu 7:1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; Deu 7:2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Deu 7:3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. Deu 7:4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.
But did the people of Israel follow God’s commands?
The answer is NO. They did not follow God.
Psa 106:34 They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: Psa 106:35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. Psa 106:36 And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Psa 106:37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, Psa 106:38 And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. Psa 106:39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.
What happened after this?
God punished Israel by giving them to their enemies. And when Israel repented, because of His promise to them, God rescued them.
Again, Israel turn to other gods.
God punished them again.
Israel repented again.
In Psalms 106: 40-46, many times did God deliver them but they continue to turn away from God.
Finally, God put an end to this cycle of deliverance-idolatry-punishment-repentance by divorcing Israel. (Jeremiah 3:6-11)
He used the Assyrians to brutally invade, conquer, relocate and enslave the northern kingdom of Israel (II Kings 17), which “disappeared” into history, having forgotten their true national identity (even today, the modern-day descendants of those ten “lost” tribes do not understand who they are).
Later, God sent the southern kingdom of Judah into Babylonian exile (II Kings 24 and 25).
This happened because they lusted after pagan customs, rituals, traditions and ways. We can see from here that one true God doesn’t take pagan practices lightly.
The World Belongs to Satan
This world has been given to the devil. He rules the world and deceive many people to turn away from God. This is the reason why the world lie in wickedness. 1Jn 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
He is out to deceive the world. Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
As long as Satan rules this world, mankind will drown in sins—including pagan customs and practices, which may seem harmless to the average person, but are wicked in the eyes of God.
But look at what will happen in the future, when this world will collapse in the hands of God, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies” (Rev. 18:2-3).
It is this Satanic system that God commands His people to “Come out of…that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues” (Rev.18: 4).
Both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day originate from this pagan, Satan-influenced world. They were designed to deceive mankind as a whole by appealing to fleshly, carnal desires—or, as the Bible calls them, the works of the flesh: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like” (Gal. 5:19-21).
Do any of these sound like the attitudes of New Year?
At the end of verse 21, we read, “they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Christians are followers of Christ. Their minds and hearts desire only of the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. They know they are only temporary residents of this world. They are pilgrims who search for God and not tourists who look for only fun.
When they embraced the Words of God, they left their former old ways and now follow what Christ had left them as an example. Just like Christ did, when He overcome the temptations of the devil, Christians must also overcome this wicked world influenced by Satan’s deceptions, like the pagan customs, practices and traditions.
And New Year is a Pagan tradition.
The question is, are we willing to overcome this world of such deceptions?
May God help us.