Podcast listener Lindsey J recently asked “have we simply plugged Jesus into Christmas trees, and Christmas lights, and Easter egg hunts?” Can we still practice those things and still be honoring Jesus? Paul addresses this topic in 1 Corinthians 10. Let’s talk a little about it today as well as some ways you can get off the bench and engage the culture.
Transcribed version of the podcast is below
Resources Mentioned in Podcast
- MomStrong International
- Apple Pie Day
- Family Policy Institute
- Family Policy Institute of Washington
- The American Family Association
- Mass Resistance
- The War on Children on Your Tube
- Should Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter? via NeverThirsty
- Should Christians Celebrate Christmas? via Desiring God
- Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center Fall Preview 3rd of May
Scriptures Mentioned in Podcast
- 1 Corinthians 10:25-27
- Romans 14:23
Join us at MomStrong International for our newest Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
Hey everybody, this is Heidi St. John. I am so glad you guys have joined me today at my little corner of the Internet. This is the Heidi St. John podcast. Today is Monday!
It is Monday, and it is also Mailbox Monday—episode number 759. Monday, April 29th.
I’ve got a lot of things to cover with you guys today. It’s a kind of touchy topics, which is sort of the custom here I suppose, at mailbox Monday. We’re gonna touch a little bit on some questions that have been coming to me frequently—especially in light of the yoga podcast.
You know, how does this translate to the holidays—Christmas, Easter, some of those things. So i’m going to touch on that a little bit this morning. We’re gonna talk, then, about the area of how to get off the bench and onto the battlefield with regard to some of these things that are being pushed in the culture today. And if I have time, and that’s kind of a big IF — I’m going to talk a little bit on the topic of ectopic pregnancies.
Stick around, I think you’re gonna be encouraged.
So I hope you all are doing well. We had a wonderful weekend in Canada. It is always a joy for us to be able to travel, and really put feet to our faith, and speaking to you about the things that matter to the Lord. And we want to do the same thing in person that we do on the podcast—which is to bring hope and encouragement to you. Before I get started today, a couple of things I want to let you know.
First of all, we have a brand new study happening at MomStrong International. It’s going to start next week and we’re gonna be talking about the tongue. The Bible says that life and death rests on your tongue—that we have the ability to bring life and also we have the ability to really wound people, and we want to speak in the way that God wants us to speak. And so, we spent some time talking about what that looks like. If you’ve been struggling to control your tongue—this is gonna be a study you’re not going to want to miss. I was telling a mom friend of mine just the other day—we were talking about just common struggles that we have raising children—and the fact of the matter is, that sometimes our kids can push us to say things that we are just like—oh my goodness, how did that even come out of my mouth?!
Well, the Bible teaches us that we need to be in control of what we say, and really you guys—you’re speaking to your kids right now—eventually it becomes their inner voice. It matters what we say to our children. It matters what we say to our husbands, it matters how we interact with each other as friends.
And so, we’re gonna talk about it. We’re going to spend the whole month, actually, of May—talking about it. I’m really excited about that study. You can join us at MomStrong International.com. And you guys know this is our heart there—to help you prioritize a study of God’s Word, to learn it, to live it, and then to lead with it. God doesn’t want you just to sit at home and sour in what you’re learning. He wants you to get out there and use your influence in a way that’s going to bring other people into right relationship with Him. So, I hope you’ll join us for a brand new study at MomStrong International.com.
All right, so a couple of things coming up. First of all, I’m going to be speaking for the Ocean Network with my husband at Apple Pie Day in Salem Oregon on the 2nd of May. You can find it just Google Apple Pie Day Oregon, and you’ll find it. Please come out. The more people who are there, the better. Your legislators really need to hear from you. And I’m going to touch on that from a podcast listener in just a few minutes—but also wanted to let you know if you live in the Portland area or surrounding areas around here—once a year we do Fall Preview. And that is happening on Friday night, the 3rd of May—so coming right up this week.
So Apple Pie day is on the 2nd, preview night is on the 3rd. And you can come by the Resource Center and see what we’ve been offering. Tour the place, meet the teachers, meet the parents, get something to eat—and kind of get a preview of what we’re gonna be doing in the fall. So if you’re thinking about homeschooling, or you need more community, this is a great opportunity. It happens once a year—come on out! I would encourage you come early. It’ll start around 6:00 p.m. and typically the parking lot fills up quickly. Last year with people walking for about three blocks. So please, please, please —wear your walking shoes and come out and join us. I know you’re gonna be glad that you did.
All right. So you guys, I’ve been getting a lot of—what I would consider to be… I’m trying to say this in a way that it didn’t sound rude— legalistic questions. And by legalistic, i’m going to define legalism for you because there are things that, as Christians, we will disagree about—and that’s okay. But what we don’t wanna be doing is disagreeing about the fundamentals of Christianity. We don’t want to be disagreeing about what it means to have salvation. But to be arguing about the style of music that we like to listen to—I’m not going to get into all of it because it rabbit trails into the areas that I just think are not helpful.
I would just encourage you away from legalism—and not so far that we go into so much liberty that we don’t recognize that Christ died to set us free from our sin. Right? And so both of these, legalism and liberty, are both ditches in our walk with the Lord. The Bible teaches us that the way to life is narrow and few people find it. And there are ditches on either side of that road that leads to life, right? One is legalism—where we live by a set of rules and prescribed behaviors. And then the other one is liberty where we just go—you know what, grace covers all of it. And so, instead of having Bible study on Wednesday night, church in Seattle—we’re going to change that out for a beer making class, because after all, God doesn’t care… and liberty, liberty, liberty.
And you guys, the Devil doesn’t care what ditch he knocks us into—so long as we’re in a ditch. And so, I got a question today from a listener, her name is Lindsay. Lindsay, thank you for writing in to me. And first of all Lindsay—I’m going to address your question but this is a question that’s been coming to me a lot—and so I’m going to try to address it in a way that points you back to Scripture. Because that’s what we want to be doing, right? We want to be reading God’s Word, studying it to do as the Bible said— show ourselves approved as workmen who do not need to be shamed, who rightly divide the word of truth.
That’s the goal. That’s what we’re trying to do.
And the reason that I had Jessica Smith (part 1 and part 2) on here talking about yoga, which continues to come up. I’m so thankful. I really appreciate the conversation that’s continuing to happen—that brought up the question about essential oils, which I addressed last week. And I think sometimes, in our zealousness, we want to walk with the Lord so much—that all the sudden: the Devil’s behind everything. And then we lose our joy and we become stuck in this rut.My husband used to say—you know, you’re so heavenly minded that you’re of no earthly good. Right? We live here.
And so Lindsay’s question said: Heidi, in light of what we learned about yoga, how does this translate when it comes to holidays—specifically Christmas and Easter. If some of the holiday traditions have pagan roots, have we simply put Jesus in Christmas trees, and Christmas lights, and Easter egg hunts into it. Are we celebrating the core of Christianity all wrong, inviting evil into the midst of it?
So, this is a great question. I want to take you back for just a second to what I said about yoga and how my heart has really been changed on that—because yoga is not not celebrating Jesus and plugging some practices, like Christmas trees or whatever, into it. Yoga is actually a path to Hinduism, it’s a path to another god. Yoga is is based on the false religion of Hinduism.
All right—so it’s not the same thing it’s like comparing apples to oranges. But I understand the question, and so I’m going to try to address it today. There’s several people who written about this at length. And the question really celebrates— you know what we’re doing is, we’re saying: what is pleasing?—at least I hope— what we’re doing is saying: Lord, what pleases you?
And so let’s talk about Christmas first, right? So the celebration of Jesus’ birth wasn’t formalized until about AD 354. And some people are going to say that the date for Christmas was chosen to replace a pagan holiday. And some people are going to say that the celebration of the sun was a victory over pagan gods. And there is evidence, I think, that Christmas was celebrated on December 25th because the early church believed that that was the date of Christ birth. Do we know that December 25th is the date of Christ birth? No. But like I’ve been telling my kids, and husband and I have been saying that for many years—I mean, we celebrate Christmas and we should be celebrating Christmas every day. Right?
We want to celebrate the fact that the Jesus came, and that’s the point of it. This is the point of Christmas. And so, there’s a lot of history on this and you can look it up and read about it, all the festivals that were celebrated before AD 220, and lots of things that is recorded that the Christians did to celebrate Christmas before these certain dates were implemented.
So a gentleman by the name of Clemens Romanus stated that Christians were celebrating Christmas around the year AD 70. And so what that means is the formal establishment of Christmas in A.D 354 was an event that occurred after Christmas had already been moving. People had already been celebrating birth of Christ because guess what—He was born. And so, we’re celebrating it.
Same thing is true for Easter. You can trace the first Easter celebrations to occur during the time of Passover. And so this celebration started on a Saturday night and continued until Sunday morning in honor of Christ’s return to life. And historical records record that some time after AD 200—Christians finished the worship celebration with the baptism of new Christians. And so, this pictured the death of new Christians to their old life and a commitment to new life in Jesus.
And of course we’re doing things different today. All right, you can see that I just gave a teeny tiny snippet—and I’m an old link back to some really interesting articles in the show notes for you today. But I gave you a little tiny snippet of how our celebrations have changed over the years. And we could argue today that we’ve gone a whole long way from celebrating Christmas, right? and Easter in the way that they were intended to be celebrated—because we celebrate them differently in here in United States. They’re celebrated differently in churches around the world and in homes.
And I think here in this country the spiritual emphasis, which is the most important part of both Christmas and Easter, has almost completely been forgotten.Right.?
We’ve replaced it with decorated Christmas trees, we’ve replaced it with Santa Claus, and Christmas pageants, and things like that. And Easter right now, instead of being about the lamb—it’s about our rabbit, right? The rabbits that carry chicken eggs, and baskets, and new clothes, and colored paper, and Easter egg hunts, and all of those things. And these celebrations— they started off right. But like most things that happen in the culture—eventually, if we don’t stay with it as the church, which hello—I mean you guys— I mean Easter, Christmas… we can talk about all kinds of things that the church has said and whatever do whatever you want. Right?
And so, it loses its original meaning and message. So then the question is—do we participate or not? Well, I think that the answer is found in 1 Corinthians 10, and here the apostle Paul is giving us a really great biblical principle. And he’s giving this advice to Christians who were struggling with eating meat. Some of you guys have read the passage—because the meat had been offered to idols. And so the idea of eating meat offered to idols was offending some of the other believers.And so listen to what the apostle Paul had to say.
This is 1 Corinthians 10:25-27. Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake; for the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains. If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake.
So he’s trying to make a point.He’s saying—don’t ask, just eat. And I believe that you can translate this to talking about Easter and saying—at least this is how our family has always looked at. I don’t think that participating in Easter or Christmas is a sin at all. In fact, it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to say—we believe that Jesus Christ was born as a sinless baby, came into this world, lived a sinless life, He died for our sins, and we have something to rejoice—that is something we’re celebrating.
We’re not worshipping idols or other gods when we do this. But you’ve got to ask yourself a question—why are you celebrating Christmas and Easter? Well, the Christians who celebrate Christmas and Easter, need to celebrate it as a time to remember exactly what I just said. We’re remembering Jesus’ birth, His death. Remembering His return to life. That’s what we do on Easter Sunday, right?
So if we did a survey, I read this from NeverThirsty.org, it was so good. I’m going to quote him. He said: if we did a survey of the practices of the false religions, we would discover that they read from their sacred books, donate money, make speeches and sing music. Right? And just because their practices are similar to ours, does not make our Christian worship services wrong. What is important is why do you worship the Lord Jesus.
So listen to what Paul said about this in Romans 14:23.
“But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.”
So the same principle applies to participating in holidays, right? So just because unbelievers are celebrating on the same day as believers, just because unbelievers are making it about Santa Claus, or they’re making it about the Easter Bunny—that doesn’t make it wrong for Christians to remember, with joy, and celebrate the birth and the resurrection of Jesus. What’s important is that we’re celebrating it with a clear conscience, with a clear purpose of honoring Jesus.
And so, the conclusion that our family came to, and so many other Christians—I mean my husband was a pastor for years and years. We go whole-hog at Christmastime. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to tell everyone we know about Jesus. The same thing is true of Easter—and they are wonderful chances to remember Jesus birth and His resurrection. These are opportunities to teach your children the true meaning of Christmas and the true meaning of Easter.
So there you go. So there’s my answer. So I would say participate in Christmas, participate in Easter. Keep the focus on Jesus. It’s about Jesus. And if your kids go on an Easter egg hunt. I mean, our kids go on Easter Egg Hunt said Christmas—I think I had I know 30 little kids in my yard this year looking for eggs and all kinds of things. They understand the Easter Bunny. They just know—oh my goodness there’s eggs and candy. But we’ve already we’ve already celebrated the risen Lord. We’ve already done the resurrection eggs which I’ll link back to those. If you’ve never seen resurrection eggs—it’s a fantastic way to teach your children about the resurrection of Jesus, and keep it focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, alright? So be careful not to let the enemy steal your joy. Celebrate the birth of Christ and celebrate Easter—and do it with a clear conscience. Keep your focus on the Lord Jesus.
All right next question comes from Shannon. These are tough—you guys are not messing around. The next question comes from Shannon and Shannon said — Heidi, I’m ready to get off the bench. Woot-Woot! Way to go Shannon! And I feel especially called to be proactive in the areas of schools and helping to keep this horrific new sex education out and especially on the abortion front.
Absolutely. Shannon, I so appreciate your question. She goes on to say—what is the best place to start? Where can we get trustworthy information? Should I just start Googling, or are there organizations that state and regional chapters?
So that the question is the best. The best place to start is on your knees in prayer. Lord, I see a problem. Show me what you want me to do. I want to encourage you to check out the Family Policy Institute, The American Family Association—I will link back to these. If you’re in my state, the Family Policy Institute of Washington is a great place to start. In Massachusetts, they have a program called Mass Resistance —and these guys are helping parents who see these problems, get off the bench and onto the battlefield.
Now you guys have been listening to me talk about comprehensive sex-ed which came here to my state. And my husband and I were able to, by the grace of God, rally hundreds of people to get involved, and get interested, and bring this to the radar of Washington State parents. People think—well, Washington is a horribly liberal state. It absolutely is—but it’s not liberal because there’s no conservative living here.
It’s liberal because we’ve been quiet for so long—and they’re never quiet. They really never are. And they’re never gonna stop pushing this agenda until it’s a complete capitulation to what we know is true, what we believe in, what we want for our kids. And we can either yield that ground back—and just go, forget it, I don’t want to, I’m too tired. I don’t have time. It’s not my season of life. —whatever.
My dad used to say—excuses are like elbows, right.? Everybody’s got them. So we can either do that or we can say—no, I want to get involved. And if you have not watched yet on YouTube The War on Children — can I just encourage you? I cannot stress it enough. Look it up. It’s about a 15 minute documentary,15-20 minutes. It’s called The War on Children. I’ll link back to it today in the show notes. But I want to encourage you for the sake of your kids, find out what’s going on in your area and then Google places, or research The American Family Association and The Family Policy Institute of Washington.
Jay Sekulow has great information. You can actually become, if there is no touchpoint in your state, you could become that touchpoint and say—hey, I’m going to have a meeting at my church, or I’m going to have a meeting at my house, or wherever it is. Parents—if you’re concerned, come out and let’s talk about this. You’ll be amazed what will happen and we were actually able, here in Washington state, to prevent that bill from being passed into law —which would have been absolutely devastating. Now on the flipside of that, the vaccine bill was mandated. It was made a law just last week when we were out on the road. And frankly you guys, it makes me sick. It makes me sick that Washington state legislature thinks that it knows better than parents do—and they’re going to go ahead and mandate, now, the MMR.
I already talked about vaccines on here. To me, this is a massive infringement on parental rights. And I want to encourage you for the sake of your children. Parents, get off the bench, get onto the battlefield—become proactive. These things should not be happening in the United States of America. And we should care. Like my friend Bill Jack is always saying: every Christian that’s listening to this should care about our freedom.
We want to be able to raise our children the way that we see fit. God has given that responsibility to us as parents. It does not belong to the state. It certainly does not belong to the schools. And I think, parents, it’s time—definitely get off the bench get onto the battlefield.
So Shannon,to answer your question—it’s totally fine for you to Google, checkout the ones I just listed for you. And believe me when I say parents, listen to me—you have a voice. And just because you’re not the loudest voice right now, doesn’t mean that you don’t have a voice. And when we band together, and when we say—no, this is enough, too far, we’re not going to do this anymore, we’re rolling it back. There’s something amazing that begins to happen. I think there’s a groundswell happening of parents who have just said enough. This is wrong—what you’re doing it’s a lie.
Someone sent me an article yesterday and it was so ridiculous. I wish I had it in front of me. It was something like an article from U.K. about gay man, a gay transgender man, talking about his birth story as he just had a baby. I looked at my son, my 18 year old son, and I was like—That is ridiculous. So first of all—there’s no such thing as a gay transgender man. There isn’t. A transgender man is actually a woman. And so, a gay woman who’s having a baby makes her actually not even gay.
I told Spencer—the world is upside down because we have fallen victim to wrong thinking. And the Bible teaches over, and over, and over again about the power of our thinking and that we’re supposed to take our thoughts captive to Christ—and we’re not doing that very much anymore. And we I want to just encourage you back to the place of saying—Lord, help me in my mind, in my thinking, to let my thoughts be centered around You, and Your truth, and Your Word. And we can do that as parents and we definitely want to be modeling that for our children. And it’s okay to say—oh no, that is a lie and I reject that in the name of Jesus because Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but by me.” Jesus is where we find truth God defines truth. And as Christians we hold what God says to be true, and then we filter everything else through the grid of truth that God sets out for us in His Word.
He said—I created you male and female in my image. So many other things are happening in the culture. I’ve been on the road, so I’ve had a hard time—it’s very hard for me to podcast on the road—so I appreciate guys listening in. But I wanted to just say there’s so many things happening particularly in California right now that with continued pushes to push parents out of the scenario and push this insidious lie of transgenderism and homosexuality and abortion onto our children—please find out what’s going on in your neck of the woods.
I will be back does many things like that of the show notes today—but you can have a voice, the Lord has given it to you Trust the Lord—Father we give this to You. We say —Lord, we believe that You are who You say we are. And Father, I pray for every parent that’s listening to this podcast right now. Lord, that you would show them what it is that you want them to do. Lord, I pray that you’d help us to get off the bench and onto the battlefield. I pray that we would speak up on behalf of these young children who cannot speak for themselves. Lord I pray that we would defend the unborn. Father, I pray that we would again find our voice as Christians Lord, that we would be un muzzled and then we would speak your truth in love to a generation who desperately needs to hear it. Thank you for what you’re doing Lord and for what you will do in Jesus’ name, amen.
I want to thank you guys for listening today again. I will be very very shortly, in just a couple days, out participating in Apple Pie Day at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem. Check it out. I’ll link back to it in the show notes today—and then don’t forget —6:00 p.m., on Friday night May 3rd, is Preview Night at the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center.
If you guys are interested in supporting this ministry we would be greatly appreciative. We love getting letters from you, by the way, and we’re we’re starting to get them on a very consistent basis. If you’d like to reach out to us and send us a letter for those who have been sending us letters from New Zealand, and Australia, and Canada, and England. Thank you so much! It really does mean a lot to us. If you’d like to support this ministry financially you can send a check to:
Firmly Planted Family
11100 North East 34th Cir
Vancouver, Washington 98682.
Thanks again everybody, and I’ll see you back here on Wednesday!
Write to Heidi:
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
Support this ministry by donating through E-giving. You can also send donations to: 1100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682