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What Are The Origins Of Christmas? Is It Pagan? Talking With Historian, Bill Federer | Melissa Dougherty

(Updated: January 12th, 2022)

Love must be voluntarily.” – Bill Federer

There are a lot of Christmas traditions that get discussed in this interview. While many want to say Christmas is pagan, for x, y, z reasons, it’s refreshing to learn how many of these traditions come from the desire to not forget the importance of Christ’s birth. Remember, the birth of Christ meant the birth of a Savior. Christ’s birth was celebrated BECAUSE He was the Savior!

Melissa Dougherty interviews Bill Federer about his book, “There Really Is A Santa Claus | The History of St. Nicholas & Christmas Holiday Traditions.”

Bill opens up by sharing the Gospel, and then explains how Christians, in the early Church, were being persucuted. He leads to how during this persucution Nicholas was born (St. Nicholas).

When Constaine makes it legal for Christians to worship freely, Nicholas gets out of jail. Nicholoas condemns paganism. One pagan Roman tradition was human sacrifice – known as exposure. This was their version of abortion. Leave the baby to the elements. The early Christians spoke out against this, just like today. Nicholas preached against divination and sexual immortality, as well. He was made bishop.

Nicholas often became looked upon as a saint for what he taught and did. From understanding St. Nick, we then see how the culture and origin of other traditions shaped Christmas. What is clear is that origins of Christmas was heavily focused on Jesus Christ. Since so much is covered, I’m just going to make some bullet points.

In this interview these answers are answered:

  • Is Xmas wrong? What does Greek letter X mean?
  • First church heresy – Arianism
  • The Counsel of Nicene, how Easter got its date, connection to Christmas
  • What happens when an emperor outlaws paganism?
  • What is Greek Orthodox
  • Origin of nativity scene
  • Dead Sea Scrolls – how Dec. 25th was selected
  • Chris Kringle & Martin Luther
  • Gentiles & Birthdays, what led to fascination with Christ’s birth
  • The 12 days of Christmas and connection to the word ”holidays”
  • Origin of putting candles (lights) in Christian tree
  • Difference between St. Nick and Father Christmas
  • Story about Thor’s tree being chopped down by missionary (which was an oak tree.) Why did the Germans choose the evergreen tree?
  • Why did Puritans ban Christmas?
  • Pilgrims & division on Christmas
  • The transformation of Christian Santa to what he is now
  • What does Santa in Dutch mean?
  • Where did Santa get his Dutch look?
  • How did the North Pole get involved?
  • 1930s Coke Cola & Santa
  • And much more!!!

Melissa Dougherty came out of the New Age. She understands the confusion of false converts who believe they are following a genuine Christianity, when it’s actually New Age. She speaks out on many New Age practices entering the church.

Her YouTube channel is meant to help newer Christians, especially, who have questions about Christian Apologetics, false teaching connected to New Age, Mormonism, and/or Jehovah’s Witnesses. She has a ministry in reaching out to those in cults, like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Melissa occasionally shares her talent in painting, and sometimes creates Christian satire videos.  

Bill Federer is author of the book, “There Really Is A Santa Claus | The History of St. Nicholas & Christmas Holiday Traditions” among other books he’s written.

I make nothing from promoting books, just getting the word out.

Check Out: What Are The Origins of Christmas? Is It Pagan? Talking With Historian, Bill Federer | Melissa Dougherty

Scripture To Memorize/Meditate On – (ESV) Romans 5:08, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

*To learn more about what Jesus did on the cross and why His atonement sacrifice is so needed please see: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?) 
*If you do not know the Gospel, do not turn away. If you think you know the Gospel, check out these questions and see how prepared you are for the day someone might ask you why you believe: The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?

Community Prayer – December ’21

Christian Topics/Series Covered
Believer Handbook
Personal Blog: Peeking Beneath
Blog For Christian Women: UnAshamed Christian Housewife
Godly Men & Women I Recommend: Link To List
Resources For False Teaching: Recommended Websites For False Teachers/Teaching 
Video Playlist: Christian Questions, Topics, False Teachers, Insights 
Video Playlist: New Christian Believer 
Video Playlist: Understanding False Teachings
Video Playlist: Sermons To Grow From

Luke 11_39-40, careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy–full of greed and wickedness. Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside_

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