We are Seventh-day Adventist Christians who believe in Scripture and the ministry of Ellen White. Therefore, this response to anti-Christmas adherents, will conform to the balanced principles found in both of these sources.
Judging by the comments that have been expressed over the years by some, there seems to be a lot of concern about Christmas as a pagan holiday. Some even say that there is no command in Scripture on having a celebration on that day. While that is true, neither is there a command against it. Furthermore no people we know confine their practices to those specifically mentioned in Scripture. We daresay that those who point out that Christmas is not mentioned in Scripture, nevertheless wear modern clothes, drive cars, and worship in churches with piano and organ music, study Sabbath School lessons, send their children to church schools and academies — even though none of these are mentioned in Scripture.
We all know that the exact day that Jesus was born is completely unknown just like there never was any artwork of the first half of the first century that shows us what Jesus looked like. If there were, man would probably worship it instead of the Lord Himself. Historically all we know for sure is that some time during the third and fourth centuries the Christian church adopted December 25 as a day to remember Christ’s birth in Bethlehem.
-Ellen White`s Focus-
It is this general understanding of a nebulous origin that Ellen White avoids in her writings. Her concern doesn’t seem to be about the day as such but what we do with it. In fact in the 117 times the word “Christmas” appears in all of her writings paganism is never associated with it.(1.)
Over and over she bemoans the selfishness that surrounds Christmas with all the gifts to one another and the feasting to the point of gluttony. She counsels not against the day but that it should be focused towards lifting burdens and making life a joy for other people. She points us toward focusing on Jesus who came and sacrificed so much for each of us which should cause us to worship Him who gave everything He had just so we could be with Him in Heaven.
-We Can Choose Our Focus-
We can make the 25th of December dreary and burdensome and cast a dark shadow over it if we wish, or we can use something that the devil has perverted for evil and turn it around to further the cause of Christ by applying the leverage principles of Judo. The devil has a momentum going in this season that we can use to steer things in the right direction. The decision is ours to make: We can be depressing Scrooges or happy, cheerful Christians, lighting the space around us by allowing the light from Jesus to shine through us. If we do that, the Holy Spirit can use our witness, along with the cross, to draw people into the arms of Christ. The world can see better at this time of the year what the kingdom of God is really like – they can see the contrast between selfishness and benevolence. Shouldn’t we be using that momentum for the kingdom of God instead of debating among ourselves concerning the day which no one is absolutely sure about?
(1.) There are no hits on a proximity search of Ellen White’s writings using 10 paragraphs as a proximity for the words “Christmas” and “pagan*” (the asterisk is a wildcard character that expands the search of words with the base “pagan”) ↩