What Constitutes A ‘Holy Day’? And How Does Christmas Measure Up Against The Definition?

Status
Not open for further replies.

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
To the OP: from a WCF confessional viewpoint, the only day you can set aside as holy is the Lord's Day.

Church leadership may set aside a time for specific prayer, thanksgiving or fasting. As an earlier example, the church of England, in its local representation at Williamsburg, set aside a specific and single day of thanksgiving when the Virginia colony survived.

The nine million dollar question becomes whether a church may have a specific day to remember the incarnation. (See other threads ad nauseam.) Holiness of the day is not an issue. It's not for man to determine.
 
Last edited:

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
From a RB perspective: the Christian calendar has 52 holy days a year. Each is not different than another, and the provisions of the RPW must be carried out on them. The church may meet to worship on other occasions, but it may not lay on any one's conscience the necessity of doing so. Wednesday night prayer is a wonderful thing, but it cannot be made mandatory (that is, you cannot be disciplined or censured for being absent, like you could for a Lord's Day assembly). If the church is going to call a non-Sunday assembly "Worship," then it needs to keep it within the bounds of the RPW (we used to borrow another church's premises for baptisms on Saturdays. We worshipped then without departing from the RPW). If it's going to get together and eat chili burgers and watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it may do so, any day but Sunday, but it cannot be considered a worship service.
 

Kinghezy

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think not. The “weaker brother principle” instructs us not to cause someone to stumble into doing something against conscience. Those within the Reformed community holding to such Christmas-worship scruples aren’t so much in danger of succumbing to Christmas-worship temptation. Typically they stand firm in their convictions. Rather, their temptation might run a different course - perhaps to judge another brother who regards the day as permissible.

You are right, thanks.
 

John Yap

Puritan Board Freshman
All we do in my church is just a gospel message with some hymns, no call to worships etc. Essentially it is inviting people for a message, prayer, songs; albeit in the church. We have a meal together after that for fellowship.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
I asked in another thread whether Christmas and Easter might be considered holy days among Reformed Christians who practice them.
I was unsure whether by “might be considered” you meant “might they be justified in considering” or “might they wrongly consider.”

I'd really like to know what things are like on the ground in Reformed, Christmas-celebrating churches...I grew up in in evangelical churches, and I certainly believed such days to be holy.
So I think you were asking, do some Reformed Christians wrongly attach a holiness to Christmas? My first thought: what does the label Reformed currently mean to so many? I think its meaning to people in our day is limited and defined according to where they have landed on issues at the moment. So that people and churches/denominations of a wide array of convictions are defined by the label “Reformed.” But prayerfully by God’s grace there is a thorough-going reformation happening among many Christians and denominations in the U.S. Even though as of yet there’s a wide spectrum of understanding and practice among those who identify as Reformed. In some confessional (and currently in the midst of reformation) denominations like the RPCNA and ARP, you’ll see less of private members/congregations giving Christmas any attention, yet the problematic symbols and practices we’ve been talking about may still be lurking, mostly in private but I think maybe still in a couple/few congregations. In denominations like the FC(C) and PRC where a more full adherence to the Confession is common and teaching on these matters is open, you’ll see very little interest in Christmas among private members and none in the congregation. In the wider world of Reformed evangelicalism it’s anybody’s guess. I’ve called myself a Reformed christian for 15 years, yet have retained some private devotional attitudes and practices regarding Christmas that I really knew were problematic, the last several years.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top