Can’t compare winter solstice with Christmas

I rarely take issue with the Record’s editorial opinion column, but I must point out some fallacies in the article printed last Wednesday

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear editor,

I rarely take issue with the Record’s editorial opinion column, but I must point out some fallacies in the article printed here last Wednesday

from the Chilliwack Progress, ‘Special Celebrations’.

The description of ancient winter customs seems reasonably accurate, but what follows is at best questionable. Although the Emperor Aurelian did

promote sun-worship, there is no proof that he honoured the 25th of December; his celebrations more likely took place in October.  At an

unknown time, between 200 and the late 4th century, some Christians began to consider the 25th of December as Christ’s birthday. Apparently

they believed the date to be right.

In spite of the obscure and disputed nature of Christmas’ origin, there is absolutely no evidence that it replaced a Roman calendar event, and

the article’s statements are historically unsupportable.

A December date for the feast of the sun may in fact have been a later pagan reaction to the already existing Christian holiday. (The research of the University of Alberta’s Dr. S.Hijmans is helpful.)

The other problem I must raise concerns the writer’s conclusion: ‘Either way, the winter solstice and Christmas are times of special celebration.’

While I cannot dispute the technical correctness of this sentence, it neglects an essential difference between the two holidays: one is a fact

of nature with little intrinsic significance; the other marks the pivotal event in history, the birth of the Child who came to save the world.

While people may celebrate the winter solstice, they should not place it on the same level as Christmas. Christmas commemorates the coming of the Son of God and the hope of eternal life for all who believe in Him.

The winter solstice cannot compare with that.

Brendon Johnson

Courtenay