Silence Of The Scripture

Charles J. Aebi

"Why is Scripture silent on celebrating Christmas and Easter? Aren't both of these concerned with miracles? Is there any authority in the silence of the Scriptures?"

There are three questions here; let's take the second one first. Yes, the birth of Christ and the resurrection of Christ are miracles, and these are intended by those who celebrate them to be the themes of Christmas and Easter. It is essential for us to believe in the miracle of the virgin birth, for it plainly shows that Jesus is the Son of God, not the son of Joseph. It is also essential for us to believe in the resurrection of Jesus, for it also declares Him to be the Son of God, according to Romans 1:4. But the fact that we must believe in the virgin birth and in the resurrection does not mean that we must celebrate Christmas and Easter, nor does studying about the birth of Christ in December or the resurrection of Christ in March mean that we are celebrating Christmas and Easter.

The answer to the first question is, I don't know, other than that it means we have no authority for celebrating these religious holy days and, therefore, should not do so. Why did God not authorize them? Probably because He did not want them celebrated. Why didn't He? I don't know. Why did God require baptism for the forgiveness of sins? I don't know that, either, but He did. Some people, because they don't see why God would require baptism for the remission of sins, say that baptism is not necessary and that you can be forgiven by faith alone, or by faith and prayer; but God, for reasons known only by Him, chose baptism as the door into the church (into Christ), as Romans 6:3 and Galatians 3:27 say. He said that baptism saves you (1 Peter 3:21), that baptism washes away your sins (Acts 22:16), and that baptism is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Why He chose immersion in water as a condition for forgiveness is not known because it is not revealed. Ours is to do God's will, not to question why. Perhaps if you obey this command, along with others, when you get to heaven, you will be able to ask God why He did this (if you have the gall to do so), and perhaps He will give you the reason. If He refused, what would you do then? Even if He did tell you, what makes you think you would understand? Not having the mind of God, we find it hard to understand a lot of things!

To the third question, yes, there is authority in the silence of the Scriptures. Colossians 3:17 says everything we say or do is to be by the authority of Christ (in His name). That means if a thing is not authorized by Christ, we shouldn't do it. It is the same idea as the principle of inclusion and exclusion. God told Noah to build an ark of gopher wood and thereby excluded all other kinds of wood. God was silent as to using oak, ash, elm, poplar, walnut, and other wood, but, when he specified gopher, he ruled out all the others. The silence of the Scripture is appealed to in Hebrews 7:14, "For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood." Priests were to be from Levi, of the family of Aaron, and God's silence as to priests from Judah meant that no priests could be from Judah.

This principle of respecting the silence of the New Testament Scripture rules out the use of instrumental music, candles, and other unauthorized things in worship. It also rules out our celebration of special holy days; the first day of every week is our day to remember Christ's death and resurrection, not just once a year. -2660 Layman Rd., Vincent OH 45784


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