Today is my birthday! I am 25!
One of the issues bothering so many Christians is the issue of celebration as regards to assigning a specific date to a specific celebration. So many Christians who wants to get all the stuff right stands on the opposing side! They argue that Christmas, Easter, New Year, Birthday and other celebrations are highly originated from Paganism. They’ve propounded so many theories and have brought up so many evidences as to prove their case.
Let me clearly say that the easiest way to stop being a Christian is by struggling to “”get everything right” using our human limited minds. A Christian is not something who gets everything right, he is pronounced right as he depends on the righteousness of God. Far from that, there are no specific prohibitions against celebrating birthdays in the scripture. The bible is not silent concerning birthdays but we must understand it according to context.
There were two individuals that celebrated birthdays in the bible; Pharaoh in the time of Joseph (Genesis 40:20), and King Herod in the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry (Matthew 14:6; Mark 6:21). Having looked at the two people pointed out here, it would be easy for one to argue that they were not believers either in Judaism or in Christ and therefore since they are not believers, birthday isn’t for believers! But let’s look at how the scriptures put it
“And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.” Genesis 40:20
“But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.” Matthew 14:6
“And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.” Mark 6:21-22
Looking at the two scenarios, killing occurred and it was birthday! That would easily want to make us believe birthday celebration isn’t good at all. But if we must be sincere, we should ask ourselves then, were the killings the result of birthday celebration? No! It was something else that inspired the killing! Even if it wasn’t, the ways of believers and unbelievers are not the same. So, believers’ method of celebration is guided by the Spirit. It is like witnessing a pagan worshipper performing human sacrifice and believers worshipping by lifting up holy hands to God. The difference is very clear! Trying to link some Christian dates with pagan dates can only be futile because in the beginning God created all the days! Every date originated from God, you simply chose what to do with it.
That is why Paul addressed the Romans in the issue of which day should be the day of worship. However, it would also apply to birthday celebrations!
“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks….. But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” Romans 14:5-10
What was Paul trying to say? Anyone who regards any day as special does so to the Lord. It doesn’t mean if that same day makes another meaning to the pagans! Every day originated from God. Therefore, it is bad to judge people for celebrating their birthdays or not celebrating them! If anyone sees nothing wrong with birthdays, he should celebrate it with clear conscience in thanksgiving to God. If another chooses not to celebrated, it is not bad! But he mustn’t look down on others who do or pride in himself as the right person! We have the freedom to celebrate or not celebrate birthdays! Christians celebrate their birthdays with thanksgiving to God! If through everything we do, God is glorified, we are free to do everything! Only that which doesn’t glorify God is to be abhorred by believers.