-18 votes

Think twice before you put up a Christmas tree this year...

<< Jeremiah 10 >>
King James Version
1Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
2Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

3For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

4They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

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Bet you can't remember what

Bet you can't remember what the point was...?

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Times

Check out Daniel 7:25 :-)

.

Hear, O Israel: YHUH our God YHUH one. And thou shalt love YHUH thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Breaking the 3rd Commandment

To take the name the name of Christ, and tie it or connect it with anything other than what is written in His Word the Bible, is taking the name of God in vain.

Christmas tree, Christmas season, Christmas candy, Christmas wreath, Christmas songs, Christmas gifts, etc.

Who began all this "Christmas" nonsense anyway...it surely was NOT the Lord God Almighty!

Jesus Christ himself even said "Ye make void the Word of God by your traditions"

The name of Christ is to be spoken of with reverence always!

This will surely be offensive to many, but the truth is in the Word.

Peace everyone

" In Thee O Lord do I put my trust " ~ Psalm 31:1~

Christmas was originally

Christmas was originally Christ mass not Christ's birthday, as celebrated by the catholic church.

Before that or concurrent with it, it was the feast of adam and eve. The tree I believe was suppose to represent the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and Eucharistic wafers were hung from it (circa 1200 I believe).

Before that, it probably dates to the saint boniface of germany, who chopped down a famous pagan tree - in which case it is a celebration of destroying paganism, around 750bc, which is about the same time as the start of the holy roman empire. You could contrawise arguing it is a celebration of the Holy Roman Empire - which if it is, then by all means get rid of it.

Note, I am neither arguing for or against Christmas trees. Just presenting facts, as some of these facts tend to be odder then anything you get in discussion. I have in the past taken the positio of being against Christmas trees.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

>>Jesus Christ himself even

>>Jesus Christ himself even said "Ye make void the Word of God by your traditions"

2 Thessalonians 2:15 KJV
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Whoops, guess it depends what you do with those traditions, rather than traditions in themselves being bad.

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By word

tells me by the word of the Bible, not the traditions of man. I am sure God does not want people worshipping Tammuz like they used to.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must. like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.-Thomas Paine

The R3volution requires action, not observation!!!!

You are failing to understand

With all due respect, you are not understanding what is being said in each case.
Read the verse in 2 Thessalonians carefully and you will see that Paul is refering to being taught by the Word of God both in the old and the new Testaments.

Jesus was pointing directly to the teachings and traditions of men in both Matthew 15 and in Mark 7.

Paul was pointing to the teachings taught of God through His prophets ( "the Word" in the Old Testament ) and through "our epistle" which is also given by God to the apostles such as Paul, Peter and others in the New Testament.

They are clearly different contexts.

Peace

" In Thee O Lord do I put my trust " ~ Psalm 31:1~

You wish. "By word of mouth"

You wish. "By word of mouth" as later translations state. Paul's teaching to them, not written scripture. Ego te absolvo.

stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter NIV
stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter ESV
stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. NASB

Exegesis, not eisegesis, my dear fellow. If he meant the scriptures, he would have mentioned them, as he often did. Don't let your presuppositions cloud your judgment. There was no New Testament at the time Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, this was the second earliest letter we have, and no gospel account existed.

Jesus attacked traditions when they took on a life of their own, and deflected attention away from God, and his Kingdom. He attacked them when they served the power politics of certain groups, rather than the people. He never openly condemned the Jewish idea of a hedge around the law, only that it had grown so much it impeded access. Protestant churches, especially churches like Fundamentalist Baptist churches, are full fo traditions: the right clothes to wear, the right entertainments, the right way to preach a sermon, the right way to sing hymns, the right way to design ahouse of worship. These can become an end in themselves, and prevent people growing in grace. They can also channel spiritual life towards a higher end. They cannot be proven from scripture. They are traditions of men. Some of them are novelties in their time, like anxious seats; in time they become set in stone and form the way the Christian life is lived. Then they can become a hindrance if people do not convert in the 'right way'; they divide the people of God. The same goes for forms of words that pass as 'deep' Bible teaching; they are just passed around, unexamined, and become devalued over time. Some fo the most virulent enemies of 'traditions of men' are deeply traditional in their ways.

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They did not pass the tradition of Christmas

by word of mouth in the Bible.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must. like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.-Thomas Paine

The R3volution requires action, not observation!!!!

Are you are denying the Word of God?

The entire Bible is the Word of God!

Paul's teachings came directly from Almighty God. The Bible was still being written then through those very epistles and we now have all 66 books.

If you deny that then you are therefore are under still the judgment of God I am sad to say. I hope you are not!

Here are just a few verses ( there are many ) which testify that Paul's epistles and the writings of James and all in the New Testament are the very Word of God:

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

" And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."

Galatians 1:11, 12
"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."

2 Timothy 3:16

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness"

To deny Paul's epistles as the very Word of God given to him, would put you in violation of Revelation 22:19

By the way, I read from the authorized KJV and all other newer versions are perversions.

Peace everyone

" In Thee O Lord do I put my trust " ~ Psalm 31:1~

what does the bible say about artificial christmas trees?

that's what we use to celebrate the santa and jesus/mithras myths

The Bible doesn't say much,

The Bible doesn't say much, but the Book of Mithras says you'll be turned into sausage meat and fed to rabid reindeer. forever.

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I have an idea for worship and praise...

...it involves imagery personifying trees and imagining them coming alive and moving about.

Oooh, you say...how creepily pagan that sounds, like images of Naiads and Dryads from mythology. What am I some kind of nature-worshipping syncretist?

Umm... Instead how about this was already done in the Bible in descriptive language by the prophet Isaiah (55:12)...

"For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."

And King David with a worship song:

"Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the LORD, for He comes." (Ps. 96:12)

Hmm... so it's not entirely pagan to associate imagery of trees with inspiring worship? Even images of trees anthropomorphically singing and dancing?

I don't care if some druid worshipped some pagan god when admiring an evergreen or any other kind of tree or animal or mineral. What matters is whether the tree imagery inspires me to worship the Creator, and it does. And so I will continue to sing 'O Christmas Tree', in that light.

This has absolutely nothing to do

with the subject matter at hand. You are just muddying the waters because you cannot uphold your beliefs through Scripture.

The point is...

...that just because some kind of imagery or symbol has been associated at one time or other with pagan culture or rituals or mythology doesn't mean that imagery, etc. can never be used in other fashion to inspire true worship of the Creator instead.

If you were to ask me what the first thing is that pops into my mind with the concept of trees and other things in nature having anthropomorphic descriptions, coming alive and moving about and singing and dancing, I would tell you that it reminds me most of pagan mythologies, and also the newer mythologies of Tolkien, Lewis, etc. The reason I point out this simliar type of imagery in these verses is to show that it can associated instead with Biblical connotations.

Similarly, when you think about evergreen trees being used as decoration at winter time, the first thing that pops into your head seems to be a pagan association. But evergreens used as decoration at wintertime can be used to inspire sentiments and associations beyond whatever pagan use it may have had.

The Apostle Paul argued that meat sacrificed to idols was ok for consumption, since it's just meat. I'd say beautiful evergreens as decoration are simply just that -- beautiful evergreens. Just because some druid used it one way, doesn't mean I'll use it the same. Just because something rings a bell in your head as having pagan associations doesn't mean therefore that it is exclusively pagan.

That is not the point

Sure trees clapping their hands sounds odd. Yes it did to me when I first read it. But it is in Scripture even if it is symbolic. But the point is that Trees have been a subject of worship, christmas is a day of pagan worship. And to use those against GOD's explicit command not to, in any semblance of worship toward Him, is wrong. He set forth how He wants to be worshiped and He says it makes Him angry and jealous when we do as the false worshipers do. If we just worship Him as we see fit then we are not worshiping Him at all.

As far as eating things sacrificed to idols. Yes Paul said don't ask and just give thanks and eat. BUT if you take part in a pagan sacrificial rite and eat then you are sinning. And that was only for personal consumption. He never even suggested that animals sacrificed to idols should be set on HIS alter or offered in the temple.

And since animal sacrifice has given way to spiritual praise and repentance then to offer praise or repentance while partaking of pagan ritual is just as bad as it would have been to offer up a sacrifice to an idol on His alter. You might as well offer a pig for your trouble.

In the end we all have to answer for ourselves. You don't have to believe me and I don't want you or anyone else too. I prefer that if anything I inspire in some way that people search Scripture for Truth and believe that Truth no matter how it conflicts with the worldly traditions we all grew up with. I wasn't born believing how I do. I once celebrated all the paganism that the world does and I thank my heavenly Father that my eyes were opened to the truth.

Do you remember when you realized the lies that our political system is mired in. Do you think it is hard convincing people of the political truths of our government and opening their eyes. It is only harder with Scriptural truth.

I admire the motivation...

...behind what you say; although I could quibble further on these points. Don't want to belabor it (too late, I guess :) ).

As far as having unpopular views, I understand as well. I'm hesitant to tell others I agree with evangelical universalism, as I'm sure many in the circles I am in would want to consider me a heretic and throw me into a pit with Origen and Gregory of Nyssa. :). My hope lies in a God whose love for us never ceases and whose mercy never comes to an end, even if you or I are wrong on this point or that. That's not to say we can't bring down suffering on ourselves, wandering in the wilderness for a while due to the error of our ways. But God will never give up on even the most desparately lost sheep. His justice is merciful and His mercy is just; and I'll rest in that.

Here's another example...

...if I say that I admire a culture that once used casting lots and divination with objects to answer questions, determine judgements, etc., you might say, stop right there! The Bible is against such things!

But then I tell you that this was actually the Israelites using the objects known as Urim and Thummim to do this righteous form of divination, casting lots, etc.

See what I mean -- just because some concept makes you think 'pagan' at first blush, doesn't mean that the concept is exclusively pagan. There is a non-pagan use of the same concept.

Another example...

animal sacrifice could be pagan or non-pagan.

Actually, he is doing what he

Actually, he is doing what he can to turn a thread that started out as muddied, into something potable. Good on him, he exegesis is no worse than several fundies here who think they are teachers.

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The verse

states that they cut down trees and decked them with silver and gold, if that doesn't sound like Christmas to you, then it must be muddied. To me it plainly states don't cut down trees and decorate them in your house. That is the truth it reveals to me, if it does not reveal that same truth to you, that is your choice. I am not taking my chances, narrow is the gate, I want to get through that gate, and hope that God will continue to lead me to all Truth. The Bible states the whole world will wonder after the beast, not part of the world, the whole world. You will either follow the Lord or you will follow Satan, and you could simply be following Satan through the deceptions he has created here. I happen to believe Christmas is one of his deceptions, and I think it is well justified.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must. like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.-Thomas Paine

The R3volution requires action, not observation!!!!

Christianity contradicting itself? NO WAY!

Many features of Christian tradition are borrowed from the heathen cultures that they colonized - Christmas trees, Easter bunnies, hymn melodies, etc.

You are right but that doesn't mean

that Scripture or in other words true worship does. Christianity is full of paganism that was brought in mostly by the unholy roman church under Constantine. But just because people are unrighteous doesn't mean that Scriptural truth is of no effect. I don't know what you mean by Hymn melodies but christmas and easter are definitely pagan and against GOD.

Wrong, of course. You've

Wrong, of course. You've probably been reading too much Hislop. You do know that Ralph Woodrow recanted his book Babylon Mystery Religion, and by implication Hislop's work?

And question: if catholicism was so chock full of paganism, why did pagans persecute it? Why did Julian try to re-establish paganism, if it was all there in the church? Why did no pagan ever raise the critique back then, rather than us all having to wait for a few gentleman scholars with too much time on their hands, and too much imagination, in the 19th century?

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I do not know

nor do I care who Hislop or Ralph Woodrow are. I read and study Scripture and if I need historical information I research encyclopedias. You should try it some time.

Your question about persecution is irrelevant because persecution is not limited to religion or any group.

It is called the Latter Rain

you will either be a part of it or you won't be.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must. like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.-Thomas Paine

The R3volution requires action, not observation!!!!

No

It's the other way round.

Luke 3:38
Isaiah 43:3-5

Greek stone columns were made

Greek stone columns were made with grooves, to look like trees. It didn't make them trees though; it just meant people had moved on from wood, but kept a likeness. Cars still have wheel arches, if only a minor bump in the side, even though they are not horse-drawn carriages with wheel guards. Borrowing something doesn't make it the same as it was, it just means you have to look for the new meaning, while recognising the provenance. It is neither contradiction, nor idolatry.

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Martin Luther

started the tradition of the Christmas Tree. If I recall correctly, he started the whole sola scriptura (Scripture alone). This is totally a misapplication of what Jeremiah.

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
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That is mere legend

There are many stories of its origin to which none are fact.

Martin Luther did NOT begin all this nonsense and would never have entertained such a repulsive idea!

Martin Luther was a man of God and was responsible for the reformation! Have you any idea what he went through because of that?

The sad part is how many celebrate at that time of year and yet when the return of Jesus Christ is brought up, they are repelled.

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

" In Thee O Lord do I put my trust " ~ Psalm 31:1~