-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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I do not limit my argument

to four verses. And as I said, I do not consign anyone to anywhere. You do that to yourself by rejecting the truth. If you celebrate christmas then you are rejecting Scriptural teaching. It is still your choice and no one is making you do anything. If you want to convict yourself that is your business. Don't hate me just because I speak the truth.

And as far as "burden" goes, if you find Scriptural truth to be a burden then that is your problem. I never said you will go to hell, I merely said you will be judged in the second resurrection because you do not meet the criteria to be in the first resurrection. Look it up. Whether you go to the fictitious "hell" which is actually the Lake of Fire is all on your shoulders not mine.

The premise of this thread...

...is being presented based on those four verses and lopping off the rest. If you have other verses that you think represent Christmas trees in the Bible, I'm all ears. But you can't go around touting these four verses as evidence for your view of it literally being a Christmas tree, because the rest of the chapter negates that.

Now, if you want to go the generalization route, and say that well, ok, these verses aren't literally describing a Christmas tree but idols in general and that a Christmas tree can be an idol, then fine -- I agree with that. Anything can be made an idol, including interpretations of Scripture.

I don't hate you :). I'm sure if we were face to face over a cup of coffee, this conversation would seem a little friendlier. I just don't agree that you're speaking truth. Let's agree to disagree for now, and I will keep an open mind if you have additional verses to share beyond these four that support your view regarding literal descriptions of Christmas trees in the Bible.

Oh, boy...if we go into the hell topic in general, that'll be a whole other can of worms. Suffice it to say, I'm coming around from the traditional eternal conscious torment view to see that every lost sheep will eventually be found -- the Evangelical Universalist by Robin Parry (AKA Gregory Macdonald) and George MacDonald's Unspoken Sermons (esp. 'Justice') have really opened my eyes to the Universalist framework all through Scripture. heheh...I'm sure you're really going to want to stone me, now. ;) Regardless of your particular view, I hope you can go to the new documentary Hellbound? coming out this month (next week locally!) which explores this debate.

Just as a side note...is there ANY holiday that you do find worthy of celebrating?

Putting up

My tree has nothing to do with paganism whatever its roots. Many Germanic tribes converted to Christianity when Boniface cut down a tree held to be holy by certain Germanic tribes. I stick by the converts to Christianity, yet still put up a tree, but it is not because I worship it.

The tree is not to be worshipped, but is a resource that God gave to me to use as I see fit. I see it fit to be decorated in cheap plastic ornaments to beautify my house.

First Christmas Tree in America

First Christmas Tree in America was in 1816. The verses above have nothing to do with celebrating Christmas. Israel in verses has nothing to do with the present day State of Israel, that's what the Zionists Jews would like people to believe, only.

Saturday IS the 7th Day.............

............just look at your calendar.

I promise not to worship my Christmas tree.

OK?

Integrity means having to say things that people don't want to hear & especially to say things that the regime doesnt want to hear -RonPaul

Best reply.

LOL.

Wouldn't it be that an idol is only an idol

depending on how you interpret it?

Indulge me for a second.

Some people like to hang a small figure of Jesus around their necks. This is not considered an idol. What if someone doesn't have the means to something so visually descriptive? What if they had to use a piece of wood and imagine it was Jesus? Is that considered an idol?

Using that example, if someone were to use a tree to, in some way, signify Christianity, is it still considered an idol?

IMO, an idol is an idol only depending on how you intend to project it in your mind.

Of course there are clear exceptions to the rule. You wouldn't go around with a Mini-Devil on your neck claiming it signified your allegiance to Jesus.

Noone knows what Jesus looks like today

how can we possibly hang a portrait of Him around our necks, especially on a cross, when he was hung on a stake? The second Commandment states we are not to have pictures of these things, yet some do around their necks. Far reaching as it may be, what if the Devil comes around and he looks like the image of Jesus we all see and we get decieved? It is dangerous to portray Jesus in any manner.

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!!!!

That's my entire point.

You're claiming that people use Christmas trees (or the Christmas season) to follow a pagan/unholy holiday. My point was, what if people celebrate Christmas in allegiance to Jesus rather than whatever you think they're celebrating? Is it still considered paganism when one is truly praying to the one they believe in, regardless of whatever object they are seeing?

Just a bit of background info: I'm agnostic, but my entire family is Christian. They are the typical church-goers. They read the bible daily, they go to church every week, and they discuss their faith frequently. However, my family has celebrated Christmas for decades and I have never considered any of my family to be "fake" Christians (two-faced believers, who fake belief in return for recognition and praise). My Mother, who is one of the most wonderful women I have ever known, holds the Christmas season as a treasure. We have blessed and been blessed based on this particular holiday.

In conclusion, I highly doubt that God would disprove of such a wonderful holiday. It has given my entire family so much to be thankful for and we wish the same for anyone effected by us on Christmas.

I won't take a stance on whether the devil or God is involved in the uprising or fall or Christmas, but I will say that I never feel happier during the year when it's "that time of year."

<3

And yet...

...the Bible refers to Christ with descriptive metaphors like 'The Lion of Judah'. Oops...the Bible just made a picture pop into my head of a Lion when I think of Christ! So now I'm in danger??

It was interesting that an acquaintance of mine once told me it was basically evil that C.S. Lewis had used the Lion as a representation of the Christ metaphor, Aslan, in the Narnian stories. This person was a bit stymied when I reminded him of the fact that the Bible itself uses this metaphor, this image, in calling him the Lion of Judah. This ran so counter to what his belief was that he denied it was in the Bible until I showed him the verses.

I think some people, with every intent of wanting to obey God the best they can, get so wrapped around the axle with fearing certain things when they do not need to. Yes there are dangers in images; but there are dangers, then, in reading the Bible, which generated descriptive images and metaphors in your head as well. Cowering in fear from such things is obviously not what we need to do. It all goes back to the heart condition, the heart attitude with these kinds of things; not the external things themselves.

The Christmas Tree tradition comes from Hosea 14:8...

...which reads:

"Ephraim shall say, What haue I to doe any more with idoles? I haue heard him, and obserued him: I am like a greene firre tree, from me is thy fruite found." KJV

Fir trees are evergreens and represent the tree of life in that they never shed their leaves...i.e. they are always "alive." The decoration of the tree with sugar plums, candy canes, and other fruits and sweets are taken from the last part of the verse "from me is thy fruite found." It's a symbol of God as the All-bountiful one. Jeremiah, in your quote, is warning against making the symbol or any idols the object of adoration or worship, but the use of symbolism throughout the Bible is commonplace.

The Christmas Tree is quite safe as a Christian symbol. As such, the fact that some pagan cultures had similar traditions does not mar its value as a Christian symbol.

Cuimhnigh orm, a Dhia, le haghaidh maith.

It seems Ephraim was not saying he was literally a fir tree

yet he was saying he was undying in his service to the Lord. The tree of life is not on the earth currently, it got taken away from Adam and Eve, they were cut off from it, as are we until it is brought back.

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!!!!

Indeed...

...hence the symbolism.

Cuimhnigh orm, a Dhia, le haghaidh maith.

Not true. The Egyptians were

Not true.
The Egyptians were part of a long line of cultures that treasured and worshipped evergreens. When the winter solstice arrive, they brought green date palm leaves into their homes to symbolize life's triumph over death.

The Romans celebrated the winter solstice with a fest called Saturnalia in honor of Saturnus, the god of agriculture. They decorated their houses with greens and lights and exchanged gifts. They gave coins for prosperity, pastries for happiness, and lamps to light one's journey through life.

Centuries ago in Great Britain, woods priests called Druids used evergreens during mysterious winter solstice rituals. The Druids used holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life, and place evergreen branches over doors to keep away evil spirits.

Late in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors to show their hope in the forthcoming spring. Our modern Christmas tree evolved from these early traditions.

The Christmas tree has gone through a long process of development rich in many legends, says David Robson, Extension Educator, Horticulture, with the Springfield Extension Center.

Some historians trace the lighted Christmas tree to Martin Luther. He attached lighted candles to a small evergreen tree, trying to simulate the reflections of the starlit heaven -- the heaven that looked down over Bethlehem on the first Christmas Eve.

Until about 1700, the use of Christmas trees appears to have been confined to the Rhine River District. From 1700 on, when lights were accepted as part of the decorations, the Christmas tree was well on its way to becoming a tradition in Germany. Then the tradition crossed the Atlantic with the Hessian soldiers.

Some people trace the origin of the Christmas tree to an earlier period. Even before the Christian era, trees and boughs were used for ceremonials. Egyptians, in celebrating the winter solstice -- the shortest day of the year -- brought green date palms into their homes as a symbol of "life triumphant over death". When the Romans observed the feast of saturn, part of the ceremony was the raising of an evergreen bough. The early Scandinavians were said to have paid homage to the fir tree.

To the Druids, sprigs of evergreen holly in the house meant eternal life; while to the Norsemen, they symbolized the revival of the sun god Balder. To those inclined toward superstition, branches of evergreens placed over the door kept out witches, ghosts, evil spirits and the like.

This use does not mean that our Christmas tree custom evolved solely from paganism, any more than did some of the present-day use of sighed in various religious rituals.

Trees and branches can be made purposeful as well as symbolic. The Christmas tree is a symbol of a living Christmas spirit and brings into our lives a pleasant aroma of the forest. The fact that balsam fir twigs, more than any other evergreen twigs, resemble crosses may have had much to do with the early popularity of balsam fir used as Christmas trees.

Written by: David Robson Extension Educator, Horticulture Springfield Extension Center

My original statement is true...

...but I wasn't interested in getting into Christian apologetics on the site. There are many, many sources that claim pagan origins of not only the Christmas Tree, but of Christianity itself and their motive for doing so is usually obvious. Why is it reasonable to infer that similar traditions from past pagan traditions are the source(s) of current traditions in Christianity or any other faith? Conjecturing that tree symbols in one group of traditions/ cultures being the source of the symbols in any other culture without definitive links is to commit the association fallacy of reasoning.

The nail in the coffin for this is that the Christmas Tree, even if not used as a literal symbol for the Tree of Life until recently, is still a Christian symbol and Hosea explicitly demonstrates that.

Cuimhnigh orm, a Dhia, le haghaidh maith.

Don't think twice, it's all right.

I do appreciate your concern, but I believe it is unwarranted.

1) Here is an article on the subject of the quoted Jeremiah passage. http://www.orlutheran.com/html/jer10.html In short, IF you turn your Christmas tree (or anything else) into an idol and bow down to it as a god - as was the case for what that passage was describing, which is clear when read in context, then, yes, that tree (or any other object) would not be in the spirit of Christmas!

For me, the evergreen tree, which remains green throughout the year, is a reminder of "everlasting life." Among other passages reflecting what Jesus said: John 6:47 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." The lights on the tree are also a reminder of Jesus Christ. Again, among other passages: John 12:46 "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness."

2) There are also some who believe that this custom has pagan roots. That is hardly of concern me. Here is a good article on that subject: See "Chrismas is not pagan," Part IV. http://www.orlutheran.com/html/chrtree.html

For instance, re the setting of Christ's birth near the Winter Solstice - it's a pagan tradition turned into a Christian observance... not the other way around!

3) I think for those who take the Sermon on the Mount seriously, it's clear that Jesus had no use for those who prided themselves on keeping the law - beginning with but not limited to the Ten Commandments, indeed those who kept to the letter of the law, but missed the spirit of the law. Jesus gave us two commandments: love God, and love our fellow man as ourselves. God knows the hearts and minds of men. He knows what is done in that spirit.

4) Why are you worried? As Paul said (Romans 8:28), "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

And, no, this isn't a Christmas hymn or a Christmas carol. It's the song that popped into my mind as soon as I saw the title of your post. Gotta hear it now. http://video.yandex.ru/users/npodgornov/view/14/...

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

You will not go to heaven

if you just believe in Jesus but don't follow His Law, ordinances, and statutes. It isn't easy to get into Heaven. If anyone claims to be a Christian, and it does not cause some form of suffering, they aren't doing something right.

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've got to suffer if you want to sing the blues.

Are you Jewish or Christian?

Thank you for sharing your personal opinion on the matter of my salvation. But I really have no clue what "Law, ordinances, and statutes" you are referring to. Jesus did command certain things. As stated above, His two Great Commandments are to love God and to love one's fellow man. But throughout the Gospels there were other things He commanded, and none that I can recall more than to HAVE FAITH.

Jesus did not come that we might have suffering! Who told you that? Someone with more authority than Jesus Christ Himself? Jesus said He came that we might have LIFE and have it MORE ABUNDANTLY. He came that we might have PEACE, that our hearts should not be troubled or afraid. He came that we might be HEALED and made whole. He came that we might be filled with JOY.

John 15:10-12
King James Version (KJV)
"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you."

And as the Apostle Paul said:

Galatians 2:20-21
King James Version (KJV)
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."

God forbid. But if you're worried that I don't suffer, rest assured. I do. I suffered to see the cell phone lady mocked. I suffered to see legalizeliberty's post on farmers in India committing suicide. I suffer to read of lives lost in the Middle East due to war. I suffer to know that a friend's spouse is in the hospital... I also suffer certain things related to my own circumstances. Perhaps that alleviates some of your concern. But as for myself, I don't count any suffering towards earning a way to heaven. Thank God I have a Saviour! To quote my friend Paul again:

Ephesians 2:8
King James Version (KJV)
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God"

I don't know if you took the time to read the articles I linked, but I happen to agree with something the author alluded to. For as long as YOU would believe that having a Christmas tree is dangerous to your soul, YOU should NOT have one! Jesus makes clear that WHAT WE BELIEVE has a bearing on what happens to us. (Pity that most people know that from secular new age literature and not the church, such as re healing, for one; but the principle works both ways.)

It's unclear to me why you raised the issue of "suffering" at all, no less related to salvation. Surely God wants us saved. It makes me sad to think that you must therefore believe it pleases God to see His children suffer. (You must not be a parent if you don't understand Biblical analogies to us as God's children. No parent in his right mind would want to see his child suffer.) And salvation aside, your belief that heaviness is some sort of desirable quality in God's eyes is out of sync with many things Jesus commanded us, including this:

Matthew 11:29-30
King James Version (KJV)
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

I'm not saying, however, that suffering doesn't count towards something. As a young Jewish sage named David once said... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE_lXJyHlSI

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

If you're of Northern European decent...

Then the tree is an ancestral tradition celebrating the Yuletide. The original pre-Christian holiday that begins around the winter solstice and ends around the first of the year..

The so-called 'Twelve Days of Christmas" was layed over this ancient heathen festival to smooth over the conversion to Xianity, but also served to keep the trappings of the old way alive, and in a latent form also the meanings. The same is true of the Easter holiday. Where in the bible have you ever seen the word Easter?

In fact the very word 'god' is a germanic word referring to the family/ancestral god. in pre-Christian times every soul in Northern Europe recognized an ancestral lineage that began with Odin/Woden.

“Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” —Thomas Jefferson

Lol whatever.

I don't care what the bible, quran, or torah says. Christmas makes me happy and gives me an extremely warm, fuzzy feeling that helps me be a bit more cheery and selfless.

If those things are wrong then I don't want to be right.

And that is your choice

No one is forcing anyone to do anything here. You make your choice and in true libertarian fashion you will be responsible for that choice. We only seek that the truth be known so that everyone can make an informed decision.

Question?

Hi~Any Scots out there? I read where Christmas was rejected in Christian Scotland until the late 60's. Does anyone know if that's true?

Fed-Up

Jesus was born on the Feast of Trumpets September 29 2 B.C.

The date that people celebrate as the birthday of Jesus Christ i.e. December 25 was most likely when the Magi came to visit Him. It is recorded that at that time the family was then living in a house.

http://gods-kingdom-ministries.net/teachings/books/when-real...

In any event the celebration of Christmas is not scriptural. Whether one celebrates it or not seems to me to be a matter of conscience. We personally have not celebrated it for many years. Today it is a largely economic affair with little connection to the Incarnation. The latter since the coming of the Lord in the Holy Spirit on Pentecost 33 A.D. has been in the flesh of believers. Each of us is a temple of the Holy Spirit if indeed we have received Him in Spirit and in Truth. It is He who leads us into all truth and He will show us what we must do from day to day as we follow on to know Him.

The teachings of the institutional churches are largely dead letters and the doctrines and dogmas are for the most part the traditions of men with little relationship to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Indeed in many cases these doctrines are the opposite of the Truth. It is no different in principle to the condition of the Judah Church at the time of the first appearing of the Lord Jesus. They also did not receive Him since they were expecting a warrior Messiah who would set them free from the Roman yoke. How similar that is to the expectations of the churches today.

"Jesus answered them: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8:34-36)

I'm an Atheist and I'm

I'm an Atheist and I'm putting up a glorious tree in my living room! It's a Pagan tradition anyway, as are many christian traditions.

Thank you for being truthful

:-)

How many "pagan traditions"

were humans imperfect understanding of divine revelation? It is just as likely as your version.

Your question is irrelevant.

There has always been someone chosen by GOD to explain His actions. That is exactly what Scripture is compiled with and the reason for. I don't have a "version" because I can back up everything I say with Scripture. Traditions of men are just that "traditions of men" that come from their own imaginations at the expense of the truth.

The christmas tree has nothing to do with Scripture or GOD. It has everything to do with paganism and false worship. If you choose the christmas tree even after being told the truth then you are in rebellion and will be judged by the author of truth.

I don't know a soul who worships their

Christmas tree. We are hardwired to worship God. That early humans mistakenly projected this onto objects in their limited perception of reality doesn't make it evil to apply a God centric worldview to those objects in an effort to teach and assimilate according to the understanding of the student.
Sola Scriptura is bibliolatry. The Church, her Magisterium, and Tradition all were instrumental in compiling the Scripture you worship.
If I WORSHIP my CHRISTMAS tree then you might have a case. I will leave it up to the Author of Truth on Judgement Day as YOU do not interpret Scripture for me. You brag about allowing no one interpreting Scripture for you yet your entire post is YOU trying to interpret Scripture for others. It is holier than thou hypocritical types like you who give Christians a bad name.

Let's go over this one more time

Some people do worship their tree. If you sing to a tree then I would say it is a sort of worship. Does "O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree" sound a little odd to you. But beyond that, it is not for you or I to say how GOD is to be worshiped. We did not create GOD as you suppose. He created us and He commands US how HE wants to be worshiped. Your argument is false just as your original question was based on ignorance.

No INTERPRETATION is needed when GOD says not to worship Him as others worship their false gods. If you keep Christmas you are not only breaking His commandments but you are committing spiritual adultery against Him because you are worshiping according to another god. This is true and I live it so I am not a hypocrite. I don't think you know what "hypocritical" means because it doesn't even apply to this context anyway. The whole argument that Scripture needs to be interpreted, in the context you use, is a fallacy and a cop out by those who wish to continue in their fleshly desire in rebellion against Scriptural teaching.