Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (sing it with me!). Everywhere we go. There’s a tree in the Grand Hotel,
one in the park as well, but if you have one in
your house you’re going to hell.

Yesterday a friend on Facebook asked me to add my opinion to her post regarding a passage in Jeremiah, and OF COURSE, I knew I had to discuss it with all of you!

Thus says the LORD: “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple.
-Jeremiah 10:2-4

I remember years ago reading this portion of scripture. I became so convinced that having a Christmas tree in my house was complete disobedience to God that I threw my tree stand out, right along with my ornaments, lights, garland, and countless other Christmas paraphernalia. I was DONE celebrating this pagan holiday in which all anyone did was spend money, complain about spending money, and then complain some more when they didn’t get that one perfect gift. Where did Christ fall into all of this? What about His gift to us? And if I see one more fat bearded man in a red suit, why I’ll…….

Ok, so I can be quite dramatic and passionate in my beliefs. If only I could take that zeal and use it for the things that really DO matter. Yep, that‘s what I said, things that DO matter. Because honestly, a Christmas tree really is the least of our problems.

If we look closely at this portion of scripture, we find that the word workman (verse 3) is not referring to a lumberjack going out into the local field and chopping down a Christmas tree. No, this word speaks of “a fabricator of any material… carpenter… craftsman… engraver”.* This workman is someone who takes the chisel and forms a ‘tree’ into any number of different shapes. The issue being addressed here: don’t cut down a tree, form it into a god, decorate it with fine silver and gold, and worship it! I recall a similar situation in the scriptures, only it involved gold rings which were fashioned into a golden calf and worshiped as the god “that brought [the Israelites] out of the land of Egypt” (Ex 32:4). To say it is sin to have a Christmas tree in our home would be equal to professing sin on those that wear gold rings because someone once, thousands of years ago, used gold rings to make a false god.

Now that I have briefly shared my convictions, I challenge you to search the scriptures yourself, if you haven’t already, and seek God for His truth regarding this issue. However, with all of this comes a word of caution: wherever your convictions lead you, be fully convinced in your own mind and do not despise and judge others in their convictions (Rom 14:1-6). As with most things, I suppose this boils down to a heart issue- Please don’t worship your tree this season.
Oh, and Merry CHRISTmas from...

I anxiously anticipate hearing about your convictions on this issue, and where God has led or is leading you in this area. Please share! And if you want daily updates, ‘LIKE’ my Facebook page.

* Strong, James H. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House Company, 1989. Print. – (Hebrew #2796 charash, khaw-rawsh)


  1. You know, sometimes people become so busy with RELIGION that they forget about God altogether. Focusing on the Christmas tree itself does not help the cause of Christ. It only alienates people into thinking, "Oh, there go those nutty Christians again." We have to focus on the things that really matter and stop worrying so much about the "religion" of it all. Christ is the reason for the season. Celebrating Jesus and his birth is what it's all about and if having a tree in my home means I'm not celebrating the birth of my Savior "the right way" then I guess there will be millions of Christians in hell when the day of judgment comes.

  2. It seems you've touched down on a pretty tough topic here, Stephanie. I go back and forth on this every year. We've never had a Christmas tree in our home, but mom and I have talked about it a few years. I think, as you said in the end there, it really is about your heart attitude. God is a jealous God and He does not allow us to put anything before Him. It is important that we keep Him first.
    But does that mean we can't decorate for the holidays? Well, like I said, I'm on the fence about that one. I love the way that Christmas trees look, really. I decorate my Grandma's every year. And while I don't worship them, I do find them pretty and look at them simply as a home decor. At the same time, I know the pagan backgrounds of the whole event and that makes me hesitant. I suppose, as Lindsay pointed out, Jesus is the reason for the season. We're here to praise God for the gift of His Son, knowing that this babe in the manger is our Savior from the fall. And what a blessed thing to celebrate! Every day of the year! Because, in fact, it is quite certain that Jesus wasn't even born on December 25th anyhow.
    But anyway, I'm rambling here... I still haven't made up my mind. I continue to search God's Word and do my best to keep my heart only for Him.

  3. Good morning, Lindsay and RachelAllison. I think the true issue has been state here several times- this is a matter of the heart. If we choose to walk in something that we are not convinced God is allowing, then I think it is sin. The best we can do is seek God, His Word, and His direction on every single issue. Christmas can be such a struggle, and (although as you have stated RachelAllison, Christ wasn't even born this time of year.... probably sometime during the spring..)it is a shame that we cannot simply honor God and thank Him for the miraculous gift of salvation, as Lindsay stated. We get distracted with adding pagan rituals, taking them out, adding them in again, and we grow weary, forgetting where the true focus of our hearts SHOULD be. Anyway, I'm rambling now too.
    Please know that I did hesitate because I KNOW not all stand where I do on the subject. I decided to share simply because I anticipate hearing what you have to say. So thanks so much for sharing!

  4. When our children were little we would drive through the neighborhoods and look at all the Christmas lights and decorations. It was one of the highlights of the season for us. And everytime we would see a Santa or Rudolph or other "Christmas" character, I would ask them, "But what are we celebrating at Christmas?" And they would tell me, "Jesus birthday!". I made sure they understood the reason for the season, as you said, Stephanie. We decorate a tree in our house and we have other lights and candles and decorations up. But not in a "idol worship" sense. I guess I would compare it to having a birthday party for one of my kids... we would put up decorations for their party and "celebrate" them. So my tree and decorations are in celebration and worship of Jesus....not worshiping the tree or conforming to a pagan holidy. Does that make sense?
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!

  5. I have wonderful childhood Christmas memories. Growing up in Portland offered a great opportunity to just drive around with my family and look at all the wondrous lights. The Christmas season now brings memories of Christmases at my grandma's (who passed away a little over a year ago). I think this season offers a wonderful opportunity to be with family and remember those gifts God has given us. Unfortunately we also use this season in ways that are anything but glorifying to Him. Again, it is a heart issue and I pray my heart is focused on my Savior this season and always. Thanks for stopping by, Lena.

  6. I love the opportunity to exalt Jesus at this time of year, but angry and sad also that first the season was tainted for me by the commercialism and later by the discovery of the dark origins of so many of the traditions I celebrated. I now struggle to celebrate, but I am thankful for the guidance of the Holy Spirit who will help me sort through the muck and find the goodness and grace of God.

  7. Glad I'm not alone, Nora. We MUST get through all of that 'muck' because God's goodness and grace abound and are always there for us. He is good, all the time :)


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