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.
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)
Images courtesy of: http://aboutmyrecovery.com/no-christmas-tree/, http://mitchellk.photoshelter.com/image/I0000XckwF8cX6CI