To all of you Christians who celebrate pagan Christmas:
Jeremiah 10:2-4 (NIV)
2This is what the Lord says:
Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them. 3For the practices of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. 4They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter.
I am sure some of you will say that I have taken this passage out of context, or that it is not referring to pagan Christmas. In fact, just a cursory search for the phrase “Jeremiah 10:2 pagan Christmas” yielded as a first result a Lutheran rebuttal, which you can read for yourself.
Be sure to read all the way to the bottom:
Christians should know that they can use a Christmas tree with a good conscience. It is unfortunate and wrong when well-meaning Christians call something sin that is not sin, and enslave the consciences of their fellow believers with imaginary sin! Shame on such Christians! Those who continue to believe that the Christmas tree is pagan and sinful, even after having their conscience correctly informed, should not use them. For it is not right to sin against conscience. This is regrettable, however, since there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a Christmas tree.
So, the Lutherans say it is perfectly okay to put up my Christmas tree. Thank you! This is wonderful! I feel better now! Thank you God…err Lutherans…for your interpretation!
Oh wait — there are other denominations around, including the United Church of God, who don’t celebrate Christmas and tell me that I shall surely be punished by God for putting up my tree (“God will have none of it!”). I’d be willing to bet that, were you raised in the UCG tradition, your interpretation of the passage might be entirely different. Hold on–I don’t have to bet anything. I’ll let the UCG’s website tell you itself. Here’s their take on it:
While people today do not worship trees when they set up Christmas trees or other evergreen decorations such as holly and mistletoe, they are nevertheless using accoutrements of past idolatry to supposedly honor God. Yet the true God will have none of it. He sees it as disobedience and rebellion—and idolatrously clinging to tradition over His direct commandments. For anything that comes before the true God is an idol, whether we literally bow down to it or not. Indeed, it is even possible that modern Christmas trees are intended by Jeremiah’s words—particularly when we consider that this may be, as it seems to be on some level, an end-time prophecy to the ‘house of Israel’ that speaks of God’s coming wrath on the nations and the destruction of all idolatry (compare Jeremiah:10:1, Jeremiah:10:10-11, Jeremiah:10:15). For in the end time, the Israelite nations are not setting up wooden Asherah poles. But every winter, there are millions and millions of Christmas trees. And even if Christmas trees are not directly intended by the prophecy, the principle is the same.