Tuesday, December 21, 2010
"Don't you know Christmas is a pagan holiday, symbolized by "decorated tree" idols? (Jeremiah 10:1-4)"
"God didn't mandate Christmas, there is no mention of it in the Bible, so it is wrong to celebrate it!"
"It promotes selfishness. (Acts 20:35)"
"We are called to be 'in the world,' and celebrating Christmas makes one 'of the world.' (Romans 12:2)"
"It causes one to always perceive Jesus as "the baby" rather than the man/God."
I have one thing to say to this:
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. - 2 Timothy 1:7
All these thoughts seem to be stemming from one thing: fear. Fear that if they do something "wrong", God will reject them (or me, since I celebrate the pagan holiday. :-P) Fear that taking part in Christmas will equal "being of the world". Fear that if they dedicate an entire day to giving gifts, their children will grow up selfish with no healthy fear of the Lord.
I want to take a quick look at this verse so often touted as "evidence for why Christmas trees are pagan symbols and of the devil".
Hear what the LORD says to you, people of Israel. This 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.
For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
They adorn it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter.
So yes, the pagans were using trees, cutting them down, carving them, and decorating it with silver and gold and worshipping them. So by this narrative, should I take down the tree in my room and never put it up again, for fear of associating myself with pagan activities and perhaps satan himself?
Interestingly, the next verse is nearly always left out. Is this a significant fallacy?
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
they can do no harm
nor can they do any good.”
There that is again, "do not fear". These idols they created were MEANINGLESS. They could neither harm, nor do good. They represented a false religion, but to God meant nothing. How, then, can they have any sort of significant bearing on the tree I set up as part of celebrating Christmas? I don't worship it, or bow down to it or pray to it. Besides the fact that this happened in an entirely different culture and several thousand years ago. :-P
One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. (Romans 14:5-6)