Question of the Week: Is having a Christmas Tree in your home the same as setting up a pagan shrine?
Verses: Jeremiah 17:2, Romans 14:1-13
The short answer is no. The long answer is “nooooooo.” Historically, the idea of Christmas being a pagan ritual is sketchy at best. There have always been pagan festivals for any and every kind of occasion and there’s very little evidence to suggest that the Christian adoption of these holidays ultimately corrupts their purpose. The Bible says that we can use days as special opportunities to give thanks to God for the things He’s done for us. The Bible also says we can observe every day as an opportunity to do so as well. The issue is not what we’re doing, but their ultimate purpose. There are those who celebrate Christmas for very carnal and selfish reasons, but the fact that others abuse the day doesn’t defile it eternally before God. People have made cases that because you kneel under the tree to retrieve presents, that you’re bowing down to it. Some even turn to the Bible and say because Jeremiah references a tree as a place where Israel would set up pagan shrines for the worship of idols, that this is where the idea of Christmas trees came from and therefore Christmas is idolatry. This information is false since the premise of those pagan shrines under trees were for practical reasons like shade rather than any symbolic significance to the tree itself. Likewise, kneeling before a tree doesn’t mean you’re bowing to it anymore than kneeling next to your car to change a tire is treating it like an idol as well. We need to understand that taking a day to remember the birth of our Savior is not a pagan ritual because others have used it for illicit purposes. We can’t help what the world does with good things. We ourselves can decide to use that day as an opportunity to remind our friends, family, and loved ones that a very special gift was given to us and it’s worth celebrating. Or we can choose to keep to ourselves and honor God in our own ways on that day. We are not honoring God, however, if we use our time to attack other Christians for doing things we ourselves don’t do for the same reasons. Understand what you’re doing and why, and make honoring God during Christmas the goal. In fact, that can be something we do everyday! It’s our choice to decide how we treat a modern holiday. Make sure those choices focus on God’s goodness and not on groundless claims that others are sinning because they don’t do things the way you do.
For more excerpts from A Reason For Hope, visit our page HERE.
Listen: Monday – Friday 5-6pm, AM 940 KGMS
Call with your questions:
1(877) 556-1212 (Toll Free)
(520) 790-5663 (Local)
Email your questions:
Or fill out the form below.
Follow Twitter: @ScottR4H
Follow on CCF Facebook: facebook.com/ccftucson