Skip to comments.In Defense Of The Christmas Tree
Posted on 12/24/2010 11:38:21 AM PST by ezfindit
Our Christmas tree is derived, not from the pagan yule tree, but from the paradise tree adorned with apples on December 24 in honor of Adam and Eve. The Christmas tree is completely biblical in origin.
The use of evergreens at Christmas may date from St. Boniface of the eighth century, who dedicated the fir tree to the Holy Child in order to replace the sacred oak tree of Odin; but the Christmas tree as we know it today does not appear to be so ancient a custom. It appears first in the Christian Mystery play commemorating the biblical story of Adam and Eve.
(Excerpt) Read more at orthodoxytoday.org ...
Christmas is important, but it would mean nothing without the Cross. Passover is the real holiday. And I am one of those who think Christmas is probably when Christ was conceived, not born.
It’s great for entertaining catz.
Jesus was born under the astrological sign of Leo ... for what it’s worth in an Internet discussion.
“The fir tree was used for exactly this purpose long before Christ. Read The Two Babylons by Rev Alexander Hislop.”
Hislop’s book is rubbish. Even Ralph Woodrow came to that conclusion after relying entirely on Woodrow for his bad information. It was a high school teacher who showed Woodrow where Hislop went wrong.
“Almost every single modern Christmas tradition had its invention in the Babylonian mystery cults.”
That too is completely false. Hislop simply made things up. I really wish people would read real books by real scholars rather than garbage by sciolists who had to know they were lying when they wrote their trash.
A Christmas tree is the same thing as a Yule tree.
Ooh, a new word, “sciolist.” I’m going to use that, thanks!
“long before Christ” There is no “before Christ.” He’s the Creator and Redeemer. He is in every part of the whole tapestry of time. So winter solstice, Christmas trees, Yule logs etc are all part of His glory. C.S. Lewis helped me understand that.
I respect your beliefs and opinions but from my perspective your thesis is nonsensical.
The Christmas tree, mistletoe, etc comes directly from Druid nature worship traditions, as does bunnies and eggs for Easter.
Bunnies and eggs were used in Spring renewal and fertility rites.
There is no need to justify or apologize as it does not matter.
I know religious Christians who say that every day is the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus in whatever way you want. The 25th is just as good as any other day. Why not?
What is in your heart dictates the celebration not the fun and festive trappings, regardless of their origin.
Just my humble opinion
Merry Christmas to all
Thanks for the great post. I love Christmas Trees, and they make it very lovely and celebratory as we worship Christ, the Word Become Flesh.
Please review Jeremiah 10 for xmas trees. shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
Redeemer: Savior: YHvH is our saviour and redeemer.
The word Christ or Messiah is a job description not a last name. shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
Ruth 4:14; Job 19:25; Ps. 19:14; 78:35; Prov. 23:11; Isa. 41:14; 43:14; 44:6, 24; 47:4; 48:17; 49:7, 26; 54:5, 8; 59:20; 60:16; 63:16; Jer. 50:34
2 Sam. 22:3; Ps. 17:7; 106:21; Isa. 19:20; 43:3, 11; 45:15, 21; 49:26; 60:16; 63:8; Jer. 14:8; Hos. 13:4; Lk. 1:47; 2:11; Jn. 4:42; Acts 5:31; 13:23; Eph. 5:23; Phil. 3:20; 1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; 4:10; 2 Tim. 1:10; Tit. 1:3f; 2:10, 13; 3:4, 6; 2 Pet. 1:1, 11; 2:20; 3:2, 18; 1 Jn. 4:14; Jude 1:25
YHvH is our saviour and redeemer.
"Having abandoned its sombre dress for a scintillating splendour, it is transfigured and becomes the messenger of a light that is not its own but bears witness to the true Light that comes into this world. This tree's destiny is comparable to that of the shepherds: while they were watching in the shadows of the night, here they are illumined by the Angels' message. This tree's destiny is also comparable to our own, for we are called to bear good fruits to show that the world has truly been visited and redeemed by the Lord. Standing beside the crib, this fir, in its own way, demonstrates the great mystery that was present in the simple, poor place of Bethlehem. To the inhabitants of Rome, to all the pilgrims and to all who will visit St Peter's Square through the television images broadcast across the world, it proclaims the coming of the Son of God."
If only more Christians would know this important truth.
It seems to me, if this was as you say, a holiday for us to remember the garden of Eden tree, then wouldn’t the Apostles know “this important truth” as you call it? Since they were Christians then they should have known this important truth, however, there is not the slightest hint in Acts that they, not only celebrated Christ’s birth on the 25th, nor did they have a garden of Eden tree tied in with it.
The Two Babylons by Rev Alexander Hislop
Not the best source.
Yahweh has such a sense of humor but truthfully all of the Holy Feasts are Yahweh's time clock and reveals His plan. It's fun to watch the clergy get tongue tied when they can't unmuddle the muddled doctrines. Only truth will clear up all the muddles :)
In my town, at the courthouse, there is a Christmas tree, Santa and a Manger scene....screw the Muzzies and anyone else that want’s them gone.
The ‘fir’ tree was used by the Northern pagans to celebrate the winter solstice because it was a green tree in winter. The same applies to mistletoe and holly.
Nobody wanted to decorate a barren hibernating tree.
Furthermore, the fir tree does not ‘bear fruit’ of any kind.
A Garden of Eden tree is the exact equivalent of a Chanuka bush. Both do not exist. They are made up constructs by embarrassed people.
You can’t just make stuff up when you don’t like reality.
It is a Christmas tree. That is what it is. It will always be a Christmas tree no matter how many new name are plastered on it.
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood THE TREE OF LIFE , Bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the TREE are for the Healing of the nations.
3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.
4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
AMEN = SO BE IT!!!
A Christmas Tree to Remember
December 5, 2004 — ©Rev. Linnea E. Carnes
Quentin Schultze shared this story of a Christmas 25 years ago. Pulling up to his mothers ramshackle trailer on a snowy Christmas Eve, he felt trapped between two worlds. As a new Christian, he accepted Gods promised peace. But as a scared young man, he felt childhood memories tugging anxiously at his heart. His alcoholic father, who had died a few years earlier, always complained that his wife had driven him to drink. His older siblings had long ago fled the scene. His mother, who had been diagnosed as schizophrenic, sat alone staring out the window. It seemed as if for years she had done little else. We need a tree, Quinnie, she said. Maybe she did know what day it was. Driving along darkened streets, he found a vacated tree lot with a small, hand-painted sign that read, FREE. He picked up a scraggly balsam tree and put it into the trunk of his car.
A bit giddy about his find, he headed home. The tree represented more than just a lucky deal. On his ride home he though about the significance of the Gospel and that tree. As the tree was, the Gospel is free. We cant buy it. God pours abundant, overflowing grace into the world, we need only to accept it. At home he set up the tree in the tiny living room. His mother looked at the tree, and softly pronounced, Now its Christmas. [Quentin Schultze, A Scraggly Christmas Tree, and Gods Grace, Decision, Vol. 40, No. 12, December 1999, p. 42].
For Quentin Schultze that was a Christmas tree to remember. For his mother, it was the Christmas tree that made it Christmas. If youve grown up in a family where it wasnt really Christmas until the tree was up, you understand.
Thats why there are special ceremonies each year to turn on the lights of the Christmas trees in Chicago, New York City, and many other cities and places. It signifies that the Christmas is here.
Even though many people think its a pagan custom and has no place in the Christian church, I think the Christmas tree has its place in the church. Look with me today at Gods Word, to see again this tree of life.
Gods Tree Stump
Isaiah 11 tells us that the royal line of King David had been cut down like a tree. Only a stump of that family tree remained. Yet out of that stump God caused a new branch to sprout. From what appeared to be a dead tree stump, a new king would arise, a king from the descendants of David.
This king would be like no other. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on himthe Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. He will delight in obeying the LORD. He will never judge by appearance, false evidence, or hearsay. He will defend the poor and the exploited. He will be clothed with fairness and truth. [Is.11:2-4a,5]. This king would be Jesus.
From the royal family of David, God brought forth a Son, his Son, to reign forever and give life to all who would call him King. From a tree that had been cut down, almost destroyed, came lifelife that could not be destroyed.
A Virgin Mother
Turn now to Luke, chapter 1. Here we read, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. [Lk.1:26-27]. Because Joseph was a descendant of David, he and Mary traveled to Bethlehem, the town where David was born, for a census. [Lk.2:4].
Both in Luke 1 where the angel Gabriel appears to Mary, and in Matthew 1 where the angel appears to Joseph, they are told to give the baby the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins. [Mt.1:21]. The name Jesus means, Yahweh is salvation. Jesus is our Savior, for saving people is what Jesus came to earth to do.
John the Baptist said of Jesus, Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! [Jn.1:29].
Peter wrote, Jesus himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. [1Pet2:24].
Paul stated: Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. [1Tim1:15].
John too affirmed this, saying, We have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. [1Jn4:14].
The baby we worship at Christmas is the Son of God, the Savior of the world. Yet it wasnt his miraculous birth that saves us. It wasnt his powerful teaching or amazing healings that save us. And it wasnt even his sinless life that gave us life. It was his death on the cross that brought us salvation. It was Jesus giving up his life on the tree of death that saved us and gave us life. A tree fashioned into an instrument of torture and death became a tree of life.
As Peter said, They killed [Jesus] by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. [Acts10:39b-40].
Jesus, the shoot that grew from the stump of the tree of David, the branch that came to life to give life, gave his life on a tree at Calvary. But God raised him to life again so that death would not have the final word. Life came out of death.
And because Jesus died for our sins and was raised to life that we might have life, we have hope. Jesus, our Savior has promised us a future in heaven with him.
The Tree of Life
Turning now to the end of the story we read in Revelation 22: See, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me, to repay all according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes so they can enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. [Rev.22:12-14].
The Alpha and the Omega, the One who is life, calls those who have laid down their lives for Him, to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. Here in Revelation 22 Jesus reminds us of his plan from the beginning that men and women would live forever with Him.
Back in Genesis 3, after Adam and Eve had disobeyed God and eaten the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God realized that they must be banned from the Garden of Eden. Then the Lord God said, See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever [Gen.3:22].
Those who ate from the tree of life would have eternal life. Yet without the forgiveness of sins they would be cut off from God forever. So God put his plan into action, his plan to send his Son, to set us free from sin and death. All who choose Jesus, who accept his death for the forgiveness of their sins, are welcomed back into the presence of God and have eternal life. It was Gods plan from the beginning.
John wrote, God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Those who have the Son have life I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. [1Jn.5:11-13].
The cross brought darkness to the world; the tree of life brings life and light to all who eat of it.
Death is the darkness of the world. Jesus is the light of the world who conquered death.
Sin is the darkness of the world! This baby shall be its light, for he shall shine in the dark and take its sin away. Emmanuel is the infant that shall be born, which means: God with us. [Walter Wangerin, Jr., The Manger is Empty (New York, NY: HarperSanFrancisco, Zondervan Publishing House, 1989) 36].
Christmas is about God coming in the flesh to be with us. Its about the gift of life that came in the form of the baby Jesus. Its about Gods light coming into our darkness and giving us the light of life.
So as we prepare for the celebration of Christmas once again, lets not let the busyness of the season make us to forget that Jesus, our Savior, the One who gives us life, is what Christmas is really about.
Henri Nouwen wrote, I often think: A life is like a day; it goes by so fast. If I am so careless with my days, how can I be careful with my life? I know that somehow I have not fully come to believe that urgent things can wait while I attend to what is truly important. It finally boils down to a question of deep and strong conviction. Once I am truly convinced that preparing the heart is more important than preparing the Christmas tree, I will be a lot less frustrated at the end of the day. [Henri J.M. Nouwen in the New Oxford Review (Nov. 1986). Christianity Today, Vol. 35, no. 15. from PreachingToday.com A Prepared Heart].
In the busyness of preparing for Christmas, the Christmas tree can be just another thing we have to do. Or it can be a reminder that Christmas is the celebration of the One who came to give us life. The Christmas tree is a reminder of that never-ending life. Evergreens stay green all year long. Their needles dont turn brown and fall off during the winter. They survive the bitter cold of winter and the scorching heat of summer.
Yet when we cut down a Christmas tree, bring it inside our homes and decorate it, it begins to die. Even set in water, the Christmas tree will only last a few weeks. Thats because it has been cut off from its source of life, its roots.
When we eliminate Christ from Christmas, when we cut ourselves off from the true meaning of this holy day, we dry up. Oh, we may get lots of Christmas cards, and have a beautifully decorated tree, spend wonderful time with our family and friends, and even get lots of Christmas presents.
However, if we havent stayed connected to the source of life eternal, never-ending, life Christmas will be an empty celebration. If we havent taken time to prepare our hearts to receive Christ anew, Christmas will become life-less.
My prayer for each of you is that your Christmas tree will be a Christmas tree to remember, a Christmas tree that reminds you that Jesus came to give us life never-ending life, abundant life, eternal life. Amen.
Interesting. I knew him, back in the day, when he was a lowly grad student.
And Santa really, really does come down chimneys. Right?
LOL! I do not know the man but that essay is anointed! Life in Christ!
Merry Christmas everybody!
2Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
5They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
It's about carvings that become an statue to worship.
Jeremiah 10 and the Pagan Christmas Tree
by Dr. Richard P. Bucher
A number or well-meaning readers of the "Origin and Meaning of the Christmas Tree" article have written me with questions or accusations based on Jeremiah 10. These readers state that Jeremiah 10 proves that the Christmas tree is a pagan custom and is forbidden by God. Therefore, they argue, all those who decorate a Christmas tree in their home are sinning in God's sight. This is quite the serious charge. Let us briefly examine Jeremiah 10 and the argument based upon it to see if there is any merit to this argument.
What exactly does Jeremiah 10 say? Below is Jeremiah 10:1-10:
This is what the LORD says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. 4 They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. 5 Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, 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." 6 No one is like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. 7 Who should not revere you, O King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you. 8 They are all senseless and foolish; they are taught by worthless wooden idols. 9 Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz. What the craftsman and goldsmith have made is then dressed in blue and purple-- all made by skilled workers. 10 But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath.
The verses that the concerned readers repeatedly cite are 10:2-4: "Do not learn the ways of the nations . . . For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. 4 They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter." "Aha!" these readers say. "Jeremiah is talking about the Christmas tree!" But closer examination reveals that he certainly is not!
First, there is the immediate context of this passage. The very next verse, 10:5, goes on to say, "Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, 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." This passage and the passages that follow make it crystal clear that the "decorated tree" that Jeremiah was talking about in 10:3-4, was a tree that was cut down and made into an idol, a very common custom in the ancient world. 10:8-10 also confirms this, where the wooden idols are contrasted with the LORD, who is the true and living God. Keil and Delitsch, the well-respected Old Testament commentary, confirms this interpretation that the trees in question were idols that were then worshiped (C. F. Keil and F. Delitsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, "Jeremiah, Lamentations," vol 8 (Grand Rapids: William B. Eeerdmans Publishing Company, 1980), 196-199).
Second, when we search the rest of the Old Testament, we find many other examples of trees being planted, cut down, or carved into idols. One of the most common examples of a tree idol was the Asherah, mentioned often in the Old Testament. Asherah was a pagan goddess that was worshiped throughout the Mediterranean world. She was considered to be the goddess of the sea, the consort of El, and the mother of Baal. She was always represented as a tree or pole, either planted or erected, then decorated. There are many warnings in the Old Testament about the Asherah tree. For example, in Exodus 34:12-14, we read, "Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. 13 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. 14 Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." From a more thorough study we learn that the Asherah idol was sometimes planted (Deut. 16:21; Micah 5:14), sometimes erected at high places (1 Kings 14:23, 2 Kings 17:10), with altars and incense stands next to them where they would be worshiped (In Judges 6:25, Gideon is commanded by God to "Tear down your father's altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it." See also Isaiah 17:8 and Jeremiah 17:2). The Asherah, along with other man-made idols, were often decorated with various cloth hangings (2 Kings 23:7), as well as gold and silver.
Isaiah 44:14-19 gives a detailed picture of how a tree was cut down and fashioned into an idol - and the absurdity of it all.
He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak. He let it grow among the trees of the forest, or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow. 15 It is man's fuel for burning; some of it he takes and warms himself, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. But he also fashions a god and worships it; he makes an idol and bows down to it. 16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal, he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, "Ah! I am warm; I see the fire." 17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, "Save me; you are my god." 18 They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand. 19 No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, "Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?"
From the foregoing, it is abundantly clear that the "decorated tree" to which Jeremiah 10 refers is an idol, very likely the Asherah. Therefore, it is very superficial Bible interpretation and pure silliness to understand this passage as directly referring to the use of a fir tree for Christmas! If, and I repeat, if those who set up a Christmas tree fall down and worship it as a god or goddess, complete with altars and incense stands, then Jeremiah 10 applies here. Or if someone loves their Christmas tree more than God, then such a thing might also be considered spiritual idolatry. But apart from these exceptions, I think it is abundantly clear that Christians who erect Christmas trees are NOT worshiping them as gods or goddesses, nor are they loving them more than their Savior Jesus Christ. They are simply using the Christmas tree as a fun custom, one that can remind them of Jesus who is the branch of David (Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15), the root of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1). One that can remind them of the tree that led Adam and Eve to sin, but more importantly, the tree on which Christ Jesus died to make atonement for the sins of the whole world (Acts 5:30; Gal. 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24).
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.
The Babylon idea has been thoroughly debunked by historians. Also It’s highly probable that Jesus was born in the winter given that shepherds were in the fields outside Bethlehem at the time (summer/fall is the dry season). The only reason they would be there is because the grass had come in. The rainy season starts in November so the grass is at it’s peak in December through February.
Yahweh has such a sense of humor but truthfully all of the Holy Feasts are Yahweh's time clock and reveals His plan. It's fun to watch the clergy get tongue tied when they can't unmuddle the muddled doctrines. Only truth will clear up all the muddles :)
Amen ! Sister. shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
A stupid and worthless book, based on 1840's archaeology (and much of that misused and/or misquoted) and a dogged dedication to the logical fallacy called "affirming the consequent". Oh, and a very superficial acquaintance with Catholicism and an Anglo-centric worldview.
It's ignorant foolishness unworthy of thinking Christians.
**Please review Jeremiah 10 for xmas trees.**
That’s why we haven’t had one in the last 28 years. God is looking for faithful people. People that justify their ‘Christmas’ trees are unbelievers of Jer. 10, as they are of other inconvenient truths. They think they are glorifying God with the ‘sacrifice’ of a tree. Obedience is better than sacrifice.
Every year, people die from xmas tree fires, so let’s just keep up this vain, lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, pride of life tradition. “Oh, but they look so pretty” (after man has covered them with his inventions).
A pine tree is at it’s height of glorfying God when it is alive, not dead and covered with jewelry.
Amen! shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
Hosea 6:6 For I (YHvH) delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice,
And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
In addition, I also “feel” that our Lord will return, i.e. the Rapture, on Passover, to once again keep the angel of Death from us. No strong Biblical evidence, just a sense of the timing.
There is no denying the pagan origin of the tree, the easter egg, the name Easter, the rabbit, etc. Christians of the first three centuries did not really celebrate Christmas, they celebrated the Passover and Resurrection. That is the important holiday. and the only one which truly matters.
I don’t care if it is derived from my Celtic-Briton-Saxon-Frankish roots
that matters none...it’s not quite up to witch doctors and boilng pots is it?
THESE FEASTS ARE YAHWEH’S CLOCK!!! He gave them to us to help us see his plan. They are not JEWISH feasts, Scripture says they are Yahweh’s feasts! to be upheld througout all generations. But because the church doesn’t keep the Ten Commandments we do not keep the Feasts. If we kept the 4th Commandment we would keep the Feasts.
This has nothing to do with Moses 613 mitzvot. Those were truly abolished at the cross but the TEN COMMANDMENTS are out marriage covenant and as such should be kept faithfully. LOOK TO THE FEASTS!!! man’s doctrines pale in light of the TRUTH.