SHOULD WE BE CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS AND PUTTING UP DECORATIONS AND CHRISTMAS TREES? IN JEREMIAH WE READ ABOUT THE CUTTING DOWN OF TREES AND DECORATING THEM WITH GOLD AND SILVER… AM I JUST TAKING THIS VERSE OUT OF CONTEXT? I KNOW THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT IDLE WORSHIP HERE BUT CAN WE APPLY IT TO THE CHRISTMAS TREE?
I would encourage you to view a similar question first, “What holidays does the Bible command us to keep?” under Answers to Previous Questions.
Building upon that, we can then deal with the passage in Jeremiah. Jeremiah 10:1-10 says, “Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus 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. For 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 ax. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They 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. Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee. But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men. But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.”
This passage is specifically referring to idols that people make and worship. I know of no one that falls down before their Christmas tree and prays to it, or worships it. There is nothing evil about trees or wood. I Corinthians 8:4 says, “As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, WE KNOW THAT AN IDOL IS NOTHING IN THE WORLD, and that there is none other God but one.” As Jeremiah 10:5 stated, “They 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.”
I Corinthians 8:7-9 tells us, “Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.”
Some people are convinced that Christmas and Easter were started as pagan holidays, just like most of the church history books say that the true church came out of the Catholic Church during the Reformation. But the fact of the matter is that the liberals and the unbelievers have most often controlled the majority of the printing presses. The true church did not come out of the Catholic Church during the Reformation, because the true church of Jesus Christ was never a part of the Catholic Church. Jesus promised in Matthew 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The Catholic Church had the control of the majority of the books during that dark period, but we would be very foolish to think that they would tell the truth. What they gave out was propaganda that tried to make them look good in the eyes of people.
When it comes to Christmas and Easter, I believe that true Christians probably began observing these special days of commemoration, and the devil and his false one world church — the Catholic Church, came along and corrupted these special days. The devil is a master counterfeiter — he normally “copies and corrupts” that which is good.
But on the other hand, a Christian is under no obligation to observe Christmas or Easter. Romans 14:5,6 says, “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it.” A Christian who does observe these holidays should not be judged for setting these days apart for the Lord by those who do not observe them, and those Christians who choose not to observe these holidays should not be judged by those who do observe them. That is one area where God gives Christians liberty.
If you really believe that Christmas trees and decorations are of pagan origin, then you should not have them in your home. Romans 14:23 says, “For whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” But on the other hand, if you can put a tree in your house, and put lights on it, and celebrate the birth of the Light of the World, and share gifts with your family and friends, then you are free to do so.