Listen to audio version
This Weeks Bible Question:
Does Jeremiah 10:3 talk about Christmas Trees? As Christians should we celebrate Christmas or other Holidays?
Michael Pearl: Alright. I’m still sitting here answering questions and Jared has another that I’ve not yet seen. What is the question, Jared?
Jared: Does Jeremiah 10:3 talk about Christmas Trees? As Christians should we celebrate Christmas or other Holidays?
Michael: Alright. Jeremiah chapter 10. This is about nailing the tree upright I think. Let’s see here where we find that. It’s not something I read a whole lot. Here we are in Jeremiah chapter 10. He says, “For the custom of the people are vain.” 10:3. That’s a custom. Now custom is things that people do over and over again regularly that get to be habits that they like to do for various reasons. “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 an axe. They deck it with silver and with gold.” That’s called tinsel. “They fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.” You don’t want your tree falling over in your front room, do you?
“They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne.” That means if you want to move one of them you’ve got to carry it from one place to another. “Because of them for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.”
He goes on and talks about the tree, about it being decorated and about it being vain. Now, you could read a Christmas tree into that, but I think what he’s actually talking about is idolatry. In other words, cutting down a tree and sculpturing it into an image and decorating it with gold and silver and standing it up.
You see pictures in Mexico and Europe where the Roman Catholic Church has control. You see people carrying images of the Virgin Mary through the streets and everybody celebrating with different forms; a lot of drunkenness and a little fornication on the side and then whatever else that they choose to do in their celebration.
You’ve seen that throughout history. People carrying their gods around and that’s probably what it’s talking about. So I don’t think for certain that that’s just a Christmas tree.
Now we know that December the 25th was celebrated a couple of thousand years before Jesus ever came along. We know that the Romans celebrated Christmas. They didn’t call it a Christ mass. It was a celebration of Isis no Sirius of the god Semiramis, the goddess Semiramis.
It had a little mother/child stuck to her breast and you find it throughout Egypt. You find it in Babylon, in Syria. You find it all over the world. It’s been common down through history and is to this day, this mother/child thing.
So the Romans were doing that on December the 25th. Now it dates back, I won’t go into great detail, but it dates back to when Nimrod died and his mother, they had a mystery religion, and she claimed that he came back in an evergreen tree that sprung up outside his bedroom window. So she went out and put a star on top of it and the people came and put gifts on it and they decorated it. So every year they would remember Nimrod’s birthday, December the 25th, out there underneath the evergreen tree.
So it got to be popular and then it was adapted by different cultures and various different religions throughout. The Canaanites adopted the concepts.
When Constantine embraced Christianity in 322, forced everybody else to, he didn’t get saved. He just embraced it as a political means. He baptized all the heathen, no matter what their gods were, he baptized them, so all of a sudden they were “Christian.”
But December the 25th came around. It was a custom to celebrate this December 25th day. And so, the Roman Catholic Church started having a mass for Christ. So, “Christ Mass.” A sacrifice for Christ. They turned bread into His body, and wine into His blood. The priest drank the wine, and the people got the body.
So, every December the 25th, they would try to steer people away from their heathen holiday with this Christ Mass. Well, syncretism occurred, and there was a mixture between the supposed Christian celebration and the heathen celebration.
It continued down through the ages, through our present time. Well, along the way, it picked up other little traditions — Santa Claus, invented by Madison Avenue and the retailers and the people who wanted to sell goods at that time.
But, let’s get practical. The question is, should I as a Christian, celebrate Christ Mass? If you’re Catholic you ought to because it’s your duty to go to mass. But if you’re not a Roman Catholic, then of course, you are not interested in mass. You wouldn’t be celebrating it.
But you say, should I have a tree in my living room? If you want to go out in to the field, like you said here, and cut one down and stand it upright, and decorate it with golden tinsel, I don’t see any problem, unless you think it has some religious symbol.
Unless you try to make it a Christian event, as long as you see it as Halloween, or Valentine’s Day, or Thanksgiving or something … Thanksgiving is too holy for that! As long as you see it as something that’s just a tradition of men, and you’re just doing it to kind of party and get together with family, I think it would be perfectly alright.
My motto is this: “Keep Christ out of Christmas and it’s OK.” As long as you don’t put Christ in to it, then when my family invites me to a Christ Mass dinner, I go and I eat dinner, and if they want to give me a new shirt or something, then I receive it.
We don’t give or exchange gifts, never have. We don’t have trees or decorations, celebrations in the church. We don’t have Christmas cantatas. We don’t … it’s just another day. I mean, it’s just like July the 4th. You take the day off, but most people don’t even remember what July 4th is about.
Most people don’t really know or care what Christmas is about. It’s just more booze is sold then, more suicide takes place then, more marriages break up then, more kids are neglected and abused then, more drugs are consumed then. It’s the day when the devil has his due.
We as Christians ought to try to maintain our holiness and purity every day. But leave Christ out of Christmas, and then exchange your gifts, and do whatever you want to do that suits you. Me — none of it suits me. But that’s just my personal view.
As long as you are not worshipping the tree, or worshipping statues or images, as long as you don’t think it’s a means to get to God or something that you feel like you’ve got to do in order to express your faith, as long it’s just a tree, like a pumpkin sitting on your front porch.
If you see the tree is no different from a pumpkin carved out in to a jack‑o’‑lantern, then you’re probably OK. But the moment you put that jack‑o’‑lantern out there and start dancing around it, and start having some kind of spiritual contact, then you’re in trouble.
Same thing with the tree. The moment you start seeing Christ in it, you’re in trouble. So, that’s about the best I can answer you on that.
Voiceover: If you would like to ask a Bible question, email us at email@example.com or call at 931‑805‑4820.