Tis The Season, Follow Up

Q. I just read your article, Tis The Season . 2008 and have a comment.

A member of my family has been in the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization for many years and once used the passage Jeremiah 10:3-4 to accuse the rest of the family as “worshiping” the Christmas tree because he said this passage is describing a Christmas tree. I think that, in context, the passage refers to the people carving a god from the tree, adorning or covering it in gold and silver, and then worshiping it instead of the One True God. I personally do not even have a Christmas tree any longer but I did when I had small children at home. Instead of worshiping it, as soon as the season was over I threw it in the trash.

All of my children are Christians and are faithful to serve our Lord, our God. But they do put up a tree during the holiday season because it is for their young children to enjoy. Personally, I do not believe that Christ was born in December and think that Christmas has gotten way too commercial and out of hand. All of my family feels the same and would not have a problem giving up the Christmas tree and even the giving of gifts to each other. In fact we discussed this year and agreed to not give gifts but to just get together as a large family and have dinner together, enjoying the blessing of being together.

The fact that you used the passage from Jeremiah in connection with Christmas rather than with the worship of idols concerned me.

A. In the early Babylonian system, the evergreen tree was worshiped as a sign of eternal life, since it didn’t lose its leaves in the winter. In their winter solstice celebrations it symbolized the supposed resurrection of Tammuz, the supernatural child of Semiramis, the wife of Nimrod whose title was Queen of Heaven. This was the first perversion of the true “Christmas story” and was repeated in every ancient mythology. Pagans have long used the evergreen tree to symbolize the resurrection of Earth after the death of winter.

The point of all this is not whether we worship a tree or not. The question we should ask ourselves is whether it offends God to have important pagan symbols that deny His word be a part of our celebration of His Son’s birth. That’s why I suggested we take a look at the origins of these things before deciding to keep them as part of our celebration.

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