Compare and contract this:
Jeremiah 10:1-5 (underline added)
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 axe. 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.
John 15: 1-8
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
In the first part of this series, I spoke extensively about roots and whether or not they matter to the God of the Bible and concluded that, yes, they do. Now we shall move from the roots up towards the living organism of Christmas and see what shall unfold.
Let me emphasize again that I’m not doing this to be a ‘christmas killer’. I’m just trying to solidify all these things that I’m seeing and put it into one place with some structure so that I, and perhaps any other interested person can add to the discussion and make better spiritual decisions for ourselves and our families.
In both of the above scriptures God is speaking extensively about a tree and a vine. Do these two plants have some kind of spiritual power? No. They are plants like a dandy lion or a bamboo – a few unique DNA strands that make it what it is. They are rooted in dirt and enjoy sunshine like the rest of us.
What matters in the plants described are the roots – or to be more precise – the meaning or significance we give them. In the latter scripture, Jesus is saying ‘Hey, come here. See this vine? I’m like this vine to you. Don’t forget this analogy because this is a spiritual truth.”
In the former scripture, God is saying “See those trees? They don’t have power to do evil, or good, or speak yet you give them ‘god’ status in your lives and hearts.” Same with the vine. I haven’t seen a vine helping an old lady cross a street or jump out of the woods to mug her either. They are just a couple of great things that God made way back in Genesis.
So let it be known that I’m not afraid of your christmas tree. It cannot hurt me or help me. So, that’s *not* the reason I have elected not to have one in our home. The reason I have elected not to have one in the home is that the christmas tree is rooted in pagan rituals. The tree itself represents something that God is not ok with: idolatry. It’s no different than having a statue of Buddha on my table or a pentagram on my wall. The ‘things’ represent the spiritual realm and some realities that cannot be seen with the eye.
ACK! Did you compare a christmas tree to a pentagram??!!!
Let’s roll with the pentagram example. Run this scenario with me. I invite you over to my house for tea and cookies and a few olives on a toothpick. You show up, tip your hat, slowly walk up the stairs into my living room where you are greeted by a full human size image of a pentagram with ol’ Baphomet in the middle just to make sure you know it’s the real deal. I’m pretty sure you are not going to say “Wow! What a neat piece of artwork! I love what you’ve done with ol’ Bappy’s horns there! Right-i-o!”
You would probably start to feel a little concerned about your personal well being and perhaps plotting your escape.
Now why is that?
Because you know what that image represents: satanic power.
And so the item, in that context, is a declaration of faith and dedication to satan.
A long time ago, a christmas tree was used, as you can plainly read in Jeremiah above, as a pagan god. They decked it with ‘clothes’ and worshipped it. They thought the tree represented eternal life. In the same article some try to give it a ‘Christian history’ but it’s simply not congruent with the even older history of Egypt, etc. Also, the Jeremiah scripture above should wipe away any ideas that this is a Judeo-Christian concept.
Ladies and Gentlemen. Boys and Girls. Like it or not, your christmas tree is not connected to the Bible or Jesus other than the reference to paganism in Jeremiah 10.
Jesus is the vine. We are to be as branches on that vine.
I’m not going to go on a campaign to ‘kill the tree ritual’ (I’m sure the tree huggers are well on top of that) but I am going to continue staying close to Jesus and hear His voice and instructions on the topic. And, unless He gives me directions otherwise, the tree needs to stay outside. I just simply can’t make a square peg go in a round hole.
Incidentally, I really used to like the ‘magic’ generated by the christmas tree until realized that this magic wasn’t from God. Kind of how I used to like the magic from excessive drinking and other such activities. The magic was from another source from which I have since departed. The ‘magic’ was exactly that – magic. Earthly, secular, and based in paganism. That’s what I was feeling. And that’s why these trees are totally accepted and basically worshipped where the crucifix where my Lord Jesus died is not. The cross is, after all, foolishness to those who are perishing. You don’t see a crucifix in city hall do you? But I saw a tree decked with gold and silver there the other day…
If we gave half the veneration we give our flashy trees to God Almighty, I suspect we’d have a pretty good relationship with Him this season.
Just something to chew on while unwrap those gifts.
Edit: 141227: This is a great link about the christmas tree which pretty much covers it all
2 thoughts on “Overcoming the ‘spirit of christmas’ with the Spirit of Christ: Part 2 in a Series: Tree vs Vine”