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Thursday, January 2, 2014

30 second apologetics: Does the prophet Jeremiah condemn Christmas trees?

According to some fundamentalist Christians, Christmas trees are condemned in the Bible, based on these words of the prophet Jeremiah:

Hear what the LORD says to you, O house of Israel.
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.

 For the Customs of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of a forest, 
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel (axe in some translations).

They adorn it with silver & gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter.

Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carries for they cannot walk.
Do not fear the; they can do no harm, nor can they do any good."--Jeremiah 10: 1-5

If this is to be taken as a condemnation of having trees that are chiseled, and adorned, then it also is a condemnation of having chairs in one's homes as well, for those, too are made of wood and are chiseled into shapes.  Sometimes we even adorn our chairs with silver and gold!  Yet no fundamentalist Christian objects to having chairs in one's homes, obviously.  

Clearly, the above is not a condemnation of having decorated Christmas trees in our homes, but rather of worshipping trees, which was a pagan practice observed in the time of Jeremiah.  If we make an idol out of our Christmas tree, then, yes, God condemns that.  

But I don't know too many folks who believe that this is actually a god.

Have a Merry, Merry Christmas--remember, it's Christmas until Epiphany!  And a blessed 2014

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