Quick Challenge Answer: Does Jeremiah Chapter 10 Mean Christians Shouldn’t Have Christmas Trees?

Who Created God?

Does Jeremiah Chapter 10 Mean Christians Shouldn’t Have Christmas Trees? It seems every year at Christmas, a predictable thing happens.  Christians are inundated with accusations that their celebrations all stem from pagan worship festivals.  While this may be true in some case, the vast majority of these claims are overblown. 

And there are some well-meaning Christians that claim that the Bible itself warns against incorporating the “pagan worship practice” of Christmas trees.  The verse often cited as a prohibition on Christmas trees is Jeremiah 10:3-5. Let’s take a look and see what the verses actually say about Christmas trees

Jeremiah 10:3-5

Jeremiah 10:3–5 (NRSV)

3     For the customs of the peoples are false: 

a tree from the forest is cut down, 

and worked with an ax by the hands of an artisan; 

4     people deck it with silver and gold; 

they fasten it with hammer and nails 

so that it cannot move. 

5     Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, 

and they cannot speak; 

they have to be carried, 

for they cannot walk. 

Do not be afraid of them, 

for they cannot do evil, 

nor is it in them to do good.

These verses sure sound like an accurate description of a modern Christmas tree.  But if we take a closer look at the context, and what is actually being described, we begin to get a different picture as to what’s going on here. 

Idols

As with all books of the Bible, one of the key elements to understanding the message give is to understand who the book was written to. Jeremiah is warning the people of Judah about their coming conquest by the Babylonians. And in this verse in particular, is warning against the making of pagan idols. 

In verse 3 we see that the tree is cut and “worked with an ax by the hands of an artisan”.  More than just simply being cut down and decorated, the trees were actually fashioned into an idol.  This idol would be in the shape of a god or goddess, and would then be decorated.

Ahead Of His Time

And this is what Jeremiah is talking about.  While we should of course be wary of Who and what we worship, Jeremiah does not have Christmas trees in mind when making these prohibitions.  The modern use of Christmas trees is in fact very different from fashioning an idol out of a piece of wood and decorating it with gold and silver. Celebrating the birth of our Savior is clearly not what in being addressed in this passage. 

Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here.  

Catagories
Archives
Calendar
March 2021
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
RSS Listen to Our Latest Podcast Here
  • The Fear Of Public Speaking And Evangelism March 2, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses the fear of public speaking and evangelism. They share personal stories on public speaking fears, and how to overcome them. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • QCQ: How Can We Trust The Bible If It Was Written By Men? February 25, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the team answers the question "How can we trust the Bible if it was written by men?". 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • John Frum And Cargo Cults February 23, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses John Frum and cargo cults from the Pacific Islands. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • You Should Doubt Everything February 18, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team answers the challenge that "You should doubt everything". 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Was Jesus Wrong About The Time Of His Return February 16, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses passages in Matthew 16 that seem to imply Jesus was wrong about the time of His return. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Who Created God? February 11, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the team answers the question "Who Created God?". 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Critical Theory Pt. 2 February 9, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team continues their discussion on Critical Theory. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Religion Is The Cause Of All Wars February 4, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the new line up at Tent Making Christianity answers the challenge that "All Wars Are Caused By Religion". 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Critical Theory Pt. 1 February 2, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses critical theory. 
    Drew Covet, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • We Can Only Know Things Through Science January 28, 2021
    In this episode of the Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the new line up at Tent Making Christianity answers the challenge that "We Can Only Know Things Through Science". 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean