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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio


CHRISTMAS AND THE CHRISTMAS TREE


Some one will always make an objection to something done around this time of year. Lights, bulbs, trees, buying gifts, parties, eggnog, and a host of other things during this season.


I am just lazy!


Is there any biblical objection for Christians to forgo any of the things that many people do during this season?


There is a verse that can be used for any objection and usually the context of the verse is out of context.


For example Jeremiah 10 is commonly used to support the viewpoint against putting up a tree. But a closer look at the passage will show that it has nothing to do with what we call a ‘Christmas tree’ and everything to do with idol worship.


Context: As a footnote in our Discipleship Hour on Sunday, the lesson was on John Wycliffe. And the worksheet study was:


Before you say what Jesus meant by what he said, you need to know what he meant.
Same point there:


Jeremiah 10 does not refer to a Christmas Tree


Exodus 20:3-6 does not give any connection between the worship of idols and the use of Christmas trees. We should not be anxious about baseless arguments against Christmas decorations.


Eric and Leslie and Charity put up a tree in our house this year.


posted by Charles E. Whisnant


COMMENT BY MY SISTER ELLEN


Season's Greetings, Big Bro!
Love that stamp!!!! And the article you wrote...especially since I have five Christmas trees up this year. OH NO! And I sd I was not going to decorate much this go round! ouch. I have bumps, bruises, and scraps to prove it! What a person will go thru to bring pleasure for others to behold! And, no, I am NOT trying to be seen from space...as in a movie we saw recently.
OK, so you know, I have one 7-8 ft. tree and the others are all MUCH smaller....one on the front porch, one in the kitchen, one in GG's room, and one in the spare bedroom, and one on the fireplace hearth. oops, I miscounted..that would make six! sextuplets ouch.
And I do have a story about the big Christmas tree. Maybe I will send it out with my cards this year.
I do appreciate the context of your article about losing the context in our Scripture interpretation. We are all guilty. We use way too much "poetic license" (if I may say it that way) and then stamp it with God as the Author, when He was never even consulted. And what does the Word say about adding to His Word????? Big OUCH. Regardless, we all need to take heed to your words of exhortation.
In re to your reminding us about idols, my take is that ANYTHING (AND ANYBODY) including Christmas trees can become an idol to us. In and of themselves they are just an object in space, but what we do with them is the question. We are so quick to point our fingers at the Israelites and their cycle of idol abuses in the Bible, when all the while throughout our lives we have been surrounded by our own idols of choice. Who could cast the first stone? I dare say any one of us. If you think you (readers) don't fall into that category, you are deeper in the hole of denial than the rest of us. Which by the way is an idol...denial that is. Uh huh, think about it.
What do idols look like in the 21st century? Are they the decorations, the gifts, the music, time, FOOD, and then there is Food, and then food (really, it's all about the same!), and what about drinks? I don't mean just alcohol...but carbonated drinks (yes, that includes diet drinks as well!). Too, what about saying yes to everything and to everybody....even in church? That would be the idol of "doing". And we can't leave out...people be it our spouses, our children (I know no mother has that issue), and MYOB idolatry (stay out of their buswacks). We can't leave out dogs, cats, pigs, horses, jackrabbits, armadillos, road runners, geckos? Oops, got carried away...we have strange animals down here in Big T.
So as you challenged us, in a world of commercial appeal to the masses, we all have to be ALERT to what takes the place of our Holy Father in Heaven this Christmas REASON.
And how do we stay alert? I think a sound question considering most of us are in denial about our own stuff. HELLO! I would say begin by asking God to not just show us, cause we are too blind to see (we're dumb sheep remember), but to break us. OUCH. I think I had rather come out of denial faster than a snowman melts in Texas heat. We might want to ask those who know us well what they see as idols in our lives...and I don't mean asking for lip service (no kissy kissy stuff either) or asking people who are about pleasing (a.k.a. dulling the senses) rather than sharpening the mind and heart.
Just one of your readers in progress,
sister ellen marie (and, no, I am not a nun)