*Note Charlie Brownstein is the Jewish Charlie Brown Things I never knew about always interest me.  Many times I meet believers in Jesus who for one reason or anther have decided that something the Church does traditionally is no longer Holy or Sacred, but in fact pure EVIL.  I was listening to an interview online of a guy who was part of the Messianic movement and has chosen to leave the movement and dive into Orthodox Judaism.  He said something I found interesting that I had not heard evidence for before.  He said that many Messianic believers have a hard time with the Christmas tree because of a passage in Jeremiah which talks about specifically about the Pagan practice of the tree.  Here is what it says:

Jeremiah 10:1-5 Hear what the LORD says to you, people of Israel.  This is what the LORD says: “Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them. For the practices of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.”

So here we have this verse that describes a Pagan ritual where they would go into the forest, cut down a tree, decorate it, and put it up with some sort of tree holder, all for the purpose of worship.   Sounds a lot like a Christmas tree right?  Right? …  Well guess what, the issue in this passage is not the tree, what you put on the tree or where you put the tree afterwords.  No, not in the slightest.  The issue is in the heart of the worshiper.  It is what you do with your tree.  For Example, a lot of Christmas films such as, Jingle All the Way”, “Polar Express”, and  “Home Alone”,  have actually taken Christmas back to its Pagan roots and show kids mostly praying to the spirit of Christmas or the Christmas tree itself.  Like in “Home Alone 2”  Little Macaulay Culkin has lost his family again and now misses them and goes to the huge Christmas tree in New York and prays for them to the tree.  Cute right?  Yeah maybe but this is exactly what God said not to do.   Ok, now on the flip side, we have a Christian family who actually loves God and during Christmas they decorate their home traditionally but they never lose sight of who Jesus is and who God is.  Their hearts are on God not on a tree they decorated. Perhaps it is true that our hearts will wander away from God because of tradition and ignorance.  God warns His people about this many times.  But Messiah redeems all things and makes them new.  What was once used as idol worship has become an icon the celebration of Messiah’s birth.  Jesus transforms tradition and practice into worship of God.  What was once Pagan is now holy because of Jesus’ transforming power.

I leave you with this, Jewish Believers, don’t be afraid of decorated trees and treat it as if it is a sin.  This isolates you from other believers and makes you vulnerable to attack.  Non-Jewish believers, don’t let tradition become higher than God.  If it does perhaps consider not having a tree that distracts you from Christmas’ true meaning.  We celebrate the day God took on flesh so that later He could die on a tree and bring us life everlasting. Thanks for reading. Merry Messiahmas, Sean Trank


About Sean Trank

My name is Sean Trank. I aspire to help those who want to succeed. I am a promoter of many things and I love making good ideas known. I also have a unique sense of humor that has been honed and shaped from having a Jewish Christian background...or maybe it is because my childhood house had lead-based paint. Ok so please explore this website .

6 responses »

  1. cecila butcher says:

    good article Sean thanks I posted on my FB page

    • thabellz says:

      Excellent! I struggled with this, too. But I did my own research and talked about it to trusted friends. After a while, I found that I want to give the devil no quarter. I will not allow a tree to become a weapon he uses to divide the believers. Bless the Lord, O my soul!!!

      • I don’t make this comment to make divisions, but should we just blend in or are we called to be separate from the world? The word ekklesia in greek that is translated “church” literally means “called-out ones”. Jesus said he did not come to bring peace but a sword. Should we all gather around together and worship the Sun just for the sake of unity? That is what the world wants us to do. The tree (by the way) dates back to practices of Sun worship. It was even banned in the United States for a period of time because it was so paganistic. If we as believers are supposed to make up his temple, it doesn’t seem right to bring idols into the temple.

      • Sean Trank says:

        I appreciated your comment, and I write this as to welcome a dialog. What do you think it means to be in the world but not of the world?

  2. Deloris says:

    Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for information and also
    your article appears so interesting to me. It’s much appreciated!

  3. Pat Sheek says:

    I think we are overlooking key facets of this scripture. The verse says the CRAFTSMAN SHAPES IT WITH HIS CHISEL. This is carving an idol out of wood. Also, the yule log was thought to contain wood spirits. They would burn the yule log and put the ashes in their garden in order for the wood spirits to bless them with a good harvest. Faulty reasoning at best. Why would a god think it appealing to be burned, and, of course, it was the potassium in the wood that caused a fertilizer effect in the garden. The Christian practice of decorating a tree may have been taken from the pagan practice or worshiping a tree, but Christians certainly do not worship the tree. I can see how centuries ago it would have been a turning point for someone who had worshiped a tree to begin to decorate it with Christian symbols to show the change in their hearts: they were no longer worshiping the tree or decorating it with symbols of the pagan gods, but were decorating it with Christian symbols and worshiping the true God. Regardless of how the transition came about, the Word of God blatantly states that we are not to judge others in their walk. Paul said to ‘work out your own salvation’. Christians are taking a stand for Yeshua when they demand to “keep Christ in Christmas”. They are celebrating Yeshua’s birth and resent the world’s efforts to do away with Christmas. They are completely ignorant to the fact that the word “Christ” is offensive to some Jews because of the history behind the word. Our criticizing another’s way of worshiping our savior is counter productive. It does not show love, and we come off sounding self-righteous and arrogant, traits specifically spoken against in God’s word. I agree with Sean that the important thing is the heart of worship, not how your house is decorated or not decorated.

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