Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | November 30, 2007

Should Christians use Christmas trees?

Originally posted November 30, 2007.

I hope this is helpful.
The objection many have to Christmas trees is based on the following:
Jeremiah 10:3 For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. 4 They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. NIV
There’s no proof, though, that this refers to Christmas trees. It seems instead to refer to the idols that the Babylonians made from wood and adorned with silver and gold. To say that this refers to a decorated tree is to read something into it that isn’t there.
Christmas trees do actually have a Christian origin, having been used in the medieval Catholic passion plays. They were also used by Lutherans in Germany in the 16th century, often decorated with apples, fruits, and nuts for the children. Christmas trees, as we know them today, draw a lot of inspiration from Victorian England.
So, based on this, I don’t think there’s a problem with Christian use of Christmas trees.  The evidence seems to favor it originally being a Christian custom rather than a pagan one.



    • Hi there,
      Thanks for your comment. One thing that I believe is very important in Bible texts is keeping the context in mind when reading them. Scripture verses definitely need to be read in the context of the rest of the chapter and book, rather than being treated singly.
      Based on this approach, I don’t believe that what the prophet Jeremiah was speaking of were Christmas trees (which I’ve never seen any conclusive evidence for the existence of prior to the Middle Ages). I believe he was speaking of the idols of the Babylonians, which were fashioned from wood, silver, etc.
      Worshiping the creatures rather than the Creator is never a good thing.

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