by Edward Weed
(Please take the time to read all of this before you make up your mind)
Is it a sin to celebrate Christmas? No. Christmas is ultimately the day the Word became flesh and walked among His people see John 1:1-5, 14) and that makes it a day worth celebrating. But before we get deep into the topic at hand let me say that my family and I celebrate the conception (see Jeremiah 1:5) of Yahshua Messiah exactly the way the Bible manuscripts teach us to. But how should one celebrate Emmanuel’s (that is to say Yahweh with us) conception? Let’s take a look.
Based on the course of Abia (spelled Abiyah in the Hebrew see 1 Chronicles 24:10) found in Luke 1:5, we know that Yahshua Messiah was born sometime in late September during the Feast of Tabernacles not in December as so many believe today. This (along with tax season, see Luke 2:1) explains why Joseph and Mary found no lodging in the inn and were instead forced to stay in the manger (see Luke 2:7). Now that being said, please note that my wife and I celebrate Christ Emmanuel’s conception in December, but we do it WITHOUT ANY of the lies and pagan traditions that are now connected with our Messiah’s first coming. Let me explain.Over the years some folks who have been blessed by Yahweh with the eyes to see His truth, have traced the pagan origins of Christmas back as far as the Prophet Jeremiah and Isaiah. Though many do not know it today, opposition to Christmas trees, mistletoe, Yule logs, etc. was common place in past centuries. For centuries the Elect of God (Elohim, which is to say the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) strictly prohibited the decoration of their houses with evergreen boughs, wreathes, and other pagan attire.
The Prophet Jeremiah condemned as Pagan the ancient Middle Eastern practice of cutting down trees, bringing them into the home and decorating them.
“Thus saith the LORD (Yahweh), Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: FOR ONE CUTTETH A TREE OUT OF THE FOREST, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. THEY DECK IT WITH SILVER AND GOLD; THEY FASTEN IT WITH NAILS AND HAMMERS, THAT IT MOVES NOT.”
“He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation (true offering for Elohim) CHOOSETH A (ARTIFICIAL) TREE THAT WILL NOT ROT; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image (shaping the tree), that shall not be moved (which means it stands up right).”
Jeremiah and Isaiah’s description of a tree cut out of the forest, or an (artificial) tree that will not rot, that is brought into a persons home and adorned with silver and gold, and fastened with a hammer and nails so that it would not totter, is clearly a reference to modern day Christmas trees. You say but Dr. Weed, Jeremiah and Isaiah were written long before the Messiah came in the flesh, long before Christmas was ever celebrated. Correct. But Yahweh not only knows the beginning from the ending He wrote the beginning and the ending, for Yahweh is the Alpha and the Omega (see Revelation 22:13); this means nothing catches Him by surprise. Nothing has come into existence at any point in time that Yahweh did not know would occur. Just like Yahweh made the plants and animals to fulfill Adam and Eve’s physical needs of sustenance before He even made Adam and Eve, Yahweh warned us as far back as Jeremiah and Isaiah of the pagan connections to the many holiday traditions people would hold today, including those connected directly to Him. Yahweh is all knowing and perfect, so if we listen He will never let us fall into Satan’s traps.
In Europe, Pagans of the past did not always cut down whole evergreen trees and bring them into their homes and decorate them, but only because that would have been far too destructive of nature (and many pagans worshipped nature). But during the Roman celebration of the feast of Saturnalia, Pagans decked their houses out with clippings of evergreen shrubs. They also decorated living trees with bits of gold, silver, and metal in honor of their false god, Bacchus.
Tertullian (160 – 230 CE), a long ago prolific spiritual writer, complained that too many of Yahweh’s Elect had copied the Pagan practices of adorning their houses with evergreens and with wreathes of laurel.
The English Puritans (or pilgrims) condemned a number of customs associated with Christmas, such as the use of the Yule log, holly, mistletoe, wreathes, etc. (The Puritan) Oliver Cromwell preached against “the heathen traditions” of decorated trees and any other pagan expression that desecrated the sacred event of Yahshua Messiah’s coming into the world. In America, the Pilgrim’s second governor, Mr. William Bradford (a Calvinist), tried hard to stamp out any and all “pagan mockery”. To put it simply Christmas trees were not used by Puritans in colonial times.
Many Pagan cultures used to cut boughs off evergreen trees in December, move them into the home or temple, and place them in a decorative manner. Modern-day Pagans still do. This was to recognize the winter solstice the time of the year that had the shortest daylight hours, and longest night of the year. This time period occurs annually sometime between DEC-20 to the 25; most often, it begins around DEC-21. As the solstice approached, these pagans noticed that the days were gradually getting shorter; and many feared that the sun would eventually disappear forever, and everyone would freeze in the darkness, and starve to death because of the failure of the sun to grow next-year’s crops. Even though most trees, bushes, and crops died or hibernated for the winter, the evergreen trees remained green. Therefore pagans believed the evergreens had magical powers that enabled them to withstand the rigors of winter. Not having evergreen trees in their homeland, the ancient Egyptians considered the palm tree a symbol of resurrection and eternal life. They decorated their homes with its branches during the winter solstice also. Obviously Yahweh’s children that have bothered to read the Bible manuscripts did not fall for such paganistic foolishness, no they instead recognized the ways of the heathen and refused to walk in them. Genesis 8:22 “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
The first known decorating of an evergreen tree began with the heathen Greeks and their worship of their god Adonia, who allegedly was brought back to life by the serpent (remember who the serpent is, see Revelation 12:9) Aessulapius after having been slain.” And again the ancient Pagan Romans decorated their “trees with bits of gold, silver, and metal and replicas of their god, Bacchus (a fertility god). They also placed 12 candles on the tree in honor of their SUN god”. Today most of the people who use these pagan symbols call the first day of the week (SUNday) the sabbath or holy day instead of the seventh day Yahweh ordained as holy (see Genesis 2:3, Exodus 20:8-11, and Deuteronomy 5:12-15). Their mid-winter festival of Saturnalia started on DEC-17 and often lasted until a few days after the Winter Solstice. Today this almost perfectly coincides with what many call the 12 days of Christmas.
In Northern Europe, the ancient Germanic people tied fruit and attached candles to evergreen trees and evergreen branches, in honor of their god Woden. Trees were viewed as symbolizing eternal life. This is the deity after which Wednesday (Wodensday) was named. Again trees joined holly, mistletoe, the wreath, and the Yule log as symbols of the paganistic season designed to restore longer days and warmer temperatures.
The Christmas tree tradition as America knows it dates back to Western Germany as well (in the 16th century). They were called “Paradeisbaum” (or paradise trees) and they were often brought into homes by Santa Clause (so the lies go) to celebrate the annual Feast of Adam and Eve on DEC-24. The people would hang wafers on the tree (a symbol of the Catholic Eucharist at one time, but eventually the wafers were placed for ole Saint Nick to eat). Today almost everyone has replaced the wafers with cookies and milk for old Santa. This pagan tradition was first brought to America by German immigrants about the year 1700. Christmas trees became popular among the general U.S. population about 1850 and have unfortunately remained so ever since. President Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) arranged to have the first Christmas tree in the White House, during the mid-1850’s. President Calvin Coolidge (1885-1933) started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House lawn in 1923. Today, the Christmas Tree has become accepted by Judeo religions, by people of other religions, and for those who do not follow an organized religion of any kind. These trees take on a variety of shapes, sizes, and costs. Both the so called Christian and secular worlds have embraced traditional evergreens, white flocked trees, and even pre-lit artificial Christmas trees for those who have allergic reactions to live trees.
Last year Gail Quick, Dean of University Relations at the University of South Carolina commented on the occasion of a community tree-lighting ceremony: “This event is the glue that holds this community together. This always makes me feel good. Some of us still believe in Santa Claus.” Here is a grown woman who is a college dean, that cannot let go of the lie that says a fat man comes down peoples chimney’s at night and drops off gifts, and then exits up the chimney with the magic of touching his rosy red nose! Exodus 7:10-12 tells us that magic and enchantments are again pagan traditions of heathens and devils, “And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord (Yahweh) had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.”
But someone will say “What difference does it all make Dr. Weed? We don’t worship Santa, the Christmas tree, wreathes, etc. Moreover we know that Christmas is really about Yahweh coming in the flesh, and the fact that we know this is all that matters? But if what you are thinking is true why did Yahweh condemn the practice of bringing in trees out of the Forrest and trimming them in gold and silver? If Christmas is all about the coming of our Messiah for you, why can’t you celebrate our Messiah’s coming without Santa, elves, trees, mistletoe, holly, Yule logs, etc.? Not one pagan tradition has anything to do with Emmanuel’s conception. What’s more is the paganism continues to grow. What once was a two or three day event, now last closer to three months out of the year. People can’t even spend one day being thankful for what they have been blessed with, because they are to busy knocking their neighbors down to save a few bucks on the latest electronic or toy. Such things are not of Yahweh folks. Plain and simple. See Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest any man spoil you (take you captive with lies) through philosophy (or theory) and vain (empty) deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments (that is to say the under developed or immature) of the world, and not after Christ (Yahshua Messiah).” Only those who have not grown in understanding and truth would be deceived by paganism and lies. See Ephesians 4:14-15, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Last but far from least, one cannot tell their children about Santa Clause, flying reindeer, and elves without having to lie to them. And if you are wondering why it’s a problem to lie to your children, turn to the book Revelation 21:8 which says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, AND ALL LIARS, SHALL HAVE THEIR PART IN THE LAKE WHICH BURNETH WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: which is the second death.” I urge you to teach your children the truth, I urge you to emphasize and read of our Messiah’s conception straight from the book of Luke. I urge you to heed the Word of Yahweh, and I urge you to do this not in a manner of looking down upon you but in a manner of reaching out to you and your family with the truth. Why; because it is the truth (which is Yahshua Messiah see John 14:6) alone sets us free (see John 8:32).
I hope I have not become your enemy for telling you the truth (see Galatians 4:16). But even if I have, I have spoken the truth in love therefore my conscience is clear and my heart is lifted of the heavy burden for your souls.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.