I volunteereed at Brave Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center in Gray, GA for a number of years. In addition to offering pretty much anything to do with horses from lesson to boarding which helps fund the services Brave Meadows offers to the special needs community, Brave Meadows offers horse assisted therapy to anyone who comes down the driveway regardless of ability to pay Brave Meadows' reasonable fees.
One day I heard the father of one of the regular riders say, "My family gets so mad at me when I say 'Satan Claus!'"
I tell people when the subject comes up, "I'm going to get you the same thing this Christmas I got you for last Christmas - nothing."
I have a seasonal t-shirt my sister-in-law gave me years ago that says, "Bah Humbug!!"
Does that make me a Scrooge?
Now, don't get me wrong. I believe in Christmas. It's kind of hard not to when people all around you are caught up in it and they're sending Christmas cards all over, three wisemen nativity scenes are sprouting everywhere, many are recklessly showing their love by going deep into debt, agonizing over providing Christmas for their children, well, you know the signs when you see them.
Pretty much everybody loves Christmas.
But, does God?
In Jeremiah the 10th chapter God very plainly says to not cut down and decorate trees the way the pagans do.
1 Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the Lord: “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. 4 They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple. (Jeremiah 10:1-4 NKJV)
Sure sounds like a Christmas tree to me. Doesn't it to you? It also sounds to me like God is saying, "Don't do it!" Doesn't it to you?
In Exodus 32 the people are clamoring for gods to worship because they don't know what happened to Moses. So Aaron fashions a golden calf.
"5 So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord.” 6 Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." (Exodus 32:5-6 NKJV)
Here they brought pagan practices into the worship of God. They even dedicated them to God, “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord.”
Verses 7-10 tells us what God thought of bringing pagan things into His worship. To simply say He was unhappy is a huge understatement.
7 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’” 9 And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! 10 Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.” (Exodus 32:7-10 NKJV)
Does Christmas have the blessing of God?
It ignores God's command, "No other gods before me, around me anywhere." (Exodus 20:3 and other passages.)
We give trees a special place in our lives and decorate them in silver and gold, fix them so they won't topple over and then we top them off with an image of a messenger from God Himself.
We lie to our kids and let them believe in Santa while teaching them to honor truth above all else. Santa is like God until they discover otherwise for themselves. He creates from nothing, he has a legion of helpers living in an inaccessible place who do his bidding, he knows whose good or bad and rewards accordingly and he can be everywhere in the world and even into chimney-less houses that are all locked cozy and snug. We encourage our children to engage in Santa worship routines.
Then, at some point, we tell our kids, or they find out, "There is no such thing as Santa or anyone who has God-like powers." So much for trust.
Is Jesus the reason for the season?
Ask children what the reason for the season is. Only a VERY SMALL percentage will say it's Jesus, most will say it's Santa.
The world has attached all sorts of customs and beliefs about the birth of Jesus, few of which actually apply.
The Bible only briefly tells of the birth of Jesus to show the fulfillment of God's constant Old Testament promise to send a Messiah.
The Bible doesn't say a whole lot about the birth of Jesus other than "He's Here!" It is the life and death of Jesus that occupies the pages of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and the pages of Acts through Revelation.
"1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures," (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 NKJV)
Regardless of motives, regardless of purpose, regardless of the justifications, regardless of where it comes from, the practice of adding anything to the worship of God that He has prohibited or not allowed, goes against God.
Again, it doesn't matter what OUR motives are, it only matters what God says and he specifically says DON'T DO IT! He says this in enough places to where we should get the idea, "Don't add to, don't take away from, the pattern I gave you."
The Jeremiah 10 prohibition against decorated items is the worship of what the trees represent to people. You can have worship without prayers being involved.
Don't worship the tree?? Just let one of the kids or pets get too close to it.
On a percentage basis there is very little coverage of Jesus' birth in Canon while overwhelmingly covering his life, death and resurrection. The world has turned this completely around.
If the world was to pay as much attention to the death of Christ as they do the pagan infused birth of Christ, how different the world would be.
And, don't even get me started on Easter and colored-egg, candy strewing bunnies or Halloween.
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 NKJV)
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (John 17:17 NKJV)
Bringing pagan beliefs and practices into the worship of God and bending them so they appear to fit is like molding a golden calf and dedicating it to God.
If not, why not?
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