’tis the Season; ugh! Part 2

As commented on part 1, Yirmeyahu [Jeremiah] 10 does indeed speak of taking a tree and putting gold and silver decorations on it as being a practice of foolish pagan idolatry. The descriptions are remarkably close to that of the christmas tree. The Torah says that we are not to adopt the methods of worship used by the nations around us to worship their idols and then use them to worship YHWH. In D’varim [Deuteronomy] 12:29-32 we are warned against being curious and then investigating the practices of idolatry. “Do not do so to YHWH your Elohim…” In the last verse we read the familiar “All the words I am commanding you, guard to do it – do not add to it nor take away from it.” YHWH gives us His own celebrations in V’yikrah [Leviticus] 23 and we are not to add or take away from these.

The most common responses to objections raised about christmas include, “We just do it for the kids”, or “That’s not what it means to me…” or “How can celebrating the birthday of jesus be wrong?” Since we are not commanded to observe the day nor are we given any example in Scripture of anyone who did, we may surmise that the event of christmas, the supposed celebration of the birth of Yisrael’s Messiah on December 25th, is a man made tradition. So then consider what Yahshuah said in Mark 7 in a debate with the Pharisees and Scribes over the tradition of ceremonially washing hands before eating. In vv.6-9 and in v.13, He included the words, “And in vain do they worship Me, teaching as teachings the commands of men, forsaking the command of Elohim [do not add to or take away from My Word] you hold fast the tradition of men…well do you set aside the command of Elohim in order to guard your tradition…nullifying the Word of Elohim through your tradition…” If you believe that Yahshuah is not only the Messiah but also the Word [Yochanan/John 1:1, 14] then by observance of OUR traditions we may nullify Yahshuah, causing Him to be misrepresented and to become of no effect.

The facts are easily searched out about the evergreen tree, the lights, decorations, wreaths, mistletoe, gifts, and even caroling, that they are all attached at the root of paganistic practices used to worship the rebirth of the sun/sun god/ba’al/mithra/zeus, as the shortest day of the year gives way to a lengthening of daylight hours. Fertility rituals that are commonly seen in modern christmas decorations were used since ancient times as suggestive and very sexual reminders of ba’al’s day. Further, and even worse, they resulted in wild, everything goes, drunken parties that mirrored modern day Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Carnival in Rio. Again I say, “Ugh!” and I need go no further.

I find that attaching the birth of my Messiah and Redeemer to the filthy, highly sexualized rituals and symbols of pagan idolatry not only insulting to Yahshuah but also blasphemous. There, I said it and I’m not taking it back. To those who feel that Yahshuah would not be upset with us making children happy and laughing, enjoying some gift giving among loved ones, and having a nice meal together as families, I ask, “Do you really think Messiah will wink at our desired ignorance and simply dose us up with enough grace to think nothing of it?” Despite the warnings of our traditions bringing His Word to no effect and the commands to not worship Him as the pagans do their idols, are we really going to follow ba’al’s day of symbols and rituals and then turn it around to name the celebration in Yahshuah’s honor? I leave you with Yahshuah’s own words from Revelation 18:4. “Come out of her My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues”.

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