Christmas Pagan Traditions : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

2. This is what the LORD says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them. 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. Jeremiah 10

According to the above scripture, the Christian church must not use pagan celebration traditions. How does the church account for the use of “Christmas trees” as a symbol that celebrates the birth of the Christ child?

-- Anonymous, November 28, 2000


Nowhere does the Christian Faith in any Scripture promote the idea of a Christmas Tree, nor does any Christian Teaching teach any such thing. Some Christians and churches, however do associate themselves with the idea, but that should not be interpreted as Gospel. The African methdist Episcoal Church does not have any such teaching in its doctrines !!

-- Anonymous, November 28, 2000

I understand the position of the AME church and Christmas trees. But this does not excuse the flagrant display trees in the lobbies/Sunday School halls, decorated the tee. Practicing pagan traditions reduces the spirituality (meaning) of this blessed event. I believe the external church must preach what they practice. If we (the church) want people to view Christmas as a celebration of the Christ child, then we must set an example by not buying into the hype.

I brought up the issue about the tree (I dare not bring up Santa and the other foolishness) because I believe that we are lost in materialism. Jesus the Christ did participate in the ways of the world. He transcended it.

This is my spiritual belief.

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2000

Brenda you have responded many times on the discussion board. But I am not sure I understand your theological beliefs. Do you consider your self a chistian with Jesus Christ as your savior? And are you a member of the AME church? I was just wondering. In terms of a christmas tree, my church will have a tree and it will help with the christmas message. I am asking members of the congregation to hang mittens and gloves on the tree for children and elderly. Jesus came to bring light in this dark world, and the lights and decorations are symbolic of that light. I wish you a merry and spirit filled christmas.

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2000

Pastor Denise:

Yes, I am a believer in God of the cosmos. The One who prevails and transcends all Creation. I accept Jesus Christ as man who reached his God consciousness (Oneness), which is exactly what I work on each and every day. I want to be more like Jesus, who was not a Christian, per se. But a man who did not give into the worldly ways of the Jews, Romans and other groups of people...especially the organized church. I am a member of the AME church since coming into this physical existence.

Pagan practices produce pagan results. The water will always taste like the pipes. If you choose to have a dead tree in your lobby as a teaching tool for your congregation, so be it. I must accept people where they are on their path. At some point, God convicts us of practices/traditions that are not in line with His/Her will. I don't belief that this season should be any different than other times during the year. For instance, give to the elderly just because they need it.

Pastor Denise, we want to reduce God of the entire cosmos to one religious path...Christianity. I believe that there are many paths that lead to the Mountain (God). Some will take a person round and round. They never reach the top. Others will take a person half way or nearly to the top. And there are some that will take a person all the way to the top. What I am saying is that I am not caught up in religion (which is man made). I depend on Spirit to discern my path. The AME church is my foundation of spiritual growth. However, I utilize other religious paths for God's teachings. Learning about other paths has been spiritual rewarding. When I see teachings that transcend religion, I shout...because God's Word prevails, even though man has tried dividing it.

I am sure that I seem confusing, because I think. Doesn't matter what Pastor So and So said…if it doesn't agree with my Spirit, then I act accordingly.

Have a blessed day.

In Love and Light, Brenda

-- Anonymous, November 30, 2000

Jesus taught: "God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship him in spirit and truth." He also chided the woman caught in adultry about her knowledge of whom she actually worshipped. The Apostle Paul's teaching indicates that one must KNOW the one worshipped. May I suggest that many of us do not worship any diety because we are so ignorant of that diety, that we are just going through motions. Many Christians are not really worshipping God because they don't know Him. Likewise, participating in secular traditions cannot be considered idol worship because we don't know the idol. What do you thionk? Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, December 01, 2000

With all do respect, I believe that you have taken that text out of context. Jeremiah 10 verses 1-5 is specifically refering to the worship of Idols made at the hands of man (thus the reference to wood cut from forests and the work of the hands of a craftsman in Verse 3). Note verse 5: "Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, they cannot speak; they must be carried, Because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, For they can do no harm Nor can they do any good." Hank Hanegraaff from the Christian Research Institute adds the following insight: "While at first blush this may seem to be referring to our custom of decorating Christmas trees, a closer examination of Jeremiah 10 reveals that God is reality condeming the creation of permanent wooden idols carved from the trees of the forest. In verse 5, God ridicules these idols because they cannot walk or talk. Historically the practice of Christmas trees originated in Germany some 2000 years after Jermiah made his pronouncement. It was the result of combining two distinctly different Christian symbols. The first was a 'paradise tree.' It was decorated with apples to symbolize the tree of life in the Garden of Eden. The second was a triangular shelf that contained Christmas figurines and was adorned by the star representing the one followed by the Magi. By the 16th century, these two Christian symbols had been merged into the modern- day Christmas tree" (from "Is Christmas Christian? " Christian Research Newsletter Volume 6: Number 5, 1993 by Hank Hanegraaff

I hope this helps..... In Jesus' Joy, Pastor Mike

-- Anonymous, December 01, 2000

In all due respect, I appreciate your research into the Christmas tree tradition. However, citing Hank Hankegraff as sole source taints the results.

According to my source ( Hank Hankegraaff does not share the same vision as founding father, Dr. Walter Martin. An accountability group has been formed in attempt to correct the erroneous claims (findings) of Mr. Hankegraff.

You will also find in the cited above link numerous referenced texts and links, which support Mr. Hankegraff’s inappropriate and damaging behavior toward (in his OPINION) unorthodox Christian practices. It appears that he disperses energy on various denominations rather than on anti-cult activity.

I believe that our materialistic society create ways of justifying behavior that is anti-capitalistic, such as not BUYING and decorating dead trees. We must be careful not to fall into snares of ignorance.

I thank you for sharing your helped me learn something new.

In Love and Light,


-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000

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