Are churches mixing up Christian and pagan with Christmas trees?
I notice more and more churches advertising Christmas tree festivals or exhibitions with a range of decorated trees on display in their sanctuaries. What is the significance of the trees that they are displaying in relation to the doctrine of their faith, as I note that non-Christians, commercial businesses and even atheists also follow the same custom of putting up decorated trees?
The only verse I could find in the Bible concerning decorated trees was a section in Jeremiah 10:2-5 where the practice is denounced as futile: “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen … 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 with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not (King James version)”.
This bears a very close resemblance to the current practice of decorating trees for Christmas, but here we can see that such practices are very clearly pagan or pre-Christian. How can the churches reconcile this practice in their buildings today which many call the House of God? Just food for thought for the Christmas Day conversation.
Colin Nevin, Northern Ireland