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Spiritual Abuse and Christmas Trees

I think I finally figured out what Christmas trees are really about.

A while ago I found a blog article on the subject of our friend Mr. Tannenbaum. Apparently (the author observed) some folks believe that Christmas trees are pagan symbols that the church has adopted in sinful syncretism. They appeal to Scriptures such as Jeremiah 10 to support the idea: the passage describes trees being chopped down, decorated with precious metals, and worshiped by pagans (“A-ha!” chorus the neo-Scrooges).

Knowing a bit about interpreting Scripture in context, I smelled an opportunity to cry “Humbug!” True, Jeremiah describes pagans chopping down trees for idolatrous worship. But it also mentions the trees being “shaped by chisels” into images of false gods like these. Those don’t look much like Christmas trees to me. Anyone for some eisegesis?

The underlying logic is even more significant. Follow it through: Idolaters once used decorative trees to worship false gods. Therefore, anyone else who uses a tree for decoration ever again must only be pagan.

Bah. Humbug.

I explained in another article in more detail exactly why this genre of anti-Christmas rhetoric is so absurd. Pagans didn’t make trees; God did. So even if pine trees were once misused in pagan worship, it hardly follows that they must always and for all time be unacceptable to people who believe that “only God can make a tree.”

But when a few outspoken commenters started chiming in to quarrel in favor of that phony interpretation of the Bible, my Spiritual-Abuse-Survivor Sense started tingling. Some people seem inordinately concerned with proving that the majority of Christians are sinful pagan syncretists. Not that I’m in favor of bringing paganism into the church, but somehow that obsession struck me as suspiciously like a warning sign of Spiritual Abuse.

Next time you hear one of these Scrooges, pay close attention to the subtext:

  • Everyone who doesn't believe precisely what we believe is unbiblical and pagan! (Exclusivity, dogmatism, spiritual pride.)
  • The vast majority of Christians are evil pagans, so you had better stick with us if you want to please God! (Legalism, elitism, manipulation.)
  • We have standards that you have to follow if you want to be holy, and if you don't follow them you're an ungodly pagan! (Superiority, shame.)
  • Your external actions and displays--whether or not you put up a Christmas tree--are very important. (No mention of the grace of Christ.)

I could go on, but if you know about Spiritual Abuse, you've heard all this stuff before. It's the classic, archetypal sign of abuse, and they're taking the occasion of the birth of Christ to pull it out on us. Forget "Happy Holidays"; here's the real war on Christmas.

But, spiritual abuse awareness aside, what these sorts of people say about the poor pine tree turns out to show the real message of the Gospel better than they know....

The pagans used trees to sinfully honor their false gods instead of the Creator. The devil influenced me to sinfully honor myself above my Creator.

The spiritual abusers say that, since the trees were used sinfully, they can only ever be regarded as sinful. They said that about me too.

God says, "It may have been used sinfully, but I made it in the first place. Don't you go calling anything I made unclean (Acts 10). If I made it good in the first place, that means I can make it good again."

At one time the pagans chopped down a tree, cut it into pieces, and hung it with metal to worship their false gods.

But another time some pagans chopped down a tree, cut it into pieces, and with metal, hung something on it that redeemed our souls.

Jesus came into the world at Christmas to be hung on a tree.

Jesus was hung on a tree for the sins of the world, including idolatry.

Because of what happened with that chopped-down, metal-adorned tree, we are free from the rules that say we can only ever be sinful.

Because of what happened with that chopped-down, metal-adorned tree, nobody can ever say that God is about anything other than grace and forgiveness.

Because of what happened with that chopped-down, metal-adorned tree, anyone who looks at a tree now can see not a symbol of idolatry, but an outward and visible sign of the infinite grace of God.

Because of what happened with that chopped-down, metal-adorned tree, anyone who looks at you now can see not a sinner, but someone who has been cleansed and made new by the infinite grace of God.

The devil intended to use that tree for evil. The spiritual abusers say it could only ever be evil. But God used that tree for the greatest good that has ever happened.

The devil intended to use you for evil. The spiritual abusers say you can only ever be evil. But God intends to use you for a greater good than you can imagine.

The Christmas tree reminds us that everything God created is good.

The Christmas tree shows us that everything God does is gracious.

The Christmas tree tells us that you don't have to accept the label that you're only a sinner.

And as for me, anything that makes legalists and abusers that upset is something I'm glad to decorate my house with. The other reason Jesus came into the world, of course, was to annoy the heck out of legalists.

Eric M. Pazdziora is a composer, pianist, author, and copyeditor. If you're looking for a good Christmas present, you might pick up a copy of his CD New Creation, which features original settings of hymns about grace performed by Eric and his wife Carrie. For more of Eric's music and writings, visit his website at http://www.ericpazdziora.com.

32 comments:

  1. Thank you for this, Eric! This is great! I have cousins who don't celebrate Christmas, for reasons very similar to this.

    Putting up a Christmas tree is idol worship? And these legalists wonder why non-christians never come to them wanting to join the group... :-P

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  2. Awesome post! This is the first Christmas our children have had a Christmas tree, and, for our family, it was an important part of re-embracing our dependence on Christ alone as our source of right standing with God. As we decorated it, I shared with my children the stories of God's provision of Christmas trees for my family when we didn't have much money during my growing-up years. (It was as an adult that Christmas got squelched by legalism in our church). Besides enjoying its beauty, every time I look at it I am reminded that into the darkness and hopeless of a sinful world that Jesus came to bring light and color and beauty and creativity and individuality. Our tree is full of handmade ornaments, expressions of the kids' uniqueness.

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  3. My experience is that I have negative memories attached to the use of the tree, so I am happy any year that I don't have one in my own home. This has nothing to do with beliefs about trees or holidays, but about my bad memories of the "holidays".

    Imagine a child being sexually handled by Santa Claus, and obviously, having terrible memories of Santa from then on. Would we debate the biblical support for or against Santa, or would we just seek to live abuse free?

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  4. Sheryl-- Yes, that would be horrible. In that situation it would become a "Romans 14" issue: there's nothing intrinsically evil about Santa, but if he's truly going to cause my brothers or sisters to stumble and miss the Gospel, out he goes.

    Godsfamilyman--I love that! Way to make a Gospel-centered celebration for your family.

    Joanna-- I wrote another article on similar lines here: Is Christmas Pagan?

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  5. The only thing I can think a tree really represents now is commercialism....which we all can fall prey to.

    North America and Christmas equals commercialism...they should start twisting that one into a pagan God..oh wait they have already.

    But I am certainly not gonna sweat over it.

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  6. Thank you Eric! Your posts are always good!

    I am grateful to live free in Christ and in that freedom, I am free from the culture around me telling me what they want the season to mean.

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  7. Makes me think of Isaiah 55: 12-13.

    "For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree... it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."

    Maybe the fir tree is a representation of Christ himself as the fruitful, gracious abundance in the midst of a sinful, broken world?

    Good post. I'm thinking about a poem, and I'll post a link later if I come up with one. =)

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  8. Even if this poem didn't end up being about exactly what this post is, I figured I'd still post it since I'd mentioned it. Thanks for the inspiration! =)

    Poems for Him/They Chopped Down a Tree: http://poems4him.blogspot.com/2010/12/they-chopped-down-tree.html

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  9. Writing4him-- I love your poem! I'm tickled to inspire somebody else's art, even indirectly.

    Pink Satin / Becky / Taunya -- Thanks! I'm so glad.

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  10. Oh, wow, great post. I also very much enjoyed the "Is Christmas Pagan?" article. It was a tremendous blessing to me. I just moved out on my own this year and, after 15 years of not celebrating Christmas, I can finally once again enjoy the holiday. :)

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  11. Love the article, Eric. Thank you for being a faithful steward of the gift of God that is in you and sharing your words on the 'net. Very gracious and loving and kind.

    I was joking with a friend recently about guilty by associating and we came up with the "doctrine" that speaking English is syncretism because our words come from pagan Anglo-Saxons, pagan Romans and pagan Greeks for the most part. These words or their ancestors were undoubtedly used to explain pagan beliefs, therefore they are tainted. If you want to really please God you must speak the language Jesus spoke- Aramaic? Hebrew?

    But even if you can't learn that language, you must STOP speaking English. "Have nothing to do with the unfruitful deeds of darkness" doncha know!

    I hope that ridiculous line of reasoning makes you laugh, because it is ridiculous. It IS the same line of reasoning people use to condemn trees, and Christmas in general.

    No offense intended, but even the "commercialism" argument doesn't stand up under scrutiny. IF all Christmas is to you is rampant commercialism, then you (meaning universal pronoun, NOT the poster who brought up the commercialism angle) need to deal with your heart issue. You don't need to give up celebrating Christmas, you need to give up rampant commercialism. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, spend your money blessing the needy, ring the bell for the Salvation Army, wrap presents for free, bless a nursing home with your company and some cookies.

    Like all "things" there is no inherent sin there, it is what you do with it that makes it holy or wicked.

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  12. Oops. I should really edit my comments before I post them. Hope my message comes across clear in spite of the misspelled words, misused forms of words, and missing words.

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  13. Oh my goodness! Thanks for this post! Seriously made my day! Can't wait to show it to my husband! :) He will be thrilled too! My entire life my parents did not put up a tree according to the legalistic pressure and teachings of their cult like church. When I got married 10 years ago we decided to put up a tree - my husband's family always had and he thought it was silly to act like a Christmas tree was pagan issue. I have LOVED having a Christms tree in our home but, have felt some guilt as if I was now less spiritual and less pleasing to God now that I had gone the pagan route of putting up a Christmas tree! My mind is jumping all around with excitement! I can't wait to show this to my husband tonight! He couldn't put it to words like your posts but, this is exactly how he felt about my parents beliefs on issues like Christmas trees and birthday, etc!

    Have you written on "birthdays" my parents taught us the bible teaches that birthday celebrations are wrong and selfish. I remember King Herod being an example. I also was the example for my younger sisters as on my 6th birthday I acted selfish and ungrateful and I ruined having birthday celebrations for my 3 younger sisters. I don't honestly remember how I acted but, it must have been terrible to ruin "birthdays" for my 3 younger sisters.

    Have you ever heard about Christmas - "If Jesus wanted his birthday celebrated then he would have told us his birthday in the Bible"? This one is hard for me to figure out and leads me to feel guilty for celebrating "pagan" Christmas the past 10 years that I have been married. My gut says that it doesn't matter if my Dad is right or not..if Jesus was born after the harvest and not on Dec. 25th but, both my husband and I are not biblical scholars and it hard to know what to say to people who believe so strongly and are gifted with words. When we are still confused on how to even explain what Christmas means to us. We feel less spiritual but, on the other hand feel like our celebration of Christmas is not "worldly" or "consumer minded" We think gift giving is a joy even if we have Christmas stocking and a Christmas tree and take our kids to see a "Rudolph the Red nose Reindeer" children's play.

    These are just a glimmer of the daily life things that were spiritiualized and part of my struggle with guilt and shame.

    I wrote this very fast...sorry if there are lots of typos and spelling errors.

    ~ Ali

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  14. Lindsey-- That's the best Christmas present I could have asked for.

    Shadowspring-- Great comment! Excellent use of reductio ad absurdum. I've toyed with the idea of writing something like that as an exercise, but whenever I get an idea of something ridiculous to object to "biblically", I find somebody who already has for real... sigh! So I'm impressed you made it work. And it did make me laugh.

    Ali -- "...have felt some guilt as if I was now less spiritual and less pleasing to God now..." Oh, how I loathe legalism, when it does that to people! It's so utterly the wrong way to understand the Bible. I can't express how completely delighted I am to hear that my little scribblings are helping you find freedom in Christ. (Try my post elsewhere on Galatians as well if you like.)

    I think I am going to have to write something about birthdays for you, it's gnawing at my mind since you mentioned it. Not to steal my own thunder, but consider this verse: "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." (Psalm 2:7). God the Father celebrates His Son's birthday.

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  15. Eric, please write about birthdays. I always heard, "The day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth" as a reason not to celebrate them.

    Haha, my word verification is "dedly".

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  16. I'm looking forward to reading more of your research and writing on birthdays. I know I didn't grow up in the patriarchy movement...but, I have been surprised how similar the way I grew up was and the abuse I endured. I keep praying for healing but, life is so busy with marriage and kids. Not much time to examine and understand the past.

    My husband and I have three sweet kids, 7, 4 and 20 months. I'm most fearful of repeating the authoritarian pattern my Dad ( and his belief system) set up. So sometimes I over react and then I lean towards permissive and that I know is not right and other times I feel I'm like my Dad = not understanding normal childishness, expecting perfection, short tempered and wanting my kids not to be so needy. The only thing I have consistently done unlike my Dad is that I do say I'm sorry and own up to my junk. I just don't want to mess up my kids and its hard to point them to spiritual truths when I don't understand them my self and I don't want to raise them to feel constantly guilt and ashamed.

    I have read Grace based parenting. Do you all recommend this book or any others for parenting help or insights. I know we're not suppose to follow formulas in parenting but, I need help and maybe some "tools".

    My Mom was the most passive submissive woman I know and I believe was manipulated not to be a mother but, to totally only identify with my Dad and his spiritual or maybe not so spiritual views. He was the "right" one and would make her publicly say sorry to the family anytime she spoke up or had an opinion that differed from him. He was demanding, controlling, harsh, proud, but, in public he was the "family man" the "elder" "teacher" "never said he was sorry" and "never wrong" "the wise one" with an ordered family life but, in my opinion a disordered private life.

    I don't feel like I had a role model for "mothering" and for being a wife. Any ideas on what I should read for help?

    ~ Ali

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  17. In the "cult" like church I grew up in only the men could sit on the front rows. They could speak freely but, women were not suppose to unless they were "prayreading" a verse or reading a quote from one of the Living Stream published books. Women wore head covering and when we went to conferences (always held far away at Thanksgiving or Christmas so we would have time to see our extended family or get caught up in the worldly holidays) While at these conferences we were suppose to wear navy and white very plain clothes. These conferences registration were pretty expensive and we only used the approved "Recovery Reversion NT" and read their books. I also remember teaching about women causing "issues" in familes, the church body and in general. Several examples of women in the bible and the wrong choices they made were given as examples. I am very conservative but, it did discourage me as a women that I brought sin into the world (Eve). I was baptized 3 different times. I don't understand why. It is very confusing to think about my childhood. Feeling ashamed and feeling responsible are common themes. The one thing I hold on too is the fact that I remember asking my parents "Why we were the only ones who were the "overcomers" what about other christians who loved God and went to church?" I think God gave me that thought and gave me a boldness to ask that question even though my parents saw it as rebelious. I was a pleaser and wanted to be in right relationship with my parents. I remember thinking my Dad was so much spiritual and closer to God than me but, wondering why his life "fruit" didn't show in our family life.

    ~ Ali

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  18. Thank you, Eric. I needed that.

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  19. Perfect ending... "The other reason Jesus came into the world, of course, was to annoy the heck out of legalists."

    Our tree this year is decorated with white and scarlet .."come let us reason together, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as wool."

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  20. i like your article a lot eric & i shared it with a good friend whose dh is also in the same cult as my dh. lol @ your comment "jesus came into this world to annoy the heck out of legalists". true!!

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  21. I think the real truth about birthdays, Christmas, stylish clothing and college all being evil is that QF parents CAN'T AFFORD THEM.

    All the constant reinforcement that such families give each other, that "God will meet all your needs not your wants", "if God wants you to have it, He'll provide it", etc. keep people in denial and spiritualize their lack as holy. It allows them to redefine lack as meaning that God doesn't want them to have/practice/enjoy that "earthly pleasure".

    This reinforces the spiritual superiority of the QF lifestyle: surely God has put the rich in slippery places as the Psalmist wrote (rich being defined here as people who can afford to celebrate Christmas, birthdays. purchase stylish clothes and send their children to college, participate in community clubs and leagues, etc.) while his blessing on their faithful obedience isn't apparent because he is faithfully disciplining them as a son, or it's a sin to want/have such things, etc.

    It's so bad I read of one woman who has no proper heat in her home and had to bundle up her children and run around the house to keep from freezing, and yet she counts it all joy, rather than contacting social services for some help and admitting openly that she already has more children than she can afford to properly provide for, no matter what the QF doctrine told her. Grrrr.

    Children suffering for the pride of mom and dad, who just can't admit that they are wrong when it's so obvious to everyone else around them. That is so wrong, that the very people who are supposed to matter so much are the ones sacrificing so much so that mom and dad can keep their spiritual pride intact. So. Wrong.

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  22. Great post! I have friends who do not celebrate Christmas because of the Paganism and I've always found it hard to discuss this with them. You've given me some great ideas for talking about it inteligently as well as lovingly should the topic come up again.

    I especially love your point about Jesus being hung on a tree for our sins. Thank you for sharing your insights! :)

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  23. Finally, some spiritual common sense. Pink Satin Sashes talks about commercialism. Yes, I agree, Christmas is much about commercialism. But guess what????

    So is Christianity! Just turn on the religious channels. And they have commercialized Christianity without limit and without any holidays involved.

    So, what does it come down to? As always your heart, laid bare before God. Hallelujah! The Lord judges the motives of the heart and we do not live by outward rules.

    I am glad that we can enjoy God's creation and holidays, even man-made holidays (Oooohhh!) and still worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

    Thank you, Eric.

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  24. Okay, so the verses in Jeremiah are not about a Christmas tree, however you still have not used any biblical defense for Christmas. All of creation reminds us that everything God created is good, does that mean we should bring it in and decorate it in the name of Christ's birth? The Bible tells us to keep the sabbath holy, using the day to remember Christs birth, work, and resurrection. Keeping Christmas takes away from these means God has given us to remember Christ's birth, so keeping Christmas is a violation of the fourth commandment. Keeping Christmas is also a 3rd commandment violation because it tacks Christ's name onto a celebration that has nothing to do with Christ, rather is contrary to God''s word.

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  25. Tara -- For my "biblical defense for Christmas" (though I wouldn't put it that way--why should I be defensive?) try this post that I linked in the article. It's rather wry but goes into some more depth.

    I appreciate your concern for honoring God's Word, but I think you are stretching it too far to make your own points:

    The fourth commandment does not mention "using the day to remember Christ's birth, work, and resurrection." Great if you do, but there's no biblical reason we can't do that on other days than just the Sabbath. Rather the opposite, I would think.

    The "third commandment" bit I don't buy at all: How does the celebration of Christ's birth have nothing to do with Christ? Granted, the secular version of the celebration is not always much to do with Jesus--in that case, believers are keeping His name from being dishonored when they make the celebration about Him.

    "All of creation reminds us that everything God created is good, does that mean we should bring it in and decorate it in the name of Christ's birth?" Sure, why not? "God richly gives us all things to enjoy" (1 Timothy 6:17). Pines in winter, flowers in spring, and leaves in autumn. It's all about the Artist.

    Also, consider the festival of Purim in the book of Esther. Like Christmas, it was not directly ordained by God, but the Jews used it to celebrate God's deliverance, including such things as reading of Scripture, family meals, gifts, and fun dress-up and games for children. Why wouldn't God be pleased with that?

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  26. Here is a video that may shed some light on the truth of Christmas and Easter.

    http://vimeo.com/22746818

    The Church I was in did celebrate Christmas and Easter but I really don't believe that these celebrations are in fact ones the Bible asks us to celebrate. They are just the traditions of man.

    The church I was in did do things that were questionable like having rules about not wearing pants for women and emphasizing tithing too much when that is an old testament law for the Jews.

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  27. Well, one thing for sure, Christmas trees encourage profanity. Whether it is a crooked base, weak limbs, or that one freakin' light in the bunch that won't work and you cannot find, Christmas trees cause profanity! They remind me of the superstitious May Poles still erected in German villages every May. I'd like to dismiss the setting up of them on any spiritual grounds, but my wife likes 'em, and I like her, so I can rattle about their evil all I want, but there will be one in my house every year I am sure.

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  28. Hi Eric!

    The reason why my family no longer celebrates christmas is for one very simple reason....Truth.
    'Christmas' is not true. Yes, Jesus was born....that is truth, and I am so grateful for this truth. Jesus is not 'christmas'. This has nothing to do with 'redeeming' a man-made holiday, christmas trees, the 25th of December, the (3?) wiseman, ect., ect. It has everything to do with Truth... & we are never to compromise truth for love or for grace.... For TRUTH is love & grace. We are called to make a distinction between the holy and common, the clean and unclean.

    Christmas keeps all those celebrating it focused on one
    thing, INFANCY...and that is the real problem.
    As believers we are called to 'go onto perfection', to leave
    the elementary doctrines ABOUT Christ so that we can can
    grow up INTO Him in all things.(heb.6:1; eph.4:15).
    Praise Him!
    The Lord is the one who has taken the desire out of me to
    celebrate christmas...& I certainly do not judge anyone who delights in celebrating it. I do believe as one goes on to
    follow Him in Spirit & Truth they too will desire to lay down the many false images of Him (found not only in christmas,
    but in so many 'traditions/doctrines of men that make the Word of God of no effect') so that they can really KNOW
    Him & be conformed into His image.

    Jesus is no longer the little baby in the manger.... He is the
    Resurrected Christ dwelling within....Christ in you the hope of Glory!

    His blessings to you Eric!
    S.Schulz

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  29. S., I'm not sure I follow your reasoning. Since it's true that Jesus became a baby for us, how can it be false to celebrate that truth, whenever we happen to do it?

    Since, as you say, truth is love and grace, then anyone who shows love and grace cannot be compromising truth. In fact, Scripture says we should avoid putting our knowledge above our love for God and neighbors:

    "We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God." (2 Corinthians 8:1-3)

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  30. Hi Eric,
    Thanks for your questions. There is nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of Jesus, (we would agree that there is nowhere in scripture that says we are to do so, and we are instructed not to add to or take away anything from scripture) what is wrong is when that yearly ritual keeps one from leaving the elementary doctrines about Christ (his birth) and going on to perfection. Maturity is a process, and it is only by his grace given that we desire to do anything. It is all His work. My desire is to see my Father receive His inheritance, sons & daughters FULLY formed into the image of their elder brother Christ Jesus.

    You state, 'anyone who shows love & grace cannot be compromising truth'....yes, they still can, there is a huge
    difference between *showing* and *BEING*.
    Do you not think that Peter felt like he was showing love & grace to Jesus when he rebuked the Lord for saying that
    the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected and killed?
    Some would argue that Jesus wasn't showing alot of love and grace in his reply to Peter. The Lord did not compromise who He is, Truth, for it was BEING
    TRUTH(love/grace) that he answered Peter by saying ' get thee behind me Satan; for thou savourest not the
    things that BE of God, but the things that BE OF MEN"(mark8:33).

    The things that be of men, the traditions, the doctrines...all of these keep the Lord's people in bondage, and stunted in their spiritual growth. We are called to desire truth in our
    innermost being, and this will cause us to lay down many of our idols and false images of Him.

    Yes, you are correct in quoting "knowlege puffs up, but love builds up". The only knowledge that I desire is that of KNOWING HIM....and it is by knowing Him that I am built up in love and truth.

    "But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgement, and righteousness, in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord". ( Jer.9:24)

    His blessings of peace and love to you!
    S.Schulz

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  31. S., thanks for clarifying your position.

    I'm glad to say that I've never heard of anyone at all who was kept from maturing in Christ by celebrating His birth. Quite the opposite, actually. Reflecting on Jesus' incarnation is one of the things that can help us to become more like Him, as for instance Paul presents it in Philippians 2.

    The "things that be of men" in Mark's gospel are not traditions but our natural tendency to avoid the Cross--that's clear in the context of chapter 8. Anyway, it's not an idol or false image to believe that Jesus was born for us. It's truth, and it's certainly the kind of truth like the Crucifixion and Resurrection that's worth taking time to remember at least once a year. Compare the feast of Purim, which wasn't directly commanded by God either, but which made a yearly celebration of God's deliverance into "a day of joy and feasting, a day for giving presents to each other" (Esther 9:17-19). God certainly approved!

    On truth and love, I'd be wary of drawing dichotomies and distinctions that the Scripture doesn't make. "God is love" (1 John 4:16). So, for instance, John takes a person's lack of love toward their brothers as sufficient proof that their belief in God is untrue (1 John 2:9, 4:20). Truth that isn't loving is as phony as love that isn't true.

    Thanks for your comments! Grace and peace to you.

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