Which god does this Christmas tradition really honor?
Looking back over the years, it is increasingly evident that the gap between what the Bible says to do and what its alleged followers actually do has reached near-absurd proportions.
As an example, God carefully instructed His people not to seek after the ways of the pagan people previously residing in the Promised Land, especially in the matter of worshiping their gods. He was pointedly explicit about not adapting their perverse ways to the worship of Him.
Notice His commands: “You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree…. You shall not worship the Lord your God with such things” (Deuteronomy 12:2–4).
They were instructed to get rid of pagan places of worship upon mountains, upon hills, and “under every green tree.” Interestingly, the Bible uses this term in ten places—and each instance is in reference to pagan rites, rituals, and perverted acts of pagan worship that the Israelites were practicing (cf. 1 Kings 14:23; 2 Kings 16:4; 17:10; 2 Chronicles 28:4; Isaiah 57:5; Jeremiah 2:20; 3:6, 13; Ezekiel 6:13).
What’s the big deal about pagan customs in today’s modern, enlightened world? Does God really mind that the professing Christian church has sanitized pagan worship? After all, they are doing it to honor Jesus, aren’t they?
The historical record is revealing. Here is just one of hundreds of documented pagan practices:
Attis [is said to have mutilated] himself under a pine-tree, and bled to death on the spot.… After his death Attis is said to have been changed into a pine-tree…. [In worship practices] a pine-tree was cut in the woods and brought into the sanctuary of Cybele, where it was treated as a great divinity.… Stirred by the wild barbaric music… they gashed their bodies with potsherds or slashed them with knives in order to bespatter the altar and the sacred tree with their flowing blood (Sir James George Frazer, “The Myth and Ritual of Attis,” The Golden Bough, 1922).
Attis’ bloody act under an evergreen tree, along with—as the historical record points out—subsequent reenactments by Attis worshipers, has provided paganism with its seasonal red and green motifs.
It is obvious that “green trees” and the religious rituals that took place under them are of great concern to God. No association between the Christmas tree with its wretchedly rich pagan roots (pun intended) and Jesus Christ is found in the Bible. In fact, no aspect of Christmas, with its traditions of mistletoe, holly, wreaths, pine boughs (all green with blood-red accents), gift exchanging, wassailing, and celebrating December 25 (the time of the winter solstice), is found anywhere in God’s word—except, perhaps, in the reference to pagans serving their gods “under every green tree.”
What God did put in His word is explicit: “When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess… do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way” (Deuteronomy 12:29–32).
God carefully outlined how He wants to be worshiped, but mankind—under the sway of Satan, the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)—has perverted that worship, stealing the name of Jesus Christ and creating a counterfeit religion. To open your eyes to what is hidden in pagan holiday traditions, request our free booklet Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity, or read it online at TomorrowsWorld.org.