This might sound strange but are we to put Up christmas trees even though we know better?

Just because our family would be offended if we didn’t?

Clinton Fultz


Dear Clinton,
Putting up Christmas trees is very common at this time of year. However, I do not put up a Christmas tree as I have a biblical/historical viewpoint on the matter. Decorating trees that are brought in from outdoors and set up inside a building is a pre-Christian custom (in other words, it has non-Christian origins). Jeremiah 10:1-5 records that as long ago as the 7th century BC, people were cutting down trees from the forest and decorating them indoors with gold and silver ornamentation. Verse 4’s words that people were “fastening them with nails and hammers” to stand upright in place is very much like my memories of Christmas trees that were set up during my childhood in my family of origin. These ancient decorated trees were called a “vain custom” by God in verse 3. It is very likely that the decorated trees discussed in Jeremiah were worshipped as idols as part of a pagan winter solstice festival (which is always within a few days of modern Christmas celebrations on the calendar). This fact is so well-known that some newspapers even do stories about some of the non-Christian customs that are now part of modern Christmas celebrations.
Modern Christians who decorate Christmas trees are, obviously, not “worshipping” their Christmas trees or regarding them as idols, so I “judge not” their motives or practices (Matthew 7:1). God “looks on the heart” of people re: what they are doing, and modern Christians who put up Christmas trees have no intention of idolatry in their heart. However, due to my historical awareness of what customs have Christian origins and which ones do not, I have chosen for decades to not put up a Christmas tree.
You asked whether you should put up a Christmas tree in order to not offend your family even though you “know better.” Its a tough issue when peace in one’s family is at stake. All I can say is that you have to live by your conscience, not by someone else’s conscience. Your decision has to be between you and God.