This passage has been used for years in attempts to bully followers of Jesus into not putting up Christmas trees. This tends to be part of a larger push towards convincing them that Christmas is a pagan holiday. We’ll look at the verses cited first:
Jeremiah 10 King James Version (KJV)
1 Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3 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.
4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
So far this can be convincing to someone who has only a cursory knowledge of the issues at hand. Upon reflection though, one can see that what is being discussed here are idols crafted to be worshiped as ‘gods’, and that their shortcomings are many when compared to the Lord of Lords. No matter what the craftsmanship, they are but created things.. even if a demon chooses to manifest in one of them, they are still created things. This is in contrast to the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Even those who have walked far different paths than I will understand as they read further into the passage….
6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
7 Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.
8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.
9 Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.
10 But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
11 Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.
12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.
13 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
15 They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
All of this in contrast to simple holiday decorations…. for I know of no one at all who worships their Christmas tree, or considers it a ‘god’.
Now, I want all who read this to think a moment the next time someone claims that Christmas is a pagan holiday… and ask them to explain exactly which of the pagan religions celebrate the birth of Jesus. After all, for a follower of Jesus, that is what Christmas is all about.