Assure Ya, Gid on with your bad self!

You see beauty. You see light. You see innocence.

There is indeed beauty. There is indeed light. There is ‘evergreen life’ to be enjoyed. All those things are true. But, my question to the BELIEVER is, where do you see this in SCRIPTURE?

In one form, it IS in there; but you may choose NOT to see it, because of your affections for the tradition.

“If anyone says he is IN HIM, he must also walk His halakha”. 1 Jo 2:6 To walk the halakha of a Rabbi is to emulate the way that Rabbi observes the Torah. I assure ya, Yeshua did not, not one time, mark His birthday, which was in the fall, by erecting a tree and calling on Santa.

I understand the emotional connection. It played such a part of your life for so many years. Maybe some of the best memories encircle it. But, does God indeed guard OUR emotions, even when we err? EVEN IF our fathers gave us the tradition? A quick glance at scriptures teaches us the overwhelming principle of His Nature that He does not. Daniel’s prayer in 9:4-19 shows us that we are to REPENT of the ERRORS that our teachers, leaders, AND fathers pass on to us. Yeshua scolded the Pharisees for teaching THEIR traditions, given by their fathers, with the same weight of the commandments of God and His WORD. We are to do the same, when we learn that WE are in error.

The great, fearless people who formed the 13 Colonies of these United States had done that very thing: they cast off Christmas and Easter, and all pagan forms of worship; some of them even returned to the Sabbath. So, I am in good company, though most today view me as a scrooge, and look at me as if I have three heads.

Many have tried to point out the origin of the ‘christmas’ tree. There are many scholarly, and some not-so-scholarly opinions about it. People who are familiar with its origin yet practice the tradition, seeing no great ‘sin’ in it. Some people condemn everyone who does it. I certainly do not, as it played a part in my life for about 24 years. [I was in the Navy and away from home, so it was not in my life; but, I certainly still cherished it]. I am now 56, and can say that the majority of my life has been free of it. Because at 22, I began to read, and to seek God and HIS counsel on my whole life.

The biggest reason why I stopped putting up a tree was because I simply could not find the birth of Messiah celebrated in that fashion in His Word. It is NOT there. The further I dug, the more I found that there were at least some similarities to the tree tradition in certain passages of scripture. In fact, by one counting, there are FORTY references to a female deity that was the ‘mother of god’ worshipped at the base of trees. Her name was “Asherah”. This was the Canaanite version of the deity. In Israel, her trees were planted, cut down, and brought into the house. Many small statues to her have been found by archaeologists in the Holy Land today. Does that mean GOD was wrong for correcting them and PUNISHING them for it?

In Babylon, her name was Ishtar, which gets translated to Easter. In both cultures, she was a fertility goddess. Sexual deviance was part of her worship. Sacrificing babies was as well. Leaving babies at the base of trees was part of it. The gore can get quite disturbing when one researches it. But, be careful to look for primary and scholarly sources if you jump down that rabbit hole.

But, the scriptures’ forty DIRECT references to it are all in regard to prohibition of the worship, and condemnation of it when it happened. One chapter, in Jeremiah 10, goes into quite some detail about a tree that is brought into the house, affixed, decorated, and idolized. Might that be an evergreen? Probably. Was it today’s ‘christmas’ tree? No, of course not. But, are they related? In all likelihood.

The deities worshipped in Canaan and Babylon were also worshipped in other parts of the world. They just went by different names. They had similar rites. Today’s christmas tree derives from the Teutonic and Nordic version of the same deities. The symbolism in the decorations, still used today, hearken back to the sexual nature of their worship. Most of the winter deities were in regard to rejuvenation and fertility, and paired with spring rites and deities. The evergreen certainly played its part in these forms of worship. “Yule” was the name of one of them. This is no doubt akin to the “Asherah” of scripture.

Even before Israel went into the land, God warned them, specifically instructing them NOT to put up an Asherah tree, especially next to HIS ALTAR. Yet houses and churches are full of similar objects today.

21You shall not plant an Asherah of any kind of tree beside the Mizbe’akh [altar] of  יהוה  your Elohim [GOD], which you shall make yourself. 22Neither shall you set up a pillar, which  יהוה  your Elohim hates. [Deu 16]

God despises the rites and rituals of pagan worship. If you believe in the Creator God who sent His Son, Yeshua, the man from Nazareth, then you must submit to the FACT that He despises ALL FORMS of pagan worship, and He did NOT want those forms blended with His worship.

2You shall surely destroy all the places, wherein the nations that you are to dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every evergreen tree. 3And you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire; and you shall hew down the graven images of their gods; and you shall destroy their name out of that place. 4You shall not do likewise unto  יהוה  your Elohim. [Deut 12]

Our Jewish people failed in this. Over and over they succumbed to the wooing of the female deity, and of the trinity of Ba’al and Asherah, whose son was born on the winter solstice, fixed to 12/25 finally, along with all the other sun-god pantheons in the world who did the same.

After Israel began to suffer because of their disobedience, God found one man who would do what He told him to do, even though he was alone in it. “Gidon”, or Gideon. He told him:

“Take your father’s bullock, and the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Ba’al that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is by it, 26and build an altar unto  יהוה  your Elohim upon the top of this stronghold, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt-offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.” 27Then Gidon took ten men of his servants, and did as  יהוה  had spoken unto him. [Judges 6]

Imagine taking down your father’s christmas tree….

The worst of Israel’s sins were not yet committed, however. That came when they divided the Kingdom because of strife and jealousy, and built TWO MORE temples, one in the north and one in the southerly part of the northern kingdom. They AGAIN made a golden calf, just like their fathers had done in the wilderness, when 3,000 of them died for the sin, and they called that calf by the name יהוה , sanctifying their worship IN THEIR MINDS/hearts. “God knows our hearts.” I can hear it now.

Look at what the king of Israel did, and how it rings true of some people’s justification of their actions:

28Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold; and he said unto them, “You have gone up long enough to Yerushalayim; behold your gods, O Yisra’el, which brought you up out of the land of Mitzrayim.” 29And he set the one in Beit El, and the other he put in Dan. 30And this thing became a sin; for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. 31And he made houses of high places, and made priests from among all the people, that were not of the sons of Levi. 32And Yaravam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Yehudah, and he went up unto the altar; so did he in Beit El, to sacrifice unto the calves that he had made; and he placed in Beit El the priests of the high places that he had made. 33And he went up unto the altar which he had made in Beit El, on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and he ordained a feast for B’nei Yisra’el, and went up unto the altar, to offer.

The feast in Yehudah was what God ordained in Leviticus 23. This one was MANMADE. But in his ‘heart’, he was worshipping God. And this became one of the most grievous sins, and was a big reason why the northern Kingdom was DESTROYED UTTERLY.

Another king devised Christmas in his own heart, moving a feast to a month that he desired. Mixing a modicum of truth with the worship of Saturnalia, and dubbing it divine, just like Jeroboam did.. That king was Constantine. The first pope. And anyone who did not comply [and many THOUSANDS of believers did not] was executed, eventually. The same fate befell those who LATER turned AWAY from the practice; protestant and catholic religious leaders burned them on pyres and persecuted them utterly. And that is what compelled small bands of believers to cross the ocean and join colonies of faithful people, to worship freely, without fear of reprisal, and to throw off pagan contamination of the faith of God. Because they read the WORD.

I do NOT set out to offend people. It is not in my nature to do so. But, this ‘holiday’ is in no way holy ACCORDING TO HIS WORD. You cannot find it in there. You can find no BIBLICAL justification for it. It is emotional, and it is indeed a heart issue.

In fact, His WORD condemns the behavior, by condemning ANY pagan rite being brought near His altar. “He knows my heart.”

God does indeed know your heart; He knows what you’ve put beside His altar in your heart. And He knows whether you agree with His Will, His Word, or whether you’d put your emotion above His will.

The simple truth is, Yeshua was NOT born on Dec 25; whether you believe other people’s assessment as to when He was actually born or not, you know He was not born on that day. Most of the world knows it. Pagans and godless people who have rejected Yeshua/Jesus put up christmas trees by the millions, dress up as Santa Claus, give gifts, sing songs, and eat christmas food and sing christmas music. Are they saved because they do this?

You must see that every other pagan trinity has a deity born on that day. And that the worship of the Creator and of His Son Yeshua was tainted with the stain of paganism by a guy who remained a pagan for the rest of his life. Do you follow him? Or do you follow the Jewish Messiah. You decide.

4He who says “I know Him” and does not keep His mitzvot [commandments] is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  5But whoever keeps His D’var [WORD], in Him truly is the love of Elohim perfected.  Hereby we know that we are in Him:  6he who says “I am in Him” ought himself also to walk His halakha.

Published by danielperek

See my about page! I'm a Messianic Jewish writer, and teacher of the Torah as Messiah Yeshua taught it. I'm a husband, father, and grandfather. A musician, singer, and composer. Most importantly, a servant of the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua HaNatzri!

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