(This is response to Adam’s comment on my previous post on the subject. Those comment boxes seem so tiny;).
If you want to get into the specifics of the Asherah pole ok. But, I think we are discussing details not heart but ok. For starters, apparently Asherah idols were found in Jewish homes until the 6th century BC, so the idea that they were trying to take the Judaism out of it might be a bit misdirected. Secondly, if you are looking for the most direct pagan celebration look to the birth of Mithras on December 25th. His festival was called the Nativity of the Sun and he was born from a rock. But that all in itself proves a bit of my point. This is all supposition because one of the other theories could also be true.
Such as, Joseph of Arimathea used a walking stick coming to Britain and so the tree. One of my favorite is that Christ was later crucified on a tree so it was used. One that seems to carry some symbolic weight is that an evergreen tree is formed in a triangle that represented the Trinity. What makes this one seem a little more legit is that in Saxony they would also substitute wooden pyramid and decorate that. Why did I go into all of these legends? Just to prove that there isn’t conclusive proof on any of these and their origins. We have no definitive that it is based on a sin to begin with, so to say that this is what was specifically banned in the Scriptures may be going a little far.
So short of that why can’t we take something and make it our own? This isn’t the same thing as taking a behavior that is a sin and condoning it. Adam said himself in the comments:
There’s nothing inherently evil, for example, about a pine or fir tree (even though I am allergic to them). Rather, it is what WE DO WITH THEM that is inherently good or inherently evil!
I personally use the Christmas traditions to worship my Lord and Savior. This point is what the scripture in Colossians 2:16-18 was talking about. Taking something that isn’t spelled out specifically in Scripture, like Jesus’s birthday party, and to read into someone else’s morality about it and casting that on anyone else is wrong. Now if you saw me elevating Santa above Christ, please say something because that is a sin. But going into a grey area where one’s motive are truly evidenced only by the out pouring of the heart in relation to Christmas is something you can’t paint with the broad pagan brush.
Adam pointed out that it was much more likely that Christ was born during Sukkot. First, as with all things, where does it say that in Scripture? Second, does it matter. A birthday isn’t to truly celebrate a day but a person so does it matter when we do it? Is there something to being unified in Christ and sucking it up? I think there might since, relatively, it isn’t that important. I can say as a girl who was raised with guilt issues, this subject doesn’t really serve to further God’s kingdom but to inflict a fear and guilt. Time is relative with Christ and we are not bound by it because we will be with Him in eternity where time is irrelevant so why be so hung up on it.
As a side note. Adam did make some comparison by simply the title of his post, Which Would Jesus Celebrate? Why choose?