Question: Does Jeremiah 10:3,4 which says, in essence, "They cut a tree out of the forest and deck it with silver and gold" and "that these customs are vain" refer to our Christmas tree. And, do you have a tree in your church at Christmas?
“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. (3) They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.”(Jeremiah 10:3 4)
Answer: This could hardly refer to Christmas as it was written over 600 years before Christ was born. This is speaking of making idols to worship; and even dressing them with clothing. (Jeremiah 10:9)
“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. (Jeremiah 10:9)
Read Isaiah 40:18-20.
“To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? (18) The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. (19) He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.” (Isaiah 40:18-20)
They even called their idols "Father" in Jeremiah 2:27 where the word "stock" is an idol.
“Saying to a stock (idol), Thou art my father; and to a stone (or idol), Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us. Jeremiah 2:27
Yes, at Christmas time we have a decorated tree in our church with exchange gifts beneath the branches. It is ludicrous to think that a church and its members worship the tree!
We remind our people that the star on top points to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is atop everything in this world, and is the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16).
“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” (Revelation 22:16)
The evergreen reminds us of everlasting life; which we can have through faith in Christ’s sacrificial death for us on the Cross. (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
The trimmings remind us of all the many blessings Christ gives us (James 1:17).
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
The gifts beneath the tree also remind us that we should give our gift of love and kindness to others throughout the coming year; and, the greatest gift of all, Salvation is given free!
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (8) Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Years ago, a man expressed his opinion we were "heathen"; because we have a Christmas tree in our church at Christmas. I suggested to him that he might practice what he preached, and cut down the evergreens in his front yard that were decked with Christmas lights. (Romans 2:1)
“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” (Romans 2:1)