Shut up and enjoy the tree! The Christmas tree is not a Pagan Symbol.

Shut up and enjoy the tree today!  The Christmas tree is not a Pagan Symbol.   

(First of all take two minutes to view our video  Christmas Card to you.  I hope you enjoy it and get a taste for how we celebrate Christmas at home.  Thanks to my beautiful wife Mechelle for her patience during the building of the village.)

One way to tell that a truth is from God is that it gets attacked from two sides.  Right now Christmas trees are getting it from atheists who want to call it a Holiday Tree and from ill-informed believers who are claiming they came from pagans.

Don’t believe most of what you read on the internet about Christmas or the Tree.   Most are completely erroneous. Some writers make no distinction between fact and fantasy.  None of them give sources for their assertions against the Christmas tree.

Those who would give Christmas and Christmas Trees a pagan origin love to tell you that bringing greenery into one’s home, at the time of the winter solstice, symbolized life in the midst of death in many cultures.

True as that may be, that is absolutely not how we got our Christmas Tree.  The Christmas tree is a descendent of two Christian customs: the Paradise tree and the Christmas light of the late middle Ages.

The “Paradise Play” was a prevalent way of depicting the story of the creation of Adam and Eve, their sin, and their banishment from Paradise. These plays were performed outdoors and in churches.

As time went on these plays were abused so the church frowned on them.  However, the people had grown so accustomed to the Paradise tree, that they began putting their own Paradise tree up in their homes on Dec. 24. They did so on Dec. 24 because this was the feast day of Adam and Eve (at least in the Eastern Church).

The Paradise tree, as it had in the Paradise plays, symbolized both a tree of sin and a tree of life. For this reason, the people would decorate these trees with apples (representing the fruit of sin) and homemade wafers (like communion wafers which represented the fruit of life). Later, candy and sweets were added.

The Christmas light: The other custom found in the homes of Christians on Dec. 24 since the late Middle Ages was a large candle called the “Christmas light,” symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world, was lit on Christmas Eve. In western Germany, many smaller candles were set upon a wooden pyramid and lit. Besides the candles, other objects such as glass balls, tinsel, and the “star of Bethlehem” were placed on its top.18

The Christmas tree still retains the symbolism of the Paradise tree. It reminds us of the tree that Adam and Eve ate from and cast the human race into sin. But more importantly, the tree reminds us of the tree by which our sin was overcome, namely the tree upon which Christ Jesus was crucified.

Is it a stretch to refer to the cross as a tree? Hardly, this is the language of the New Testament itself! For example, Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” And Peter writes, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

The Christmas tree is a wonderful reminder of how we fell; that Jesus is the light of the world, and of the Cross were we first saw that light.

First time in American History: Obama and White House refer to the National Christmas Tree as the “Holiday Tree.” Ben Stein lashes out on CBS News against the War on Christmas.

Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees for the first time this year which prompted CBS presenter, Ben Stein, to present this piece which I would like to share with you. I think it applies just as much to many countries as it does to America.
the family

The following was written  by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

 

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, “Merry Christmas” to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crib, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her: “How could God let something like this happen?” (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said: “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”

In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbour as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it…. no one will know you did. But if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

Santa Monica Bans Nativity Scene.

Judge denies bid for Nativity displays in Santa Monica

November 19, 2012 | 12:16 pm

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The city of Santa Monica can bar seasonal displays, including a Nativity scene that has appeared in Palisades Park for nearly 60 years, a federal judge ruled Monday.

In a closely watched case that has attracted national attention, Judge Audrey B. Collins denied a request from the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee to erect multiple large displays depicting the story of the birth of Jesus in the park overlooking the ocean. The coalition of churches has erected the displays every December since the 1950s.

But last year, after requests for display spots exceeded the space allotted, the city held a lottery to allocate spaces. Atheists won 18 of 21 spots. A Jewish group won another. The traditional Nativity story that used to take up 14 displays was crammed into two.

PHOTOS: Battle over Christmas displays

Controversy erupted, and as a result, the city decided the lottery would become increasingly costly. Last June, the City Council voted to ban all private unattended displays.

In October, Nativity scene proponents filed suit in federal court to allow the traditional Christian displays to continue. In a 27-page tentative ruling, Collins denied the group permission to erect their displays this year while the case is pending.

“The atheists won,” said William Becker, attorney for the Nativity group. He then went on to compare the city to Pontius Pilate, the judge at Jesus’ trial, saying: “It’s a shame about Christmas. Pontius Pilate was exactly the same kind of administrator.”Santa Monica’s attorney, Barry A. Rosenbaum, said the city is “very pleased” with the ruling. The judge, he said, “understood the government interests and that [groups wanting to put up displays] have a number of alternatives to erect displays.”

All the parties are due back in court Dec. 3, when the judge will hear additional arguments in the case.