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Does Jeremiah 10 Forbid Us from Having Christmas Trees?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
December 20, 2021 1:30 pm

Does Jeremiah 10 Forbid Us from Having Christmas Trees?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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December 20, 2021 1:30 pm

Episode 861 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. What does it mean to say that Jesus in "the only Begotten Son of God"?

2. What does the Bible say about body embalming, burial, and cremation?

3. I was reading Jeremiah this year in my devotions and came across what it says about trees in pagan worship in chapter 10:1-16. This passage seems to describe what Christmas trees look like around this season. Does this prove that the critiques from some people against celebrating Christmas and having the seasonal decor are valid?

3. Why do a lot of Christians pray for their country and their country's recovery? If it's all going to be burnt away anyway, why are we trying to do something like "save America"?

4. I am a new Christian and my fiance is not a believer. I just learned about what it means to be "unequally yoked." Should I call off the wedding?

5. I was being ordained at my church and the current pastor invited a guest preacher to come up and speak in tongues. I'm not sure how I feel about this. What do you think?

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This new episode of course Christianity was pre-record does Jeremiah tend forbid us to have Christmas trees.

That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity why their Merry Christmas. I'm Bill Meyer along with pastor Gabriel Sanchez.

This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.

Here's our phone number is 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or twitter accounts and you can always email us at questions at core, Christianity.com and a drill this Chris Christmas week. Here's a great question from one of our listeners named Justin he says what is it mean to say that Jesus is the only begotten son of God, I love that question.

He gets this right to the heart of Christology how we also you know how we distinguishing the persons of of the Trinity. Jesus is referred to as the only begotten of the eternally begotten son of God and this is language that we see in the Gospel of John in particular.

In John chapter 1 verse 18 no one has ever seen God, the only God that the word its use.

There is Monaghan Ace only begotten if you will be only God who is at the father's side, he has made him known. Jesus is the eternal word of the father this week.

Read the very beginning of John's Gospel, the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. And that word is many people are celebrating this time of year became flesh was incarnate for us and for our salvation.

The divine person, the second person of the holy Trinity, God the son, the only begotten assumed humanity so that he might restore it and redeem it so that he might redeem us and so it really is the mystery of the incarnation with the way in which we distinguish between the persons of the training. Maybe something theology here we sometimes talk about the processions that we find in Scripture as well. This is that we distinguishing of God is one in essence the same substance equal in power and glory. But the persons are distinct. The father is unbegotten. The sun is the only begotten, the eternally begotten of the father and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the father and the sun is sent out from the father and the son, and so often to the way in which the church fathers talk about this kind of action is that Jesus is the eternal son of God by nature. But he made us through the incarnation and and his redemptive work sons and daughters of God by grace, by the grace of the Holy Spirit and by the grace of adoption. So Jesus has this unique position is a second person of the holy Trinity, but through his work for us what we celebrate again. Around this time a year.

He is made it possible so that you and I could be adopted into the family of God so that we might be children of the living God, response and drilling and that leads me to another question. There are some I guess you could call them religions. I might call them Colts that would deny that Jesus is the only begotten son of God that he is a son of God or unequal with God or simply a good profit and misleading a lot of people in today's world.

Yeah, I made you see this you do see with all over the place it from the earliest days. It is one of Satan's favorite tactics and go straight for the jugular. He wants to go for core Christianity. That is who God is and what God has done so he can deceive people about the identity of Jesus Christ is not equal with the father. He's he's you know less than eternally subordinate to the father that kind of a thing.

Well, there is a huge problem. There isn't there and and again is what John says in first John forward.

He talks about the spirit of the antichrist.

It's at work in the world today wanting to deceive people about the identity of Jesus and so we distinct with what the Scriptures say and what what the Orthodox Church the Christians throughout the last 2000 years of affirmed as faithful to the Scriptures, we have to be real careful that we don't mess this up because it's it is really core Christianity. I meant your listing to core Christianity with pastor Gabriel Sanchez.

Here's our phone number if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. It's 833. The core let's go to Darlington from Springfield Missouri determine what your question for pastor a drill Bible say about body embalming and braille versus cremation and spreading a passion and are limiting effect for that question. It is question we received on the broadcast before. I think there is liberty for the Christian with this issue, not the Bible has a very high view of the body.

God made our bodies. He made this world creation, the material world is good, but it is experienced and is experiencing the effects of sin. Brokenness in the world ever since Adam and Eve did what they did so long ago, but that doesn't mean that that our bodies in this world aren't good and that God is going to restore them if at Jesus's resurrection from the dead is is among other things, a sign of that great reality that even our bodies are going to be restored, raised up by the Lord and that that promise that we have in Christ isn't based upon how were were buried is not based on if if we are buried in the ground or in a tumor cremated or lost at sea. However, it however it is or was its faith in Jesus Christ our union with him by the power of the Holy Spirit that ensures that we are going to be raised from the dead, and so I think that there is liberty here for the Christian. Obviously we want to be respectful and and and you demonstrate whatever we do. I think that that we do have a high view of the body, but I don't think that that means you couldn't be cremated.

For example, that that would be some kind of a desecration boy or RSN. It really is. I think a matter of personal conscience and and for us at the question I always pose for people is not how are you going to be buried but who do you trust him right now that's that's the key to our eternal standing for our everlasting standing. If you will. It's, it's, who were united to right now. Do we know Jesus, to have a relationship with him. If we do whether were cremated or buried were going to be raised on the last day I meant earlier. Thanks so much for your question. By the way, we have a wonderful core question on this topic at our website. Can a Christian be cremated. You can find that by going to core Christianity.com/questions and by the way, we have a wonderful resource for this week for Christmas week. We want to tell you about. There are people who have come a stumbling block when it comes to celebrating Christmas and many of them unfortunately are Christians yeah you know Scrooges you know the bah humbug every holiday season.

We hear the claim that Christmas is a pagan holiday. The early church, and in an attempt to appease the pagan culture in a mixed pagan festivals with Christian themes and that's how we got Christmas but is that the true story of Christmas our new resource. Five reasons why Christian right why Christmas isn't a pagan holiday helps to unravel some of the most common objections and misconceptions about the origins of Christmas. It will give you an appreciation for the resilience of the church through the ages and explain why Christians can receive and celebrate Christmas with joy and years are free over core, Christianity.com explained that once again by going to our website.

Core, Christianity.com/offers or you can call us for that offer or any one of our offers 833-843-2673 is the number and along those lines is drill here is a great question for this week. This is from one of our listeners named Megan. She says I was reading Jeremiah this year in my devotions and I came across what it says about trees in pagan worship. In chapter 10 verses one through 16. This passage really seems to describe what Christmas trees look like around the season. Does this prove that critiques from some people against celebrating Christmas are valid and I hope not, because if you're watching us on YouTube right now you can see a small decorated Christmas tree to my right hand head so this could be really bad for us and now it it doesn't and we have to understand this passage Jeremiah chapter 10 in its context.

We just read starting in verse one it says here the word of the Lord, that the Lord speaks to you house of Israel. Thus says the Lord, learn not the way of the nations nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them for the customs of the people are vanity a tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an ax by the hands of a craftsman. They decorated with silver and gold. They fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field and they cannot speak. They have to be carried for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil. Neither is it in them to do any good. Really help from some echoes here from what we read in the book of Isaiah the foot of the 40s. Isaiah 46 in particular related to idolatry. Also, the Psalms, and I think Psalm 115 the idols of the nations are silver and gold have eyes but don't see years but don't hear your mouth, but they don't speak the point here is what these people are doing is they're worshiping these these wooden creations that they're making you know they go they cut down a tree.

They update fashion it into this figurine this thing they you know plaster it with golden decorations but but really what it is for them is a God that they're worshiping that they're bowing down to an end cusses look, you got you to carry these things I am the true and the living God who carries you. My people don't put your hope your trust in that. Now if when you go to purchase your Christmas tree you are, you know, treating it as some sort of deity, and you put it up in your house and your bowing down before it will yeah that would be a serious problem if you're like me and you know you you go to get your Christmas tree, bring it home and you decorated with the family and you have hot chocolate and listen to Mariah Carey's Christmas you know album then I think you're okay, but the reality is what's what's happening here is idol worship pagan idol worship is what that the people around Israel were participating in and it did just do a sort of one-to-one correlation between that and you know the Christmas tree. Around this time a year I think is a stretch, so God bless and Merry Christmas Merry Christmas that's a great question like so much Meg. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez. I know some people have some pretty scary Christmas tree decorations and some pretty tacky once to so yeah we got up to come the tacky once for sure. Well let's go to our question became implement one of our listeners named Calvin why do a lot of nationality right now but where they fight for America and recovery were. They were going to be God going to come back and I'll be partway away so worshiping and making a typo. Why you America. Yeah, there's a lot here brother and II really appreciate your question so one you're right that the whole world is going to be burned away if you will. This is something that Peter talks about in second Peter when he said when he's referring in particular to the coming of the Lord that he says in chapter 3 verse 11. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved and that is this world that we live and what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved in the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn the court was promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

In other words, this world together with his kingdom's is is going to burn away Daniel makes is actually clear in in in the visions that we see in the book of Daniel write the kingdoms of this world are our ground to dust if you will the kingdom that God has established. Ultimately, the kingdom of Jesus Christ right now expanding through the preaching of the gospel in the church that's gonna cover the face of the whole world. That's all there is to be this this cataclysmic event, but your question is why pray for for the nations of this world and in need of seek to do good, even in a win-win all these things are to be burned when were called to do good were called to be a light in this world to let our good works shine before men, so that they might see them and glorify our Father who is in heaven. Jesus said in the sermon on the mount were called to to pray for civil rulers and civil government that we might be able to lead peaceable lives that they might rule justly them in there accountable still to God.

Paul makes this clear in Romans chapter 13 verses one and following near these are these are rulers who have been established by the Lord in their accountable to him, and then one day, as I said that there their temporary they're knocking to be around forever, and of course we know that, but God's kingdom is going to be covering the face of the whole earth, and God is already doing that now to the proclamation is a set of of the gospel. Now you mentioned, you know the sort of Christian national identity and that is something I think that that concerns mythic we can be grateful for wherever it is that we are where we live, we can have a sense of patriotism, joy for the blessings and blessings that God has given to us, but are ultimate citizenship as Christians is in heaven.

It's in the kingdom that God has established. We are first and foremost, citizens of heaven when Paul was writing to the Philippians in in Philippians chapter 3 in Philippians were good that that you know could be very proud of of their citizenship of their Roman citizenship aces brothers join in imitating me and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us for many of whom I often told you, and now tell you even with tears walk as enemies of the cross of Christ and his destruction there. God is their belly. They glory in their shame with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. I think there's a balance that we have to have it in here is one we recognize it or ultimate identity is in Jesus is. We are citizens of heaven were part of this kingdom that is right now expanding through the proclamation of the gospel and as members of this kingdom were called to be lights in the world. Salt and light to do good to all people, especially those of the household of faith meant to seek to share the love of Christ in the goodness of Christ to the world around us is what I just saying hey, this world is all gonna burn. Let's move to the mountains and wait for Jesus to come back. No were actually engaged in the world in society seeking to love God and our neighbors through the things that we do the things that we do and so weak we have to have that there and we have to be careful that were not putting our ultimate ultimate hope in the nations of this world even even the one that you know many people are are are proud to to be a part of that's that's great.

We can give thanks to the Lord as I set for for the blessings that is given to us for the freedoms that we have but but let's make sure that were not thinking that you know like America's, you know God's new kingdom on earth that kind of the thing we we can't confuse the kingdoms of this world with the kingdom of God. Our earthly citizenship with our heavenly citizenship as citizens of heaven, we are engaging the world around us, with the hope of the gospel were not putting our hope in that world are hope is in Jesus. Thanks that question right balance to response their drill.

Thanks for spelling out really appreciate that this is core Christianity. We want to wish you a very Merry Christmas. We have this great free resource available for you. It's five reasons why Christmas isn't a pagan holiday so if you have a friend or relative who may be, you know, is tending to be anti-Christmas and cupping a Scrooge this year.

You might want to read this and then share some of the information with them again.

It's called five reasons why Christmas isn't a pagan holiday. You can find that a core Christianity.com/offers we do receive Facebook questions here and here's one from Tom, who's visiting our Facebook page he says I'm a new Christian, and my fianc is not a believer, I just learned about being unequally yoked. Should I continue to pursue this marriage hey Tom, one I am grateful to hear that you are in the Lord that you're a new believer, only I remember back to when I Pfeiffer started walking with the Lord when God called me to himself. That is an exciting time and I pray that your growing and just immersing yourself in the Scriptures, and in Christian community and as you do that you're going to continue learning and it sounds like you know you've just been confronted with with this particular passage in second Corinthians chapter 6, verse 14, where the apostle Paul said do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.

For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness. What a court has Christ with the Lyle what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever. What agreement has the temple of God with idols you no one at one of the things that Paul makes clear in his previous letter to the Corinthians, and in first Corinthians chapter 7 is that as a Christian were free to be married only in the Lord. That is weak, we shouldn't pursue marriage with people who are not in Christ who don't believe in Jesus or have a personal relationship with Jesus that one of the dangers. As I've talked to individuals who want to be married is another find someone who doesn't really go to church and they know that you're a Christian, and they like you and so they're willing to go along for the ride. If you have a go to church and and that maybe they'll even know become a member of the church is a I believe these things, but really what they want is not Jesus and the gospel really what they want is a relationship with you and so I think this is that the situations can be really sticky. I would say don't pursue marriage or go through with the marriage with someone who is in on the same pages you are with regard to faith in Jesus Christ. That doesn't mean that you can't have a friendship or a relationship but I think it can't progress to marriage. If this person doesn't have a relationship with the Lord.

If they don't believe in the Lord because this is going to shape me know that the rest of your life. This person that you're with is you think about maybe starting a family so important that we agree on the most important thing and that is who Jesus is and what he's done for us.

So I would encourage you to hold off on the marriage and two is difficult as it is to have the hard conversation of saying look I love you but but the most important thing I'm I'm learning more and more. The most important thing is Christ who he is what he's done for me and I don't want to manipulate you to Jesus. I don't want you to feel like you have to become a Christian, so that we can get married and so I want to kinda take a step back and give you freedom and us freedom just have not not have the pressure of needing to get married but but the freedom to be able to really examine these things, what it is that we believe who were putting our trust in and then think about you know going from there and so that that's what I would say to you on the basis of what Paul says there in second Corinthians chapter 6, and also in first grade. In chapter 7 and again I know that's that's a real hard thing and that that's not a difficult pill to swallow, but let me just encourage you brother in that I as we in the Christian life follow the Lord and seek to prioritize our relationship with Jesus.

There are there are difficult decisions that we make. There are things that we leave behind, and yet know that as we pursue the Lord God is going to be with you and to to bless you in your pursuit of him in seeking to be obedient to him, and I pray that the Lord also is at work in your fianc that that you guys can have no good conversations about this and that that ultimately she would come to know Jesus.

Not because she wants to be with you because she's captivated by his grace, his glory, the forgiveness of sins that we can we can have in him that the Lord would truly do work in her heart as well and and when he does I would say go for it a blessing. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez. Let's go to a voicemail received from one of our listeners named David regarding something experience in the worship service. It was actually an ordination for myself and the pastor invited a preacher but she did not preach, she got up at the pool and began speaking hello and doing things that I thought was a little theatrical.

I remained patient waiting for preach, because as I know them first Corinthians 14 school talk about gifts of calling our president and unnecessary, but isn't prophecy supposedly first and is it necessary to speaking hello as part of the worship service. I spoke to my pastor about it.

He told me I wasn't correct. Like I really think that question congratulations on your recent coordination. May the Lord bless you as you seek to serve him, you're going to the right path descriptor for Sprint is chapter 14 and Paul is very clear there. That is somebody speaking in tongues or needs to be an interpreter that this is an actual language that brings glory to God and that there there needs to be into an interpreter which is now my personal position is it that gift was a gift that was given really during the apostolic era. The got is not ordinarily giving the gift of tongues today.

So what when you asked the question is, is this something that needs to happen the worship service. I would say no and and typically it doesn't is not an ordinary part of the life of the church. What is an ordered ordinary part of life of the church.

As you know is the proclamation of the word of God that has to take the priority the preaching of the holy gospel.

The preaching of the law of God. And so that's what you want to prioritize in your own ministry.

He's got ordained and so I would encourage you brother. I hear the agitation that Paul given to Timothy preach the word do that, you'll be good.

Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at core, Christianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833 when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together


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