It hurts my spirit to see so many endless arguments all over the internet where people are beating each other up verbally to prove “the other side” wrong. I’m seeing Christians rabidly going after those of us who have chosen to be Torah observant, poking fun at us, viciously attacking us for keeping the commanded Seventh Day Sabbath and the Feasts. (Apparently it’s BAD to want to obey God? Must be, because they keep condemning us to hell for it!)
But the lengths to which they will go is truly baffling sometimes. For instance, they cannot seem to grasp that, just because the Bible doesn’t prohibit, by name, certain activities, that God would NOT necessarily be happy with their deliberate disobedience by going ahead and doing them. Case in point, Christmas. At this time of year many Christians knock themselves out to make Christmas sound like God is happy with this man-made tradition. They go to great lengths to make it “okay” just because it’s done “in the name of Jesus.”
Matthew 15:3. Then Y’shua answered and said to them, Why also do you transgress against the Commandments of Elohim because of your traditions?
Clear scripture is intentionally overlooked as the man-made tradition proponents scramble to find passages that support their desires to ignore His warnings against human desires and transgressions. Please take a moment to read this article on GotQuestions.org that attempts to justify the Christian tradition of Christmas trees.
As I mentioned in a previous article A quick note about Christmas and Thanksgiving, while Christmas is supposedly the “birth of Christ” and the celebration of His birth, the bottom line is: “Christmas” is NOT one of the Biblical Feasts, and December 25th is NOT Messiah’s birthday. (See our article, Proof that Yeshua was NOT born in December!) YHWH told us exactly which mo’edim (festivals) He wanted us to annually observe!
Nowhere in Scripture are we told to celebrate the Messiah's birthday. To be fair, it doesn’t say you can’t, either, so if you wish to put up a tree and celebrate Christmas, GO for it! We are to be thankful to our God every day of the year, and if you want to do enjoy “Christmas” activities, that’s your choice. Just don’t be guilty of trying to pass Christmas off as a God-condoned "holy day" or insisting our Savior was born on December 25th, or telling your children the lie about “flying reindeer” and “Santa Claus” who magically comes down the chimney to bring them presents – because deception is NOT condoned in Scripture, and there is NO WAY to force it to be so! Same thing with “Easter bunnies that lay eggs.” Deliberate deception!
And yes, Jeremiah 10 is not about “Christmas trees” – but come on! – let's read that passage IN CONTEXT!
Jeremiah 10: 1 Hear the word Adonai speaks to you, house of Isra'el! 2 Here is what Adonai says: "Don't learn the way of the Goyim, don't be frightened by astrological signs, even if the Goyim are afraid of them; 3 for the customs of the peoples are nothing. They cut down a tree in the forest; a craftsman works it with his axe; 4 they deck it with silver and gold. They fix it with hammer and nails, so that it won't move. 5 Like a scarecrow in a cucumber patch, it cannot speak. It has to be carried, because it cannot walk. Do not be afraid of it - it can do nothing bad; likewise, it is unable to do anything good!"
While the above Scripture isn't talking about "Christmas trees" per se (it's in reference to carving idols from trees....gilding them with gold and silver and fixing them to the ground and worshiping them), we can certainly see the resemblance! We also need to remember that God used to put people to death for gross disobedience, or worshipping Him with "strange fire":
Leviticus 10: 1 But Nadav and Avihu, sons of Aharon, each took his censer, put fire in it, laid incense on it, and offered unauthorized fire before Adonai, something he had not ordered them to do. 2 At this, fire came forth from the presence of Adonai and consumed them, so that they died in the presence of Adonai.
The Prophet Daniel gave us an end time prophecy which reveals the seriousness of changing God's Word. Here he is speaking of what the "Antichrist" will do:
Daniel 7: He will speak words against the Most High and try to exhaust the holy ones of the Most High. He will attempt to alter the seasons and the law....
What are the "seasons and the law" that Daniel talking about? God's Torah, our Divine Instructions in Righteousness, and His Appointed Times: The Seventh Day Sabbath and the Feasts! And who is speaking words against the Most High today? Those who insist His Torah is a curse!
YHWH amply warned us against the incorporation of pagan concepts:
Deuteronomy 12: 28 Obey and pay attention to everything I am ordering you to do, so that things will go well with you and with your descendants after you forever, as you do what ADONAI sees as good and right. 29 "When ADONAI your God has cut off ahead of you the nations you are entering in order to dispossess, and when you have dispossessed them and are living in their land; 30 be careful, after they have been destroyed ahead of you, not to be trapped into following them; so that you inquire after their gods and ask, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I want to do the same.' 31 You must not do this to ADONAI your God! For they have done to their gods all the abominations that ADONAI hates! They even burn up their sons and daughters in the fire for their gods! 32 "Everything I am commanding you, you are to take care to do. Do not add to it or subtract from it. (CJB)
As to the idea of what Romans 14:5 supposedly says, here is an excerpt from the book, “Should Christians be Torah Observant?” that responds to this annual argument.
Romans 14: 5. One man discriminates between days; and another judges all days alike. But let every one be sure in regard to his knowledge. 6. He that esteems a day, esteems (it) for his Master: and he that esteems not a day for his Master, he does not esteem (it). And he that eats, eats to his Master and gives thanks to Elohim: and he that eats not to his Master he eats not and gives thanks to Elohim.Brethren, I implore you to try to understand that if we wish to PLEASE our ELOHIM, we need to start laying aside our personal opinions and stupid human traditions and begin to do it HIS way. Here’s why:
Does the above suggest that Paul said it is up to each of us to decide what we should eat and what day we should keep?
Absolutely not! The context of this passage was a dispute over whether one can eat food that may or may not have been offered to idols. In those days food that may or may not have been offered to idols was usually put out for sale to people on a certain day of the week – and some believers refused to purchase or eat food on those days, just to be on the safe side. On the other hand, some did because they figured, since they didn’t know for sure whether or not it had been offered, it wouldn’t be wrong to eat it.
In the previous Scripture (Romans 14:5-6) Paul was not addressing kosher foods or Sabbath day observance at all; he was referring to the disagreement over whether market place food, because of idolatry, should be bought and eaten on a certain day of the week.
Please check out David H. Stern’s explanation in the preface of his Complete Jewish Bible, wherein he demonstrates the difference between “kosher” and “ceremonially clean.” Stern says YAHWEH never said pork, shellfish, etc. were food. People called these animals food in rebellion against God….
The passages in Romans are dealing with animals YAHWEH gave us to eat and whether they are ceremonially clean and can be eaten at that time. Even in Peter’s vision (Acts 11), Peter would never have eaten the kosher animals that had been in contact with treif (non-kosher) animals. The vision was to show that, as Peter knew which animals were clean and which were not because as God had shown him, Peter was to accept the Gentiles as God had now shown him they were “clean”. The rest of the passage in Acts 11 shows that this is the correct interpretation and what the vision was all about (see Acts 11:18).
1 Corinthians 10: 21. You cannot drink the cup of our Master (Y’shua) and the cup of demons; and you cannot be partakers at the table of our Master, and at the table of demons. 22. Or, would we provoke our Master (Y’shua’s) jealousy? Are we stronger than he? 23. Everything is in my power; but everything is not profitable. Everything is in my power; but everything does not build up. 24. Let no one seek his own things, but also the things of his fellow-man. (AENT)