Freedom in Christmas   2 comments

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One of the symbols of life found in the celebration of saturnalia was the use of evergreens. These plants stayed green all year long so were often used in different cultures as symbols of life and rebirth. They were sometimes decorated as a form of worship in religious ceremonies dealing with fertility. Evergreens are traditionally used in Christmas celebrations because, during the coldest of winter when snow was on the ground, the “Christmas tree” was always green. This is why some ancient cultures would use them in their various forms of celebration and sometimes even worship.

The mistletoe was considered a curative plant and was used in many ancient medicinal recipes. The Celts even believed that the parasite plant contained the soul of the tree on which it lived. The Celtic druids used mistletoe in their religious ceremonies. The priests would cut it up and distribute it to the people who would place the cuttings over the doorways of their homes. This was supposed to protect the dwellers from various forms of evil. The ancient Swedes called it a symbol of peace and it would be tied above a table of negotiation as a symbol of reconciliation.

It is entirely possible that the Roman Catholic Church deliberately incorporated these pagan symbols into Christian worship in order to get pagans to be comfortable with Christianity.

But ….

It’s also entirely possible that pagans who became actual Christians just didn’t let go of some things because they liked how they looked or smelled or the symbolism that it represented.

It’s important to remember that Christians are not bound under the law because we have died to law (Romans 7:4) and we are under grace (Romans 6:14). This does not mean that we can go out and commit various sins, but we are free, and have the right to exercise our freedom, so long as we do not use our freedom as an excuse to do questionable things or stumble others. We must be careful and wise in our freedom.

In 1 Corinthians 10:23-33, Paul talks about the meat that was sacrificed to idols and then sold in the meat market place. The question arose, “Can a Christian eat such meat?” Paul replied, “Eat anything that is sold in the meat market, without asking questions for conscience’ sake.” Why did Paul answer that way? Because we are free in Christ and that which had a pagan association with it does not degrade the Christian if the Christian has his eyes and his confidence in Jesus Who sanctifies all things.

So, using a Christmas tree and mistletoe depends on the attitude of a particular Christian and what he believes about Scripture regarding this. For some it’s okay, and for other Christians it is not. Neither should condemn the other.

Posted December 23, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity

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2 responses to “Freedom in Christmas

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  1. A voice of reason in a world gone mad! Enjoyed this topic and your writing!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Christmas Wars | aurorawatcherak

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