Monday, November 26, 2012

Jeremiah 10: Armstrongism's Favorite Scripture Bomb

It's Christmas season and the Armstrongite groups are getting into full gear ready to throw "paganism bombs" at those who celebrate it.

One of Armstrongism's favorite scripture bombs to use is the Jeremiah 10 verses as PROOF that Christmas trees are condemned in scripture.

2″Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them.
3 For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
4 They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter.
5 Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.” (Jeremiah 10:2-5, NIV).

It doesn't take a rocket scientist or even anyone with a small amount of theological education to see that the above verse does NOT speak about trees, but idols.  Trees are cut to fashion wood idols, usually in the shape of the god  being honored.  These gods then were covered in gold and silver and placed in positions of honor. 

Just like a scarecrow in a field, they  do not speak and cannot walk. Idols usually were in the form of a human.  Humans have legs. Trees do not.  Scarecrows sit in fields to serve a purpose.  Trees do nothing more than cast shade.  Craftsman shape the idols to resemble human forms representing gods.  Craftsman do not shape trees to resemble trees.

Bob Thiel and the others need to stop making fools of themselves when they lie that these verses pertain to Christmas trees.


Anonymous said...

You have to understand how COGers read it.

Heavy weight on







do not be terrified

Craftsman, shape, chisel

idols cannot speak

do not fear them

Besides, anyone knows that the Holy City, 1500 miles on a side, gold $treets, high walls, 12 gates, angelic greeters, that comes down eventually is the Heavenly Walmart and if that is ok, then everything is...


Douglas Becker said...

A Christmas Tree is perfectly acceptable, as long as you have Herbert Armstrong Ornaments (like a wooden painted head or a wooden full body painted tree ornament). Armstrongists are mighty picky about which idols they worship, but Herbert Armstrong is their favorite (they even have pictures of him prominently displayed in many of their Home Offices / Headquarters).

Of course, it would be much more appropriate to set up the XMas trees with Herbert Armstrong idol decorations and pretty LED colored lights during the Feast of Tabernacles. In fact, this could be done at every Feast site, with the cooperation of the Luxury Resort Management, with Herbert Armstrong idolatretts hanging from the trees in honor of Herbolatry.

They're also going to spend money on "Feast Gifts" for themselves and so they should be wrapped in pretty XMas paper and put under the tree to be opened on the first day of the Feast. This can also make it fun for the kids so that they won't miss the December 25th version of pretty much the same thing, but supposedly some how with the pagan practices excised (good luck with that).

The Armstrongist XMas Trees can also have beautiful colorful DNA spinners hanging from each branch made of foil, twisting and turning with the pretty lights reflecting off of them, in celebration of the fact that they have based their religion on a false pagan religion of British Israelism which has been thoroughly disproved by DNA and six other absolute proofs (including the fact there are no lost tribes of Israel).

As directed by Deuteronomy 4, Armstrongists will have an opportunity to teach their children about their pagan idolatry when they see the pretty XMas tree and ask (as teens), WTF is that all about???!!???

Then you can tell them the truth that you are bad parents trapped in a destructive cult, giving their inheritance to a narcissistic sociopath for no particularly good reason, to rob them of any kind of life they could have had if they weren't all kooks.

Retired Prof said...

Hebrew scripture has nothing to say about Christmas trees because ancient Middle Easterners knew nothing about them. They arose in northern Europe, where the sun threatened to disappear for good every winter, and the persistence of evergreen vegetation provided people reassurance it would come back. Just to be on the safe side, though, they gathered and drank beer and feasted for twelve days and nights to track the gradual southward progress of the point on the horizon where it rose in the sky.

If the priests of ancient Israel had known about this pagan fascination with holly and conifers and mistletoe, they would have condemned them, of course. Even though they were not exactly idols, they were associated with pagan gods and therefore off limits, on the same principle that the recipe of meat simmered with milk was off limits.

Recovering from my experience with the Radio Church of God, I declined to worship pagan gods but did learn to tolerate Christmas greenery and to thoroughly enjoy a breakfast of sausage and gravy over biscuits.

caseywollberg said...

Yep. Well done all around, folks. We almost posted an article on just this thing last Christmas, but the guest writer who was doing it flaked out and the unfinished piece got buried and forgotten. Glad to see it covered here.

Anonymous said...

I agree this is possibly something other than an XMass tree. OK, so where is the Bible verse saying we should keep the holiday of Christmas? Chapter and verse will do just fine.

Retired Prof said...

I don't know where the verse is, but one of my grade school teachers in a predominantly Baptist community was absolutely certain it specified a cedar tree, not the pine somebody put up in the assembly hall. She thought the pine was blasphemous.

By the way, if we need biblical authority for all of our choices, we should not, for example, be riding cars. Only donkeys and camels. Wouldn't be too bad, though; we could have our slaves take care of them. Or if we happened to be the slaves, we wouldn't have to worry about making any choices at all. That was the master's job.

Things were SO much simpler in the Middle East during the bronze age. No wonder CoG folks want to relive those days.

Anonymous said...

OK Retired Prof. Is driving your car some sort of religious observance to you?

It just seems like the X-Mass thing is religious. Shouldn't the Bible at least mention X-Mass someplace?

I may just start a religious practice of some sort on my own. I'll call it dumbasses. No offense - but your example of the car pretty much eliminated any possibility of me believing your were a real professor of any kind. So - wanna join up Prof.?

Retired Prof said...

I didn't put enough background in. Sorry.

I was thinking about the question "OK, so where is the Bible verse saying we should keep the holiday of Christmas? Chapter and verse will do just fine."

It reminded me of my fundamentalist neighbors back home who refused to get television sets because there was nothing in the Bible to permit them. They didn't smoke because the Bible did not authorize tobacco. It reminded me of the Radio Church of God prohibition against birthday celebrations even though nothing in OT or NT forbids them.

It seems odd to me that people with those taboos would drive cars, since the Bible never mentions automotive transportation. To be consistent they should have avoided cars as rigorously as TV and cigarettes.

But my comment was obviously too much of a stretch, in recognition of which I cheerfully accept your generous invitation to join the dumbasses.

Anonymous said...

Usually people quote from the KJV which says:

For one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

Isn't the "cutteth tree" the result of "a workman with the axe?" In other words isn't a felled tree the work of the work of the workman? Didn't the workman cut down the tree? Doesn't the KJV alone translate this passage correctly? Please explain, thanks in advance.