As an example, God carefully instructed ancient Israel to not seek after the ways of the pagan people they were replacing in the Promised Land, especially in the matter of worshiping their gods. He was painfully explicit about not adapting their perverse ways in terms of worshipping Him.
Notice His commands: “These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the Lord your God with such things” (Deuteronomy 12:2–4).
They were instructed to get rid of pagan places of worship: mountains, hills and “under every green tree.” Interestingly the Bible uses this term in ten places. Each instance it is in reference to pagan rites, rituals and perverted acts of pagan worship in which the Israelites were practicing! (cf., 1 Kings 14:23; 2 Kings 16:4; 17:10; 2 Chronicles 28:4; Isaiah 57:5; Jeremiah 2:20; 3:6; 3:13; Ezekiel 6:13.)
What’s the big deal about this, in today’s modern, enlightened world? Does God really mind that the professing Christian church has sanitized pagan worship? After all, they are doing it to honor Jesus, aren’t they? We report, you decide.
The historical record is revealing. Here is just one of hundreds of documented pagan practices:
The man-god Attis, after an unsuccessful courtship of the goddess Cybele, mutilated himself, “under a pine-tree, and bled to death on the spot. ... After his death Attis is said to have been changed into a pine-tree … [in worship practices] a pine-tree was cut in the woods and brought into the sanctuary of Cybele, where it was treated as a great divinity … Stirred by the wild barbaric music of clashing cymbals, rumbling drums, droning horns, and screaming flutes, the inferior clergy whirled about in the dance with waggling heads and streaming hair, until, rapt into a frenzy of excitement and insensible to pain, they gashed their bodies with potsherds or slashed them with knives in order to bespatter the altar and the sacred tree with their flowing blood.” (The Golden Bough, Sir James George Frazer, “The Myth and Ritual of Attis” Chapter 34).
Attis’ bloody act under an evergreen tree, along with—as the historical record points out—subsequent duplications by Attis worshippers, has provided paganism with its seasonal red and green motifs.
It is obvious that “green trees” and what takes place “religiously” under them, is of great concern to God. Any association between the Christmas tree, with its wretchedly rich pagan roots (pun intended), and Jesus Christ, is not found in the Bible. In fact, every aspect of Christmas with its traditions of mistletoe, holly, wreaths, pine boughs (all green with blood-red accents), gift exchanging, wassailing, December 25 (time of the winter solstice) is not found anywhere in God’s Word, except, maybe, the reference to serving their gods“under every green tree.”
What God did put in His Word, is explicit: “When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess … do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (Deut 12:30–32).
God carefully outlined how He wants to be worshipped, but man under the sway of the god of this world perverted that worship, borrowing the name of Jesus Christ and creating a counterfeit religion. Please send for our free booklet Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity. It will open your eyes to what really is hidden in pagan holiday traditions.