On this week’s show Pastor Joe Schimmel continues discussing an issue that is raised every year around this time – is it okay for Christians to celebrate Christmas? There are many charges made against celebrating Christmas, and while many of these are seemingly valid, what does scripture have to say about this subject? Is it okay to celebrate our Lord’s birth and the fact that God became a man to die for the sins of the world? In Part 4 of this series Pastor Joe looks at the use of the Christmas tree during the holidays. Is paganism really tied to the Christmas tree and do we really know the history behind the Christmas tree? Are Christians bowing down to a tree in their home just like the pagans cut, carved and worshipped trees as idols? Moses condemned people for setting up pillars to idols, yet Moses himself set up pillars to worship God. Are there similarities when discussing a tree to worship Jesus and the fact that He died on a tree, or the fact that the tree represents life? Many also might not be aware of the days of the week – all have pagan backgrounds (see below for descriptions of the days of the week). Should we no longer worship on Sunday due the pagan background of this day?
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Next week: Paul Walker and the Megaphone of Creation (Should Christians Celebrate Christmas? [Part 5] will return after two weeks)
Germanic Tradition of the Days of the Week:
Sunday: Old English Sunnandæg (pronounced [sun.nan.dæg] or [sun.nan.dæj), meaning “sun’s day.” This is a translation of the Latin phrase dies Solis.
Monday: Old English Mōnandæg (pronounced [mon.nan.dæg] or [mon.nan.dæj’), meaning “Moon’s day.” This is based on a translation of the Latin name dies lunae. In North Germanic mythology, the Moon is personified as a god, Máni.
Tuesday: Old English Tīwesdæg (pronounced [ti.wes.dæg] or [ti.wes.dæj], meaning “Tiw’s day.” Tiw (Norse Týr) was a one-handed god associated with single combat and pledges in Norse mythology and also attested prominently in wider Germanic paganism. The name of the day is based on Latin dies Martis, “Day of Mars”.
Wednesday: Old English Wōdnesdæg (pronounced [woːd.nes.dæg] or [woːd.nes.dæj) meaning the day of the Germanic god Wodan (known as Óðinn among the North Germanic peoples), and a prominent god of the Anglo-Saxons (and other Germanic peoples) in England until about the seventh century. It is based on Latin dies Mercurii, “Day of Mercury.”
Thursday: Old English Þūnresdæg (pronounced [θuːn.res.dæg] or [θuːn.res.dæj]), meaning ‘Þunor’s day’. Þunor means thunder or its personification, the Norse god known in Modern English as Thor. Similarly Dutch donderdag, German Donnerstag (‘thunder’s day’) and Scandinavian Torsdag (‘Thor’s day’). Thor’s day corresponds to Latin dies Iovis, “day of Jupiter”.
Friday: Old English Frīgedæg (pronounced [fri.je.dæg] or [fri.je.dæj]), meaning the day of the Norse goddess Fríge. The Norse name for the planet Venus was Friggjarstjarna, ‘Frigg’s star’. It is based on the Latin dies Veneris, “Day of Venus.”
Saturday: The only day of the week to retain its Roman origin in English, named after the Roman god Saturn associated with the Titan Cronus, father of Zeus and many Olympians. Its original Anglo-Saxon rendering was Sæturnesdæg (pronounced [sæ.tur.nes.dæg] or [sæ.tur.nes.dæj]). In Latin it was dies Saturni, “Day of Saturn.”