Every so often  I will write a commentary about some aspect of this holiday season that we find ourselves in. Very seldom, though, do I attempt to write an explanation of the motivations behind my overall view of this season. In at least one earlier post , I presented a trilemma  that describes how God views religious festivals and religious observance in general. Some religious observances are commanded in scripture, some are permitted, and some are forbidden. Today, though, I would like to provide a general rationale for what sort of factors lead religious practices to be forbidden in the first place that provides the reason for my view of this season.
The reasons for my view are rather straightforward. They can be expressed through a couple of scriptures. One of them is found in Jeremiah 10:2-3: “Thus says the Eternal: “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the custom of the peoples are futile.” There is a great temptation to seek to blend our traditions with others in order to achieve greater popularity. There is also a great temptation to think that there is something in the debased habits and traditions of the world that would be acceptable to God. What people have often done is one thing, but what the Bible says is another.
This is not to say, for example, that I view all learning about the ways of others as wrong. Quite the contrary. However, it is one matter to look at the history and culture of others to find a bridge to the truth from where people are coming from, as a way of providing people with dignity and honor in their own backgrounds , to follow the example of Paul (to give but one example), and an entirely different matter to think that the debased and corrupt ways of the world offer anything that God would want, considering the way that people tend to make gods in their own image and believe that their objects of worship can be manipulated through magic thinking and tricks of emotional reasoning.
Another scripture, taken from the law, describes the origin of the mentality that Jeremiah wrote about it, and it says it very bluntly, in Deuteronomy 18:9: “When you come into the land which the Eternal your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations.” The Bible is very clear that all people are created in the image and likeness of God, and that such distinctions as exist between the godly and the ungodly are not based on our ancestry or our personality, but rather on our character and our culture, on the choices that we make to conform our ways to those of God or to seek to make God conform to us. Of course, this assumes that one holds the Bible to be the origin of our worldview rather than simply a justification for it, and that itself also describes the reason for my view of the season as well, in that I seek, however imperfectly, to understand the Bible, to recognize the limits of my own understanding, and to apply it in my life and model it for others. My view of this time of year is only one small way in which that worldview is shown.
 See, for example:
 See, for example: