10 Common “Christian” Practices that Aren’t Actually Biblical

Many Christians around the world observe a wide range of practices. Some of these practices have become so familiar that they might seem like direct teachings from the Bible. However, some interesting aspects of Christian tradition don’t have a precise origin story in scripture. Let’s explore 10 common practices observed by Christians that don’t necessarily have explicit biblical roots.

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#1 Christmas Trees

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Christians around the world celebrate Christmas, but the festive tradition of decorating Christmas trees isn’t directly mentioned in the Bible. The custom is believed to have originated from pagan practices, possibly rooted in reverence for evergreen trees during winter. While the tradition itself isn’t biblical, it can still hold meaning for Christians as a way to celebrate the season.

#2 Infant Baptism

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Some Christian denominations practice infant baptism, baptizing babies shortly after birth. However, the Bible primarily speaks of adult baptism. Passages describing baptism typically involve people who have consciously chosen to follow Jesus. While infant baptism is a long-standing tradition for some Christians, it’s not directly mandated by scripture.

#3 Altar Calls

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The practice of altar calls, where individuals are invited to come forward during a church service to publicly respond to a message or make a commitment to Jesus, is a common evangelical tradition. The Bible, however, doesn’t explicitly prescribe this practice. Salvation experiences are described throughout scripture, but there’s no one-size-fits-all method for how people respond to the gospel message.

#4 Easter Eggs and Bunnies

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Similar to Christmas trees, Easter eggs and bunnies are popular symbols associated with Easter, but they are absent from the Bible. These symbols likely have pre-Christian and non-Christian origins, possibly linked to fertility rites or spring celebrations. Despite their non-biblical roots, they can still be a fun way for Christians to celebrate the holiday, particularly with children.

#5 Saying “Grace” Before Meals

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Giving thanks for food is a biblical principle. Passages throughout scripture speak of offering blessings or prayers before eating. However, the specific practice of saying a formal prayer before meals, often called “saying grace,” isn’t directly mandated in the Bible. The content and manner of expressing gratitude for food is left up to individual practice.

#6 Praying to Saints or Mary

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Certain Christian denominations, particularly Catholicism and Orthodoxy, have a tradition of praying to saints or figures like Mary to intercede with God on their behalf. This practice, however, is not explicitly supported by the Bible’s teachings. The Bible emphasizes praying directly to God through Jesus Christ.

#7 Worshiping on Sundays

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Many Christians around the world gather for worship on Sundays, commemorating the day of Jesus’ resurrection. The Bible itself, however, doesn’t specifically command Sunday worship. The early church met on various days, and the emphasis seems to be on gathering regularly for fellowship and worship rather than a mandated day of the week.

#8 Church Buildings

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The Bible encourages believers to gather for worship and fellowship. Passages describe the early church meetings in homes and other common spaces. There’s no specific biblical command, however, to construct elaborate church buildings. The focus seems to be on the act of gathering as a community of faith, not on the physical structure itself.

#9 Using Rosaries

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Did you know that Rosaries are not directly mentioned in the Bible? These strings of beads are used by Catholics, especially during prayer, meditating on specific prayers or mysteries associated with the life of Jesus and Mary. The rosary itself developed as a devotional practice around the Middle Ages, not something explicitly instructed in scripture. While it holds significance for many Catholics, its use isn’t a biblical requirement.

#10 Holy Water

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Holy water, often used for blessings or believed to ward off evil, is another Christian practice that lacks direct biblical mention. The Bible mentions “holy water” only once, in a specific ritual context within the Old Testament (Numbers 5:17). The broader concept likely stems from ancient practices of ritual purification. While some Christians imbue holy water with spiritual significance, its use isn’t directly supported by scripture.

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