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The Most Celebrated Pagan Holiday

I know that many church goers are going to wonder why I would post an article that criticizes Easter. To be completely honest, I am tempted to just let it go, and not be the constant reminder, that we have gotten way off the narrow path, and that “Easter” and Christmas are just two clear reminders of a wrong turn that was made many, many, years ago, that apparently no one cares to be reminded of, much less repent of.   It is not my desire to anger anyone, but I do desire to know of those few who have been enlightened as to the reality of our vast failures in search of God, through the ignorant worship of our Father, by way of a Pagan holy day. We need not remain in ignorance when the facts are so available. Father wants His children to worship Him in Spirit and in truth, and unfortunately that truth is diminished when we allow ourselves to be deceived in these false forms and rituals, and useless traditions.

The following is an excerpt of a free downloadable book by Alan Bunning called simply The Church. I pray that your anger will be put aside long enough to read the complete book.

It is time for TRUTH.

Steve Blackwell

The Church

by Alan Bunning

s.4 Religious Holy Days
Of particular importance to many institutional “churches” are their religious holidays. Most of them observe special religious ceremonies according to a liturgical calendar such as Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter. In honor of these religious holidays, they roll out additional decorations, candles, incense, cantatas, and programs. During these religious seasons, the “pastors” often prepare special sermons each week leading up to the climax Sunday which focuses exclusively on the special holy day. When other cultural holidays such as Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, etc. are added to the preaching cycle, more than a third of the Sunday sermons are already spoken for. Do you honestly think Jesus really cares? Of course, none of these holidays were ever celebrated by the early Church. In Scripture, the observance of any type of special day was a matter of personal freedom in the Lord. “Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you in regard to eating and drinking, or in respect of a festival, new moon, or Sabbath day.” (Col. 2:16). There was never any kind of proscribed liturgical calendar that was imposed upon the Church, for the observance of holidays was left to the individual. “One regards one day above another, another regards every day the same.” (Rom. 14:5). Why did the later so-called “church councils” seek to enforce standardized religious days upon their members, when the Scripture considers it to be an element of personal freedom? Jesus did not keep the Sabbath the way the Pharisees wanted and they concluded that He wasn’t from God (John 9:16)! Would you conclude that a brother is in error because he does not share your view of holidays?

s.4.1.2 Celebrating Eostre
Most institutional “churches” today consider Easter to be the most important religious holiday of the liturgical year. The early Church, however, never celebrated Easter which was an ancient pagan fertility ritual celebrated during the first full moon after the vernal equinox. The name “Easter” comes from Eostre (or Ostara) the Saxon goddess of spring and is synonymous with Astarte the Phoenician goddess of the moon. This goddess is also loosely connected to the worship of Asherah poles and Ishtar the Babylonian goddess of fertility. Some of the practices associated with this pagan holiday include:
Tradition
Date
Origination
Colored eggs
2000s BC
The ancient Egyptians, Persians, Greece, and Romans used colored eggs during their pagan spring festivals as symbols of rebirth and fertility.
Easter bunny
2000s BC
The Easter bunny (or Easter hare) was an ancient symbol of fertility because of its abundant reproduction cycle.
Hot cross buns
1500s BC
Sacred buns were offered to goddess Astarte by Cecrops the founder of Athens.
Egg hunts
1500s AD
Children in Germany were told that if they were good, the Easter bunny would sneak into their house while they were asleep and lay colored eggs for them to find in the morning.
Should a Christian knowingly be engaging in these pagan practices? Again notice that these practices were steeped in pagan idolatry long before the institutional “churches” attempted to Christianize them. Many evangelical “churches” now readily admit that “Easter” is indeed the name of a pagan goddess and instead use names like “Resurrection Day”, yet their members continue to partake in the same pagan practices.

The early Church, in contrast, celebrated the Passover in remembrance of Christ’s death. This is not just as matter of semantics for the Greek word “paska” #3957 in Scripture refers to the Jewish Passover, not Easter. While Jesus was celebrating the Passover with His disciples, He commanded them: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19). As Jews, the disciples were no longer to celebrate the Passover in remembrance of their deliverance from Egypt, for now they were to celebrate it in remembrance of Jesus, the pure and spotless lamb who was slain on the exact day of the Passover, for now we are saved by His blood and the wrath of God “passes over” us. Jesus lifted up the Afikomen and said “this is My body” (Matt. 26:26, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19, 1Cor. 11:24) and He lifted up the Cup of Redemption and said “this is My blood” (Matt. 26:27-28, Mark 14:23-24, Luke 22:20, 1Cor. 11:25) – both of which are elements of the Passover ceremony holding special significance. “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you declare the death of the Lord until He comes.” (1Cor. 11:26). History records that the Jews and Gentiles alike in the early Church faithfully celebrated the Christian Passover each year with the bread and the wine as the Scripture commands. “For Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed, therefore let us keep the Feast.” (1Cor. 5:7-8).

So how did some “churches” later become deceived into celebrating the pagan holiday of Easter instead of the Passover? As it turns out, the Romans did not like it that the Passover sometimes fell in the middle of the week, so they began to hold their celebration on the following Sunday instead. The Church in Asia, however, continued to celebrate the Passover on the exact day as was passed on to them by the apostles John and Philip. This created a dispute and in 190 AD the so-called “bishop” of Rome attempted to excommunicate Polycrates of Ephesus and all of the Church leaders in Asia for following the apostolic tradition. These “heretics” were referred to as the “Quartodecimans” which comes from Latin meaning “fourteen” because the Passover is always celebrated on Nisan 14. Later, Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD which decided that Easter should be celebrated throughout the Church, which was set as the first Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon on or after the vernal equinox. They even added a rule that if the Passover just happened to fall on Easter Sunday, Easter must be postponed until the following Sunday. Unfortunately the disagreement over the date wasn’t the only problem, for the Roman “church” was not really celebrating the Passover anyway, but had distanced themselves from it completely in their festivities.

Scripture:

  • “Do this in remembrance of Me.” (Jesus Christ, quoted by Luke, c. 60 AD)
  • “For Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed, therefore let us keep the Feast.” (Paul of Tarsus, Corinthians, Book I, c. 55 AD)

Early Church:

  • “For Anicetus could not persuade Polycarp to forego the observance [of Passover] inasmuch as these things had always been observed by John the disciple of our Lord, and by other apostles with whom he had been conversant.” (Irenaeus, Lost Writings, c. 180 AD)
  • “These all kept the Passover on the fourteenth day, in accordance with the Gospel, without ever deviating from it, but following the rule of faith.” (Polycrates, Epistle to Victor, c. 190 AD)
  • “Again, he who considers that ‘Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us’ and that it is his duty to keep the feast by eating of the flesh of the Word, never ceases to keep the paschal feast; for the Pascha means ‘Passover’, and he is ever striving in all his thoughts, words, and deeds, to pass over from the things of this life to God, and is hastening towards the city of God.” (Origen, De Principiis, Book VII, c. 248 AD)
  • “Following their example up to the present time all the bishops of Asia – as themselves also receiving the rule from an unimpeachable authority, to wit, the evangelist John, who leaned on the Lord’s breast, and drank in instructions spiritual without doubt – were in the way of celebrating the Passover feast, without question, every year, whenever the fourteenth day of the moon had come, and the lamb was sacrificed by the Jews after the equinox was past.” (Anatolius, The Pascal Canon, c. 283 AD)

Institutional “church”:

  • “If any one celebrates the Passover along with the Jews, or receives the emblems of their feast, he is a partaker with those that killed the Lord and His apostles.” (attributed to Ignatius, Epistle to Philippians, c. 350 AD)
  • “It is therefore your duty, brethren, who are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, to observe the days of Easter exactly, with all care, after the vernal equinox….But no longer be concerned about keeping the feast with the Jews, for we now have no communion with them.” (Apostolic Constitutions, Book II, c. 390 AD)

In defiance to the Jesus’ instructions (Matt. 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:19-20), the “church” in Rome no longer celebrated the Passover, and what they did celebrate was not on the Passover anyway. Instead of partaking of the bread and wine in the context of a meal, they substituted a wafer cracker and a thimble of grape juice and divorced them completely from their meanings in the Passover ceremony (calling it “mass” or “communion”). In order to distance themselves from the Jews, they no longer celebrated the Lord’s death in the Passover (1Cor. 11:26), but instead began to celebrate Easter as more of a generic resurrection holiday, inclusive of the pagan traditions as well. The Romans in particular had always celebrated the vernal equinox as the death and resurrection of Attis who was supposedly born of the virgin fertility goddess Cybele. Thus, when their pagan holiday coincided with Easter, the pagans often quarreled with the Christians about which deity was really the imitation of the other. Indeed, the pagan groups today are still more than happy to set the Christians straight about the origins of their practices, for they have always been in favor of returning to the “true meaning of Easter”.

s.4.1.3 We Don’t Really Mean It
Up until now, many Christians have been completely unaware that they have been perpetuating pagan practices in their holiday celebrations each year. This is not to pass judgment on them, for many have done this in ignorance with honorable intentions. But what will you do now? Again, there is not necessarily one right course of action for there are several valid possibilities discussed below. But unfortunately, even after learning these things, some have chosen to harden their hearts and persist in their pagan practices. They continue to celebrate these syncretistic pagan holidays because they don’t feel like they are doing anything wrong. They say, “We are not worshipping these things. We don’t take these pagan meanings seriously.” And now you know why Israel had trouble tearing down the Asherah poles (Deut. 12:2-3, 1Ki. 3:3, 15:14, 22:42-43, 2Ki. 12:2-3, 14:4, 15:4, 15:35)! “But while these people worshipped the Lord, they also served their idols, both their children and children’s children – as their fathers did, so they do to this day.” (2Ki. 17:41). If these things are really not idols to you, then let’s see how willing you would be to give them up. Unfortunately, some would never give up their warm family traditions passed down to them by mom and dad, even though they are blatantly pagan in origin, without anything to do with Jesus. How they love their special raisin cakes (Hos. 3:1). They teach their children worship songs about an omnipotent pagan deity who brings them gifts during the night and then with a straight face say they are not involved in any pagan practices. They lie to the children about this false god and then they celebrate all the traditions associated with this false god. Think about it, if Christmas and Easter solely had something to do with the gospel of Christ, do you think the world would really be this interested in them? Of course, there would be nothing intrinsically wrong with giving gifts in July, or bringing a tree into your house in October, but what message does it send when Christians only observe these pagan practices in conjunction with a pagan holiday? Do you find a need to give gifts or decorate a tree during the rest of the year, or only when there is a pagan holiday? If these things were truly Christian, then why not do them everyday [s.4.4]? Of all of the topics in this book, this issue tends to be disproportionately controversial in particular, as many Christians are simply unwilling to give up their sacred pagan traditions for the sake of the truth alone.

16 replies on “The Most Celebrated Pagan Holiday”

Steve Blackwell!  
Where have you been all my life!   I'm just new to the movement(3 years) and I agree with alot of what you speak of.  I've also researched Christmas and that pagen  holiday is just as bad.  December 25 is a pagen holiday.  Yeshua was born mid to late October according to historians.The censis was taken at the end of harvest so the tax collectors could collect the maximum amount of tax from the people and having the censis at that time brought all the people in one place to make collecting easier..  I believe I read a Catholic Pope moved Yeshua's "birthday"  to December 25th to try to squash the pagen holiday.  Again, it comes down to celebrating man's traditions or Yahweh's.

Igor,

Of course we are glad you’re here and that your eyes are being opened.

I have been monitoring the comments to Brother Glenn’s article, and yours have drawn my attention concerning the Sabbath.

I can appreciate that you do not want to follow the traditions of Rome, or any of man’s traditions, and that you seek to follow only God’s “traditions,” but is that what God really wants us to do. Did Jesus obey His Father because of some Godly tradition, or because it was impossible for Him to do otherwise. I’m saying these things to you because I want you to think through the words you use to express something as precious following our Lord, afterall our words, according to the Bible, reveals our heart. Our heart, in the end, will be the thing that will expose the reason why we follow Jesus; is it for the bread and the loaves, is it to adhere to some formula or tradition, or is it because, to not follow Jesus, is a torment to our spirit. Are we following Jesus because He is the air we breathe; and every day is consumed with thoughts of Him, like our lungs are consumed with drawing in breath?

King David is a good example of why we should follow Jesus; he loved God with a severe passion. When the Spirit was not near him he withered and was in torment, like a worm on hot pavement. To obey God’s laws was a love affair with God Himself, and if this is what you mean by God’s traditions then I concur, but the words make me think otherwise.

Now on to the Sabbath thing.

It is good that you pursue truth, because that is what we all here desire. There are very many who profess to have the truth, and they will interpret Bible verses and then turn and build an impregnable fortress on their own cherished meaning, but is that pursuing truth, or is that pursuing the safety of pet doctrines at the expense of truth? These people surround themselves with others who have been convinced of a particular dogma and then watch each other’s back so that no new light is able to penetrate their battlement.

The O.T. has given us solid, concrete examples—that our human minds can grasp—that have spiritual meanings—which enlightened spirits can grasp. Most of the problems in the Church today, and always, have been the result of trying to put the round peg of the spiritual into the square hole of the natural; it just will not carry over one to the other. The problem is as Jesus has said, “Ye error not knowing the Scripture nor the power of God.” We Christians are constantly being confronted and challenged by “truth.” Many of us have not yet really enter into Christianity. The very doorway into true Christianity is through the door of “rest;” the rest of faith; that is our Sabbath.

The simple way that Jesus put it was, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). There is a much deeper meaning than the one generally recognized in these words. Those who are spiritual do not build fortresses of self-satisfaction signifying some sort of natural leisure, but crave truth in the “inward parts” as David expressed his desire. If we get hung-up on the rocks of the natural meaning and miss the spiritual meat of all interpretation, we are yet immature, and cannot comprehend that, “There remaineth therefore a sabbath rest for the people of God” (Heb. 4:9), and “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” (Heb. 3:19). Who were “they?”—the people of God. It is still the people of God for whom the rest “remaineth.” This rest is not something that is engraved on our tombstones, nor is it a certain day; it is not in any way to comprehended as something that is in the future, either as day of the week, or as something we enter into when we die. Jesus is our rest, which we enter into by faith, not by keeping some rule of procedure; not by making ourselves some new kind of Jew and enforcing our dogma on all the world; nor is the rest of faith settled by our being justified, and if it is not settled here, then it is not settled anywhere. Our rest is a continual entering in, into the light of truth of who Jesus is, and what He has inherited in us, and we in Him; a continual moving toward the Light; not stopping to build forts or religious buildings.

Sorry, for being wordy Igor, and there is no argument here, but like you, only the passionate pursuit of truth, “In the inward parts.” Some people can take a few words and say what I have said; I do not have that gift, sorry. I am not trying to offend you, but to open up a window and to let the fresh air of the Holy Spirit blow wherever it is allowed to blow.

Blessings,

Steve Blackwell
IndyWatchman

Dear Brother Blackwell,

Hallelujah! Hallelujah, to your response to each comment justifying the mixture. When we learn the truth, it is up to us, as believers, to enlighten others with the truth, hopefully, with love.

Most of us, who proclaim to be Christians, (I now refer to myself as a “gentile messianic”, ” a believer”, due to reasons discussed on this forum, etc.) grew up in church with this mixture. But, when we mature in our Abba and His son Yeshua, taking Yahweh’s Word as truth, we no longer wish to do the same as the majority, who don’t search the scriptures for the truth. I now commemorate Passover, with my Messianic Jew brothers and sisters moreso, than Christmas. I, also, enjoy the celebration of other holidays with them, as God has admonished us to do.

I am in agreement with you on due diligence and reverence to our Sovereign, Holy God. To Him be all the glory and honor. The money spent on the tree could be given as a mitzvah to missions. Psalm 41:1

One of my bible study sisters asked “what’s wrong if Christians choose to celebrate with a tree and lights”. I found your blog by seaching for that answer. After my comment, I will be printing this page.

Thank you, Steve, for your boldness. I desire to emulate that boldness in the territory that has been give to me. I pray to speak boldly as I ought to speak (Ephesians 6:20) and that you will continue to write and speak His Word in Spirit and in Truth.

Your sister in Him,

Gemstones to Jewels

I do wonder how “anglo-saxon” orientated this article is.
I do not wish to detract from the authors argument that it does not do to worship other beings under the guise of christianity, but

(there had to be a “but” of course 🙂 )

Much of what the author describes does not translate to the situation i always experienced.
First Easter is in dutch called Pasen , a clear link with Pesach/Pascha.
So the saxon goddess link falls through,
I personally know no dutch songs about an easter hare or some such, the only song about a hare i know is a bit different
(in short: In a green beet field, there were two hares, then came the hunter, he shot one of them and the remaining one was sad, for those interested in the whole text search for “In een groen groen groen groen knolle-knolle land, daar zaten twee haasjes heel parmant).

The author does rightly point out that an increasingly prevalent pagan movement wishes to “liberate” festive days from its “christian shackles”. And use all kinds of irrelevant and irreverant arguments. That is one admonition for christians not to accept blindly tradition, nor yield to pressing pagans, but to investigate what the cause of remembrance is, and educate that (to their children)

JPvB,

I always appreciate any response I get on the articles I post here, so before I start my reply I want to say thanks, even if I disagree with you.

I’m not sure of the point you are trying to make. The argument stated here stands firm. Your comments do nothing to defeat the author’s purpose; it remains steadfast.

You say that the author’s description does not translate to your experience. Your experience is that “Easter is in Dutch called Pasen, a clear link with Pesach/Pascha.” Since I don’t know Dutch it is not a “clear link.” I have to only assume, with you, that Pasen is the Dutch word for Easter, and I will also assume that you are making the link that the Dutch Easter is the same as the Passover since Pascha Πάσχα, or Hebrew OT Pecach (peh’-sakh); from a pretermission, i.e. exemption is used only techically of the Jewish Passover (the festival or the victim). If that is the case then it still makes no difference, unless the Dutch Easter is celebrated on Nisan 14 or 15 (depending on the calendar you use) on the Jewish and Christian Passover. If your “Pasen” is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox, in which case it would align perfectly with the pagan ritual in honor of Eastre (or Ostara) the Saxon fertility goddess; this would make the Dutch Pasen a pagan holiday, just like the English Easter.

If the Dutch Pasen is celebrated on the same day as the traditional Easter, then it is the celebration of a pagan holiday. We can give a holy name to a pagan holiday, but it is still pagan. We can call Easter, Passover, or Pasen, and we can call a bull a buffalo, but it is still a bull.

Our re-defining things change nothing regarding truth. Truth remains true, and the re-definition is just a lie, they give us privileges that are nothing but fiction, truth is still truth. Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples then offered Himself as the Passover lamb, and He said to celebrate the Passover in remembrance of Him. Men, to satisfy themselves, have taken liberties with His words that are not justified.

I hope this response helps clear up things for you.

Steve Blackwell

Hello Steve,

I certainly meant to reply to your comment about your grandson and am sorry for the delay. He is so blessed to have you. What a process in letting go and letting God. But as you will know, once we do He is so wonderful — full of surprises. How I desire all His children to abide in the security of His love. My husband and I appreciate your many articles. They have been very challenging and always along the line of our Father’s dealings in our own lives. But I think it’s more your vulnerability we appreciate the most. Once we are secure in our Father’s love for us we are free to be vulnerable with Him and others.

My husband is a beautifully vulnerable man. The dealings of God in His life have been immense. We have both come to understand that true humility comes from the security of our Father’s love. Holy Spirit boldness to live and speak truth is rooted in this humility.

A few months back a dear brother emailed us and said, “God is so hard”. Our reply was, “Only on our flesh, because He knows this is our greatest enemy. This is His love for us.”

Let’s just yield to His masterful hand. He is skillful in the circumcision of our flesh and can be completely trusted. Pain endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

I do not want to grieve Him anymore with my mistrust.

Maria.

If I may brother,

I believe you are leaning toward too legalistic a view of these things. Paul said it was okay to eat meat offered to idols IF it didn’t offend another person’s conscience. He certainly makes it clear (1 Cor 8) that eating food offered to pagan gods wasn’t the real issue. It was whether one regarded it as offered to gods that really existed. Sunday is a day that was originally observed as the “Sun’s day” so there is a pagan background to Sunday services. Maybe we should be worshipping on Saturday?

I am not teaching children about the Easter Bunny. I’m trying to teach them about kindness and concern for people one doesn’t even know that well. The candies are not good for their teeth, but does that make giving candy to a child an evil thing?

What God cares about is the attitude and intent of our heart. Cain and Abel are the earliest proofs of that. My conscience is clear on this. It would not be clear if I dressed up as the Easter Bunny while doing it.

Peace and grace brother!

Steve,

I think my comments were a bit defensive and I apologize. But, I would like to say that we are doing the “easter” baskets in spite of, not so much because of the date. It’s a matter of seizing the opportunity I think, to show that Easter isn’t about rabbits and colored eggs, but about showing kindness without cost.

I just don’t want to become a strict legalist and start following a bunch of rules from either side of this issue. We are to seek peace with ALL men, so I don’t think we need to be contentious about the influence pagan religions have had on our own civilization. Akin to this is the idea that all humans have immortal souls, when that is a very Platonic notion and not at all what scripture implies. Scripture tells us that God alone has immortality and those who seek immortality do so by perseverance in good works (Romans 2:7). Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15, is talking about believers putting on immortality. He does not picture the unbelieving doing that also.

My point is, much of what we teach and hear in Christianity is not scripturally sound because much church tradition is of men. It’s not limited to Easter, Christmas, Good Friday, etc.

Grace and peace to you, brother!

Prodigal,

I would have to differ with you, Easter IS about rabbits, colored eggs, and fertility, and Pagan to its core.

There is a religious word that applies quite well regarding “Easter” and it is called syncretism. def.: Syncretism consists of the attempt to reconcile disparate or contrary beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. The term may refer to attempts to merge and analogize several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, and thus assert an underlying unity allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths.

The freedom we experience in the Lord does not include the freedom to celebrate pagan holidays (Deut. 12:30-31, Jer. 10:2). Freedom does not include the freedom to sin (Gal. 5:13, 1Pet. 2:16). Celebrating a pagan holiday in any of its transformation over the years is still celebrating a pagan holiday, and is a form of worship in honor of pagan deities, which is expressly forbidden (Exod. 23:13, 24, Deut. 13:6-8, 2Chr. 25:15). Institutional churches participate in this “syncretism” where they have attempted to Christianize certain pagan holidays, and this is incompatible with Scripture. You would never go as far as stating that you could Christianize Halloween but they still celebrate Christmas and Easter.

Christians who are walking in obedience to our Lord should give due diligence in their consideration in participation in these known pagan holidays. We serve a Holy God who will not share His Glory with another.

We should take heed how we worship The Most High God.

With Godly concern,

Steve Blackwell

Dear Steve,

Yes, so true. It is time to come back to a foundational relationship with Jesus and only eat from the “Tree of Life.” Our sufficiency in all things is in Him and Him alone.

Phillipians 3:
For what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ…..
….That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death……….

……but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 12: 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

We have left our first love and looked behind us.

We have exchanged His comfort for the comfort of this world.
We have exchanged His wonderful work of Grace for own morality.
We have exchanged His love for the love of others.
We have exchanged His peace for the temporal peace of this world.
We have exchanged His faith for the works of our own hands.
We have exchanged His hope of a certain future for a place in this world.
We have exchanged His approval for the approval of men.
We have exchanged His righteousness for own filthy rags.
We have exchanged His Kingdom for our own kingdoms.
We have exchanged His praise for the praises of men.
We have exchanged His house for our panelled houses.
We have exchanged His friendship for friendship with the world.
We have exchanged His reward for our reward here on this earth.
We have exchanged His Life for death.

But He exchanged His life for ours.
What more could He have done for us?

We are no longer pilgrims and sojourners in a strange land. We have made our home in this world.

Dearest God, in the days of Noah, in your first judgment, we grieved you so much that you regretted even making man. Is it the same today? You sent your Son and we nailed Him to a tree. Then we shamefully turned Him into a tradition. We worship the image of your Son and not your Son Himself. Now your last judgment is fast approaching us. Dearest Lord, do you still have the same regret? We are a wicked and perverse generation!!

Oh merciful God, please have compassion on us. Do not turn your face from us. We have but a little time left, our time is so short. We also have little strength. As we look to your coming purify us. We put our trust in you. Please do this quick work of righteousness in us that you promised in these last days.

Genesis 6:17….. His first judgment.
Revelations 6:17 ….His last judgment.

In Christ,
Maria.

Maria,

Thank you very much. Your words were a special treat for me today. I say treat, but actually they were much more, they were a reminder of the very thing I try an instruct others in, they were the swift words of Abba, coming from one of His children. I will not ignore these words, unless His gentle treatment turns to discipline.

I raised three daughters and my first grandson was a special treasure. He is fifteen now and I have desired his company like a father would a son, but things are changing. Although he lives close by, and I could use his help in my business he elects to work for a neighbor instead. When I requested his help today, as a paid employee, earning a fair wage, he said he had to find out first whether the neighbor would require his services. My flesh was quick to respond that I wanted priority over the neighbor; much silence followed; now I must do the right thing. I enjoyed the wallowing in self pity. The feelings of rejection stirred all sorts evil emotions that I didn’t want to face. when I returned home I went to my office to search for some kind of divergence, and decide to check my e-mail. Your list of things we exchange for truth was just what I need to hear at that particular moment. Thank you. Now I must go and make a phone call, and say a prayer.

Steve Blackwell

Steve,

I am in agreement with you and have grieved over this gloss ever since I became a Christian. What indeed does a rabbit or painted eggs have to do with our Saviour? I don’t know why so many churches even host egg hunts. At the same time, I remember that as a child, my parents did not celebrate either Christmas or Easter becasue the church we attended forbade it. And yet, my favrite childhood memories are of the sacrificial efforts of my uncle and aunt who made sure we got something for Christmas and an Easter basket.

So, while I am against the church celebrating anything other than the death and resurrection of our Lord, I don’t believe it is observing a pagan ritual to do a kindness of this sort for children. As the article quotes Paul saying “Let no man judge you regarding sabbaths and holy days” that rule applies to the way others choose to celebrate the season. We do not have to approve of it, but the words of Paul cut both ways on this.

This Easter, my wife and I have decided to make up some Easter baskets for some poor neighborhood children and give these to them to show them we are thinking about them. We’re not including any chocolate bunnies, but marhmallow chicks, malted eggs, and peanut butter eggs as well as chocolate praying hands with a booklet that includes a personal prayer along with assorted other goodies. But, we will emphasize that we are doing this in remembrance of Jesus death and resurrection. Some may not approve of this and I probably would have raised an eyebrow a year ago, but I believe that any gesture of kindness done in the Lord’s name will be rewarded.

As for celebrating Passover, the Apostles were Jews by birth and it was quite normal for them to celebrate it. I do not believe that there is any biblical mandate for us to celebrate the Passover an more than there is a clear mandate that we must still observe the Jewish Sabbath. And while I much prefer bread to wafers or crackers, and a cup of wine to a thimbleful of grape juice, it is the attitude of the hear that matters here, not the form. Some advocate we should make communion a meal. I believe Paul made it clear that it’s purpose was not to feed the hungry.

Having said all that, I would happy if Christians never celebrated Christmas or Easter. Neither event is sanctioned by scripture, but neither can we authoritatively forbid it either. Unfortunately, we must bear with one another in these matters and “let every man be convinced in his own mind”.

Prodigal,

Jesus declares in the book of Revelation that we need to go back and do our “first works” over again, and Jude tells us to “hate even the garment tainted by the flesh.” The purpose of the article by Alan Bunning is to point out how, mostly through ignorance, we have drifted away from the purity of worship and service to God into forms of tradition and pagan practices that we are expressly told to put off, and return to a foundation that has been cleared of all the trash. So, what does this mean to the one who desires the true, pure, fruit that only comes from the Tree of Life? What does this mean to the one living in this day of decay? What does the true worshiper of the only Living God look like? What does it mean to separate ourselves from the world? What does a “peculiar people” resemble, the world, or something else? Do we hold out an example to the world, or are they our example? When we are given light, and our ignorant forms of worship and service are revealed, are we supposed to tweak them a little bit so that they now appear “Christian” without upsetting the apple cart, or are we to “come out from amongst them” and be separated and severed from any likeness of that dirty and false thing?

I say this in love for my brother. On our voyage out of the deep dark woods we must resist the urge to look back on those things that so easily beset us. Those things are calling us back into darkness and bondage. The light we think we see there is false. Our freedom exist in the “Light” and we must embrace Him and flee from the mere appearance of sin. If we have been given light, and we know it to be the truth, and we try to hold onto some fragment of darkness, for the sake of “flesh,” or family, or comfort, or accommodation, then it is truly sin.

I can certainly appreciate your desire to do good, and by all means do it, but let it be pure and not prompted by the remembrance of some Pagan tradition. We cannot sanctify evil by hanging some Christian ornament on it, it is still evil. Let your good be good, and undefiled. “Let not your good be evil spoken of.” Let there be no reason that our good, be thought to be, merely, motivated by a season or a tradition, and not by the Pure and Holy Spirit of the Eternal God, our Father. Jesus living inside of us compels us to boundless good deeds, to show forth His Goodness, of laying down His life, and taking it again, that we likewise lay down our lives, that He may give it again.

Our examples to follow, as Scripture dictates, are the Prophets, the Apostles, with Jesus being the corner stone. Where do we have the example of any of these incorporating Pagan holy days into the worship of God? Our Father, who gave us birth, deserves purity! Everything we see around us is un-pure, and interpreted through the knowledge gained by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the devil now says “eat of any tree in my garden, except the tree in the middle of the garden, the tree of life. Consequently our vision is severely blurred and our reasoning faulty, and until we restrict our diet to the “Tree of Life” we cannot trust our ability reason things out, or see our way clear, and we live out life trying to adapt our thoughts to the little we think we know about Real Life, and we stumble over obstacles, that are apparent, and right before our eyes. Unfortunately, ignorance will be no excuse on a certain day in our near future. We compromise for fear of putting off too much, putting off more than necessary, and missing out on some treat that fills our empty lives. Holidays are those kinds of things, they come and they go, and we wait for the next relief, or we treat them as if they are some kind of bonus or windfall.

As far as Passover there is no need to remark. We both know what this represents; we know the reality of Passover.

There is no judgment here as to sabbaths or Holy days, as long as they are not a regurgitation of forms, traditions, or latent Satanic worship. The Church as The Church needs to get beyond these things to the spiritual realities we Christians claim we see.

In truth and love,

Steve Blackwell

Thanks again Steve for these articles. There is no need to apologise to those who are angered by the TRUTH.

Ezekiel 23
The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother:
And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth…….. And the names of them were AHOLA the elder, and AHOLIBAH her sister…”

Ahola and Aholibah, being those 2 two adulterous sisters who symbolized the religious and political corruption of Israel and Judah after Israel Became “Israel” and “Judah”.

A little leaven leavens the whole lump. Yes, observing pagan holidays is undoubtedly adultery and idolatry. God does not change.

How sad for those of us who have never received the gospel that Paul first preached because it got diluted and polluted by 2,000 years of ‘isms”, “schisms” …… traditionalism, paganism, behaviourism, humanism, evangelism, more recently pentecostalism and now revivalism…the “isms” go on and on.

“The Kingdom of God consists not of mere words, but of POWER” (1Cor.4:20).

By Paul, the apostle, who preached the gospel in power because it was without leaven (or in other words, “isms”)

Bless you in His wonderful name,
Maria.

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