Sunday, March 27, 2016

Does God Mind Our Pagan Ways?

Today (March 27, 2016) is what Christians around the world refer to as Easter. Everyone is celebrating the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. But is it? Is it the anniversary of our Lord's resurrection? The Lord was crucified on Passover, and rose on the Feast of Firstfruits, which is the Sunday following Passover (no matter what day of the week in which Passover has fallen). In most years, Easter and Passover seem to be very near each other, and in fact many times Easter falls on the Feast of Firstfruits. But this year, Easter comes a whole month before Passover. Why is that?

In the Jewish calendar, there are normally twelve months, but these twelve months have 29 or 30 days in them, which leaves them short of the 365 days in a year. After a few years, they need to insert a thirteenth month to get the calendar reckoned up again. This happens to be one of those years, so the first month of the year Nissan, comes later than usual. That means that Passover is later than usual, or in this case, it will fall on April 22.

On the other hand, Easter (named for the pagan goddess Eostre) is determined by three things. It falls on the Sunday (the pagan worship day), after the first full moon, after the vernal equinox, which is set at March 21. Now as God's holy days never have anything to do with the equinoxes or solstices, but pagan holy days do, one has to wonder how it came about that in 325 A.D. the Council of Nicea (not a group of true Christian believers, but a group of men (cronies) appointed by Constantine - who was responsible for veneering many pagan things with Christianity - to be the religious leaders) decided to use this system to determine when the resurrection would be celebrated. And what transpired for it to end up being called Easter?

According to Bede, an eighth century English monk, during a month around April, pagans held feasts in Eostre's honor, but the tradition had died out by his time to be replaced by the Christian celebration of Easter. So what he is saying is that instead of celebrating the Lord's resurrection based on when Passover occurred, it seems that pagan traditions were replaced by Christian celebrations, (or maybe more accurately Christian meanings were placed upon pagan traditions) keeping the time of the celebration the same, the name of the goddess intact for the holiday, and adding things to the Christian celebration such as bunnies (fertility), eggs (Easter eggs were a part of an Eostre game that was played by the pagans), and today, chocolate candy in the shapes of those things. Also the celebrations of an Easter Sunday sunrise service comes not from the disciples running to the tomb, but from the celebration of the dawn by Eoster's followers, as she was the goddess of the dawn. They would light bonfires and dance in her honor at the sunrise.

So we can see that the Christian(?) celebration of Easter has nothing to do with the Jewish Passover as far as when it is celebrated, but has everything to do with the pagan celebration of Easter, including many of the traditions that went with it. In fact, the Christian celebration has little to do with the Jewish Passover at all, except that Jesus is the Paschal (Passover) Lamb. All of the ceremonies attached to Passover have been lost to the Christian Church. Most Christians do not even realize that what we refer to as the Lord's Supper is in fact a part of the seder meal at Passover. The wine representing Christ's blood is the third cup that is drunk during the meal, called the cup of redemption.  Appropriate is it not? And the bread that represents his body that is broken is what is called the afikomen. Three pieces of unleavened bread  (representing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are put into a single bag that has three compartments. During the course of the seder, the middle piece (the Son) is taken out, broken in half, and one half of it is hidden (buried) to be hunted for and found (resurrected) later. It is this piece of bread that was presented to the disciples by Christ during the seder as His body which would be broken for them. This then was the Lord's Supper - a part of the Passover seder.  Also appropriate, do you not think? And the irony of it all? The Jews have no idea what this tradition of the afikomen stands for. Only Christians understand its significance. Yet the Church, right form the start separated itself from this very important tradition and therefore Christians do not have a complete understanding of the elements of the Lord's Supper when we take it. It would seem that the Church only has half the story, just as Jews only have half the story, because each one has repudiated the teachings of the other.

So now, knowing what Easter is all about, and knowing what the Passover is all about, which should we actually be celebrating? Do you think perhaps God would prefer we not incorporate paganism into our celebrations, or merely put a Christian veneer over pagan celebrations and relabel them Christian? He certainly had enough to say to Israel about taking up pagan ways and traditions, didn't He. Do you suppose He has changed His mind on the subject? Think of how harshly He punished Israel. The northern ten tribes known as Israel went into captivity to simply disappear. The southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin, known simply as Judah went into a seventy year captivity under Babylon and then Persia. There were many other punishments of individual tribes and people along the way, but these two captivities were the greatest punishments as they took in the entire nation.

We could look at Christmas and find the same problem. Christ was not born December 25. Most scholars agree that the evidence points to Him being born during the Feast of Tabernacles in the autumn. I even saw someone posting an article that was celebrating this Easter saying that Christ was conceived on this day, since he was born December 25, so we had a double celebration this year. Obviously since Christ was not born on December 25, He was not conceived on March 27. December 25 is in fact the birthday of another pagan god, Mithras. And it is around the winter solstice. And look at all the associations Christmas has with it, decorated trees, holly and mistletoe (which in and of themselves are not pagan but merely flora, but the pagans use them in their worship), and Santa Claus, which people think is just based upon a Saint named Nicholas, but the Santa Claus that is popular these days is based on a completely different person. I am sure there are many more pagan associations with Christmas, but it is unnecessary to list them all. They come from many countries. And let us not even get into the greed and materialism associated with it.

So for Christ's birthday celebration, we should be celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, which incidentally just as the spring Feasts of God were foreshadows of Christ's first coming, the fall Feasts of God are all foreshadows of His Second Coming. So we see that the fall and spring Feasts of God actually hold all the significance for a Christian, and all that is associated with those Feasts is approved of by God, because He created them. And the holidays that Christians do celebrate instead are pagan celebrations with a Christian facade or veneer, with all the associations that go along with the pagan feasts, which God disapproves.

What is very distressing to me is while I can almost understand people turning a blind eye to Christmas, because nobody seems to be aware when Christ was actually born, and the Church has brainwashed people over the millennia to believe it is the actual birth of Christ they are celebrating, everybody knows that Christ was killed at Passover and clearly Passover was not this weekend. Not even close. Why is nobody disturbed about this? And I know many are not disturbed about this, because I posted something on Facebook addressing this problem, and the many Christians that I am connected to completely ignored it and had much to say today about how we are celebrating the Lord's resurrection. NO we AREN'T. His resurrection is to be celebrated on the day it occurred, on the Feast of Firstfruits. Why is nobody bothered by this? Do people really think God does not mind? When He has so much to say about paganism in the Old Testament? Things have not changed that much. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He will never approve paganism.

And while we are at it, Sunday is not the Sabbath. That too is a pagan worship day, but that argument can be found in my article on the Sabbath in the archives. It is not that we cannot worship God on Sunday, of course we can. We should worship Him every day of the week. But Sunday is not the Sabbath. The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week, from the first week of creation, that God set aside as holy unto Him, and God never changed it. Man may have decided to, just as he decided to change all the other celebrations, but God never has and never will, for it was a covenant sign between Him and His people for perpetuity. That means forever.

Note that in the millennium the feast that is incumbent upon everyone is the Feast of Tabernacles, which will be the anniversary of the marriage of the Lamb to the Bride. Nowhere do we read about Easter, or Christmas being celebrated. It all goes back to the Jewish ways. The Sabbath will be on Saturday, the temple will be the center of worship, and the Feasts of God will be the only holidays. Now what is that telling us?

No comments:

Post a Comment