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Author Topic: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?  (Read 17423 times)

Robert63

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Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« on: April 06, 2003, 11:52:40 AM »
Is it biblical to observe the Easter holiday? People are telling me that it was a pagan holiday and that as such, Christians shouldn't celebrate it. What are your views on this?

andreas

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Re: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2003, 01:53:40 AM »
The word easter is never mentioned in the original scriptures.In the King James Version we read,"And when he had apprehended him,he put him in prison and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him, intending after easter to bring him forth to the people".Acts 12:4
The word translated easter is likely the Hebrew word Pesach(passover).The New K.J.V. reads,"So when he had arrested him he put him in prison and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him ,intending to bring him before the people after the passover".It was during the passover that Y'ashua was killed at Jerusalem.
andreas. :)
kai ean diabainhs dió udatos meta sou eimi kai potamoi ou sugklusousin se kai ean dielqhs dia puros ou mh katakauqhs flox ou katakausei Isaiah 43:2

andreas

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Re: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2003, 02:37:02 AM »
To get to the point ,1 Cor.10:25-27,provides us with the answer."Eat anything and do not ask questions....The same way ,if celebrating Easter does not offend you go ahead and celebrate it.If it offends you in any way do not celebrate Easter.What is sinful is to tell children about Easter rabbits,and all the gifts and chocolates they bring ,for this is a lie".Do not lie to one another,since you laid aside the old self".Col 3:9
andreas ;)
kai ean diabainhs dió udatos meta sou eimi kai potamoi ou sugklusousin se kai ean dielqhs dia puros ou mh katakauqhs flox ou katakausei Isaiah 43:2

Withoutcamp

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Re: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2003, 08:37:21 AM »
Personally, I believe it is pagan.  If I'm not mistaken, the pagans celebrated it by honoring Ishtar.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong.  

Regarding Acts 12:2-4
"And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also.
(Then were the days of unleavened bread)
And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people."

I understand that during this time it was "the days of unleavened bread"....Easter, being a pagan holiday was coming up...not the same as the days of unleavened bread....we see that it was already the days of unleavened bread...  King Herod was a pagan and he "intended after Easter to bring him forth to the people."
 Seems to me that ole Herod didn't want to disrupt the celebration of the pagan holiday Easter, so he intended to bring him forth after the celebration.

Again, someone jump in and correct me if I've read and understand that in the wrong way.

Thanks!

Withoutcamp

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Re: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2003, 09:01:37 AM »
Went out and did a bit of a search....found that this Ishtar, also known as Eastre (to the Anglo-Saxons) and Astarte....these names deriving from Babylonian times and she was the "queen of heaven"

Look at Jeremiah 7:18, 44:17-19 & 25.   The word condemns the celebration of such.

Also, look at Ezekiel 8:14.  This shows a woman crying for Tammuz.  Tammuz being the lover/ husband/ son of Astarte.  Apparently this Tammuz was mourned 40 days...and in Ezekiel we see a woman mourning him.  Oh, think that this is where Lent originated.

We should never mix pagan celebrations with our worship of the One and Only True God.  He doesn't care for that!

Again, correct me if I'm wrong.  

Reformer

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Re: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2003, 10:24:07 AM »
Personally I celebrate both Easter and Christmas, and that some pagan may have used the words long ago doesn't bother me anymore than that a pagan used the word SUN-day. If one is going to use that criteria, they shouldn't even mention the days of the week because their origin is pagan.

To me (and I think millions of other Biblically minded Christians), Easter is the celebration of of the Lord's resurrection, and Christmas is the celebration of the birth of a Savior. It's not about a mass, and it's not about pagan rituals. We don't do Easter bunnies, and we don't tell lies about some Santa Claus.

A good article on questions like this can be read here.

http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/faq/histchrist.html
This is by Tony Warren and pretty much sums up my view of this issue.

 God Speed.

Withoutcamp

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Re: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2003, 12:46:06 PM »
Found a bit more scripture I'd like to throw out there...

~Exodus 23:2 (in part) "Thou shalt not follow a multitude of evil...."

~Deut 12:32  "What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it."

~1Cor 10:21  "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils; ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and the table of devils."

Tony Warren

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Re: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2003, 01:38:56 PM »
Quote
>>>
~Exodus 23:2 (in part) "Thou shalt not follow a multitude of evil...."
<<<

I'm afraid that doesn't really apply. Since going to Church on Easter Sunday to have a special celebration of the Sunday resurrection of the Lord, is hardly following a multitude of evil. No matter how you slice it, celebrating, or taking special notice to extol the efficacy of Resurrection day, is not evil.

Isaiah 5:20
  • "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"

It's a matter of conscience, and humility. For, 'by Grace of God' we discern just what is evil, and what is good. ie., Good was not in the religious lawyers of Christ's day telling the Disciples that they should not eat with unwashed hands. Their judgments were not good (even though they thought they were), they were piously judgmental.


Quote
>>>
~Deut 12:32  "What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it."
<<<

Couldn't agree more. Therefore:

Romans 14:4-6
  • "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
  • One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
  • He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks."

So, to RE-quote God's word in deuteronomy, Let us not take away or diminish from what God has commanded.


Quote
>>>
~1Cor 10:21  "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils; ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and the table of devils."
<<<

That verse speaks of doctrines, not of a special worship on Resurrection Sunday. That is't the Devil's table. So that doesn't apply  either (see the eating of Romans 14:4-6 again). Since the Devil would hardly be encouraging a Sabbath day of celebration in humble remembrance of the death and resurrection of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. He might be encouraging an Easter parade, an egg hunt, or a bunny hop, but not the Church setting aside a special day of celebrating the Resurrection. And shame on anyone who would call that celebration, the table of Devils.

Not that I am saying that you have.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Withoutcamp

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Re: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2003, 02:50:51 PM »
Hey Tony,

Do you have an explanation of Acts 12:2-4 as well?

Again, in my limited understanding, King Herod was a pagan...he could've cared less about it "being the days of unleavened bread", but he did not want to disrupt the celebration of Easter by killing Peter.  Why is that?
Or am I not reading that particular verse in the correct manner, as well?

To my understanding, the days of unleavened bread have naught to do with the pagan celebration of Easter.  It seems to me that is the reason that the writer of Acts made sure that people knew that "Then were the days of unleavened bread", as not to confuse the reader and have them think that Easter was the same thing as the celebration of Unleavened Bread.

If it pleases you and whoever else to celebrate it, by all means, do!  The question was asked if it was pagan...I, with all my heart believe that it is pagan and me and mine don't celebrate it...mixing paganism with Christ ain't my cup o' tea.

Oh, and regarding you giving light to those verses that I posted...no need.  I know in what context they were written.  If my God says, "don't follow a multitude of evil" then I'll apply that to whatever evil I see.  But, you go right ahead and "re-quote" Duet. and tell me I don't understand.

And no I never said that Christ's Resurrection was the table of devils....only that you can't sit at both tables and partake of them....it's one or the other, regardless of the particular context in which that verse was written, it most certainly can be applied to other matters, as well....Easter, Christmas, Lent...all man-made celebrations....God never commanded them.

Acts 5:29"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."

Tony Warren

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Re: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2003, 07:36:42 PM »
Quote
>>>
Hey Tony,
Do you have an explanation of Acts 12:2-4 as well?
<<<

..first, those weren't my explanations I gave you, nor were they my words, it was the word of God that "HE" spoke about not judging men in respect of observances of days. God said that, not Tony Warren. Are we clear on that part? You may not like what "God" had to say because it contradicts what you have to say, but He did say it.  So you may ascribe it to me, but the truth is obvious. I'll tell you, I RECEIVE every single word God says, whether I quote it, or you quote it. I always give it the same weight, and I try not to trample upon it.

As for Acts 12:2-4. There is no explanation necessary, because those verses have nothing to do with today's celebration of Easter Sunday. Easter is simply another word for Resurrection Sunday. Just as SUN-day is another word for the first day of the week. It "TODAY" has no pagan connotation to it, until someone like yourself attempts to place one into it. I don't quote that verse in the pulpit on Easter Sunday, on Easter Sunday I speak of the blessed resurrection of Christ, and how it secured all our Salvation. To make a "word" the end-all of whether to celebrate Christ's rising on a particular day, I believe is error.


Quote
>>>
And no I never said that Christ's Resurrection was the table of devils....only that you can't sit at both tables and partake of them....
<<<

No, you merely imply that those who celebrate Christ's resurrection on Easter Sunday are partaking of the table of Devils. Why else would you use the verse about mixing with the table of Devils? Obviously, the implication was there.

James 4:11
  • "Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge."

As I said, if you and yours do not want to celebrate Easter, you have every Christian right and liberty not to! I don't judge or condemn you or anyone else for that. As per the scriptures I referenced, God tells us whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. Therefore, by all means, don't observe Easter. But I have a serious problem with anyone implying that the Sunday celebration of the Lord's resurrection (what the Church calls Easter Sunday), is mixing with the table of Devils. I frankly find it reprehensible that anyone would equate these 'honorable' observances, to partaking with Devils. And I don't really care what pious words one wraps his self-righteous indignation at the Lord's servants who choose to observe Resurrection Sunday. Zealousness is good. Over-zealousness is not good.


Quote
>>>
Acts 5:29"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."
<<<

Correct. Which means we don't equate those who observe a day commemorating the Lord's Resurrection, to those partaking in the table of Devils. As God declares unambiguously, to His own master he stands or falls with respect to observing these days. Selah!

As for your other argument, if we were to obey man, we'd not be able to have a special worship service every Sunday because (according to him) it's..

 (#1) not specifically commanded,

 and

 (#2) pagan because the Sun-day was started by Paganism.

 It doesn't take a Ph.D to see the error in this kind of "man-made" reasoning about commands. The truth is, we can celebrate God on any day we want, and worship on any day we want. It's called our Christian liberty. Just as on every evil Halloween day, we can have a special celebration of the defeat of Satan by the cross if we want! And to claim we cannot do that because halloween is an evil and Pagan day, is Biblically untenable. We can have a service on that day and call it Reformation day if we so choose. Men are evil, days of themselves are not. Men are hypocrites, days are not. Men are self righteous, days are not. There is little that is worse than men who lay upon the Church burdens which they themselves cannot bear. Man made laws (as the traditions of the Jews) which are not commanded by God. Such as the hypocrites of old did in adding the alleged gift of honoring father and mother,  or the washing of hands, or forbidding the of eating meats. And in that same category is the forbidding to celebrate the Resurrection of the Christ, on a day called Easter. These are the laws, ordinances or traditions of men, not of God. Burdens laid upon God's servants which God has not laid.

Acts 15:28-29
  • "For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
    That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well
    ."

As long as the Church abstains from meats offered to idols (the intake of false doctrines),  from blood, from things strangled (false sacrifices), and from fornication: (unfaithfulness), then they shall do well without man adding other burdens such as days where they can't worship Christ's Resurrection.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Withoutcamp

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Re: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2003, 09:05:29 AM »
Tony,

Thank you for your gracious reply to my last response to you.  

After reading it, I can see the difference between the two of us.  That difference being that I don't attend a building for worship services on a set day,  the which you call a church.  So, what your church calls Easter may indeed be what that church refers to as Resurrection Sunday.  This is in no way a condemnation...it's just that I believe saints are the Temple of God...they are The Church...not a building made with hands...How do I go to a place in which I attend, daily?

Truly, when I think of The Church, I think of that Body that is scattered and few and most peculiar, and that Body doesn't tend to celebrate it's Holy Days with the rest of this world....it doesn't even resemble the world...it doesn't need advertisments on church signs to bring in the masses...it doesn't strive for quantity of bodies filling pews, only quality of souls that yearn for true fellowship with those that are of one accord.

I appreciate your taking the time in responding with some bible verses to show me any error.  

I've got a big problem with the doctrines of the world's churches...their names and many denominations....it's His Church, not man's....why the division?...how does that house stand?

One thing, though...could you, or anyone, for that matter, do a search in the word regarding mingling things.  That is what my point was in explaining my position of Easter celebration...mingling the world with the Kingdom of God.  

With that, I shall leave this board...it's evident that I'll not fit in very well.  I surely didn't come here to cause trouble...only looking for true fellowship.  So, I'll go "without the camp"....and that "camp" being the world's churches.  
I'll let my peace return unto me and depart from this place.

Do take care and thanks again for your response.

Sandra from Tennessee :(

canuk

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Re: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2003, 10:13:19 AM »
"With that, I shall leave this board...it's evident that I'll not fit in very well.  I surely didn't come here to cause trouble...only looking for true fellowship."  




I see no reason to leave...in review I find Tony's answers to be sincere and helpful. There is no animosity apparent...at least not in a mean spirited manner. The verse he's provided is the same verse he supplied to me years ago that shut me up when I used to complain here about Christmas. Its not easy accepting correction... I know believe me! However the difference between a true Christian and a fake...is that one accepts Gods teaching and aligns oneself with it...not mans teaching but Gods and any true christian should know the difference...or goes off content in there own self knowledge. I would rather eat humble pie in paradise... than be right... on this earth.  




I've got a big problem with the doctrines of the world's churches...their names and many denominations....it's His Church, not man's....why the division?...how does that house stand?





So does any true believer...like many that attend this board...not all by any means...but a growing number here have left their churches for a variety of reasons, most stemming out of apostasy.  I on the other hand was brought to the Lord back in the eighties... and have not been able to find and fit into any church. Which I felt cheated because of... yes cheated...for a time. I wanted to go to church like any Christian does and would. But that was not to be in my case...I've come to accept this and moved on.


Tony Silva

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Re: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2003, 04:42:14 PM »
Withoutcamp,

Out of curiousity, do you celebrate your birthday? Do you know that is also of pagan origin?

Romans 14:5  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

I'm sure if we dig back far enough every celebration known to man has it's origins in the pagan world. As a matter of fact the land which God gave to national Isreal had pagan origins, but that didn't stop God from appropriating it, driving out the pagans and giving it to the Jews so that they could practice the true worship of Jehova God

Best wishes,

Tony S



Tony Warren

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Re: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2003, 07:21:38 PM »
Quote
>>>
Thank you for your gracious reply to my last response to you.  
After reading it, I can see the difference between the two of us.  That difference being that I don't attend a building for worship services on a set day,  the which you call a church.  
<<<

We're digressing. Whether one assembles in a church building or not is not the issue at hand. It is whether assembled in a barn, a field, or in a closet, we can commemorate and celebrate the Lord's Resurrection on a day that has become known as Easter. I believe (based solely upon the scriptures), that we can. That alone is the issue! This is akin to those of old who thought that the Church must be circumcised. They didn't understand Christian liberty, and by their lack of understanding would bring men again under bondage of law. In other words, good intentions are not always Biblical, and often place unbiblical chains burdening men, that God has not placed.

Galatians 5:1
  • "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."


Quote
>>>
Truly, when I think of The Church, I think of that Body that is scattered and few and most peculiar, and that Body doesn't tend to celebrate it's Holy Days with the rest of this world....
<<<

The world doesn't celebrate the Resurrection of Christ on Easter. Oh sure, they may joy in an easter egg hunt, parade around in a bunny costume, celebrate a day of frivolity, but they do not celebrate the Resuurection of Christ. Therefore, we have no yoke, bond or connection with them whatsoever. You're mixing apples and oranges. I already agreed, that any Easter bunny celebration, as the world does, is not Biblically validated and is the way of the world.  But Christ's Church is a peculiar or special people, "set apart" from the ways of the World. They don't celebrate that way and thus should not be despised.

Titus 2:14-15
  • "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
  • These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."

 
Quote
>>>
I've got a big problem with the doctrines of the world's churches...
<<<

Believe me, so do I. ..and so does God!

Revelation 2:5
  • "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."


Quote
>>>
...their names and many denominations....it's His Church, not man's....why the division?...
<<<

Good question. But what has this to do with if I can have an Easter Sunday commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ? The world, and worldly Churches, are diverse from faithful believers and faithful Churches. They never mix, for they are adversarial to each other.

2nd Corinthians 6:16
  • "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."


Quote
>>>
One thing, though...could you, or anyone, for that matter, do a search in the word regarding mingling things.  That is what my point was in explaining my position of Easter celebration...mingling the world with the Kingdom of God.
<<<

That's because you've made up your mind that the "word" Easter is somehow inherently evil. Therefore "to you," people worshiping Christ on this particular day the Church has set aside is (in your mind) mingling good and evil. But to the body of Christ, Easter is just a word meaning the celebration of Resurrection Sunday. As I said before, just as the word Sunday is just another word we use for the first day. You're not going to tell me that you never used the word Sunday are you? ..of course not. Therefore, your whole premise about a word and its Pagan roots is fatally flawed. ie., a rose by any other name, would smell as sweet. Sunday is fine with me. I don't care what Pagan invented it. This world and all in it belongs to the Lord. Likewise, I could call it Resurrection Sunday instead of Easter Sunday if it would make you feel better. But my "guess" is that you'd still have a problem with it because it's the same day. Which really gets to the heart of the matter, doesn't it? Judgments of another man's servants because they choose to worship Christ on a particular day.

Galatians 4:16
  • "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?"

Unfortunately, the answer is usually, yes. Pride is a formidable force. Thus, it takes a formidable force to subdue it. The Spirit of God.


Quote
>>>
So, I'll go "without the camp"....and that "camp" being the world's churches.  
<<<

Every man must follow his own path. But Biblically speaking, in these end times, the Camp of the saints is in fact the indivisible body of Christ which those of the nations of the world come against because they hate the love of truth. But don't take my word for it.

Revelation 20:8-9
  • "And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
  • And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."

I'll remain inside the camp, not outside with the nations of the world who come against it.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Reformer

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Re: Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2003, 09:28:31 PM »
With Easter approaching, and the controversy in some circles, I think this is a good poll.

 


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