This morning, on Facebook, I asked the question, "With Halloween less than a week away, why, as "Christians", do we celebrate pagan holidays (Halloween, Christmas, Easter), but not the Holy days of the Bible?".
I got a couple of answers ranging from getting a day off from work to American tradition. I also received comments regarding my listing Christmas and Easter as pagan holidays and I'm sure I will get more, here.
Let's take a look at origins, traditions, and what the Bible says about it all, shall we?
ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica -
"During the later periods of Roman history, sun worship gained in importance and ultimately led to what has been called a 'solar monotheism.' Nearly all the gods of the period were possessed of Solar qualities, and both Christ and Mithra acquired the traits of solar deities. The feast of Sol Invictus (open unconquered Sun) on December 25th was celebrated with great joy, and eventually this date was taken over by the Christians as Christmas, the birthday of Christ."Did you catch that? Anything seem wrong with this, to you?
The Christians were apparently trying to get more converts so they tried to make the Messiah more like the idols found in sun worship---all under the guise of making Him more attractive to pagans. They even brought various elements of the December 25th "feast of the unconquered sun" into their worship by saying that December 25th was actually the Messiah's birthday. This is the origin of Christmas and this is why we have various pagan-rooted traditions accompanying this holiday.
So...who converted who? Aren't we suppose to be set apart from the world?
When Paul was writing to the Ephesians, a group of believers who were surrounded by idol worship, he said:
Ephesians 5:11 - And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.So we shouldn't be trying to copy idolatrous feasts. Rather, we should be exposing them for the fraud and lie that they are. One of the last things our Savior would ever want is to "acquire the traits of solar deities" and believers should not be imitating pagans.
So...Just when was Jesus born?
The scriptures do not supply us with an exact date of birth. We know the date of His death is on Passover. Scripture does tell us the time of many other important events in biblical history such as the founding of the temple (first day of the biblical year), the timing of the Exodus from Egypt, the date that the flood began and many other events. But the date of the Messiah's birth? Scripture is silent.
What about Easter? We won't spend much time on this but let's check out the beginning.
Origin of Easter
The origin of Easter dates back to ancient times, not long after the flood, Nimrod, a grandson of Noah, had turned from following his grandfather's God and had become a tyrannical ruler. According to the biblical record, as king, Nimrod created Babel, Ninevah, Asshur, Calla and other cities, all known for lifestyles that promoted unspeakable evil and perversion. When Nimrod died, his wife, Queen Semiramis, deified him as the Sun-god, or Life Giver. Later he would become known as Baal, and those who followed the religion Semiramis created in his name would be called Baal worshipers. They became associated with idolatry, demon worship, human sacrifice and other practices regarded as evil.
The origin of Easter involves the birth of Semiramis' illegitimate son, Tammuz. Somehow, Semiramis convinced the people that Tammuz was actually Nimrod reborn. Since people had been looking for the promised savior since the beginning of mankind, they were persuaded by Semiramis to believe that Tammuz was that savior, even that he had been supernaturally conceived. Before long, in addition to worshiping Tammuz (or Nimrod reborn), the people also worshiped Semiramis herself as the goddess of fertility. In other cultures, she has been called Ishtar, Ashtur and yes, Easter.
So...Once again, we seem to be paying homage to and trying to mix the things of demons with the things of God.
With all of that being said, I am not condemning anyone for celebrating Christmas or any other holiday. We celebrate them in our home, as well. We taught our children and are teaching our grandchildren about why we celebrate them as the birth and resurrection of Jesus. But shouldn't we put more emphasis on the Biblical Holy Days such as Pass Over, The Feast of Tabernacles, The Day of Pentecost, and so many others. I like this paper written by 11 year old Tessa. Here is just a short excerpt but I hope you will take the time to read the entire article. Why I Celebrate God's Biblical Holy Days Instead of Holidays
The reason we don’t keep Christmas is because the Bible doesn’t tell us to. It tells the story of Jesus’ birth, but not as a Holy Day. It doesn’t even tell us what day He was born. Dec. 25 is a day called the winter solstice. Most of the traditions of Christmas come from people called pagans who lived before Christ was born and worshiped idols. Later, during the Roman Empire , Christians started keeping these traditions in Jesus’ name and today everyone thinks that’s OK.
But the Bible says we shouldn’t take away or add to God’s laws. And we are not supposed to reject God’s Commandments so that we can keep man’s traditions, even if they seem fun. So that’s why my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas.
So...Back to my original question. What saddens me the most is that nobody, not one person, answered the entire question. Not really even part of the question. One person did give me an honest answer, though, which made me think that most people celebrate these holidays for these reasons more than a Biblical reason. His answer?
American tradition, kids enjoy them, brings families together, work gives you the day off, ect.
I know we will all go on celebrating the holidays as we have been but shouldn't we give some thought to the fact that Jesus celebrated the Holy Days?
So...can anyone answer my question?
With Halloween less than a week away, why, as "Christians", do we celebrate pagan holidays (Halloween, Christmas, Easter), but not the Holy days of the Bible?
Grace & Peace,