Thursday, April 8, 2010

what do we believe?

As you all know we just finished the Easter and Passover season. I have had numerous people ask us why we don't celebrate Easter. If you are a Christian then you are supposed to celebrate easter. Right?  My answer No, We are Christians but we do not participate in the Easter Festivities. So many people get seriously offended when we talk about it. So mostly we have refrained from discussing it.  This post is not meant to offend but it is strictly to educate people about where we stand, what we believe and why we believe it.  Justin and I are very much about trying to follow Jesus. We do not want to go about life doing what is tradition merely for the sake of tradition. We fail a lot of the time but we are actively seeking the Lord and what best honors Him. 

So why do we believe what we believe? 
There are a few reasons. First is the Scripture from the Old testament, Deuteronomy 12: 30-31. 
Moses is speaking to the people. 
vs.30 But that's when you have to be especially careful not to ask, "How did these nations worship their gods? Shouldn't we worship the Lord in the same way?"
vs.31 No you should not, the Lord hates the disgusting way those nations worship their gods, because they even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices.

Also Deuteronomy 14:2
Out of all the nations on this earth, The Lord your God chose you to be His own. You belong to the Lord. So don't behave like those who worship other gods. 

We believe that when Jesus died on the cross he set us free from the Levitical laws. However we also believe that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And while He may have sent his Son to be our Sacrifice, Savior and our High Priest. We also believe God's Heart is the same. The Bible backs this up when it says "God is a jealous God"

I looked up the definition of the word jealous, there were two different meanings. The first meaning was "to be resentfully suspicious or envious." This is usually the kind of jealousy that we, as humans beings, experience. The second meaning was "to be watchful in guarding." I see this as the kind of jealousy that God has for us.

Exodus 20: 3-5 (New International Version)
"You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God, am a jealous God."
Deuteronomy 4: 23-24 (New International Version)
"Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that He made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God."

***God is a jealous God in that He will not tolerate unfaithfulness on the part of His people. In these scriptures, God warns the Israelites not to get involved in worshiping other gods and not to participate in the religious practices of other nations. By doing so, they would be committing adultery.***

That being said I want to dig into some of the Easter traditions.
Easter is filled with pagan worship practices and tradition that have been fostered on this holiday. A holiday that is to be a celebration of our Savior's sacrifice, His death AND Resurrection. Ultimately it is supposed to be about JESUS. 
Let's start with the Easter basket.
This tradition has it's origins in the Old Catholic Church of bringing the Easter dinner to Mass to be blessed. This actually mirrors an old Pagan ritual of bringing the first crops and seedlings to the temple to ensure a good season. 
Next is the Easter Rabbit.
The goddess Eastre, (also known as Eostur, Eastar, Ostara, Ostar, Eostre) symbolized by a rabbit or hare, would come and bring the great bounty. Eastre is a highly sexual fertility goddess. The Catholic Easter basket custom combined with Eastre's awaited "rabbits nest" eventually evolved into the brightly covered baskets filled with sweets to be left for children on Easter morning. 
What about Easter Eggs?  
***The egg was also a symbol of fertility; Semiramis (Easter) was the goddess of Fertility. The Easter egg is a symbol of the pagan Mother Goddess, and it even bears one of her names.
“The egg was a sacred symbol among the Babylonians. They believed an old fable about an egg of wondrous size which was supposed to have fallen from heaven into the Euphrates River. From this marvelous egg - according to the ancient story - the Goddess Astarte (Easter) [Semiramis], was hatched. And so the egg came to symbolize the Goddess Easter.”
The idea of a mystic egg spread from Babylon to many parts of the world. In Rome, the mystic egg preceded processions in honor of the Mother Goddess Roman. The egg was part of the sacred ceremonies of the Mysteries of Bacchus. The Druids used the egg as their sacred emblem. In Northern Europe, China and Japan the eggs were colored for their sacred festivals.
The ancient Persians painted eggs for Nowrooz, their New Year celebration falling on the Spring Equinox. This tradition has continued every year on Nowrooz since ancient times.***

***One might wonder if there is a better way for Christians to celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection, the most important of all Christian holy days. In retrospect, it seems obvious that it would have been a better witness to the world if Christians had not attempted to “Christianize” pagan celebrations - adopting the name “Easter” (Ishtar/Semiramis) in remembrance of Christ. Jesus has been obscured by painted eggs and bunnies. Attention has been shifted away from spiritual truth and toward materialism (clothing, products and candies with the wrong symbolism). Stores merchandise the name of Easter (not “Resurrection Sunday”) and sell goods that have nothing to do with Christ's death and resurrection. Christians naively use symbols and practices that unknowingly perpetuate ancient anti-Christ traditions - symbolic customs followed by the same religious cults that inspired the destruction of great numbers of Christians and Jews. Is the Devil laughing at us?
Many church bodies recognize the problem and make every effort to keep the focus of Resurrection Sunday totally on Jesus Christ and the Good News that He brought.***

This is totally why, We refuse to say Happy Easter and instead we gladly wish you a Happy Resurrection Sunday.
Note: **** indicates Some of this material has been taken from sites that are very informative. 
A  good one to read through for more info would be
There are so many different sites out there that have more information. All you have to do is search.
Now you know. Please know we do not wish to push our beliefs on you. This is meant only to give insight into our position on easter.  


Erin Trimble said...

I find this post very interesting because all the same things could be said for Christmas, and yet you celebrate like the rest of us on that day... Hmmmmm... I will think on this.

Stacey said...

Actually we don not celebrate the same as everyone else. We do not do anything "santa" related. And we read scripture from the bible every night as part of our advent house for the 25 days of Christmas from the 1st of december to the 25th of december. We study the Prophesies of the coming Messiah and God's promises to his people. Mostly we try to get through to our kids how much of a sacrifice Jesus made to come to this earth Just for us. We make sure our kids know that every gift is from God, because of His provision for us. We make sure we are teaching the kids about the pagan aspects of Christmas. My Christmas tree is one thing I struggle with every year. So as you can see we definitely celebrate the resurrection of Christ with out celebrating Easter and we try hard to do the same with Christmas... We have tried to incorporate some Hannukah stuff in but for now we are really focused on the True meanings of the Holidays and that is JESUS. We are trying to cut out anything that resembles pagan worship practices.

Melissa said...

Very informative post. Thanks for sharing! I agree with you whole-heartedly that Satan is trying to drown out the true meaning and reason why we celebrate Christmas and 'Easter'. These days of celebration should be completely centered on Christ, and instead, we have allowed our focus to shift with that of the world. I've been thinking alot about this lately.

On a more positive note, I was so glad to 'see' you today! I hope all is well for you and yours. I've left you a comment over on my blog concerning the sauerkraut. You should definitely give it a try!!!