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|Is Easter Really A Christian Celebration? by Janosky: 11:54am On Apr 12|
OUR READERS ASK . . .
Is Easter Really a Christian Celebration ?
Easter is described in the Encyclopædia Britannica as the “principal festival of the Christian church that celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.” However, is it a Christian celebration?
To establish the authenticity of an artifact, attention to detail is critical. Similarly, for us to see whether Easter is a Christian celebration, it is essential that we take a look at the details related to Easter.
First of all, Jesus asked his followers to commemorate, not his resurrection, but his death. The apostle Paul called this occasion “the Lord’s Evening Meal.”—1 Corinthians 11:20; Luke 22:19, 20.
Easter bunnies, chicks, and eggs
Additionally, many of the Easter traditions “have little to do” with Jesus’ resurrection, states the Britannica, “but derive from folk customs.” For instance, regarding the popular Easter symbols the egg and the rabbit, The Encyclopedia of Religion says: “The egg symbolizes new life breaking through the apparent death (hardness) of the eggshell.” It adds: “The rabbit was known as an extraordinarily fertile creature, and hence it symbolized the coming of spring.”
Philippe Walter, a professor of medieval literature, explains how such customs became part of the Easter celebration. He wrote that “in the process of the Christianization of pagan religions,” it was easy to associate the pagan festival that celebrated “the passage from the death of winter to the life of springtime” with Jesus’ resurrection. Walter adds that it was a key step in introducing “Christian commemorations” to the pagan calendar, thus smoothing the way to mass conversion.
This process of “Christianization” did not occur while the apostles were still alive, because they acted as a “restraint” against paganism. (2 Thessalonians 2:7) The apostle Paul warned that after his “going away,” men would “rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.” (Acts 20:29, 30) And late in the first century, the apostle John wrote that some men were already misleading Christians. (1 John 2:18, 26) The way was open for the eventual adoption of pagan customs.
“Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers.”—2 Corinthians 6:14
Some may feel, however, that allowing some of the Easter customs was not wrong—that it gave “pagans” a better understanding of the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection. Paul, however, would never have agreed. Although exposed to many pagan customs while traveling through the Roman Empire, he never adopted any of them to give people a better understanding of Jesus. On the contrary, he warned the Christians: “Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness? ‘Therefore, get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing.’”—2 Corinthians 6:14, 17.
What is the result of our brief examination of the details? It has clearly revealed that Easter is not a Christian celebration"
|Re: Is Easter Really A Christian Celebration? by Janosky: 11:58am On Apr 12|
The Bible’s answer
The celebration of Easter is not based on the Bible. If you look into its history, though, you will see the true meaning of Easter—it is a tradition based on ancient fertility rites. Consider the following.
Name: The Encyclopædia Britannica says: “The English name Easter is of uncertain origin; the Anglo-Saxon priest Venerable Bede in the 8th century derived it from the Anglo-Saxon spring goddess Eostre.” Others link it to Astarte, the Phoenician fertility goddess who had the Babylonian counterpart Ishtar.
Hares, rabbits: These are symbols of fertility “handed down from the ancient ceremonial and symbolism of European and Middle Eastern pagan spring festivals.”—Encyclopædia Britannica.
Eggs: According to Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend, the hunt for Easter eggs, supposedly brought by the Easter rabbit, “is not mere child’s play, but the vestige of a fertility rite.” Some cultures believed that the decorated Easter egg “could magically bring happiness, prosperity, health, and protection.”—Traditional Festivals.
New Easter outfit: “It was considered discourteous and therefore bad luck to greet the Scandinavian goddess of Spring, or Eastre, in anything but fresh garb.”—The Giant Book of Superstitions.
Sunrise services: These have been linked to rites of ancient sun worshippers “performed at the vernal equinox welcoming the sun and its great power to bring new life to all growing things.”—Celebrations—The Complete Book of American Holidays.
The American Book of Days well describes the origin of Easter: “There is no doubt that the Church in its early days adopted the old pagan customs and gave a Christian meaning to them.”
The Bible warns against worshipping God by following traditions or customs that displease him. (Mark 7:6- Second Corinthians 6:17 states: “‘Separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing.’” Easter is a pagan holiday that those who want to please God will avoid."
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