Reader Comments on the Easter Article

   Maybe you read the article and were in shock. Maybe you read it and had questions or comments and didn't want to ask them. Here, I am addressing the ones that have. I will not include names, and more than one person has asked each of these. Please feel free to ask me anything else you would like to, but I think this covers a good bit of them. I will not give out any names, and all answers will be in a Christ-like manner with Biblical back-up.


"You're getting too technical. You're too far to the right, abomination is not the right word."

 Am I? Let’s see some things God says in His Word:

Deuteronomy 7:25

The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therin: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God.

   I’d say this is pretty clear. It is telling us to get rid of false gods, not to let them be a part of us. He even goes so far as to say, do not even take the silver or gold thereof. In other words, when they burn them, do not even take the melted down gold and silver for their own or they would be snared in it. Why? Because, they would be using part of something from a false idol. Then notice how God clearly states, it is an abomination. It’s not my words, it’s His. Now think about pagan deities in Easter, and the symbols of the rabbit and the eggs. Melt easter down into whatever makes you feel good, and your still left with the remnants God is telling us to stay away from.

Deuteronomy 12:29-32

Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

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

Doesn’t really need explaining does it? Again, GOD calls it an abomination. So I have to ask you, am I too far too the right, or are those who just can’t let go of these things, reinterpreting it to try and justify it?


"This is clearly a tradition. Colossians 2:16 tells us, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day”. We are not held to those things that they were in the Old Testament. Since this is a tradition, we can keep doing it."

   It is not talking about traditions of man! It is saying that Jesus Christ nailed to the Cross all of the ways of the Jewish people before. The observances, the rituals, and so forth. Whoever interprets it to mean the traditions of man is grossly mistaken and is butchering up the verse. You need to read the context of the verses surrounding it (Chp 2 verses 14-16). You can't just go in a simply pick and choose verses that fit you need, or parts of them. You have to take them how they were written. If you read these together, that is the ONLY way they can be read. God would never give an open door policy to traditions of man. He would be giving authority to sin! Think of everything that could be called a tradition. This interpretation of that verse makes everything out there okay as long as it is a tradition. Read this again.....

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days"

   The Jews would oppose Christianity because Jesus Christ's new church did not follow all of their sacrements, did not have restrictions on the same food, did not have to follow the same Jewish festivals (the New Moon festival is a Jewish festival), did not have to keep the Sabbath (the Sabbath was on Saturday. New Christians are not held to that). Jesus nailed to the cross, all the things that the Jewish people were keeping with the Levitical laws. That is the ONLY thing you can take from this scripture. I have not added anything to it! It is in plain sight; however, when people take it to justify their feelings and say God opened up anything called a tradition, they are the ones guilty of adding to His Word. To think that God would ever write a blank check allowing you to do whatever you wanted as long as you called it a tradition, is absurd and would pit God against Himself because He would have to condone sin.

   People will often spout off that Jesus abolished the Old Testament. That is completely untrue. He fulfilled it. Now you don’t have to have a priest make sacrifices for you, you can pray to God versus someone doing it for you, etc. That is what was meant by fulfill, He did NOT abolish it. What was sin to God in the Old Testament is still a sin in His eyes in the New Covenant. God is unchanging.


"I am not celebrating or worshipping any other God than the one true God when I celebrate Easter."

"I’m not thinking of the pagan stuff when we hunt eggs and have chocolate bunnies."

   I would first refer you to the scriptures pointed out in the rebuttal concerning me being too far to the right in my views. You can be left with no other interpretation than it makes no difference if you think about it, you are taking part in it. After you read that, please continue reading…

   People would rather hold on to tradition. God's Word plainly tells us otherwise no matter what our intentions, but, when everybody else does it, and a majority of people make you feel better by saying it's okay, people go after that "itching ear", Paul talks about. I know I don't want to stand before God, and tell Him I chose not to do what He told me because everybody else said it was okay.

   I am not accusing anyone of worshipping any other god. What I am saying is, Christians are clearly using a Pagan holiday, and pagan symbols to worship Him. Big difference. I know in their hearts they love God, and you and everyone else mean the best for Him, but they use something He specifically commanded us not to do for that worship. Cut, dry, and simple, Easter, is without question pagan. Easter, not as the church attempts to use it, but rather its origin. No-one can deny that, it is irrefutable. So then you take the word Easter, and you place it on a celebration of the resurrection of our Savior. It's like oil and water. They don't mix. If you were to stand in front of Jesus and say, "Easter is for you", He would tell you that Easter is of this world. It is pagan. You cannot take something unholy from the pagans, clean it up on the outside to make it look different, and expect God to accept worship from it. Plainly He told us He would not. There is no gray line, no middle of the road, no room for people to re-interpret. When He told the Israelites not to look into and use the Canaanites methods of worship, He meant it. He told them you will worship the Lord your God in the way I have instructed.

      If you went to an Arab country when they were having their annual pilgrimage and watched them, you would see people taking whips and flogging themselves as they quote from the quran, pray to allah, and so forth. For fun, kids and adults alike throw rocks at an image of satan. Now let's say, you have an idea. You want to get muslims to convert to Christianity, but you know how important this festival is to them (by the way, this is the single most important celebration of muslims). This celebration is called Hajj. You instill an annual celebration at the same time of year where you beat yourself with sticks/whips and say you are commemorating Jesus being beaten. You sing songs, chant verses, and have the kids throw rocks at something telling them they are beating up the devil. To top it off, it is during the same week that Jesus Christ is said to have been baptized in the Jordan river. You decide to call it Hajj Sunday. You just borrowed from a false religion. You had good intentions. You are, in your mind, truly trying to honor God, and you think only of Him. You are trying to bring Muslims in by giving them something from their religion that would attract them. You also did the exact thing God pointed out not to do in the verses from Deuteronomy where He said not to worship the way they worship. By doing that you are sinning, would you not agree? I mean, that's an easy yes right? You did something God told you not to, and that is a sin right? Now on top of that, you took that sin, and tried to praise Him with it. That is exactly the thing that made God repent making Saul king of Israel. He didn't kill all the sheep of the Amakelites. Instead, He kept the best ones, and said he would build an altar and sacrifice them to God. His intentions were good, but God told him that you cannot worship Him in the midst of sin. He did not receive the worship. In fact, He had Samuel come and kill the king of the Amakelites that Samuel had kept as prisoner (instead of killing him as God had instructed) and then Samuel also destroyed all the sheep.

   This is an example using the islam faith. Paganism is no different. It is a false religion that worships a god other than God Himself. The Roman Catholic church borrowed from the pagans to attract them just as my example above and instilled in everyone it was okay since they were trying to convert people. Clearly it is not okay.   I can understand that it is hard for a lot of people because it is something instilled in us long ago, just like Christmas with satan claus (yes, that’s my name for him). Add to that the summer solstice tree, and the mistletoe. Yep, pagan again. I have dropped it all like a hot potato, but that's me. I have no desire to stand before God and answer for worshipping Him in a way He plainly tells us not too. I also refuse to lead any other fellow Christians astray by telling them it is okay. Any man of God can easily see it is not, and that too will be terrible to answer for. I am in continual prayer that hearts will become unhardened to the Word of God.


“If what your saying is true and there are other celebrations and worship that borrow or  come from pagan worship, Then where are we in God's eyes?”

“I have wondered if living in another country where life isn’t so complicated and fragmented, would make being a Christian a little easier. I do believe that America is the most difficult country to be a missionary in.”

   Unfortunately, you're closer to the mark than what you think as far as worship goes. Over time, tradition has set in, and it has become a way of life and accepted. If you go against it, you're labeled as too right wing. Fact is, Christmas goes in the same category. If it is going to be about Jesus, let it be about Him. No Santa ( I call him satan claus), and no tree. Check out the origin of the tree and pagan summer solstice. It should have sent bells off when nowhere in the bible is a day of worship set aside for Jesus Christ's birth, death, or resurrection. Look closely, Jesus actually only institutes the Lord's supper.
   In Colossians Chp2, we see where Jesus nailed to the cross the old Levitical laws and Jewish customs. This would be the New moon festival, the holding to certain types of meat, and so forth. We are told not to let people mock us for not holding them because Jesus delivered the New Covenant. That never changed the things that are sin in God's eye. God is unchanging. What He found as sin in the Old Testament, still holds true as sin in the New Covenant.
Preaching the word, singing hymns, and so forth, we have the right to do that. And yes, even though we are not told to celebrate Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection, certainly we can, but we can't bring in other religious practices in doing it, mask them, and expect Him to be happy about it. I'd say that is why we are losing such a foothold in the US as we are. It's the reason that churches crumble on a regular basis. It's sad, but true.
   Are there a lot of other things that need to be worked on...yes. Can we get then all at once...no. But we can't use that as a crutch either. When it is shown with scripture we are wrong, we must change, or face the consequences.
   As far as the past centuries, what I am saying is nothing new. I have no doubt that God places people in each generation to try and help lead us out of this pit. We are told in Ecclesiastes, "There is nothing new under the sun, what is now, has been before." None of us are so brilliant we discover it on our own, Satan has just been clever and had many pawns to help hide it.

"I believe that many believers would agree that all we want to do is worship and we mean no harm in going along with the practices of our generation. Especially since most of us don't have a clue about the origins of many of the practices. Pleading the 5th doesn't excuse us after the Holy Spirit educates on something."

Amen to that.


"So show me something else where it's so bad. I don't understand. I want to do right, but are there other examples where paganism has caused Christianity more problems, or as many, as say islam?"

Paganism has made a mockery of Christianity from the beginning. Satan never knows God's plan, but you have to remember, he was an angel, so when he starts to see it unfold, he makes his move to combat it. Paganism was his first attempt and it mocks God from beginning to end. That in itself should make us stay as far away from it's symbols and practices as possible. Take some time and read the article at the link below. It's not just me ladies and gentlemen.

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t020.html


"You are not showing love like Jesus did."

"Jesus never showed anger, always love. That’s how you lead people."

"You are judging others and we aren’t supposed to."

If I didn't love, and didn't care, I wouldn't say anything. I would be content to just go through the motions, happy and oblivious to the truth, and not caring about my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Let's look at something a minute...

Luke 14:26
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple."
Here, Jesus again shows that His ministry, his truth, will cause hatred and disruption.


John 15:18-19
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
Why would the world hate Jesus? Truth is why. And then He points out how the world turns on us when we are His, or do His will.


Mark 11:15-16
"And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple."
That's pretty strong. Jesus didn't step on eggshells. And they all hated Him for it. I wonder why He didn't just talk nicely with them and explain how it was wrong?

The point is not that I am comparing myself to Jesus, I am not, I am making a point. Jesus was about love, and showing love to others. It is the easiest way to get a point across....but not the ONLY way. Far too many people use the "love one another" to soften things up for people so as not to come off harsh. Jesus as shown above had His moments He was stern, the Disciples did as well where they rebuked others, and even themselves. We are no better. Sometimes our attention has to be grabbed. Ask yourself, how many times have you heard, and have you freely admitted, that Easter and it's practices came from the Pagans? Given that, and given what is pointed out in the first questions at the top about using anything of a false idol...how many times do you think God was sitting there waiting for the light to turn on? When you even spoke the words, yet saw no problem, that's a hardening of the heart, you become immune to the sin, or wrong in it. God uses circumstances and people to grab others' attention in a more abrupt way when they won't listen to the "love" and "compassion". You can only speak softly so many times, before a voice has to be raised. Think of where we would be right now, if Martin Luther decided to be somber in his thesis against the Roman Catholic church and start the reformation that brought Jesus Christ's church out of the binders it was in, and to enjoy the Truth we know now from that. The Bible warns us to be careful HOW we judge, it never says NOT to judge. If we don't judge, how are we to know who to witness to or how to witness to them? The way we judge others is how we will be judged, and that's the part people get confused on, and then misinterpret to say we are not to judge. Now, we certainly are not to condemn, that is not our job. But we must judge in order to keep ourselves from falling in to the ways of the world. If we don't judge, we will never be able to do that, and then we fail our fellow brothers and sisters. I ask to be judged, I want to be. As pointed out in the original article, we should welcome being chastened....it keeps us from the ways of the world.


"You act like the Pharisees thinking you know so much."

"You are pointing out others faults, but what about yours?"

Never, ever, have I claimed to be more learned than any one else, nor will I ever. God shows me things. God shows you things. We show each other. As much as He knows, and tries to reveal, no one person can absorb it all. We all have faults, we are human, we can't help but have faults. Noah had faults, he liked the wine a lot. Moses was a murderer. Look at Paul, the chief persecutor of Christians before Jesus came to Him in a vision. If we let our faults, stop us, we'll never get anywhere, we'll have to be stagnant. Yes, I am full of faults. When the Lord laid this on me, that was my chief objection. I struggled with God on this one. This was not something thought up a couple days before Easter. No, this was a battle over about a three week period. I struggled with God on it. I was depressed, saddened, and much in prayer over it. I remembered how Isaiah was called the crying prophet, because he lamented what God would send him to do, and it hit home, as I was in that same boat. I knew exactly how it would be taken, I knew exactly the way it would come off. God did not let up. From the timing, to the tone which it was delivered, was exactly what He revealed to me to do. I love my church. I love my friends on my mailing lists. I love my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I would never just flip off at the mouth like this, causing hurt feelings, causing pain, and causing anger. Never. My purpose is to edify and build-up others, to serve, to help, and this was going against that, seemingly to tear down. No matter how much I prayed, no matter how much I pleaded, the answer was unwavering from Him. I was left with a choice. Protect feelings, or follow Him.....I made the best decision, I followed Him.


"You tell us to get creative. Why don't you tell us something to do?"

" Offer a solution to the bunnies, eggs, and rabbits."

Fair enough. First things first....get rid of the word Easter anywhere in it and call it Resurrection Day. Here are some game ideas.....

1. Resurrection Discovery- Go around hiding different objects that deal with Jesus' resurrection. This would be items like (a white robe, a head piece, sandals, jars labeled as myrrh, a smooth stone to represent the one in front of the tomb, a spear (not real). Lead then with clues to different areas where they are hidden. They need to work in teams, and young and older kids can be teamed together. You need to have enough items and hiding locations, that each team is lead in different directions. Start with a clue about where to find the robe. When they find it, the next clue tells them about how the robe was still in the form of a body and untouched in the tomb, then lead them to the headpiece. Keep going with little tidbits about each item. (Headpiece was laid beside robe, myrrh used as perfume (a Jewish burial rite), stone was moved by an angel, spear represents the Roman soldiers as the dropped their things and ran in fear. Final clue should be a piece of paper with the words "He is Risen!". Winning team gets 4-5 pieces of scripture candy (available at Christian book stores), runner up gets 2-3 pieces.

 


 

"Judge by law, you will be judged by the law."

Once again, Jesus Christ fulfilled the Levitical Laws, He did not abolish the Old Testament or the things God views a sin. The verses in Deuteronomy I have pointed out, are things that God views as sin and serving another God besides Him. Examples of laws that the Israelites followed that we no longer have to are digging a hole to go to the bathroom in; making animal sacrifices, Sabbath observance, etc. Those are laws. If I were to say, "You don't observe the Sabbath, so you are doing wrong." Clearly, I am trying to hold to the old laws, and no man can stand up to them. Easily, you can admit God has no tolerance for false idols or other gods before Him, or anywhere around Him. To say otherwise would mean He would allow you to have these gods in his presence. That's serving two masters, and you can't do that. I will not judge by the law, but I will not take Jesus fulfilling the laws as a blank check to sin against God in a way so clearly shown we should not.


In His Grace,

             Mike


 

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