Christmas and Easter are of Pagan Origins?
When Christian Apologetics Evolve Into Religion
Did Pagans Copy and Distort The Faith Of Adam and Eve?
The Corruption of The Original Prophetical Knowledge of The True Branch
Have you heard? The Christmas tree was originally a pagan symbol. Easter is an alternate form of the name of the pagan goddess Ishtar. So... If these things are so, how should we as Christians deal with these holidays and ancient symbols?
Good Vs Evil: Pagan Symbols and traditions in today's world.
The argument has been raging for centuries over the pagan origins of certain symbols and symbolic traditions in the Christian religion. Apparently the Christmas tree was originally a pagan symbol; Easter may be an alternate form of the name of the pagan goddess Ishtar, and that both Christmas and Easter holidays as well as many of our other favorite holidays are celebrated during times of the year sacred to ancient pagan religions, unsupported by Biblical Scripture. For example, the birth of Christ is celebrated yearly at a time, which even in that part of the world would have been too cold for shepherds to be outside all night tending to their flocks.
Just How Important Are These Facts?
They're not. And yet, they are... but perhaps not the way you think.
December 25th is a date on a calendar, one day out of the year. But, it is a day on which we can share with the world certain Scriptural truths that on any other day the world would perhaps not be so receptive to hearing. On this day our children stand in front of a Christmas tree, with pretty ornaments hanging from it's branches. Remember! The Messiah, was prophesied in the Old Testament to be born of the branch of Jesse. Isaiah 11:1, reads, "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots." On Christmas day, children all around the world open gifts. Remember the magi of Matthew 2:1? And the gift of salvation given to us by God Himself by first entering into His own creation as a child, dying on the cross and resurrecting 3 days later.
Him that is weak in the faith receive yea, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 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. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
[1 Corinthians 8:7-13]
Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of your's become a stumbling block to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
[1 Corinthians 10:28-33]
But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof: Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience? For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
Where Did The Pagan Religions Come Up With Their Ideas?
Historically Satan, the deceiver has fostered and pursued diverse tactics to undermine all knowledge of the God of the Bible. His evil does not seem to have originality. Taking a truth and twisting it into shapes unrecognizable is his specialty, undertaken for the purpose of separating all of creation from God our Creator for eternity. The adversary considers himself a master mind at sowing confusion and allowing all types of deception to germinate amongst fallen humanity. Given what we know of the before mentioned tactics is it not logical to assume that one of his tricks is the attempt to claiming for his own purposes all symbolic imagery originally known by the descendants of Adam and Eve. Symbols originally used for the teaching of certain truths that could not be fully understood at that time, but would be prophetically reveled in the future. Remember that quite early in the book of Genesis the prophecy of the "Seed of a woman" is first introduced. And what is a branch or an egg in relation to a seed?
How Do You Handle Holidays From A Biblical Christian Perspective
Is A Very Controversial Subject Open To and Full Of Controversy
On the surface the origins of Christmas and Easter appear to have started out, at least in part, as carry overs of ancient Pagan traditions. But! Who knows? There may have been a time before and for a time after the flood of Noah that these symbols where used to teach the truth about God, sort of like we use flash cards to teach children their alphabet and multiplication tables .... Regardless of the origins, these traditions can today be used as vehicles to spread the true word of God in the world. Of themselves they are only traditions and symbols, whose only power over our lives are what we allow. As with anything else mankind can choose to use them for good or evil. If we choose Easter, for example, to be a time to simply chase cute white bunnies with pink bows around the yard and search for Easter eggs, that is what it will be. If we choose to invoke the name of some pagan goddess such as Ishtar who has no real power, that too is what it will be. We can even choose to be afraid of that time of year because others do for any of the previously mention or not mentioned reasons. We can even choose to ignore those times of year, which would be hard to do with all the accompanying claptrap you see everywhere in our lives. Or, we can choose to celebrate God's Word and tell the World how HE entered into HIS own creation, died, and then rose from the dead, freely giving salvation even though "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
That Which Was Meant By Man Or Satan For Evil
Can Be Meant By God For Good
Sold into slavery by his own brothers in the end turned into a good thing for Joseph, his family, Egypt... For it lead to Joseph being placed into the position of second most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh during the 7 years of famine. In this position, with God working through him, Joseph saved his family and all of Egypt from the famine that spread across the land at that time. Just as the evil of Joseph's brother's was used by God for good, so can anything else. The God of the Bible is that powerful; He is all powerful. The Deceiver is not.
The Study of Christian Apologetics Can Bring One
To A Closer Relationship With God.
It should go without saying, that the study of Christian Apologetics can bring one to a closer relationship with God. The whole idea of apologetics is discernment. Such as who God is Vs who He is not. What the bible says in context, rather than one isolated verse or word. It is a part of every Christians spiritual armor, a discipline. It's whole purpose is to glorify The God of the Bible and the gospel, not to replace either. Do not lose sight of The Word, the Gospel message, The Truth.
The Danger Of Turning Christian Apologetics Into Religion
In completion, it is the prayer of this Believer that we do not get so caught up pointing fingers at the wrongs of the world that the whole point is missed completely, by getting so caught up with the details that the bottom line gets lost and the whole picture gets fuzzy.
*All scripture references are from the King James Version.
For Further Reading:
Celebrating Christmas, Traditional Customs and Being a Christian in Modern Day America Handling tough questions How should a Christian handle the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and American traditions in today's world. An attempt at answering the challenging question - by Janice Moore.