Chapter 4: Is nothing sacred?

I’ll start this section by saying that it is a personal choice for any Christian whether they observe particular holidays or not. Do what the spirit and the Bible leads you to do. 

From my perspective, I enjoyed these holidays myself until the spirit convicted me to change my mind. I fully understand that the spirit seems to lead others differently, so I hope other Christians would not judge me, just as I do not judge others.

Be assured though, all details on this page are not opinion or interpretation. They are simply historical fact, easily researched. Before you dismiss it, I strongly urge you to research this yourself, then make an informed decision, guided by the Holy Spirit.

Tis’ the season to be wary…

Christmas. Look, I understand that the simple mention of this word is likely to make you turn and run, which is why I ask you to read this site with an open mind, open heart and led by the spirit. If you disagree with any aspect of this site, that’s fine, but all I ask is that you stick with it and examine the evidence.

As Ezekiel warned, many God-loving people would ignore his uncomfortable, but truthful warnings, because they hardened their hearts to what they did not want to hear.

Equally, before you assume that I am a Jehovah’s Witness, let me assure you I have no affiliations, and never have had affiliations, to this or any other denomination, cult, or type of religious thinking.

While I know people love nothing more than to box and categorise people, let me assure you that I am, very simply, a follower of the old true God, Yahweh, saved only by the grace of his only begotten son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who reigns with his father for eternity.

However, having already covered the concerning links between Roman-influenced Christianity and pagan sun worship (and there is much more evidence to come), it is natural to ask if there are any other cases of this seeping into church tradition.

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Like most Christians, I’d happily believed that Christmas had simply ‘conquered’ pagan festivals. Like everyone, I loved Christmas so much that I’d never thought to question it.

Of course it’s widely known and acknowledged that Christmas falls on the date of a pagan celebration called, among other names, Saturnalia.

The ancient Greek writer poet and historian Lucian (in his dialogue entitled Saturnalia) describes the festival’s observance in his time.

In addition to human sacrifice, he mentions these customs: widespread intoxication; going from house to house while singing naked; rape and other sexual license; and consuming human-shaped biscuits.

The timing of Saturnalia is also troubling because (in keeping with other sun worshipping coincidences) it coincides with the winter solstice when pagans believed the sun was ‘reborn’ following the shortest day of the year on December 23 and began to again conquer the darkness of winter.

Some customs even cut down and displayed evergreen trees to illustrate winter’s inability to conquer the sun.

According to the Philocalian calendar of AD 354, 25 December was also the date of the festival Natalis Invicti, honouring Sol Invictus, the sun god.

Troubling origins
With even the slightest bit of research, the origins of most Christmas customs, observed to this day, are troubling. View this video for a taster, but be sure to check the facts and research it yourself with an open mind and no agenda. Ask God to help you view things through his eyes, not yours.

When you consider that God finds sun worship an abomination (see Chapter 2) and that the sun god is a representation of a false god (Satan himself), it is, at the very least, something worth being aware of.

Add to that the fact that Santa is a crude anagram for Satan and the red warning flags should be mounting.

But the final nail in the coffin of Christmas for me was when God revealed an interesting ‘coincidence’ that can be seen in any dictionary you choose to find.

It concerns the origin of the word Mass, the term used for every Catholic communion service and, of course, also featured in Christ’s Mass – Christmas.

Here’s the etymology of the word Mass from the Oxford English Dictionary, but you will find this in many online dictionaries, including Catholic sites.

mass_oxfordenglishdictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary entry for Mass explains its odd etymology.

Were this an isolated ‘coincidence’ I’d accept the explanation that Mass got its name from the action of the priest dismissing his congregation (although it’s a weird way to name something in my opinion). But, taking into account the growing tide of evidence linking several church traditions to Babylonian sun worship, I find it deeply troubling.

Quite literally, the festival of Christmas (timed to occur on the festival of the sun god) and introduced by Rome (an empire universally accepted as the fourth ‘beast’ of Daniel and Revelation), translates from the Latin into: Christ-dismissal.

A matter of conscience
So I guess the question for all Christians has to be: is this a fitting way for us to celebrate the birth of our saviour? And, more importantly, what would God think of it?

After all, the whole world loves Christmas doesn’t it? Even atheists and an increasing number of people from other religions love Christmas.

And can we truly ‘put the Christ back into Christmas’ when Christ was never in Christmas in the first place? Indeed, scholars and Bible experts agree that shepherds would not have been watching their flocks in the middle of winter.

From the point of view of a parent, how do we convince our children that God is real when we admit that we’ve lied to them about the existence of Santa?

It seems unthinkable and counter intuitive, but is a time coming when Christians need to seriously consider setting themselves apart by distancing themselves from Christmas?

And, before you accuse me of taking the joy out of Christmas or losing out on a major evangelical opportunity, since my family decided not to celebrate Christmas we have taken a gradual approach, so not to deter our children or impact our work of growing God’s kingdom. For instance, while I don’t celebrate the holiday, it isn’t something to be afraid of and it doesn’t mean the great commission has a few weeks off.

That’s why we take part in carol services, simply because singing songs to celebrate the birth of our saviour is not a problem at any time of the year.

Equally, being generous, jolly, kind and giving is clearly something to embody always.

Christmas is not a time when we need to be miserable, but I celebrate Jesus every day, and love and understanding isn’t just for Christmas after all, it’s for life.

For the same reason, we do still give our children gifts (in the weeks before and obviously Santa and tree free) simply so they do not see loving God as boring or think they are missing out.

Perhaps God would see that as too much as a compromise, but we are conscious of not being legalistic or creating a stumbling block for our children.

Examining Easter
Easter. Again, it amazes me that it’s a name for a Christian festival I’ve used thousands of times, never questioning what it actually means.

I guess I assumed it was Biblical or Latin for something connected with Jesus’s death and resurrection.

Not so. In fact, the most widely accepted theory for the origin of the name Easter is Eostre, – the name of a mythical goddess that 7th century monk Bede claimed was honoured with a spring feast.

The goddess was apparently linked to sunrise, spring-time and fertility, the renewal of life, commonly represented by eggs and bunnies.

View this History Channel video for more.

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This ties in nicely with the decision of the First Council of Nicaea in 325AD to fix the date of Easter to the first Sunday after the full moon of the Spring Equinox, when day and night are equal and the sun begins to take dominance over the moon.

Prior to that, controversy had raged in the early church. Some still celebrated on the Jewish Passover date of Nisan 14, while others wanted to align Easter with the new Roman sabbath of Sunday.

It was a subtle shift but (as with the move of the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday) the council effectively moved the date from the one observed by early Christians, to a sun-related date.

The church took it and ran with it, so much so that some churches celebrate Easter with a sunrise service – a slightly puzzling decision given God’s obvious warning against worshipping towards the rising sun in the east, as mentioned in Ezekiel (see Chapter 2).

Again, is this a fitting way to pay tribute to the One True Living God? Is doing the exact opposite of what he advises something that will please him?

Unlike Christmas though, we do of course accurately know that Jesus died and rose around Passover, so marking this occasion at the time it happened seems natural. However, the question remains: why did the Roman church choose to change the day and why did it choose to name the occasion after a pagan god?

Lost in translation
Another highly disturbing Easter oddity is the Catholic Easter hymn, The Exsultet, which contains the lyrics: “Flammas eius lúcifer matutínus invéniat: ille, inquam, lúcifer, qui nescit occásum. Christus Fílius tuus”. This translates to: “Flaming Lucifer finds mankind I say, O Lucifer who will never be defeated, Christ is your son.”

This video, recorded at St. Peter’s Basilica, contains the English translation and, according to the Catholic Church, the name Lucifer here refers to Jesus, the Morning Star.

That said, if that is the case, the lyric would read: ‘O Jesus who will never be defeated, Christ is your Son’.

Equally, this screenshot and caption from the official Vatican website for St. Peter’s Necropolis, shows that the Vatican also refers to a Lucifer that seems to have more mystical links, still pictured on the wall under St. Peter’s Basilica itself. The captions on this screen shot have not been added by me. They are used on the official virtual tour site, Room U. Check it out for yourself.

Alternatively, as I’ve found that the above link does not work on all browsers or devices, here is a link to a Catholic site called gloria.tv where they click through the tour. The Lucifer painting is at around 8 mins.

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At the very least (like the unfortunate translation of ‘mass’ covered earlier in this chapter), such confusion over the use of Lucifer in a Latin hymn is a great illustration of why the Bible (in reference to speaking in tongues) warns against the use of unintelligible languages in church because the congregation will not know what is being spoken:

“Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying?”
1 Corinthians 14: 9

Other holidays
To explain to Christians that celebrating Halloween or the Day of the Dead is a bad idea shouldn’t need much explanation. It’s pretty obvious that Christianity has absolutely nothing to do with a celebration of death, as the Bible clearly states:

“I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
Matthew 22:32

 
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Encouraging children and adults to dress up as ghouls, demons and devils  in order to show how ‘God conquered them’ seems like another bad call by the church.

Other holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, are also considered by some historians to have links and dates that correspond to pagan festivals. Most are also accompanied by (generally unvalidated) legends from church folklore.

I’d encourage you to make up your own minds and research each instance so you can make an informed decision.

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