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Eben
Apr 11th 2009, 10:58 AM
I wonder why is "Good Friday" the more important day for the churches and not Ascension. Here in South Africa "Ascension day" dissappeared from our calender. Personally I think the fact that Christ rose from death and ascended to the highest heavens where we are already in spirit with Him is the most important event in history, this is the triumph over Satan and if we do have to take days in to consideration then I think this is the more important day. So why do the churches of the day make more out of the death of Christ than in His triumph over death?
Col 2:12 For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ through your faith in the active power of God, who raised him from death.
Col 2:13 You were at one time spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were Gentiles without the Law. But God has now brought you to life with Christ. God forgave us all our sins;

crossnote
Apr 12th 2009, 06:13 AM
I wonder why is "Good Friday" the more important day for the churches and not Ascension. Here in South Africa "Ascension day" dissappeared from our calender. Personally I think the fact that Christ rose from death and ascended to the highest heavens where we are already in spirit with Him is the most important event in history, this is the triumph over Satan and if we do have to take days in to consideration then I think this is the more important day. So why do the churches of the day make more out of the death of Christ than in His triumph over death?
Col 2:12 For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ through your faith in the active power of God, who raised him from death.
Col 2:13 You were at one time spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were Gentiles without the Law. But God has now brought you to life with Christ. God forgave us all our sins;

It seems incorrect to pit one aspect of Christ's Incarnatinal ministry over another. They all form a continuous but necessary chain in our redemption. The Virgin birth, His Baptism, His Temptations, His Death, His Burial, His Resurrection, His ascension, His present Reign.
I think the reason His death gets more press than His ascension is because it has more impact for us as sinners. We see it as the place where sin,death and the devil were conquered as well as our sins forgiven as well as the point where His Work of atonement was finished, as well as the greatest display of Love mankind has ever known.etc. etc.
But you are right all phases are needful.

Eben
Apr 12th 2009, 07:14 PM
I agree that all the work of Christ should be considered, but I think there are movements that prefer to downplay the fact that Christ has ascended to the highest heavens. Reason is they believe that Christ did not complete our salvation and we have to do extra and suffer even after death some believe in purgatory. This gives them some kind of control over there followers. If we really believe that Christ has ascended then we should know we are with Him and that there is nothing more to be done except believe and lead a life of gratefull thanksgiving.
In Christ

apothanein kerdos
Apr 12th 2009, 10:53 PM
The resurrection and ascension are both important, just as important as His death.

It is on the cross that are sins are put to death, in the resurrection where our victory is found, and in the ascension where our hope is found.

Br. Barnabas
Apr 13th 2009, 01:20 PM
Well I can only speak for my church but in the Anglican tradition and many other catholic traditions we celebrate the day of Ascension. This year it falls on Thursday May 17th and we celebrate it on Sunday May 20th.

I think that the reason some churches or it might seem that some churches put more emphasis on Good Friday is that it is part of the 3 great days of Easter. It is also a horrifying day. It is the day we remember that WE killed God. The creator made us in his own image and we returned the gift of life by smacking God in the face. From really Maundy Thursday from the time the minister strips the alter until the Easter Vigil, we remember that Christ is gone he is not present in the church. We take the Eucharist on Thursday and then don't take it again until the Vigil when Christ is raised from the dead. For those in the catholic traditions it is a very dark time.

The Ascension is a very happy time and so since it is a brighter time it might get a little less attention, but I really think it depends on the church that one goes to. I remember that we celebrated Ascension day last year.

The reason that Good Friday might get more attention is also because it is Christ leaving the world in a very terriable way; where as Ascension he leaves in a great way. It might also have something to do with the Easter season having gone on for 40 days before that so the church is happy and ends in happiness of the Lord going into heaven. Where as with Good Friday we have almost 40 days of Lent at this point and then we end with a huge depression of Christ daying. The church has been building up to this horrid moment for the last almost 40 days. And sadly we like depression much more than joy in this world.

Ethnikos
Apr 13th 2009, 07:17 PM
Have you ever wondered where these traditions come from? Just wondering. Aren't you at all concerned that this sounds like superstition? You might react to my asking, by thinking I am an atheist or something. Are you aware of the fact that the old bureaucratic institution of a state sanctioned imperial religion incorporated the aspects of paganism that was popular at the time of its founding? Can you point out where it tells us in the Bible that we need to be having any sort of annual celebration? You could find plenty of pagan annual celebrations. Back in the day, before the founding of the "official" religion as Christianity, if you did not participate in the pagan festivals, you were considered to be impious. The official religion could fix all that by just sanctifying the old traditions by adjusting the nomenclature and modifying the images used in them.
If I was talking about the seventh day Sabbath, people would be pointing out how Paul says those are things of the world. Kind of ironic that something reiterated in the Bible as coming from God could be so criticized, but an observance that comes straight out of paganism is not at all harassed. Lent is the old tradition for mourning the death of the person we know of from the Bible as Nimrod. Our true God gave us a remembrance that happens every time we eat. He said as oft as you do this (eat and drink) do it in remembrance of me. Did he say, "Every year, celebrate my death on the day my Pope will tell to celebrate it on."? No.

Ta-An
Apr 13th 2009, 08:29 PM
Eben, I think we as individuals needs to show that it should not be the world depicting to us to celebrate/remember, but if it is important to us, we need to do something about it.

I know that in our area we have a church service at one of the churches.

We need to in our personal lives take the responsibility to keep that day holy/special.

Br. Barnabas
Apr 14th 2009, 07:36 PM
Have you ever wondered where these traditions come from? Just wondering. Aren't you at all concerned that this sounds like superstition? You might react to my asking, by thinking I am an atheist or something. Are you aware of the fact that the old bureaucratic institution of a state sanctioned imperial religion incorporated the aspects of paganism that was popular at the time of its founding? Can you point out where it tells us in the Bible that we need to be having any sort of annual celebration? You could find plenty of pagan annual celebrations. Back in the day, before the founding of the "official" religion as Christianity, if you did not participate in the pagan festivals, you were considered to be impious. The official religion could fix all that by just sanctifying the old traditions by adjusting the nomenclature and modifying the images used in them.
If I was talking about the seventh day Sabbath, people would be pointing out how Paul says those are things of the world. Kind of ironic that something reiterated in the Bible as coming from God could be so criticized, but an observance that comes straight out of paganism is not at all harassed. Lent is the old tradition for mourning the death of the person we know of from the Bible as Nimrod. Our true God gave us a remembrance that happens every time we eat. He said as oft as you do this (eat and drink) do it in remembrance of me. Did he say, "Every year, celebrate my death on the day my Pope will tell to celebrate it on."? No.

I know where the traditions come from the holy catholic church. From the teachings of the Apostles and their successors.

The church was celebrating these things before Christianity became the state religion of Rome or was even made a legal religion of Rome. The Jews were told to celebrate the passover and other holy days each year. The first Christians were Jewish. So is it that much of a leap that when the passover came around on the calendar the year after Jesus' death that the Apostles might have remembered how they felt and mourned their rejection of Christ and his death and his sacrifice for them? And then would they not have also remembered that he rose from the dead on the Sunday after the Passover? Would they not have remembered the day he went up into heaven and the day that the Holy Spirit came on them and they preached to thousands of people? Most of these are already holy days in the Jewish calendar and very important days in the life of the Apostles and church so why would they not remember them and celebrate them?

I don't remember my own birth but my parents do and they still celebrate the day that I was born. I remember the day that I meet the woman that I am going to marry and the day that we had our first date. And I will remember the day that we get married (and if I don't she will make sure I do). These are all important events in my life and in the lives of those around me why would I not remember them every year when they come around on the calendar.

Also if we look at the 1st Ecumenical Council, the council at Nicea, in a letter from the council to those in Egypt it states "We also send you the good news of the settlement concerning the holy pasch,namely that in answer to your prayers this question also has been resolved. All the brethren in the East who have hitherto followed the Jewish practice will henceforth observe the custom of the Romans and of yourselves and of all of us who from ancient times have kept Easter together with you." Showing that "from the ancient times have kept Easter together with you." This is taking place in 325 AD so what are the "ancient times" for them. Showing that they have kept the holy day od Easter, although it is referred to in the east as "holy pasch." Thus it is easy to see that Easter was kept as a holy day before Christianity became as "state religion." It was not that they made the pagan holy days Christian; not that it was not done for some days in the calendar, but it was not done for Easter.

The Bible does not say a lot of things so referring to it on issues that it does not need or want to talk about is the easy way out of many arguements about traditions. Paul tells the church at Thessalonica to hold to things that he has written to them and things that he told them when he was there. This starts tradition if the church is told to hold to things that are told to them in person then we have to take the church at its word that Paul did say the thing that they said to it at their word; unless it goes against something he wrote to them. The Bible is not the Christian answer reference book, it tells stories and relates what is needed for salvation, but it does not have every answer to every question that the Christian will or might ask. Did Paul tell every church that he went to, to not let a man sleep with his step mother? No he told it to only one church because that was the only church that had a member doing it as far as he knew. Did every church have to be harshly rebuked and warned about the Judaizers, no because they did not all turn from the Gospel and fall into their lies. So asking where in the Bible it says that we need to remember the Lord's death and resurrection each year is a moot point. But we do have the testimony of the church catholic and if you hold to the Apostle's Creed then you believe in the "holy catholic church" and need to understand the church's authority and its Apostiloic ablity to enforce ancient traditions that help the believer. Traditions that were most likely set up by the Apostles and their early followers, ones that were held to before the "evil Roman Empire" allowed Christians to live in peace, and helped to unify the doctrines of the faith and church, helping the church to truly be catholic.

Ethnikos
Apr 14th 2009, 09:22 PM
Let me take a look at a word you use here, moot, as an example of how meanings change in the English language. It originally meant something that was up for debate, but eventually the meaning got completely reversed to where it means exactly the opposite. The same thing happened to the word, catholic. Maybe when the Apostle's creed first came about, it was an all inclusive term. Around the time of the Nicene Council, it had reversed its meaning into something very exclusive.
The Bible has a lot of good letters written by Paul and others, that give instruction on important things. Paul saw how God's word was being twisted in his own day and warned about it. If we stick to the Bible as our guide, we can avoid a lot of the problems that can come up when relying on other writers. Origen could be a case in point. I have seen plenty of references to Origen as if he was some kind of authority on theological matters. If you were to sit down and read all of his writings, you would have to imagine that the man was completely insane. Eusebius was an early Christian historian and also much referenced. He was a killer and participated in wars to destroy other Christians who he considered to be heretical. A lot of the old time writers who we might imagine as being godly people were in real life desperately wicked individuals. It might be fun to look at some old time writers and think you find affirmation of your beliefs. There were a lot of other very good writers who were closer to the truth and may very well actually pre-date a lot of ones who are looked back to today as being representative of the original truth. The problem is that their writings were destroyed and only the ones who agreed with the later development of the "church" survived. I have not looked into all these things in a superficial way but devoted some years to this study. It is not something trivial and is more significant than most people realize. This is the reason that we should put our trust in the teachings of the Bible, because it is one thing that is reliable.
The Jews kept a lunar calender so technically, it was not an annual event as it is in the Roman calender. Any special reason why it has to fall on a day that happens to coincide with the vernal equinox?

Eben
Apr 15th 2009, 06:03 PM
My original question was why the world would rather consider the death of Christ more important than His resurrection and ascencion. Might it be that His death is more acceptable to the world than the fact that He is alive. My God is a living God as opposed to the pagan Gods.

Then I also agree with Ethnikos. Nowhere in the Scriptures are we told to commemorate a day. Paul says in Gal

Gal 4:9 But now that you know God---or, I should say, now that God knows you---how is it that you want to turn back to those weak and pitiful ruling spirits? Why do you want to become their slaves all over again?
Gal 4:10 You pay special attention to certain days, months, seasons, and years.
Gal 4:11 I am worried about you! Can it be that all my work for you has been for nothing?
Thing is if we do want to have a holy day then Ascencion should be the better choice, but then I myself dont keep any holy days.

Ta-An
Apr 15th 2009, 06:28 PM
Just a by-the-by..... this year, Yom Kippur katan mukdam (small day of atonement) falls on Ascension Day ;)
Yom Kippur katan, marks the beginning of a new month, mukdam, when this falls on a Sabbath, the day is moved two days back :)

So it is moved to Asencion day :D

slightlypuzzled
Apr 15th 2009, 06:42 PM
Just a short cent and a halfer, the teaching on Christ's ascension as it pertains to 'us' is just as important; it is all one in the teaching on the New Testament writers.....

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