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lendtay
Oct 8th 2008, 03:08 AM
Some people don't celebrate holidays because of a verse in the Bible that says "make no day holy" (not sure exactly where this verse is). I was approached by some JWs who came to my home recently and I asked them why they do not celebrate holidays. They said because it might be offensive to God, and that many holidays have pagan origins. I wonder if its wrong to celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. Also, Halloween is coming up and this got me thinking about all this.

Gulah Papyrus
Oct 8th 2008, 03:22 AM
What do you mean by celebrate?

lendtay
Oct 8th 2008, 03:45 AM
What do you mean by celebrate?

I mean acknowledging the holiday. For example, putting up a tree and decorating it at Christmas time. Going to Halloween parties and dressing up in costumes. Going on Easter egg hunts.

Bethany67
Oct 8th 2008, 04:20 AM
I personally don't bother. Christmas doesn't mean much to me, and the cats just knock over the Christmas tree. Mum still insists on buying me an egg at Easter. I particularly avoid Halloween because that's when I used to celebrate Samhain as a witch, so I make that a prayer night for my Pagan husband and friends instead. They're usually off doing a ritual somewhere, and I pray that they get saved and leave the occult.

But I don't fuss about what other Christians do - it's between them and God.

Literalist-Luke
Oct 8th 2008, 06:14 AM
I wish people would just chill over the technicalities of "offending" God. I mean, the legalism and random guesswork that I encounter on such subjects is just astounding. We're all real good as going around spewing platitudes like "God is only interested in what's in your heart", but then we prove we don't believe it by carefully avoiding things that are inherently harmless out a fear of "offending" Him.

Good grief.

Did not God Himself instruct Israel in a very elaborate and highly detailed set of feast days to celebrate every single year? If those are not "holy days", then what is?

When I see the Christmas tree sitting in my house, I do not see something that proclaims to the world that I've decided to betray my Savior and inexplicably convert to druidism. I see a symbol that, for reasons that are unimportant, is associated with celebrating the fact that the God Who created me went to the trouble of setting aside His divinity and going through the inglorious experience of being born as a human baby, only to surrender His life in one of the most painful deaths imaginable, only because He would rather go to the grave for me rather than spend eternity in Heaven without me. If I look at a Christmas tree and have that in my heart, then what is there that God could possibly have a problem with???

People like JWs who deliberate avoid having holidays are guilty of the sin of pride. They are attempting to win God's approval by a demonstration of their own theological superiority and in doing so they (and any of us who are similarly guilty) are no better than the Pharisees.

Celebrate your holidays, keeping in mind the one true God Who they were intended to honor, and quit allowing the spirit of legalism to come between you and your joy in having been saved by Him.

(Halloween would probably be the only one I would seriously question, since that one is clearly not directed at honoring God.)

valleybldr
Oct 8th 2008, 12:02 PM
Some people don't celebrate holidays because of a verse in the Bible that says "make no day holy" (not sure exactly where this verse is). I was approached by some JWs who came to my home recently and I asked them why they do not celebrate holidays. They said because it might be offensive to God, and that many holidays have pagan origins. I wonder if its wrong to celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. Also, Halloween is coming up and this got me thinking about all this.
I think the main reason some us stay away from Gentile worship holidays is because of the instruction to "learn not the way of the heathen." Israel's God is very specific in what is acceptable to Him and He detests the worship of surrounding cultures. I don't feel that slapping Jesus' name on a manmade holiday makes it "holy" so I'd prefer to stick with the ones that are divinely authored. The more I study and celebrate those festivals the others of human origin emerge as but cheap counterfeits. todd

Emanate
Oct 8th 2008, 12:37 PM
(Halloween would probably be the only one I would seriously question, since that one is clearly not directed at honoring God.)


There is a strong push over the past few years at making Halloween a Christian holiday. The Focus on the Family group is one of the major spearheaders of this move.

kf4zmt
Oct 8th 2008, 01:28 PM
The best answer to this question that I can come up with is found in Romans 14 where Paul addresses matters of opinion and conscience:


5One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.As the passage says, each one should be fully convinced of their own actions as a result of their honest study of the scriptures and a careful and honest examination of their own motives.

When we stand before God to give an account of our lives, we must be able to say I did this or that as a result of my understanding of the holy scriptures. I don't think it will fly to say that, "I really was not sure, but I did something because my preacher told me it was okay". Let each of us study to learn the truth and then act out of a full conviction that we are doing what we have found (to the best of our ability) to be acceptable to God.

valleybldr
Oct 8th 2008, 01:35 PM
As the passage says, each one should be fully convinced of their own actions as a result of their honest study of the scriptures and a careful and honest examination of their own motives.
The context of this passage is religious fast days. If you want to apply the principle to days God calls "holy" then you are making an application that I would say is way too far reaching and contradictory to many other passages. todd

kf4zmt
Oct 8th 2008, 01:53 PM
Valleybldr,
I think you are probably right about the days in Romans 14 being Jewish holy days. However, I can't find sufficient evidence to feel 100% certain on this. The overriding context of this chapter is about things that aren't matters of the faith but matters of personal judgement.

Regardless, would you agree that the principle of being "fully convinced" on matters of judgement is valid?

Sincerely,
kf4zmt

valleybldr
Oct 8th 2008, 02:00 PM
Valleybldr,
I think you are probably right about the days in Romans 14 being Jewish holy days. That's not what I wrote. The backdrop of Romans 14 is diet and fast days...this has nothing to do with "Jewish holy days." 1st century religious dietary/fast traditions are what the text is discussing. No more, no less.

People are "fully convinced" of all kinds of nonsense so I guess it depends on what specifically you are talking about.

todd

kf4zmt
Oct 8th 2008, 02:03 PM
Sorry about the misunderstanding - it was not intentional.

How have you been able to determine that 1st century religious dietary/fast traditions are what is under discussion in this passage?


I agree that being fully convinced isn't enough and that all kinds of foolishness is justified by this rational. By being fully convinced, I mean fully convinced from the scriptures, not just our own whims. Hope that clarifies.

valleybldr
Oct 8th 2008, 02:20 PM
How have you been able to determine that 1st century religious dietary/fast traditions are what is under discussion in this passage? The Jews, much like really observant Catholics and the Orthodox, had regular fast days. Evidently, the dietary/fasting laws of Jewish faith (apart from what is explicitly stated in Torah) became an issue in the mixed Jewish/Gentile churches. I don't know, off hand, which commentaries go into this. This passage textual differs so if you're really interested in understanding the root issue and Paul's take on it, you'll need to "roll up your sleeves" and give it a good day of research. todd

kf4zmt
Oct 8th 2008, 02:36 PM
Thanks Todd. I'd like to investigate this further. Are there any Bible passages you can point me to that give insight into these 1st century dietary/fast days than would be a good starting point for me?

Thanks again.

valleybldr
Oct 8th 2008, 02:51 PM
Thanks Todd. I'd like to investigate this further. Are there any Bible passages you can point me to that give insight into these 1st century dietary/fast days than would be a good starting point for me?

Thanks again. The Talmud is our best source for 1st century Jewish practice. The tractate Ta'anit is devoted fast days. I can't think of any other NT passages dealing with the topic central to Romans 14. There are realted issues such as the meat sacrificed to idols piece and the biblical dietary law piece etc. but more information on the one here in question would need to come from Jewish sources. I think it's best to try to understand the passage much like the original readers would. In order to do that one needs to rid themselves of that 2,000 year old dirty filter that tends to alter much of what we see and believe. todd

Dani H
Oct 8th 2008, 04:07 PM
I live in the death and resurrection of Jesus every single day, and each day is one that the Lord has made, and I sanctify that day to Him, with my soul chasing hard after Him.

So any holiday or non-holiday ... just really doesn't matter, they're all the same to me. I don't have to be worried about Christmas trees (lest they defile me, eek) or touching an Easter egg (lest that defile me too, eek), because God is above these things, as is my relationship with Him, and each day and everything I do becomes an opportunity to glorify Him.

What defiles us comes from within, not without. You can have a Christmas tree and glorify God, and you can abstain from it, and be in disobedience, because you become self-righteous about it. It all depends on whether you are catering to your flesh, or walking in the Spirit.

Mark 7:15 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=48&chapter=7&verse=15&version=50&context=verse)
There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.

That's my :2cents:

:)

valleybldr
Oct 8th 2008, 05:02 PM
What defiles us comes from within, not without.

It's in bold so it must be important. You're implying I can worship however I please and it won't defile me...icons of the Orthodox church, Catholic saints, unbiblical hyper-charismatic manifestations. Sure, we can make a nice long list. Does this passage really give us "the green light" to do our own thing in regards to worship and we can know its fine with God? todd

Dani H
Oct 8th 2008, 05:57 PM
But worship happens from within, doesn't it?

Let me illustrate further:
I have met some folks that felt convicted by the Lord to turn away from celebrating Christmas because they really want nothing to do with its pagan roots, of which there are many.
Sure, no problem.
But, then I see the same people pointing fingers at others who still partake of Christmas, and go "tsk tsk tsk how dare you?" and use their own obedience and conviction as a platform to judge others. Well, the second you do that, you have now ventured from obedience into self-righteousness, which is of the flesh. To our own Master we stand and fall.

Emanate
Oct 8th 2008, 06:03 PM
But worship happens from within, doesn't it?


Yes, but is everyone meant to do what is right in their own eyes?

valleybldr
Oct 8th 2008, 06:46 PM
But, then I see the same people pointing fingers at others who still partake of Christmas, and go "tsk tsk tsk how dare you?" and use their own obedience and conviction as a platform to judge others. Well, the second you do that, you have now ventured from obedience into self-righteousness, which is of the flesh. To our own Master we stand and fall. You've changed the subject. Believers can walk righteous paths without being self-righteous. Abstaining from non-biblical worship forms and looking down on others are two different things. todd

Literalist-Luke
Oct 8th 2008, 06:58 PM
It's in bold so it must be important. You're implying I can worship however I please and it won't defile me...icons of the Orthodox church, Catholic saints, unbiblical hyper-charismatic manifestations. Sure, we can make a nice long list. Does this passage really give us "the green light" to do our own thing in regards to worship and we can know its fine with God? toddIt all goes back to Romans 14:

5a Some consider one day more sacred than another; others consider every day alike. 6 Those who regard one day as special do so to the Lord. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. 5b Everyone should be fully convinced in their own mind. 22b Blessed are those who do not condemn themselves by what they approve.

Dani H
Oct 8th 2008, 07:38 PM
Yes, but is everyone meant to do what is right in their own eyes?

If you leave the flesh at the cross and let it die, and do so daily, 24/7, and walk in the Spirit, like we are all commanded according to the full Gospel of Jesus Christ, would you be at risk of doing what is right in your own eyes? Or would you simply follow Jesus, and Him alone?



It all goes back to Romans 14:

5a Some consider one day more sacred than another; others consider every day alike. 6 Those who regard one day as special do so to the Lord. 14I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. 5b Everyone should be fully convinced in their own mind. 22b Blessed are those who do not condemn themselves by what they approve.

Exactly. Maybe I should have just stuck to Scripture instead of trying to explain it. Sorry about that. Ugh. :(

Literalist-Luke
Oct 8th 2008, 08:01 PM
Maybe I should have just stuck to Scripture instead of trying to explain it. Sorry about that. Ugh. :(You're doin' just fine. :thumbsup:

longhorn2010
Oct 8th 2008, 09:28 PM
I do not believe if you are giving presents on Christmas, or eating eggs on Easter is making that day holy. However, if you do it because you want to recognize it as a special day of celebration for Christ, then yes that is making it holy. We should not set aside two days a year to recognize what he did for us, but instead appreciate it year-round.

lendtay
Oct 8th 2008, 10:34 PM
There is a strong push over the past few years at making Halloween a Christian holiday. The Focus on the Family group is one of the major spearheaders of this move.

Lately I've been hearing about something Christians are doing around Halloween called "Hell Houses", kind of like traditional haunted houses but with a different twist. I am not sure if I approve of hell houses or not because I have heard they depict gruesome scenes. This is actually the reason I also stay away from haunted houses.

valleybldr
Oct 9th 2008, 11:49 AM
I do not believe if you are giving presents on Christmas, or eating eggs on Easter is making that day holy. However, if you do it because you want to recognize it as a special day of celebration for Christ, then yes that is making it holy. We should not set aside two days a year to recognize what he did for us, but instead appreciate it year-round.
The Roman church made days "holy" and the Protestants just never got around to protesting their "right" to do so. Many American colonial Protestants where anti-Christmas but $$ seems to always win in the end. todd

Whispering Grace
Oct 9th 2008, 01:33 PM
It all goes back to Romans 14:

5a Some consider one day more sacred than another; others consider every day alike. 6 Those who regard one day as special do so to the Lord. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. 5b Everyone should be fully convinced in their own mind. 22b Blessed are those who do not condemn themselves by what they approve.

I think this is what it comes down to. If I celebrate Christmas, I do it unto the Lord. If I choose to abstain, I do it unto the Lord.

I happen to love Christmas (not the worldly tribute to consumerism, but the celebration of Jesus Christ), and I hope to have another wonderful Christmas with my family this year.

By the way, this (below) is from my blog, about my first Christmas after becoming a Christian...what a blessed time it was! :) I was a babe in Christ, so full of awe and wonder and the love of Christ! I can't imagine God being offended by me being in love with Him and celebrating it!


I will never forget my first Christmas after becoming a Christian. I was still in the throes of that newfound love and adoration for the Beautiful One who came to me and saved me.

I remember going to the store and walking down the Christmas card aisle, searching for a card about Jesus Christ. In years past, I always purchased "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" cards, but not this year! I finally, for the first time in my life, understood what Christmas truly meant!

I finally found a card with a poem about Jesus' birth and a Bible verse on the inside. I smiled as I put them in my cart, filled yet again with awe and wonder.

I remember signing the cards "In the Love of Christ" and realizing in a sense I was mailing out my own "birth announcement" with these cards. Most people were not aware yet of my conversion and were most likely taken aback when they received the cards. I didn't care....I was so desperately in love with Jesus Christ, I would have shouted it from the rooftops!

That Christmas I went to a Christmas concert and wept during songs like "O Holy Night". How many years had I sat through Christmas concerts cold as a stone, never once being moved by the precious words in these songs? But that Christmas, it felt as though I would explode from the love that filled my heart!

My kids and I made a "birthday" cake for Jesus that year, and we spent the day reading Scripture and just celebrating all that He is. It was wonderful watching my kids eagerly accept and embrace this new passion of mine. I didn't realize how wonderful the faith of small children can be at the time. I bet my kids can't remember a time now when I didn't love Jesus Christ passionately. I am thankful for that. I want their memories of me to be ones of a mom who walked with the Lord and loved Him with all of her heart.

I still sign my Christmas cards "In the Love of Christ". By now most people know Whom it is that I love and adore, but I have no qualms about sending out explicitly Christian cards (I always search for the one that most glorifies and honors Jesus Christ). I am not ashamed of my faith and the Lord's birth. It is a time of rejoicing and celebration in my life, and if I cannot share such bountiful joy with the people in my life, whom can I share it with?

I have been given the most beautiful gift in this world....Jesus Christ and all that He is. Knowing Him and loving Him makes life worth living. Jesus Christ is the One who makes Christmas worth celebrating. Without Him, there would be no Christmas. Without Him, there would be no life!

Whispering Grace
Oct 9th 2008, 01:44 PM
(Halloween would probably be the only one I would seriously question, since that one is clearly not directed at honoring God.)

I agree with this.

I haven't celebrated Halloween since I became a Christian. Unfortunately, it's my husband's favorite holiday, so he takes the kids out trick-or-treating, and I stay home and read my Bible and pray (or go to church if it's a Wednesday or Sunday).

I abstain from this holiday unto the Lord, just as I celebrate Christmas unto the Lord.

Jeremiah333
Oct 9th 2008, 02:47 PM
There is a strong push over the past few years at making Halloween a Christian holiday. The Focus on the Family group is one of the major spearheaders of this move.

I had not heard that. I just took this off of FOF's website:

"...Whereas it can be argued that Christmas is a Christian holiday with Christian origins that has suffered the effects of growing secularism, Halloween can be traced to distinctly pagan sources. It is reasonable, then, that many believers would find some aspects of its celebration disturbing. I agree with them in that regard.

The traditional emphasis upon the occult, witches, devils, death, and evil sends messages to our kids that godly parents can only regard with alarm. There is clearly no place in the Christian community for this "darker side" of Halloween. "

http://family.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/family.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=882&p_created=1043871046&p_sid=M28RpVfj&p_accessibility=0&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPSZwX3NvcnRfYnk9JnBfZ3JpZHNvcnQ9JnBfc m93X2NudD03NzAmcF9wcm9kcz0mcF9jYXRzPSZwX3B2PSZwX2N 2PSZwX3NlYXJjaF90eXBlPWFuc3dlcnMuc2VhcmNoX2NweCZwX 3BhZ2U9MQ**&p_li=&p_topview=1

Emanate
Oct 9th 2008, 03:05 PM
I had not heard that. I just took this off of FOF's website:

"...Whereas it can be argued that Christmas is a Christian holiday with Christian origins that has suffered the effects of growing secularism, Halloween can be traced to distinctly pagan sources. It is reasonable, then, that many believers would find some aspects of its celebration disturbing. I agree with them in that regard.

The traditional emphasis upon the occult, witches, devils, death, and evil sends messages to our kids that godly parents can only regard with alarm. There is clearly no place in the Christian community for this "darker side" of Halloween. "

http://family.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/family.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=882&p_created=1043871046&p_sid=M28RpVfj&p_accessibility=0&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPSZwX3NvcnRfYnk9JnBfZ3JpZHNvcnQ9JnBfc m93X2NudD03NzAmcF9wcm9kcz0mcF9jYXRzPSZwX3B2PSZwX2N 2PSZwX3NlYXJjaF90eXBlPWFuc3dlcnMuc2VhcmNoX2NweCZwX 3BhZ2U9MQ**&p_li=&p_topview=1


They did, if memory serves, have a guest on last year talking about her new book Redeeming Halloween. I may be confusing them with CBN who is definitely pro halloween. http://www.cbn.com/special/halloween/

amazon.com description of Redeeming Halloween (sold by focus on the family):

Christians face a dilemma every year on October 31: "What should and shouldn't we do--and let our kids do--in observance of Halloween?" Redeeming Halloween answers all the questions Christians have about the origins and meaning of the holiday, and it provides fun, guilt-free ideas that will help you enjoy it. From costumes and decorating hints to original party suggestions, the authors offer a godly approach that will help Christian parents balance love with conviction and create treasured memories for their children.

This book's premise is that Halloween is orgiginally a Christian holiday and should be a main event in Christian's lives.

lendtay
Oct 9th 2008, 03:11 PM
Wouldn't making a "birthday cake" for Jesus at Christmas time, be the same thing as making Christmas a holy day? Or do you acknowledge it as a religious holiday?

I also think there is too much emphasis on consumerism at Christmas time. This is why I try to avoid spending too much money on gifts. I don't feel there will be a huge need for my child to have 50 gifts under the tree.

Firstfruits
Oct 9th 2008, 03:19 PM
I think the main reason some us stay away from Gentile worship holidays is because of the instruction to "learn not the way of the heathen." Israel's God is very specific in what is acceptable to Him and He detests the worship of surrounding cultures. I don't feel that slapping Jesus' name on a manmade holiday makes it "holy" so I'd prefer to stick with the ones that are divinely authored. The more I study and celebrate those festivals the others of human origin emerge as but cheap counterfeits. todd

Does what you say not apply to both sides with regards to the following?

"learn not the way of the heathen."

Gal 3:28 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=48&CHAP=3&SEARCH=jesus king lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Col 3:11 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=51&CHAP=3&SEARCH=jesus king lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=11) Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Firstfruits

keck553
Oct 9th 2008, 03:38 PM
Wouldn't making a "birthday cake" for Jesus at Christmas time, be the same thing as making Christmas a holy day? Or do you acknowledge it as a religious holiday?

I also think there is too much emphasis on consumerism at Christmas time. This is why I try to avoid spending too much money on gifts. I don't feel there will be a huge need for my child to have 50 gifts under the tree.

I think man made traditions such as Rosh Hashanah, Christmas and Hanukkah belong in the catagory of religious holidays, but I wouldn't call them 'Holy' days, and I say this only because God alone can make anything Holy. We certainly can't make ourselves Holy, so what makes us think we can be like God and make anything holy?

I don't think that degrades any of these traditions, it merely divides what is of God and what is of man. Jesus was at the Temple on Hannukkah, and if He came all the way to Jerusalem that means He joined in the celebration, so I think that clarifies how God sees religious traditions. The only point about Hanukkah is it didn't replace any of God's Holy days. And we all know what Jesus said about men's tradition replacing God's commandments (Matthew 5)

Whispering Grace
Oct 9th 2008, 04:18 PM
I also think there is too much emphasis on consumerism at Christmas time.

I absolutely agree.

That's why I think the whole notion of boycotting Target for not saying "Merry Christmas" (or anything like that) is absurd. I am perfectly fine with separating the celebration of Christ's birth from the ridiculous consumer-driven hysteria that occurs every December.

Br. Barnabas
Oct 9th 2008, 05:54 PM
There is a strong push over the past few years at making Halloween a Christian holiday. The Focus on the Family group is one of the major spearheaders of this move.

Halloween has always been a Christian holiday. It is the Eve of All Saints Day when we as Christians should remember all those who have gone on before us to Heaven. All Hallows' Eve or Event is the unoffical day when we remember all those who are damned and remember the real threat of Hell and that it is a real place with real souls there.

But it did not start out as just a pagan holiday and made into a Christian one. All Saints day was moved from May 13th to November 1 when Pope Gregory III consectrated a chapel in St. Peter's Basilica to All Saints. It has been celebrated since the 300s when it started it was just for martyrs but has been changed for all those who are in heaven.

Granted our society does not remember this or really care about it. But they do the same for Christmas and Easter and other Christian holidays.

Emanate
Oct 9th 2008, 06:11 PM
But it did not start out as just a pagan holiday and made into a Christian one.


It is what I like to call "Borg" Christianity. Over the years Christianity has addes to its own distinctiveness by assimilating various pagan practices as well as culture and making them into Christian Holidays. All of the various pagan practices in Christendom were at one time spread among various pagan cultures. All Christianity did was assimilate them into certain times each year.

Where is it even suggested that we as believers should set aside a day to remember the dead (saints), Christian or otherwise?

valleybldr
Oct 9th 2008, 06:31 PM
Does what you say not apply to both sides with regards to the following?

"learn not the way of the heathen."

Gal 3:28 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=48&CHAP=3&SEARCH=jesus king lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Col 3:11 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=51&CHAP=3&SEARCH=jesus king lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=11) Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Firstfruits God's instructions apply to everyone. todd

Br. Barnabas
Oct 9th 2008, 06:33 PM
It is what I like to call "Borg" Christianity. Over the years Christianity has addes to its own distinctiveness by assimilating various pagan practices as well as culture and making them into Christian Holidays. All of the various pagan practices in Christendom were at one time spread among various pagan cultures. All Christianity did was assimilate them into certain times each year.

Where is it even suggested that we as believers should set aside a day to remember the dead (saints), Christian or otherwise?

That is just it, unlike Christmas and Easter, Halloween and All Saints Day did not start out pagan, it was always a Christian holiday.

Hebrews 11 remembers the deeds and faith of those who went before us. We should remember the deeds of those who went before us every day, but All Saints day is more a day when we rejoice with those who are in Heaven even more so becuase they have all finished the race that we have only started. Not every thing has to be spelled out in the Bible to be a good practice. Sometimes church tradition does give us great things, I am saying that remembering the saints is a very good practice. It gives me encouragement and helps me to remember that there is more to this life and way of life then what I see around me.

valleybldr
Oct 9th 2008, 06:36 PM
That is just it, unlike Christmas and Easter, Halloween and All Saints Day did not start out pagan, it was always a Christian holiday.

No, they are all post biblical holidays. I don't accept these traditions as part of my religious heritage. todd

Br. Barnabas
Oct 9th 2008, 06:43 PM
No, they are all post biblical holidays. todd

Just because something is post biblical does not make it pagan. I will give you that Easter and Christmas had pagan roots, as I said that they did in my pervious post.

But I will not say that All Saints day was ever a pagan holiday, because it was not. And All Hallows' Eve(nt) was started after All Saints day to remember other the people who did not accept the message of the Gospels and to remember the very real danger of Hell. It did not start as a pagan holiday, neither of them did. They started as Christian holidays.

valleybldr
Oct 9th 2008, 06:49 PM
Just because something is post biblical does not make it pagan. I will give you that Easter and Christmas had pagan roots, as I said that they did in my pervious post.

But I will not say that All Saints day was ever a pagan holiday, because it was not. And All Hallows' Eve(nt) was started after All Saints day to remember other the people who did not accept the message of the Gospels and to remember the very real danger of Hell. It did not start as a pagan holiday, neither of them did. They started as Christian holidays. Many, including myself, would dispute your contention. Even some Catholics will dispute it.
You can try http://www.gnmagazine.org/issues/gn60/halloween_pagan.htm (http://www.gnmagazine.org/issues/gn60/halloween_pagan.htm) but there are many links that make the same point.
todd

Bethany67
Oct 9th 2008, 06:55 PM
Halloween has always been a Christian holiday. It is the Eve of All Saints Day when we as Christians should remember all those who have gone on before us to Heaven. All Hallows' Eve or Event is the unoffical day when we remember all those who are damned and remember the real threat of Hell and that it is a real place with real souls there.

But it did not start out as just a pagan holiday and made into a Christian one. All Saints day was moved from May 13th to November 1 when Pope Gregory III consectrated a chapel in St. Peter's Basilica to All Saints. It has been celebrated since the 300s when it started it was just for martyrs but has been changed for all those who are in heaven.

Granted our society does not remember this or really care about it. But they do the same for Christmas and Easter and other Christian holidays.

It was deliberately imposed onto the Celtic celebration of Samhain (end of harvest/Celtic new year - decide which animals were to be slaughtered instead of fed through winter) to appeal to Pagans (particularly the Gauls). The 'veil between the worlds' is considered thinner and honouring/contacting the dead is a major part of it, setting a place for the dead at the table. Way too Pagan for me now.

Similarly, why do Catholics celebrate Candlemas, the Purification of the Virgin? Because it's the festival of Imbolc/Oimelc, sacred amongst Pagans to the goddess Brigid and the return of fertility. It was a deliberately political ploy to create a 'church year' to make cultural Christianity less challenging and more acceptable to Pagans. It's the antithesis of the Gospel which calls us to forsake such things.

valleybldr
Oct 9th 2008, 07:02 PM
It was a deliberately political ploy to create a 'church year' to make cultural Christianity less challenging and more acceptable to Pagans. It's the antithesis of the Gospel which calls us to forsake such things. Cathoics take great pride it how they have "baptized" paganism. Protestants ignore the Catholics role (power) in such matters and argue they can do as they please as long if it's with a good conscience and a "pure heart." IMO, it's just another way to bend the knee to Rome...and Catholics are often quick to point out who's following who's traditions. todd

Bethany67
Oct 9th 2008, 07:26 PM
Maybe it's because I was an active Pagan who celebrated the 8 Sabbats that I can see the roots of it so clearly, and I can't in all conscience justify trying to reintegrate something tainted that's just wearing a different hat. I don't judge others, but for me if it whiffs of Paganism and reminds me of my past, it has no place in my life. Maybe that makes me a 'weaker Christian' but I don't care - I'm interested in following Jesus, not fitting in with what's going on culturally around me. Halloween is a step way too far with its positive emphasis on death and darkness and secret things. How many kids think 'Ooh Halloween ... let's try a seance or play with a ouija board.'

Not to mention the utter stupidity and hypocrisy of teaching kids for one night of the year that it's okay to take sweets from strangers, and beg or threaten for treats. I know old people who are terrified by trick-or-treating; it used to be fairly innocent, the odd egg thrown at a door, the odd balloon burst to make a loud noise - now it's broken windows, slashed tyres and utter harrassment round here. I've seen tiny tots of 5 or 6 knock on our door with no parents in sight when I look up and down the road.

Br. Barnabas
Oct 9th 2008, 07:39 PM
All Saints day was started in the 4th century without transforming pagan holidays some may think that it's move to November 1 had something to do with Samhain but I think it had more to do with the dedication of the chapel.

lendtay
Oct 9th 2008, 10:13 PM
Not to mention the utter stupidity and hypocrisy of teaching kids for one night of the year that it's okay to take sweets from strangers, and beg or threaten for treats. I know old people who are terrified by trick-or-treating; it used to be fairly innocent, the odd egg thrown at a door, the odd balloon burst to make a loud noise - now it's broken windows, slashed tyres and utter harrassment round here. I've seen tiny tots of 5 or 6 knock on our door with no parents in sight when I look up and down the road.

Where I live, its common for kids to go around during October, at night and smash people's pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns that they have placed in front of their homes for decoration. But that is about the extent of the mayhem.

When I was a kid, we liked to play with a ouija board, tarot cards, and we also had seances. My parents were Christians but didn't recognize these things as wrong. They were unaware.

lendtay
Oct 9th 2008, 10:15 PM
Halloween has always been a Christian holiday.

I am not sure about that.

christlovesus2008
Oct 10th 2008, 10:17 PM
no, its not wrong to celebrate them. look more around the context of the verse, not taking the line out of context.

valleybldr
Oct 10th 2008, 11:28 PM
no, its not wrong to celebrate them. look more around the context of the verse, not taking the line out of context. The OP is based in part on "not sure exactly where this verse is" and now we have this phantom verse being taken out of context.
OK, I'm lost.:huh:

todd

Locoman8
Oct 11th 2008, 08:00 AM
Many, including myself, would dispute your contention. Even some Catholics will dispute it.
You can try http://www.gnmagazine.org/issues/gn60/halloween_pagan.htm (http://www.gnmagazine.org/issues/gn60/halloween_pagan.htm) but there are many links that make the same point.
todd


Todd, this is my very first post on Bible Forums and I just want you to know it's an honor to meet a fellow UCG follower. You sported the Good News Magazine website. I am a subscriber to their literature. Now on a more serious note on these holiday discussions...

Christmas, Easter, and Halloween are all crawling with paganism. Say what you want about "all saints day" but it is still nothing more than an attempt by the Roman Catholics to bring paganism into christianity. To ridicule a JW for not celebrating, I say good for them because it's better safe than sorry... however, the 7 holy day feasts commanded in Leviticus 23 should always be celebrated. Just simply in a different light than how Jews celebrate them. The list of these days are as follows and yes, the Jews call them by the hebrew names, I'm using the english/greek terms for the holy days:

Passover: was replaced by easter in modern christianity but is to be celebrated as the day Christ died for our sins. He was our "sacrificial lamb of the passover." The Last Supper was the passover feast for Christ and his apostles. Christ and the apostles all celebrated this day annually.

Feast of Unleavened Bread: 7 day feast immediately after passover, making it 8 days all together. No yeast in your bread for 7 days. It is a symbol to God that you long to keep sin out of your life.

Feast of Pentacost: 50 days after passover is Pentacost which represents the gift of the Holy Spirit poured onto the New Testament Church as described in the opening chapters of Acts. It also represents the firstfruits of the human harvest which was Christ. After the firstfruits are gathered, those who are in Christ at his coming... each in his own order.

Feast of Trumpets: Represents the tribulation and second-coming of Christ as He is mentioned as being descended from heaven at the Trump of God or the 7th trumpet of the 7th seal of revelation. Oddly enough, it was around this time of year (end of sept.) when Christ was actually born... not Dec. 25.

Day of Atonement: Represents the removal of sins cause (satan) during the 1000 year peace and reconciliation to God. The true events that happen post-tribulation leave fleshly humans on earth through the 1000 years of peace. Those who survived the tribulation will no longer have Satan manipulate them in which case, these people can reconcile to God and live a holy life without sin. Most of humanity should celebrate this day of reconciliation due to the fact that only a small fragment of christians and Jews will be resurrected in the first resurrection. This holy day is celebrated by fasting for 24 hours.

Feast of Tabernacles: 7 day feast which represents the 1000 year peace in God's kingdom on earth. It's almost like a revival but the best is yet to come.

The Last Great Day: The 8th day of tabernacles which represents the end of the 1000 year peace, release of Satan from "Tartarus" (translated "hell" in the holy bible but is a place of confinement set aside for satan and his angels for 1000 years) and Satan's casting into the lake of fire. The general harvest or 2nd resurrection... of judgement. God searches your heart, searches your works and if you are truely evil, into the lake of fire which is the 2nd death. This day represents the creation of the new heaven and new earth and an eternity with Christ in New Jerusalem and the newly formed earth.

Those are the holy days, together known as "God's Holy Day Plan for Humanity" which I'm sure catholics and protestants never hear about or bother to look into. Instead they worry about the pagan, man-made holidays of easter, christmas, halloween and even valentines day. Other holidays like 4th of July, thanksgiving, columbus day and such are not a problem because they are not burried deep in paganism and idol worship. I'm not saying you're wrong if you celebrate them in a christian manner, but I'd rather be safe than sorry and to me celebrating the commanded holy days are more fulfilling and enjoyable than these money trap holidays for wal-mart. Amen and God bless you all. Hope my bluntness doesn't offend anyone. It's just my way of sending my point across.:spin:

Locoman8
Oct 11th 2008, 08:47 AM
One more thing about the holy days commanded by God. The most important is the holy sabbath which is the 7th day of the week. Friday sundown to saturday sundown. The holy day feasts I mentioned are also annual sabbaths. There is no biblical evidence of changing the day of worship from saturday to sunday. It is something the roman catholics did and protestants simply accepted it. The sabbath is a commandment from God, the 4th one to be exact and there's nothing in the bible to back up sunday as an exchange for saturday.

Bethany67
Oct 11th 2008, 09:36 AM
Other holidays like 4th of July, thanksgiving, columbus day and such are not a problem because they are not burried deep in paganism and idol worship.

Going to be controversial here, but as a Brit I've been shocked by some of the things Americans have told me about disposing of an American flag when it's past oits best/no longer used/whatever. From what they've told me, it really did border on idol worship.

valleybldr
Oct 11th 2008, 11:56 AM
Todd, this is my very first post on Bible Forums and I just want you to know it's an honor to meet a fellow UCG follower. You sported the Good News Magazine website. I am a subscriber to their literature. Now on a more serious note on these holiday discussions...
Welcome to the forum!

Actually, you will find me making references from all kinds of sources. My specialty focuses on the biblical Holy Days. I give PowerPoint presentations to youth classes, Messianics, those of the Church of God tradition and any others who want to learn. I'm aware of the Messianic take, CoG take and, of course, the Jewish understandings revolving around these special times. I am comfortable presenting the material wherever... however the UCG has a “closed door” policy which prohibits me from doing presentations there.

Have a wonderful Feast (Sukkot)!

todd

valleybldr
Oct 11th 2008, 12:11 PM
Those are the holy days, together known as "God's Holy Day Plan for Humanity" which I'm sure catholics and protestants never hear about or bother to look into.

I have a book shelf full of Holy Day material and there’s a few in there who would label themselves as "Protestant" authors. The Holy Days have become increasingly popular in the past 30-40 years largely due to the charismatic sector of the church. It seems that the prophecy buffs have an interest and feel God will keep His future “Appointed Times” right on schedule. Most of them however have bought into the antinomian version of Paul and the churches early anti-Semitism so they have a deadly fear of actually enjoying and participating in the celebrations.

The day will come that all will enjoy and so we look to the literal fulfillment of these wonderful holidays before us when we will all meet in Jerusalem to honor the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

todd

valleybldr
Oct 11th 2008, 12:19 PM
Other holidays like 4th of July, thanksgiving, columbus day and such are not a problem because they are not burried deep in paganism and idol worship. They are "not a problem" because they are not worship days. God is very particular that we learn our worship customs from Him and Him alone. The issue is worship...who we are worshipping and how He says He wants to be worshipped. He is the only Holy One and He alone deems a day "holy." todd

keck553
Oct 14th 2008, 10:53 PM
They are "not a problem" because they are not worship days. God is very particular that we learn our worship customs from Him and Him alone. The issue is worship...who we are worshipping and how He says He wants to be worshipped. He is the only Holy One and He alone deems a day "holy." todd

Whew. Thank you Todd. That's refreshing, to have K'desh separated from chav. Ironic how some people dictate a day, even call it holy, and expect the LORD to honor it or be pleased. God tells us in His Word what pleases Him. Trust. Love. And the obedience to manifest these actions His way, not ours. Who are we to do such a thing as make up a day and call it holy? Would anyone be honored to have their birthday cake presented in a month they were not born, then have his name used to gain profit and interest from credit cards?

The chav can be for us, for our commercialism and financial enslavement, but let's honor the Holy to be of God and for God.