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After much prayer and research, our family no longer celebrates most holidays. We don't celebrate the traditionally "Christian" holidays such as Christmas and Easter, and we also don't celebrate other holidays such as Halloween and Valentine's Day that are based on occult and pagan beliefs and practices.
(We are not Jehovah's Witnesses, we are Bible-believing Christians.)
At first we thought it would be hard to give up the traditions that are so much a part of the holiday seasons. Instead, God has blessed our desire to obey Him with much peace and joy!

Here are the reasons why we do not believe the holidays are right for us to celebrate. We have divided the sections that follow between the holidays of Easter, Christmas and Halloween. We feel compelled to share this information with others since the Bible states, "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another." (Ephesians 4:25)



EASTER Facts and Fiction

Many people all over the world celebrate the return of spring and Easter. If you are Christian, you may feel that Easter is a very important celebration honoring the death and resurrection of Jesus. But Jesus Himself warned of the dangers of mixing man-made traditions with the truth (Mark 7).

How much do you know about the holiday of Easter?

Why do we call it Easter?
The name Easter comes from the occult and pagan celebration of their spring goddess Eostre and Ishtar. Thousands of years before Christ was born, the Babylonians and other pagan cultures had a spring festival in honor of their goddess of spring and rebirth. The goddess Ishtar had a rabbit that laid eggs which were fertility symbols. They worshipped her during their sun-rise services, put eggs in basket "nests", had easter-egg hunts, made hot cross buns in her honor, dressed in their finest clothes and offered candies and fresh flowers to their goddess. The goddess Ishtar had a son, Tammuz, and when he died, it was proclaimed that he was to be mourned for 40 days of fasting (lent) before each anniversary of his death and resurrection which was their Easter celebration.

The Bible warns about this exact Easter celebration in Ezekial 8:14-16 where God calls it an abomination:

"Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east." (this is the origin of "sun-rise" services)

Why is the date for Easter different each year?
The date for Easter is calculated based on ancient occultic beliefs about the power of the cycles of the moon. Easter is therefore celebrated on the first Sunday, after the first full moon of the first season of the new year - which is why it varies from year to year. "Easter Friday" is also part of pagan celebrations, timed to be on the third full moon from the start of the year.

So we can see that the celebration of Easter is still being followed according to the old pagan Spring-godess festival and not based on when Jesus was resurrected - or else the date would remain the same each year!

Jesus warns us about following man's traditions:
"This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men...Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." (Mark 7:7-9)

Did Jesus die on a Friday and rise on a Sunday?
If you believe that Jesus died on a Friday and rose from death on Sunday morning, there is no way He could have been in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights. But Jesus specifically said He would be in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights just like Jonah was in the belly of the whale for 3 days and 3 nights (Matthew 12:40).

This is extremely important, because if Jesus didn't do exactly as He said, He would be lying or a fake! The exact dates of Jesus' death and resurrection can be known from the Bible when you understand about the Jewish laws and practices, which Jesus followed exactly.

Jesus ate His last supper as the Passover feast on Tuesday night - the Jewish feast of Passover is for 8 days: the first day is Passover, and the next 7 days are the Feast of Unleavened bread (in commemoration of when Moses lead the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt).

The Jewish calendar is different from ours, and the Jewish day always begins at sundown (sundown to sundown is a Jewish day, rather than midnight to midnight). Every Saturday - from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath day - a holy day of rest when no work can be done. Passover is always the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan (our month of April), which God Himself decreed. God said the 15th day of Nisan would also be a sabbath day of rest, no matter what day of the week it fell on each year.

Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, late afternoon, on the 14th day of the Jewish month Nisan (which is why His disciples were concerned about burying Him before the sabbath began that evening, the 15th, at sundown - since they can't do any work, including burials, on sabbath days). Jesus rose from the grave on Saturday evening. The two Marys who visited Jesus's tomb to bring the fresh spices (Matthew 28), couldn't do that "work" until their normal Saturday sabbath was over - which was Saturday at sundown. So when they got there late Saturday evening, Jesus was already risen and gone from the grave. That makes exactly 3 days (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) and 3 nights (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) that Jesus was in the grave, just as He said He would be.

When does God tell us to commemorate Jesus's death and resurrection?
God warns us throughout the Bible - Old Testament and New Testament, to remove ourselves from anything occult or pagan, especially in regard to religious practices. He warns us not to mix our worship of Him with the practices of the pagans.

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?...Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." (2 Corinthians 6:14,17)

God does, however, give us a specific time to reflect upon and honor what Jesus did for us, by dying on the cross to pay the price for our sins, to think of His body and shed blood, His sacrifice for us, as well as His victory for us over death. And that is when we come together in fellowship with other believers to break bread (celebrate the Lord's supper) in memory of Jesus' sacrifice for us.

Paul explains it in 1 Corinthians 11:23-25:

"That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me."

Additional resources:
Should Christians Celebrate Easter
Should Christians Celebrate Easter (another article)
Origins of Easter from Information Please
Pagan Origins of the Easter Bunny at About.com
Pagan Origins of Easter



CHRISTMAS

The Christmas holiday is also mixed with pagan traditions and rituals that were celebrated thousands of years before Jesus was even born. Although there are such strong sentimental and traditional ties to this holiday, what does the Bible say about mixing pagan religion with our Christian faith?
Is Jesus really the "reason for the season"?
Are we truly honoring God by keeping "Christ in Christmas"?

1) We are not told or commanded by the Bible or Jesus to celebrate His birth.

Everything God wants us to know and do is in the Bible and in no other source. The Bible is the Christians' guide for life.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (2 Timothy 3:16)

Interesting facts: Since there was no Biblical command to celebrate Jesus' birth and because of its pagan origins, "Christmas" celebrations were outlawed in many countries that wanted to live as a Christian community. For example, in England in 1644, Parliament declared Christmas to be unlawful. In the early American colonies the observance of Christmas was illegal. In 1650 a law was adopted in the general court of Massachusetts to fine anyone celebrating Christmas. Even up until the late 19th century, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist churches were closed on December 25th.

2) Jesus' birth was not celebrated by the disciples or the early church.

The early church kept themselves separate from all heathen customs and practices as the Bible commanded them to do. Historians and church records show that the first celebrations of the birth of Jesus did not occur until the 4th century. In the 5th century the church decided to make the birth of Jesus coincide with the Roman feast of the birth of Sol the Roman sun god.

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14)

3) Jesus was not born on December 25th.

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed." (Luke 2:1)

December is the middle of the rainy season in Palestine. Historians do not believe that Caesar would have forced the people to travel during the worst part of the year so he could collect taxes. Travel during the rainy season was extremely difficult.

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:8-11)

From about October to April the sheep were kept confined in a corral during this time of the year. There would not be any shepherds in the fields keeping watch over their flock in December and that is still the case today.

Jesus' birth was firmly established by the Roman emperor Constantine when he declared Christianity as the state religion. Constantine wanted to keep the peace, so he had to appease the heathens and declared December 25th to be the birth of the Son of God to coincide with the birth of the sun god worshiped by the pagans. Soon the cultures of both Christians and non-Christians merged. The Bible warns believers to be separate and not learn the ways of the heathen.


"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." (2 Corinthians 6:17)

4) The Bible specifically warns against "Christmas" celebrations.

The heathen celebrated the birth of their sun god (Tammuz) on December 25th, thousands of years before Jesus was born.

The prophet Jeremiah warned,
"Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not." (Jeremiah 10:2-4)

Sound familiar? This was written about 600 years BEFORE Jesus was born to warn God's people not to do these things. The Bible tells us "And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Timothy 4:4)

The Bible also warns against observing "special days" or times of the year. "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain." (Galatians 4:10-11)

The Lord wants us to worship Him 365 days a year, not just on special days. "From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD's name is to be praised." (Psalms 113:3)

5) We desire to follow and obey the truth as the Bible commands.

The celebration of Christmas is filled with many lies, pagan customs and traditions. When you mix truth with a lie, you destroy the truth and the lie is still a lie.

The reason Jesus came into the world is found in
John 18:37 "Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice."

Jesus wants us to follow the truth. Why? "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)

How should we worship? "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23-24)

Remember that Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

Since we are created in His image let's follow this command, "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." (Colossians 3:9-10)

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." (Colossians 2:8)

Here are some interesting origins of common
"Christmas customs":

"Yuletide"
This common terminology for the Christmas season has its origin deeply rooted in paganism far before the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. In paganism, the mother of the sun was said to have been mystically turned into a tree and in this condition gave birth to her son. The birthday associated with December 25th was really a reincarnation of her son. He had been killed and was miraculously raised on December 25th. Thus the pagans would cast a "yule (child) log" on the fire the evening of December 24th. On the next morning, the reincarnated tree would appear.

"Christmas Tree"
This custom of the Christmas season was common in pagan Rome and Egypt. In Egypt they used a palm tree and in Rome a fir tree. See above for the significance of the tree on the morning of December 25th in the pagan festivals. It may be that the reference to the tree in Jeremiah 10 had its roots in this pagan celebration.

"Candles"
Lighted candles are foreign to the worship of God in the church of the New Testament scriptures. Yet, they too had their place in the worship of the sun god of paganism and in Christmas today.

"Mistletoe"
Among the pre-Christian Druidic superstitions, derived from ancient Babylon, was the legend of the mistletoe. It was regarded as a divine branch, which came down from heaven and grafted itself into an earthly tree. They believed it had magical powers of fertility and everlasting life.

Here are some links to other good Christian sites which discuss Christmas:

Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

False Doctrines Exposed

The Gift of Truth

Should a Christian Celebrate Christmas?


HALLOWEEN

"Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good." (Romans 12:9)

"Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 19:31)

"There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee." (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

"Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils." (1 Corinthians 10:21)

We feel compelled to speak out against celebrating Halloween - to warn other Christians of the dangers of participating in this holiday. The Bible clearly warns us to stay away from anything that is associated with the occult or witchcraft or things of the devil. Satan is real, and it is not safe to participate in anything that is part of him. Likewise, as Christians, we are called to be a good witness to others, to do nothing which would influence others to stray. Please consider that if you are celebrating Halloween, what message this may send to others who may not understand the dangers of the occult and who may be mislead into thinking that the occult is approved of by their Christian friends.

"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil." (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)

May our Lord guide us into His ways of righteousness so that we may be the Lights that shine in the darkness.

Links to Christian Sites that discuss Halloween:
Christian Answers.Net

Messianic Perspectives

What every Christian should know about Halloween

A Biblical Perspective



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"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." Colossians 3:17

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