by J. Greene and Bible Vision
How did a Christian world come to accept and celebrate what was at one time pagan religious traditions? Let’s pull back the curtain of time and see how and why these foreign customs became part of today’s religious heritage.
It was customary in the Spring of each year, on the first Saturday after March 21st, that the pagan or non-Christian European people congregated outside their villages. All the able-bodied gathered wood, placed it around an oak tree and set it alight. As the people encircled the fire, they would kneel and beg the goddess of the dawn to bring the days of Spring.
These folks offered sacrifices to the goddess of Spring on this Saturday evening and retired until early the following morning. Before dawn, everyone again met outside facing the East toward the rising sun and gave thanks to their goddess for bringing the Spring days back again.
This day was considered a holiday with celebrations and games. One game was to search for hidden colored eggs. The main colors symbolized the sun’s life-giving rays. Many eggs, the emblem of the seed of life, were given as an offering to the Spring goddess and others were eaten. Hot-cross buns were also baked and offered to the goddess.
After the first century, large numbers of people from Persia, Assyria and eastern lands settled on the European mainland that also worshiped a Spring goddess in celebrations which took place at the beginning of Spring. Some sun worship was involved with a resurrection festival. The merged celebrations came to be known as Easter in honor of the goddess Ishtar. This sun worship came to have a profound impact on the Romans.
Yahshua [Jesus] and first-century disciples did not honor or recognize foreign gods, celebrate Easter or any resurrection festivals. These holidays and festivals are unrecognized. The Jewish nation in general was unable to resist the enticement of foreign gods or the peer pressure of nations. Professed Christianity over the generations has not proved to be any different. Genuine sanctified disciples of the Messiah are known by their fruit. (Matthew 7; John 15:8; Matthew 3:10)
“I am YAHWEH your Elohim, who has brought you out from the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.You shall not have any other Elohim before My face. You shall not make a graven image for yourself, or any likeness in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow to them, and you shall not serve them; for I am YAHWEH your Elohim, a jealous El, visiting the iniquity of fathers on sons, on the third and on the fourth generation, to those that hate Me; and doing kindness to thousands, to those loving Me, and to those keeping My commandments.” – Exodus 20:2-6, HRB
The Roman Emperor Constantine passed a decree in 325 A.D. that forced all within the empire to keep this Sunday resurrection. It was forbidden for any Christian to continue keeping the Jewish Passover. Pagans now professed to be Christians through the mandated state religion and developed a perverted Christian philosophy of their own. As the Roman State religion, Christianity sought to build up influence at the expense of the other religions, so they incorporated the Feast of the Resurrection on the same day as eastern religions worshiped on Sunday. Instead of worshiping the sun, they focused the non-Christians pagans, now Christians, on honoring the Son in the same ways while empowering the Catholic Church and the Roman State in a united kingdom of state ordained religion.
The United States claims to be a Christian nation and a Christian people that listen to YHWH’s Word. However, you wouldn’t know this by the customs most Christians keep and recommend.
“When YAHWEH your Elohim shall cut off the nations from before you, where you are going in to possess them, and you shall possess them, and shall live in their land, take heed to yourself that you not be snared to follow them after they have been destroyed before you; and that you not inquire after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their Elohim? And I shall do so, even I. You shall not do so to YAHWEH your Elohim; for everything hateful to YAHWEH, which He detests, they have done to their gods. For they have even burned their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.” – Deuteronomy 12:29-31, HRB
Easter: A Roman holiday feast day replacement for the Biblical holy appointed Passover. Rome ensured that Easter would never fall on the Jewish Passover.
“. . . It appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin, and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness of soul. … Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way.” – Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, Book 3, Chapter 18
“Easter must be celebrated by all throughout the world on the same Sunday; that this Sunday must follow the fourteenth day of the paschal moon; that that moon was to be accounted the paschal moon whose fourteenth day followed the spring equinox; that some provision should be made, probably by the Church of Alexandria as best skilled in astronomical calculations, for determining the proper date of Easter and communicating it to the rest of the world.” – The Catholic Encyclopedia Easter Controversy
“The World Council of Churches proposed a reform of the method of determining the date of Easter at a summit in Aleppo, Syria, in 1997: Easter would be defined as the first Sunday following the first astronomical full moon following the astronomical vernal equinox, as determined from the meridian of Jerusalem. The reform would have been implemented starting in 2001, since in that year the Eastern and Western dates of Easter would coincide. This reform has not yet been implemented.” – Catholic Encyclopedia: “Easter Controversy”