Easter Idolatry (and Something About a Resurrection) 2018

          Notwithstanding the fact that the majority of “Christians” would rather dispense with any and all work regarding study toward truth, it still boggles the mind at least somewhat that so many can be so fooled so willingly, and be so stubborn in insisting upon the embrace of what should be clear idolatry.

          When the apostle Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, in whom he had a strong hand in placing in ministry, he stressed upon him the necessity of staying on top of things spiritually. He taught him exactly how the devil liked to muddy the waters and confuse people with false concepts and dumb traditions whose desired effect was the same, in that “Christians” would end up confused and ignorant. Thus, he told him,

          Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. [2Timothy 2:15]

THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE

          The enemy of our souls is very crafty in that way, especially when it comes to religious traditions, and none more so than the purely traditional religious holiday of “Easter.”

          The strange combination of fertility symbols—bunny rabbits and chicken eggs—is pure testimony to the fact that traditions can get really weird and should give people an idea of just how weird the devil is and how weird people can get.

          People color, decorate, and hide Easter eggs for later finding every year and no one really knows why they do it. Few really care about this weird combination anymore and refuse to do anything about it, even after the tradition became weird to the point that the Easter Bunny laid the eggs. But when so-called Christians not only accept it en masse but combine it further with the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, it gives further proof that the minds of religious people are not so different from the minds of drug users.

          It was back in 1966, when a different Timothy, the LSD guru Timothy Leary, first advised his young charges to “Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out.” Leary claimed he got this expression from another man of the times, the expression guru Marshall McLuhan, a man way ahead of his time who also coined other terms such as “the medium is the message.”

          Of course, the devil was aware of this little factoid for a tad while longer than Mr. McLuhan and used it well in every religion he ever created. The idea that the actual message is not at all a message but the delivery system itself is what makes false religions so diabolical.

          It is obviously apparent that the proponents of and believers in false religions do not understand that they have become part of the sinister plot by voluntarily engaging in the stage play—the spiritually meaningless religious participation pageant—that makes them guilty of not only completely missing the real message but making the medium the message.

         What is this medium? And what is it specifically when it comes to false forms of Christianity? As I explain in defining a real Christian, I will also explain by defining Unreal Christianity:

          A real Christian is anyone whose spirit becomes fused with the Spirit of God: But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him [1Corinthians 6:17]. Every real Christian follows and obeys the Lord Jesus as His Master, Lord, Shepherd, and Teacher.

          Therefore, Unreal Christianity is composed of all other “Christians” of varying stripes who merely claim the name without fulfilling the above requirements. As a result, Unreal Christians are obsessed with the medium, the expression, the pageant, the stage production, the repeat-after-me rote repetitions, the formal geographic gatherings, and the religious routine.

         This cannot help but make them part of an idolatrous practice, though benign in appearance, in that they worship the higher Christian class with all the brass and the shallow and meaningless routine of religion.

          This is also actually no different whatsoever from the incredible influence Timothy Leary gained over hundreds of thousands who obeyed his pronouncements and actually did turn on, tune in, and drop out. Religious “Christians,” however, had already been doing that very thing for centuries. Untold millions remain turned-on to surreal counterfeits of the Lord’s original, tuned-in to the religious gurus thereof, and have effectively dropped-out, by their own choosing, of the Lord’s real community.

          It is for this reason that we still have this false idea of a large rabbit laying Easter eggs and why no kid in America sees anything aberrant about it, and also why grown up “Christians” see nothing aberrant about mixing this weird stuff with the Lord’s resurrection.

“EASTER SUNDAY”

          “Churches” all over America will not be celebrating the day of the Lord’s Resurrection Sunday but will instead be celebrating “Easter.” Some will celebrate “Resurrection Sunday.” This is good terminology though the majority has fought its acceptance now to the point that few ever try to use it as before. No, Easter is the overwhelmingly insisted-upon approved term for this day, for without it there is no pageant, and without the pageant there is no medium, and without the medium there is nothing, since there is no actual message beyond the medium.

          Though only a few care, the origin of this term should nevertheless be looked into.

          Longtime readers of this blog know that there is much to gained from the Lord’s actual calendar. I have written extensively on the topic. Our current Gregorian Calendar is worthless from a celestial viewpoint since its months and years have nothing to do with the actual movements of the sun and moon. From where did it originate? It actually originated from the same people who gave us the “Easter Holiday” (Latin: Pascha)—Both were invented by the Roman Catholic Church.

          With all the other changes from truth 17 centuries ago, this was yet another. In creating his new hybrid syncretic religion, Constantine I simply appropriated a very well known and practiced springtime pagan festival that had been around for many centuries in many cultures for his own purposes.

          It was the consistent modus operandi of the Catholic religion to appropriate local customs of religiously subjugated people, change the names of said customs but keep the dates and culturally significant aspects, and then adopt them as official. In this way the people still had all their pagan holidays, though renamed. They were forced to adopt the Catholic religion and honor its magistrates, but otherwise felt comfortable by maintaining their pagan religious traditions.

          It was a perfect compromise. The Catholic Church, like the Roman Empire, subjugated cultures through religious force, whereas Rome had previously done the same through military force. Rome never cared about what anyone believed in detail or what they practiced. All they cared about was that the people they subjugated and enslaved honored the Roman emperor as God, obeyed Roman laws, and paid all tributes and taxes. The Catholic Church did the same: The Pope must be honored as Supreme Pontiff and Vicar (substitute) of Christ, all Roman Catholic religious practices must be honored, and all tribute must be paid.

          None of this, of course, had anything to do with the actual teachings of the Lord Jesus or worship of Him. It was all about religious control. And this is the origin of a pagan festival with “Christianity.”

          Easter was the Anglo-Saxon name of an ancient pagan goddess of fertility who was worshipped in the spring of the year and was also related to the sunrise, like many various sun gods of the ancient world. The pagan festival had a common origin and purpose, though many later cultures had various names for it. The exact term is traced from the Middle English estre, from the Old English eastre. Going further back in time, eastre is related to a common female goddess known to all ancient cultures by different names.

          The Lord Jesus and the original community of believers never practiced such a pagan holiday or any other, and all calendar events were based on the Hebrew lunar-solar calendar. The Lord was actually crucified on a Thursday, on the Hebrew date of Nisan 14, and rose again on a Sunday, on Nisan 17. Due to the moveable feast decrees of the early Catholic Church at Nicea, the actual dates no longer applied and a false structure was adopted so every year would involve the same days. This was all done for the sake of religious control since so many millions of coerced converts had to be adapted to a systemized annual structure.

          Hence, the days in question had to be condensed. The Wednesday evening “Last Supper,” which actually also fell on Nisan 14 (the Hebrew day date began every sunset), was moved to Thursday, the Thursday death of the Lord was moved to Friday (Good Friday), the Hebrew Sabbath became “Holy Saturday,” and Nisan 17, the day of the Lord’s resurrection, became “Easter Sunday.” These days remain the same every year though the dates change annually on the actual celestial calendar.

         For example, the official full moon took place this morning (March 31) at 7:37am CDT which marks the exact middle of the lunar cycle. Today is Nisan 15 on the Hebrew calendar. Sunday is Nisan 16. Nisan 17, the actual anniversary of the Lord’s resurrection, is Monday.

EASTER TRADITION OR RESURRECTION POWER?

          Even though we have all of this historical background readily available, it is a clear testimony to the power of pagan tradition, religious rote, and clergy control that the idolatry of Easter continues to coexist with the Lord’s resurrection. Mere pagan religious rituals and customs continue edging out the reality of the resurrection and what it must mean directly to each and every person, in that every real Christian will also experience the same resurrection as that of the Lord one day.

          The early believers associated the spiritual power of the Gospel they preached with resurrection. It is to the same degree that the Easter Christians have little or no spiritual power since they honor the Lord’s resurrection from death in name only and rarely or never identify with it personally. These people generally do not believe in being born again, even though the Lord said it was a must, and what is new birth but a resurrection?

          Since the raising from physical death by the Lord Jesus is the greatest event in human history and proves everything about real Christianity, it should not be forced to coexist with anything. Like everything else practiced by our original forebears taught directly by the Lord, we should all return to the simpler, honest, and much more powerful spiritual practices they engaged in for His sake and for the sake of the truth.

          Regarding the subject of this article, we are left with two choices:

          (1) “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:8-9]

          (2) Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” [John 11: 25-26] [1]

          © 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church

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Posted on March 31, 2018, in Current Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Agree in every respect. We’ve used Resurrection Sunday at our church for many years, and we do the traditional “He is Risen!” greeting on this day. Ishtar/Astarte gets no recognition 🙂

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    • Thanks Linda. It’s all fine and good to let the kids have some fun but they must be taught the truth. There is nothing greater than what the Lord Jesus did for us so long ago in both giving His life and then raising it back up. What He demonstrated in real time and real life is an illustration of what He intends for everyone but we must be willing to go all in as He did. There is no greater Man who did any greater deed. All life begins with Him. He is the greatest.

      Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am one of those “so called” Christians who finds value in the Christian tradition of Easter. My recent post on “Reasoned Cases for Christ” explains why. And unlike your assumption that most Christians are unwilling to take on the task of studying towards truth, I have. Sincerely sorry that you feel that way but I respect your opinion. Sure would be nice if you appreciated and respected mine. Grace and blessings.

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    • Thanks for the comment Bruce. There was no violation on my part toward you or anyone else personally. I can hardly be blamed for not respecting beliefs I do not know you have. Many Christians agree with the truth of this post.

      I originally wrote this article and posted it on April 4, 2015 and got a good response and several excellent comments from other Christians. I posted it again on March 25, 2016 and again got a very good response. This is my third posting and once again there is a good response from several believers. If you look over these three postings and read the comments you will see many different believers expressing their own opinions in general agreement with the truth of the article. If you disagree with me you are obviously disagreeing with them also. I am certainly not hiding behind them but only acknowledging their contribution.

      As in other posts I’ve written that you have taken issue with, usually to a minor degree, we have always come to a general consensus. I have had to do further explaining and offered more information. I think it would be good if we all could try to put aside at least temporarily everything that happened in history before the Lord’s ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection and everything after and focus only on what happened on that wonderful morning so long ago. If we eliminate all traditions and extraneous beliefs at least momentarily we will see what they saw and why it changed the world forever and still changes it one person at a time.

      The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is one of those “all in” events, the greatest one, in which we must be committed 100%. The alternative is zero. There is no middle ground. It is thus thoroughly life-changing in every respect or has no spiritual value in any respect.

      Prior and later traditional beliefs and practices that have no intrinsic connection to the resurrection only cloud over and often hide the truth. His resurrection, made possible only by His great love, effort, and perfect life, make each of our resurrections to eternal life possible and that is the real story and the big story. Though He did it all for us, this day is supposed to be only about Him. To the degree that it is will gain an equal response from heaven.

      Blessings to you.

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  3. RJ, I had decided to discontinue following you and actually did but then changed my mind because I don’t believe that just “turning you off” is the response that Jesus would have me do. I don’t know if you have read my post about “Our Tradition of Easter” but I would be interested in your response. Here is the post link: https://bcooper.wordpress.com/2018/04/01/our-tradition-of-easter/

    I find it disheartening when a man of your obvious intelligence and faith can make the accusation that “Christians” can be so fooled so willingly, and be so stubborn in insisting upon the embrace of what should be clear idolatry. Interestingly enough, both of us quoted the Apostle Paul and both of us make reference to the accusation that the tradition of Easter is associated with a pagan festival. You make the assumption that Easter is associated with a pagan festival and that to ignore that association makes Christians who value the tradition of Easter “foolish”, “stubborn” and “embracing clear idolatry” and then resolve yourself of any intended “violation on my part toward you or anyone else personally” by indicating that you are not aware of my beliefs. That’s like throwing a rock through the window of my house and then absolving yourself of any responsibility because you where “not aware” that there was anyone inside. You “knew” that I took offence at your post because I told you in my response yet you continued to label me with adjectives such as “foolish”, “stubborn” and “embracing clear idolatry” in your response to my response. The fact that many Christians agreed with your post doesn’t in and of itself validate your post statements. J Warner Wallace from coldcasechristianity.com reposted my post and it was viewed and positively commented on by thousands which in and of itself also validates nothing other than demonstrate the significance of volume of readers. I challenged the false assumption that Easter was associated with a pagan festival via the video by Dr. Tony Costa and then provided Christian historical documentation that indicated “Easter” had a clear and documented historical history dating back to the early Church.
    I can appreciate the differing perspectives. What I don’t appreciate is your labeling of me and many others who value Easter and it’s association with Christ’s resurrection. I specifically asked you to consider my perspective and you thoughtfully chose to deny my request. Considering that the Apostle Paul specifically told us not to judge one another on the setting aside of a special day and that Scripture admonishes us not to call one another “fools”, I am disappointed in your broad strokes approach to condemnation for those who do not adhere to your take on Easter.
    Shall we agree to disagree? Probably a prudent approach. Blessings to you also.

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    • Thanks Bruce. I was not aware of your post on the subject when I posted mine. Also, when you mentioned your post in your reply I did go and read most of it. Congratulations that so many thousands appreciate your work. That’s a great blessing. You appear intent on being an apologist for the traditional construct of the Christian Easter regardless of any other perspectives. The central purpose of this site is to honor the original teachings of the Lord Jesus and the very early Church, and be an apologist for what the New Covenant writings report about Him and them. Part of that is to reveal later traditional additions within Christianity in general for what they are and that they are not rooted in the foundational belief system of the originals.

      Also, for some reason, you have taken exceptional personal offense at what I state in the article when none was ever presented. I didn’t call you or anyone else a fool or any other names. Many Christians have no idea what Easter is or what its origins are and they don’t want to know. Some know better but would rather not face the facts. Some are downright obstinate.

      I will repeat here what I have written many times. I never name names in this blog. However, many other Christians have no problem with this. They will rip other Christians up by name to no end. I do not necessarily disagree with their approach because it is their right to do what they feel led to do. You are included among those who engage in that practice. I have read posts you have presented when you, at the very least, refer your readers to other sites that name specific people and organizations in a very negative light. At some point in the recent past, a variation of this became known as heretic hunting. I am not in that business. I only care about the truth. I may disagree in part regarding what other ministers believe in or practice but I will not call them out personally.

      My central reasons for not engaging in that practice are two-fold: (1) I do not know anyone’s heart. Only the Lord knows a person’s heart. I do not make personal judgments. I know very well that if one leaves little doubt where he or she stands it still doesn’t mean I know anywhere close to enough to make a judgment on the condition of their heart. (2) I must get up to speed myself and do all the required research to know a subject as well as I can before I begin commenting on it. This takes a lot of work. Until I get that work done to the best of my ability it still doesn’t mean I know everything on the subject. Both of these points leave room that there is more to know.

      When you first began following my blog you read about the brief meeting many years ago I once had with Hugh Ross whom we both appreciate. It was in that conversation that he revealed something very simple on the surface but extremely profound. We were talking about young earth and old earth creationists and he said the reason the young-earthers go ballistic in defending their turf (and attack him, though he never said that), is because they make old earth-young earth a salvation issue. This is what heretic hunters in general also do. They make it a personal salvation issue. They insist the people they disagree with are Christians in name only and are not really saved. You can name any doctrine or denomination brought forth by any Christian religious figure and some will agree and some will disagree. I stated decades ago that this process proves nothing in that both sides could be wrong.

      The issue here is simple: There was no “Christian Easter” during the time of the Lord’s ministry and the early Church (Community). From the time when John the Immerser first began preaching, through the Lord’s ministry, through Pentecost, through the first forty years until the end of Judea/Jerusalem, there was no such concept. It was a later construct. There are any number of historical references to the meaning and origination of Easter. Some think it is benign and some see the devil. Whatever the case, I was making the point that much of this research is rarely or never engaged in to answer for our beliefs as Christians. I also gave pure historical truth regarding the origination of some of these man-made constructs and their purposes. If you want to be an apologist for the benign Christian Easter side of things and I want to reveal truth on the subject that I believe waters down the proper respect for the resurrection, what does that have to do with salvation? There are thousands of Christians who go way beyond anything I said in the article and insist that one must never engage, as Christians, in such benign Easter practices or are subject to damnation, something I believe for the most part is ridiculous.

      You might note that there are things you have presented on your blog that I disagree with but I have never done to you what you have done to me here. Regarding the things you don’t know, maybe you’ll get it later. Regarding the things I don’t know, maybe I’ll get it later. I will give you your space and I ask that you give me mine. It could easily be that we will gain more information and spiritual insight in the future.

      Once again, congratulations on the success of your blog and your large readership. I encourage my readers to visit you.

      Like

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