Likewise, I don’t hate Labor Day, Memorial Day, Birthdays, or any other secular celebration. However, I have strong feelings about the ignorance surrounding the Easter celebration- an ignorance that spans the faith community. From the theist to the atheist, religious believers in something or in nothing tend to respectively have some idea or no idea of the roots of Easter as they relate to the Judeo-Christian celebrations of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Passover, and Resurrection Sunday. Instead, the western Church blends all of these traditions into one holiday season that few people seem to understand and almost all westerners recognize as a time to celebrate with family and attack people of opposing beliefs.
For example, in an article posted on Drudge, a school district and city removed the term “Easter” from its advertised egg hunts and renamed the eggs “Spring Spheres.” Similarly, atheists are known to rather ignorantly refer to Easter Sunday as “Zombie Day” (which everyone knows to be a false analogy in that zombies are the walking dead while Christ was alive and his wounds healed). Atheists who so often claim to be the gatekeepers of reason, exercise ignorance of Christianity (and paganism) when they seek to remove the pagan term ‘Easter’ from the pagan celebrations therein. Apologists Ravi Zacharias and William Lane Craig have publicly acknowledged this ignorance of Christianity in their discussions with/of atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. Christians on the other hand do the same when/if they act offended! My question is, why are secularists seeking to rename a secular holiday and why aren’t Christians embracing this separation?
Members of both groups could use a good apologetic on the history of the celebration so here goes…
Easter is a centuries old pagan celebration of Spring having nothing to do with Christianity. According to www.theholidayspot.com, “Easter owes its origin to the old Teutonic mythology. It was derived from the name Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, to whom the month of April was dedicated. The festival of Eostre was celebrated at the vernal equinox, when the day and night gets an equal share of the day.”
This springtime celebration was well known throughout the early world and in the different pagan tribes in e
ven the Germanic and Slavic traditions. The association to hares and eggs come to
symbolize birth as rabbits tend to procreate quickly and birds lay many eggs. During the council of Nicaea, the Catholic church cemented the date for the Easter celebration synonymously with the celebration of the Resurrection. As the early church began to seek converts to the new Messianic faith, Easter became a tool of similarity; this way, converts will feel like they could become Christians without having to abandon their secular traditions. This is, of course, in contradiction to Biblical teaching.
In the Bible, Paul writes to the Corinthians quoting passages from the Old Covenant. Using references from Numbers, Exodus, and Ezekiel, he writes to the church,
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14).”
“Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord (2 Cor 6:17).”
Paul is speaking to a church that has taken the pagan celebrations, traditions, and customs, and incorporated them into Christian culture. History tells us that these may have included orgies, incest, and various forms of sexual sin. While Easter may not include these ghastly sins, the principle of spiritual separation from non-believers remains essential in Christian obedience. As Christians, we need to embrace the celebrations of Passover, Good Friday, and the Resurrection. However, we must reject the celebrations of Easter as having anything to do with these days.
This includes greeting each other with terms such as “happy Easter” or giving Easter gifts, baskets, and hosting egg hunts on these days. Instead, Christians should embrace the terms, “He is risen,” “God be with you,” and “Happy Resurrection Day” on these days.
While I personally do not recognize the pagan celebration, I hold no ill will to those who do. Easter is a celebration of springtime and spring is a beautiful time of the year. While it is Biblically permissible to acknowledge cultural celebrations (Col 2:16, 1 Cor 8:7-9 ), it is essential that we remain unyoked to those celebrations. This means that we do not try to mash Judeo-Christian celebrations with pagan celebrations.
Furthermore, I find great edification in learning the history of Pasaq (Passover) and it’s significance to the life of Jesus. This is the first year of my Christian walk that I recognized Palm Sunday. This is the first day of Passover when the sacrificial lamb is picked for inspection. It’s also the same day that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah and walked into town on the back of a donkey
as the last “Passover lamb.” There is much to be learned from a good Christian education on Christianity. Christians around the world are being killed in the Buddhist world, the Hindu World, the Muslim world and the Marxist/secularist world for being unyoked. Men, women, and children and being killed and tortured for their willingness to be different from their cultural oppressors while we in America live in lavish comfort and try our best to blend in.
This Resurrection Day, let us as Christians die to this world as Christ died for us. Let us reject the paganism of our Marxist, sexually- obsessed culture and be different. Let us Passover the term “Happy Easter” and instead great each other in the Peace of our Lord Jesus as we say, “Good Morning brothers and sisters. Let us celebrate for He is risen.”