That which is known as Christianity is in total chaos with every possible pagan thought being taught by so-called pastors and evangelists. In Christian book stores everywhere you can find books to support any false religious theories or practices, calling what is pagan Christian. Truth is ignored to satisfy the feel good mentality of today.
"He that is of God hears the words of God: for this cause you hear them not, because you are not of God." (Jn 8:44-47)
Just what are all these festivals about?
In this examination of the world's holidays we will take a close look at their worldly histories of origin. Few people really understand the underlying intent in these festivals, thinking that they are giving honor to God and Christ, but instead, "In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men". (Matthew 15:9) "God is spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth", (John 4:24) and in truth! And what is the truth? As you read through this material you will see the origins of these customs, and traditions.
Satan is the great deceiver that "deceiveth the whole world." mixing false and true religion. Satan managed to deceive a third of all angels to follow him. Satan attempted to get Christ to worship him., but you do not have to be deceived, make no mistake about it, God will allow you to follow the crowd, the traditions of men, he will allow you to sin. God has warned us not to follow the ways of the world, "Do not take any interest in their gods, saying, How do these nations serve their gods? likewise will I also do" (Deuteronomy 12:30) and "Thus says the Lord, Do not learn the way of the heathen, and do not be daunted by the signs of heaven, just because the heathen are dismayed by them. For the customs of the people are vain" (Jeremiah 10:2-3)
According to 1Corinthians 8:1-13, by our participating in, or, by being present during these pagan rituals, we become a stumbling block to those that do not know any better. Others may feel we are condoning the custom though we may be there for some other reason in mind. And according to 1Corinthians 10:27-28, If invited to a meal that is of idollic roots, do not accept.
God does not now, or ever will accept pagan customs of worship, and as Christians we should never participate in these abominable practices, for Christianity is a life long commitment to love and obey God, obey!
And now, here are the facts that you may not have known about these holidays.
New year's is one of the oldest and most universal of all pagan traditions, and nearly every culture has its own customs of celebrating it. The rites and ceremonies expressed mortification, purification, invigoration, and jubilation over life's renewal.
It is to varying degrees in world cultures a remembrance of the creation of the cosmos on the symbolic anniversary of its creation, in order that the gods, the cosmos, and the community may be strengthened. The earliest known record of a new year's festival dates from about 2000 years before Christ in ancient Babylonia, in Mesopotamia. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition)
The Romans called it Saturnalia in honor of Saturn. It was very popular among the Romans as a time of frolicking, drinking, orgies, and human sacrifice. It was Julius Caesar that established January 1st as new year's day in 46 B.C. when he adopted the Julian calendar.
In 1582 Pope Gregory imposed it on the Western world when his Gregorian calendar reforms were accepted. Germany, Sweden, Denmark, England conceded to the Gregorian calendar in the 1700s.
But God has already set the date of the beginning of the new year, Gods calendar begins in the spring, Exodus 12:2, Leviticus 23:5, Deuteronomy 16:1 in the month of Abib, also called Nisan, which means green ears.
Father Time, the white haired man carrying a scythe, represents the ancient Greek god Cronos (from where we derive the word chronograph which measures time). This ancient mythical reaper supposedly reaped little children in horrible acts of cannibalism.
NEW YEARS BABE
The New Year's Babe actually pictures the rebirth of the ancient Greek god Dionysus, as the spirit of fertility.
Over time Christianity divided into different factions, each with different ideas of belief. The first Christians kept Gods feast of passover, while the break away factions had added a new concept to passover, that of Christ as the Paschal Lamb. And along with the new conception of Christ as the Passover Lamb came an established day of observance, which unlike Passover is not confined to any one day of the week. According to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, "not only was the significance of the Jewish feast changed by Christians, but also the date. The Jewish method of fixing the date of the 14th of Nisan, did not confine it to one day of the week. The Christians assigned their Pasch to the Sunday following the Jewish feast. By the end of the 2nd century this was the universal custom, except in Asia Minor."
According to Ecclesiastical History book #5, "There was considerable discussion raised respecting the difference of opinion concerning the observance of the passover season. The churches of all Asia kept the fourteenth day of the new moon for the festival of the saviour's passover, in which day the Jews were commanded to kill the passover lamb, it was not the custom to celebrate in this manner in the churches throughout the rest of the world. Hence there were synods and convocations of the bishops on this question, and all unanimously drew up an ecclesiastical decree, stating to all churches in all the places, that the mystery of our Lords resurrection should be celebrated on no other day than Sunday." Note the emphasis is not on commemorating Jesus death, but on a Sunday celebration of his resurrection.
According to Harper's Bible Dictionary, "the Nisan 14th observers were required by Emperor Constantine to conform to the empire wide practice of observing Easter on Sunday following 14th Nisan, rather than on that date itself."
And according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, "The English name Easter is of uncertain origin, but it is believed an Anglo-Saxon Priest in the 8th century derived it from the Anglo-Saxon spring geodess Eostre."
Since ancient Egypt, the rabbit, hare, or bunny have been associated with symbols of fertility during the spring season.
The egg is part of the Indo-European fertility lore associated with spring.
Both the egg and the hare were part of the ancient pagan spring festivals, and as time went by, became embraced and combined in Christian practices.
Lent is a forty day period of abstinence from certain foods, its observance began when Priests started losing their apostolical fervour of devotion, they were then recalled from their secular cares by a canonical indiction of fasting, according to Antiquities of the Christian Church.
Eating eggs where formerly forbidden during lent, but now have become prominent as symbols of new life and resurrection.
All Hallow's Eve or Halloween stems from the centuries old Celtic and Anglo-Saxon rites performed by the ancient Druids to honor the dead, the belief being, that your soul was immortal and lived on elsewhere, and supposedly revisiting their homes on this day. It was the only day in which the help of the Devil was invoked for marriage, luck, health, and death. (Encyclopedia Britannica) This celebration helped to preserve the false doctrine of the soul being immortal.
Halloween was the evening celebration in anticipation of November 1st, celebrated among the pagans in honor of Samhain the lord of the dead.
The first of November was later adopted to honor all saints, known and unknown, this according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. A single day was appointed so that none of the saints that were supposedly alive in heaven would be left out, it being a church policy of incorporating pagan folk ideas into the church.
TRICK OR TREAT
"Mischief making was introduced in the United States by immigrants in the 19th century, when young men, and boys, would overturn sheds and outhouses, breaking windows, and causing other property damage. Years later it became observed mainly by small children in costume demanding a treat, to avoid having a trick played (property damage) by them on the property owner." (Encyclopedia Britannica)
The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of religious knowledge explains, "Christmas, the date of the festival depended on the pagan Brumalia (December 25) following the Saturnalia (December 17-24), celebrating the shortest day of the year and the new sun.
The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were to deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influence. The pagan festival was so popular that Christians were glad to continue its celebration. It was a festival of merry making and they did not want to give it up. When Emperor Constantine professed to be a Christian, Christianity became very popular. Constantine looking for a way to bring Christians and sun worshipers together renamed the festival Brumalia (birthday of the sun god) to the birthday of the son of god, so that both sides could come together in celebration of the festival."
The origin of the Christmas tree goes back to ancient babylon, with the death of Nimrod, founder of babylon. When Nimrod died his wife, Semiramis, claimed that a full grown evergreen tree grew overnight from a dead tree stump, and that it symbolized Nimrods rebirth into a spirit being. She also claimed that Nimrods spirit would visit the tree and leave gifts upon it each December. Through this claim, Nimrod came to be known as the son of Baal, or son of the son god. This started the ritual use of evergreens, and was so prevalent that Jeremiah makes mention of it in 10:2-6.
SANTA CLAUS AND GIFT GIVING
"The name Santa Claus is derived from the name Saint Nicholis, a Roman Catholic Bishop who lived in the 4th century, the Bishop of Myra, who was honored by the Greeks and Latins on the 6th of December. The legend is of his secret bestowal of dowries on three daughters of an impoverished citizen, and thus originating the custom of giving secret presents on the eve of St. Nicholas. It was later moved to December 25th, and thus the association of Santa Claus with Christmas, and the giving of gifts in secret." (Encyclopedia Britannica)
MISTLETOE, HOLLY WREATH, AND YULE LOG
Mistletoe was used during the festival of the winter solstic because it was considered sacred to the sun, and it was believed to have healing power. Kissing under the mistletoe was one of several customs to be observed during the night, celebrating the death of the old sun and the birth of the new winter sun, or winter solstic.
The holly wreath was also considered sacred to the sun god, and its use was that of decorating places of worship during the festival.
The yule log is a symbol of the sun, or sun log. Lighting of fires or candles was meant to encourage the sun god during the winter season, yule tide season, sun tide season.
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for thousands of years. On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink, and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.
The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in the United States. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City on March 17, 1762. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers to reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as fellow Irishmen serving in the English army. Over the next thirty-five years, Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished, prompting the rise of so-called "Irish Aid" societies, like the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society. Each group would hold annual parades featuring bagpipes (which actually first became popular in the Scottish and British armies) and drums.
No Irish Need Apply
Up until the mid-nineteenth century, most Irish immigrants in America were members of the Protestant middle class. When the Great Potato Famine hit Ireland in 1845, close to a million poor, uneducated, Catholic Irish began to pour into America to escape starvation. Despised for their religious beliefs and funny accents by the American Protestant majority, the immigrants had trouble finding even menial jobs. When Irish Americans in the country 's cities took to the streets on St. Patrick's Day to celebrate their heritage, newspapers portrayed them in cartoons as drunk, violent monkeys.
However, the Irish soon began to realize that their great numbers endowed them with a political power that had yet to be exploited. They started to organize, and their voting block, known as the "green machine," became an important swing vote for political hopefuls. Suddenly, annual St. Patrick's Day parades became a show of strength for Irish Americans, as well as a must-attend event for a slew of political candidates. In 1948, President Truman attended New York City 's St. Patrick's Day parade, a proud moment for the many Irish whose ancestors had to fight stereotypes and racial prejudice to find acceptance in America.
Wearing of the Green Goes Global
Today, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by people of all backgrounds in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Although North America is home to the largest productions, St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated in other locations far from Ireland, including Japan, Singapore, and Russia.
In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick's Day has traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use St. Patrick's Day as an opportunity to drive tourism and showcase Ireland to the rest of the world. Last year, close to one million people took part in Ireland 's St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions, and fireworks shows.
A three-leafed clover, the shamrock is the national emblem of Ireland. Although it is widely believed that St. Patrick used the shamrock to illustrate the Christian doctrine of the trinity, this idea cannot be proven. In fact the first written mention of this story did not appear until nearly a thousand years after Patrick's death.
The shamrock, which was also called the "seamroy" by the Celts, was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. By the seventeenth century, the shamrock had become a symbol of emerging Irish nationalism. As the English began to seize Irish land and make laws against the use of the Irish language and the practice of Catholicism, many Irish began to wear the shamrock as a symbol of their pride in their heritage and their displeasure with English rule.
Music is often associated with St. Patrick's Day—and Irish culture in general. From ancient days of the Celts, music has always been an important part of Irish life. The Celts had an oral culture, where religion, legend, and history were passed from one generation to the next by way of stories and songs.
After being conquered by the English, and forbidden to speak their own language, the Irish, like other oppressed peoples, turned to music to help them remember important events and hold on to their heritage and history. As it often stirred emotion and helped to galvanize people, music was outlawed by the English. During her reign,Queen Elizabeth I even decreed that all artists and pipers were to be arrested and hanged on the spot.
Today, traditional Irish bands like The Chieftains, the Clancy Brothers, and Tommy Makem are gaining worldwide popularity. Their music is produced with instruments that have been used for centuries, including the fiddle, the uilleann pipes (a sort of elaborate bagpipe), the tin whistle (a sort of flute that is actually made of nickel-silver, brass, or aluminum), and the bodhran (an ancient type of framedrum that was traditionally used in warfare rather than music).
It has long been recounted that, during his mission in Ireland, St. Patrick once stood on a hilltop (which is now called Croagh Patrick), and with only a wooden staff by his side, banished all the snakes from Ireland. In fact, the island nation was never home to any snakes. The "banishing of the snakes" was really a metaphor for the eradication of pagan ideology from Ireland and the triumph of Christianity. Within two hundred years of Patrick's arrival, Ireland was completely Christianized.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Each year, thousands of Irish Americans gather with their loved ones on St. Patrick's Day to share a "traditional" meal of corned beef and cabbage. Though cabbage has long been an Irish food, corned beef only began to be associated with St. Patrick's Day at the turn of the century. Irish immigrants living on New York City's Lower East Side substituted corned beef for their traditional dish of Irish bacon to save money. They learned about the cheaper alternative from their Jewish neighbors.
The original Irish name for these figures of folklore is "lobaircin," meaning "small-bodied fellow." Belief in leprechauns probably stems from Celtic belief in fairies, tiny men and women who could use their magical powers to serve good or evil. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky souls, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. Though only minor figures in Celtic folklore, leprechauns were known for their trickery, which they often used to protect their much-fabled treasure. Leprechauns had nothing to do with St. Patrick or the celebration of St. Patrick's Day, a Catholic holy day.
In 1959, Walt Disney released a film called Darby O'Gill & the Little People, which introduced America to a very different sort of leprechaun than the cantankerous little man of Irish folklore. This cheerful, friendly leprechaun is a purely American invention, but has quickly envolved into an easily recognizable symbol of both St. Patrick's Day and the Ireland in general.
"3rd century, Rome, feast day February 14th" (Encyclopedia Britannica)
Centuries before Christ, the Romans celebrated February 14th and 15th as the festival of Lupercalia, a sensual free-for-all, in honor of Lupercus the hunter of wolves. (Encyclopedia Americana)
When Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of Rome, he had the sensual observances toned down. By the time of Pope Gelasius's reign, the festival had become a Christian custom appropriating the name St. Valentine. According to the Encyclopedia Britannia, the name is that of two legendary martyrs whose lives seem to be historicly based. One was a Roman Priest and Physician who suffered martyrdom during the persecution of the Christians. The other, the Bishop of Terni Italy, was also Martyred, in Rome.
Mixing false and true religion is the least known yet most widely practiced sin among most self-named Christians. And amazingly most think it is OK. By celebrating these Pagan Festivals you risk bringing the wrath of God upon you, is it worth it?
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