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Featured God's festivals

Discussion in 'Requests for Christian Advice' started by Littlek, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Repartee Animal: Quipping the Saints! Supporter

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    I submit that, just as one can
    • wash their hands,
    • circumcise their males &
    • eat kosher
    for non-OT-Law reasons (like hygiene), one can acknowledge the OT calendar without abandoning grace, too.

    None of the above has spiritual value (for Gentiles), but they all have practical value.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021 at 12:26 PM
  2. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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  3. HatGuy

    HatGuy Some guy in a hat

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    The Church calendar is gold. I'll stick to it. It gets the gospel into you year after year. It's my heritage as a Christian and some brilliant church leaders worked through these theological conundrums about pagan holidays and came up with the Church calendar. Which is gold.
     
  4. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    In Galatians 4:8, Paul addressed those verses to those who formerly did not know God, also known as former pagans. As such, they were not formerly keeping God's holy days and thus Paul could not have been criticizing them for turning back to keeping them, so whatever he was criticizing them for was within the context of paganism. This is a great example of how people have systematically mistaken things that were only said against following the teaching of man as being against following the commands of God.

    In Matthew 23:23, Jesus said that faith is one of the weightier matters of the Mosaic Law, so the Mosaic Law is of faith. In Romans 3:27, Paul contrasted a law that was of works with a law that was of faith, so works of the law are of works, while he said in 3:31 that our faith upholds the Mosaic Law, so again the Mosaic Law is of faith and Paul contrasted the Mosaic Law with works of the law. In Galatians 3:10-12, Paul associated a quote from Habakkuk 2:4 with a quote from Leviticus 18:5, so the righteous who are living by faith are the same as those who are living in obedience to the Mosaic Law, while no one is justified before God by works of the law because they are not of faith in God, unlike the Mosaic Law. In Isaiah 51:7, the righteous are those on whose heart is the Mosaic Law, so the righteous living by faith does not refer to a manner of living that is not in obedience to it. God is trustworthy, therefore His law is also trustworthy (Psalms 19:7), and a law that isn't trustworthy can't come from a God who is trustworthy, so to rely on the Mosaic Law is to rely on the Lawgiver, while to deny that it is of faith is to deny the faithfulness of the Lawgiver. So this is another example of mistaking something that was only said against obeying man's laws as being against obeying God.

    The fact that we do not attain righteousness by obeying God does not mean that we aren't obligated to obey Him.

    The topic of Romans 14 is stated in the first verse, namely it is in regard to how to handle disputable matters of opinion, not in regard to whether followers of God should follow God, so nothing in the chapter should be mistaken as speaking against obeying God. For example, God gave no command to fast twice a week, but as a disputable matter of opinion that had become a common practice in the 1st century (Luke 18:12) and those who esteemed certain days for fasting were passing judgement on those who did not, and it was exactly this sort of judging each other over opinion that Paul was seeking to address in this chapter. However, God has commanded His people to keep certain holy days, so whether someone decides to do that is a matter of obedience to God, not a disputable matter of opinion. Paul was not saying that we are free to commit murder, idolatry, theft, adultery, or disobey any of God's other commands as long as we are convinced in our own minds that it is ok, but rather that was only said in regard to things that are disputable matters of opinion.

    Indeed, the Sabbath is a precious gift that God made for man, so we should not spurn it.

    Christ taught how to obey the Mosaic Law by word and by example and Paul's problem in Galatians was not with those who were teaching Gentiles how to follow Christ as if following Christ were somehow a negative thing, but rather his problem was with those who were wanting to require Gentiles to obey their works of the law in order to become justified.
     
  5. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    In Colossians 2:17, it says that they are foreshadows of things that are to come and this was written after the coming Jesus, so they still are testifying about what is to come, and as followers of Christ we should also testify about what is to come in accordance with the example that he set for us to follow rather than denying what is to come by refusing to keep God's holy days. In 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, Paul spoke in regard to how Passover foreshadowed Christ by drawing the connection of him being our Passover Lamb, however, instead of concluding that we no longer need to bother keeping Passover, he concluded that we should therefore continue to keep it.

    Jesus said that he came to fulfill the Mosaic Law in contrast with saying that he came not to abolish it, so you should not interpret that as essentially meaning the same thing. Rather, "to fulfill the law" means "to cause God's will as made known in His law to be obeyed as it should be” (NAS Greek Lexicon pleroo 2c3). After Jesus said he came to fulfill the law in Matthew 5, he proceeded to fulfill it six times throughout the rest of the chapter by teaching how to correctly obey it or by completing our understanding of it. In Galatians 5:14, loving our neighbor fulfills the entire law, so it refers to something that countless people have done, not to something unique that only Jesus did. In Galatians 6:2, bearing one another's burdens fulfills the Law of Christ, so you should interpret that in the same way as you interpret fulfilling the Law of Moses.

    Jesus taught how to obey the Mosaic Law by word and by example, and in Matthew 11:28-30, he was not inviting people to come to him to rest and to reject what he taught, but rather he was inviting them to come to him for rest and to learn from him. By saying that we find rest for our souls, he was referencing Jeremiah 6:16-19, where the Mosaic Law is described as the good way where we will find rest for our souls. Likewise, in Hebrews 4:11, it says that we should strive to enter into God's rest so that no one may fall away by the same sort of disobedience, so saying that we rest in Him fully to justify the same sort of disobedience is exactly the opposite of what was being said.

    Jesus taught how to obey the Mosaic Law by word and by example, so people can look at what he taught and decide whether or not to become his follower.
     
  6. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You caught my comment in error. It should read "If one wishes to commemorate through the celebration of festivals let it not be because of the law."
     
  7. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hello, I understand Messianic Christians have a different outlook however, I am not one. I do appreciate your comments though. Be blessed.
     
  8. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    God has given no commandments for Christians to observe the Jewish days of observance, those things were part of the Covenant God established with the Jewish people which pointed toward Jesus. With Jesus, the purpose for those things was achieved.

    However, Christians have always desired to set aside certain times for the express purpose of remembering or honoring something specific about the Lord and His Gospel. So Christians began to gather on the first day of the week for worship, calling it the Lord's Day, in honor of the Lord's resurrection. Which is why Sunday has, since the time of the Apostles and the New Testament, the ordinary day of Christian worship. Not the only day of worship (historically Christians have met together throughout the week, but the weekly service on Sunday morning has always been the highlight).

    Likewise, the Lord's resurrection was something Christians deeply wanted to celebrate and honor. Now the Jewish Passover already provided an opportunity for celebration, simply re-understood in the context of what Jesus has done. Thus the early Christians called their Feast of Christ's Resurrection by the same name as the Jewish Passover in Greek, Pascha.

    How the Paschal Feast was exactly celebrated in the first century isn't entirely clear, but by the middle of the 2nd century we can see two traditions which evolved from first century Christian, apostolic practice:

    Two ancient Christian pastors, Anicetus the bishop of Rome and Polycarp the bishop of Smyrna, met together and through their discussions discovered they had virtually all things in common. Even though Polycarp was a pastor in what is modern day Turkey, and Anicetus was a pastor in what is modern day Italy, virtually everything they believed and how they practiced the Christian faith was the same--but with one exception. In Rome the way Christians had been celebrating the Paschal Feast was on the first Sunday after the Jewish Passover, while in Smyrna the way Christians had been celebrating the Paschal Feast was concurrent with the Jewish Passover, on Nissan 14th of the Jewish calendar. In spite of this, they agreed that such difference in practice wasn't problematic, and it did not interfere with their communion with one another.

    By the 4th century most of the Church everywhere followed a practice more closely to that of Rome when Anicetus was bishop, and very few churches anywhere continued the Quartodeciman (Latin for "Fourteen-ist") tradition. At the Council of Nicea in 325 AD the bishops of the Christian Church around the Roman Empire gathered together in order to address the Arian controversy, and at which time they put forward a statement of faith emphasizing Christ's true Deity over and against the teaching of Arius that Jesus was a creature, rather than the Almighty Creator. However, those gathered also addressed other matters, such as pastoral discipline (one example being that pastors shouldn't co-habitat with women who aren't their spouse or immediate family member, so as to avoid suspicion of inappropriate behavior); one of these things they did was to come to an agreement over a standardized time to celebrate the Paschal Feast. As such the council wrote a letter to the Church in Alexandria that the Alexandrian method of calculating the Paschal Feast would become the standard method to be accepted everywhere in the Church.

    Here was the Alexandrian method of Paschal calculation: Rather than relying on the Jewish Passover, calculating the Christian Paschal Feast was to celebrate on the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon. The Paschal Full Moon being determined as the first full moon after the spring equinox (March 21st). Which is why even now, in 2021, we celebrated the Paschal Feast on April 4th (Gregorian Calendar); March 28th was the Paschal Full Moon (first full moon after March 21st), and the first Sunday after March 28th was April 4th.

    You'll notice I've consistently been saying Pascha/Paschal here, rather than "Easter". And that is on purpose, because in most languages throughout most of history the word for the Christian Feast of Jesus' Resurrection is called Pascha, or some variation of the same. For example:

    Old English - Pascan
    Spanish - Pascua
    Italian - Pasqua
    Portuguese - Páscoa
    Romanian - Paşti
    French - Pâques
    Albanian - Pashka
    Welsh - Pasg
    Irish - Cáisc
    Dutch - Pasen
    Danish - Påske
    Amharic (Ethiopian) - Fasika

    The term "Easter" is unique, only English (Easter) and German (Ostern) use this word.

    You may have read that this is named after a pagan goddess, and the answer to that is that it's a solid maybe.

    The trouble here is that we only have one source, an Anglo-Saxon monk by the name of Bede who wrote On the Reckoning of Time. In a very brief portion of the work he turns his attention to explaining how the old Anglo-Saxons used to reckon time. And so he gives the Anglo-Saxon names of the twelve months, and how they roughly correspond to the Latin months. The month which corresponds to the Latin April is called Eosturmonath ("Easter-month"). Bede then says that the name of the month was derived from an old Anglo-Saxon goddess that the Anglo-Saxons worshiped before their conversion to Christianity, a goddess by the name of Eostre.

    Bede doesn't give us anymore information than that. He doesn't say how Eostre was worshiped by the old pagans, he doesn't describe any feasts, rites, practices, etc associated with the worship of Eostre. Just that the name "Eostre" was the origin of Eosturmonath, and that the Anglo-Saxons had developed the custom of calling the Paschal Feast by the name of the month, Eostre, which would later become "Easter".

    Now this alone means something very important: Our one and only source about this "Eostre" worshiped by the ancient pagan Anglo-Saxons tells us nothing else. That means that if anyone claims that things like eggs, rabbits, etc were part of "Eostre worship" they are making it up. Or more likely they are just repeating something they heard. The problem is that there's no way anyone could know this--there is precisely zero in all of history and the entire archeological record. Zero anything else.

    But perhaps more importantly is that because Bede is the only source here, there remains the very real possibility that he was simply wrong. And that the name of Eosturmonath didn't arise from the name of a hypothetical goddess named Eostre; but instead stems from the ancient word for dawn, as in the direction of the rising sun--east. That is, it is possible that the more correct etymology for Eosturmonath is "dawn" or "dawning month", that is the month when the sun begins to rise earlier in the morning and the days get longer.

    The real meat-and-potatoes of the point here is that if you've been taught that Easter is bad/pagan, you've been deeply misinformed. And unfortunately there is a lot of terribly misinformed people on this subject, because sometimes falsehoods become more commonly "known" than the actual truth. Consider how at one point it was widely believed, especially in the United States, that Columbus sailed west in order to prove the earth was round. It's not true, not even a little bit, not least of all because everyone in Europe already knew the earth was round. Columbus wanted to sail west because he (incorrectly) believed the world was smaller than it was. Columbus was a lucky idiot, and also one of history's worst human beings.

    If you are curious about sources for anything I've said here, I would be more than happy to provide them.

    But rest assured in this: You are under no obligation to observe any special days; and there is nothing wrong with celebrating traditional Christian holy days. Christmas, Easter, etc are not bad, pagan, there's nothing corrupt or evil about them. They are thoroughly, fully, entirely Christian days that are specifically centered upon Jesus Christ and the salvation we have in Him.

    -CryptoLutheran

    -CryptoLutheran
     
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  9. Astroqualia

    Astroqualia Born-again Truthseeker

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    I also follow in this direction. There are endless sources of conflicting info both praising and condemning these holidays from a Christian perspective, and outside of that, there are actual pagan ideologies that are tied to them, which ruins the celebration aspect for me. I see no evidence of the dates they are held on being any relation to anything Jesus did. Luckily, I was raised to not hold much festive mentality for holidays, which is fine by me, its all sold-out to make money for corporations anyway. Thanksgiving is about the only holiday for the entire year that I do enjoy.
     
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  10. Lawrence87

    Lawrence87 Member

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    I don't see anything wrong with being aware of Jewish festivals and what they represent and so forth, however one should not do so at the neglect of the Christian calendar.

    I think some people definitely take this Judiasing thing a bit too far. I would be wary of anything telling you not to celebrate the incarnation or the resurrection. There is one person who would rejoice at the sight of Christians failing to pay reverence to these things and it is not Christ.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021 at 11:02 AM
  11. tturt

    tturt Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Since society wants us to shut up about Jesus, the last thing I would do is go along with it. Christmas n Easter are opportunities for us to point to Him.

    The names of the planets, months, and days of the week are based on pagans. Wish they weren't. But we continue to live here and know what day it is. We thank God for what He created and still creating. "This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psa 118).

    Enjoy observing God's feasts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2021 at 4:03 AM
  12. throughfireytrial

    throughfireytrial Truth-Lover Supporter

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    We do have the Colossians verses which seem to indicate to put these special days aside and move on in our faith knowing that all was a shadow of things to come. Speaking of these verses...
    16 Therefore, do not let anyone judge you in regard to food or drink, or in regard to a festival or a New Moon or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were coming, but the body belongs to Christ. Colossians 2:16-17
    and...
    In fact, the law is only a shadow of the good things to come, ... Hebrews 10:1
    Above we see even the Sabbath listed as fulfilled. We continue to observe a special day or days however to come together and worship and this is commanded in the following Hebrews verse...
    24 Let us also consider carefully how to spur each other on to love and good works. 25 Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have the habit of doing. Rather, let us encourage each other, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25 EHV)
    So we do have to consider our motives in observance of worship or observation of special days. We no longer observe the OT ceremonial law because we know all was fulfilled in Christ. However, we do have our freedom of worship and may mutually decide to commemorate days of Christ such as Christmas, Resurrection, Ascension intending to take in the wonder of it all...nothing sinful there. See
    I Corinthians 10:29 (see also surrounding chapter for context)
    ...For why is my freedom judged by someone else’s conscience? (EHV)
    Lastly, you can see that the NT Church under the Apostles were already observing Pentecost (Acts 2:1-3 is the established Pentecost, but I Corinthians 16:8 shows the recognition of it as a day specially observed.)
     
  13. Jaxxi

    Jaxxi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have felt the same way and I have celebrated Christmas for the past 47 years and over the last 2 years I have felt strong conviction in me to learn it's origin, find Biblical basis for celebrating it and I could not find any. As difficult as it was, I did not celebrate Christmas last year. I could not do it. I first realized it when I was trying to get baptized about 3 years ago and I tried 12 times and something would always happen preventing it. The car wouldn't start, I went on the wrong day, the pastor was sick, someone would show up unannounced- it was almost comical. Finally, we had it planned. Christmas Eve. Nothing was going to stop it. Somehow an hour before, our front door opened on its own and our dog ran ( I kid you not) apparently made a B- line for the onramp of the freeway. We found out from Craigslist that he was hit by a truck and a stranger scooped him up and took him to the vet where they held him in their arms while he was out down. Thank God an angel was there to help him but it shattered our Christmas and I realized, Satan does not love us on Christmas. He ruined our Christmas to prevent our baptism and then I could see the battle for the soul. I've been baptized twice since then, just in case the first one did it wrong!!!
     
  14. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    There is also evidence that Jesus used leavened bread for the Last Supper and not unleavened. In the Greek, the word used for the bread that Jesus uses is "artos" and not "azyme" which is specifically unleavened bread.
     
  15. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Acts 15:5-11
    5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses."
    6 The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter.
    7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, "Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.
    8 "And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us;
    9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.
    10 "Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?
    11 "But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are."


    Hebrews 7:18-19
    18 For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness
    19 (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.


    Hebrews 9

    Hebrews 10:1
    1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.

    Galatians 2:15-21
    15 "We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles;
    16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.
    17 "But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be!
    18 "For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor.
    19 "For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.
    20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
    21 "I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."


    Galatians 3:10-14
    10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM."
    11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH."
    12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM."
    13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE"—
    14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.


    And so on. The OT laws of ceremony, sacrifice and separation are done away with by the New Covenant in which believers stand in Christ. To return to them as a requirement of Christian living is to return to bondage and a curse, and is to spurn the grace of God offered to us in the atoning work of His Son at Calvary.

    I hope you won't "throw the baby out with the bathwater" in regards to Christmas and Easter. Ditch Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, Kwanzaa and the "Happy Holidays" garbage, yes, definitely, but commemorating the birth of Christ certainly seems worth doing, don't you think? Easter has become an ugly, distorted and grossly commercial thing. Bunnies and chocolate eggs have nothing to do with Christ and his incredible sacrifice for us; they deserve to be chucked in the dustbin and forgotten. But a celebration of the saving work of Christ in his death, burial and resurrection warrants a special celebration, it seems to me. Of course, we have that in the Lord's Supper, Communion, but Easter brings it strongly front-and-center, too.

    Anyway, beware the Genetic Fallacy but don't trample on your conscience.
     
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