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Should Christians not celebrate Easter?

Is the Date of Easter of Pagan Origin? – Answers in Genesis.

Various religious groups (i.e. Jehovah’s Witnesses, United Church of God) deny the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus by Christians for a number of reasons.

However, the apostle Paul, writing to the Christians in Colosse, says: “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.  Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations — ‘Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,’ which all concern things which perish with the using — according to the commandments and doctrines of men?  These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh” (Colossians 2:16-23).

Christians are free to worship together on any day, especially for the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection.  The issue is not whether the celebration itself was “christianized” from pagan festivals, or “replaced” them, as according to some, if that is the case at all.  The issue is the content of such celebration.

Founded on the resurrection of Christ, there is no reason Christians should not celebrate Easter, for Christ’s resurrection from the dead surely means that the Christian faith is not futile and that we are no longer in our sins (1 Corinthians 15).

This is most certainly a day to celebrate, and rejoice in, even every day!

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5 Responses

  1. Shalom, I just thought I might share something with you. The quote of Col 2:16-17 is of great importance to me. Have you ever considered that the Apostle Paul was actually saying, “Don’t let any individual man determine what you are to eat or drink, or how to keep a Holy Day, New Moon, or Sabbath (which are shadows of things that are here and now, and going into the future[look at the Greed tense of the verb]), but instead the Body of Christ.” Doesn’t that make more sense? (The word for IS is not in the Greek…just not there). Isn’t it the Body of Christ, the Church, that should decide such matters, like they did in Acts 15, instead of any individual man telling you how to do those things? Blessings in The Name, ImAHebrew

    • In v10, Paul writes that “you are complete in Him,” which is to say, apart from foods, drinks, and festivals.

      I would agree that Paul means “anyone,” including “any individual.” However, looking at the words immediately following 16 & 17, namely, 18-23, and in the context, the church is not able to do these things either. In other words, the church cannot judge in food or drink, even as “anyone” is not to do so. The church would be included in the “no one” (mhdeis) of v18.

      You are correct that the being verb is absent grammatically in the text, “to de swma tou xristou,” but you might also recall that the Greek can omit it and the “is” is still implied.

      • Shalom, it’s interesting that you feel the Church cannot judge these matters. You are right about context, and Paul does say something important in v19 after he says the one who was defrauding them did not hold fast to the head, from whom the ENTIRE BODY, grows with a growth which is from God.

        The ENTIRE BODY of Messiah is growing with a growth that CAN decide such matters, and that was Paul’s point that no individual man can decide those things, rather the entire Body, whose Head is Messiah.

        Consider the authority that Messiah gave to His Body to make such decisions. Matt 16:19, Matt 18:18, John 20:23

        Blessings in The Name,
        ImAHebrew

      • It’s not that I “feel” that the Church cannot judge these matters. She does. Only she does not have authority to bind consciences. Neither does she have the authority to command what God has not commanded or to forbid what God has not forbidden.

        The Church’s authority is a “derived” or “given” authority, given by her Lord and head Himself. This authority she does not have of her own power. It is given. Therefore, it is to be used only as it has been given. Judgment, therefore, is only binding when and where it is according to the Word of God.

        It’s worth noting that the concern of the Jerusalem council in Acts 15 was not to “trouble those from among the Gentiles who were turning to God,” but to encourage them in the faith. They sought not to bind, but to have them walk in the way of the Gospel.

        Pax

  2. Shalom Pax, thank you for responding. I guess we can agree to disagree. Take for instance your belief that the Church does not have the authority to command what God has not commanded. The Church did command that circumcision was no longer a command for the Gentile, which was something that God did command (if the Gentile wanted to eat of the Passover-Exo 12:48). That for sure was using their authority, and commanding something that God did not command (loosening a command of God).

    And yes, we agree that judging these things are all based upon the whole Word of God, and just like the loosening of the command concerning circumcision, was for the greater good of God’s Word, that is, so that there would be Gentiles, upon whom His Name is called (Amos 9:11-12, Acts 15:16-17). So they did, as the Body, have the authority to loosen or unbind a command of God, that even predated the Torah (Gen 17:9-11, John 7:22) .

    Again, the authority for binding and loosing which was given to Church, was under the guidance and direction of the Messiah, for He said that His Spirit would guide them into all Truth. So this is why no individual man should decide what to eat or drink, or with respect to the keeping of the New Moon, Sabbath, or Holy Days. Didn’t even the Church/Body, in making the decision about circumcision, point out that the Gentiles would hear Moses read every Sabbath (Acts 15:21). If, as most say, the Sabbath command is loosened (or done away with), why Acts 15:21 for the Gentiles?

    Blessings in The Name,
    ImAHebrew

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