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Are Holiday's Really Holy Day's?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by liz., Feb 6, 2014.

  1. I think as Christians we should be educated on certain things we participate in. Before last "CHRIST-mas" I took a lot of time doing research on the origins of the holidays most American Christians celebrate, as well as the origins of the traditions of these holidays. If anyone is educated in this area I would like some opinions and thoughts please.

    I do not celebrate Halloween at all. For "CHRIST-mas" I do not put up a tree nor do I tell my child about "Santa-Claus". For Easter I'm not crazy about egg hunt, but can manage how Christians believe the egg is a symbol for Jesus tomb. However when the bunny comes in the scene I'm still just not so sure how exactly I feel about the whole thing. I think it would be really awesome to switch up traditions in a way that's fun for Christians as well as them benefiting in their walk with Christ.

    So what do you all think about these holidays? Halloween,Christ-mas,Easter,Thanksgiving?

    Lastly what about holidays in the bible? Does anyone celebrate passover?
  2. All the biblical fasts and feasts point to Jesus in remarkable ways.

    • Feast of Tabernacles - Jesus' birthday (15 Tishri - 22)
    • Passover - Jesus dies (14 Nisan) or 15 Nisan in modern times
    • Feast of Unleavened Bread (bread that doesn't have life to show the Bread of Life had died) (14 - 21 Nisan) (or 15-22 modern times)
    • Feast of Firstfruits - Jesus raises from the dead (Sabbath after Passover - ~16 Nisan)
    • Feast of Weeks (AKA Pentecost) - Jesus sends the Holy Spirit (3000 saved) and the Law (3000 died) was given (6 Sivan)
    • Feast of Trumpets - Jesus returns to rule the earth for 1000 years (1 Tishri) (not the rapture)
    • Day of Atonement - Jesus lifts the curse (10 Tishri)

    • Christmas was made to lure the pagans to churches because it was already a pagan holiday in the hopes of converting them to christianity.
    • Halloween (all hallows eve) - night before "All Hallows Day" (AKA All Saints day a Catholic holiday) when the druids would play trick or treat on the countryside - they weren't asking for candy!
    • Thanksgiving - though celebrated since the Pilgrims, Pres. Lincoln made it an official US holiday and my favorite :D
    • Easter is another pagan holiday to celebrate spring's return by Astarte, a Chaldean god with the title "Queen of Heaven" and adopted by the druids. Again used to lure pagans into christianity by meddling Passover with the resurrection of Jesus though it rarely falls on 16/17 Nisan.
    A lot of stuff we have are mostly tradition or customs, but a lot are hand-me-downs from not-so-reputable beginnings. I hope this helps :)
    LysanderShapiro likes this.
  3. #3 Roads, Feb 6, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
    If you do a bit of looking around the forum, it probably won't take you very long to discover that this topic can produce some fairly heated debate :)

    My personal view is, I often forget the things God has done for me in my life. Sometimes, I'll for some reason be reminded of something and think, "Oh yeah! God did that for me, I can't believe I forgot that!" My mom kept a prayer journal, and it was one of her favorite things, because she could look back and see how God had answered prayers she forgot she even prayed. In the old testament, we read that the Hebrews also tended to easily forget what God had done for them. So, when God did something special, they would build an alter to commemorate it. My mom's prayer journal is her way of building an alter to commemorate what God has done for her.

    I see holidays in a similar way. The old testament holidays were there so the Hebrews would remember. They were times for the whole nation to just pause together, and remember and celebrate the things God has done for them.

    Passover is a great example, I think. When Jesus was eating the Passover feast with His disciples, when they were supposed to be remembering how death "passed over" the homes of the Hebrews with the final plague on Egypt, leading to their freedom from slavery, He says, "do this in remembrance of me." It's like He was saying that the first Passover, which only saved the Hebrews from slavery, was only a taste of what God had in store: a new Passover that could offer true freedom to everyone. So yeah, I do celebrate Passover, every time I participate in communion!

    I think the point is, we forget. So if we take time to pause from our lives to remember and celebrate the things God has done for us, that's not a bad thing. If Christians, at Christmas, want to remember and celebrate Jesus' birth, sure, why not. If they want to use Easter to remember and celebrate His death and resurrection, why not. If we need help remembering, and I know I do, maybe the OT Hebrew example can teach us that's it's good to set up "alters" and "feasts" in our lives (however that looks for you), so we can just take time to pause, remember, and celebrate. And I totally support your idea of "switching up" traditions as well. Setting up "alters" in our lives can look pretty different for different people. I think the most important thing is that we're remembering and celebrating what God has done for us, and we have lots of freedom to do that in different ways.
    liz. likes this.
  4. To answer your last question -- yes. We do celebrate passover seders as my family is Jewish (but Christian in faith)...along with a few other Jewish holidays. Purim used to be my favorite holiday. I used to attend a Jewish school when I was a very little kid and I dressed as Haman each year until I got a little older and someone called him to the Hitler of the OT.

    Holy holidays aren't mandatory in Christian doctrine, but why would a Christian who is sincere in his faith not want to have a celebration for Jesus' birthday or, more importantly, His resurrection? If the concern is with holiday traditions that have nothing directly to do with those days, it makes no difference to me if someone wants to not participate in Easter egg hunts or Christmas trees. Both events are in celebration of Jesus, but the holidays themselves have pagan origins. Though the purpose was to take those pagan holidays and adapt them in celebration of Christ.

    Thanksgiving, though the purpose is in being thankful to God, isn't scene as so much of a Holy day -- more of an American holiday. However, I do celebrate it. As far as I'm concerned, any excuse to bring family and friends together to enjoy each others' time and reevaluate what God has given to us is OK with me.

    Halloween is such a strange one. It's origins are religious as it originated from All Saints Day -- a day to pay homage to saints in Christian history. It's strange because holidays like Easter which originated as Pagan and became Christian, Halloween is reversed as it originated as Christian and was somewhat co-opted to be more pagan. Though it's not exclusively, just as Christmas isn't exclusively pagan, but one CAN make it that way if he's inclined.

    Some people prefer to stay away from celebrating. It could be out of paranoia or it could be out of being introverted and not liking celebrations at all.
  5. Liz, I have the same questions as you! I've been wondering about this for YEARS. I don't like all the paganism at all. I wonder if God is offended. He says not to look at what the pagans are doing and then worship Him in the same way! Then, when I researched celebrating the biblical feasts and festivals, I read that some accuse Christians who do of being legalistic or Judaizing! However, I do not think those who do celebrate the biblical feasts and festivals are doing either of those things. I would like to start doing them in our household instead.

    My DH's ancestors were Jewish. One converted to Christianity and married a Christian and they have been Christian since.

    Lysander Shapiro, I did not know you were from a Jewish family! How do you celebrate Passover? You could teach us a lot about these feast and festivals. Would you explain what you do for them? Also, what do you feel about it being legalistic or Judaizing? Do you keep the Sabbath?
  6. Just wanted to add, that I have been slowly changing the way we celebrate Easter. I don't like the paganism. My kids do not believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny. I don't want to lie to them. I do not think it is wrong to celebrate Jesus' resurrection... just not in a pagan way. As far as the birth... well, we don't know when it was.
    liz. likes this.
  7. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not from an orthodox or even conservative Jewish family. I, myself, am half-Jewish. My dad grew up in a Jewish neighborhood, but the neighborhood was divided up with Hasidic Jews, conservative Jews, and more or less secular Jews...my dad was somewhere between the last two. He attended Jewish private school and went to temple a couple times a month growing up. He converted to Christianity in college and married my mom who came from a Mennonite background.

    The celebrations aren't nearly as traditional, but they are celebrated most of the time...but not to a T -- we never took in a lamb and then slaughtered it ourselves. I'd be a pretty bad source in going through it step by step. We definitely included the prayers and the food (the bitter herbs, the eggs, the z'roa, etc.).
  8. I'll also add that the most important annual Hebrew holiday was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (which Abdicate mentioned), where the entire nation would meet together and collectively repent of their sin through various ceremonies, including the scapegoat ceremony. As Christians, we celebrate Yom Kippur, commemorating Christ as our atoning sacrifice, by the way we choose to live our lives:

    Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
  9. Very interesting! Do you like the celebrations? Do your parents celebrate them? Both of your parents have interesting backgrounds. Aren't you Catholic? How did that come about? Are your parents Catholic? Again, very interesting. :)
  10. Thank you :)
    My parents don't celebrate it much anymore -- only because with all of the siblings and in-laws we have, it's not too easy to bring everyone together (I'm one of six and four of us are married, so trying to find time where we can all get together can be difficult, despite the fact that we all live in the Maryland and DC area).

    I am a Catholic. It came about from long, tedious, and prayerful studying. My parents are not Catholic -- they are Protestant. They were (and still are) excellent models of Christianity and taught me about Jesus' love for as far back as I can remember.
    Sweet Pea likes this.

  11. The Pastor in my church is also half Jewish and half Catholic on his mother's side. He is wonderful in his sermon, as he says things in ways that are humorous pointing to his background, and with lots of love of our Lord Jesus ... he is wonderful and we love him.
    LysanderShapiro likes this.
  12. I'm interested in finding out more about Messianic Judaism. I have been researching Christmas and Easter (the pagan aspects) and researched Christians who do not celebrate them and why. I believe that is when I first heard about them. DH told me about his Jewish ancestors.

    I've heard some feel the a persons Jewishness is determined through the mother, but I always felt that was silly. If two Jewish siblings married non-Jewish people, only the sister's children would be Jewish, but not the brothers? How does that make sense?

    DH's family is as follows: Mom>Her dad > His dad > His parents

    The ones in bold were full. The son married a non-Jewish Christian and had DH's grandfather, who had his mom.
  13. Indeed. For instance, within Judaism, because my father is Jewish while my mother is a Gentile, that means that I am considered in the literal sense to be half-Jewish. I believe part of this comes from the first few verses of Deuteronomy 7. There has been a sort of reformation within the Jewish faith where the more liberal Jews will regard someone born from a Jewish father and a Gentile mother to be equally Jewish provided that person is raised in Judaism. However, while the orthodox tradition contradicts that, it will recognize someone as being fully Jewish if the mother is Jewish and the father is a Gentile EVEN if that person isn't raised Jewish.

  14. Isn't that interesting? We always thought it meant DH, his mom, and grandfather were not considered Jewish at all because it was from the father. DH>his Mom>Her dad > His dad > His parents. I just don't see how the ones in bold are Jewish, but the ones in italics are not because it was paternal Jewishness. I completely understand that the ones in italics are considered "part Jewish" because the other parent was not Jewish, but to say they aren't Jewish at all doesn't make sense.
  15. Thank you all for taking the time to reply!. I really enjoyed reading what everyone had to say. I still can't wrap my mind around a lot of things on this subject. Then again, I can't wrap my mind around a lot of things period, lol. Thank you all again though for taking the time to share!. I like to read testimonies and if anyone has theirs posted on here and wants me to read it let me know how to find it please, Thank you!. I'm a new member and still trying to learn how this whole forum site works.
    Sweet Pea and LysanderShapiro say Amen and like this.
  16. It definitely becomes more obscure the further the blood gets separated from Judaism. Granted, I come from a Jewish father, and he has held onto much of the things he grew up with and passed them down to us, but I wouldn't be full definition consider myself Jewish -- not properly anyway. I'm not sure who DH is, but I think it's safe to say DH is a gentile with a Jewish history. For the most part, I'd say I'm actually a gentile.
  17. I agree. DH (dear husband) doesn't go around saying he is Jewish because the further it goes, the less it gets. He says his ancestors were. We tell our kids that their ancestors were Jewish, so technically they are kindof of Jewish decent, but it's not enough to claim at this point. That sounds complicated when typed out. :p I am mixed with different races, though, so I may see it differently.

    Have you ever considered Messianic Judaism? Why or why not? How does your dad practice Christianity? Sorry all the questions... don't feel obliged to answer!
  18. Jeremiah 10 verses 1-4 Sums up a lot of questions and gives answers...." Learn Not the way of the Heathen" and in these verses especially a Christmas tree before the word "Christmas" was ever invented. The only Holiday on my list to celebrate is Thanksgiving which was started by the Puritans to Give Thanks to God for his blessings....Now we know it today is the Day before Black Friday by the Nation' s Retailers to hear their Cash Registers ringing out their favorite music.m
  19. Yes, I love Thanksgiving for the reasons you said.

    Can a Christian celebrate Passover and Hanukkah instead of Easter and Christmas?
  20. Good Question! Depends on what you are referring unto about " celebrating"?

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