Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pagan holidays

How do you feel about pagan holidays, should we as Christians observe such holidays?

Thank you for writing and for asking such a wonderful question. It is a very common question that I am asked periodically, and hopefully what I see from scripture can help you. I will deal with the last part of your question first, then the first part last.

Should Christians observe...?

The first thing we need to know when it comes to anything concerning "holidays" is that our Lord Jesus Christ tells us through our Apostle Paul, that we are not to allow anyone to "judge" us, that is, to "condemn" us in any way, whether we observe them or not!

Colossians 2:16
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday [holiday], or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

The reason for this command from Paul to let no man judge you in this area is because today, under God's Grace, whether or not we choose to observe certain days or not, does not make us either more spiritually accepted by God, nor does it make us less acceptable to Him!

Paul tells us that things like "days" (and also what we choose to eat) are personal decisions of each individual believer and therefore not to be judged by or condemned by others in a legalistic way! To do otherwise is to be involved in "doubtful disputations," and to be involved with something reserved only for the Lord Jesus Himself!

Romans 14:1-6
Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth : for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up : for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another : another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks ; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

So to your question about whether or not Christians should observe them today...God leaves it up to each individual’s own conscience as the barometer or whether or not they should observe it!


How do you deal with pagan holidays?

I personally do not observe those so-called holidays that are rooted in pagan traditions.  Not because I feel condemned by God or man, but because I am fully persuaded from God's Word not to! I have learned more and more information, light and understanding about the pagan roots and idolatrous origins of the customary holidays celebrated by both lost and saved in our culture, and my conscience will not let me partake in them!

Notice that when Paul mentions this observing of days and certain foods, he says that those that do observe them are "weak in the faith."

Romans 14:1-3
Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

Therefore as I have grown stronger in the faith and in my understanding of God's Word, and in spiritual maturity, I chose to reject these things as one would reject the notion of an Easter bunny, tooth fairy and Santa Clause as they mature from childhood to adulthood!

God expects us to grow in our spiritual understanding over time, and as we do, He also expects us to walk in the ever increasing light that He gives us. So once I understood the God rejecting origins of these holidays, I also chose to reject them, knowing also that there are "weaker" brethren who have yet to come to this same understanding. So we who are strong are to bear them in love, because that is exactly how our Lord deals with us!

Romans 15:1-3
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

We who have knowledge of these things are to also walk in love towards them that do not...

1 Corinthians 8:1-9
Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better ; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

Just be content to allow others to observe them if they choose to, and then educate them on why you don't, while not condemning them.   

Hopefully this helps! 

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