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Mar 31 2010

My Easter Rant

I want to start off with as a Christian, I have NOTHING against celebrating the resurrection of our Redeemer.  In fact, I think it’s a wonderful event to celebrate.  Our Redeemer conquered death.  It is this that is celebrated.    Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, I’m going to share some thoughts about this day.

We get the word “Easter” straight from the pagan goddess “Eostre.”  She is the goddess of sunrise and spring, and the fertility goddess.  In fact, the sunrise “East” is named after her.  What better representation of fertility than eggs and bunny rabbits who reproduce prolifically.  Really, what could be a better representation in honor of the fertility goddess, Eostre?  If we’re going to be naming an event of our Redeemer after pagan gods or goddesses, why not use something a bit more modern such as “Eid il Fitr?”  I can make a connection.  It is the morning breaking of the fast in the Muslim Ramadan.  Get it?  Sunrise?  Okay, I’m being very sarcastic – there’s as much connection with the Eid Il Fitr as there is to Eostre, bunny rabbits and pretty colored eggs.  (I admit, I love eating the chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies.)

I am quite positive I would be lambasted, flogged, tarred and feathered if I started calling Easter “Eid il Fitr.”  People would scream at me “PAGAN.”  Here is what I really don’t understand.  I understand us Christians wanting to celebrate and honor that monumental event where He conquered death and thus secured everlasting life.  In fact, without the Lord’s Resurrection, death would not be conquered.  What I don’t understand is whose brilliant idea it was to name this most awesome of HOLY events after a false and pagan god?  And why did we agree to it and continue to agree with it?  And to complete the whole charade, we even borrowed the rituals that went along with honoring Eostre (bunnies and eggs) and incorporated that into celebrating our Risen Lord.  What’s up with that?  Why stop there?  Why not borrow some Muslim rituals?

Something I have thought about on and off through my years as a Christian is since we have chosen to borrow from other faiths (false ones I might add), why did we not bother borrowing from the Old Testament.  I can’t tell you how many times Christians have spoken to me harshly when finding out that I have celebrated some of the Old Testament holidays such as Passover.  I am always told that I am not Jewish and the Old Testament holidays are for the Jews.  I don’t necessarily disagree.  There is nothing in the New Testament that even remotely suggests that we are required to keep those holidays (though the Lord’s Supper or communion that we do keep is straight from the Passover Seder).  No, I am not Jewish but then again, I am not a follower of the faith that bows to the fertility goddess.  If anyone is going to take me to task for some of the “Jewish” holidays that I do celebrate, from now on I am going to ask to make sure that whoever asks me is not borrowing from pagan gods or goddesses.  Until their own hands are clean, they give up the right to question or criticize how I worship my Risen Lord!

The day that we celebrate His resurrection NEVER EVER should have been named after a pagan goddess of fertility.  Why not something more modern such as “Mohammed?”  Calling that day “Mohammed” is as disgusting as calling it “Easter.”

I wonder why Christianity did not borrow customs and practices from the Old Testament but instead chose to look at pagan faiths and borrow those.  I’ve never figured out the answer to that.  I guess if we’re going to borrow something, I figure what’s found in the Old Testament would be pretty safe.  Seriously, what’s up with that bright idea of looking to pagan gods and goddess to get some ideas on how to worship the one true God?  Even so, I will celebrate and do honor the day that we Christians set aside to remember the day that He conquered death through His death and then His resurrection.  I like calling it “Resurrection Day.”  My post on that day will be called just that ‘—Resurrection Day.  I plan on NOT giving any honor to Eoster by NOT using her name when referring to my Lord and Savior’s resurrection.  My Resurrection Day post will not even make mention of that fertility goddess.

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  1. Repent Harlequin

    Hey Blog Lady T.,

    There was a time when I would have argued with you but either you’re making more sense or I’ve matured. I like to think I’ve matured :-)

    Seriously, I think this goes along with a lot of the pagan seepage into the Roman Catholic Church which was for a time the only game in town.

    Your point is well taken. To be honest with you I look forward to Easter being over.

    1. Tishrei

      Hey Kent,

      I think we both have matured. And yeah, lot of this stuff comes from Roman Catholicism. Whether I’m right or not, this is what I think. During the reformation, we didn’t distance ourselves enough as to practices and now it’s just sort of become tradition. Granted, no believer is worshiping bunnies or fertility goddesses. It’s just tradition and fun for the kids to paint eggs, get baskets, Peter cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, hippity hoppity, easter’s on its way.

      Yow, I think that tune is now stuck in my head. See what you did? :)

      BLT

  2. Margaret

    Tishrei,

    I agree with you, and have been saying this for years and years and years and years :) ….. It’s ditto with the santa and halloween bit….. It’s a shame to proclaim the name of Christ as our one and only Savior, and yet cling to heathen traditions, like the Jews did in the Old Testament….. God sent Israel into exile because they clung to their heathen traditions, along with going to the Temple to worship the LORD….. That means this is serious in God’s eyes.

    Anyway, a quick web search brought up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter, which gives more information than anyone really cares to know regarding the term “Easter”, the traditions, dates, etc…… I can’t verify that it is all legit and don’t care to try….. It is much more beneficial to just worship and honor the Lord who loves us and gave His life for us, so that we might have total forgiveness and eternal life….. The rest of the world will continue to do what it wants.

    In the same breath, there are true Christians that celebrate Resurrection Day in different ways….. For those who truly honor the Lord in their different ways, loving the salvation we have in Christ alone — Romans 14:1-12 applies….. That instructs us to not judge one another by how someone chooses to serve the Lord….. It ends with, “So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

    So, there can be different ways of worshiping and honoring God that are acceptable in God’s sight….. All of these different ways of honestly worshiping do not do homage to the bunny and other heathen traditions….. It’s just comforting to know that God knows our every thought and what is in our heart….. He will be our Judge….. Point being, it is good to live in obedience to our Lord’s ways in love.

    Rejoicing in Christ’s resurrection is a daily comfort.

    Great post.

    Margaret

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Margaret,

      I started my post off with the caveat because I realize that there are some that take issue with this holiday. I do not. I would not care if someone started a holiday celebrating His teaching on the Sermon on the Mount as long as pagan practices were not incorporated.

      I agree, there can be different ways in honoring Him and worshiping Him. Some practices that people use I am not comfortable with for myself EVEN though there is nothing wrong with it and not against the teachings of scripture.

  3. Margaret

    Tishrei,

    Right on….. There are practices I am not comfortable with, but cannot be judgmental about because it is not against scripture….. God is so kind and patient with us all.

    Margaret

  4. Liz

    Great indepth post Tishrei!!!

    I was watching Martha Steward living and she even though she is not a believer explained about the bunny and the godess. and laying eggs. First off bunnies do not lay eggs.

    1. Repent Harlequin

      “First off bunnies do not lay eggs.”

      Really, Liz? Then where do chocalate eggs come from?
      Let’s see you wriggle out of that one!

    2. Tishrei

      Hey Liz,

      You’re correct, bunnies have live, squiggly wiggly babies. I think the point of the eggs and bunnies are that both represent fertility. Bunnies are unbelievably prolific reproducers. Eggs are obvious as to why they are a good representation of fertility — without the egg, fertility is futile (I’m thinking Borg from Star Trek) :)

      Hope you had a blessed Resurrection day!

  5. amberdover

    Hi sweet sister, I wanted to share this post with you:

    http://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/easter/

    You may read it all and still completely disagree. I wanted to share this because for most of my Christian walk I was vehemently against Easter. This is only Michael’s second year of having an Easter egg hunt. Before I made it clear to inlaws and such that it wasn’t allowed. We still don’t do the Easter Bunny and if we did Michael would know it was pretend and not real. We don’t do Santa either. We like pretend but we know the difference for sure. I do believe that Easter has become commercialized and that the main focus should be Jesus’ resurrection. I believe now that Easter eggs are harmless though at one time I believed they came from pagan practices. Anywho, the blogger in the post has done a lot more research than I and she puts it better though bluntly.

    I do not wish to argue or attack anyone’s beliefs. I just wanted you to know why my opinion has changed and that there are some who believe differently and have did their research. Like I said, you may still disagree and agree to disagree as they say. I know we will still love each other in sisterly love. Just wanted to share because I had never researched the histories before…I just read chic tracs and other anti-Easter literature.

    Love and blessings! ~Amber D.

    PS: I am not great at apologetics that’s why I share links to what I find. If you ask me several questions I might reply back “drrrr I don’t know” ;)

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Amber,

      Just finished reading the link. It does seem like she put some effort in her research which, unfortunately, she did not share. It was more of a “take my word for it.” That’s okay. As I have matured in my walk, I am more softer in my approach. To be honest, it is not my responsibility nor my place to change anyone and I do not want to. The best I can do is provide information and it is up to a person to look at the evidence and make a choice. After all, it is between a Christian and God, not me. I am only responsible for myself.

      That being said, where I disagree with the person who wrote the article is that it discounts all the historical evidence that is available that supports that there was a fertility goddess. There’s really no way to get around that, it is historical fact. What happened is that when Christianity was fairly new and moving into pagain areas, the Catholics (probably with good intentions), would incorporate the pagan practices so that the people would be more receptive to hearing about Christ. What they did is give the practices a Christian theme, so to speak. For instance, in Mexico, they have what is called the “day of the dead.” It is practiced by the Catholics in that country. It is incredibly pagan but it is an ancient practice in that area, before Christianity ever came to that country. What they do is dig up their loved ones, they brush the hair that is left on the skulls, and other such things. Since we don’t do that here in this country, it is easy for us to see how pagan it is. That being said, I don’t think those people are worshiping their dead loved ones. It’s just something that they’ve done for a long, long time. Same with trick or treating, no “real” Christian is worshipping satan or honoring him. They simply are taking their kids around for some fun. But we can’t get around the origins of that day. It is what it is. Same with easter. No Christian is giving honor to the origins of that practice. It has become tradition in our western culture.

      Easter is the anglicized name for the fertility goddess. There’s no way to get around that, it is just a fact. Jesus is the anglicized name for Yeshua. That also is a fact. Being anglicized does not mean it is bad. If we think about it, how on earth did Christians come up with the idea of eggs and bunnies with respect to celebrating His resurrection? There is no corrolation whatsoever between those practices and His resurrection. Those practices were already in place and were adopted when Christianity was brought and prached into the area.

      In the end, Christians do not worship the fertility goddess. I know that and I am in no way suggesting that they do. It’s become more of a tradition over these many hundreds of years. And honestly, I realize how fun egg hunting, etc. is for children.

      Lastly, the only reason I disagree with the author of the link you posted is because it discounts the historical evidence and I just don’t see how I can simply say that the historical evidence is not true. Again, I do not judge you or your family. I’ve been reading your blog for a number of months now and I can see how much you love the Lord and that you are bringing up your son to know Him. Not for one second do I think you are giving honor to some pagan goddess. How you, me or anyone else honors the Lord on the day we set aside to honor His resurrection is between each indivdual person and God.

      p.s. since I love sweets, I love the cream filled eggs though I have to be careful otherwise, I will have a sugar high, LOL.

      1. amberdover

        Hello dear friend and thank you for your reply. She cites her sources in this post: http://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/611/

        I didn’t realize that til later. The way I can see eggs and such having anything with Jesus is the new life and how His resurrection gives new life. Not saying that others see that or believe that. Lol being a teacher I tend to find object lessons in everything even if they were never intended :) . I agree that it’s between each person and I don’t judge you either for your views. Just sharing :) to share. I agree that often things get mingled in with celebrations…I don’t fear them as I used to. I used to really suffer over the Christmas tree thing. I have been told by others that simply having springy things in the house meant worshiping spring. I’ve seen this issue taken to the extremes and almost become an elite mentality. That breaks my heart and it’s nice to have a sister that is open to agree to disagree. So thank you for not looking down on me and letting me share on your blog :) PS: I like the creme eggs too lol. I found a cookie recipe that includes them…must try tehehe

  6. amberdover

    Oh and me posting that link on my blog later tonight has nothing to do with your blog I promise. I had planned on sharing why my beliefs have changed anyways along with my Easter inspirational post :) .

    1. Tishrei

      Even if you did, it would not matter since we all get ideas for posts by something we hear, read or somthing that comes to mind.

      I look forward to reading your post :)

      1. amberdover

        Thanks :) I’m not as skilled with words and tend to write run on sentences but I’m going to try to pull it together.

  7. fortheloveoftruth

    Hi there! I was reading the article here, and the comments, as I had a ping back to my blog :) So, I thought I would post a new page there with the historical proof that people are looking for and pass along the information, which is more in-depth than the link which Amber shared [thank you! :) ]. I always like to be informed of the truth, and I pray you do too!

    http://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/easter-is-not-a-goddess/

    Thanx for letting me pop in! Be blessed!

    1. Tishrei

      Thanks for posting the link to your study. Later today I will read it more carefully. And like you, I really am interested in truth. So honestly, I will read your post with an open mind but I don’t know how I am going to be able to discount or ignore the historical facts that are available and inescapable that prove that there was, in fact, a goddess named Ishtar. It’s just a fact that there was a goddess named Ishtar. You can even see her statute at the Louvre museum in Paris. Also, if you are interested, some references to her are (and I can provide more):

      Descent of the Goddess Ishtar into the Lower World (The Civilization of Babylonia and Assyria, 1915). Sacred-Texts. 2 June 2002, (you can get this e-book for free at http://books.google.com/books?id=EikbAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false).

      Assyro-Babylonian Mythology. New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (trans. Aldington and Ames, London: Hamlyn, 1968), pp. 49–72

      That being said, I do not believe that celebrating His resurrection is something that Christians should avoid. To the contrary, while not commanded, it is a monumental event that we, as Christians, should acknowledge and celebrate. After all, it is His resurrection that defeated death.

      Again, thank you for posting the link to your study. I will read it.

  8. fortheloveoftruth [sheep wrecked]

    Thanx, Tishrei! I appreciate your willingness to read through my blog post!

    Maybe I can clear up something you brought up. Ishtar IS a goddess. She is well known and goes by many different names Canaanite and Greek/Roman religions. I mention some of these names in the article I posted.

    However; Easter is NOT Ishtar — and I think that’s where the mix up comes in. Easter never was a goddess – there is no proof of her ever existing. There are almost no similarities between the myth about her and Ishtar. Ishtar was a goddess of war, of fertility, of sex. She was a militant goddess. But she also descended into the realm of the dead to bring back to life, her lover.

    Easter was portrayed as this more ethereal fairy type by Jakob Grimm in a fairy tale that he wrote about her [he called her Ostara]. It was this Ostara that people in the last couple hundred years have attached all kinds of legends and myths including a rabbit who lays eggs. From there, the myth blew way out of proportion into some wicked creature that used eggs died in babies blood that were the children born of virgins who had conceived them by priests on the altar at Easter the year before, in some kind of ritual sacrifice — and all that has been associated to the celebrations that Christians have at Easter as being pagan.

    There is no historical proof that at any time in history or in any religion that these things happened. It is a myth that was created to make people hate Easter and be in fear that they are somehow displeasing God by worshiping another god and point the finger at Christians who they perceive to be partaking in pagan ways.

    I guess the most difficult thing for me to accept is that people believe these lies. What happens is that our Lord Jesus Christ, what He suffered, how He died for us, and that He rose again at what we call Easter is something that is called heathen and unacceptable. His Sacrifice is then of no mention and discredited – not by all, but by quite a mass amount of people. I find that just plain painful, when to celebrate Christ is the purpose of Easter time, regardless of where the word comes from. Christians are not worshiping a pagan goddess or sacrificing to her, but are thanking and worshiping our Lord with hearts full of joy and gratitude. This is why I cannot let the lies and myths go unchallenged ….

    Thank you again, for letting me speak my mind :)

    In Christ,
    sheep wrecked.

    1. Tishrei

      I agree, Eoster is not Ishtar. There, however, while very scant, is evidence that Eoster did exist. Actually, it was only recently that something was found that corroborates her existence. I’ll have to look it up but it was found sometime in the mid to late 1950′s.

      In any event, I have never been of the belief that Christians are worshiping a false god during Resurrection Day. However, we did get bunny rabbits and eggs from somewhere and it certainly has no basis in Christianity nor is there even any connection to His resurrection.

      Catholicism has a history when going into a country to adapt the customs, and even pagan customs, so that the people would be more accepting of Christianity. That is very factual and we can see that in other countries such as the “day of the dead” (very, very pagan and goulish).

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