Occasionally in life you come across something that goes so contrary to your beliefs that you exclaim, “Is that true?!”
Growing up, I became familiar with the concept of “pagan” or “paganism.” These were pejorative terms that were used to describe practices which were steeped in the worship of a different god and in opposition to Christianity.
Even as a child, when I first learned that Easter and Christmas had their origins in pagan customs, I avoided celebrating these days. Anything “pagan” was clearly something to be avoided; but as I quickly learned, not everyone agreed with that idea.
Over the years, the term “pagan” has increasingly taken on a more benign meaning. Take, for example, Halloween, which comes up in a couple of days. If you do even a cursory search on the Internet, you will find that Halloween is a celebration praised by those who profess witchcraft as their religious preference.
There is actually a church for witches that provides a list of ways to celebrate Easter, Halloween and Christmas as primary days of worship for pagans. They refer to them as Ostara, goddess of the spring and the beginning of life; the Festival of the Dead, which we call Halloween; and the Yule festival, which we call Christmas. These three festivals have “pagan” stamped all over them, so how is it that more than a billion people professing Christianity also celebrate them each year?
According to its pagan origins, the evening of Oct. 31 is when the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest level. Nov. 1 is the first day of the Celtic new year and the day set aside for all saints in the Catholic religion.
Oct. 31, Halloween, is a celebration of this crossover between the world of the dead and the world of the living. It is celebrated by people dressing up in costume to commemorate those who are called the living dead—goblins, ghosts and ghouls. Some try to Christianize the celebration by using the term “hallowed” or holy evening. But it is a vain attempt to add Christianity to something that is clearly pagan.
Isn’t it time we looked at our lives and asked some basic questions about what we are doing? Whenever you see a celebration that isn’t found in the Bible, yet is proclaimed to be Christian, shouldn’t you ask, “Is that true?” After all, isn’t Christianity supposed to be based on truth?
The truth of the matter is that Easter, Christmas and Halloween are not found in the Bible. They originate in pagan celebrations. They were adopted and integrated into mainstream Christianity centuries ago.
Can you really be a Christian and embrace pagan rituals? Isn’t this in conflict with the first two of the 10 Commandments, which are against worshipping other gods—the goddess of spring, the sun god and, oh yes, let’s not forget the god of the underworld, who is being honored this week on Halloween?
We live in a world of lies and distortions of fact. Don’t just follow customs that are attractive! Ask questions; and whenever you’re presented with a celebration that is called Christian, never forget to ask, “Is that true?”
For Life, Hope & Truth, I’m Jim Franks.