Mardi Gras, Lent, Valentine's Day, Easter...Ahhh!! What Are Christians to Do? Part 1
This time of year marks the beginning of a long string of events that Christians, to some degree or another, find themselves taking part in. It begins with Mardi Gras and ends with Easter. And in some denominations, you'll hear from the pulpit preachings against some of these events, while those same pulpits will be silent at warning their congregations about the wickedness of the other events. Mardi Gras is an easy enough event to preach against. It is a time of blatant fornication, partying, and indulgence in sin. But little do the Mardi Gras naysayers know that this celebration is simply the starting point for all the events that come after. They, the different celebrations and events, all relate to one another and they all had their origins in the very same place: Paganism.
Now, I'm not going to go into great detail here about how Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Valentine's Day, and Easter can be traced back to pagan practices. I'm going to refrain from that part of the discussion because, even though there is ample evidence to easily support the claim, using all that evidence seems to be an act of futility when speaking about such things to other Christians. And this is because Christians today just don't seem to care that their practices have Pagan origins, even if you can prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt to be true. I can't, for the life of me, understand why a Christian would be so flippant regarding such things. God surely isn't. Are we not told to not learn the way of the heathen? (Jeremiah 10:2) Are we not told to come out from among them and be ye separate? (2 Corinthians 6:7) Are we not told that we cannot serve two masters and that we cannot worship both God and mammon? (Matthew 6:24) Why then, do we think it's ok for us to partake in things that 1. are clearly not Biblical 2. are loved by the world and 3. are clearly not of God (because they're not Biblical)?
How do all these events tie together? It is a long string of faux religious expression that begins with first being as sinnful and unholy as possible in preparation for roughly six weeks of faux holiness, seen among men, so we, a self-centered people can feel good about ourselves and think we've done something good for God. Quite the contrary; we make a mockery out of holiness and Godliness in our participation of these things.
So Mardi Gras kicks it all off; a time of debauchery and sinnfulness. As stated above, in praration for what's to come the very next day: Ash Wednesday. Where, the very day after you've spent time participating in who knows what kind of sin, you now take a black cross on your forehead to let the world know that you're in some kind of mourning or "repentance" of sin for the God of whom you've just spent the last day or so spitting in the face. Oh, I know that a large majority of Christians these days do not take part in Mardi Gras. But the events are still all related, so I will discuss them in order of appearance.
After Ash Wednesday, a time of fake mourning over sin, we have Lent, where we think we are doing God some sort of favor, or according to Catholic belief, we're making ourselves holy, by giving up something to a smaller or greater degree. Or maybe we've decided that this is a good season to pretent to be charitable and we find a good charity for which to volunteer. (Much like the staged and empty charity of the Xmess season. True charity happens all year long, not on some expected season for it so we can feel like we're fitting into the "spirit" of the season.)
And after the 46 days of Lent, we arrive at Easter. A day when Catholics, Protestants, and Baptists all join hands (just like during Xmess) to celebrate this man-made holiday. This is one of two days a year when we all become Catholics and offer strange fire to God, in one consolidated group effort. And narry a born-again Christian will speak so much as a word against it. Why? Because it's fun to have a reason to celebrate. It's fun to get dressed up and think we're doing a great thing for God by pretending to honor His resurrection. Never mind that God simply said, "this do in remembrance of me". But was Easter really the "this" that Christ was talking about there? It seems to me the only "this" being mentioned at the last supper was...well, the events of the last supper. Which is to say the eating of unleavened bread and the drinking of the pure juice, "as oft as ye do it", not necessarily on a Catholic-chosen day, once a year.
Now, let me be clear. I am not one to promote the idea that we must continue to celebrate Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Christ, Himself, said that the eating and drinking done during the Passover supper would be the last time He took part in it until the Kingdom of God shall come. (Luke 22:15-18) So if He no longer celebrates those days, then I say we, too, should no longer celebrate them. Keeping in mind that the eating of the bread and the drinking of the pure juice is a far cry from the practices of Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread (and the purposes for them are completely different.) See this and this article.
Some may disagree with my reading of the scriptures in Luke 22 concerning Jesus' statements about not eating or drinking again until the Kingdom of God shall come. Fair enough, I accept that I, just like anyone else, am not the vessel of absolute perfect doctrine. I don't pretent to be, I simply attain to be wise and knowledgeable in as many areas as humanly possible. But dismissing the possible disagreement about those verses, none can argue that Christ, even though he sat down to a Passover dinner, kept neither the Passover nor the Unleavened bread feast in the way that Jews traditionally kept it. As is characteristic to nearly everything Christ did while alive on earth, he fulfilled the feasts, and, in so doing, he made certain changes to them. The last supper looks very little like the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Now, returning to the celebration of Easter, where did the word Easter even come from? It shows up only once in the Word of God (Acts 12:4) and we can make a good argument that it was in a well-placed spot because the king being mentioned in this verse (king Herod) was a Pagan king and the celebration being mentioned can't definitively be determined to be a Christian or even Jewish celebration, unless we read into the scriptures something that is not clearly written there.
In fact, the word Easter, itself, has Pagan origins. Again, I will not go into these things in this post, you are welcomed to research the Pagan origins of both the word and practice of Easter yourself. And I very much encourage you to do so. But regardless of whether Easter has Pagan origins or not (I contend that if it doesn't come from God, it comes from Paganism/Satan), where is the command in God's Word to adhere to a day (determined by Catholics), every single year, to allegedly remember Christ's resurrection? I agree that we are to remember the resurrection, but we are not to make the day (which is not the historical day that Christ actually rose) holy (a holy day/holiday), but we are to make the partaking of the supper holy! We are to remember His sacrifice through this sacred command and we are to do it at no specific time, but "as oft" as we choose to do it. Is this not clear in God's Word? Why is it that we Christians take so much liberty in adding to God's commands without so much as a single thought as to whether it's really what God wants us to do?
There is much more to be said on this topic, I haven't even covered Valentine's Day, and I intend to say it. But I'll pause here and allow my readers to ponder these points for now. Please join me in part 2 and part 3 of this series.
Do you know, if you were to die today, whether or not you'll go to be with Christ after you die? Are you 100% and completely assured of your salvation? If not, please take the time to read this salvation message today. There is nothing more important than giving your life to Christ and securing your place in eternity. I pray the Holy Spirit leads you to a personal relationship with Christ today, and I pray that you follow where the Holy Spirit leads you.