Resurrection Sunday?
by Mitch Cervinka

There seems to be a recent trend, in certain churches that have come to see the pagan trappings of Easter, to try to salvage this heathen holiday for Christ by renaming it "Resurrection Sunday", and eliminating the grosser pagan elements of the holiday, such as painted eggs and bunnies. But have they gone far enough? Is it proper for Christ's church to observe an annual holiday in honor of His resurrection?

The Origin of Easter.

Why do Christians (and others) observe Christmas and Easter? Where did these holidays come from?

Clearly, they do not come from Scripture. Yes, it is true that Scripture records the historical facts of Christ's birth and resurrection. However it is not true that Scripture teaches us to make a yearly observance of these historical events. Christ did not command His disciples to observe an annual celebration of His birth or resurrection. His apostles never gave us such a command. There is no evidence that the New Testament church ever observed such holidays.

These holidays were added in post-apostolic times, by men who were not apostles, and who had no legitimate authority to impose them upon Christ's church. If you study the history of these holidays, you will find that they had their origins thousands of years earlier, in Babylonian paganism, and were perpetuated in the various pagan religions of other countries, such as Egypt, Greece and Rome.

The Pagan origin of Easter is clearly demonstrated by its very name. "Easter" is simply the name of the pagan goddess variously known as "Istar", "Astarte", or "Ashtoreth". Solomon erected idolatrous "high places" to this goddess (1 Kings 11:5; 2 Kings 23:13), and the Israelites were often guilty of worshipping this false goddess (1 Kings 11:33). According to Unger's Bible Dictionary (at "Ashtoreth"), she was the goddess of sensual love, maternity and fertility. The term "Asherah" (plural "Asherim") in Scripture refers to the phallic images that the Israelites frequently constructed in honor of this abominable deity (Judges 6:25-26; 1 Kings 15:13; 16:33; 2 Kings 13:6; 17:16; 18:4; 21:3; etc.). Her temples were centers for legalized prostitution. It is no wonder that fertility symbols, such as flowers, eggs and rabbits, should be associated with her special day.

These pagan holidays were brought into the church in the 4th century when emperor Constantine decided to "Christianize" his empire. One of the methods he used to accomplish this was to give "Christian" meanings to the pagan holidays that were so popular in his day. His pagan subjects didn't mind the new "Christian" significance of their holidays, so long as they could continue the same customs they had been practicing. Of course, renaming your pagan customs does not make you a Christian, nor does it sanctify those customs. It is merely a whitewash of superficial Christian symbolism covering up practices that are essentially and originally pagan.

We need to seriously consider the extreme evil in seeking to join our Lord's blessed, holy resurrection with the filthy heathen holiday of a disgusting pagan goddess!

During the "Christmas season", we often hear pleas from Christians to "put Christ back into Christmas." The practice of renaming Easter as "Resurrection Sunday" seems to demonstrate the same reasoning, as if to say "Let's put Christ back into Easter." The problem with this reasoning is that Christmas and Easter were never Christian in the first place. Both were pagan holidays that were imported into "Christianity". If we truly want to return to the church's original stand on these holidays, we will reject them entirely, recognizing that there is no Scriptural warrant for them and that the primitive church would have nothing to do with them.

We should not be deceived into thinking that we can turn Easter into a Christ-honoring holiday by removing its pagan trappings. The world can see through the charade of trying to "Christianize" Easter, so long as we continue to observe "Resurrection Sunday" on the very same day that the world is celebrating painted eggs and bunnies in the name of the pagan goddess of sexual impurity.

Reinventing worship.

Some will argue that they don't want any of the pagan baggage associated with these holidays... they simply want to honor and celebrate the resurrection of Christ once a year in some special way. But... do we have the right to worship God in whatever way we want? Or, has God told us in His Word how we are to worship Him?

What Christians choose to do in their own homes, with their own families, is a private matter between themselves and their Lord. However, when they bring these "celebrations" into the church, they not only impose their unscriptural traditions upon other Christians, but they also alter the way in which we worship our God. To deviate from the form of worship revealed in Scripture is tantamount to adding to the Scriptures. God has told us in His Word how we are to worship Him. When we start reformulating worship: by adding to, or taking away from, that which He has told us to do, then we are disregarding His Word and demonstrating contempt for the forms of worship that He has given us. It is to reject His lordship and to set ourselves up as lords over His church.

Moreover, to allow one modification to God's stated system of worship opens the door to many more. By what logic would the process of adding new, unscriptural elements to worship stop with the addition of "Resurrection Sunday" to the church's calendar? Once such a precedent is established, those who wish to make other modifications to our forms of worship would appeal to this precedent as justification for making such changes.

The Roman Catholic Church stands as a monument to what happens when this mindset—of redefining worship—continues over the centuries. Each generation invents some new thing to add to the list of modifications. Thus, we see such things as: the sign of the cross, the use of candles, the veneration of Mary, praying to the saints, the rosary, the confessional, the sacrifice of the mass, the priesthood, the papacy, indulgences, inquisitions, bloody persecutions, and a multiplicity of religious holidays. We should never forget that this morass of error began with a first error. That first error may have seemed harmless or even beneficial. Each successive error probably seemed harmless or beneficial to the generation that instituted it. But each error was, in fact, harmful, and the aggregate of these errors became so blatantly unscriptural that, by the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, men such as Wycliffe, Hus and Luther were willing to risk their lives to speak out against these errors. We need to avoid taking the first step toward spiritual apostasy. Bringing unscriptural holidays into the church is such a "first step".

When we impose religious holidays upon the church, we bind the consciences of our pastors. Perhaps a pastor feels a burden to preach on the subject of "Divine Providence" that Sunday, but he refrains from it because it is "Resurrection Sunday", and everyone expects him to speak on the Resurrection. Why should an unscriptural holiday observance be allowed to overrule the Holy Spirit's providential direction of the pastor's preaching?

Scriptural Holidays: The Mosaic Feast Days.

Under the Mosaic Law, God instituted seven annual feast days for Israel...

  1. Passover - Exodus 12:13-14; Leviticus 23:5
  2. Unleavened Bread - Exodus12:17; 23:15; Leviticus 23:6-14
  3. Firstfruits - Exodus 23:16; Leviticus 23:10-14
  4. Pentecost - Leviticus 23:15-22
  5. Trumpets - Leviticus 23:24-25
  6. Day of Atonement - Leviticus 23:27-32
  7. Booths - Leviticus 23:34-43
There are some who argue that, since Israel had annual festivals, the present-day church should have them as well. But there is a glaring weakness to this argument... The Lord commanded the Jews to keep the seven Jewish feast-days. He gave no such command to us to observe an annual "Resurrection Sunday".

Some may try to argue that "Resurrection Sunday" is a continuation of one of the Jewish feast days, such as Passover or Unleavened Bread. However, Passover is more representative of our Lord's crucifixion than of His resurrection. And the feast of Unleavened Bread was a 7-day affair that began the day after Passover, which doesn't correspond well with the resurrection, which occurred 3 days after the crucifixion.

The New Testament gives us no reason to believe that we are to perpetuate either of these holidays in the form of an annual "Resurrection Sunday" observance. When we consider that "Resurrection Sunday" activities do not correspond well with the activities that God, in His Word, prescribed for the various feast-days, it becomes very doubtful that "Resurrection Sunday" can truly be identified with any of the Mosaic festivals.

1 Corinthians 5:7 refers to our Lord Himself as our "Passover" who was sacrificed for us. This suggests that Passover was fulfilled in the crucifixion of our Lord. "Fulfillment" language occurs also in Colossians 2:16-17...

Colossians 2:16-17 - Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.
What justification would there be to retain just one of the seven Mosaic feast-days? If we are to perpetuate one of them, should we not honor them all? By what standard do we pick and choose which ones to retain and which to discard?

Scripture tells us that Gentile Christians have been exempted from the Mosaic ceremonies. When faced with the challenge that Gentile Christians should be circumcised and required to keep the Mosaic Law (Acts 15:5), the council at Jerusalem rendered the decision that Gentile Christians are under no extraordinary obligation to the Law except to abstain from eating blood or meat sacrificed to idols, and from fornication...

Acts 15:28-29 - "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell."
This would seem to exempt Gentile Christians from any of the ceremonies of the Mosaic Law, such as circumcision, animal sacrifices, dietary laws, ablutions and annual feast days. (Note: The other moral requirements of the Mosaic Law did not need to be repeated here, because Roman society and Roman civil law did not condone murder, theft, purjury, disobedience to parents, etc., and because these issues were addressed adequately in the gospel message they had believed.)

But, didn't the apostle Paul observe the Jewish feasts?

Acts 20:16 - For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be in Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.

1 Corinthians 16:8 - But I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost;

Scripture says that Paul observed the feast of Pentecost. It does not say whether he observed any other of the seven Jewish feast days. Probably, as a testimony to the Jews, he traveled to Jerusalem three times a year to keep the feasts of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Booths (Exodus 23:14-19). However, this should not be construed as a practice for the churches to follow, for the following reasons...
  1. As shown above, Gentiles are exempt from the Mosaic ceremonial law (Acts 15:28-29).
  2. These three feasts required that the participants travel to Jerusalem (Exodus 23:14-19).
  3. Paul was born a Jew, and was careful to keep the Jewish law, that he might be able to witness to his people (1 Corinthians 9:20).
Other evidence that Paul's practice is not for our obedience is that he
  1. circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:3),
  2. took a Nazirite vow (Acts 18:18), and
  3. agreed to pay the expenses for sacrificial offerings for certain men who had taken a vow (Acts 21:23-26).
Moreover, Paul himself must have offered up an animal sacrifice when he shaved his head at the completion of his vow (Acts 18:18), for this was required under the law of the Nazirite (Numbers 6:12-21). Those who concede that these other Jewish ordinances are inappropriate for today have no basis to suppose that there is warrant to observe any of the feast days.

The Feast of Purim.

A seductive argument is sometimes developed from the feast of Purim. This feast was instituted when God providentially saved the Jews from the wicked plot of Haman (Esther 9:18-32). The Jews apparently took it upon themselves to institute a yearly holiday to commemorate this victory. There is no evidence in Scripture that God commanded them to observe this feast. Hence, it is argued by some, this establishes a precedent whereby the church may freely add holidays to its ecclesiastical calendar.

This argument is not as strong as it may first appear. Just as Passover was instituted the very night that the Israelites were delivered from the wrath of the death-angel in Egypt (Exodus 12:1-16), so also Purim was instituted immediately, the very day after their victory had been won (Esther 9:17-23). "Resurrection Sunday", on the other hand, was instituted centuries later. If our Lord or His apostles had instituted this holiday immediately after the resurrection, there would be no controversy over whether we should observe such a holiday today. However, they did not do this. There is no Scriptural precedent for instituting an annual holiday centuries after the event that it commemorates.

Another difference is that annual feast days were an integral part of the Jewish religion. While Purim does appear to be a God-sanctioned holiday which was not instituted by Him, nevertheless, there was at least a God-established precedent in the Jewish religion for annual holidays. No such precedent exists for the church. God never gave us a single annual holiday to observe. While Purim does demonstrate that the Jews were allowed to add another holiday to the seven annual feasts God had ordained for them, it does not give us authority to institute the practice of holiday worship where God has not established such a precedent.

We must remember that the Jewish system of worship was largely ceremonial. Israel had an earthly tabernacle, an earthly priesthood and numerous rituals and regulations. They could only eat certain meats, they had to be ceremonially cleansed if they touched a dead body, they had to offer up animal sacrifices on various occasions, etc. Much of this has been fulfilled in Christ and is no longer operative. For example, Paul teaches that we may now eat any kind of meat...

1 Timothy 4:3-5 - men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
Annual feast days were an important part of Israel's ceremonial religion, but they have no place in the church's worship, which has a much greater emphasis upon the spiritual, and a much diminished emphasis upon ceremonialism.

Moreover, the relative cohesiveness of the Jewish nation, and their centralized religion guaranteed that the new holiday was gladly received by all the Israelites. This was not simply a renegade handful of Jews who adopted the holiday for themselves, nor was it a priestly dictator imposing his decree by force upon the nation. Hence, the similarity to Easter or "Resurrection Sunday" fails on this count as well.

Purim cannot be construed as a blank check for the church to institute a holiday whenever it wishes. Isaiah and our Lord criticized the Jews for their man-made traditions, realizing that they represented a departure from that system of worship which God had instituted for them to observe...

Israel had priests and prophets, and the casting of lots, by which they could receive special approval or confirmation from God for actions they took that were not spelled out in Scripture. The church today has no such channel of communication from the Lord, and therefore, we cannot presume to have God's blessing when we modify the forms of worship He has given us. The canon of Scripture has been completed, and with it is a certain finality and wise perfection to the form of worship that God has given us in His Word.

Scripture Disallows Holidays for the Church.

Scripture is very clear that holidays have no place in the church's worship. When the Galatians, who had formerly embraced their heathen religion, were now being seduced to follow the Jewish ceremonies (Galatians 3:1-14; 5:1-10), Paul responds by saying...

Galatians 4:8-11 - However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.
According to Paul, the Galatians' desire to "observe days and months and seasons and years" was a return to the "weak and worthless elemental things" from which they were saved... even though their former observance of days and years was done in bondage to pagan idolatry, and their current observance of special days was done in bondage to Jewish Law. We can almost hear the despair in Paul's lament "I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain."

This demonstrates that it was not merely pagan holidays, nor merely Jewish holidays that were at issue. Rather, it was the entire concept of holiday observance. This also demonstrates that there is a certain slavery involved in observing holidays.

In this short passage, the apostle teaches that holiday observance of any type is to be rejected. Holidays of pagan origin are to be rejected, for it is quite likely that the Galatians, prior to their conversion, had participated in pagan "Easter" or "Christmas" (i.e. Saturnalia) feasts. But holidays instituted by God are also to be rejected as being no longer appropriate—the Galatians were now being influenced by the "Judaizers" to become circumcised and to keep the Jewish feasts, and Paul decries this. But we can draw yet one more conclusion from this passage—namely, that we are not at liberty to choose our own holiday observances. This was not a matter of mere personal choice, for the apostle views their decision to observe holidays as spiritual apostasy—he even entertains the thought that they were never truly saved!

Some will argue that the error Paul is denouncing here is that one could be justified by obedience to the Law. Undoubtedly, this is a factor, but please note that Paul does not rebuke them merely for observing holidays with the wrong motive... he is concerned that they were observing holidays at all! ... "You observe days and months and seasons and years." Paul regarded it to be utterly inappropriate that they should be observing "days and months and seasons and years".

Extrabiblical Evidence?

According to Hislop, certain professing Christians in the 3rd and 4th centuries observed a holiday which they called "Pasch" or "Passover". It was held at the time of the Jewish Passover, which, in the days of Tertullian (end of the 2nd century), was believed to have been March 23. There are some who allege that a "Resurrection Day" was observed even earlier, by a disciple of a disciple of one of the apostles.

Of course, such claims should carry absolutely no weight with those who confess "Sola Scriptura" (Scripture Alone).

Extrabiblical evidence can sometimes be useful to demonstrate that a particular interpretation of Scripture is not a novel view. For example, Augustine is sometimes appealed to as evidence that the doctrines of Total Depravity and Unconditional Election were not invented by John Calvin and the Reformers. However, we may not, indeed must not appeal to Augustine as a primary source, as though his writings carry any authority as to the truth or falsity of any doctrine. Augustine was only a man... perhaps a brilliant, scholarly or spiritual man, but still a fallible man whose writings do not possess the verbal inspiration and absolute authority that belong to God's Word alone.

There are many uncertainties that abound in extrabiblical documents... We often don't know for certain the author of the document nor the precise date when it was written. Even when the author is known, there is no reason to assume that his teachings accurately represent those of Christ or the apostles. Even an author who was a direct disciple of one of the apostles could have developed some spurious ideas, and would not necessarily represent the views of his mentor.

This is not mere conjecture, for the apostle Paul was acutely aware of defections among those he had personally taught...

Acts 20:29-30 - "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

Galatians 3:1 - You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?

1 Timothy 1:19-20 - keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.

2 Timothy 1:15 - You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.

So, anyone who claims to have been a direct disciple of Paul cannot necessarily be trusted to represent Paul's teaching. When a second or third generation is involved, there is that much more opportunity for the truth to be corrupted.

Any so-called spiritual grandchild of the apostle Paul who practiced a holiday observance was in direct violation of Paul's teaching in Galatians 4:8-11, and it is quite possible that he learned his doctrine from the errant Galatians, who had succumbed to the Judaizers. Would he have been a disciple of a disciple of Paul? Absolutely! ...The Galatians whom Paul rebuked were his immediate disciples, but their doctrine could be traced to the Judiazers who turned Paul's followers away from the truth.

One thing of which we can be absolutely certain: If one of these ancient "fathers" observed a "Resurrection Sunday", he was wrong to do it. Since there is no Scriptural warrant for this practice, his holiday was of unScriptural origin, and hence was an early error introduced into the church. Even so, this ancient error should not be assumed to be the basis for modern-day "Resurrection Sunday" practices, which can easily be traced to the popular Easter holiday, which has its origins in paganism.

Unholy Incentives to Retain Holidays.

There are several reasons why Christians cling so tenaciously to the two ecclesiastical holidays of Christmas and Easter...

    1. Tradition. Christians have grown up with these holidays, and have never questioned their connection with Christianity.
    2. Emotional appeal. Christians (and unbelivers, too) seem to love the festive atmosphere of these religious holidays.
    3. Fear of embarassment. Because society connects these holidays with Christianity, anyone who rejects these holidays is looked upon with suspicion and disdain. Often, this intimidation comes from close family members.
    4. Pragmatism. Because these are the two times of the year when unbelievers are most likely to attend a church service, it is often argued that we should capitalize on this opportunity to give them the gospel.
None of these reasons is legitimate.

Tradition:  The tradition of Christmas and Easter began with Constantine's unwise decision to sugar-coat some pagan holidays to make them appear to be "Christian". This tradition was perpetuated through the centuries by the Roman Catholic Church. These holidays were rejected by many of the Calvinistic Reformers, Puritans and Baptists. However, successive generations who were less discerning became more tolerant of these holidays, just as they also came to embrace Arminianism and other errors.

Our Lord was very critical of the traditions of men, and surely this is written for our admonition as well...

Emotional Appeal:  The emotional appeal of Christmas and Easter is a carryover of the emotional elements that made the original pagan holidays so popular. This is especially true of Christmas, when the sensual appeal of colored lights, fragrant evergreen trees, glistening tinsel and shiny ornaments, the prospect of receiving (and giving) gaily wrapped presents, the aroma and taste of cookies, candies and sumptuous banquets, are all "sanctified" by a religious veneer of supposedly "celebrating Christ's birth".

Easter has similar appeals. People love to see their children delight in "Easter egg hunts" or in coloring eggs; and in receiving candies shaped like bunnies or eggs. A big Easter banquet is common fare among many families. Moreover, Easter, like Christmas, is whitewashed with religious trappings—of supposedly honoring the resurrection of Christ.

But what should shock us back to reality is that these holidays are so universally popular—to the avowed atheist, to the humanist, to the Liberal, to many of the cultists, to the many so-called "Christians" who never set foot inside a church except on these two holidays, as well as to those whose faith seems more genuine. Recall what our Lord told His disciples...

John 3:20 - For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

John 15:19-20 - "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also."

1 John 2:15 - Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
The world does not love the things of God. If Easter or Christmas were of God, the world would despise them. However, the world loves these holidays. Why? Because these holidays are essentially worldly. They are neither Christian nor Biblical. They portray a very limited view of Christianity—one that omits the issues of sin, righteousness, judgment to come and the necessity of a radical change of life. While it is true that sermons preached at Christmas or Easter services may include these elements, it is nevertheless true that the themes of these holidays are viewed by the typical unbeliever as 1) the tender story of a tiny, harmless baby born in austere conditions to the praise of angels, shepherds and "wise men", and 2) the story of a divine person who was raised from the dead to give us all hope that we too shall be raised from death to live in everlasting happiness. What is missing is the fact that 1) Jesus is coming again, not as a harmless baby, but as the holy Judge of all the earth, and 2) those who reject Christ's claim as Lord cannot have Him as their Savior. Yes, they will be resurrected, but not to live in everlasting happiness.

Fear of Embarrassment:  Those who fear the embarrassment they would face if they were to give up these holidays must consider whether they are willing to suffer reproach for the sake of Christ. What is embarrassment, but the fear of being rejected by others?

Hebrews 11:26 - considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.

Hebrews 13:13 - So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

Luke 9:26 - "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

2 Timothy 1:8 - Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,

Sometimes, Christians do unscriptural things which bring reproach upon themselves. This, of course, is to be avoided. But, when we are afraid to follow the clear teaching of Scripture for fear that others will view us as "religious extremists" or crackpots, then we need to do some serious soul-searching. Are we to please men or God? What does Scripture say?
John 12:43 - for they [i.e. the Jewish rulers] loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

Acts 5:29 - But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men.

The nature of true repentance is that we are willing to submit to God, seeking to conform our desires to His will, as revealed in His holy Word. When we are unwilling to do this, for fear of what men might think of us, we are following the world and denying our Lord.

Pragmatism:  Finally, does the pragmatic concern of using these popular holidays to reach more souls with the gospel justify our involvement with these holidays? Is this mercenary attitude justified by Scripture, and does it truly enhance our evangelism?

First, it should be noted that it is always wrong to disobey the Scriptures, even if we have "noble reasons" for doing so. The desire to reach the unsaved with the gospel is, in the abstract, a very noble and commendable thing. However, this consideration alone does not sanctify any and every action which we might take to reach that end. For example, it does not justify our entering a brothel, just because we know we will find within its unhallowed walls men and women who are sinners in need of salvation. In the same way, we are not justified in adopting worldly, unscriptural holidays just because we view it as an opportunity to reach the unsaved. There are other, legitimate ways to take the gospel to the unsaved.

Secondly, this approach wrongly views the purpose for the church meeting as being evangelistic. The church meeting is primarily a place where the saints gather to worship their Lord, and to be built up in their faith. The scriptural pattern is that evangelism is to occur: 1) as apostles (or missionaries) preach in a public forum to a crowd that consists primarily of unsaved people, and 2) as individual Christians discuss the claims of the gospel individually to unsaved family members, friends and acquaintances. To seek to bring the unsaved into the church on holidays is to subvert the Biblical purpose for the church meeting.

Thirdly, whenever we borrow the world's traditions, we dilute our own message and testimony. Evangelism is best served by being uncompromising Christians who delight in living in the center of God's will, and who love to preach the gospel in all its purity and power. Those who seek to broaden the exposure of their witness by diluting its purity have reduced the gospel's impact far more than have those who may restrict their audience by maintaining the gospel's purity. This should not be confused with apathy toward evangelism. Rather, it is a zeal for evangelism expressed in an uncompromisingly pure presentation of the gospel in both word and deed. Yes—let's try to reach as many as possible with the gospel by using whatever legitimate opportunities God gives us, but, No—let's not reduce the impact of the gospel by compromising with worldly, unscriptural holidays.

Whenever we depart from God's stated form of worship or evangelism, we are displaying distrust in His ways and methods, and are leaning upon our own fleshly reason instead. If we truly trust in the Lord, then surely we ought to trust in His appointed means of taking the gospel to the world, and we ought to trust His wisdom that the church meeting is to be a place where His people meet to worship Him and to be built up in their faith.


From what we have seen, it should be evident that any form of holiday observance imposed upon the church is a form of compromise with the world, and is a departure from the pure form of worship which God has given us in His holy Word. Easter had its origins in paganism, and all the efforts to clean it up and dress it up in Christian significance do not alter its unseemly origins. It is pointless to try to "Put Christ back into Easter" when this was never His holiday in the first place.

It is my prayer that God's people will come to consider the beauty and simplicity of pure, spiritual worship as prescribed in Scripture. There is no need for us to create an emotional roller-coaster of special holidays during the year. We should be known as people for whom every day is a high holy day unto our God. We should not need an annual holiday to remind us of the glory and significance of the resurrection. A God-saturated people will think upon the resurrection often, and will keep it in balance with all the other important doctrines of the Christian faith.

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