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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter?



Do you celebrate with Easter baskets, egg coloring, egg hunts, the Easter Bunny, etc.? Then I presume you are unknowingly celebrating part of an ancient pagan fertility festival. The name "Easter" comes from 'Ishtar,' which is a derivative from Ashtoreth. Among many things, Ashtoreth was a fertility goddess. Bunnies and eggs are serious pagan fertility symbols, and have nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus' resurrection. Have you ever wondered why the easter bunnies lay eggs? The answer of the easter bunny laying the egg lies in the sybmology of fertility cults.

The Bible has nothing nice to say about Ashtoreth. Ashtoreth, Baal, Bel, Dagon, Moloch, etc. are just a few of the many false gods that Israel committed spiritual adultery with, on leaving the one true God. CB

In one of Candy's comments today she is not shy about her religious training and background - which is pretty much nil before 1995 and all self-taught since then.

"As for Bible reading, I had no religious instruction whatsoever, before I got saved either. In fact, I didn't know that 'Easter' had anything to do with Jesus. I truly thought it was some gimmic about a fake Easter Bunny as an excuse to have a springtime holiday. :-?"



It is not surprising then that along with her anti-Catholic leanings, she has picked up a lot of other misinformation. Easter appears to be one of them.

The original language of the New Testament is Greek.

From New Advent- Catholic Encyclopedia:
The Greek term for Easter, pascha, has nothing in common with the verb paschein, "to suffer," although by the later symbolic writers it was connected with it; it is the Aramaic form of the Hebrew pesach (transitus, passover). The Greeks called Easter the pascha anastasimon; Good Friday the pascha staurosimon. The respective terms used by the Latins are Pascha resurrectionis and Pascha crucifixionis.

Pascha- Passover. A more careful study of the Old and New Testament reveals that Passover is the precursor to the new Passover. Jesus Christ replaces the passover lamb and thus is know as the Lamb of God. I can't possibly do justice to that mystery in this space today, but that is the connection. Christians who are so far removed from the authority of the church seem to me to be floundering. They try so hard on their own to do what is "pleasing to God" that they start questioning everything and once they arrive at what they think are the correct answers, pontificating to others about what is or is not pleasing to God. The condemnation of Easter Egg hunts etc., is a good example.





Join me this Resurrection Sunday in celebrating Jesus' resurrection from the dead - the most joyous day of the year. Leave Easter baskets, Easter eggs, and egg hunts out. Do give each of your children a gift in the morning, but it should be from YOU, not from "the Easter Bunny." It should not be a basket full of candy fertility symbols that have nothing to do with Jesus. I suggest the gifts be a nice little toy, and/or some books. This year I'm hoping to get each of my children their own piggy banks. When you give them their gifts, read scripture to them about Jesus' dying and raising from the dead. Emphasize how this is a gift from God to us, and you are now giving your children a gift, in remembrance of God's gift to us.
Let's take it a step further. When your church holds it's annual Easter Egg hunt, don't let your children participate. Instead, have something special (maybe another surprise gift) to give to your children while the others are on the pagan hunt. Explain to your children ahead of time why you will not be participating in the hunt, and how you want your children and yourself to be true to God, and not to compromise/confuse the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday by partaking in a pagan fertility event. Just because the event is hosted by a church, does not make it okay to participate in. Go ahead and let the others see you and your children not participating. When they ask why, lovingly explain it to them. Maybe you can be instrumental in helping to open hearts, and this could begin a revival.Stand for the truth. Even in "small" matters like church sponsored Easter Egg Hunts. Easter Egg Hunts are what the world does. We are called to be separate. Sometimes the world tries to invade even our churches. When that happens, then our separation from the world needs to occur right there in church.
This of course is ridiculous. Pagans didn't hold exclusive rights to eggs! In the passover seder meal eggs symbolize new life! Our celebration of Easter is also a celebration of new life.

Phillipians 4:8
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I don't think we should try to scare new Christians that they are somehow displeasing God whenever they look at a Peep!




Instead remember that this is a celebration of Christ's Resurrection (which incidentally Candy is joining the universal church for, not the other way around!) after the long 40 days of self-denial and penance. Coloring eggs, egg hunts, new dresses, baskets, all of it, are our ways of celebrating that and an excellent way for churches to build community, fellowship and have a little fun!

Tonight is the great Easter vigil and my family will be heavily participating in that as musicians and servers. May all of my fellow bloggers, and readers have a very Blessed and Holy Easter Sunday!








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15 comments:

Perplexity said...

I've never been able to understand why it is considered so wrong, by some, to celebrate all elements of a particular season or holiday.

I have never been one to believe that individual elements or histories of holidays have to be mutually exclusive. I've never understood, at all, why there has to be such separation. Many holidays are "combined" for a reason; transition from one way of life to another is easier if some of the old traditions are kept.

I grew up with a melting pot of religions in my family. We didn't practice, my grandmother was Lutheran, about half the aunts, uncles & cousin's were Catholic, close friends of the family were Baptist. But, we all sat down to Easter dinner together at my aunt's house, after everyone went to their respective churches - or not - and we all went on an Easter egg hunt after dinner. We all wore our new spring outfits, we looked for blooms in the ground and robins in the trees. All the kids traded candy and we played with Easter basket trinkets.

Everyone enjoyed a day of being together. Meanings of the holiday were not argued over. Everyone held, in their heart and mind, their reasons for doing what they were doing. Everyone knew what was important to them about the day.

Even with the Easter bunny and baskets and candy and eggs and new dresses (and hats) and a big ham dinner. They're not trappings of something negative; they enhance the celebration of life. Of life renewed.

Swylv said...

As you know this weekend is not special to me...other than weekly Shabbat and we just celebrated Purim. I'm waiting for the real Passover date this year to keep the Feasts...that's not until a month from now.

but thanks for pointing out that CB is joining the catholic church which she claims to be against in keeping 12/25 and 3/23/08...I love that about this weblog

Maggii said...

to be honest the "Easter" post of hers totally confused me....she seems to waffle from one side to the other...

First she posts this:
"Does your Bible say 'Easter,' or 'Passover' in the above passage? If your Bible says "Passover," then throw that Bible away, it is corrupted. "Easter" is the correct translation of the word "pascha" here, even though in other places "pascha" is translated as "Passover." Take a look at verse 3:

And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) -Acts 12:3"


then she posts this:

"Do you celebrate with Easter baskets, egg coloring, egg hunts, the Easter Bunny, etc.? Then I presume you are unknowingly celebrating part of an ancient pagan fertility festival. The name "Easter" comes from 'Ishtar,' which is a derivative from Ashtoreth. Among many things, Ashtoreth was a fertility goddess. Bunnies and eggs are serious pagan fertility symbols, and have nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus' resurrection. Have you ever wondered why the easter bunnies lay eggs? The answer of the easter bunny laying the egg lies in the sybmology of fertility cults."


In the first she seems to advocate the use of "Easter" saying Easter is the proper term from the Bible.......in the second she seems to denounce it? claiming the word "Easter" comes from some pagan goddess

Maggii said...

and the way I see it...if we denounce everything that pagans did...we wouldn't be able to do anything...

some Christians like to pick and choose what 'pagan' themes are acceptable to suit their own needs...some will do 'eggs' but no 'bunny', others will do 'baskets' but no 'eggs'...etc etc..who really gets to decide?..who's 'right'? and who's 'wrong'?

Joy said...

It is interesting to me that Candy, who goes on in her post about the evils of the word "Easter", does embrace the term "Easter" in her beloved "uncorrupted" 1611 KJV text, even going so far as to say that other translations using "Passover" instead of "Easter" are corrupted. Whether her IQ shot up 20 pts from reading the KJV I do not know, but it does not appear that the "logic" portion of her brain received a workout from it.

Maggii said...

yes the IQ thing certainly thru me for a loop...how exactly would one 'know' that?

Maggii said...

I never understand the whole King James arguement either....that bible came WAY after ours....and yet WE are the one's with the 'changed', 'corrupted" one?

and Why would I trust a Bible named after some King? not even JESUS the "KING" but 'King James"?I mean who names the Bible after themselves or after some mere mortal?

Blondie said...

I believe Candy wears a wedding ring. Maybe she should consider throwing that away since it has pagan roots.

Ashley said...

Hi. This is my first time to your site. I obviously came here off Candy's site.

I have a couple questions, as you get time, please direct me to the answers.

You've made it clear that you believe Candy is not qualified to give biblical direction because she started reading the Bible 13 years ago and is not under the catholic church. Have you read the Bible? Does the catholic church give you insights into what the Bible says that you cannot figure out for yourself? If so, how do you know the church is right? Is the catholic church infallible? Has the catholic church ever been wrong?

What is the goal of the catholicism? How long have you been catholic? How do you know you're right?

What do you tell your children (if you have kids) about Easter eggs, bunnies, etc? Is there any meaning or is it just "fun"?

Also, I was reading through some other comments, and I think its necessary to "weigh in." I think it would be good if when we're unclear what Candy means, we should ask her, not post our questions on another blog. Further, those demanding consistency in her religious celebration must first examine their own motives in commenting on this blog. Are your methods and motives for these comments CONSISTENT with your beliefs? Is the purpose of this blog and these comments consistent with what your church teaches and what you believe? Is your sole purpose to help Candy? If so, are these comments helpful? Is your purpose to state where she is wrong and correct her theology so that she can _____________? I am confused because as I read this site, in contrast with Candy's, it does have a very sarcastic feel. Is that consistent with your worldview? When you believe people are wrong, or lost, you make a seperate blog and "poke fun" further distancing you from the "lost or wrong" person?

Again, I am seeking some understanding in where you are coming from and what exactly you believe. I starting to understand what you don't believe, but I'm curious what you DO believe.

unknown anon said...

Ashley:

I'm not a blog owner/participant here, but I'll jump in since I've read your comment.

Candy, until this week, so far as I can see, has not allowed comments that don't agree with her point of view. She has posted things which are not only a "disagreement" but outright lies about Catholics. This blog was started to allow people who attempted to post in response a place where their words could be read, and in their entirety.

In addition, Candy has deliberately altered a commenter's signature. She deliberately changed someone's 'homepage link' to a website filled with lies about Catholics and what we believe. When she was contacted about this, she immediately banned those who rightly cried foul.

I'd like to ask you what makes her leadership better than the historic witness and timeless teaching of Christendom on matters such as Artificial Birth Control, marital relations, etc. Her casual one sentence dismissal of the 'context' of Onan and his sin goes against the teaching of all the church (Catholic and Protestant) until 'modern' times. What makes her reading correct, when the weight of Christian teaching on purity and self-control says otherwise?

As for this "Easter egg evil" opinion, certainly you are aware that the egg is an essential part of the Passover seder. Certainly, no matter where we come down on the issue of the "Messianic believer" movement, we certainly should take the legitimate use of the egg as a symbol of new life in the OT celebration into consideration when we consider the mystery of the new life given us by Christ. Just because other religions have used a symbol does not mean that God elimiates its use for us. Why is this issue of 'the Easter egg' so important?

I suggest that you look through the archives on this blog. I would challenge you to do the same at Candy's blog....but you can't because she does not allow her archives to be accessed. As you learn more, see if your perception changes.

I pray that you and your family have a blessed Easter season.

Kelly said...

Hello Ashley, and welcome to the blog!

I am one of the bloggers here, and I don't have a lot of time online at the moment, due to visiting family.

I'm afraid your questions are a bit overwhelming. Could you please dole them out in small increments?

I have often tried asking Candy questions about her beliefs, in a polite and honest way, and my comments are rarely posted on her blog. That is why this blog was started, for open discussion because it was not allowed on her blog.

If you take the time to read through some of the archives, you can find quite a bit about Catholic theology (which should knock off quite a few of your questions) and I know Elena has at least one FAQ post that covers why the blog was started, what her/our motivations are, etc. Perhaps she can post the link, if she has time.

Annie C said...

Hi Ashley...

I don't pretend to be nearly as well informed about my faith as some of the other women here. I was raised as a Catholic, but spent the time between high school and a couple of years ago away from the church, studying other faiths, before returning to re-learn my own. So I have to say, this is my take on your questions only, don't count me as an authority.

That said...

You've made it clear that you believe Candy is not qualified to give biblical direction because she started reading the Bible 13 years ago and is not under the catholic church.

When you need medical care, do you go to a doctor with 6-10 years of medical school under his belt, or to someone who's read a anatomy textbook, but has no other training? When you need pills, do you go to a licensed pharmacist, with years of study in chemistry and the human body, or do you go to someone who is just following the recipe and has never cooked before? When you need to keep yourself or a loved one out of jail, do you go to court with a trained lawyer or someone who has read a law book? And yet you'd rather be lead to Christ by someone who read the guidebook instead of someone with years and decades of studying His word and the works of the greatest thinkers on the subject. Does that make sense to you?

It's not that she's not Catholic, at least not for me. At this point I can safely say *I've* studied more about faith and religion than Candy has. She's been studying the Bible for 13 years, I've been studying the Bible for 23 years, even while I was away from the church, why should I trust her as an authority? And the Catholic church has been studying the Bible and the teachings of Christ for 2,008 years. I think they win the authority title there.

Have you read the Bible?

Yes, multiple translations. I prefer the New Jerusalem myself, but I've read several, including the KJV. And I've read the great books and authorities of other faiths as well.

Does the catholic church give you insights into what the Bible says that you cannot figure out for yourself?

Yes. For me much in the same way as a good college professor would. Some times it can help to have someone say "Well, have you thought about it this way? Have you taken this into account?"

If so, how do you know the church is right? Is the catholic church infallible?

That is something I learned to take on faith, but only in a specific number of cases. There is an authority the Pope and the Magisterium has that is considered infallible when invoked, but I believe that's only been invoked...twice? And both times were very specific and after decades if not centuries of study within the church? I want to say it was that Mary is/was eternally virgin, and that she was lifted bodily into Heaven, but I could be off on that. I will defer to the other ladies here about the specifics, I'm sure someone has them. Otherwise I can't say that they are 100% right, but they are time tested, and a heckofalot smarter about such things than I am.

Has the catholic church ever been wrong?

Yes. Any church is led by people, and as we are all sinners and all short of God we can all be wrong and make mistakes, sometimes horrendous ones. Can you show me any church or faith that has never been wrong? You can say that the Bible is always right and pure, but it is both translated and interpreted by mortal men, flawed sinners like the rest of us, so even in that case, someone can be wrong.

What is the goal of the catholicism?

I'm not quite certain I understand this question. I'm going to have to ask you to re-write it.

How long have you been catholic?

I was born and baptized Catholic, went to convent school through high school, fell away from my faith for a number of years, then returned to the church two years ago.

How do you know you're right?

I don't. In this case, in my case, I can only say I'm following my heart. This feels right and true to me.

What do you tell your children (if you have kids) about Easter eggs, bunnies, etc? Is there any meaning or is it just "fun"?

No kids yet, but I plan to tell them it's a fun, family tradition. I'll tell them that their great-grandfather wove the baskets they're using for their egg hunts, and about the time Aunt Anna dyed an egg brown in her coffee. It's a way of connecting the generations and celebrating.

Now, I'm not going to answer the rest of your questions, because I think they are properly directed at one of the blog owners or authors, not me. I will suggest that you be a bit patient, since it is a big holiday weekend for Catholics, and most of the authors here, I believe, have large families which means lots of kids and cooking over the next few days. I'm sure they'll get back to you.

I know I post here at times to keep a public record of the comments I've tried to make on Candy's blog, because she has been known not to publish criticism, even respectful criticism, and to alter peoples comments. And I admit to being highly snarky at times, but then having someone repeat and repeat outrageous lies about your faith might make anyone a little snarky too.

Elena said...

Greetings Ashley,

I've got kids hunting for their Easter baskets, another singing for morning mass, and I have to perform at the 11:00 mass, so I'll try to be brief!

I have read the perspective that the bible is an "Every man's book." I know that Samuel Gipp, an author that Candy respects has that perspective. And in some ways of course the bible is meant to give direction and inspiration.

However, the bible was written originally in ancient times, in Hebrew and Greek. I think sometimes the subtle meanings from that time, culture and translation in English is very difficult for a "lay person" to pick up on. In that sense, I think sometimes when a lay person speaks authoritatively on scripture as if their interpretation is THE OFFICIAL WAY TO LOOK AT IT, it can be problematic. I think readers who come to Candy for guidance and direction should be aware of the scope and depth of her qualifications to make such statements don't you? And to her credit Candy is very up front about it, so I don't see a problem with merely reiterate what she herself has said.

Have you read the Bible?

Yes. Some parts more than others of course. I can't say that the law books in the old testament are a big favorite to slog through.

I would also say that I have read the Deuterocanonical books that were part of ALL Christian bibles until Martin Luther ripped them out 500 years ago.

"Does the catholic church give you insights into what the Bible says that you cannot figure out for yourself?"

Absolutely. This business about oral sex and spilling seed is one example. In fact our late pope John Paul II developed an entire Theology of the Body and how it relates to human sexuality, holiness and heaven. It's a fascinating study.


"If so, how do you know the church is right?"

Because scripture says that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.

" Is the catholic church infallible?"

When the Pope and the Magesterium speak in unison on matters of faith and morals, yes the Catholic Church is infallible. Jesus promised it would be so. "What ever you bind on earth, will be bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth, will be loosed in heaven."

"Has the catholic church ever been wrong?"

No. Individuals in the Catholic Church have been wrong and even sinful. But when the Catholic Church under the guardian ship of the Holy Spirit teaches from the deposit of faith, it is never in error.

"What is the goal of the catholicism?"

In a nutshell from the catechism of the Catholic church:
98 "The Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes" (DV 8 § 1).


How long have you been catholic?
48 years and 9 months, five or take.

How do you know you're right?
"I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God" I have faith.


"What do you tell your children (if you have kids) about Easter eggs, bunnies, etc? Is there any meaning or is it just "fun"?"

I have six children ages 2 to 18. It's fun. We actually spend more time going over the story of the Passover, and the story of Christ's passion and resurrection. The candy and stuff is merely fun.

"Also, I was reading through some other comments, and I think its necessary to "weigh in." I think it would be good if when we're unclear what Candy means, we should ask her, not post our questions on another blog."

Ashley, you need to go back to my archives, which are very clearly marked on my side bar to re-read the history of this blog.

Candy and I did briefly correspond last week and while she has been very gracious in allowing us to read and comment, I do not feel comfortable monopolizing her blog with as much content as we have here. Candy is very welcome to come here and respond.


"Further, those demanding consistency in her religious celebration must first examine their own motives in commenting on this blog."

Well covered in the archives.

" Are your methods and motives for these comments CONSISTENT with your beliefs? "

Apologetics and scriptural exegesis is a big part of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.

"Is the purpose of this blog and these comments consistent with what your church teaches and what you believe?"

You mean is it part of our Catholic faith to defend the faith and speak for the truth? Yes.


"Is your sole purpose to help Candy?"

No. The sole purpose of this blog is to give information regarding the truth of what the Catholic Church and Catholicism is all about.

" If so, are these comments helpful? "

I get e-mails all the time that people find the articles very helpful.


"Is your purpose to state where she is wrong and correct her theology so that she can _____________?"

The purpose is to stat what the Catholic church teaches.

"I am confused because as I read this site, in contrast with Candy's, it does have a very sarcastic feel."

Interesting. I get a sarcastic vibe from reading Candy's blog many times!

"Is that consistent with your worldview?"

Is what consistent with my world view?


"When you believe people are wrong, or lost, you make a seperate blog and "poke fun" further distancing you from the "lost or wrong" person?"

I made a separate blog to document my comments on Candy's blog which were not being published and which were then wrongly slandered. Also to post correct information about the church.

We do not poke fun of anyone here. We do not allow ad hominem attacks here and if anyone posted an ad hominem attack against Candy it would be swiftly deleted.



Again, I am seeking some understanding in where you are coming from and what exactly you believe. I starting to understand what you don't believe, but I'm curious what you DO believe.

Here you go!
http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

Ashley said...

Thanks for your comments. I will break down some of my questions into smaller pieces. My first question is: Can you be a true Christian if you reject the catholic church?
Thanks,
Ashley

Elena said...

Ashley this part of the catechism may help:

817 In fact, "in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame."269 The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ's Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism270 - do not occur without human sin:

Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.271

818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276


838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."324




"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338