On the subject of Easter we are confronted by the facts (scriptural position) and the FALLACIES (the traditions of the church). The facts of the scriptures represents the Spirit of Truth (Christ) while the fallacies of church traditions represents the Spirit of Error (Devil). Truth will give life because of the potency and power to transform the hearer by the Word of God. (John 6:63) But fallacy will give death because the traditions of men (mixture of the word of God and dogma) makes the Word of God of none effect (Mark 7:13). We must therefore in this last days scrutinize and x-ray every doctrines and beliefs otherwise we will be vulnerable to these traditions of men. (1 John 4:1) Could it be that we Christians are being slowly conditioned to accept the compelling, pervasive, permissive traditions around us without our even knowing it? Yes, Christmas, Easter Sunday, Good Friday, are perceived to be Christian feasts but a closer study indicates that they are mere church traditions taught and foisted on the world to be celebrated annually. But what says the Bible?
THE BASIC DIFFERENCE.
You must realize that there are really only two powers in all the universe? All of our differences between beliefs and differences between religions and all the rest of the little minor doctrinal differences are connected with one or the other of those powers- the powers of God and Satan?s power. The power of life and the power of death. Death is only a perversion of life; a lie is only the truth mis-told; adultery is a righteous act mis-used. Everything Satan has is something that was perverted, that is power. Christmas is a perversion of the actual birth of Jesus Christ while Easter is a perversion of His death and resurrection.
The basic difference between the Roman Catholic approach to Christianity and the general Biblical protestant view should be explained.Roman Catholic doctrines has been based partly on Scripture, partly on traditions and ideas handed down by church fathers and partly on beliefs borrowed from paganism if these beliefs could be Christianized.
Concepts from all of these sources have been mixed together, developed, finally to be made dogmas at various Catholic councils over the centuries.
But the view that protestant Reformations sought to revive as a standpoint was a return to the actual scriptures as a more sound basis for doctrine, with little or no emphasis on ideas that developed later. The fact remains that sincerity is not a test of Christianity. God?s work must be done God?s way. When we can?t tell the difference between scriptural truth and church traditions and when the Apostles? doctrines are being substituted for church creeds and dogmas as same, then it?s time to stop and ask ourselves a very important question: who is really being worshipped?In the practice ofreligion, divine guidance is by-passed, then Christian orthodoxy and devotion are left totally vulnerable to the manipulations of corporate profiteers. Subsequently, being spiritual and being led of the Holy Spirit cannot always be looked upon synonymously. God moves by His Spirit, not by theology and church traditions.
By the third and forth centuries, however, what was known as the ?church? had in many ways departed from the original faith, falling into the apostasy about which the apostles had warned ?But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (2 Peter 2:1-3).
When the falling away came, much paganism was mixed with Christianity. Unconverted pagans were taken into the church and in numerous instances were allowed to continue many of their pagan rites and customs ?usually with a few reservations or changes to make their beliefs appear more similar to Christian doctrines.
THE ASSUMPTION OF CHURCH FATHERS.
The reason for the mixture of Christianity and paganism is not far fetch. Catholic Scholars, (drawing from the Catholic encyclopedia) know and recognize that there are customs within their church which were borrowed from paganism. But they reason that many things, though originally pagan, can be Christianized. If some pagan tribe observed forty days in honor of a pagan god, why should we not do the same, only in honor of Christ? That is logic and not scripture. This was how the forty days Lenten fast evolved.It was actually an adoption into the church from the pagan practice and belief to commemorate fallacy of the death and resurrection of Tammuz or Nimrod as he is well known. It is not of Apostolic Institution which certainly had no scriptural claim to be so regarded except that the pope in the sixth century officially ordered the observance of lent, calling it a ?Sacred fast?. This Lenten fast has spread itself out over the Pentecostal denominations who now engage their adherent in as much as one hundred days fast annually.
Though pagans worshipped the sun toward east, could we not have sunrise services to honor the resurrection of Christ, even though this was not the time of day he rose? ?With feigned words ? many shall follow their pernicious ways.? (2Peter 2:2-3). True, the pagan worship of the sun towards the east date as far back as Babel and a practice that infiltrated the Sanctuary of God in Judaism in the time of Prophet Ezekiel. ?Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD?S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz (Nimrod). And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD?S house and behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east: and they worshipped the sun toward the east.? (Ezekiel 8:14-16).
The dogma of painting eggs was used by pagans, and the Catholics postulate, can?t we continue its use and pretend it symbolized the large rock that was in front of the tomb? In other words, why not adopt all kinds of popular customs, only instead of using them to honor pagan gods, as the heathen did, use them to honor Christ?
It all sounds very logical, yet a much safer guideline is found in the Bible itself. ?Take heed ? that thou inquire not after their gods (pagan gods), saying: How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God ? what thing soever I command you, observe to do it, thou shalt not add there to (Deut. 12:30-32).