While enjoying my really good coffee, this afternoon, I’m thinking about a question (Read the Title) given me by a University Professor… His name will remain anonymous in order to prevent “cancel-culturitis”.
Perhaps a light look (under 500 words) at an answer while enjoying my coffee?…
Most people professing ‘Christian’, Catholic, or Mormon beliefs don’t seem to be aware of how many “popular ideas” we practice which were actually ‘borrowed’ from pagan belief systems (those that don’t believe in the G-d of Abraham).
Did you know; Easter was not practiced in this nation until after the Civil War, or that Lent, The Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween, and Sunrise Services were all ‘borrowed’ from pagan religious ideas in order to ‘encourage congregational growth’? Christmas was left off this list because of similarity to “The Festival of Lights”… which is not a pagan practice.
When we ‘borrow’ practices from paganism (in order to see an ‘increase’ in our congregation size or for any reason), a distortion of the foundations of our own belief system occurs. We might end up with a product that is a new religion, not a better way of life. More importantly, we begin a process of actually destroying ourselves from within! Lev. 20:22- 23, and Jer. 10:1- 27 clearly tell us to avoid customs and practices of pagans. Within the context of these verses G-d encourages us to keep all (not just some) of His decrees.
We’re reminded, with the incidents involving (Num. 22:2 – 25:9) Bilaam and Balak, that we can unknowingly open ourselves up to the worship of ‘other gods’ when we become intimately involved with a pagan society. If we are unfamiliar with this particular incident, it’s well worth reading carefully, in order to understand how G-d’s people were being tricked into worshiping a false deity… The results were that G-d’s people were corrupted from within and the cost was catastrophically evident; approximately 24,000 had died before Pinchas’s actions averted further disaster!
On the flip side, Christianity, by losing touch and forgetting about the Feasts and Festival Celebrations, which are vivid reminders of what G-d is doing and planning to do, for all of His people, also lost a critical ability to be able to speak and have understanding discourse with its very roots!
Leviticus 23:2, 23:4 and Numbers 15:3 speak of these symbols and within the context we are told to “… proclaim them in their seasons”. G-d tells us that these are to be “…. sacred assemblies…”! They are as important to Gentile believers, those who are ‘grafted in’, as they are to his ‘chosen people’. Yeshua set the example, as He walked and observed them, even the ‘national historic’ one, Hanukkah aka (Festival of Lights) (see John 10:22).
The ‘Good Book’ references are provided in order to help those who are interested in taking a ‘further’ look!