Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter -- Is It Pagan?

Posted by Sola Sisters

It really is ok to celebrate Easter! My Christian friends, there is no need for you to be afraid that you are participating in a pagan ritual to worship the sun god Baal or the pagan goddess Ishtar if you choose to celebrate Easter. For those unfamiliar with these ideas, they were once widely held and taught by Christian writer Ralph Woodrow, who promoted the idea of Easter as being a pagan holiday that Christians should not participate in. This idea also promulgated by Christian historian Alexander Hislop, and which we wrote about here.

From the more recent article Easter -- Is It Pagan? by Ralph Woodrow, who has since changed his views:
"Those who oppose the celebration of Christ's resurrection at the Easter season, sometimes make the wild claim that those who do so, are really worshipping the Sun- god Baal! They quote Ezekiel 8:14-16 about 'women weeping for Tammuz' and men worshipping 'the sun toward the east.' This, it is claimed, was the real origin of Good Friday and Easter Sunrise Services! But there is no valid connection. If a Christian group chooses to have a special service at sunrise to proclaim the good news of an empty tomb and resurrected Christ, it is not pagan. After all, it was at sunrise that the women came to the tomb and discovered it was empty: 'And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun' (Mk. 16:2). No Christian has ever gone to an Easter Sunrise Service to worship the Sun-god Baal. We admire Christians who desire to stand for the purity of the gospel, who do not want paganism in the church. But we should be certain that what we reject is indeed pagan, so that in pulling up weeds, we do not pull up the wheat also."
In closing, let me state that I am not urging any of my fellow Christians to go against their consciences and celebrate Easter (or Christmas, for that matter) if they are not comfortable doing so. I simply ask that they not condemn those of us do feel freedom to participate in these holidays, as we celebrate our Savior who came, lived, died and was raised from the dead so that we all might walk in newness of life.

 Additional Resources 

Myths From Hislop: A Call To Examine Facts

Why Christmas on Dec. 25?

To Christmas or Not To Christmas? That Is The Question