Monday, March 17, 2008

For the Love of Ritualistic Traditions

As a child I absolutely loved "Sesame Street"! Every morning I would settle down  with my pillow and immerse myself in an hour of colorful, monster puppets and dancing letters. My most favorite part of the program was when the game "Guess Which Thing Doesn't belong Here" came on.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this game, it was a game in which four things, people etc, would be portrayed and three of those things were similar leaving one thing that didn't "belong".

It's around major Christian holidays such as Easter I feel as if I'm once again, piecing together the things that don't belong. Take a look at the pictures I have selected below.

Can you tell me which thing/person doesn't belong here?

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If you choose the cross of Christ as the "object" that doesn't belong in this group, then you are correct! If feel they are all related...(sigh) what can I say?

Traditions Verses Faith

For those of you who don't know who the woman in the last picture is, she is the fertility goddess Ostara, also called Eostre.

"Easter is named for a Saxon goddess who was known by the names of Oestre or Eastre, and in Germany by the name of Ostara. She is a goddess of the dawn and the spring, and her name derives from words for dawn, the shining light arising from the east. Our words for the "female hormone" estrogen derives from her name." --

The History of Easter and It's Traditions

Now we know that Ostara is a pagan fertility goddess, what do rabbits and eggs have to do with her??

"Ostara was, of course, a fertility goddess. Bringing in the end of winter, with the days brighter and growing longer after the vernal equinox, Ostara had a passion for new life.  Her presence was felt in the flowering of plants and the birth of babies, both animal and human. The rabbit (well known for its propensity for rapid reproduction) was her sacred animal.

Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny both featured in the spring festivals of Ostara, which were initially held during the feasts of the goddess Ishtar | Inanna. Eggs are an obvious symbol of fertility, and the newborn chicks an adorable representation of new growth. Brightly colored eggs, chicks, and bunnies were all used at festival time to express appreciation for Ostara's gift of abundance." -- The History of Easter and It's Traditions

You can do your own research on the origins of Easter. If you would like to read the article in full click on the link at the end of the post. The article ends with the most true, yet scary sentiment that plagues our Christian culture:

"Easter eggs, the Easter Bunny, the dawn that arrives with resurrection of life, and the celebration of spring all serve to remind us of the cycle of rebirth and the need for renewal in our lives. In the history of Easter, Christian and pagan traditions are gracefully interwoven." (emphasis mine)

Don't get me wrong, my Faith stands in power of Christ. Easter bunnies, eggs and fertility goddesses are of no threat to me, what is so sad to me is that many uphold these traditions, when they obviously have nothing to do with the saving power of Grace and Christ's sacrifice of His life...simply for the love of ritualistic traditions. Isn't time for ALL of us to reevaluate EVERYTHING we know to be "Christian", in comparison to the principle teaching of the Word and Spirit???

Links:

History of Easter and It's Traditions (www.goddessgift.com)

8 comments:

  1. Most of this world's holidays are based on fables, myths, and lies, while the Christian is commanded to worship God "in spirit and in truth." A true Christian does not lie and does not associate with lies, but seeks after truth in all aspects of life. If we follow the world and it's lies, then we have become party to those lies and stand just as guilty.

    Excellent post Hannah! :)

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  2. As a former WCG member, we avoided all major Christian holidays and labeled them pagan. Although we were no better than the rest of mainstream Christianity in "works", the Easter holiday is something I STILL consider pagan (as it obviously is.

    Thanks for sharing Carol. :)

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  3. I was just thinking about this topic as well in the past couple of days and planned on writing something up about whether we should actually celebrate Easter.

    Some might say it's an occasion to celebrate the Resurrection anyhow, but I see more significance in observing the Passover.

    In some of my readings, that goddess is Astarte, and was actually referred to as the 'queen of heaven' that the Israelites were worshiping and warned of by the prophet Jeremiah.

    Thus it is that I quite disagree with Christians observing days that have a pagan origin. Much as calling yoga poses by Christian names doesn't make them Christian in any way, neither does re-labeling pagan observations with Christian significance not take away the pagan origin.

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  4. Sicarii,

    I'm in total agreement with you. We kept the Passover under WCG. Although I stopped doing that, I would keep the Passover BEFORE I participate in Easter celebrations.

    You are right, Astarte is referred to the "queen of heaven". I found a LOT of eye-opening information upon researching for this post, I decided to focus on this website I found instead.

    Shalom!

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  5. A correction:

    I said "Although I stopped doing that, I would keep the Passover BEFORE I participate in Easter celebrations."

    I mean INSTEAD OF participating in Easter celebration... so there is no misunderstanding...I completely reject the pagan origins of Easter.

    Christ's name OR Resurrection has no business being associated with an idol.

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  6. Aye, Hannah, I totally understood what you meant, so no worries. :)

    I've actually written up a post linking to your article.

    Shalom!

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  7. Grow and Know by BrotherMark is an absolutely wonderful Blog. I discovered a post he put up a few days ago called

    Easter or Ishtar? http://growandknow.blogspot.com/2008/03/easter-or-ishtar.html

    He made a comment on the bottom of the post referring to the term "Easter" in the King James Version...if you have a moment, pop over there and take a look...

    ReplyDelete

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