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Friday, April 21, 2006

Various Thoughts on Easter 

Well, since it's almost gonna be Easter in a few days, it's -

Oh. wait a minute. Yes, Easter will occur in a few days - if you're from the Eastern Orthodox tradition:

[Olga] Pascalenos and others who follow the Orthodox tradition will celebrate Easter on Sunday, a week after most Christian churches. Besides Holy Trinity, area Orthodox churches include St. Andrew in East Lansing and St. James in Williamston.

The difference in Easter dates is the result of mathematical calculations based on different calendars. While most Christian churches use the Gregorian calendar to figure out when after the spring equinox Easter will fall, the Orthodox church uses the older Julian calendar.

Incidentally, this also explains why Russia's October Revolution is celebrated in November, and why George Washington was born on February 11, eleven days before the "traditionalists" celebrated it on February 22.

So, since it's almost Easter, this is a good time to plunge into this Eostre thingie:

Easter is not really a solar festival, but rather one of the moon. The name Easter comes to us from the Saxon Eostre (synonymous with the phoenician Astarte), goddess of the moon. From the most ancient times, this goddess was the measurer of time. Her name as we know it (moon) comes from the Sanskrit mas from ma, to measure, and was masculine (as it was in all the Teutonic languages).


According to St. Bede, an English historian of the early 8th century, Easter owes its origin to the old Teutonic mythology. It was derived from the name Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, to whom the month of April was dedicated. The festival of Eostre was celebrated at the vernal equinox, when the day and night gets an equal share of the day.

The English name "Easter" is much newer. When the early English Christians wanted others to accept Christianity, they decided to use the name Easter for this holiday so that it would match the name of the old spring celebration. This made it more comfortable for other people to accept Christianity.

And here's how a Satanist looks at the whole thing (we're thieves!):

Satanic Holidays are based upon the natural cycles. What is known as "Satanism" is humanity's original religion. The holidays listed below precede Christianity by hundreds to thousands of years. Because the Christian Church could not murder everyone, the original holidays were taken and Christianized in attempts to convert as many as possible.

The fictitious nazarene has nothing to do with xmas. Xmas coincides with the Winter Solstice and the Yule season, the shortest day of the year. December 25th is the birthdate of the Persian God Mithra, and the Roman Holiday of Saturnalis. The tree, the decorations, baking, gifts and celebrating have NOTHING to do with the nazarene. These are carry-overs from original Pagan celebrations.

"Easter" was stolen from Astaroth. Originally known as "Ashtar." This holiday coincides with the Vernal Equinox of spring when day and night are of equal length. Known as "Eastre" to the Anglo-Saxons. As the Goddess of fertility, she was associated with rabbits and eggs. The Christians stole this holiday and twisted its meaning. Other names include: Easter, Eastre, Eos, Eostre, Ester, Estrus, (Estrus is when an animal goes into heat; mating season) Oestrus, Oistros, and Ostara. Again, the "Lamb of God" was stolen from the Zodiac sign of Aries the Ram which occurs every spring.

If so, it was stolen centuries before Christ, at the time of Moses. Speaking of that time, here is what the Church of God, International says:

Very early after being rescued from slavery and established as a new nation under God's own laws, the Israelites turned to the idolatrous customs and practices of neighboring nations....

The pagan Zidonians, the Philistines, Moabites, Edomites, and other surrounding tribes served the same gods and goddesses sometimes manifested in different ways.
One of the prominent features (also adopted by sinning Israelites) was the worship of the goddess "Ishtar" in groves, called "asherim." This is merely the plural word for "Asherah," which meant an upright pale, or the trunk of a tree, stripped of its branches and leaves, and worshiped in the setting of a grove of trees, usually on a hilltop, representing life. (It was a phallic symbol.)...

The worship of the upright pales, or phallic symbols, was closely associated with the
worship of other forms of the procreation of life. The whole festival at springtime, in the minds of the ancient pagans, was closely allied to the midwinter festivals when pagans implored their sun god to begin his northern journey once again, bringing back the warming rays of the sun and hastening spring, when new life would
once again spring forth....

Almighty God said He hated this imagery and idolatry, and called all such ceremonies of the pagans great abominations!

Read Ezekiel 8! In this shocking chapter of the Bible, Ezekiel, in spirit, is shown the horrifying abominations of the sinning Israelites who had made an "image of jealousy" which "provoked to jealousy" the Eternal God (verses 3,4)!...

Incidentally, this Church must use very huge needles for its camels (emphasis mine):

The time of one’s judgment is the time of his opportunity for salvation, extending from one’s calling by God until his death (or the resurrection at Christ’s return). Those who shall qualify for God’s Kingdom—the overwhelming majority—shall inherit eternal life, and those who deliberately reject God’s way shall be consumed in the lake of fire.

(And how can you weep and gnash your teeth if you have been consumed? But I digress.)

Here's a portion of what the Catholic Encyclopedia has to say:

Ecclesiastical history preserves the memory of three distinct phases of the dispute regarding the proper time of observing Easter....

The first [phase] was mainly concerned with the lawfulness of celebrating Easter on a weekday. We read in Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., V, xxiii): "A question of no small importance arose at that time [i.e. the time of Pope Victor, about A.D. 190]. The dioceses of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should always be observed as the feast of the life-giving pasch [epi tes tou soteriou Pascha heortes], contending that the fast ought to end on that day, whatever day of the week it might happen to be. However it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this point, as they observed the practice, which from Apostolic tradition has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast on no other day than on that of the Resurrection of our Saviour...."

The second stage in the Easter controversy centres round the Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325). Granted that the great Easter festival was always to be held on a Sunday, and was not to coincide with a particular phase of the moon, which might occur on any day of the week, a new dispute arose as to the determination of the Sunday itself....

The Roman missionaries coming to England in the time of St. Gregory the Great found the British Christians, the representatives of that Christianity which had been introduced into Britain during the period of the Roman occupation, still adhering to an ancient system of Easter-computation which Rome itself had laid aside. The British and Irish Christians were not Quartodecimans, as some unwarrantably accused them of being, for they kept the Easter festival upon a Sunday....

No question about whether Easter should be celebrated or not.

And last but not least, here's how apostolic.net addresses the pagan issue:

I know that there are a few Christians who believe it is wrong to celebrate Easter and Christmas because the roots of these holidays are in paganism. There is no doubt that they have their roots in paganism. This is not disputed. What I do believe should be examined is the argument that says anything which has its roots in paganism should be avoided by Christians today. I would argue that nearly everything in our culture is rooted in paganism. Even the names of the months of the year and planets are named after pagan gods. The names of the days of the week also have their origin in paganism....The basic idea behind our government is Roman, which is a pagan culture. The fact of the matter is that our entire culture is rooted in paganism. Just because something has its roots in paganism, does not mean that it is evil today. The question we must ask ourselves is whether something that is pagan in origin still carries the same pagan connotations it once did....Obviously in our culture Christmas and Easter have become Christian in meaning instead of pagan. That which has its roots in paganism is often divorced from its original meaning, and invested with new, non-pagan meaning over time. This has been the case with Easter and Christmas.

If we were to try to divorce ourselves from everything pagan, we would have to go out of society. The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as a Christian culture. Christians can only separate themselves from evil aspects of the culture as much as they can, and attempt to live the best godly lives they know how. The question remains, then, as to what is evil in the culture. Part of the solution lies in common sense. Applying common-sense to the Easter and Christmas issue, when people see Christians celebrating Easter and Christmas, do they view this as a pagan celebration, or a Christian celebration? Of course they view it as Christian. The pagan roots of these holidays have been divorced from these holidays, and they have been invested with new Christian meaning, and even new American cultural meaning. Easter egg hunting, Easter bunnies, and Christmas trees may have had pagan meaning, but they have been replaced with an American cultural meaning which has nothing to do with their original meaning....

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