“DO YOU CELEBRATE EASTER?” (by John Waddey)

“DO YOU CELEBRATE EASTER?” (by John Waddey)

Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

April 8th, 2007, 12:13 am #1


<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: [[url=mailto:fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com]fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com[/url]] On Behalf of John Waddey
Sent: Saturday, April 07, 2007 2:54 PM
To: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [fortify_your_faith] A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith - 04/07/07</font>

DO YOU CELEBRATE EASTER?

<font color=black face=arial>Dear Friends in Christ:

Today's lesson answers a question commonly asked of New Testament Christians. It provides a good way to respond to those who sincerely ask us about our faith and practice. It also reminds our own brethren why we do not observe a special Easter celebration. Please feel free to forward this to others in your e-mail address book or make copies to share with those where you worship.

— John Waddey</font>

___________________________________

  • <font size=5>
    DO YOU CELEBRATE EASTER?
    </font>

    <font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Our neighbors sometimes ask, Does the Church of Christ celebrate Easter? To understand their question and to properly answer it a bit of information is needed.

    For 21st century Americans, Easter means many things. For example, for some it is the annual time for displaying spring clothing fashions. For children, it is a time for gifts, candy treats, pastel colored bunny rabbits and an Easter egg hunt. For teens and young adults, it is a time for spring break from school. For Catholic and Protestant churches, it is a time for pageants, choral performances and communion. Even those church bodies consumed by liberal skepticism celebrate Easter. Although their preachers do not believe in the literal, bodily resurrection of Jesus, they dutifully perform the rituals of the season.

    Historically, Easter was a time for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Although it is the oldest of the holy days church leaders have designated, it was not observed during the time the apostles were here to guide the church. J.D. Douglas notes,"...the Scriptures make no provision for the observance of Easter as the day of the resurrection..." (Dictionary of the History of the Christian Church, p. 322). It was well into the second century when the practice became common. Over the centuries it grew to become one of the two most celebrated days in the year for Catholic and Protestant bodies.

    "The derivation of the name 'Easter' is uncertain. According to Bede (673-735 A.D.) it is connected with an Anglo-Saxon spring goddess, "Eostre." At any rate it seems clear that as in the case of Christmas, the Christian feast of Easter has superseded an old pagan festival" (Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church p. 432-433).

    But do Churches of Christ celebrate Easter? Most of our members have a family day on Easter Sunday. They gather for a nice meal and fellowship. Most of our small children will have their Easter eggs and candy, stuffed rabbits and an egg hunt. Many of our people will adorn their spring clothing on that day and our older youngsters will enjoy the holiday from school.

    On the Sunday designated as Easter every church of Christ in the world will assemble for worship. On that day they will participate in holy communion and will hear a lesson from God's Word. Many of the lessons will discuss the resurrection of Christ and what it means for us. But then we do that every first day of every week of the year. We do so because that is how the early church, under the supervision of the apostles, celebrated the resurrection of Christ. He was raised on the first day (John 20:1) and on that day his disciples have gathered to celebrate the event (Acts 20:7). We have no pageants, plays or special programs. This does not indicate in the least a lack of faith in, gratitude for or lack of interest in the resurrection of our Lord.

    Rather, it is evidence of our commitment to worship and serve God in the same way as did the church in the beginning. We do not wish to incorporate anything into our faith or worship that has originated with uninspired men, no matter how old or how popular it may be. We hope you share this commitment.</font>
___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
Quote
Share

Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

April 8th, 2007, 1:07 am #2

<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>And … how is the “Easter” scene different this year from the previous year … and the year before … and all the other preceding years? And who would be the best actor or the best actress in the saints’ minds when they leave the performing arts center? The annual portrayal of the Easter scene is going on even as we speak. Hopefully, there’s not an observance of the Lord’s Supper on this Saturday evening.

Well, here are the announcements from this past Sunday’s “worship” guide [the first one printed at the bottom of the “contemporary” page]:
  • <font size=6 color=black face=arial black>________________________

    EASTER
    DRAMA</font>

    <font size=4 color=black face=arial black>SATURDAY, APRIL 7
    7 P.M.
    SUNDAY, APRIL 8
    10:15 A.M.</font>

    <font size=6 color=black face=arial black>________________________ </font>
    <font color=black>”Join us next Sunday for Easter worship. A traditional service will take place at 8 a.m., and an Easter drama will take place at our 10:15 a.m. worship hour.”</font>
Uh-huh! The “traditional” folks are being deprived of the “Interactive Easter Drama Worship”? Thanks, but no thanks! The point is this—do you not understand that there is an unsettled “spiritual” segregation or divide evident in this body of believers?

Please read the announcement above again.</font>
Quote
Share

Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

April 8th, 2007, 4:53 pm #3

At the Baptist church that I left, the Easter drama one year included a portrayal of the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus. The man who played Jesus initially decided that the Spirit of Christ should address Saul in an eerie, ghostly manner, as if He were a Halloween spook: "Oooooooh, I am Jeeeesusssss, whooooom thou perrrrsecuuuuutethhhhhhh, oooooh!!!" However, the drama director at least had the sensitivity to squash such an abominable portrayal and told "Jesus" to act more naturally and in a more dignified manner.

The "drama" had so much "action" and movement all over the stage that it was like watching a three-ring circus: you couldn't focus your attention on any one point of action because of all the other distractions. And then there was the choir off to the side, accompanied by a canned sound track. At the resurrection, the choir was sing-chanting "He is risen He is risen He is risen..." while a featured female vocalist wailed over all the others with various shades of vocal acrobatics something that sounded like this: "Ohhhhh Ooooooh Waaaa Ooooh, He is risen, yeahhhhh, Yeah Yeah YEAH Yeah, He is risen, HE IS RISEN, RISEN, Yeah, Ohhhhh Ooooooh Waaaa Ooooh, Risen, He is risen, He is risen, Yeah Yeah YEAH Yeah..." complete with crashing rhythm and pounding beat.

And all this is supposed to be "inspirational"? No, it mimics primitive tribes whooping themselves into a frenzy before invading a neighboring village. Let us not forget, "For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints" (1 Cor. 14:33 KJV) and "Let all things be done decently and in order" (1 Cor. 14:40 KJV).
Quote
Share

Joe McKnight
Joe McKnight

May 6th, 2007, 12:20 pm #4

<font face=courier>-----Original Message-----
From: [[url=mailto:fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com]fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com[/url]] On Behalf of John Waddey
Sent: Saturday, April 07, 2007 2:54 PM
To: fortify_your_faith@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [fortify_your_faith] A Lesson to Fortify Your Faith - 04/07/07</font>

DO YOU CELEBRATE EASTER?

<font color=black face=arial>Dear Friends in Christ:

Today's lesson answers a question commonly asked of New Testament Christians. It provides a good way to respond to those who sincerely ask us about our faith and practice. It also reminds our own brethren why we do not observe a special Easter celebration. Please feel free to forward this to others in your e-mail address book or make copies to share with those where you worship.

— John Waddey</font>

___________________________________

  • <font size=5>
    DO YOU CELEBRATE EASTER?
    </font>

    <font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Our neighbors sometimes ask, Does the Church of Christ celebrate Easter? To understand their question and to properly answer it a bit of information is needed.

    For 21st century Americans, Easter means many things. For example, for some it is the annual time for displaying spring clothing fashions. For children, it is a time for gifts, candy treats, pastel colored bunny rabbits and an Easter egg hunt. For teens and young adults, it is a time for spring break from school. For Catholic and Protestant churches, it is a time for pageants, choral performances and communion. Even those church bodies consumed by liberal skepticism celebrate Easter. Although their preachers do not believe in the literal, bodily resurrection of Jesus, they dutifully perform the rituals of the season.

    Historically, Easter was a time for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Although it is the oldest of the holy days church leaders have designated, it was not observed during the time the apostles were here to guide the church. J.D. Douglas notes,"...the Scriptures make no provision for the observance of Easter as the day of the resurrection..." (Dictionary of the History of the Christian Church, p. 322). It was well into the second century when the practice became common. Over the centuries it grew to become one of the two most celebrated days in the year for Catholic and Protestant bodies.

    "The derivation of the name 'Easter' is uncertain. According to Bede (673-735 A.D.) it is connected with an Anglo-Saxon spring goddess, "Eostre." At any rate it seems clear that as in the case of Christmas, the Christian feast of Easter has superseded an old pagan festival" (Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church p. 432-433).

    But do Churches of Christ celebrate Easter? Most of our members have a family day on Easter Sunday. They gather for a nice meal and fellowship. Most of our small children will have their Easter eggs and candy, stuffed rabbits and an egg hunt. Many of our people will adorn their spring clothing on that day and our older youngsters will enjoy the holiday from school.

    On the Sunday designated as Easter every church of Christ in the world will assemble for worship. On that day they will participate in holy communion and will hear a lesson from God's Word. Many of the lessons will discuss the resurrection of Christ and what it means for us. But then we do that every first day of every week of the year. We do so because that is how the early church, under the supervision of the apostles, celebrated the resurrection of Christ. He was raised on the first day (John 20:1) and on that day his disciples have gathered to celebrate the event (Acts 20:7). We have no pageants, plays or special programs. This does not indicate in the least a lack of faith in, gratitude for or lack of interest in the resurrection of our Lord.

    Rather, it is evidence of our commitment to worship and serve God in the same way as did the church in the beginning. We do not wish to incorporate anything into our faith or worship that has originated with uninspired men, no matter how old or how popular it may be. We hope you share this commitment.</font>
___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
After I left Mad-Madison, because of their pratice of Pagan worship (christmas and easter), a fellow Brother in Christ invited me to his congergation stating that "We don't do that stuff at our church". Which I responded "Yea, but you do it in your homes. What's the difference?

As I was growing up and asked why we don't do _____ ? The typical answer was the Bible does not tell us to do _____ . Looking back the answer should have been: We don't do this in the church building wait till you get home.

I know the Bible says "not to learn the ways of the Heathen" , But you must learn enough of the ways so to identify and stay away from them, so not to become one of them.

To God be the Glory
Joe
Quote
Share