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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Pagan Holidays, Pagan Traditions, Bah -Humbug! » Pagan Holidays, Pagan Traditions, Bah -Humbug!

Pagan Holidays, Pagan Traditions, Bah -Humbug!

Don - December 14, 2007

Why are so many in the church so nit-picky about the day we worship on, the mode of baptism, which hand to partake of the sacrament, what we wear on Sundays and them embrace pagan holidays, tradtions and rituals?

Christmas is a pagan holiday, the christmas tree is pagan, Easter is pagan, the easter bunny and easter eggs all pagan. This list goes on and on.

Why do we participate with the world in celebrating these things? We are strict when it comes to the scriptures and “living the gospel” and then we do pagan worshiping things.

Why not set up some groves and participate in some of the Baal traditions too? What makes some pagan holidays and traditions ok and others not?

Aren’t we supposed to be a peculiar people? So why do we do this?

16 Comments »

  1. Well you don’t have to join in with the celebrations Don… Do you care if I do?

    Comment by Geoff J — December 14, 2007 @ 12:38 pm

  2. Well you don’t have to join in with the celebrations Don… Do you care if I do?

    Comment by Geoff J — December 14, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

  3. Don,
    No they’re not. The way we celebrate Christmas, and the symbols we use, may be derived from pagan worship, but they’ve been embued with deeply Christian meaning. That’s the cool thing about symbolism: it’s adaptable. I don’t know that, when the original Germans (or whomever) looked at a pine tree, they were reminded of resurrection and eternal life, but I certainly am.

    Why not set up some groves and participate in some Baal traditions? First, because I’m not really up on my Baal traditions; second, because whatever they are (assuming they’re not child sacrifice or abusing puppies or something), they don’t fit within my–or the Church’s–current liturgical calendar or practice.

    There’s beauty in worship; I don’t always know how to worship, but I know how to celebrate holy days, and sometimes that’s as close as I’ll get.

    Comment by Sam B. — December 14, 2007 @ 12:40 pm

  4. Truth be told, I think all pagan symbols and worship derive from man’s historical relationship with God and Christ.

    I mean, look what happened with the Lamanite people –I don’t know the direct reference, but wasn’t there something about the Aztec (or Incan or Mayan?) people believing in a white God coming down from heaven? (meaning a reference to Christ’s visit)

    Pagan worship, as I see it, is just a perversion of what was Truth. The ideas of man mixed in with some truth (think Temple ceremony). But the pagan stuff we have, as others just pointed out, are good and fun.

    There’s no harm in taking what once DID represent Truth and changing it back to a worship of Christ. At least I don’t see a problem. Of course, if we start doing the bad things –you know, human sacrifice and such –then maybe we should worry a little. ;)

    Comment by Cheryl — December 14, 2007 @ 12:50 pm

  5. Still, we need to be careful about what meanings get imputed to these symbols. For example, the (nonmember) wife of a guy I home teach was bemoaning the fact that few houses in her neighborhood were decorated in the manner now associated with Christmas. She started to say “It’s as if they don’t really…”, then she caught herself and finished with “well, I guess a lot of them are foreigners.” I don’t know whether she was headed towards equating religiosity or patriotism with house decorating, but I’m not comfortable with either one. (Personally, I associate the decorations in my neighborhood with the Las Vegas strip).

    Comment by Last Lemming — December 14, 2007 @ 1:00 pm

  6. Symbols are what we give them meaning to be. There are archtypal symbols that recur throughout human history (egg=fertility, heart=love, tears=sadness and so on) but for much of the part, it is us, mere humans, striving to better describe our relation to God, that creates symbols.

    As far as I care, it’s all good. And don’t you dare get in the way of my Christmas tree!

    Comment by tracy m — December 14, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

  7. Geoff,
    of course I care if you do…I don’t want a good man like you going off practicing and believing in these foolish traditions of men…I’m here to protect you from such babel from Babylon. (Ok, I’ll take the tongue out of my cheek).

    Comment by Don — December 14, 2007 @ 2:28 pm

  8. Sam,
    So if we can attach whatever we want to symbols, like making Christmas trees etc. acceptable, where do we draw the line? I kind of doubt the German’s (or whoever stated the Christmas tree “symbol”) went out looking for a symbol of the resurrection and said WOW the evergreen tree with candles and popcorn garlands sure reminds me the resurrection. (sorry – probably a bit too sarcastic).

    Which foolish traditions of men do we ignore and not practice and which ones do we hold dear to us?

    Comment by Don — December 14, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

  9. Tracy,
    Eggs=fertility, yes but what does that have to do with the resurrection? Celebrating Easter with it’s easter eggs is a great example of a pagan holiday that we christian justify in keeping because of tradition.

    Comment by Don — December 14, 2007 @ 2:47 pm

  10. Eggs equate a new birth. That would fit in with the Resurrection. Being alive again and such…

    I don’t think we have to justify them. Why should we have to? What’s wrong with taking pagan symbols and making them our own? Do they own them? I think most of us do a pretty good job of making Christ the center of our Christmas celebrations. The rest of it is fun and harmless. Very few children will grow up pagans because of it.

    Comment by Cheryl — December 14, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

  11. Don,
    It’s not that we, personally, always get to imbue symbols with meaning. It’s a cultural and collective exercise, one that generally takes time. (Which, to some extent, would be my response to LL, too.) For all I know, you (or anyone else) personally equates pine trees with sacrifice to idols; that means nothing to me, because, your idiosyncratic view to the contrary, that’s not the symbolism it has in my culture.

    At the same time, if I were to venture into a culture inimecal to pine trees, I wouldn’t flaunt my Christmas tree, by any means (although I may still have one, because it would still mean something in my culture).

    It is very possible that, in 1500 years, pine trees will have some other cultural meaning, unrelated to what we, as Westerners in the early 21st century, attribute to them. If that’s the case, it’ll be a poor argument for Kang and Kodos to argue that, no, the pine tree doesn’t represent the subjugation of the human race because, way back when, it was a Christian symbol of redemption and eternal life.

    But, like Tracy said, some symbols seem to have a way of transcending a whole lot of cultures, so there’s no guarantee, either, that Kang and Kodos won’t see it the way we do.

    Comment by Sam B. — December 14, 2007 @ 3:58 pm

  12. So why do we do this?

    1. It’s fun.

    2. It’s harmless. Buying evergreen trees isn’t a religious ritual that we are participating in. We don’t make any covenants by drinking eggnogg. So, no harm, no foul.

    3. It’s a time we spend with our family. Any reason to do that is worth it, in my book, and I think the Lord thinks the same way, too.

    Comment by Jacob M — December 14, 2007 @ 4:12 pm

  13. So why do we do this?

    1. It’s fun.

    2. It’s harmless. Buying evergreen trees isn’t a religious ritual that we are participating in. We don’t make any covenants by drinking eggnogg. So, no harm, no foul.

    3. It’s a time we spend with our family. Any reason to do that is worth it, in my book, and I think the Lord thinks the same way, too.

    Comment by Jacob M — December 14, 2007 @ 4:13 pm

  14. You’re still upset that you had to throw an employee Christmas party, aren’t you?!:P

    Sam gives the best explanation here. There’s NO WAY you’re going to get away from un-godly symbols. Just because they’re not from God doesn’t mean they’re evil, either. Every family, every person, has their own traditions (you, for example have the tradition of watching movies on your half day off every Thursday. Is that not a pagan ceremony?>:) They help us and hurt us in many ways. Quit letting the world tell you what everything symbolizes and do it yourself!:)

    Comment by Bret — December 14, 2007 @ 4:22 pm

  15. Actually, my sister in law, a self described pagan, has more in common with my beliefs than any of my friends from other faiths.
    And let’s face it, western society has completely destroyed the original meanings of holidays, so it’s really a moot point.
    To me it’s a wonderful time expressly set aside to spend with my family to celebrate the true spirit of giving and in rememberance of Christ.

    Comment by M to tha O — December 14, 2007 @ 8:35 pm

  16. I love the pagan touches! Sauce for the goose, as Mr. Spock would say.

    Comment by David T — December 16, 2007 @ 8:15 pm

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