Easter Has Pagan Origins: My Thoughts
What do you tell people who make statements like the one above (Easter Has Pagan Origins) in an attempt to water down the significance of Christian festivities like Easter? Do you just ignore them? No, don't! Give them a response! ...Yes, Easter has pagan origins, no disputing of that fact. But it takes nothing away from the significance of the occasion as Jesus‘day of resurrection. Christ died and resurrected. Didn't He? He died as a ransom for the sins of humanity thus granting eternal life to anyone who will believe and accept Him as Lord and Saviour.
Now, as Christians, we have an assignment to engage our communities, friends, families and world and influence them through Christ: We are not to sit unconcerned about what goes on in the world. Remember Jesus described us as the salt and light of the earth. If we are the salt and light of this world, it simply means we have to influence our world positively by ending evil practices. That's exactly what has been done with these pagan festivities that have now become Christian. They have been influenced by Christianity and turned around for a good cause.
Usually, in my defense of these petty reasons for not celebrating Christian festivities because of their Pagan origins, I always throw in Acts 17:28: "For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offsprings". I bet Acts 17:28 is one of the popular and favourite text of many Christians. But I am sure it will be a surprise to many Christians that that text are borrowed lines from pagan poets.
Let's pause on the text and examine the phrase "as certain also of your own poets have said". That phrase was making reference to pagan poets of Greece who wrote a poem in honour of Zeus, a Greek god considered as the father of all gods. So really, Acts 17:28 is not Christian, it's pagan, but it was used by Paul to preach Christ. He took a pagan poem and pointed the Athenians away from their "UNKNOWN GOD" to the known God: “...For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.“(Acts 17:23).
Who is Zeus? Nothing! In his epistle to the Corinthian church, Paul did justice to gods: “...we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.“ (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).
See below the poems Paul quoted from:
Let us begin with Zeus, whom we mortals never leave unspoken.For every street, every market-place is full of Zeus.Even the sea and the harbour are full of this deityEverywhere everyone is indebted to Zeus.FOR WE ARE HIS OFFSPRINGS---Phaenomena by Aratus1They fashioned a tomb for you, holy and high one,Cretans, always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies.But you are not dead: you live and abide forever,FOR IN YOU WE LIVE AND MOVE AND HAVE OUR BEING.---Cretica by Epimenides2
The next time you want to speak against Christmas and Easter, be ready also not to quote Acts 17:28 again in your life. Also, if you have a problem with Christmas and Easter, then take your calender and cancel out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. These are all names of Roman gods. I am not done yet. Extend the cancellation to January through to December. These are all names of Roman gods...