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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

What Does the Bible say about: Easter


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  • Advanced Member

Warning....this message is not for the "happy happy sandbox Christians":

What Does the Bible Say About:
Easter?
Fresh and vivid are my memories of standing in a chair as a small boy helping my mother decorate the Easter eggs for the big back yard hunt with brother, sister and cousins. The wicker baskets, plastic grass, chocolate bunnies and candy eggs and oh the laughter, frantic searching and excited children! With time I joined the ?egg hiders? and stood laughing with the adults at the children in their searchings. Then finally as a father I laughed at my own children as they sought those same colorful eggs, carrying their own wicker baskets and plastic grass. But?.I wondered?what do wicker baskets, plastic grass, candy rabbits and colored eggs have in the world to do with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ? It was not until I joined an old fashioned Bible believing Church with a God called preacher that the answer to this question was shown to me. The answer is ? Absolutely Nothing! To my shame I learned that in reality Easter was a far different thing than I had been led to believe growing up!
Turn in your King James Bible to Acts 12:4 [You?ll have to use a King James Bible in this lesson]. The word "Easter" appears once in the King James Bible in Acts 12:4 where we find Herod has just finished murdering the apostle James. Herod was NOT a Christian, he was an Idol worshipping Pagan who hated Christianity [Acts 12:1]. Herod arrested Peter and was waiting for the arrival of ISHTAR (pronounced Easter) to hold a second public execution like he?d done with James [Acts 12:2]. False bibles would lead you to believe Herod was waiting for the Passover but, as the King James translators knew, he was waiting for the spring festival of Easter which coincided with the Passover on the Roman calendar of the time. Study the Passover in relation to the ?Days of Unleavened Bread? EX 12:13-18 / LEV 23:5 / Num 9:3 9:5 / Num 28:16 and you quickly see the Passover had already come and gone! Herod was waiting for ?Easter? but here?s the key, it?s NOT the Easter you and I think of. Easter is actually a pronunciation of the goddess EOSTRA (ASTARTA? also known as ISHTAR pronounced EASTER) the Roman celebration of the ?goddess? of spring. This festival was held late in the month of April. It was, in its original form, a celebration of the earth "regenerating" itself after the winter season. The festival involved a celebration of reproduction. For this reason the common symbols of Easter are rabbits and eggs and sunrise. Both rabbits and eggs of course are known as symbols of reproduction. Astarta was known in the Bible as the "queen of heaven" (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17-25). She is the mother of Tammuz (Ezekiel 8:14) who was also her husband! Celebrations of this pagan goddess frequently were held at sunrise on ?Easter? morning (Ezekiel 8:13-16). From the references in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, we can see that the true Easter has never had any association with Jesus Christ. This pagan holiday was carried into Christianity by the Catholic Church. Colored with the colors of sunrise, eggs frequented the festivities, among other things inappropriate to mention herein. Easter was over 1000 years old in Herod?s days and to him it was his pagan festival of Astarta. He was an enemy of Christianity. Do you understand now why Herod was waiting for his pagan festival Easter to murder another disciple? Clears things up quite a bit for those wondering why the Old King James translators said ?Easter? instead of the incorrect ?Passover?. Christians then most certainly should celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! However they should NOT celebrate it with the pagan rituals of Astarta! Let the perverts at Playboy magazine keep the bunny?s this year and give the chickens a break and let commercialism keep the plastic grass and chocolate rabbits. Christians should be celebrating the gospel of Jesus Christ and the resurrection with a rededication to live as Christians in these dark last days! I encourage you parents, this year start a new ?tradition? and give your children something that will last them eternity ? the Gospel! Let Fathers and Mothers gather together with loved ones and children and share with them the wonder of the resurrection of the Son of the Living God!

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Thank you Pastor Harrison, This is a timely reminder. It is so easy to be caught up in the worldly distractions and forget about a true miracle that will change lives forever.

Your sister in Christ

Blossom

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
Warning....this message is not for the "happy happy sandbox Christians":

What Does the Bible Say About:
Easter?
Fresh and vivid are my memories of standing in a chair as a small boy helping my mother decorate the Easter eggs for the big back yard hunt with brother, sister and cousins. The wicker baskets, plastic grass, chocolate bunnies and candy eggs and oh the laughter, frantic searching and excited children! With time I joined the ?egg hiders? and stood laughing with the adults at the children in their searchings. Then finally as a father I laughed at my own children as they sought those same colorful eggs, carrying their own wicker baskets and plastic grass. But?.I wondered?what do wicker baskets, plastic grass, candy rabbits and colored eggs have in the world to do with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ? It was not until I joined an old fashioned Bible believing Church with a God called preacher that the answer to this question was shown to me. The answer is ? Absolutely Nothing! To my shame I learned that in reality Easter was a far different thing than I had been led to believe growing up!
Turn in your King James Bible to Acts 12:4 [You?ll have to use a King James Bible in this lesson]. The word "Easter" appears once in the King James Bible in Acts 12:4 where we find Herod has just finished murdering the apostle James. Herod was NOT a Christian, he was an Idol worshipping Pagan who hated Christianity [Acts 12:1]. Herod arrested Peter and was waiting for the arrival of ISHTAR (pronounced Easter) to hold a second public execution like he?d done with James [Acts 12:2]. False bibles would lead you to believe Herod was waiting for the Passover but, as the King James translators knew, he was waiting for the spring festival of Easter which coincided with the Passover on the Roman calendar of the time. Study the Passover in relation to the ?Days of Unleavened Bread? EX 12:13-18 / LEV 23:5 / Num 9:3 9:5 / Num 28:16 and you quickly see the Passover had already come and gone! Herod was waiting for ?Easter? but here?s the key, it?s NOT the Easter you and I think of. Easter is actually a pronunciation of the goddess EOSTRA (ASTARTA? also known as ISHTAR pronounced EASTER) the Roman celebration of the ?goddess? of spring. This festival was held late in the month of April. It was, in its original form, a celebration of the earth "regenerating" itself after the winter season. The festival involved a celebration of reproduction. For this reason the common symbols of Easter are rabbits and eggs and sunrise. Both rabbits and eggs of course are known as symbols of reproduction. Astarta was known in the Bible as the "queen of heaven" (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17-25). She is the mother of Tammuz (Ezekiel 8:14) who was also her husband! Celebrations of this pagan goddess frequently were held at sunrise on ?Easter? morning (Ezekiel 8:13-16). From the references in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, we can see that the true Easter has never had any association with Jesus Christ. This pagan holiday was carried into Christianity by the Catholic Church. Colored with the colors of sunrise, eggs frequented the festivities, among other things inappropriate to mention herein. Easter was over 1000 years old in Herod?s days and to him it was his pagan festival of Astarta. He was an enemy of Christianity. Do you understand now why Herod was waiting for his pagan festival Easter to murder another disciple? Clears things up quite a bit for those wondering why the Old King James translators said ?Easter? instead of the incorrect ?Passover?. Christians then most certainly should celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! However they should NOT celebrate it with the pagan rituals of Astarta! Let the perverts at Playboy magazine keep the bunny?s this year and give the chickens a break and let commercialism keep the plastic grass and chocolate rabbits. Christians should be celebrating the gospel of Jesus Christ and the resurrection with a rededication to live as Christians in these dark last days! I encourage you parents, this year start a new ?tradition? and give your children something that will last them eternity ? the Gospel! Let Fathers and Mothers gather together with loved ones and children and share with them the wonder of the resurrection of the Son of the Living God!

:amen::goodpost:
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Pastor Harrison, thank you for expressing your concern that Christians not get distracted from celebrating the resurrection of Christ. My childhood was very different than yours. We had no egg hunts, no baskets, no candy, no Easter dresses. I'm thankful to say that I was taught to understand and celebrate Christ's resurrection every Sunday, and especially on the Sunday traditionally accepted as "Resurrection Sunday."

Pastor Harrison, do you celebrate Christmas? Do you put up decorations, including a tree? Do you hang stockings? Exchange gifts? Sing Christmas carols? Have family over on Christmas Day? If you do any of these things (or other "Christmas-y" things), for what reason do you do them? How is Christmas different than Easter, as far as the trappings go?

My own personal opinion is that "Easter" is not a holiday to be avoided. Like Christmas, it is a day set up to recognize, celebrate, and meditate on a wonderful aspect of God's work of redemption. Is it "the actual day" Christ rose from the dead? Who knows? It certainly is the first day of the week after the time of the Passover feast. We don't know the actual day Christ was born, but that fact doesn't stop us from setting aside a day to honor His incarnation. The pagan element, if it exists, doesn't trouble me. I am not a pagan, yet I don't invent alternative names for the days of the week, which find their origins in the names of pagan gods. I don't worship Ishtar. I don't care what day others might have worshiped her (him?) in days long past. I merely rejoice, humbly and gratefully, in awe of God's wonderful plan of salvation, on Easter Sunday. And, as we do at Christmas time, we allow a few extra trappings in honor of the specialness of the day. The girls generally wear new dresses to church, if they have them. We have a short candy hunt at an afternoon picnic. We don't do eggs or baskets, but many of our friends do. These are all expressions of rejoicing and celebration of the special day on which our Lord conquered death once and for all. As long as remembering that important event remains the focus, I see no reason to deny anyone whatever wholesome activities they desire to incorporate as a means of celebration of that event.

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Pastor Harrison, thank you for expressing your concern that Christians not get distracted from celebrating the resurrection of Christ. My childhood was very different than yours. We had no egg hunts, no baskets, no candy, no Easter dresses. I'm thankful to say that I was taught to understand and celebrate Christ's resurrection every Sunday, and especially on the Sunday traditionally accepted as "Resurrection Sunday."

Pastor Harrison, do you celebrate Christmas? Do you put up decorations, including a tree? Do you hang stockings? Exchange gifts? Sing Christmas carols? Have family over on Christmas Day? If you do any of these things (or other "Christmas-y" things), for what reason do you do them? How is Christmas different than Easter, as far as the trappings go?

My own personal opinion is that "Easter" is not a holiday to be avoided. Like Christmas, it is a day set up to recognize, celebrate, and meditate on a wonderful aspect of God's work of redemption. Is it "the actual day" Christ rose from the dead? Who knows? It certainly is the first day of the week after the time of the Passover feast. We don't know the actual day Christ was born, but that fact doesn't stop us from setting aside a day to honor His incarnation. The pagan element, if it exists, doesn't trouble me. I am not a pagan, yet I don't invent alternative names for the days of the week, which find their origins in the names of pagan gods. I don't worship Ishtar. I don't care what day others might have worshiped her (him?) in days long past. I merely rejoice, humbly and gratefully, in awe of God's wonderful plan of salvation, on Easter Sunday. And, as we do at Christmas time, we allow a few extra trappings in honor of the specialness of the day. The girls generally wear new dresses to church, if they have them. We have a short candy hunt at an afternoon picnic. We don't do eggs or baskets, but many of our friends do. These are all expressions of rejoicing and celebration of the special day on which our Lord conquered death once and for all. As long as remembering that important event remains the focus, I see no reason to deny anyone whatever wholesome activities they desire to incorporate as a means of celebration of that event.


Hello Sis, sorry to have gotten you ruffled with this one. Appreciate your 'opinion' [My own personal opinion is that "Easter" is not a ] as expressed above. The subject is Easter's reality and long standing history of being ANTI-Christian....and of course how the adversary has {like so many other things}, manipulated even Christians to celebrate more the Pagan event than the real. Always he produces counterfeits or undermines or pollutes and distortes....such is candy and eggs instead of tears of joy and Glory to God. Thank you for explaining how you celebrate "Ishtar" (Easter) and for your opinion concerning it. I am sure the girls have a wonderful time of fellowship with you and their father and thats wonderful! My goal here was to present scripture - not opinions...and factual history, rather than my own personal justifications for why I celebrate it "anyway". I didn't mean you to get disgruntled or take personal exception with the reality of Easter's history. Aren't you happy that you don't need my consent as to the "things" you call "wholesome activities incorporated" into your 'celebration' of Easter? :smile
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Thank you Pastor Harrison, This is a timely reminder. It is so easy to be caught up in the worldly distractions and forget about a true miracle that will change lives forever.

Your sister in Christ

Blossom


You're welcome - I don't we really "forget" what the resurrection means....but I do fear that the roaring lion has distorted it... for example at Wal-Mart I noticed that on one isle were Bibles....Christian 'literature' and on the opposite side on the same isle, Easter rabbits, Candy, egg wrapper paper and every other insult to the cross. They don't even realize they're spitting in the Lamb's face I thought to myself. How perfectly Satan has pulled the focus from Christ - to stinking bunnies and eggs and candy.... good grief! It is heartbreaking.
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Hello Sis' date=' sorry to have gotten you ruffled with this one. Appreciate your 'opinion' [[i']My own personal opinion is that "Easter" is not a ] as expressed above. The subject is Easter's reality and long standing history of being ANTI-Christian....and of course how the adversary has {like so many other things}, manipulated even Christians to celebrate more the Pagan event than the real. Always he produces counterfeits or undermines or pollutes and distortes....such is candy and eggs instead of tears of joy and Glory to God.

It is indeed tragic when people substitute things like eggs and candy for worship on Easter. (No feathers ruffled here, so no worries! :wink )

You didn't answer my questions about how you celebrate Christmas, and, if you do include some "trappings," how that is any different than what some do at Easter with eggs and candy.

Thank you for explaining how you celebrate "Ishtar" (Easter) and for your opinion concerning it. I am sure the girls have a wonderful time of fellowship with you and their father and thats wonderful! My goal here was to present scripture - not opinions...and factual history, rather than my own personal justifications for why I celebrate it "anyway".

I think you've got me wrong here: I do not celebrate it (Ishtar) "anyway." I am not worshiping any pagan god(ess) when I allow my children to hunt for candy at our family picnic. I am doing the same thing I do at Christmastime when I put gifts under the Christmas tree. I'm not celebrating "anyway." I am celebrating "because." Because of the new life given us through Christ's resurrection from the dead. Because He has conquered death once and for all. Because we are now partakers in His eternal life! Looking for candy is just part of the celebration...part of our expression of joy. It has nothing more to do with pagan worship than saying that I'm going to church on Wednesday (Woden's Day) or that I'm having a Bible study on Thursday (Thor's Day). Pagan gods' names are a part of every aspect of our calendar and civilization. Because we accept these things doesn't mean that we are worshiping those gods.

I didn't mean you to get disgruntled or take personal exception with the reality of Easter's history. Aren't you happy that you don't need my consent as to the "things" you call "wholesome activities incorporated" into your 'celebration' of Easter? :smile

Again, don't worry--I'm really not disgruntled. I just think there's more "breathing room" in this issue than you seem to think. I don't think this is something anyone can be dogmatic about.
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It's this kind of stuff that turn people off to Christianity. This is where the whole "Christians have no fun" idea comes from. I am a Christian. Have been for 22 years. I have a wife and four children who are all saved. Guess what? We are coloring eggs Saturday!!! God forbid!!! My children are idol worshippers since they are having a fun game of hide and seek with colored eggs. They know the easter bunny isn't easter. They know Easter is the celebration of Jesus' ressurection. Egg hunting is simply something we do for fun on easter--not in recognition of a pagan god. Good grief.

Do you also also believe Santa is Satan, just misspelled? Worship on Sunday is pagan. You must not leave the house. Do you ever refer to the days of the week when speaking? All based on astrology and pagan gods--are you endorsing paganism everytime you breathe the word,"Tuesday"?

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It is indeed tragic when people substitute things like eggs and candy for worship on Easter. (No feathers ruffled here, so no worries! :wink )

You didn't answer my questions about how you celebrate Christmas, and, if you do include some "trappings," how that is any different than what some do at Easter with eggs and candy.


I think you've got me wrong here: I do not celebrate it (Ishtar) "anyway." I am not worshiping any pagan god(ess) when I allow my children to hunt for candy at our family picnic. I am doing the same thing I do at Christmastime when I put gifts under the Christmas tree. I'm not celebrating "anyway." I am celebrating "because." Because of the new life given us through Christ's resurrection from the dead. Because He has conquered death once and for all. Because we are now partakers in His eternal life! Looking for candy is just part of the celebration...part of our expression of joy. It has nothing more to do with pagan worship than saying that I'm going to church on Wednesday (Woden's Day) or that I'm having a Bible study on Thursday (Thor's Day). Pagan gods' names are a part of every aspect of our calendar and civilization. Because we accept these things doesn't mean that we are worshiping those gods.


Again, don't worry--I'm really not disgruntled. I just think there's more "breathing room" in this issue than you seem to think. I don't think this is something anyone can be dogmatic about.


Hello again Sis, glad for your response - thank you. As to your question - I didn't answer it because the answer is moot. What you or I, do or do not do at Christmas, has absolutely nothing to do with the issue of bunnies, eggs and plastic grass in relation to the resurrection. I tell my children they should be kind to people. Whether or not I wear blue socks has nothing to do with the reality or truth of the fact that they should be kind to people. So it is with Christmas, what I do or don't do has absolutely nothing to do with the history, origin, nature and impact of Christmas..... If I have a tree & a santa claus on my roof, that doesn't make it ok....nor does it mean that Easter bunnies are now acceptable. If I don't have Christmas paper, gifts, trees or silver bells at Christmas, just as equally, doesn't make one bit of difference either....either way, Easter bunnies and eggs are wrong.... they are a Satanic effort to detract attention from Christ...and it's working. I mean no offense by making this statement....

Lastly - as to the day of the week comments, yes...that is true and I see your point. My response would be, there are now women dressing immodestly everywhere we turn, men addicted to drugs everywhere we turn, fatherless children.....abortion etc.... Do we just say, "well....whats the point in church...it's too far gone now anyway and not much point in trying to hold the line at this point in the game"? No... of course not. Just because many women dress immodestly doesn't mean the rest of them should give up and do it also. Just because many men are drug addicts, doesnt mean the rest of the men should say oh well and take up smoking.

Just because Pagan influence has impacted our society doesn't mean we should just accept it and make no effort to stand. but thats my :2cents
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It's this kind of stuff that turn people off to Christianity. This is where the whole "Christians have no fun" idea comes from. I am a Christian. Have been for 22 years. I have a wife and four children who are all saved. Guess what? We are coloring eggs Saturday!!! God forbid!!! My children are idol worshippers since they are having a fun game of hide and seek with colored eggs. They know the easter bunny isn't easter. They know Easter is the celebration of Jesus' ressurection. Egg hunting is simply something we do for fun on easter--not in recognition of a pagan god. Good grief.

Do you also also believe Santa is Satan, just misspelled? Worship on Sunday is pagan. You must not leave the house. Do you ever refer to the days of the week when speaking? All based on astrology and pagan gods--are you endorsing paganism everytime you breathe the word,"Tuesday"?


This is what I used to say when I got mad at preaching too :) I said almost the same thing to my wife when our preacher dealt with these 'holidays'. As such I understand your angry reply. "Santa Claus is just fun... Easter eggs are just fun....it isn't a real witch, just a plastic mask for halloween...all in fun" Yea bro, I said the same things.... I am glad to hear your wife and children are saved...thats wonderful!!!
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Hello again Sis, glad for your response - thank you. As to your question - I didn't answer it because the answer is moot. What you or I, do or do not do at Christmas, has absolutely nothing to do with the issue of bunnies, eggs and plastic grass in relation to the resurrection.

Oh, but it does, Sir. (Not to contradict you out of hand; I'll explain.) No, it doesn't matter what you as a person do...but it does matter what you--as a person who is arguing against "extra trappings" and "pagan worship" at Easter--do with Christmas. If you are really convinced that extra trappings such as eggs and candy should not be part of any God-honoring person's Easter celebration, then you must also be convinced that Christmas trees, lights, stockings, etc., do not belong in your Christmas celebration. My question to you was this: Are these things part of your Christmas celebration? If not, then you are being consistent with what you are saying here. However, if these things ARE a part of your Christmas celebration, then how do you justify it? What makes those things different than an Easter egg hunt?

To be clearer, I'm not asking you b/c I think that the fact that you do (or don't do) something "makes it OK (or not OK)." I am asking because I'm wondering what you think the difference (if any) is between "extra" Christmas traditions and "extra" Easter traditions.

Lastly - as to the day of the week comments, yes...that is true and I see your point. My response would be, there are now women dressing immodestly everywhere we turn, men addicted to drugs everywhere we turn, fatherless children.....abortion etc.... Do we just say, "well....whats the point in church...it's too far gone now anyway and not much point in trying to hold the line at this point in the game"? No... of course not. Just because many women dress immodestly doesn't mean the rest of them should give up and do it also. Just because many men are drug addicts, doesnt mean the rest of the men should say oh well and take up smoking.


So....Should we call the days of the week something different? I don't understand your point here. You seem to be saying that just because everybody else gives in and calls the first day of the week Sunday, we shouldn't join in that practice. (What am I missing?)

My point is that the names of our very days of the week and months of the year (virtually all names on our calendar) have pagan origins. The name "Christmas" has Roman Catholic origins. The name "Easter" has pagan origins, according to you. These facts do not change one thing as far as what is going on when I go to worship Christ this coming Sunday. I don't care what it is called; it is the day I celebrate Christ's resurrection. It is the day of the early-morning praise/thanksgiving service at my church, the fellowship of believers around breakfast, the worship service honoring Christ's resurrection, the picnic lunch at which the children hunt for candy. I see absolutely no relationship between what I do on this Sunday and what pagans did in ancient days. There is no connection.

About society in general...I wouldn't say that paganism has infiltrated it. People who decorate eggs instead of going to church aren't engaging in paganism. (Paganism is defined as worship of nature deities--not self-worship.) Rather, they are engaging in commercialism, secularism, and consumerism, all of which are very different than paganism. They are not "worshiping Ishtar;" they are worshiping themselves. Any pagan origins of Easter are long forgotten and have lost their meaning in today's culture, both Christian and nonChristian. (I'm talking about the vast majority of the population; no doubt, there are Wiccans and others who are trying to keep pagan traditions alive...but these people are not the same as the ordinary American Joes who sleep in, eat a big brunch, hide eggs for the kids, and videotape them hunting for them, and call this routine "Easter.")
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Good Morning Sis,

It appears, to me at least, that we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. Proclaiming Easter's origin and name forgotten and thus it's customs (eggs rabbits and sunrise) white-washed & sanctified for Christian use, is rather absurd. For a comparison take adultery - Biblically a SIN. Our 'society' has pronounced this too as acceptable. Our "time-lapse reconing' calls adultery just living together ... consentual sex...extra marital affiar etc But our cute little renaming ceremony doesn't change the sin, nor make it's acceptance any less insulting to God.

To borrow your point - if I approve of adultery or engage in it - does that really change the sinfulness of adultery? Does it lessen somehow whether or not I should point out that adulter is a sin? From your perspective I could argue that if one engages in sin, he is thereby precluded from pointing out the sinfulness of sin and indeed the sin itself is somehow vindicated and acquitted. Sorry my sister - but that "dog won't hunt as they say". Easter is just as much pagan now as it ever was....the fact that many don't know it is Pagan idolatry and embrace it in ignorance IN NO WAY makes it less a sin. Sins committed in ignorance are of course still SINS and the person committing them is STILL GUILTY - unless we're not calling Leviticus 5:17 the word of God anymore?

Anyway - I say the Bible says the women who went to the grave were carrying spices....not egg dye and easter baskets :cool I say Peter walked away from that empty tomb wondering where Jesus was...not where his Easter basket and chocolate rabbits were :lol I say a Christian who hides eggs from his children, is hiding the truth from them as well and insulting his redeemer as well. I may not have the right to rename the days of the week...but I do have the ability to NOT embrace pagan practices for Easter.

If that makes some mad..... better go take another peek at Psalm 119:165 is all I can tell ya.

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Thanks for the post pastorharrison. I have heard part of what you said before, but not other parts. Was good stuff.

As with any of these doctrines, when the truth of God's Word is presented and the true facts that history lays out in this case, that is all one can do. Then each beleiver must decide between themselves and God what to do. Mostly it is a spiritual growth issue, a difference of opinion, or just a lack of knowelge (as is in part of my case).

Anne, we raised our kids just like you with easter being about Christ, and calling it resurrection Sunday, yet we did die eggs (then had them for breakfast before Church). However, I have watched many a Christian miss Sunday morning service to take the kids easter egg hunting in the park. Hmmmmmm that won always got me.

Thanks again pastorharrison, gonna study what you said out for myself now. Good stuff.

Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

This is what we must do with everything we learn.

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It appears' date=' to me at least, that we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.[/quote']
That's fine...but I really do think we agree more than we disagree. We would both say that we should celebrate Christ's resurrection on the holiday called Easter, right (since that is the first day of the week following Passover)? Also, we would both say that observation of that great event should take precedence over anything else we do that day (whatever it is), right?


Why is that? I'm almost 100% sure that no one knows about "Ishtar." (I hadn't heard of it in all my 35 years until I saw your post on here, and even now, I'm not convinced, since you didn't include any documentation connecting "Ishtar" with "Easter.") I'm also 100% sure that the average Joe Family in America, in dyeing eggs and skipping church (like they do every Sunday) are not worshiping a pagan deity called Ishtar, any more than people like you and me (who set up Christmas trees, hang stockings, and sing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer") are observing ancient British occultic celebrations or venerating Catholic saints. (Your refusal to answer my questions about Christmas makes your position on Easter quite suspect, BTW.)


Absolutely correct here...but this has nothing to do with what goes on at Easter, since people are not worshiping a pagan deity. Their motivations for dyeing eggs and having a resurrection sunrise service are as far removed from idol worship as a ham sandwich is from a synagogue. There are many, many practices (like eating meat) that USED TO be done as part of pagan or idol-worshiping ceremonies (like putting lights on a Christmas tree). The fact that something used to be done as part of such a ceremony does not make that activity off-limits for us today. The difference is in our hearts: we don't even know about, much less care about, some ancient pagan deity called Ishtar. When we have candy hunts, or give gift baskets, it is in celebration of Christ's resurrection, not in worship to a deity we've never heard of.


Adultery is adultery, no matter which way you slice it. The motivation is the same--lust--no matter which way you slice it. When a man takes another man's wife for himself, he is sinning.
Idolatry is idolatry, no matter which way you slice it. The motivation is the same--inordinate love for something other than God--no matter who/what the idol is. When a man worships a pagan deity, a material thing (like a car or boat or video game), a person, or himself, he is sinning. But dyeing eggs on Easter does not equal idolatry, if nothing/no one is being worshiped above God. Idolatry, by definition, is "having other gods before God." As I said before, we do many things (like eat meat) that have at one time been used in pagan/idol worship. The fact that something was done as worship doesn't mean we are worshiping when we do it. I just don't know how to put it any more simply. To me, this seems like a given--something everyone would think is obvious.

Let me again clarify that our family doesn't dye eggs, or have egg hunts, or give Easter baskets. But I do take issue with those who accuse fellow believers who do these things of being idolaters.
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Idolatry has a somewhat broader reach than you give it credit for I think.
Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Idolatry shouldn't conjur images of Charlton Heston and the golden calf from the movie "The Ten Commandments", but rather the best N.T. Representation of Idolatry today would be a good old fashioned bathroom mirror - idolatry is within the heart and no statue is needed. Idolatry as Paul pointed at here in Col 3 is anything that has your heart to the point that you won't surrender it for Christ.

If the knowledge that sunrise services on Easter, a festival celebrated by Herod with the murder of an Apostle, using eggs, bunnies and dye and revolving around worship of a false god.... IF THAT ISN'T ENOUGH to cause a Christian to turn from such things immediately without argument in favor of keeping them, nothing I could say is going to get their attention either. As Abraham said some will not be persuaded "though one rose from the dead" - nothing is going to turn them from their opinion....not scripture, not preaching, not teaching, not compelling, not truth....not even a dead relative coming to see them in person...

In the end Christ is longsuffering and such Christians go to heaven nontheless. All I am seeking to do is to help minimize the amount of shame such an one will suffer at the judgment seat for all the things they did that brought reproach upon the name above all names.

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Idolatry has a somewhat broader reach than you give it credit for I think.
Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Idolatry shouldn't conjur images of Charlton Heston and the golden calf from the movie "The Ten Commandments", but rather the best N.T. Representation of Idolatry today would be a good old fashioned bathroom mirror - idolatry is within the heart and no statue is needed. Idolatry as Paul pointed at here in Col 3 is anything that has your heart to the point that you won't surrender it for Christ.

If the knowledge that sunrise services on Easter, a festival celebrated by Herod with the murder of an Apostle, using eggs, bunnies and dye and revolving around worship of a false god.... IF THAT ISN'T ENOUGH to cause a Christian to turn from such things immediately without argument in favor of keeping them, nothing I could say is going to get their attention either. As Abraham said some will not be persuaded "though one rose from the dead" - nothing is going to turn them from their opinion....not scripture, not preaching, not teaching, not compelling, not truth....not even a dead relative coming to see them in person...

In the end Christ is longsuffering and such Christians go to heaven nontheless. All I am seeking to do is to help minimize the amount of shame such an one will suffer at the judgment seat for all the things they did that brought reproach upon the name above all names.


If you sincerely believe that one can sin without that sin being in their heart, then I sincerely hope your wife didn't wear a wedding gown, or that you don't wear a wedding ring, for both are pagan tradition which have been "christianized" and accepted for centuries. You also just need to worry about your self on judgment day, I think your plate will probably be as full as the guy behind you.
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Idolatry has a somewhat broader reach than you give it credit for I think.
Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Covetousness is idolatry, certainly, just as the verse says it is. The reason it is idolatry is that the thing being coveted is being valued above God...which, yes, is idolatry. That's exactly what I mean when I say that people can certainly be committing idolatry on Easter if in their hearts they substitute love for eggs, candy, etc., for the true meaning of the day. Substitution is what is idolatry: putting something else in the place of God. So, a person could participate in some or all of the "extracurricular" activities like egg hunts and not be committing idolatry, if the true reason for celebrating is kept centrally focused.

This kind of idolatry is not what you're arguing for, anyway. You're talking about Ishtar, a pagan deity, as demonstrated by the rest of your post (and previous ones).

If the knowledge that sunrise services on Easter, a festival celebrated by Herod with the murder of an Apostle, using eggs, bunnies and dye and revolving around worship of a false god.... IF THAT ISN'T ENOUGH to cause a Christian to turn from such things immediately without argument in favor of keeping them, nothing I could say is going to get their attention either. As Abraham said some will not be persuaded "though one rose from the dead" - nothing is going to turn them from their opinion....not scripture, not preaching, not teaching, not compelling, not truth....not even a dead relative coming to see them in person...

PastorHarrison, you still haven't told me what you do during the Christmas season...Are you really being consistent with your arguments here?

In the end Christ is longsuffering and such Christians go to heaven nontheless
.
ALL Christians go to heaven "nonetheless." You make it sound like God is more longsuffering with some Christians than others, letting them into heaven "even though" they're "worse" than others...when the truth is that ALL of us have offended Him, and Christ's blood is sufficient for all of us...It's not about works at all.
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