I just read some of this article, CHRISTIANIZING SECULAR CUSTOMS
A Biblical look at Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, and I would like to make some obvious notations. This author would like you to feel good about disobeying God as a practice.
Deuteronomy 12:28-32 (KJV)
28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord thy God.
29 When the Lord thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;
30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
31 Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Not only does the article want to sear men’s consciences concerning obedience to God but they subtly demonize those of us who do obey God’s Word. We’re being pharisaical and legalists (a well used tactic of guilt-tripping the Christian who sincerely wants to know the truth). They also do some word-play, too, like using the word “secular” instead of “pagan” in their title. It reminds me of a “politically correct” ploy-to make evil less evil, so to speak. I won’t go through the whole article-I will leave off Halloween altogether-so as not to make this too long of a read for you. The problem that is most pronounced in the author’s take on Christian liberty is that he does not distinguish between God’s creation and man’s creation. For instance, he says:
- Most American Christians are ignorant of any pagan connections to these holidays, so freely participate, believing they are doing so to the glory of God. Those who do understand the pagan origins believe that the customs are non-moral and harmless in themselves, and therefore, view participation as expressions of Christian liberty that are inconsequential to God. They recognize that for some it is about evil or materialism, but for them and their families it is about edification or innocent fun.
Rom 14:5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
It is a moral matter and it does matter to God. He calls it spiritual adultery, for one thing. Nothing is inconsequential to God when it comes to His worship and glory. See this post on why Romans 14:5-6 does not fit the reasoning used here.
- They view these customs, with their pagan connections, to be exactly like eating meat offered to idols, therefore, permissible. Paul instructed early believers that just because meat had been dedicated by a pagan butcher to an idol (had pagan origins), there was no direct harm in eating the meat. Meat was just meat and could be eaten without fear of offending God or becoming spiritually corrupted. (On our freedom to eat meat offered to idols read 1 Cor 10:14-33 & Rom 14:1-15:7.)
Rom 14:14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean.
1 Cor 10:25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”
- The days of the week are named after pagan gods: Sunday is named after the sun god, Monday after the moon god, Thursday after Thor, Saturday after Saturn, etc.
- The names of the months are based on pagan gods and festivities: January is named after Janus – the Roman god of gates and doorways, February is named after Februa — the Roman festival of purification, etc.
By comparing apples to oranges, a false teaching is created. God created the meats (both the clean and unclean-which means that Paul is talking about Jewish law not pagan rites) and the days of the week, which are both good despite what man does with them. These pagans worship a created false messiah using God’s creation for their abominations before Him. And, yes, that is in the present tense, though it does not matter. God doesn’t tell us it is fine with Him if we resurrect old man-made pagan religious practices. Jesus did not redeem any of it on the cross.