Friday, March 29, 2013


(Matthew 15:16) And he said, Are ye also even yet without understanding?  (15:17) Perceive ye not, that whatsoever goeth into the mouth passeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?  (15:18) But the things which proceed out of the mouth come forth out of the heart; and they defile the man.  (15:19) For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, railings:  (15:20) these are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not the man.      

Apparently there is a movement underway to change the word “Easter” to “Spring” when referring to real eggs dyed, plastic ones filled with candy, hidden, rolled and gathered up into baskets on or about the Sunday that Christians commemorate the highest holy day of their religion. This crusade is not unlike the campaign to remove Christ from Christmas but this one is weighted down with even more incredible irony. If the atheists knew anything at all about Christian traditions and their pagan origins they’d leave it alone. To make a big deal out of it is really doing a favor to Christianity. 

Easter happens in the spring, when new birth and renewal is celebrated. The word Easter comes to us from several sources but most notably from the pagan goddess of fertility, Eostre. Most of the other common symbols of Easter, that have nothing to do with the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, i.e., cute bunnies, roast lamb, and, yes, eggs, are add-ons that attest to how a pure thing can be easily adulterated if given enough time. 

So, is it wrong to dye eggs, or fill plastic eggs with candy and hide them for children to find?  The short answer: if you think it’s wrong, it is; don’t do it. Many fundamentalists have stepped out of the mold and refused to participate in traditions of men, Christmas, Halloween, Easter. Sometimes they go overboard and make a new religion of austerity out of their own perceptions of holiness. Humans are a predictable lot; they go from one extreme to another with minimum facility.

The real question is, what does Christ think about it? 

That answer resides within the individual. Sometimes God asks us to come out and stay away from things the world revels in. Sometimes, because He knows our hearts and our willingness to obedience, He calls us to focus on more serious, pressing things of the Kingdom. God knows what He considers sin and disobedience and He is more than capable of laying on us what He wants from us. Our job is to have a clean and open heart, ready to receive orders. 

And really, this is the crux of it, how clean is your heart? All the overtures to “do” holiness, to work out your own perfection often easily masks a heart that leans toward idolatry. There are all manner of ways to look righteous and yet not be even close to what God considers truly righteous. Plenty of that going on in the church, regardless of denomination, nowadays.

Frankly, in this late hour, I have to admit I am weary of all the hyper focus on minutia.  Truly we swallow camels and strain at gnats. These things are distractions to keep us busy manufacturing pseudo holiness while the wolves in sheep skins are busy devouring the sheep. If your treasure is in worldly things, worldly traditions and trappings, you’re not going to have an open heart and a single eye focused on Christ anyway; do what feels good, reap the consequences.

The significance of the world-changing event Christians have referred to as Easter for centuries defies all human efforts to minimize or trivialize it. It stands outside of and above all else, regardless what we call it or what day we honor it. No doubt He would prefer we celebrate this in our hearts everyday instead of just one day per calendar year; everything changed because of it. When it occurred is probably way less important than the fact–it did. 

Because of that Day, He is our all in all, our Sabbath Rest, our Feast Days, our Latter Day Rain, our First-Fruits, our Redemption and Eternal Salvation, the Holy Priest of the Third Temple which is now the Spiritual Temple not built with hands. It’s all about HIM, His sacrifice, His cross, which we are now encouraged to take up and follow Him. He is not just the reason for the season, He is the only reason for all seasons. If you understand and honor this and teach it to your children, then whether or not you dye and hunt eggs is not even on the short list of ways we can please or displease Him.

For Christ,

(Matthew 6:21) for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also.  (6:22) The lamp of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  (6:23) But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness!  


  1. Thank you so much for writing this. I have been struggling with this whole issue about Christian holidays for some time now. This makes perfect sense and certainly clears up a lot of questions and doubt for me. I will be sharing your post with others who, as you say, "make a new religion out of austerity out of their own perceptions of holiness." Which seem to be most noticeable, to me anyway, in the Hebrew Roots movement. I appreciate the depth of their zeal for the Lord and scripture, but there is a lot of swallowing camels and straining at gnats.

    You are right. The answer lies within each individual and what God places on our heart. So simply, yet eloquently said. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Nina. The root of the problem always returns to man’s determination to believe we can out do God. Human striving can never equal holiness. Vance Havner said it like this:

      The starting point to “all things” is to learn that we are nothing. “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing” (Rom. 7:18). “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself” (Gal. 6:3). What a self-deceived generation, then, is ours! “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” We do not have what it takes. Start with your nothingness – “Just as I am, without one plea” – and you are on your way to His “all things.”

      Let our debts be what they may, however great or small;
      As soon as we have naught to pay, our Lord forgives us all.
      ‘Tis perfect poverty alone that sets the soul at large;
      While we can call one mite our own, we have no full discharge.

      We can never be blessed until we learn that we can bring nothing to Christ but our need. “All the fitness He requireth is to feel your need of Him.”

      For Christ,