CHRISTMAS, EASTER AND FESTIVITIES
I. WHAT IS IT?
A. It is a date or day set aside by the fourth century christians to commemorate
the birth of Jesus Christ.
B. Almost all nations have accepted christmas and the customs around it.
II. BRIEF HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS
December 25 is a christian festival and it is observed as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. In early times - 1st and 2nd Century A.D, this day was not observed as a feast of the christian church. In fact, the church fathers frowned upon the celebration of birthdays and thought them a heathen customs. The observance probably does not date earlier than A.D. 200 and did not become widespread until the 4th Century, i.e. after A.D 300. There is nothing in the N.T. to indicate that this is the date of the Nativity. It is believed that the efforts of the early churchmen in Rome to change pagan customs into christian rites led, in the 4th Century A.D, to the adoption of December 25 as the date of Christ Mass, or feast, in honour of the birth of Christ. This day was probably chosen because, according to the calendar then in use December 25 was the Winter Solstice, the time when days begin to grow longer in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun-worshipping pagans had celebrated this this day as the promise of spring.
III. BRIEF HISTORY OF EASTER
Old English - Eastre: name of spring goddess - chief christian feast, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ after His crucifixion. It was celebrated to show that the spring goddess existed. In order to show that Jesus exist after His resurrection, and in order to hinder christians from celebrating the existence of the Spring goddess - Eastre, its date was changed to Sunday following the full moon between March 22 and April 25. The name Easter appears once in the Old King James Version of the Bible Acts 12:4 meaning "the Passover".
IV. DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT ENJOIN FESTIVITIES?
A. The Bible Is Our Only Religious Authority
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