Thursday, March 19, 2015

It's That Time Of Year Again: The Church of God's Second Favorite Holy Day

Its that time of year again and the false prophets of Armstrongism are going over board in denouncing Lent, Holy Week and Easter.  Almost every single one of these guys have gotten their information out of church related works, the debunked Hislop's Two Babylons and other anti-Catholic screeds in print.  Reading their drivel makes it painfully obvious that they are totally oblivious of anything connected to the season.  This is especially true of Bob Thiel, James Malm, Gerald Flurry, Rod Meredith, Dave Pack and UCG.

As Bereans Did has an interesting posting up about Easter and all the various myths that continue to float around Armstrongism about the season.

Did Easter start in Nimrod’s day?
No. That is an outright lie built on terrible etymology and pseudo-history, and passed off as fact due to repetition. There is nothing remotely in the realm of reliable historical evidence to demonstrate this. All of these sorts of Nimrod, Ishtar, Tammuz, etc claims find their beginning with Alexander Hislop. He’s the one who made it all up in the late 1840’s. Maybe you didn’t know that Hislop is completely unreliable. I can hardly blame you for not knowing this. Among the people who promote his writings are Herbert Armstrong and thus the leaders of every one of the COG splinter churches, Dave Hunt, Chuck Missler, Richard Rives, the Christadelphians, the Jehovah’s Witnesses – the list goes on and on. But if you really want the truth about Hislop, then please send away for Mr. Ralph Woodrow’s book “The Babylon Connection”. It will give you the information that you need to know about Alexander Hislop.
See our posts “The Babylon Connection” and “The Two Babylons” for more.
Think about it… Some people, following Alexander Hislop, say Easter is an ancient Babylonian holiday that was kept continuously by the Catholic Church since Nimrod’s day. But if it was always being kept then it cannot be the result of the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. It cannot be both.

If it was the product of the Council of Nicaea then it cannot be the result of the Catholic Church which only sent two representatives to the Council. It cannot be both.

The first mention of Eostre is in the eighth century, not the first century, nor the fourth century, and certainly not 2,000+ BC. They can’t all be right.
The early church called it Pascha and only several centuries later came the name Easter. If Pascha is centuries older tha Easter then Easter cannot be the source of Pascha. It cannot be both.

What kind of coincidence could possibly cause the holiday to be called Easter by the Babylonians, then Pascha by the Greeks and Latins, then Ostern by the Germans, then Easter once again by the English?
These contradictions cannot all be true. Who will you believe? Don’t make up your mind yet. There’s more.
The article goes on to cover these qucik facts:

Is Easter a pagan holiday coopted by the Catholic Church?
Was Passover replaced by Easter at the Council of Nicaea?
Should we call Easter by the name Passover?
Is the King James Version right in translating Acts 12: 4 as “Easter”?
Is Easter tied to the Spring Equinox because of paganism?
Is the Pope responsible for the change from Passover to Easter?
Is Easter named after a goddess?
What of the goddess Ostara, then?
What of the Austriahenae inscriptions?
Was Ostara’s consort a hare?
Is Eostra/Ostara actually Ishtar?
Did Ishtar hatch from an egg?
Did Ishtar have rabbits and eggs as her symbols?
Where does the tradition of eggs come from if not from paganism?
Where does the tradition of the Easter Bunny come from?
Is the cross just the first letter of the name Tammuz?
Does Lent come from the weeping for Tammuz?
Where did Lent come from if not from paganism?
How can we fit “three days and three nights” into Friday evening to Sunday morning?
Does the Holy Week support a Wednesday or Thursday crucifixion?
Was there a holy day then a weekly Sabbath in the crucifixion week? 
When did the women prepare spices?
Wasn’t Sunday worship itself adopted from paganism?
Other links they provide:


Black Ops Mikey said...

Now, now, we wouldn't want facts to get in the way of opinion.

Byker Bob said...

A system of rigorous legalism is no longer intellectually tenable, considering the amount and the accuracy of information which challenges the things which were presented to us as foundations.

Back in the 1960's, if someone mentioned Simon Magus in public, nobody would have had a clue. Now, he is even mentioned on TV and in the movies, and there have been authoritative articles on him published on the internet. WCG used to blame every evil on Nimrod and Semiramis, as if the two of them even lived in the same century, and nobody had a basis to call B.S. on them. Many people know about British Israelism, and can immediately recognize the fallacies in it, and dismiss it so that they won't need to waste any time considering prophecies based upon it. It's as politically incorrect as all hell, and even the Mormons have revised their beliefs and practices related to people of darker skin pigmentation.

Child abuse has a higher report rate, which has been a definite blessing to kids being raised in the splinters. And, the tax rates are so high that who could even contemplate joining a church that demands three tithes plus generous offerings on your gross?

Basically, if you are an ACOG member, and if you have so much as one ounce of curiosity, to the point where you do read widely, you'll find it impossible to remain in that church for very long, or if you do, to take it any more seriously than a club or social group. It is just not as convincing as it once was. The "use by" date expired in 1975.


Anonymous said...

In the Bible, Leviticus 23:1-44 lists the festivals given by God Himself for His own chosen people the twelve tribes of Israel to observe. God's own chosen religious leaders the priests and Levites observed these festivals and taught the rest of the people to observe them. This was all God's idea.

When Jeroboam broke away with the ten northern tribes of Israel and got them to observe some other festival that he came up with at some other time that he dreamed up in his own mind (I Kings 12:26-33), it went on generation after generation being referred to in the Bible as the sin of Jeroboam which he caused Israel to commit.

Notice that what Jeroboam had done did not become acceptable even with the passage of many years: “Jeroboam enticed Israel away from following the LORD and caused them to commit a great sin” (II Kings 17:21, NIV). Notice also the end result: “So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria, and they are still there” (II Kings 17:23, NIV).

In the Bible, you can read various accounts of Jesus and His own chosen religious leaders the apostles observing the festivals listed in Leviticus 23:1-44, such as the weekly Sabbath, the Feast of Tabernacles, and Passover. It was Jesus' custom to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath day (Luke 4:16). Jesus' crucifixion occurred on Passover after He had observed the Passover supper with his apostles. Later, Jesus' apostles were together observing the Feast of Pentecost (also called the Feast of Weeks) when the Holy Spirit was poured out on them.

Today, for whatever reason(s), most professing religious people, whether Catholic or Protestant, seem to abhor these festivals that God gave and that are actually mentioned in the Bible, and much prefer to observe the first day of the week rather than the seventh, Easter rather than Passover, Christmas rather than the Feast of Tabernacles, etc. Many excuses get made up about why God's festivals that are actually mentioned in the Bible are no good, and were supposedly done away with, and can no longer be observed anyway, and are wonderful to be free from. At the same time, many more excuses get made up about why doing anything and everything else under the sun EXCEPT what God said to do is not only okay but actually much, much better. Catholics, Protestants, and even people of the Evilutionary religion enjoy the Easter Bunnies, Santa Clauses, and other strange customs that they have become so accustomed to that they don't seem anywhere near as strange to them as the biblical customs that many of them do not seem to have ever even heard about.

When Satan is finally chained and SHUT UP in the Abyss at some point in the future to keep him from DECEIVING THE NATIONS any more for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3), the whole world will then finally learn the plain truth about why it had previously gone a whoring after ignorance and nonsense and evil in this present age.

Byker Bob said...

The observant Jews, and Messianic Jews love and enjoy these Old Covenant days. What wrecks them is Armstrongism, the extrabiblical theories, false prophecies, draconian authority, and other toxic extras that HWA brought to the party. Those sorts of modifiers would wreck any religious philosophy, and make it detestable.


Anonymous said...

Paul lived and died as a Jew, a Messianic Jew after his road to Damascus experience. He observed the Holy Days. The passages which "prove" that we Gentiles must are only descriptions of what he chose to do, not prescriptions of what the Gentiles need to do. If tithing (which Jews don't do today) was required as well as observance of the Holy Days, why are there no prescriptions (commands) to do so given to the church? BTW, today Jews are encouraged to GIVE (which is voluntary) 10% to help "heal the world," but they can't and don't "tithe" (no temple or Levites to give it to. Holy Days, tithing and other OT rules, given to the Israelites, were never commanded of the Gentiles. Is this your understanding of this issue?

Sweetblood777 said...

Throughout the Middle Ages, this pagan custom was continued, “A universal celebration was held in the Middle Ages at the hour of sunrise. According to an old legend, the sun dances on Easter morning or makes three cheerful jumps at the moment of rising, in honor of Christ’s Resurrection. . . . All over Europe people would gather in open plains or on the crests of hills to watch the spectacle of sunrise on Easter Day. The moment of daybreak was marked by the shooting of cannon and the ringing of bells. . . In most places the crowds would pray as the sun appeared. . . . From this medieval custom dates our modern SUNRlSE SERVICE held by many congregations in this country on Easter Sunday” (Weiser, The Easter Book, pp. 158-159).

Admits the Encyclopedia Britannica:
“The egg as a symbol of fertility and of renewed life goes back to the ancient Egyptians and Persians,
who had also the custom of colouring and eating eggs during their spring festival” (article, “Easter”).

Thus eating Easter eggs is actually a modern form of participation in ancient spring fertility rites, and the worship of the goddess of fertility, “Easter”!
What about the Easter “Rabbit”?

This symbol, too, comes from ancient paganism. Says the Britannica:

“Like the Easter egg, the Easter hare came to Christianity from antiquity. The hare is
associated with the moon in the legends of ancient Egypt and other peoples. . . . Through
the fact that the Egyptian word for hare, UM, means also ‘open’ and ‘period,’ that hare
came to be associated with the idea of periodicity, both lunar and human, and with the
beginning of new life in both the young man and young woman, and so a symbol of
fertility and of the renewal of life. As such, the hare became linked with Easter . . .
eggs” (ibid.).
Admits the World Book Encyclopedia, “Its name may have come from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring, or from the Teutonic festival of spring called Eostur” (article, “Easter,” vol. 6, p. 25).

As historian Will Durant wrote in The Story of Civilization, volume 3, “Caesar and Christ,” not long after the church began, the pagans began their onslaught to infiltrate it, subvert it, and destroy it. Says Durant, “Christ was assimilated to the religious and philosophical traditions of the Hellenistic mind. Now the pagan world – even the ant-Semitic world – could accept him as its own. Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it.

About A.D. 154, PoIycarp, who had observed the Passover with the apostle John and other apostles, traveled to Rome to discuss the issue of Passover and Easter with Anicetus, the bishop at Rome. At the time, neither could persuade the other to give up his custom. (Ecclesiastical History, Bk. V, Chap. XXIV).
Before Easter was universally adopted, there was a bitter and protracted controversy. In the days of Emperor Commodus (A.D. 180-192), when Victor became bishop at Rome (A.D. 190), the dispute became severe. Declared the historian Eusebius:
“There was a considerable discussion raised about this time, in consequence of a difference of opinion respecting the observance of the paschal season. The churches of all Asia, guided by a remoter tradition, supposed that they ought to keep the fourteenth day of the moon for the festival of the Saviour’s Passover, in which day the Jews were commanded to kill the paschal lamb. . . . But . . . it was not the custom to celebrate it in this manner in the churches throughout the rest of the world . . .” (Eccl. Hist., Book. V, chap. XXIII).

Deu 12:30 take heed to yourself that you not be snared to follow them after they have been destroyed before you; and that you not inquire after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their Elohim? And I shall do so, even I.

Those that want to obey Yahweh ought to abide in His word and not add to it, nor take away from it.

Anonymous said...

What a better place the world would be if only we were all super angry at Jeroboam, 'Evilution', the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus.

Actually, sometimes I don't know whether I should hate 'em or love 'em, because they make me feel so damn righteous despite my bucket full of hate for them.

No problem, tho. In the Kingdom God will sort everything out, so I have no reason now to make my best effort to heal broken relationships or any other of that silly stuff.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Jesus' crucifixion occurred on Passover after He had observed the Passover supper with his apostles.

How is that even possible?

Connie Schmidt said...

ALA the old Mad Magazine section called "The Lighter Side Of..." here are the Lighter Side of reasons the Easter bunny brings eggs:

***Who ever heard of Easter Bricks?

***He gets a good deal from the local chickens.

*** He has a Secret plan to eliminate human race by cholesterol overdose.

***Pressure from the Egg Marketing Board.

*** Would you want to hunt for waffles?

*** He thinks guys should get chicks at least once a year.

*** Because the Energizer rabbit got the good job.

Anonymous said...

Want to try something fun?

Say "Jesus was a Jew" to an Armstrongite, then wait to see how many proof-texts they can cite before their head explodes.

Anonymous said...

"In the Bible, you can read various accounts of Jesus and His own chosen religious leaders the apostles observing the festivals listed in Leviticus 23:1-44, such as the weekly Sabbath, the Feast of Tabernacles, and Passover. It was Jesus' custom to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath day (Luke 4:16). Jesus' crucifixion occurred on Passover after He had observed the Passover supper with his apostles. Later, Jesus' apostles were together observing the Feast of Pentecost (also called the Feast of Weeks) when the Holy Spirit was poured out on them."

In Plutarch's The Life of Romulus," Livy's From the Founding of the City," and Dionysius of Halicarnassus' Roman Antiquities," you can also read various accounts of God. And it's all reliable because of the written "evidence" of the thousands of years old records.

Once upon a time, there were two princes of Alba Longa, Numitor and Amulius. The older brother, Numitor inherited the throne, but his younger brother was jealous and became evil, and usurped the throne. He exiled his brother, killed his nephews, and sent his niece, Rhea Silvia to the Vestal Temple to be a vestal virgin so that she would never have children who could threaten his claim to the throne. (Don't worry, though, because this was all God's idea.)

One day, while she was on the way to fetch a pail of water, the sun became black and she heard a voice from the sky commanding her not to fear. She was taken up into the sky where she was told that she would bear two sons who would surpass all other men in valor and kingly deeds. And God went in unto her and she conceived and carried twins.

When her uncle discovered that she was with child, his rage was implacable. He ordered her to be imprisoned. At the appointed time, she gave birth to twins, just as God had said, and she named them Romulus and Remus. A servant bore word to Amulius that Rhea Silvia had given birth to twin boys, and he ordered the servant to put the infants to death by drowning them in the river Tiber. Moved by God, the servant spared their lives by placing them in a basket and setting them adrift, where they were subsequently rescued, first by a she-wolf, then by a man named Faustulus and his wife Acca Larentia, who raise them as their own and taught them to be shepherds.

When the boys were 18, they brought justice to the land by killing the usurper Amulius and reinstating their grandfather Numitor. Then they decided to start cities of their own. Romulus began building a wall around his city on the Palatine hill and Remus began building walls around his city on the Aventine hill. But then Remus became jealous and evil and attacked Romulus, who killed Remus in self-defense, saying, "So shall it be henceforth with every one who leaps over my walls." Romulus decided to name his city "Roma" after himself.

Anonymous said...

When Romulus was 53, immediately after offering a sacrifice to his Father, Mars, on the Quirinial Hill, He was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind. Julius Proculus, a man of noblest birth, and of the most reputable character, a trusted and intimate friend also of Romulus himself was walking along the road at the break of dawn, when the transfigured Romulus appeared to him. The divine Romulus said to him, "Go and tell the Romans that by heaven's will my Rome shall be capital of the world. Let them learn to be soldiers. Let them know, and teach their children, that no power on earth can stand against Roman arms." Having spoken these words, Julius Proculus watched as Romulus ascended back into the heavens. Testifying to the greatness of God and his only begotten son, Rome would prosper and conquer the entire known world, in fulfillment of the prophecy.

Why do you think the Roman Empire fell? Obviously, it was divine punishment sent upon the Empire that bore God's name, because they forgot him, and went whoring after a new, foreign god. When the world finally learns to worship the right god again, then the whole world will then finally learn the plain truth about why it had previously gone a whoring after ignorance and nonsense and evil in this present age. Then, God will return Rome to being the Capital of the World once again. Praise Father Mars and his son!

Does any of this sound familiar?

Anonymous said...

Black Ops Mikey said...

Jesus' crucifixion occurred on Passover after He had observed the Passover supper with his apostles.

"How is that even possible?"

Easy! Didn't you ever pay attention in church?
Passover is the 14th day of the 1st month on the Hebrew calendar. Jesus and his apostles ate the Passover supper the evening that began the 14th day--shortly after the 14th day had begun at sunset. They knew when it was and they observed it.

Afterwards, they went to the Mount of Olives, Jesus prayed, the disciples fell asleep, the mob came led by Judas to arrest Jesus in the night, Peter chopped off someone's ear, Jesus stuck the ear back on, the local leaders made fun of Jesus and became buddies by doing so, Peter tried a different approach and denied Jesus a few times, and after a long hard night the rooster crowed a couple times in the morning. To fulfil prophecy, Jesus was given inadequate legal representation, Pilate wimped out to the religious-leader-influenced mob, and Jesus was crucified during the daylight hours of the 14th day of the month as our Passover lamb. Not wanting Jesus' body to remain on the stake into the annual Sabbath (the 15th day of the month) that begins the seven day long Feast of Unleavened Bread, it was removed and put in a tomb near the end of Passover day (the 14th day of the month).

My sympathy to you, unlucky Black Cat, if you have experienced some bad things in the past in the church, as many others have too, but remember that is no excuse for you to be too ignorant or to behave too badly yourself.

Byker Bob said...

There is considerable controversy over many of the issues and details surrounding the historic Passover at the time of Jesus' sacrifice. Herbert W. Armstrong apparently felt that he had resolved these, and he did have a systematized version which he taught. However, the only reason why HWA's version has more credibility in ACOG circles over and above the beliefs, findings, and teachings of other scholars is members' belief that he was an apostle, and therefore had "the truth". This is not subject, in their minds, to reevaluation, or revision. It is "immutable truth" much the same as their British Israelism. The depth of this is made manifest by the fact that one of their lot would pose the ridiculous question "Didn't you ever pay attention in church?"

It isn't bad things that happened in church (although, yes there were often examples of bad fruits) that has made a number of us revisit and examine anew. Like all "glass half full" types of people, most of us shrugged those bad things off, and attributed them to human imperfection. It is the utter and abysmal failure of the theology when practiced as instructed, and the continued failure of the British Israel based prophecies which these churches can know beyond the shadow of doubt are ridiculous, but choose not to change! Those are the factors which prompted additional independent study. (Remember "prove all things?" That is a continuing process!)

Had we all gone to Petra in 1972 (per the three math equations taught), and had Jesus returned in 1975, we would have considered that to be "proof of all things", validation by God of HWA. We all know what happened instead, and what has continued to happen for 40 years. This should be a profound example of the damage that false teachers can do, and why God hates them. But, strange suppression of thought exists in the ACOGs. There is fresh-breaking news from emerging members even now that in Weinland's cult, members were given a gag order. They were not allowed to attend the tax evasion trial, or to read any of the facts or details which came out, including the trial transcript! As a group, members obeyed this gag order! This is an example of how these splinters exercise mind control, and from what we know, it is typical of what has been practiced in Armstrongism since at least the 1950s.

The baby boomer generation is the last possible "generation" which could have been identified in the Olivet discourse as the generation which would not pass until all these things be fulfilled, if Jesus was referring to the rebirth of Israel as a nation as the trigger for the end times activities. Armstrongism's much revised shelf-life cannot be extended beyond the passing of the boomers.