Christmas – Not As Innocent As You Think!

In my Easter blog post, I looked at the hypocrisy of Easter from a different perspective, and you may, or may not, be surprised to discover that Christmas poses similar issues in the worship of Christianity.

Christmas, despite all its mainstream commercialism, is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as:  ‘A religious holiday the annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth, held on 25 December in the Western Church’. It is the time that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, exchanging gifts in honour of the “greatest gift ever given”. 

However, Jesus was neither born on 25 December, nor is Christmas a Christian festival.

Christmas is yet another pagan festival that was hijacked by Christians.

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Evidence to support that the Christmas tradition has little to do with Christianity can be found in the bible itself, where the tradition is, in fact, frowned upon. God commands in Jeremiah 10:2: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens, because the nations are dismayed at them.” Christ also states in Mark 7:9:

“You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!”

Yet, ironically, every year on December 25, approximately two billion Christians throughout the word do just that – ‘Reject the commandment of God’.

Another little irony lies within the choice of date. As the Encyclopaedia Britannica states, the precise origin of assigning December 25 as the birth date of Jesus is unclear. The date is believed to have been selected in order to correspond with the Roman festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun”, with the celebration deriving from pre-Christian festivals that were celebrated during the winter solstice by pagan populations, who later converted to Christianity. The Yule log from the pagan tradition, Yule, and gift giving from the Roman pagan festival, Saturnalia, were eventually incorporated into Christmas as it is known today.

If we again turn to the bible, Luke 2:8 explains that when Christ was born, ‘in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.’ Note that the Shepherds were apparently ‘out in the field, keeping watch’, which would have been an unlikely occurrence in December, when Ezra 10:9-13 states that winter was the rainy season. Shepherds would not have been able to stay outside on cold fields at night.

Indeed, in ‘A History of Israel, The Jerome Biblical Commentary’ by Addison G. Wright, Roland E. Murphy, Joseph A. Fitzmyer; it is revealed that the DePascha Computus, an anonymous document believed to have been written in North Africa around 243 CE, placed Jesus birth on March 28. Clement, a bishop of Alexandria (d. ca. 215 CE), thought Jesus was born on November 18.  Based on historical records, Joseph Fitzmyer believes that Jesus birth occurred on September 11, 3 BCE. It would seem that Christ’s birth was nowhere near December 25.

However, as University of Manitoba historian Gerry Bowler, author of The World Encyclopedia of Christmas explains, early Christians may have figured that because Christ was crucified on March 25, that was also when he was conceived—and therefore, his birthday would have been December 25.

Yet, whilst the latter theory may be true, it is ironic that the Christmas and the modern Christian tradition of celebrating Easter, were both adopted from a pagan celebration, even though Deuteronomy 12:28-32 confirms that Christians should never mix Pagan traditions with God’s commands. Given that the Christians also hijacked the pagan Easter celebration, it would seem no coincidence that the Pagan mid-winter festival is the alleged birthdate of Jesus, together with a few other Pagan goodies, such as trees, singing, gifts, and debauchery, to make their takeover more palatable.

To quote the very words of the bible itself:

‘So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites!’ Matt 15:6-7,

Furthermore, not only did Christmas originate from a pagan festival, but one that incorporated the horrific practices of child sacrifice and cannibalism, as I will reveal.

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The pagan festival, Saturnalia, celebrated the fire god, Saturn, and thus, the God honoured at Christmas is not a Christian God, but a fire/sun God. Saturn was worshipped during this winter festival so that he (the “sun”) would return to warm the earth again so that spring planting of crops could occur.

To understand the sun/fire god, it is important to realise that virtually every civilisation has one. Vulcan, the Egyptian God; Kronos, the Greek and Phoenician God (also known as Saturn); Tammuz, the Babylonian God, also known as Nimrod, resurrected in the person of his son; and Molech or Baal, as known to the Druids. However, these were all various names for Nimrod, who was considered the father of all the Babylonian Gods.

The following quote from The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop, page 231, states how child sacrifice was associated with the worship of the Fire God Nimrod, Saturn, Kronos, Molech and Baal:

Now, this is in exact accordance with the character of the Great Head of the system of fire-worship. Nimrod, as the representative of the devouring fire to which human victims, and especially children, were offered in sacrifice, was regarded as the great child-devourer…he was, of course, the actual father of all the Babylonian gods; and, therefore, in that character he was afterwards universally regarded. As the Father of the gods, he was, as we have seen, called Kronos; and everyone knows that the classical story of Kronos was just this, that, ‘he devoured his sons as soon as they were born.’ (Lempriere Classical Dictionary, ‘Saturn.’)…This legend has a further and deeper meaning; but, as applied to Nimrod, or ‘The Horned One,’ it just refers to the fact, that, as the representative of Moloch or Baal, infants were the most acceptable offerings at his altar. We have ample and melancholy evidence on this subject from the records of antiquity. ‘The Phoenicians,’ says Eusebius, ‘every year sacrificed their beloved and only-begotten children to Kronos or Saturn.

Humans sacrificing their own children for slaughter was key to the worship of Saturn, in the belief that fire purified them from original sins. They would, thus, try to please the Fire/Sun God by sacrificing their own children. Indeed, the bible also states, “They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech” (Jer. 32:35), where God is also claimed to have said “I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination”. This also confirms that celebrating a Sun/Fire God is not a part of Christianity.

A Closer Look At Nimrod

Nimrod, is mentioned in Genisis 10:9 when he tries to replace God. Ezekiel 8:13-14 records a picture of the women of Israel “weeping for Tammuz.” This Tammuz (the god of fire) was considered to be Nimrod and the etymology of the word itself is fascinating. Tam means “to make perfect” and muz “fire”. The meaning is clear in light of what we have already learned.

Incidentally, in the Iraqi-Kuwaiti Desert Storm War, Saddam Hussein even named one of his missiles the “Tammuz.”

Jer. 7:31 connects Tophet and Hinnom to child sacrifice. Tophet means “the drum”. Drums were played to drown the screams of victims in the flames.

Whilst nobody will claim to sacrifice their children to Molech today, the martyr Stephen was stoned to death, the New Testament, because he indicted his listeners for the worship of this evil idol (Acts 7:43).

Cannibalism

Erik Eckholm stated in The New York Times, article ‘What Is the Meaning of Cannibalism?‘:

 ‘Cannibalism has once fascinated and repelled virtually every known society, including those said to have practiced it.’

This practice has its roots in a prime function of all priests of Baal, and it is interesting to note that the Hebrew word for priest is Cahn. Thus, consider the following quote from The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop, page 232:

‘And it was a principle of the Mosaic law, a principle no doubt derived from the patriarchal faith, that the priest must partake of whatever was offered as a sin-offering (Numbers xviii. 9, 10). Hence, the priests of Nimrod or Baal were necessarily required to eat of the human sacrifices; and thus it has come to pass that ‘Cahna-Bal,’ the ‘Priest of Baal,’ is the established word in our own tongue for a devourer of human flesh.’

Anyone fancy a mince pie?

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Even the imagery of Father Christmas, or Santa Claus, bears a striking resemblance to Saturn: An old man, with a long white beard, who surrounded by children.

Ironically, the Encyclopedia of World History by William L Langer, states “Santa” was a common name for Nimrod throughout Asia Minor; the Fire God to whom infants were burned and eaten in human sacrificed by those who were once Christians.

It is, perhaps, no coincidence that the name Santa Claus comes from “Saint Nicholas”, when Revelation 2:6 mentions the ‘works of the Nicolaitans’. Nicolaitane means “follower of Nicholas”. The Greek words, Nikos, translates as “conqueror, destroyer”, and Laos translates as, “people”.

Thus, the Nicolaitanes are people who follow the destroyer, Nimrod!

Saturn appears in modern society in two more guises.  Every December, Saturn, the god of time, re-emerges as “Old Father Time.”  Baby New Year is a symbol of the child-victim. Saturn also emerges in modern society as the Grim Reaper, gathering in his bleak harvest of souls.  A chilling representation of Father Time with Baby New Year can be found in this illustration from the 19th century:

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Father Time, (Saturn, as the god of time), is standing in front of a large clock, holding his scythe.  The old years are passing away as bodies wrapped in burial shrouds, whilst the New Year is coming in as a young child.  The subsequent ‘New Years’ are portrayed as children ready to be sacrificed, and were heavily veiled so that their parents would not recognise when their child was burned.

Are you still so sure that Christmas an innocent Christian custom…?

The Exchange of Gifts

Most people today believe that the tradition of giving gifts at Christmas comes the Biblical story of the “three wise men” (although the Bible specifies no actual number) presenting gifts to Christ. Just like every other aspect of Christmas, the truth is that even this supposed Christian custom does not come from the Bible, and whilst people love to believe they are following the custom of the wise men giving to Christ, the ironic hypocrisy is that they are giving almost exclusively to each other.

The Bibliotheca Sacra states, “The interchange of presents between friends is a like characteristic of Christmas and the Saturnalia, and must have been adopted by Christians from the pagans, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly shows” (Vol. 12, pp. 153-155).

A long-standing, ancient custom of the East, which still prevails today, was to present gifts when coming before a king. Thus, the “wise men” who gave gifts to Christ, did so to honour the presence of ‘King of the Jews’. The scripture describing this is Matthew 2:1-11:

‘Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?… And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.’

Yet, despite the description from Matthew 2:1-11, it is commonly believed that the gifts were birthday presents for “baby Jesus”. But, the wise did not stand in his presence and exchange gifts among themselves, or give them to others. The gifts were “presented unto Him”. Also, they arrived after Jesus’s “birthday”. This is another reason these could not have been “birthday presents”.

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

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Most aspects of Christmas are not referred to in the Bible, the reason being that they are not part of Christianity. The Christmas tree, however, is directly mentioned in the Bible in Jeremiah 10:2-5:

“Thus says the Lord: Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.”

This description of the Christmas tree is clear, and the bible states that God tells people to “learn not the way of the nations”, calling these customs “vain”, thus condemning the putting up of pagan (Christmas) trees with this plain Bible command.

Mistletoe?

Christmas is incomplete to many unless it involves “kissing under the mistletoe”. This pagan custom was natural on a night that involved much revelry done in the spirit of drunken orgies. Just like today, this “kissing” usually occurred at the beginning of the Saturnalia/Christmas celebration, and has nothing to do with Christianity.

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Worship of God with Mixed Practices

Lev. 18:21 and 29 reveals how anyone in ancient Israel who merged false pagan customs with the worship of the true God, was put to death.

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In fact, the warning was clear in Deuteronomy 12:29-31,

‘When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.’

Deuteronomy 12:32 also made clear that God did not want Christians to mix his ways with any other tradition: “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it”.

These are the words printed in the Bible aimed to ‘warn’ those who believe they can mix the customs of paganism with a supposed ‘focus on Christ’.

Ancient Israel’s Pagan Practices in Modern Customs

Deuteronomy 12:2-4 establishes:

‘You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place. You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way.’

Notice God’s references to “every green tree”. There are at least ten similar verses throughout the Old Testament referring to “green trees” and their association with idolatry.

Sound familiar? – Presents, singing in the streets, evergreen trees, decorations, offerings under the tree, merrymaking, feasting? Such Christmas traditions may sound wonderful, but they originally represented things that were once truly atrocious.

On that note, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

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A Happy Hypocritical Easter!

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Easter is a tradition celebrated across the world, which Christians believe to be in honour of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary.

Secularists and atheists, will instead celebrate the spring equinox, taking advantage of the fantastic range of delicious chocolate eggs and cakes, that modern day Easter commercialism presents so wonderfully to us.

“Hypocrisy”, some may cry. However, the Christians amongst you may be surprised to learn that Easter, is in fact, a Pagan festival, and is not really about Jesus at all. Has it never struck Christians as being somewhat odd, that rabbits and chocolate eggs are associated with Christ’s Resurrection?

It would appear that the bible has caused Christians some confusion with the following passage from Act 12:3: ‘This was during the days of Unleavened Bread’, which is where The New Testament Church observes the feast days described in Leviticus 23. Acts 12:4 states: “And when he [Herrod] had seized him [Peter], he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people.” Some translations of the bible, such as this 21st Century King James edition, have translated the word ‘Passover’ to ‘Easter’.

However, the mistranslation of the word Easter has come from the Greek word ‘pascha’ – derived from the Hebrew word pesach. As there is no original Greek word for Passover, for this reason, a Hebrew word is used in the Greek New Testament. The word has only one meaning: Passover (Account found at Exodus 12). It does not mean Easter.  Thus, the verse does not endorse Easter, and is instead an indication that the Christian Church observed the Jewish Passover ten years after the supposed death of Christ. More importantly, there is no other mention of the word Easter anywhere else in the bible. There are no verses anywhere in the Bible, that authorize or endorse the keeping of Easter celebration. The Bible also makes no mention of Lent, eggs, egg hunts, Easter bunnies, etc. It does, however, mention hot cross buns and sunrise services as abominations, which God condemns.

It would appear that the mistranslation of Acts 12:4 may have been an attempt to insert a Pagan festival into biblical scripture for the purpose of authorising it as a Christian tradition. Verse 14 goes on to state that the Passover ceremony was commanded by God to be an annual memorial feast to be kept by Israel “forever”. This command is repeated in Leviticus 23:5. Exodus 12:15 introduces the seven-day festival called the Days of Unleavened Bread (also repeated in Leviticus 23:6-8), which was to immediately follow the Passover feast each year. This is why Acts 12:3 states, “This was during the days of unleavened bread”, before mentioning the Passover in the next verse.

Despite the biblical command listed in Leviticus 23, that Passover should still be kept by Christians today (Acts 2:1; 12:3; 18:21; 20:6; I Cor. 5:7-8; 16:8), how ironic that almost no Christian who professes to worship Jesus Christ, observes the Passover as commanded.

Thus, as there is no specific instruction to observe Easter in the Bible (although the permanent command to observe Passover, is), from where did Easter originate?

Origins

Easter has most likely originated from before the Hebrew feast of Passover. The earliest reference to a similar holiday comes from Babylon, 2400 BCE. Ancient Babylonians would mark the beginning of Spring with a gala celebration honoring the resurrection of the god, Tammuz, who was killed by a wild boar. Tammuz was returned to life by his mother/wife, Ishtar with her tears. Ishtar was actually pronounced “Easter”.

Celebrating the beginning of spring may be among the oldest holidays in human culture; a tradition that would occur every year during the spring equinox. Biologically and culturally, it represents for northern climates the end of a “dead” (winter) season and the rebirth of life (spring), as well as the importance of fertility and reproduction.

The city of Ur also had a celebration dedicated to the moon and the spring equinox, which was held during our months of March or April. On the spring equinox, Zoroastrians continue to celebrate “No Ruz”, the new day or New Year. This date is commemorated by the last remaining Zoroastrians, and probably constitutes the oldest celebration in the history of the world.

Exchange of eggs is an ancient custom, celebrated by many cultures. Hot cross buns are also very ancient, and the Old Testament mentions Israelites baking sweet buns for an idol, and religious leaders trying to put a stop to it. The early church clergy also tried to put a stop to sacred cakes being baked at Easter. In the end, in the face of defiant cake-baking Pagan women, they gave up and blessed the cake instead. Jeremiah 7:18: ‘The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make sacrificial cakes for the queen of heaven. And to offend me all the more, they pour out drink offerings to foreign gods’.

It is interesting that Christians seem to have adopted all the fun things about Easter from Paganism, including the tradition of Easter Bunnies, which are a leftover from the pagan festival of Eostre, a great northern goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare.

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Spring festivals honouring Eostre, the great mother goddess of the Saxons, were also held hundreds of years before the documented birth of Christ. The name Eostre was fashioned after the ancient word for spring, Eastre. The goddess Ostara was the Norse equivalent whose symbols were the hare and the egg, which began the modern tradition of celebrating Easter with eggs and bunnies. Several goddesses were associated with the practice:

  • Aphrodite from ancient Cyprus
  • Ashtoreth from ancient Israel
  • Astarte from ancient Greece
  • Demeter from Mycenae
  • Hathor from ancient Egypt
  • Ishtar from Assyria
  • Kali, from India
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    Goddess Ishtar

In the Mediterranean region, there was a pre-Christian spring celebration centered around the vernal equinox that honoured Cybele, the Phrygian goddess of fertility. Cybele’s consort, Attis, was considered born of a virgin and was believed to have died and been resurrected three days later. Attis derived his mythology from even earlier gods, Osiris, Dionysus, and Orpheus, who also were supposed to have been born of a virgin and suffered death and resurrection as long as 500 years before Christ was born. The death of Attis was commemorated on a Friday and the resurrection was celebrated three days later on Sunday. (Does this story not sound familiar…?)

It would thus appear that the name of Easter and the traditions surrounding it are deeply rooted in Pagan religion.

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A Pagan march through the streets…

Other “borrowed” Easter traditions, that are Pagan in origin, include Easter lilies being revered by the ancients as symbols of fertility and representative of the male genitalia, whilst the ancient Babylonian religions had rituals involving dyed eggs, as did the ancient Egyptians. Note that the origin of the Easter egg is based on the fertility lore of the Indo-European races, with the egg being a symbol of spring. Conversely, in Christian times, the egg became a symbol of religious interpretation, which symbolised the rock tomb out of which Christ emerged to the new life of his resurrection. Thus, another example of a pagan custom being “Christianised”, to deceive—as well as making Christians feel better about why they are following a custom that is not in the Bible.

Ironically, Christians seem to believe the sunrise services (yet another ancient pagan practice, which welcomes the sun on the morning of the spring equinox) is a “beautiful”, “moving”, and “religious” tradition. Yet, the Bible at Ezek. 8:13-18 states something very different: 

‘There, at the entrance to the Lord’s temple, between the porch and the altar, were twenty-five men facing toward the east with their backs to the Lord’s temple. They were bowing to the sun in the east… Isn’t it enough that the house of Judah has observed here all these detestable things? They have filled the land with violence, and they continue to provoke my fury. Look at them! They even put the branch to their noses!  I will certainly respond with wrath. I won’t spare or pity anyone. Even though they call out loudly to me in my hearing, I won’t listen to them.’

Thus, observing sunrise services is so serious, Ezek. 9 documents that God would ultimately destroy all who persisted in it.

Nice.

Deuteronomy 12:28-32 also confirms that Christians should never mix Pagan traditions with God’s commands. The Passover was commanded; not Easter.

Christians: Do bear in mind the following as quoted from Matt. 15:6-7: ‘So you do away with God’s Law for the sake of the rules that have been handed down to you. Hypocrites!…’

Therefore, if Christians continuously choose to disregard the wishes of their beloved God, year after year, then why should atheists, such as myself, feel “left out” of the loop? Atheists also enjoy celebrating what has now become a commercialised festival, and the opportunity to devour a substantial amount of chocolate. Surely, that can only be good for the economy…? Mass public spending within the food industry, subsequently followed by mass public spending in the diet and pharmaceutical industries…

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Happy Easter, everyone!