This article is written by Femi Aribisala, a scholar, international affairs expert and iconoclastic church pastor in Lagos, has taken a very divergent view regarding the issue of Easter celebration and Christianity. The adept essayist has given very technical reasons drawn from the bible for which the Easter celebration can be classified as a pagan practice.
A SCRIPTURAL CONTROVERSY
Easter is not a Christian holiday. The word Easter is not even scriptural; it does not exist in true translations of the bible. Easter was smuggled into the King James Bible in Acts 12:4, where it was substituted for the original word, “Passover:” “When (Herod) had apprehended (Peter), he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.”
As a matter of fact, the word Easter only appears in the King James Version of English Bible translations. It does not exist in any other English Bible translation. Even the King James Version was forced to remove it from its revised version, known as the New King James Version.
A FORBIDDEN PRACTICE AND THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN
Most Christians are unaware that Easter is a pagan festival surreptitiously merged with Christianity. Noah’s son, Ham, married a woman called Ashtoreth. In some cultures, Ashtoreth is called Ishtar, which is transliterated in English as Easter. Ashtoreth made herself “the Queen of Heaven,” the goddess of fertility and became an object of worship. This idol worship of Ashtoreth, later camouflaged in Christendom as Easter, is specifically forbidden in the scriptures.
God says: “The women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. Do they provoke me to anger? Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces? Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, my anger and my fury will be poured out on this place.” (Jeremiah 7:17-20).
God punished Israel for succumbing to the worship of Ashtoreth (Ishtar): “They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So he delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them.” (Judges 2:13-14).
Accordingly, Samuel counselled Israel to forsake Ashtoreth (Ishtar) worship: “Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, ‘If you return to the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the LORD, and serve him only; and he will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” (1 Samuel 7:3).
WORSHIPING THE SUN
Ham and Ashtoreth gave birth to a son called Nimrod. After Ham’s death, Nimrod married Ashtoreth, his own mother, and became a powerful king of ancient Babylon. When Nimrod was also killed, Ashtoreth deified him as sun-god or life-giver. Indeed, Easter means “movement towards the rising sun.” It pertains to the religious rites of people who worship the sun and the signs of the heavens.
Sun worship is expressly forbidden in the scriptures. Ezekiel says: “I was then led into the temple’s inner courtyard, where I saw about twenty-five men standing near the entrance, between the porch and the altar. Their backs were to the LORD’s temple, and they were bowing down to the rising sun. God said, ‘Ezekiel, it’s bad enough that the people of Judah are doing these disgusting things.’”(Ezekiel 8:16-17).
Nevertheless, following this pagan tradition, “Sunrise Services” are conducted on Easter Sunday mornings in many Christian denominations.
HOT CROSSED BUNS
In Western Europe, it is traditional to eat hot-crossed buns on Easter Sunday morning. This is where we get the limerick: “Hot crossed buns; hot crossed buns. One a-penny, two a-penny, hot crossed buns.”
These small sweet buns are usually decorated with solar crosses made of white icing. They were consecrated in ancient Greece to the goddess of the sunrise. In ancient Babylon, the buns were offered to the Queen of Heaven; the goddess of Easter.
THE HEATHEN LENT
After the death of Nimrod, Ashtoreth (Ishtar) gave birth to Tammuz, a son she claimed was Nimrod reborn. When Tammuz was killed by a wild boar, Ashtoreth instituted an annual ritual of 40 days of mourning for Baal worshippers, when no meat was allowed to be eaten. This pagan tradition of “weeping for Tammuz” is specifically proscribed in the scriptures.
God said to Ezekiel: “Turn again, and you will see greater abominations that they are doing.” So he brought me to the door of the north gate of the LORD’S house; and to my dismay, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz.” (Ezekiel 8:13-14).
Nevertheless, weeping for Tammuz has been absorbed into Christianity by the institution of Lent; a 40-day period of fasting and prayer observed in some Christian denominations as a prelude to Easter. Just like Easter, Lent is not scriptural. Neither the word nor the custom exist in the Bible. Lent begins, according to Christian tradition, on Ash Wednesday; which is also pagan. The ashes were said to be the seed of the Indian fire god, Agni, deemed to have the power to forgive sins.
Because of their prolific nature in reproduction, rabbits were associated with Ishtar, the goddess of fertility. This is where Christians borrowed the tradition of the Easter bunny.
Ancient Babylonians believed an egg fell into the Euphrates River from the moon. Queen Ishtar was apparently “hatched” from this egg. This moon egg was called Ishtar’s egg; which became in Christendom Easter egg.
Have you noticed that your birthday falls on different days from year to year? So how come the celebration of Easter always falls on Friday and on Sunday? Moreover, unlike your birthday, the date for Easter changes from year to year. Sometimes it is in March; sometimes in April.
Easter moves from year to year because the date has nothing to do with the death and resurrection of Jesus but with the changing cycles of the moon. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first Vernal Equinox full moon, which is consecrated by pagans as Ishtar’s Sunday. This signifies the astronomical arrival of spring. The pagan belief is that the sun dies at winter (Christmas) and is reborn at spring (Easter).
Good Friday is also a misnomer. Jesus was not crucified on a Friday. The week in which he was crucified contained two Sabbaths and he was crucified on a Wednesday. The following Thursday was a high Sabbath day; the first day of unleavened bread.
Jesus did not resurrect on a Sunday. He resurrected on a Saturday, which was a regular weekly Sabbath day, different from the high Sabbath of the preceding Thursday. Mary Magdalene discovered the empty tomb on Sunday morning, while it was still dark. Christians should realise that from Friday evening to Sunday morning does not constitute three days and three nights in the grave, but one day and two nights.
The decision to change the day of the resurrection to Sunday was simply a continuation of the Babylonian tradition. Nimrod was ostensibly resurrected on a Sunday; a day devoted to worshipping the sun. By AD 321, Constantine established Sunday as part of the official state religion, and the Sabbath was statutorily changed from Saturday to Sunday.
Christians should desist from celebrating Easter: “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.’” (Jeremiah 10:2-3).