Saturday, February 9, 2013

Festivities In February

We live in a culture that is immersed in festivals with pagan roots.  Unfortunately many Christians have become so entrenched in these festivals, that it is difficult for them to discern between godly and ungodly.  

The problem is that when we start to compromise our faith by sugar-coating activities with ungodly roots, we begin the process of eroding our faith and character as Christians in such a way that others will no longer be able to distinguish us from the world, not to mention the damage that this compromise does to our spiritual strength and our relationship with the One True God.

We are called to be in the world, but not of it - not to be conformed to this world. (Romans 12:2)  We are instructed to NOT love the world or the things in the world (1 John 2:15).  We are admonished that friendship with this world is enmity with God. (James 4:4).

It is impossible to sugar-coat a paganistic event such as Valentine's day, by making it more socially acceptable, and think you can still remain faithful to God.   You delude yourself if you think you can participate in a celebration by "cleaning it up" and by saying you are sharing "the love of Jesus".  The so-called 'Christianization' of non-biblical, pagan celebrations is an affront to God and causes His name to be blasphemed among the Gentiles.  If you put a load of icing on a rotten potato, does it take away the rot?

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, I urge all sincere believers in Christ who seek a spirit of discernment and intimate walk with the Lord, to investigate for themselves the horrific historic roots of Valentine's Day.  Look into the Roman festival of Lupercalia and how the Roman Catholic church attempted to replace this very popular pagan festival.  Today, even the Catholic Church recognises the Roman and Catholic roots of Valentine's Day and has removed it from their official calendar.

Consider, instead, to participate in a celebration that was instituted in Scripture, and is celebrated around the same time  -  Purim.

What do you think will please God more?   A celebration commemorating His Goodness in delivering His people and to honor His faithfulness throughout history and in the future?   Or..  a fun party that commemorates ritualistic animal sacrifices to a pagan god followed by a sexual lottery and debauchery?

God does not change.  He is just as offended by His people embracing paganistic rituals today, as He was in Biblical times. 

This year, Purim is scheduled for February 23-24.

Purim is such a fun celebration and the fact that it is a Biblical festival instituted in Scripture (Esther 9:31-32) just makes it extra special.  It’s a wonderful way to teach our children more about the Hebraic roots of our faith through the story of Esther.  Above all, we glorify God for His faithfulness in delivering His people throughout history, for sending the promised Messiah (Jesus), and for His promise of deliverance as His people are persecuted today, and will be in the future end times.

I plan on doing some fun crafty activities with the kids, making “groggers” (noisemakers) and silly hats.  The kids will be making little gift packets with cookies and snacks to give to friends and neighbours, and we’ll collect and assemble gifts to charity.  We’ll invite some family and friends over for a celebratory meal, and the reading of the beautiful story of Esther.  And of course we just have to have those really cute triangular cookies that symbolize Haman’s hat!

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