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Holiday Traditions

by Steve Crook

Hello everyone.

I am forming this letter with as much love as the Lord allows me to create it with, and in doing so, my hope is that you will all receive it in the spirit that it is sent in, Love. I ask that you read it thoroughly, a few times if necessary, before you make a decision as to what you think about what I am about to write. I apologize for the length of this letter, but the length of the letter testifies as to why a face-to-face talk without this letter happening first, would only confuse everyone further. Hopefully, this letter will act as a guide to what will inevitably turn into future conversations.

For a few years now, I have began to search for the truth about a lot of things in my life, and the only Truth I have found lies within a few simple scriptures.

(John 14:6 KJVR)  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

(John 6:44 KJVR)  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Within these powerful words are rest for me, and I know they are rest for anyone that sets aside their burdens and sits down at His feet.

(Matthew 11:29 KJVR)  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

(Matthew 11:30 KJVR)  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

A yoke is a device that is used for one or more oxen to share the load of the burden they have around their necks. While I have Christ’s yoke on, he is right along side of me, helping me every step of the way. If I am to listen to the words of our Saviour, I must also keep and do His commandments; otherwise, I am none of his. I am a citizen of another country, and my country is heavenly - a city prepared for me.

(Hebrews 11:14 KJVR)  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

(Hebrews 11:15 KJVR)  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

(Hebrews 11:16 KJVR)  But now they desire a better country, (they is me) that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

(John 14:15 KJVR)  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

(John 15:10 KJVR)  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide(abide is the same greek word for continue) in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
(John 15:11 KJVR)  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
(John 15:12 KJVR)  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
(John 15:13 KJVR)  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:14 KJVR)  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
(John 15:15 KJVR)  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
(John 15:16 KJVR)  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
(John 15:17 KJVR)  These things I command you, that ye love one another.
(John 15:18 KJVR)  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
(John 15:19 KJVR)  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
(John 15:20 KJVR)  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

This brings me to the point of this letter. I have learned over the last few years, through rigorous study and discipline, some of the biggest holidays practiced by the “historical orthodox Christian church” and most of the world, are not what they appear to be. These holidays are Christmas, Easter, and Halloween. There are several sources that have provided the infomation below. These sites may interest some of you if you feel inclined to read more about the advent of these holidays, but I will give you a brief history also. You can read from these sites later if you wish to find out more about these holidays.

http://www.history.com/minisites/christmas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween
http://www.halloweenmagazine.com/history.htm
http://www.history.com/minisites/halloween/

Christmas

“Christ’s” – “Mass” was instituted by the Roman Catholic Church around 350 A.D. However, the worship of the winter solstice, or December 25th, started much earlier than what is today known as Christmas. Winter festivals that have influenced Christmas include the pre-Christian festivals of Yule and Saturnalia, and many of the traditions associated with the holiday have origins in these pagan winter celebrations. Pay close attention to who these festivals worshipped. I’ve bolded and underlined them so they are easy to find.

Yule or Yuletide - Many of the symbols associated with the modern holiday of Christmas such as the burning of the Yule log, the eating of ham, the hanging of boughs, holly, mistletoe, etc. are derived from traditional northern European Yule celebrations. When the first missionaries began converting the Germanic peoples to Christianity, they found it easier to simply provide a Christian reinterpretation for popular feasts such as Yule and allow the celebrations themselves to go on largely unchanged, rather than trying to suppress them. The tradition derives from the sacrifice to the god Freyr at theYule celebrations.

Freyr [1] is one of the most important deities in Norse paganism and Norse mythology. Worshipped as a phallic fertility god, Freyr "bestows peace and pleasure on mortals". He rules over the rain, the shining of the sun and the produce of the fields.

Saturnalia – Worshipped in Rome much before the birth of Christ. Saturn, a god of agriculture. The Saturnalia was a large and important public festival in Rome. It involved the conventional sacrifices, a couch set out in front of the temple of Saturn and the untying of the ropes that bound the statue of Saturn during the rest of the year. Besides the public rites there were a series of holidays and customs celebrated privately. The celebrations included a school holiday, the making and giving of small presents and a special market. Gambling was allowed for all, even slaves; although it was only officially condoned during this period, one should not assume that it was rare or much remarked upon during the rest of the year. It was a time to eat, drink, and be merry. The toga was not worn, but the pilleus (freed-man's hat) was worn by everyone. Slaves were exempt from punishment, and treated their masters with disrespect. The slaves celebrated a banquet, before, with, or served by the masters. A Saturnalicius princeps was elected master of ceremonies for the proceedings. Saturnalia became one of the most popular Roman festivals which led to more tomfoolery, marked chiefly by having masters and slaves switch places, which led to widespread drinking and debauchery, so that among Christians the (lower case) word "saturnalia" came to mean "orgy".
Mithras –  In 274, Emperor Aurelian designated December 25 as the festival of Sol Invictus (the "unconquered sun"). Aurelian may have chosen this date because the solstice was considered the birthday of Mithras, a syncretic god of Persian origin. Mithras is often identified with Sol Invictus, although Sol was originally a separate Syrian god.
Mithras was a god of light and a child of the earth who sprang up next to a sacred stream. He was born bearing a torch and armed with a knife. Some later Mithratic beliefs were derived from Christianity, such as the belief that Mithras' birth was attended by shepherds. Sundays were dedicated to Mithras and caves were often used for his worship. A series of emperors promoted Mithraism beginning with Commodus. The cult emphasized loyalty to the emperor and Roman soldiers were expected to participate. Mithraism collapsed rapidly after Constantine I withdrew imperial favor (312), despite being at the peak of its popularity only a few years earlier.

These are just a few examples of the traditions and holidays that revolve around the December 25th Holiday.

Easter

The ancient Saxons celebrated the return of spring with an uproarious festival commemorating their goddess of offspring and of springtime, Eastre. When the second-century Christian missionaries encountered the tribes of the north with their pagan celebrations, they attempted to convert them to Christianity. They did so, however, in a clandestine manner.

It would have been suicide for the very early Christian converts to celebrate their holy days with observances that did not coincide with celebrations that already existed. To save lives, the missionaries cleverly decided to spread their religious message slowly throughout the populations by allowing them to continue to celebrate pagan feasts, but to do so in a Christian manner.
 
As it happened, the pagan festival of Eastre occurred at the same time of year as the Christian observance of the Resurrection of Christ. It made sense, therefore, to alter the festival itself, to make it a Christian celebration as converts were slowly won over. The early name, Eastre, was eventually changed to its modern spelling, Easter.

Ishtar  - was the ancient Sumero-Babylonian goddess of love and fertility. She is often described as the daughter of Anu, the god of the air. In most of the myths concerning her, she is described as an evil, heartless, women who destroyed her mates and lovers. Her greatest lover was the farm god Tammuz (remember this god. He is specifically mentioned in the scriptures), who is similar to the Greek Adonis. After he died she went into the underworld to retrieve him but her efforts were vain and she returned to the living world alone.

Later, in the great epic of Gilgamesh, she tried to make Gilgamesh her husband, but he refused her and reminded her of her former lovers, whom she mercilessly killed or left injured. She reported this to her father, Anu, and he gave her the mystical bull of heaven to avenge herself. Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu stopped and killed the mighty creature and threw its headless body at her feet. They also insulted her, and she responded by sending disease to kill Gilgamesh's best friend Enkidu.

Halloween

Halloween began over 2000 yrs ago with a people known as the Celtics. They lived in what is today Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France – Scotland and Wales. Halloween was also the beginning of the Celtic New Year, November 1st, to give thanks to the sun god for the harvest and to practice the festival of Samhain.

Halloween, All saints day, All hallows eve or All souls day is a festival practiced for many, many years.. It was held to honor the Samhain the so called "lord of death". It was a Druidical belief that on the eve of this festival Samhain, lord of death, called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals.

It was a pagan belief that on one night of the year the souls of the dead return to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these evil spirits would cast spells and cause havoc toward those failing to fulfill their requests.

Sacrifices were offered on this night to the dead spirits because it was thought they visited their earthly dwellings and former friends.

There was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of the good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise; but the souls of the wicked men were left to wonder in the space between the earth and the moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living...But there were means by which ghosts might be exorcised.

To exorcise these ghosts, that is to free yourself from their evil sway, you would have to set out food and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your offerings, they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you.

In modern day Satanism and Witchcraft covens, this is the day when Satan himself comes to "fellowship" with his followers. Many changes have occurred over the centuries, but one thing has stayed the same, the practice of giving an "offering" has stayed the same. Oh we do it under the name of fun but what is the real meaning? Is it still the same as in the old days? I say the answer is YES.

The celebration in the Roman Catholic Church, which was later to merge with Samhain, was known as All Saints' Day. All Saints' Day originated in the 7th century when the Pantheon at Rome was wrested from the barbarians, made into a cathedral, and renamed the Church of the Blessed Virgin and All Martyrs. Thus, from honoring "all gods" (which is the meaning of the Greek word "pantheon") the Pantheon became the center for glorifying all saints.

This day that honored all the "hallowed" saints was first observed on the evening of May 13, and was known as the All hallows festival. The day was officially authorized in 835 by Pope Gregory IV after it was moved to November 1 to coincide with Samhain. It began on the evening of October 31, which was called All Hallows Eve.
Thus, without forcing the pagans to drop their pagan practices and accept Christianity, the Roman Catholic church merely made room to accommodate the barbarians. Just as it confiscated the pagan Pantheon for its own uses, this church incorporated the customs of Samhain to further its mission to convert the known world to Catholicism. The two celebrations made strange bedfellows: one in respect of evil spirits, the other honoring "saints."

Nevertheless, the joining of the two celebrations produced a hybrid of beliefs about what was supposed to happen in the spirit world. Souls in purgatory appeared as witches and toads to persons who had wronged them. Halloween fires took on a new meaning and now were used to comfort souls in purgatory as people prayed while holding burning straw in the air.

Even the idea of trick-or-treating by evil spirits took on an acceptable church flavor: costumed children went around on All Souls Day offering to fast for the departed souls in return for money or an offering.

As the Celts converted to the new religion, they did not forget their stories of the dead traveling to the afterworld on Halloween. Rather, exhibitions of this night became more evil and the observance adopted even more malicious overtones.

Here come the witches, jack-o-lanterns and black cats:

In America it's a pumpkin, but in Europe it was often a turnip, large beet, potato, rutabaga or even a skull with a candle in it. The fearsome face of the jack-o-lantern was representative of the god of the dead, Shamin, who would drive off less powerful evil spirits abroad that night.  As glimmering lights flickered over an English marsh or an Irish bog, people imagined dead souls had returned to earth. They would place the jack-o-lantern on posts and in windows to ward off the spirits of the dead on Halloween.

The word jack-o-Lantern is an abbreviation of "Jack of the Lantern." Jack is another name for joker or Satan. In the Irish tale, a man named Jack was fond of playing tricks on the devil. Annoyed, the devil tossed Jack a burning coal from hell. With the coal in his "lantern" Jack was condemned to walk the earth forever searching for rest.

The jack-o-lantern is a Halloween idol that keeps alive an ancient symbol of demonic superstition.

Black Cats and Witches :
A pagan practice that was not eradicated upon the coming of Christianity was witchcraft. The word "witch" comes from the Anglo-Saxon Wicca, or "wise one." Witches were thought to be possessors of magic.

Witches, who worship the deities of nature, have living talismans or symbols through which they derive their dark powers. They invoke evil spirits to enter the bodies of their talismans. Some have dogs, owls, snakes or swine for their talismans, but the most common are cats.

The broomstick is a symbol of the male organ, on which the witch mounts and leaps high around the fields to "teach" the crops how high to grow. The notion of flying witches relates to the fact that witches believed they could fly great distances to their feasts by smearing their bodies with ointments containing drugs. The drugs gave them psychedelic "trips" making them think they flew.

Witchcraft is demonic worship in diametric opposition to the worship of the Heavenly Father. Our Father minces no words about it. He told Israel through Moses,

(Exodus 22:18 KJVR) Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Iin Deuteronomy 18:10,

(Deuteronomy 18:10 KJVR) There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,

Cats have been closely associated with mystery religion from the Egyptians to the Norse. But the Celts had a particular fear of cats, believing they were humans who had been changed into feline form by evil powers. The black cat particularly was connected to demonic powers.

Black cats are the chief idol of the goddess of Wicca, Diana. In legend, she turns into a black cat to commit incest with her brother, Lucifer. Eventually the Druids themselves came to be regarded as witches. Witch hunting during Halloween became almost a national pastime in the colonial years of our nation. But that was yesterday. Halloween is regarded as the high "Sabbath" for practicing witches today.

Orange, black, and red, the devil's colors, are the colors associated with Halloween. Black prefigures black magic and demonic influence. The black of night is when these forces of evil are busiest, using the cover of darkness for their sinister works.

As you can see with the above examples, there are very old traditions that are tied into all the holidays that we all practice today. However, I am at a point in my walk with the Lord that I cannot faithfully participate in any of them any longer. The scriptures, and the Lord through them, tells me that my faith is not my own, and it is not proper for me to judge someone else’s faith that He has given to them.

(Romans 10:17 KJVR)  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

(1 Corinthians 2:5 KJVR)  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

(Galatians 3:11 KJVR)  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

(Hebrews 11:6 KJVR)  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

(Revelation 14:12 KJVR)  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

(Romans 14:1 KJVR)  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
(Romans 14:2 KJVR)  For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
(Romans 14:3 KJVR)  Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
(Romans 14:4 KJVR)  Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
(Romans 14:5 KJVR)  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

(1 Corinthians 10:31 KJVR)  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

You may be asking yourself why and how I have come to the conclusions to not participate in the holidays of our land and of most of the entire world. Once I knew the truth of these things, I could not faithfully participate any longer, and I will not be doing so from this point forward.

Remember the farm god Tammuz from Easter?  Remember, Easter is a holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most important holiday in the Christian world, though in our society many esteem Christmas above all others. Here are a few scriptures which speak specifically about the god Tammuz. God is revealing to Ezekiel just what he thinks of this type of worship.

(Ezekiel 8:14)  Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.
(Ezekiel 8:15)  Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.
(Ezekiel 8:16)  And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the sun toward the east.
(Ezekiel 8:17)  Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.
(Ezekiel 8:18)  Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.

We are given many admonitions (examples) to follow in the Old and New Testament which tell us exactly how our Lord feels about following after others gods and the traditions of worshipping other gods. Even if we are not worshipping other gods in our minds, we are worshipping them IN TRADITION, by keeping the same traditions that were meant to worship them.

(Deuteronomy 12:28)  Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee forever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.
(Deuteronomy 12:29)  When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;
(Deuteronomy 12:30)  Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
(Deuteronomy 12:31)  Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
(Deuteronomy 12:32)  What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

Even though I’ve personally practiced these holidays for many years, I am now held accountable for knowing the truth of the history of them, and for doing what I know to be right and truthful in regards to them, once I have been given the truth of them.

(Deuteronomy 29:16)  (For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by;
(Deuteronomy 29:17)  And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:)
(Deuteronomy 29:18)  Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;
(Deuteronomy 29:19)  And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:
(Deuteronomy 29:20)  The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.
(Deuteronomy 29:21)  And the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law:
(Deuteronomy 29:22)  So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the LORD hath laid upon it;
(Deuteronomy 29:23)  And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:
(Deuteronomy 29:24)  Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?
(Deuteronomy 29:25)  Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt:
(Deuteronomy 29:26)  For they went and served other gods, and worshiped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them:
(Deuteronomy 29:27)  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book:
(Deuteronomy 29:28)  And the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.
(Deuteronomy 29:29)  The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
(Romans 14:22)  Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
(Romans 14:23)  And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Now, this is not an easy situation for me. The whole world participates in these holidays and the whole world feels justified for “keeping the spirit” of the holidays. The whole world, however, does not know of what spirit they are keeping, and in doing so, they are participating in abominations the Lord will not ignore.

(1 John 4:1 KJVR)  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

(1 Corinthians 3:19)  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
(1 Corinthians 3:20)  And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
(1 Corinthians 3:21)  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

(James 4:4 KJVR)  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity (hatred) with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Men and women of this world have taught me many of the things I have come to believe throughout my short life. After I set out to only know the truth, and I cried out to the Father in heaven to make it known to me, He was not slack in answering my prayers. Now that I know the truth, I cannot go back to un-knowing it. It is in-grained in my very spirit and mind. That mind is none other than the mind of Christ.

(Romans 12:16 KJVR)  Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits

.(Ephesians 5:17 KJVR)  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

(Proverbs 3:5 KJVR)  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

(1 Corinthians 1:10 KJVR)  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

(Philippians 2:2 KJVR)  Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

(Romans 15:6 KJVR)  That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(1 Corinthians 2:15 KJVR)  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

(1 Corinthians 2:16 KJVR)  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

(Philippians 4:7 KJVR)  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

It is essential that this mind be in me. If it is not, then all is vanity. The mind of Christ instructs me that:

(2 Peter 2:1 YLT)  And there did come also false prophets among the people, as also among you there shall be false teachers, who shall bring in besides destructive sects, and the Master who bought them denying, bringing to themselves quick destruction,
(2 Peter 2:2 YLT)  and many shall follow out their destructive ways, because of whom the way of the truth shall be evil spoken of,
(2 Peter 2:3 YLT)  and in covetousness, with moulded words, of you they shall make merchandise, whose judgment of old is not idle, and their destruction doth not slumber.

You may also be asking yourself how I can pit myself against the entire established church world and claim to know the truth about this, which they do not possess?

(Matthew 15:3)  But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

Transgressing the commandments of God is done so BY participating in the traditions of men. The traditions spoken of here are RELIGIOUS traditions. Christmas, Easter, and Halloween are by nature religious traditions.

(Matthew 15:7)  Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
(Matthew 15:8)  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
(Matthew 15:9)  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
(Mark 7:7)  Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
(Mark 7:8)  For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
(Mark 7:9)  And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
(Colossians 2:8)  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

(Titus 1:16 NIV)  They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

(Jeremiah 17:9)  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Christ did not tell his apostles to do away with the traditions of the jewish holy days (very close to our English word holiday), just to turn around and give them new ones to practice in relation to his birth and resurrection. That is why there is NO PLACE in the scriptures that tell us to do these things called Christmas and Easter. Men have devised these holidays, and men practice them for fun and sport. It is fun, but that is not the topic of this paper. We can have fun without using the name of Christ to do so.

It is not unbelievers who “claim to know God”. It is his own people, who claim to know God the Father. It was Christ’s own people who crucified him at Calvary. It has not changed in over 2000 years, because with their hearts and actions they crucify him continually.

(Titus 1:16 NIV)  They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

Paul wrote this to the believing church of Galatians.

(Galatians 4:5)  To redeem them that were under the law,(the Law of Moses, i.e. the ten commandments) that we might receive the adoption of sons.
(Galatians 4:6)  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
(Galatians 4:7)  Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
(Galatians 4:8)  Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
(Galatians 4:9)  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
(Galatians 4:10)  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
(Galatians 4:11 KJVR)  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.

(Galatians 3:22 KJVR)  But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
(Galatians 3:23 KJVR)  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
(Galatians 3:24 KJVR)  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
(Galatians 3:25 KJVR)  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
(Galatians 4:1 KJVR)  Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
(Galatians 4:2 KJVR)  But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
(Galatians 4:3 KJVR)  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
(Galatians 4:4 KJVR)  But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
(Galatians 4:5 KJVR)  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
(Hebrews 5:12 KJVR)  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
(Hebrews 5:13 KJVR)  For every one that useth milk is unskillfull in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
(Hebrews 5:14 KJVR)  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
(Hebrews 6:1 KJVR)  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
(Hebrews 6:2 KJVR)  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
(Hebrews 6:3 KJVR)  And this will we do, if God permit.
(Hebrews 6:4 KJVR)  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
(Hebrews 6:5 KJVR)  And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
(Hebrews 6:6 KJVR)  If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

When it comes time to answer my own children I will answer them in the spirit of truth. It may not have come to me this way, but I will be teaching my children the ways of the Lord as best the Lord affords me the ability to do so. The entire Christian world believes that touting santa clause, the easter bunny, the tooth fairy, and many others along side the name of Christ is acceptable. Well, it is to the Christian world, but it is not acceptable to the Lord. There is but one Lord and King and only one mind in worshipping him. That can only be done in spirit and in truth.

(John 4:23 KJVR)  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

(John 4:24 KJVR)  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

(John 14:17 KJVR)  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

(John 16:13 KJVR)  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

(1 John 4:6 KJVR)  We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

(1 John 5:6 KJVR)  This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

When my children ask, they will be told the truth from their father. I know this will probably not go very well with others, but so be it. I know of whom and where I speak, and I know that all liars have their place also. There are going to be many obstacles that come my way for taking such a stand in the Lord, and I fully understand my actions, for the Lord is the cause of my standing in the first place. Without Him I can do nothing.

(John 5:30 KJVR)  I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

(John 15:5 KJVR)  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

I also understand that I have been chosen to stand on such ground because I have been blessed to be given the truth when I asked for it.

(Hebrews 11:6 KJVR)  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

(Matthew 7:7 KJVR)  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

(Acts 17:27 KJVR)  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

This stand in the truth will inevitably pit me against family, friends, and foes. Some of you will probably think I have gone crazy, while others may not want to have anything to do with me. I hope this isn’t the case for any of you. I know this to be true because the scriptures do not lie. All of my friends and family will be receiving this letter, so everyone I know will know how I feel on this matter.

(Matthew 10:32 KJVR)  Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
(Matthew 10:33 KJVR)  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
(Matthew 10:34 KJVR)  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
(Matthew 10:35 KJVR)  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
(Matthew 10:36 KJVR)  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
(Matthew 10:37 KJVR)  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
(Matthew 10:38 KJVR)  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
(Matthew 10:39 KJVR)  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
(Matthew 10:40 KJVR)  He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

In closing,

I hope I have not offended any of you with this news, though I know it may come as a shocker to a lot of you. Though I have participated in these holidays in the past, my future will not include participating in the "traditional events" of them, such as gift giving, mistletoes, caroling of “Christmas songs”, Christmas services, etc. I will not decorate for them nor will I participate in them. I have no issues with “family time” and the gathering together with family and friends to socialize. To ‘be family' is what I wish to do the most during this time of year. However using the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST to do so is not something I will do any longer. I can attend family events to visit with loved ones up until the point that the traditions of these holidays start. I will not be able to participate, and you’ll have to accept me separating myself as those things happen.

I know this is a big change for me, and I am sure this will be for you, too. However, my faith in the Lord and the Father in heaven do not allow me to compromise on this topic. There is no middle ground for me, and as all of you are probably aware, once I feel something is the truth, I do not budge on it.
 
As for gift giving and such, please do not purchase any for me for these holidays. I do not plan to practice this at all, so I will be giving random gifts to everyone I know throughout the entire year, as I feel the spirit guides me to do so. It will all be done for love and love only. I will be doing the same for our children. My wife and I have decided to have random “family days” throughout the year where we will have gifts and the baking of cookies, etc., as we wish to celebrate being a family and the things that the Lord chooses to bless us with. These times will be random, when we feel like doing them, and they will not have a set time of year to do them in. Our children will come to their own conclusions, as the Lord guides them in all things, but in my home they will not be participating in the traditions of men either. However, they will know the truth of the holidays from the beginning, as soon as they are ready to understand. Also, rest assured that I judge no person according to their participation in these holidays and events. Judgment begins at the house of God, whose house we are.

(1 Peter 4:17 KJVR)  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

(1 Corinthians 3:16 KJVR)  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
(1 Corinthians 3:17 KJVR)  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

(1 Corinthians 4:4 KJVR)  For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

(1 Corinthians 2:15 KJVR)  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

(1 Corinthians 5:13 KJVR)  But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

(John 12:31 KJVR)  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

(Romans 14:10 KJVR)  But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

(John 5:30 KJVR)  I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

(1 John 4:17 KJVR)  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world
I always take this particular scripture to heart:

(James 1:22 KJVR)  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

That is what I intend to be, a doer. I am, have been, and Lord willing, will be continuing to learn many truths of the Word of God. This topic is simply just one of many idols which I intend, Lord willing, to tear down in my life. There is absolutely nothing more important to me in my life than to follow the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no institutionalized church of men, no building, no group which I follow. I follow Christ because he is the way, truth, and life. I would be thrilled to share with anyone and everyone all the things the Spirit of God has been revealing to me in the past few years. You are all welcome to come and discuss this and many other topics that I am sure will develop as the Lord permits. I truly know I am called and chosen to be a part of the great plan of God for all of humanity. It is indeed a grand and marvelous plan, and all are included. I now must embark on the hardest of all endeavors of my god breathed life, and remain faithful to the Word of God, Christ. I am now running the race to overcome to the end, and I hope you all will join me, Lord willing. I’ll close with this:

(Revelation 17:14 KJVR) These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
(Romans 12:21 KJVR)  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

(1 John 4:4 KJVR)  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

(Matthew 10:22 KJVR)  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

(John 6:27 KJVR)  Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

(1 Corinthians 13:7 KJVR)  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

(James 1:12 KJVR)  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

(1 Corinthians 9:24 KJVR)  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
(1 Corinthians 9:25 KJVR)  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
(1 Corinthians 9:26 KJVR)  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
(1 Corinthians 9:27 KJVR)  But I keepunder my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

(Hebrews 12:1 KJVR)  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
(Hebrews 12:2 KJVR)  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

(John 16:33 KJVR)  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

(1 John 4:17 KJVR)  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

(1 Corinthians 10:31 KJVR)  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.