Recently, I drove past a local Sunday church in Oklahoma and noticed a sign that read, “Easter Sunrise Services.” I asked myself if I should take a picture of this to send to my pastor in Arizona to show him where this fruit comes from (clearly not the trees of righteousness). A few years prior, I had a discussion with my Seventh-day Adventist pastor about the dangers of Easter services, as it is something that as a Bible-believing Christian I am opposed to. I spoke to him about a sermon he gave on the day prior and explained that some of the very verses he used in that sermon condemned the practice of worshipping the sun (Deuteronomy 17:3). He explained that by attending sunrise services, we would not be worshipping the sun and that was far from what we were doing. However, when you worship God 1) the way the heathen does and 2) on the day of worship that man has chosen, how can God accept such a worship?
And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. (2 Kings 17:15, KJV)
When I simply google “Easter Sunrise Services,” the search results yield returns from Lutheran churches, United Methodist churches, Catholic Churches and the like, promoting their celebration of Easter. The common thread is that they also worship on Sunday, but what I do not see, especially in the Bible and the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, is that it is acceptable to worship God on Easter Sunday. Perhaps, someone is thinking, “Well we are just honoring His resurrection for the sunrise. What’s so wrong with that?” Fair question, but what is right about it? God outlined in His word how we are to reverence His life, death and resurrection in Romans 6:1-8 — specifically by baptism and living a life free from sin. This is how we honor Christ.
Learn the Origins of Easter
Is Easter mentioned in the Bible? Yes, but not as a celebration of Christ (Acts 12:4), and the deity that the Easter celebration was created for is mentioned many times in the Bible, “‘Her name was Ishtar in Babylonia and Assyria, where she was also the goddess of war. Some Old Testament stories call her Ashtoreth, and describe the construction of her altar by King Solomon and its destruction by King Josiah. Astarte was identified with the planet Venus. The Greeks called her Aphrodite, and the Romans knew her as Venus.’—World Book, Vol. 1, 782.”1Ferrell, V. (2003). Christmas, Easter, and Halloween: where did they come from? Altamont, TN: Harvestime Books. (263).
I will spare you all of the paganism that is involved in this holiday, because the real issue is that it is a worldly holiday adopted by Christianity to assist in making a bridge to Papal Rome. Can we celebrate sunrise services when the Roman church is the entity that ordains these holidays? When God gives clear direction to “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing (2 Corinthians 6:17, KJV)?”
Although sunrise services, Easter egg hunts and the like are an abomination, it is not evil to use these holidays as opportunities to win souls to the truth. In our witnessing efforts, it is not necessary to compromise by celebrating these holidays. Individuals are more open to hear the gospel and attend church services during these holidays. What a great opportunity to have tracts ready to give to God’s children at the grocery store, in church parking lots, and at your Wal-Mart during these special occasions (for many people). Additionally, it would be a great time to have goody bags stuffed with truthful literature for co-workers or friends. We can use every occasion, yes even worldly holidays to spread the gospel. With such a short time left in probation’s hour, why not use every opportunity available instead of congregating together with our backs toward the temple and worshipping the sun in the east (when it rises)?
“The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness.”2White, E. G. (1889). Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Pub. Association.
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|1.||↑||Ferrell, V. (2003). Christmas, Easter, and Halloween: where did they come from? Altamont, TN: Harvestime Books. (263).|
|2.||↑||White, E. G. (1889). Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Pub. Association.|