Mixing Pagan Traditions With Christian Celebrations

Q. This year our church leaders decided to alter our usual Sunday morning schedule by dropping Sunday School and adding a second Easter service. Between the two services there was an Easter egg hunt in the hope that the activity would draw more of the community’s unchurched who have children. I explained to my Sunday School teacher about the pagan origins of Easter (Ishtar, eggs, rabbits and how the date is determined). In response he quoted Colossians 2:16-17. I told him that was an invalid argument as the previously mentioned items did not fit the definition of Colossians 2:17. Am I off base?

A. In Colossians 2:16-17 Paul was addressing the problem of Jews telling Gentile believers they had to obey the Old Covenant law. He said,

“Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

He was talking about Old Covenant regulations and celebrations. And in any case, God would never have endorsed the inclusion of pagan rituals into the celebration of His Son’s resurrection. This is a case of someone incorrectly using a verse from the Bible to justify something God never intended.

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