Trying to Get Rid of Holy Days for a Long Time

For real Christians it is clear that lovers of God should keep their hands of the many pagan feasts, like Christmas and Easter, which entered the Roman Catholic Church and several protestant churches.

Luckily we may come to see some changes in some protestant churches willing to debate the reason why to keep only to God given holy days.

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To remember

Reformed churches historically opposed to observing man made holy days such as Christmas and Easter.

on the continent left some holy day observance to Christian liberty in some of their confessions < compromise with stubborn people for sake of further Reformation, or because civil magistrates forced them to.

Gisbertus Voetius, (delegate to the Synod of Dordt), relates Dutch Church had been trying to get rid of holy days for a long time, but allowance of holy days by the synod was “imposed from the outside, burdensome to the churches,

In Why are Ecclesiastical Feast Days in our Church Order? Rev. Dr. R. D. Anderson gives

Article 65 – Ecclesiastical feast days
On Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Ascension Day, and at Pentecost the consistory shall call the congregation together for church services. The sacred events which the congregation commemorates in particular on these days shall therein be proclaimed
Already in 1573 we see the topic coming to the floor of the Particular Synod of North Holland, that year held in Enkhuizen.
Also decided in respect of feast days, that in common no feast days are to be held other than Easter (Sunday) and the day thereafter, Pentecost (Sunday) and the day thereafter, Christmas, and similarly New Year’s day and Ascension day.
The churches in South Holland were somewhat stricter. A year later their Synod gathered in Dordrecht
making the following pronouncement:
Respecting the feast days which are in addition to the Sunday: it has been decided to rest content only with the Sunday. Nevertheless, the normal material relating to the birth of Christ shall be handled on the Sunday before Christmas day together with an admonition to the people not to observe Christmas day. If Christmas day falls on a Sunday, the same material shall be preached on that day. It is also permitted to preach on the resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday, the which is left to the freedom of the ministers.
That seems clear enough. Behind the scenes, however, there was a political battle going on between the Roman Catholic forces and the Protestants. The celebration of these extra days came right in the middle of all that. It was the sort of thing that got people fired up. The Reformed churches needed to be careful to steer a righteous course between all manner of Roman Catholic superstitions which had become associated with these days and an over zealous extremism which could easily lead to political riots. We see that reflected in the decision of the Particular Synod of South Holland held in Rotterdam a year later:

As much as concerns feast days: The government shall be petitioned that they allow everyone to open his shop and to work 6 days in accordance with the 4th commandment of our Lord. And if the government desires to ordain any others besides the Sunday, the delegated ministers will petition parliament that they inform them in such a way that they may consider how much and how far one can permit in this matter, so that on the one hand people don’t fall into superstition as warned by Paul in Gal. 4, and on the other hand that people will not be led to fight too fiercely against the aforesaid government because of certain feast days.
Three years later a national synod was finally able to be held in Dordrecht. By this time it was slowly becoming clear that the political will to be rid of these extra feast days was weak.
On the 12th of July 1578 the government made a “declaration of religious freedom” in which the various Roman Catholic feast days were made compulsory for protestants. The synod in its response attempted to minimise the damage by steering the churches away from any special ways of celebrating these feast days, and keeping them as “normal” days.
1578 National Synod of Dort {Acta, Rutgers p.253 (art. 75, cap.4,23)}
It was indeed to be desired that the freedom from God to work 6 days be permitted in the church, and that only the Sunday be celebrated. Nevertheless since certain other feast days are maintained by authority of the government, namely, Christmas day and the day thereafter, likewise the day after Easter and the day after Pentecost and in some places new years day and ascension day; the ministers shall do their best to teach the congregation to transform unproductive and harmful idleness into a holy and profitable exercise by sermons especially dealing with the birth and resurrection of Christ, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and suchlike articles of the faith. The ministers of churches in those cities where yet more feast days are observed by authority of the government shall do likewise.
In the meantime all the churches shall work to make the use of all feast days except Christmas day (since Easter and Pentecost fall on Sunday) as normal as possible, and as soon as is fitting to abolish them.
By 1581 the goals of the churches had been reduced. It did not any longer seem possible to be rid of all the extra feast days.

 

Sadly, today, not only are many Reformed churches going back to observing Christmas and Easter, some are even beginning to observe Lent, Good FridayAdvent, etc. as well.

Exploring biblical worship from a Protestant Perspective “The Worship Blog” looks at

How little concern for the idea that what is done in the name of worship in so many churches has no warrant from the mouth of God! {About The Worship Blog}

Meg writes

The Scottish Presbyterians managed to remove observance of any pretended holy days other than the divinely prescribed Lord’s Day in their reformation. Indeed, the Reformed early on seemed ready to precede them in this; but due mostly it seems from desires of magistrates to preserve accustomed holidays, ie. days off for workers and servants, they retained various sets of days. This retained a set of other issues, and to ensure the riotous activities of the old days were not retained, the state churches prescribed that there be services and preaching at those times. {John Calvin and Holy Days}

In 1543–44 Calvin advised the church, that

“the observation of feast days was also to be rejected since it so easily led to superstition.”

“Calvin advised the ministers of Montbéliard to stand firm on these matters of principle but to yield wherever else their consciences would allow”. { Jill Raitt, The Colloquy of Montbéliard Religion and Politics in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 21.}

As an aside — The Reformed church of Montbéliard continued as best they could even when the rulers imposed Lutheran practices. Later, the oppressed Reformed churches of France, ruled by Roman Catholic magistrates which prohibited working on the pretended holy days,

“left unto the prudence of Consistories to Congregate the People, on such Holy-Days, either to hear the word Preached, or to join in common publick Prayers, as they shall find to be most expedient” (2nd Synod of Vitré, 1617).

American Presbyterians were opposed to the religious observation of Christmas and other ‘holy days.’  > Read more: https://www.naphtali.com/articles/chris-coldwell/the-religious-observance-of-christmas-and-holy-days-in-american-presbyterianism/

Read also: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/91380-Three-Books-on-quot-Christmas-quot-and-a-33-off-Black-Friday-Sale, Comment 25

Seven Bible Feasts of JHWH

By many Christians the death of Christ is celebrated on “Good Friday.” In different denominations we also do find the Easter celebration on the Day of Estra.

The world should know not all Christians do celebrate on heathen feast-days but do keep to the Biblical days of the feast given by the Most High. The world should also know that the origins of “Good Friday” may be questioned it even not being mentioned in the Bible. Not only does it not contain “Good Friday”, the Gospels do not even speak of a Friday Crucifixion.

In a few days time we shall encounter the day we should remember. It is not on a fixed date, every time falling on the same day of the present calendar we are using in the West. On the Jewish calendar it is always falling on the same day, namely the 14th of the first month of the year or 14 Nisan, which this year shall be from Friday evening April the 3rd until Saturday evening April the 4th. Nissan was made the first month of the year because it is the month in which the Jewish People were freed from slavery in Egypt, the house of bondage.  That liberation is what we all should remember, plus a more important liberation as well, namely the liberation of all people. That general greater liberation happened by the Nazarene Jew Jeshua giving his body as a ransom for the sins of all people.

“In Nisan they were redeemed, and in Nisan they are destined to be redeemed in the future.”
(Rosh ha-Shanah 11a; Mechilta de-Rabbi Shimon bar Yochay 12:42; Tanchuma, Bo 9)

How true that is.  Jeshua or Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) suffered for us in the month of Nissan.  We should remember this offer lamb who took care to do only the will of his heavenly Father and not his will. By his offering he made a bloodcovenant with the heavenly Father and made a turning point for humankind. He became the beginning of the New Creation, and was the first born of that New World. With him may we reckon all time beginning at the point of our redemption from sin and death.
Nisan is truly a new beginning for Jew and Gentile.

That evening millions of true Christians shall remember the last meal Jesus had with his disciples. The Christadelphian community in Belgium invites everybody to their remembrance meeting Friday April 3 after sunset.

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There are seven Bible Feasts of JHWH recorded in Leviticus chapter 23.

In the Gospel of John the main Feasts of God are Sukkot (John 7 – 10) and Pesach
(John 13 – 17).

In the book of Acts we read about Sjawuot (Acts 2), the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Acts 20:6) and again Sjawuot  (Acts 20:16, Pentecost).

The first ”day”  of the week (mia toon sabbatoon) is actually the first Sabbath week of a series of 7 Sabbaths before Sjawuot, counting fifty days till Sjawuot (Leviticus 23:16).
The Jewish and Gentile believers celebrated the Feasts of JHWH.

In the Apostolic Constitutions we read that the Christians met on Sabbath in the first three centuries.

After that time Rome changed the Sabbath in a Sunday.
Jesus rose from the dead on a Sabbath day.
The early Christians did not celebrate the unscriptural feasts of Sunday (dies solaris), X-mas and Eastern.

– Martin
The Sacrifice of the Old Covenant

The Sacrifice of the Old Covenant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Find also:
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  • Easter and it’s Pagan Origins (infobarrel.com)
    Constantine and the Council of Nicaea sought to merge the religion of the Pagans with the religion of the Christians.

    The mission sought out was to convert the Pagans to Christianity but in a way as not to shock them and completely turn them away. Constantine and Council of Nicaea came to the conclusion that if they were able to get the Christians and Pagans to celebrate similar holidays on the same day, then conversion would go more smoothly.

  • Brannon Howse: Church of Rome versus the gospel of the Bible – March 10, 2015 (thefreedomreport.us)
    Former Catholic Priest of 22 years Richard Bennett on the gospel of the Church of Rome versus the gospel of the Bible.
  • It’s the postmodern experimentation of the New Testament that keeps it new (theguardian.com)
    The gospels of the New Testament, compiled somewhere between AD50 and 110, get older every year. They also stay strikingly new, fuelled by a literary experimentalism that keeps them alive not as religious artefacts but as pieces of writing.
  • Did Christ die on a Friday? The fulfillment of the Sign of Jonah (biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com)
    Yeshua died before the Sabbath and rose after the Sabbath. The biblical Sabbath Day coincides with the day which is presently known as Saturday. Using the above, Christian Denominations around the world believed, and still believe in the following hypothesis (Please note that the following will be disproved using Scripture subsequently)
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    Yeshua had to fulfill the Scriptures by being in the belly of the earth for three days and three nights. From the time of death and entombment to the time of resurrection and rising from the tomb should have been 3 days and 3 nights. So how is a Friday evening death and burial to sunday early morning resurrection provide 3 days & 3 nights? It barely gives 1 day and 2 nights. So what happened to the rest of the 2 days and 1 night?
  • New Age Christianity: The Crossless Gospel of Deception by Rocket Kirchner (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
    if Europe is suffering from what many critics describe as “Metaphysical boredom”, then America is plagued by “Metaphysical lunacy”.
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    Have the New Agers ever stopped to think that the early Christians were martyred in Rome because they refused to put Jesus of Nazareth in the pantheon with the other gods? For to them He was God. The only One. Period. Now that may not prove that He was. But it does prove that they believed that He was. And many of them knew him when He actually walked the Earth. Forgiveness and reconciliation were not just a major part of Christ’s teachings, they were at the center of His teachings. And at the center of the center is that before there can be forgiveness and reconciliation between humans and other humans, it must first begin with God reconciling the world unto Himself. Enter the cross and vicarious expiatory blood sacrifice. In other words, according to the early followers of Jesus, He did not just die as a martyr. He died as a sacrifice for sin. Does this prove that it is a fact? No. But what it does prove is that this is what the early Christians believed to be a fact, and this was a matter of public record that they believed this. This sacrificial death motif is either misunderstood today or deliberately omitted. And we wonder why there is no world peace and why humans are not reconciled with each other. They first have to be reconciled with God. There is no short cut. First things first.
  • Passover Fast Facts (gantdaily.com)
    Passover, also called Pesach, is the Jewish festival celebrating the exodus of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery in 1200s B.C. The story is chronicled in the Old Testament book of Exodus. In the book, Israelites marked their doorposts with lamb’s blood to protect children from the tenth plague: the slaughter of the first born. With the protective mark, the destruction would “pass over” the house.
  • Chuck Kolb 03/20/2015 abbreviated (conpats.blogspot.com)
    This Shabbat is the last of the Four Parashiot that have special Torah readings in
    preparation for Pesach (Passover), which is only two short weeks away !

    It is called Shabbat HaChodesh (Sabbath [of the] month), and a special reading is
    added from Exodus 12:1–20, which details the laws of Pesach (Passover).

    This Sabbath also marks the first of the month (Rosh Chodesh), head of the month
    of Nissan, which God ordained as the first month of the Biblical calendar.

  • It’s all about that Group (blogs.timesofisrael.com)
    The Shem Meshmuel (as told to me by my Rebbe at YU Rav Herschel Reichman Shlitta) learns that GOD commanding Moshe to use the language of gathering when instructing the Jewish people to build the mishkan teaches us about the significance of our relationship to the Jewish people as a whole and our collective role as part of our holy people.
  • Torah for Today: What does the Torah say about.. Preparing for Pesach? (jewishnews.co.uk)
    The hard work of Pesach cleaning is at odds with the obsessive desire for gratification. Why, then, do so many of us work so hard in preparation for this festival?

    In fact, if one lists all the Jewish holidays and ask what proportion of Jews observe each one, the likely conclusion would be that the holidays most adhered to are the two most difficult: Pesach and Yom Kippur.

    The very fact that people work so hard in preparation for Pesach (and fast on Yom Kippur and do other things which require self-sacrifice) is itself testimony to the potential for human beings to strive for something greater than instant gratification.

  • Grace Upon Grace (#LentChallenge) (enthusiasticallydawn.com)