4. Easter May Not Be Pagan After All
The origin of the word Easter is obscure. It’s commonly believed to have pagan roots, but many scholars are making some strong arguments that this may not be so. Anthony McRoy in his ChristiantyToday.com article, Was Easter Borrowed from a Pagan Holiday?, claims there’s plenty of reason to doubt what has come to be considered common knowledge.
In another well-researched paper, Why We Should not Passover Easter, Nick Sayers claims that root of the word Easter is Tyndale’s translation of the word Passover. In fact, according to Sayers, the ongoing turmoil over Easter’s supposed Babylonian etymology may all be based on some sloppy scholarship by Alexander Hislop, a 19th century anti-Catholic conspiracy theorist who “boldly claimed Easter was pagan, but offered little proof.”
5. People Matter More than Terminology
A while ago, I watched as a friendly Facebook conversation among pastors turned into a theological battle. All because one pastor insisted that any church using the term Easter was compromising with paganism.
After watching the back-and-forth battle escalate, I clicked on the instigator’s name to read his Facebook page. On it, he describes his church as “one of the few churches that actually preaches the cross.” So maybe we should be more worried about pride than paganism.
How many people have turned away from the church and the message of the resurrection, not because they reject Jesus, but because they can’t see him clearly through the fog of churches and ministers claiming a false moral superiority while causing divisiveness over petty issues?
If you prefer Resurrection Sunday, that’s great. Keep using it. But don’t condemn churches that call it Easter.
Celebrate Jesus and his resurrection this Sunday and every day. And work alongside others who celebrate it with you – no matter what they call it.
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