Bible Pathways in Picture and Word

Holidays Exposed Now Available at Bible Pathways Supply

Two DVD set exposing the origins of many of the holidays we celebrate each year. This documentary will give you more than enough insight into the reasons why God said in Jeremiah 10:2,3  "Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen...for the customs of the people are vain."

It also gives some insightful ideas for replacement "holidays unto the Lord" especially geared toward children.

You can also watch it here Holidays Exposed 

 

Holiday-Friend or Foe?

 

Should the Christian celebrate the holidays?         

The simple inherit folly; but the prudent man is crowned with knowledge.  Proverbs 14: 18

Howbeit then, when ye knew no God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, where unto ye desire again to be in bondage?  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.  I am afraid of you , lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.   Galatians 4:8-10

     [Galatians 4:6-10 quoted]  The observance of holidays in this country is a great evil.  We want not to give sanction to the days and many traditions that are brought in.  We need not pay any heed to them.  Sermons and Talks Vol 1 p 286

 The many holidays have a baleful influence upon the minds of the youth; their effect is demoralizing to the government, and they are entirely contrary to the will of God.  They have a tendency to encourage  an artificial exitement, a desire for amusement.  The people are lead to squander precious time which should be employed in useful labor to sustain their families honestly and keep clear of debt.  The passion for amusements and the squandering of money in horse racing, in betting, and various similar lines is increasing the poverty of the country, and deepening the misery that is the sure result of this kind of education.       Fundamentals of Education pg 311

The customs and practices in the cities unfit the minds of the youth for the entrance of the truth.  The liquor-drinking, the smoking and gambling, the horse racing, the theater going, the grat importance placed upon holidays-- are all a species of idolatry, a sacrifice upon idol altars.  If people conscientiously attend to their lawful business upon the holidays, they are regarded as mean-spirited and unpatriotic.  The Lord can not be served in this way.                                                                                                                                Fundamentals of Education pg 312

I know that it is the purpose of God that this institution be established at a distance from the city that is so full of temptations and snares, of amusements and holidays, which are not conductive to purity and piety and religious devotion.   The Health Food Work pg 38

But from their youth up they have been educated to the popular idea that the appointed holidays must be treated with respect and be observed.  From the light that the Lord has given me, these days have no more influence for good than would the worship of heathen deities: for this is really nothing less.  These days are Satan's special harvest seasons.   Fundamentals of Education pg 320

  There are more Bible texts and links at the end of this article 

What should we do then?

...Cease to do evil; Learn to do well....      Isaiah 1:16,17

 And the times of ignorance  God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.  Acts 17:30

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

One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it.          Romans 14:5,6

 

Would it not be well for us to observe holidays unto God, when we could revive in our minds the memory of His dealing with us? Would it not be well to consider His past blessings, to remember the impressive warnings that have come home to our souls, so that we shall not forget God?         Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students pg 343

 

I saw that our holidays should not be spent in patterning after the world, yet they should not be passed by unnoticed, for this will bring dissatisfaction to our children. On these days when there is danger that our children will be exposed to evil influences and become corrupted by the pleasures and excitement of the world, let the parents study to get up something to take the place of more dangerous amusements. Give your children to understand that you have their good and happiness in view.     The Adventist Home pg 472 

  

Parents have not taught their children the precepts of the law as God has commanded them. They have educated them in selfish habits. They have taught them to regard their birthdays and holidays as occasions when they expect to receive gifts, and to follow the habits and customs of the world. These occasions, which should serve to increase the knowledge of God and to awaken thankfulness of heart for His mercy and love in preserving their lives for another year, are turned into occasions for self-pleasing, for the gratification and glorification of the children. They have been kept by the power of God through every moment of their life, and yet parents do not teach their children to think of this, and to express thanksgiving for His mercy toward them.         Counsels on Stewardship pg 296

 

         It seems that regarding the holidays there is much counsel given to us.  As we know from other sources, the holidays with the exception of Thanks giving all have pagan origins.   I would also like to present the thought that there is no wrong time to worship God.  Also we are told that because of our children the holidays should not be passed by unoticed.  One of the main reasons things that I see wrong with the way holidays are usually celebrated is that the focus is on man and not on God.  We should be woshipping the Creator and not the created.  I would like to present  a few suggestions of ways to make the traditional holidays an interesting time for children.  Although we often celebrate on the same days (because those are the paid holidays), we have found it easier to say we do not celebrate Easter, Halloween (of course) and even Christmas due to the fact that people instntly assume that you do all the  wordly things  they do to celebrate that day.  Thus, we have renamed most of the holidays.

Some Alternative Holiday Ideas

 

Halloween-This one does not necessarily need a replacement, just a statement that it is the devil's holiday and we don't celebrate it. But the following is one idea of a replacement if you feel it's needed. 

 In 2009, we enjoyed Reformation night, since Oct. 31 is the day that Martin Luther nailed the 95 Thesis to the church door. The little children memorized poems about John Wycliffe  and John Huss  and the older two did a presentation about Martin Luther.  They all dressed in period costumes. We also sang Reformation songs, A Mighty Fortress and Faith of Our Fathers. During the evening different ones were "captured" and put on the stand to defend various doctrinal beliefs on the Bible and the Bible only.  This is easily varied, as this year we focused on the Waldensians, and because they memorized large portions of scripture we had a Bible verse "Bee",  like the old-fashioned spell downs.

All who profess to be ministers of Christ should learn wisdom by studying the history of the Man of Nazareth, and also the history of Martin Luther and the lives of other Reformers. Their labors were arduous, but they endured hardness as faithful soldiers of the cross of Christ.                                      Testimonies to the Church  Vol. 2 pg 151,152

Thanksgiving- This may be the last Thanksgiving you may ever have in which to make a thank offering to God. Instead of gorging yourselves with the good things of this life, let us come to God and give Him, upon that day, a gift in gratitude for His loving-kindness, and so have a genuine thanksgiving day for God. Let there be no murmurings, no unpleasant feelings, no unholy thoughts, but turn your attention to God.      21Manuscrit Releases pg 223

A Thanksgiving eve vespers is a great way to begin, by singing hymns of thanksgiving and reading thankful verses from the Bible.  On Thanksgiving Day our tradition is to go around the table  and everyone gets to name something for which they are thankful for each year of their life.  Another neat idea we have done in the past is to have a special tablecloth on which we wrote something we were thankful for every year.  There also is a book out that shares much of the history of Thanksgiving as well as including a CD of Thanksgiving songs (this is currently available in history books through our store). We should always keep the  poor and lonely in our thoughts and actions since, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of thse my brethern you have done it unto me.  Matt. 25:40

Christmas-Even though this holiday contains the name of Christ we have chosen not to use it due to its pagan origins and distinctly Catholic name. It was banned in England in 1644 a heathen holiday and the Puritans in America would not celebrate it.  We have also chosen to forego the tree due to the reference in Jeremiah 10.

 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.  Jeremiah 10:2-4

 Agape Feast Cookies-All naturally colored: Beet powder,carob powder, tumeric and spinach powder

After Thanksgiving we begin Agape Advent Season. It continues until Remembrance Day.  We sing songs not only about the first advent, but also about the second advent that we look forward to. (There is symbolism in the first advent that points to the second advent. Check out First Advent.)  Due to the darkness of the winter we put up icicle lights around the window to enjoy while we sing.  We reinforce giving gifts to Jesus and save up all our spare coins and dollars in a Jesus box, a little treasure bank where we lay up our treasure in heaven.  Every year we choose a worthy cause, to send the money gathered to help.  

 Weekly we draw names and secretly do kind things for the person whose name we drew.  At the end of the week we try to guess who drew our name. On one of the paid holidays off we have and Agape Supper.  No one is allowed to take food for themselves, everyone is to ask if somebody else wants a specific food.  We also made cookies or crackers shaped to represent the different  characteristics of God.( i.e. crown -for king,  shepherd's crook-the good shepherd, bell-great high priest, etc.)  Other activities may include memorizing Isaiah 53 and learning about church history and the second advent movement.   Also cut out some paper snowflakes together and talk about how God made each snowflake different.

 

New Year's Day-We have named this day Rememberance Day.  We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has lead us, and His teaching in our past history.  Last Day Events  pg 72    All through the year we write down in a special book the miracles, providences and evidences of God's leading and goodness.   On this day we read them to remind us.  We also go around the table and have everyone tell of an instance in their life where they could see God working.     Let such ones keep a diary, and when the Lord gives them and interesting experience, let them write it down, as Samuel did when the armies of Israel won a victory over the Philistines.  He set up a monument of thankfulness, saying "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." Brethren, where are the monuments by which you keep in view the love and goodness of God? Strive to keep fresh in your minds the help that the Lord has given you in your efforts to help others...Every tear that the Lord has helped you to wipe from sorrowful eyes, every fear that has been expelled, every mercy shown,--trace a record of it in your diary.     {MS  62, 1905}   Bible Commentary Vol. 2,   pg 1012

 

Valentine's Day-This one we called Seasons of Jubilee (referring back to the Jubilee in the OT where things went back to the original status every 7 years including the freeing of slaves).  We focus on loving our enemies and each of us was to do something special for someone outside of our family who had been mean or unkind to us.  The results were amazing!  An extra special treat was reading stories of forgiveness including The Indian's Revenge from Character Building Stories Vol. 1.  If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat: and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.  Proverbs 25:21,22

 Easter-An excellent idea for this time of the year is to study the sanctuary.  Type and antitype met when Jesus died and there are many beautiful pictures of Christ in the Sanctuary.  One idea is to have a trespass offering box. 

It would be well to have a trespass-offering box in sight, and have agreed that whosover speaks unkindly to another or utters agry words, shall drop in to the tresspas-offering box a certain sum of money.  This would put them upon their guard against the wicked words which work injury, not only to their bretheren, but to themselves.  

 Review and Herald March 12, 1895, Par. 12   

Activities could include making a model of the sanctuary (or a piece of the furniture) or using felts to tell about it.  Again a related vespers is always a good idea,  Again making shaped cookies is a good way to reinforce ideas with samll children (when you make them, when you decorate them, and when you eat them) Examples- Items in the ark--Aaron's rod, the 10 commandments, a bowl of manna

 July 4- A couple of years ago we decided to celebrate Heavenly Citizenship Day.  Singing hymns about the hope of heaven and watching fireworks from a quiet distance is a great way to have vespers.  Talk of things above, maybe even build a graham cracker mansion.  Invite someone else to your country.  Heaven is our home.  Our citizenship is above, and our lives msut not be devoted to a world that is to be destroyed.  Counsel to Parents, Teachers and Students pg 455

 

Birthdays-Don't forget to thank God for another year of life in word and offering.

 

Rainbows of Promise- This is an extra for whenever you need something for your little ones to look forward to.  We had a search for hidden Bible treasure.  We need to search the Scriptures, and dig deep in the mines of truth; for the precious jewels do not always lie on the surface; we should search for them as for hidden treasure.  Lift Him Up pg 23  We wrote out Bible promises on rainbow colored sheets of paper, rollled them up and put a rubber band around them.  The children searched for them and got to open them, read them and choose their favorite one to share at our special vespers.  The vespers also consisted of using our Bibles as a songbook and singing some of the scripture songs we know.  (This eliminates the "need" for an Easter egg hunt.)  We often do it more than once a year at the request of the children.

 

Week of Prayer-Consists of reading stories of answered prayers and also having a tree " The leaves of which are for the healing of the nations".  We used a dead tree and made leaves, flowers and fruits for it.  On each leaf is written a person who we are praying for.  If we see improvement such as they come to church, we put a flower.  If they give their heart to Christor we see a complete answer to prayer  we put a fruit.  Each night we each prayed for the people that we put on the tree.   An appeal to heaven by the humblest saint is more to be dreaded by Satan than the decrees of cabinets of the mandates of kings.  In Heavenly Places pg 82

A Few more Bible Texts in Reference to Holidays 

Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 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. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.          Deut. 12:30-32

 

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes and prudent in thier won sight! That justify the wicked for reward and take away the righteousness of the rightteous from him.  Isaiah 5:20,21,23

I am the Lord; that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.             Isaiah 42:8

 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 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,  Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.    Deut. 18:9-12

Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.  Luke 16:15

 Can we say we are worshipping God and still worship as the heathens? 

And after he received them at their hand, and fashioned it  with a graving tool, after he had mad a molten calf and they said, These be thy gods of Isreal, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.  And when Aaron saw it he built an altar before it; and said,???Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord????? Exodus 32:4,5

Neither be ye idolators, as some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play... Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written fo our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come... You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannoy be partakers of the Lord's table, and the table of devils.

Choose ye this day whom ye will serve..., but as for me and my house,  we will serve the Lord.  Joshua 24:15

    For more info:   Paganism and the Holidays