I read through the article written by Eferovo Igho on the celebration of Easter by the Roman Catholic Church. While I admire his zeal to transmit his opinions, I nevertheless think that on many points, he fails to be convincing in the arguments that he uses. Writing an article refuting some of his points would take a lot of space so I will only limit myself to commenting briefly on some of them.
The Roman Catholic Church Secretariats worldwide have over the years bombarded us through the dailies with write-ups attempting to justify dates and events the Roman Catholic Church sourced from Babylonish traditions and introduced to Christendom.
I would not mind your stating with concrete examples such bombardments and quote them so that one can follow without bias the examples you site. Secondly, you are yet to prove which are the Babylonish traditions and, more importantly, WHEN they were “introduced” into Christendom.
You do not see similar zeal and effort put into what actually is in Scriptures: that is, in “Thus says the Lord”! Nobody tells us in their writings about salvation from sin; without holiness no man shall see the Lord; the coming great white throne judgement seat of Christ; eternity, either with God in bliss or with Satan in damnation. Nobody in that Secretariat is saying like Paul: “that I may know Him (Christ), and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” – Philippians 2: 28.
You should actually realize that a Catholic Secretariat is not a teaching organ of the Church. Offering the publications of the Secretariats as THE teaching of the Catholic Church is to do a disservice to your readers. If you have taken the trouble to read the messages usually given by the Pope for each period of the Liturgical year or simply gone to the Vatican website (www.vatican.va) to read the homilies or addresses of the Pope, you would not make the assertion above. Just a few examples will suffice from this year’s celebrations:
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the Easter Triduum, the three days in which the Church commemorates the mystery of the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection. The liturgies of these days invite us to ponder the loving obedience of Christ who, having become like us in all things but sin, resisted temptation and freely surrendered himself to the Father’s will… The Liturgy of Good Friday invites us to share in Christ’s sufferings through penance and fasting, and to receive the gift of God’s love flowing from the Lord’s pierced Heart. The Easter Vigil joyfully proclaims Christ’s resurrection from the dead and the new life received in Baptism. By our prayers and our sharing in these liturgies, let us resolve to imitate Christ’s loving obedience to the Father’s saving plan, which is the source of authentic freedom and the path of eternal life. (From Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience on Wednesday, 20 April 2011).
The cross speaks to us of the supreme love of God and invites, today, to renew our faith in the power of that love, and to believe that in every situation of our lives, our history and our world, God is able to vanquish death, sin and evil, and to give us new, risen life. In the Son of God’s death on the cross, we find the seed of new hope for life, like the seed which dies within the earth… Let us gaze on the crucified Jesus, and let us ask in prayer: Enlighten our hearts, Lord, that we may follow you along the way of the cross. Put to death in us the “old man” bound by selfishness, evil and sin. Make us “new men”, men and women of holiness, transformed and enlivened by your love. (From Pope Benedict XVI, Good Friday Address after the Stations of the Cross, 22 April 2011)
To the Roman Catholic Church and those who have drunken of this particular ‘wine of her fornication’ this period is Easter, and they say it has to do with Jesus Christ; even when Bible says nothing like that, and even when tradition and history say Easter did not only predate Christianity but is totally heathen, and so, hellish and satanic. The common phrase (with little variations) that you would find as you open our standard dictionaries and encyclopaedias as touching the root meaning of the old English word, Eastre, from were they derived the word Easter is this: “From Eostre, goddess of dawn, whose festival was celebrated at the spring equinox”. That started long before Christianity. But something very unfortunate happened:
A few objections to your argument:
If the Catholic Church started celebrating the resurrection of Christ long before the English word Easter was used to translate it centuries afterwards, how could it be directly linked to the heathen, hellish, satanic practice you speak of? If the Latin word for the celebration is Pascha, a variation of the Hebrew word for Passover, wouldn’t it make more sense to see the origin of the celebration in its close association with the Passover? Isn’t that what is reflected in the Church’s celebration of the Paschal mysteries as the period between Good Friday and the Sunday of Resurrection are called? Other languages apart from English use different terms: Pasqua in Italian, Pascua in Spanish, etc. The use of Easter in old English for translating the Passover probably stems from the fact that the feast takes place in springtime even though the date varies depending on the lunar calendar. Accusing Roman Catholics of making their celebration of his Resurrection a pagan practice is akin to saying that going to church on Sunday is satanic since it is a day that is linked to sun worship (even though other languages refer to it more as the day of the Lord – domenica in Italian, domingo in Spanish, etc.)
We all know that the original word that the King James translators of the Bible translated Easter is paschal, referring to the Passover; and correctly translated as such in 26 other places it occurred in Scriptures. The odd translation of paschal as Easter in this only verse of Scriptures confirms Galileo assertion that: the Bible is correct, only its interpreters may be wrong. Finis Jennings Dake, the very renowned Bible scholar with astonishing insight into Scriptures and arguably the leading Bible commentator of our age tells us about this very strange entrant into this King James Version of the English Bible, and we wish to quote him extensively…:
You fail to mention that the King James Bible was a version of the Bible translated by members of the Church of England and not the Roman Catholic Church…
Between the two books: The Two Babylons and The Mystery of Babylon Revealed by Alexander Hislop and Ed Mitchell et al respectively, the history of Babylon with the story Semiramis…According to Mitchell et al: “This religion that began with Mother Babylon was filled with demon worship, and consisted of the worship of a “virgin mother,” the doctrine of purgatory, Lent, priests in black garments, confessionals, a pope, nuns, the sign of the cross, use of the rosary, and various other doctrines and rites. THESE ARE DOCTRINES OF DEMONS.”
I am surprised you did not quote Ralf Woodrow, author of Babylon Mystery Religion which repeats most of the things said by Alexander Hislop. Years later Woodrow after examining the historical evidence in the works of Hislop, realized that it was filled with myths more than history and wrote another book (The Babylon Connection?) highlighting the errors he saw. He is not a Roman Catholic but at least he had the integrity to say the following:
Many preferred my book over The Two Babylons because it was easier to read and understand. Sometimes the two books were confused with each other, and once I even had the experience of being greeted as “Reverend Hislop”! As time went on, however, I began to hear rumblings that Hislop was not a reliable historian. I heard this from a history teacher and in letters from people who heard this perspective expressed on the Bible Answer Man radio program. Even the Worldwide Church of God began to take a second look at the subject. As a result, I realized I needed to go back through Hislop’s work, my basic source, and prayerfully check it out. As I did this, it became clear: Hislop’s “history” was often only an arbitrary piecing together of ancient myths… The subtitle for Hislop’s book is “The Papal Worship Proved to Be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife.” Yet when I went to reference works such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, The Americana, The Jewish Encyclopedia, The Catholic Encyclopedia, The Worldbook Encyclopedia – carefully reading their articles on “Nimrod” and “Semiramis” — not one said anything about Nimrod and Semiramis being husband and wife. They did not even live in the same century. Nor is there any basis for Semiramis being the mother of Tammuz. I realized these ideas were all Hislop’s inventions…While seeking to condemn the paganism of Roman Catholicism, Hislop produced his own myths. By so doing, he theorized that Nimrod, Adonis, Apollo, Attes, Baal-zebub, Bacchus, Cupid, Dagon, Hercules, Januis, Linus, Lucifer, Mars, Merodach, Mithra, Moloch, Narcissus, Oannes, Odin, Orion, Osiris, Pluto, Saturn, Teitan, Typhon, Vulcan, Wodan, and Zoroaster were all one and the same. By mixing myths, Hislop supposed that Semiramis was the wife of Nimrod and was the same as Aphrodite, Artemis, Astarte, Aurora, Bellona, Ceres, Diana, Easter, Irene, Iris, Juno, Mylitta, Proserpine, Rhea, Venus, and Vesta. Take enough names, enough stories, and enough centuries; translate from one language to another; and a careless writer of the future might pass on all kinds of misinformation. (cfr. Ralph Woodrow, The Two Babylons. A Case Study in Poor Methodology available at http://www.equip.org/articles/the-two-babylons).
All of that passed down from Babylon, through various empires after it, to the Roman empire, and from there to the Roman Catholic Church especially through Constantine who, with his 313 A.D. Edict of Milan, merged paganism and idolatry with Christianity…,
What Constantine actually did was to allow Christianity to exist as one of the tolerated religions of the Roman Empire, together with paganism and other religions that were then in existence. He did not “merge paganism and idolatry with Christianity”. He was not even a Christian at the time in which the Edict of Milan was passed…
Easter (Eastre, Eostre) is Ishtar and is of Semiramis; totally Christ-less, none of God and Satanic. Of course, a keen student of the Bible would notice that virtually all English translations of the Bible after the King James Version have adopted the correct word, Passover, for Acts 12: 4. The safest thing to do really in Christianity is to dash away from anything, including all traditions and practices, not rooted in the only Scripture of life: The Holy Bible; for whatsoever thing not sanctioned by Scriptures but embraced by men for no matter how long, has source in Semiramis and Nimrod, and this Babylonish religion set up by Satan through them, which religion infiltrated Israel then, and now entrenched in the lax church: the church that will not stay with Bible and BIBLE ALONE.
Answering questions on the issue of Sola Scriptura is impossible in only an article. However with regards to your assertion that Easter and the teachings of the Catholic Church being drawn from Babylonian religion, I can only refer you once again to the words of Ralph Woodrow:
If we based claims on partial information, we could even prove from the Bible there is no God: “…‘There is no God’” (Ps. 14:1). When the entire statement is read, however, it has a different meaning: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” For these and many other reasons, I pulled my own book, Babylon Mystery Religion, out of print despite its popularity. This was not done because I was being threatened in any way or persecuted. This decision was made because of conviction, not compromise. While my original book did contain some valid information, I could not in good conscience continue to publish a book against pagan mixture knowing that it contained a mixture itself of misinformation about Babylonian origins. I have since replaced this book with The Babylon Connection? a 128-page book with 60 illustrations and 400 footnote references. It is an appeal to all my brothers and sisters in Christ who feel that finding Babylonian origins for present-day customs or beliefs is of great importance. My advice, based on my own experience, is to move cautiously in this area, lest we major on minors. If there are things in our lives or churches that are indeed pagan or displeasing to the Lord, they should be dealt with, of course. But in attempting to defuse the confusion of Babylon, we must guard against creating a new “Babylon” (confusion) of our own making. (cfr. Ralph Woodrow, The Two Babylons. A Case Study in Poor Methodology available at http://www.equip.org/articles/the-two-babylons).
For those who want to know more about the teachings of the Catholic Church, I would advise them first to look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church (also available on the Vatican website). Another excellent source is Catholic Answers, (http://www.catholic.com) which contains a forum were one can find some of the answers to basic questions about the Catholic faith.
May we all enjoy the joy that peace and happiness that comes from the Resurrection of Christ. For those who would like to celebrate this momentous event, irrespective of the name which it bears in English or in any other language, I can only say Happy Easter!