Scrooge at Easter

What if you’re a Christian who conscientiously doesn’t celebrate Easter? Why would you buy an Easter egg which reinforces the mistake that Easter has anything to do with the Bible?

You affirm the literal resurrection of Jesus from the dead. You value the themes of “life” and “hope” which people talk about at Easter time. You object to the continued exclusion of Christianity from public life. You like chocolate.

Do you buy the fake Real Easter Egg?

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24 thoughts on “Scrooge at Easter

  1. Which is why your average Easter egg would be pretty much fine (price tag excepted).

    It’s the “putting Jesus back into Easter” bit that bothers. He was never there in the first place…

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  2. Buying an Easter egg strikes me as having no more moral or theological significance than buying a mars bar. But as for saying Christ is not in Easter that is where I find the hard line Westminster Confession of Faith line hard to understand. The Last Supper took place during the Passover so the timing in the calandar can hardly be desrcibed as unbiblical! And surely the most momentous event in human history the death and resurrection of Our Lord should be honoured by all Christains.

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  3. On the moral significance, agreed … until they put messages about Jesus on it :-)

    On honouring the death and resurrection … Westminster types do this every Lord’s Day! :-)

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  4. How do you honour the death and resurrection of Jesus by meeting on a Sunday in particular? You can meet in just the same manner any day of the week and do. You are no more commemorating the Resurrection in particular just by meeting on a Sunday than you are commemorating the crucificion in particular when you meet on a Friday.

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  5. ? the whole point of Sunday is to commemorate the resurrection, no? all the significance of the Jewish Sabbath plus all the significance of the Lord’s resurrection from the atoning death he died?

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  6. Yes that would be fine if that is what you did. But you do not each and every Sunday. Quite often, it is never mentioned. You meet on a Sunday, claiming to commemorate the Resurrection, and then dont mention the Resurrection.

    My point is valid. You no more commemorate the Resurrection by meeting on a Sunday, than you do the crucifixion by meeting on a Friday. It has just become the “Lords day” to meet and hear the word. It could be anyu day of the week lets face it! Nothing wrong with that.

    But then you have the audacity to claim that you are commemorating the Resurrection. Which you patently aren’t more often that not! Either in Psalm, Prayer or Sermon!

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  7. Friend, where have you been?! Everything, but everything, depends on the risen, exalted Saviour now living at God’s right hand to make continual intercession for us! From there he sends his Spirit to accompany his preached Word – from there he sends his Spirit to regenerate souls – from there he sends his Spirit to build up believers in their most holy faith – to him there we pray, and him we praise, and his gospel is what we exercise faith in, every single Lord’s day!

    Do you mean we don’t have a set form of words which obligatorily mentions the resurrection every Lord’s Day? That is true, but it’s about as relevant as the objection that we oughtn’t confess the Trinity because the word “Trinity” doesn’t occur in the Bible.

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  8. It was you who said you commemorated the Resurrection every Sunday. How do you do that if you dont even mention it?

    You didnt just claim, as Catholics would also claim, that we go to services on the Lords day because it is the day of Ressurection. You claimed to COMEMORATE the Ressurection each and every Lords day. I beg to differ. You patently do not. You could go a whole series of Lords days without even hearing the word.

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  9. Would the words “living,” “alive,” “risen,” “ascended,” “sitting at God’s right hand,” “in heaven,” “within the veil,” “forerunner,” “blessed hope,” be acceptable? If you took any corpus of sermons or prayers from Lord’s Day services from Westminster-type churches, I think you would be hard pushed to avoid the implication that people are gathered there to worship the risen Lord, he who was crucified, dead, and buried, and rose again the third day.

    The whole day is meant to be spent ‘doing business for eternity,’ which means making progress towards heaven, which can only be understood as the place where Christ, the Lamb who was slain, sits in his state of exaltation on the throne of God. The Church Militant who gather to worship on the Lord’s Day is just joining in on the outskirts of the Church Triumphant in glory above. Yes, any day of the week a believer on the earth is in the outer courts of heaven, but the Lord’s Day is the special day which God has given to the Church for the corporate worship of the community of people who profess faith in the risen Saviour and hope to meet him in heaven one day. If Christ is not raised, our faith is vain, we are yet in our sins, and we are of all men most miserable.

    Seems a bit far-fetched, to insist that you can’t celebrate a thing properly unless you fix a date for it once a year …

    (Over and out from me for tonight!)

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  10. CT,
    Surely the point is that scripture doesn’t instruct us to ‘commemorate’ the Resurrection on an annual basis, using a set form of worship; it rather instructs us to worship a risen Lord on his day. That is the only sense in which we ‘commemorate’ the Resurrection, and any Easter celebrations invented by church or man are just that – inventions of man. They are will-worship, falling outwith the God-given worship of the New Testament church.

    Invocante said “And surely the most momentous event in human history the death and resurrection of Our Lord should be honoured by all Christains.”, to which Cath responded that ‘Westminster types’ do this every Lord’s Day. I’m not aware that she actually described it as ‘commemoration’ in any outward sense. The fact is that scripture doesn’t give any instruction on an outward act of rememberance/commemoration of the Resurrection. The Lord’s Supper commemorates his death, the Christian Sabbath commemorates his resurrection. The former has an outward ritual associated with it, as set out in scripture; the latter is an inward, spiritual thing, only outwardly signified by an absence of worldly activity. As you say, we can attend church meetings and services at any time, on any day, but doing so on the Lord’s Day is in accordance with our duty to keep his day holy. They are not commemorative services in themselves, it is the day which is the commemorative ‘event’.
    Am I right to assume you have no scriptural justification for outwardly ‘commemorating’ the Resurrection?

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  11. The big snore about Easter eggs, for me, is that Cadbury’s Easter Creme Eggs, for example, come out for Lent, and then when Easter gets here, they’re all gone. There was once a TV jingle to that effect. But this was agony to little Catholic me, who usually gave up sweeties for Lent and therefore only ever got one Easter creme egg–the one purchased before Easter to put in my basket. At the time I honestly believed every Cadbury Easter Creme Egg would be removed from the shelves on Holy Saturday.

    Meanwhile, I do think it is odd that we call Easter Easter instead of something rather more Christian, as the French, Italians, Germans, et al., do.

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  12. I have no problem with a lot of Finlay’s arguement. But Cath quite clearly said “the whole point of Sunday was to commemorate the resurrection” comparing your (and our) focus on the Ressurection on “Ordinary” Sundays, with the focus of the Church during the Easter Liturgical Season.

    If you are now saying your run of the mill Sundays are not a commemoration of the Resurrection then fine. There is no case. We get the same arguements at Christmas, Good Friday, and other Liturgical events. “We do that every Sunday”. Plainly untrue.

    I think it is fair to say that you do not commemorate the Resurrection every Sunday in the manner we particularly do – lets say rightly or wrongly – at Easter. The Lords Supper is a perfect example of the difference between commemoration and references in routine Sunday services.

    For Cath to try and compare our Easter commemoration- with routine Presbyterian services as having the same focus on the Resurrection is quite clearly wrong. And Finlay’s case in point about the Lords Supper is a good example.

    “Christ was never in Easter in the first place” I find a tad …not so much unbiblical, as an anti-biblical statement.

    Whether the Bible positively requests a liturgical commemoration hasn’t been the issue here, but I would argue that, worst case, it doesn’t forbid it.

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  13. CT,
    I don’t understand why you are still focussing on the services. Our services are not, as such, acts of commemoration of the resurrection. This is because we haven’t been given any scriptural grounds to hold any outward commemorative act with regard to the resurrection. Instead, we are to keep it in memory by worshipping him on his day. We can call this commemoration in a sense, but it isn’t outward commemoration, and Cath didn’t say it was. But the fact that it isn’t outward makes it no less significant. Part of the issue with Easter celebrations is the justification that is used for it, that it commemorates the resurrection – it’s completely unnecessary for that purpose as we have a commemoration already. That was Cath’s point, and you seem to have jumped on the idea of commemoration and made it out to be an outward act, which in this case it isn’t.
    Also, you really shouldn’t be deciding on behalf of Presbyterians everywhere whether or not they remember the resurrection, either explicitly or otherwise, on the Lord’s Day. In fact, we all ought to, and when we fail to, we are missing an element of what that day ought to be about. But how can you be judge and jury on whether or not Presbyterians actually do it?

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  14. I enjoyed your discussion on Easter eggs. My granny used to argue with her minister that eating chocolate examples of idolatry was the most efficient way of disposing of them. This went for Easter Bunnies Lindt animals and she could argue with one of the best examples of DD in south Edinburgh. The issue of Lent usually crops up and having got tired of replying ‘I’m giving up chocolate Easter eggs’, I remind people that Easter and the German equivalent have pagan origins and are just symbols. Having done Material Culture to death in the past, I always looked forward to visiting Basel, especially during Lent. I can remember being greeted well after Ash Wednesday by a crowd of revellers in Basel.

    I visited your site with the Song of Songs sermon. It was better than the Sunday Radio 4 worship on St Valentine. I’m collecting cyber-material culture which is a very thin mine. Some tracts, some prayer cards and not much else. Liturgy is something else and I’ve been following the Free Church debates with interest.

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  15. I celebrate Pascha and my priest has never said a word about chocolate. Perhaps he doesn’t want to have an adverse effect on the quantities of the stuff people bring to church :) (which we do because our Lent is vegan and by the end of it we crave desserts and sweets – not because we are into chocolate eggs). Seriously though as the great springtime choc-fest has nothing to do with the Passion or Resurrection of Our Lord it doesn’t have any bearing on the inclusion of Christ in public life anyway so no reason to encourage it by buying an egg rather than a bar of Godiva. However, if I felt obliged to buy an egg for some reason that I can’t imagine right now I’d probably buy this one to support the good causes.

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  16. Easter Eggs are pagan, and pagan customs are one reason non-Easter-observers object to Easter. The other reason is that Easter is a worship-observance not commanded by God. I agree with that, but rather wonder whether Christians *may* have kept a remembrance of some kind at passover time from very early on indeed, with (according to, for instance, Wikipedia) clear evidence of it in the second century – i.e. Pasch is not something that was introduced in the fourth century like Christmas. And (as the Scottish Reformers and Puritans no doubt concluded) they may have been wrong to do so given that that there was no command to do so, and that they were meant to be remembering Christ’s death and resurrection in the Lord’s Supper and the Lord’s Day.

    Thus I feel the “Easter” thing is partially a red herring if you look at it from the point of view of a continued observance of a Christianised “passover” and consider that languages that call it “Easter” rather than some form of “Pasch” are almost as rare as English-speaking countries that call the last letter of the alphabet Zee.

    On the other hand many churches descended from the British Reformation and Puritan movements, including, for instance, American Baptists, didn’t start keeping Easter till the nineteenth century.

    For the avoidance of doubt, I don’t keep Easter or passover, or attend Easter services, I just dislike bad arguments (which I’m not suggesting anyone here is indulging in).

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