In its latest TW News & Prophecy, LCG has the following:
Excused absences for pagan worship!
Vanderbilt University in Tennessee has added Wiccan and pagan holidays to its annual academic calendar. The university calendar informs faculty and students what days qualify for excused absences. This calendar recognizes Christian holidays, Jewish holidays, Muslim holidays–and now Wiccan/pagan holidays. Wicca is an officially recognized “religion” in the United States and many other nations. So now, witches can request days off to observe the Feast of the Dead and worship the sacred marriage goddess (USA Today, August 17, 2011).
Witchcraft has existed for thousands of years and is even mentioned in the Bible. Numerous scriptures in the Old Testament clearly condemn witchcraft, sorcery and all forms of pagan idolatrous practices (Exodus 20:1-8; Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, 27; Deuteronomy 18:10-12). This same condemnation is found in the New Testament. While Christians are not to practice violence against anyone, the Apostle Paul clearly states that “those who practice such things [sorcery, witchcraft, idolatry] will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:18-21). It is sobering today, to see the return of paganism–especially in “so-called” Christian nations like the U.S. and Britain.
Long ago God prophesied about the Israelite-descended nations, “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed, nor did they know how to blush” and, “They have gone after other gods to serve them” (Jeremiah 8:12; 11:10). With students and faculty allowed to miss class or reschedule exams for Wiccan holidays, what will be allowed next?
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Of course, many recognized holidays by governments are also pagan. Many were originally pagan, but had “Christian” characters and/or stories associated with them (Valentines, Easter, Halloween, Saturnalia/Christmas, etc.).
Birthdays, however, are probably the most widely accepted.
Back in 1969 Anton Lavey wrote The Satanic Bible. On page 96 (in the 1976 version) it mentions birthdays:
THE highest of all holidays in the Satanic religion is the date of one’s own birth. This is in direct contradiction to the holy of holy days of other religions, which deify a particular god who has been created in an anthropomorphic form of their own image, thereby showing that the ego is not really buried.
The Satanist feels: “Why not really be honest and if you are going to create a god in your image, why not create that god as yourself.” Every man is a god if he chooses to recognize himself as one. So, the Satanist celebrates his own birthday as the most important holiday of the year. After all, aren’t you happier about the fact that you were born than you are about the birth of someone you have never even met? Or for that matter, aside from religious holidays, why pay higher tribute to the birthday of a president or to a date in history than we do to the day we were brought into this greatest of all worlds?
After one’s own birthday, the two major Satanic holidays are Walpurgisnacht and Halloween (or All Hallows’ Eve). (Lavey A, Gilmore P. The Satanic Bible. Avon, September 1, 1976, p. 96–note it is on page 53 of an online version I found also).
It is interesting that birthdays are considered one of the three the most important holiday to these Satan worshipers (the founding of their “church”, called Walpurgisnacht, and Halloween are the other ones of importance to them).
The Bible never encourages the celebration of birthdays or pagan worship practices. Instead, it tends to speak in a negative manner concerning them (cf. Matthew 14:6-11; Jeremiah 10; 20:14-18).
Of course, early Christians did not celebrate birthdays nor did the early Jews. Nor have real Christians ever celebrated Halloween or most of the religious holidays that many do today. As far as the Jews, notice what the first century Jewish historian Josephus noted that Jewish families did not celebrate birthdays:
Nay, indeed, the law does not permit us to make festivals at the birth of our children, and thereby afford occasion of drinking to excess (Josephus. Translated by W. Whiston. Against Apion, Book II, Chapter 26. Extracted from Josephus Complete Works, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids (MI), 14th printing, 1977, p. 632).
Essentially birthdays became celebrated later because of compromises with the pagan cult of Mithraism (see Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? and Do You Practice Mithraism?). Other practices/holidays associated with that religion (December 25th was Mithras’ birthday) came to be adopted by many who professed Christ.
While the Bible does specify holy days, relatively few people observe them–most people seem to prefer those with pagan ties. Hence, it is little wonder to me that Wiccan holidays are being recognized more and more.
Some articles of possibly related interest may include:
Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate? Historical and biblical answers to this question about the world’s New Year’s day.
Valentine’s Day: Its Real Origins Christianity Today suggests that Valentine’s Day is good for Christians to observe. Is this true?
Mardi Gras: The Devil’s Carnival? Do you know that in Bolivia the carnival/Mardi Gras time is part of a celebration known as the Devil’s Carnival? Did Jesus celebrate Carnaval? Where did it come from?
Is Lent a Christian Holiday? When did it originate? What about Ash Wednesday? If you observe them, do you know why?
Why The Living Church of God Does Not Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day Should non-Catholics observe a Catholic holiday?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Milvian Bridge Day, Constantine, and St. Jude Milvian Bridge Day and St. Jude’s day are observed by some on October 28. Yet, do these two events point to a contradiction?
Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians? This article provides some historical and biblical insight on this question.
Is Keeping Christmas a Sin? Is keeping Christmas acceptable for true Christians? What are some scriptures to consider?
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations?
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity?
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?