Each year, millions of people observe St. Patrick's Day, but those in the real Churches of God (COGs), like the Continuing Church of God, do not.
Should true Christians celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Should they try to wear green on that day?
This article will briefly discuss St. Patrick's Day, some of its customs, and some of why those of us in the Continuing Church of God do not observe it. (A related video is also available: Should Christians Celebrate St. Patrick's Day?)
Commonly Claimed Background on Patrick
The World Book Encyclopedia reports:
PATRICK...SAINT (about 389-461)...is the patron of Ireland and a saint of the Roman Catholic Church...he came to be known as one who "found Ireland all heathen and left it all Christian." Saint Patrick founded over 300 churches...Many relics of this saint were held sacred for a thousand years, but some of them were destroyed by the Reformers (Patrick. World Book Encyclopedia, 50th Anniversary Edition, Volume 15. Chicago, 1966 p. 174).
Thus, St. Patrick's Day is in honor of one who is claimed to have turned Ireland Roman Catholic. Since we in the Continuing Church of God are not supporters of the compromised Roman Catholic Church, a church that often uses wooden images and relics in its worship, we consider that it is not appropriate to observe its non-biblical holidays (see also Deuteronomy 12:3-4, 31). Even the early Protestant Reformers opposed venerations associated with Patrick. Should not non-Catholics not observe this day?
The Catholic Encyclopedia reports some additional, as well as disturbing, details about Patrick:
Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland...Pope St. Celestine I, who rendered immortal service to the Church by the overthrow of the Pelagian and Nestorian heresies, and by the imperishable wreath of honour decreed to the Blessed Virgin in the General Council of Ephesus, crowned his pontificate by an act of the most far-reaching consequences for the spread of Christianity and civilization, when he entrusted St. Patrick with the mission of gathering the Irish race into the one fold...
"St. Patrick's Breast-Plate", is supposed to have been composed by him in preparation for this victory over Paganism. The following is a literal translation from the old Irish text:
I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity...
St. Patrick proceeded through Gowran into Ossory; here he erected a church under the invocation of St. Martin, near the present city of Kilkenny, and enriched it with many precious relics which he had brought from Rome...
Many times in the day he armed himself with the sign of the Cross...
Far more ample, however, were the aspirations of the saint, and he resolved to persevere in fasting and prayer until the fullest measure of his petition was granted. Again and again the angel came to comfort him, announcing new concessions; but all these would not suffice. He would not relinquish his post on the mountain, or relax his penance, until all were granted. At length the message came that his prayers were heard:
- many souls would be free from the pains of purgatory through his intercession...and...
- greatest blessing of all, Patrick himself should be deputed to judge the whole Irish race on the last day.,
Such were the extraordinary favors which St. Patrick, with his wrestling with the Most High, his unceasing prayers, his unconquerable love of heavenly things, and his unremitting penitential deeds, obtained for the people whom he evangelized (Cardinal Moran, Patrick Francis. Transcribed by Mary Doorley. St. Patrick. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI. Published 1911. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).
We in the Continuing Church of God do not consider that Patrick was an apostle. We do not believe that Patrick has been chosen by God to judge the Irish race on judgment day. Also, there is no such place as purgatory and early Christians did not teach of such a place (for more details, see Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory?).
The Bible says to: "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).
The faith once for all delivered to the saints did not include sacred relics, wearing crosses, nor promoting trinitarianism.
Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá 'le Pádraig or Lá Fhéile Pádraig), colloquially Paddy's Day or St. Patty's Day, is the feast day which annually celebrates Saint Patrick (373-493), the patron saint of Ireland, on March17, the day on which Saint Patrick died...It became a feast day in the universal church due to the influence of the Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding, as a member of the commission for the reform of the Breviary in the early part of the 17th century...
One traditional icon of the day is the shamrock. This stems from a more bona fide Irish tale that tells how Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Trinity. He used it in his sermons to represent how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements of the same entity. His followers adopted the custom of wearing a shamrock on his feast day.
The St. Patrick's Day custom came to America in 1737, the first year St. Patrick's Day was publicly celebrated, in Boston, Mass.
Today, people celebrate the day with parades, wearing green (Saint Patrick's Day. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick's_Day 03/16/07).
The above should give persons in the COGs pause to celebrate this holiday. (Note: While some dispute the shamrock tale and believe that Patrick was actually a true Christian, this does not mean that those in the COGs should celebrate what is essentially a Catholic holiday.)
Not only do we not celebrate what "the universal church" observes, we do not accept that God is a trinity in the Greco-Roman sense. A three-leafed shamrock is what we in the USA call a three-leafed clover. The early church did not consider that God was a trinity like that, hence the observation of a holiday intended to celebrate one who used a green clover to mislead people about the nature of the Godhead would not be appropriate. (Two articles of related interest may be Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? and Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning.
Although in Ireland wearing blue was at first common for the holiday, green was used elsewhere (especially in the USA) and eventually became the color of the day even in Ireland. This is probably not just because Ireland is a green country with a green flag (though those are factors), but because of the stories associated with Patrick's the three-leafed shamrock and the trinity.
The History Channel reports:
In fact the first written mention of this story did not appear until nearly a thousand years after Patrick's death. The shamrock, which was also called the "seamroy" by the Celts, was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. By the seventeenth century, the shamrock had become a symbol of emerging Irish nationalism.
So whether the green clover has intended to be a symbol of a non-existent trinity or a pagan symbol related to the rebirth of Spring, following the custom of wearing green on March 17th would not seem to be a biblically-wise idea.
Now, it should be noted that some believe that the "Patrick" that the Catholics venerate was not actually supportive of Rome and had certain Christian teachings. And that might be so, however, the celebration that millions participate in is based on the claimed shamrock, etc. version of his life.
Notice also the following related to a Catholic monk sometime known as the "venerable Bede":
Bede never speaks of St. Patrick in his celebrated "Ecclesiastical History." His accuracy in general cannot be questioned...He states that "Palladius was sent by Pope Celestine to the Scots believing in Christ," that is to the Irish, to whom he went, and commenced an unsuccessful mission; but not a word about St. Patrick...
The labors of Patrick's religious descendants were unusually blessed in Northumbria, in England, where Bede spent his life...saints, canonized by all Northumbria, as Bede in substance informs us, belonged to the church of the Scots (the Irish), who held no communion with the Roman Catholic Church, founded in England by Augustine and his assistants, and sent there by Gregory the Great...it is morally certain that Bede had positive information before he wrote his work that Patrick had no commission from Pope Celestine. (Cathcart W. The Ancient British and Irish Churches: Including the Life and Labors of St. Patrick. American Baptist Publication, 1894. Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized Jul 2, 2009, pp. 85-87).
Having personally read Bede's Ecclesiastical History, I concur that Patrick, if he were a famous Roman Catholic, would have been mentioned and discussed in it.
What Patrick Himself Wrote, Plus the Four Petitions,
Here is some of what is believed Patrick himself wrote:
i. I, Patrick the sinner, am the most illiterate and the least of all the faithful, and contemptible in the eyes of very many. My father was Calpurnius, a deacon, one of the sons of Potitus, a presbyter, who belonged to the village of Banavem Tabernia?. Now he had a small farm hard by, where I was taken captive. I was then about sixteen years of age. I knew not the true God ; and I went into captivity to Ireland with many thousands of persons, according to our deserts, because we departed away from God, and kept not his commandments, and were not obedient to our priests, who used to admonish us for our salvation. And the Lord poured upon us the fury of his anger, 1 and scattered us amongst many heathen, even unto the ends of the earth, 2, where now my littleness may be seen amongst men of another nation...5 And he shed on us abundantly the Holy Ghost,* the gift and earnest of immortality, who makes those who believe and obey to become children of God the Father and joint heirs with Christ,'' whom we confess and adore as one God in the Trinity of the Holy Name...20. Now on that same night, when I was sleeping, Satan assailed me mightily, in such sort as I shall remember as long as I am in this body. 5 And he fell upon me as it were a huge rock, and I had no power over my limbs. But whence did it occur to me — to my ignorant mind — to call upon Helias? And on this I saw the sun rise in the heaven, and while I was shouting " Helias " with all my might, lo, the splendour of that sun fell upon me, and straightway shook all weight from off me. And I believe that I was helped by Christ my Lord, and that his Spirit was even then calling aloud on my behalf. (Confessions of ST. PATRICK. TRANSLATIONS OF CHRISTIAN LITERATURE SERIES V LIVES OF THE CELTIC SAINTS Edited by ELEANOR HULL, pp. 30-32, 37-38. http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924029216708/cu31924029216708_djvu.txt viewed 03/16/12)
Since he was apparently a trinitarian, the particular Patrick that is commonly celebrated was not part of the Church of God. Helios is the sun god. Helias apparently means "children of the sun," and apparently this was one of Patrick's influences (though there may have been multiple "Patricks" and much of what is told about him is subject to question). Patrick says he DID NOT KNOW the true God (hence he was not crying out to Elijah), yet he believed while he was crying out to the sun that Jesus helped him, but calling out to something related to the sun god would not be what Jesus would have wanted.
Notice also the four petitions of Patrick that a biographer and 7th century Irish monk named Muirchu put together related to him as apparently Patrick claimed that an angel named Victor agreed to Patrick's requests/petitions:
Now Victor was the angel who was wont often to visit Patrick ; and Victor sent another angel to forbid Patrick to go whither he desired to go. And he said to him, Where- fore dost thou set out without the advice of Victor? Therefore Victor calleth thee, and do thou turn aside to him. And he turned aside as he was bidden, and asked what he ought to do. And the angel answered and said, Return unto the place whence thou earnest, that is, to Sabul ; and the four petitions which thou didst desire are granted thee.
The first petition : that thy jurisdiction be in Ardd-Machae.
The second petition : that whoever, on the day of his death, shall sing the hymn composed concerning thee, thou shalt be the judge of his repentance of his sins.
The third petition : that the descendants of Dichu, who received thee kindly, shall receive mercy, and not perish.
The fourth petition : that all the Irish shall be judged by thee in the Day of Judgement, as it was said to the Apostles, " And ye shall sit and judge the twelve tribes of Israel " ; that thou mayest be the judge of those to whom thou wast an apostle. (Muirchu's Life of St. Patrick. CHAPTER VI OF THE FOUR PETITIONS OF PATRICK, pp. 104-105. http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924029216708/cu31924029216708_djvu.txt viewed 03/16/12)
So, supposedly an angel granted Patrick's petition to judge the Irish, etc. If this really happened, this was not an angel of God. Also, the idea that singing a hymn composed by Patrick is considered by some to be proof of repentance is in severe theological error. But there is a lot of theological error associated with Patrick and St. Patrick's Day.
St. Patrick's Day is Dangerous and Has Practices that the Apostles Condemned
Aside from its non-biblical origins and certain non-biblical positions of Patrick, what else is wrong with St. Patrick's Day?
Well, it is a day for revelry and drunkenness.
March 17, 2016
Ireland marked St. Patrick's Day on March 17 ... Hundreds of thousands watched a St. Patrick's Day parade through Dublin, but police in Northern Ireland said officers clashed with "a drunken crowd" in Belfast in the early hours of the day, http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/irish-archbishop-and-president-remember-migrants-on-st-patricks-day/40689.htm
And it is a day that driving becomes more dangerous:
Friends don’t let friends drive drunk this Saint Patrick’s Day: Westfield Police to increase DWI enforcement
Suburban News – 8 March 2012
Like most holidays, Saint Patrick’s Day has become a popular time for people to celebrate with family and friends. However, due to the large numbers of drunk drivers, the day has also become a very dangerous one.
On Saint Patrick’s Day 2009, 37% of the drivers and motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher, according to statistics obtained from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Additional NHTSA statistics also disclosed that in 2009 there were 103 crash fatalities on Saint Patrick’s Day. Of that number, 47 people were killed in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcyclist with a BAC of .08% or higher.
Wake County Criminal Defense Attorney Says St. Patrick’s Day …
PR Web (press release) – 8 March 2012...
The Governor’s Highway Safety Program reported that state and local law enforcement officers conducted 2,618 sobriety checkpoints and dedicated patrols during a period from March 11-17.
The campaign netted a total of 32,579 traffic and criminal citations statewide. The total included 1,013 DWI charges. Out of that number, 123 charges involved drivers under age 21. Wake County had 94 DWI citations, the second highest number in the state.
SnoValley Star_ March 7, 2012
Officers in King County on routine and extra patrols arrested 310 people for DUI during the St. Patrick’s Day enforcement effort last year.
St. Patrick’s Day could be unlucky for impaired motorists. But getting drunk drivers off the road would be lucky for everyone else.
March 12, 2015You don't have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, and traffic accidents don't discriminate based on nationality. Each year, the green beer often flows too freely for revelers, making it a dangerous time to drive: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 276 people died in drunken driving crashes over St. Patrick's Day weekends from 2009 to 2013.
In 2013, two out of five crash fatalities during St. Patrick's Day weekend involved drunken driving, NHTSA reported. The hours after the party are the most dangerous -- between midnight and 5:59 a.m. on March 18, 2013, 55 percent of crash fatalities involved drunken drivers. What's more, from 2009 to 2013, three out of four drunken driving fatalities occurred with drivers who had blood-alcohol levels at more than double the legal limit.
So, is this more dangerous driving day a day for real Christians to celbrate?
Notice what the Apostle Peter wrote:
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles — when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. (1 Peter 4:1-3)
Is not “St. Patrick’s Day” a time from revelry, drinking parties, and drunkenness? Is not that something that the Apostle Peter said real Christians would no longer participate in? Peter even warns that some will think it strange if you stop such improper behaviors, but that is what Christians are to do.
According to the Apostle Paul fleshy revelry is not for Christians and those who continue in revelry will not be in the Kingdom of God:
13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:13-14)
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
The writings from the apostles should be enough to stop professors of Christ from participating in St. Patrick's Day revelries, but sadly most who profess Christ overlook much of what the Bible teaches about real Christian practices.
Are you willing to stand up for the true way of life that the Bible teaches?
You may wish to read and study the free online booklet: Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?
But, it should be noted that the Church of Rome encourages the observation. So much so, it grants a special dispensation from its Lenten observances so that people can consume otherwise restricted items. Notice something from 2017:
For the commemoration of St Patrick, 17 March 2017, the following local churches are generally dispensed or granted commutation from Lenten abstinence by act of the respective (arch)bishop or the proper solemnity of the diocesan patron – conditions/substitions may vary by jurisdiction:
All dioceses of Wisconsin and Georgia (by common action)
Archdioceses of Anchorage, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dubuque, Galveston-Houston, Hartford, Indianapolis, Kansas City in Kansas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, The Military Services USA, Mobile, Newark, New Orleans, New York, Omaha, Philadelphia, Saint Paul and Minneapolis, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC
Dioceses of Albany, Allentown, Arlington, Austin, Baton Rouge, Beaumont, Belleville, Birmingham, Boise, Bridgeport, Brooklyn, Brownsville, Buffalo, Burlington, Camden, Charleston, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Corpus Christi, Covington, Dallas, Davenport, Des Moines, Duluth, Erie, Fall River, Fargo, Fort Wayne-South Bend, Fort Worth, Fresno, Gary, Gaylord, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Honolulu, Jackson, Jefferson City, Joliet, Juneau, Kalamazoo, Kansas City-St Joseph, Knoxville, Lafayette (La.), Las Cruces, Las Vegas, Lexington, Manchester, Memphis, Metuchen, Nashville, Norwich, Oakland, Ogdensburg, Owensboro, Palm Beach, Paterson, Peoria, Pensacola-Tallahassee, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland (Maine), Providence, Raleigh, Rochester, Rockford, Rockville Centre, Sacramento, St Augustine, St Cloud, St Petersburg, San Bernardino, San Diego, Scranton, Spokane, Springfield (Mass.), Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Steubenville, Stockton, Syracuse, Toledo, Tucson, Tyler, Venice (Florida), Victoria, Wheeling-Charleston, Wilmington, Winona, Worcester, Yakima, Youngstown http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2017/03/irish-or-not-happy-indult-day.html
So, Lent is not so special to the Church of Rome that it should not be changed to allow people to consume items that they normally avoid then in order to party on St. Patrick's Day.
Another Non-Christian Custom
Although most probably consider that getting drunk is the biggest social problem associated with the day (other than its ties to idolatry), one particularly disgusting practice is that people who do not wear green on this day are subject to ridicule and harassment.
One such practice is chasing and pinching those who do not wear green on that day. And while some may consider that this type of persecution is only a harmless practice, it has caused distress and harm to many children over the years.
Notice the following:
If you don't wear green people pinch you constantly (St. Patrick's Day. P.J. J. Todd M. 3/16/07).
#1 St. Patrick's Day Priority - Avoid Being Pinched
Tradition Dictates Those Celebrating St. Patrick's Day Must Work Green Into Their Outfits . (PR Newswire. March 6, 2007).
It's that time again: the time to put on your best bright green suit, march down the streets of your town, parade yourself into your favorite local pub and show your Irish pride. Don't forget to pinch those who are not wearing green (Anderson, Rusty. Daily Staff Writer. It's not authentic just because it's green. Iowa State Daily, 03/08/07).
Although St. Patrick's Day was originally a religious celebration to honor St. Patrick, to us it has become much more. Our memories of the festivities consist of pinching those who don't wear green (Morgan, Holly. Daily Staff Writer. Holiday tradition changes from honoring a saint to honoring all things Irish. Iowa State Daily, 03/08/07).
Would that practice be one that Jesus would endorse? Did not Jesus object to those who held to tradition but ignored the weightier matters of the law? Notice:
Woe to you...For you...have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith (Matthew 23:23, NKJV).
If not, how can any who consider themselves any type of Christian participate or allow their children to participate is such a non-loving, non-merciful practice, like pinching? (Please also see the article Tradition and the Bible.)
Yahoo Answers asked a question and received an interesting answer:
What is with the pinching thing on st. patricks day?
(Answer)...I don't know, but I really hate it, that's why I always wear green on that day.
I personally believe that this whole pinching thing is a less than subtle way to tell people that they should conform to non-biblical traditions. One of my sons dreaded getting pinched on this day, because of what happened once, so I wrote his school to stop the practice there.
But seriously, should Christians be hurting someone because they do not wear green?
Christianity in Ireland and Patrick
Irish writer Liam de Paor stated that "Ireland was not converted by one man [Patrick]… it may be that Christianity reached the west country [of Britain] and the southern Irish sea virtually independent of the Roman system, at a very early date… centuries before Patrick" (Paor, pp. 21, 23). There are traditions that the Apostle James preached the gospel in Ireland before returning to Jerusalem, where he was martyred (see MacManus, The Story of the Irish Race, p. 103). The widely accepted notion that Patrick first brought Christianity to Ireland is a legend, not a fact.
We in the Continuing Church of God feel that what that Patrick did was not beneficial (there are stories that there was an earlier, more original, 'Patrick' who was faithful to the true Church, but that is difficult to prove). However we feel that Jeremiah and others called of God were in Ireland well before Patrick (for more detail please see the entire article Behind the Mists of Ireland).
What Where Some of the Original Christian Practices in Ireland?
While Patrick apparently compromised on some doctrines, notice the following:
There is in fact no historical evidence that Ninian, or Patrick, or Columba, or any of their contemporaries in Ireland, kept Sunday as a Sabbath.’ (Celtic Sabbath-Keeping Study No. 264, from Cherith Chronicle, April-June 1998, pp. 46-47. http://www.giveshare.org/BibleStudy/264.celtic-sabbath-keeping.html 6/24/06).
Many Irish would be shocked to learn this, but the truth is that many of the Irish kept the Sabbath on Saturday until an English Queen forced them to accept Sunday. Noted theologian James Moffat reported:
It seems to have been customary in the Celtic churches of early times, in Ireland as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, as a day of rest from labor, and Sunday, commemorative of the Lord's resurrection, as one of rejoicing, with exercises of public worship. In that case they obeyed the fourth commandment literally upon the seventh day of the week…
The queen insisted upon the single and strict observance of the Lord's Day. People and clergy alike submitted, but without entirely giving up their reverence for Saturday, which subsequently sank into a half-holy day preparatory for Sunday (Moffat , James Clement. The Church in Scotland: A History of Its Antecedents, it Conflicts, and Its Advocates, from the Earliest Recorded Times to the First Assembly of the Reformed Church. Published by Presbyterian Board of Education, 1882. Original from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Digitized Mar 13, 2008, p. 140).
The queen mentioned above was Margaret who died in 1093. Margaret was canonized a Roman Catholic saint in the year 1250 by Pope Innocent IV. Thus, once again political power was used to try to stop people from following the biblical practices of early Christianity.
True Christianity did come to the British Isles (including Ireland) prior to the Catholic visits. Interestingly, the Celtic/Keltic churches, around 600 A.D. claimed to have been descended from the church of the Ephesians (the apostolic and basically immediate post-apostolic church):
The Keltic Churches of Ireland, of Galloway, and of Iona were at one with the British Church. These claimed, like Southern Gaul and Spain, to have drawn their faith from the Apostolic See of Ephesus. Their liturgies, or such fragments as have come down to us, bear marks of belonging to the Oriental family of liturgies. (Dawson W. The Keltic Church and English Christianity. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society (New Series), 1884, p. 377 doi:10.2307/3677978 )
Did you know that even according to The Catholic Encyclopedia that some of the Irish used to maintain the biblical practice of foot washing. Notice:
The Feet Washing. The form here is similar to that in the Gallicanum, the Bobbio, and the Stowe: "Ego te lavo pedes. Sicut D.N.J.C. fecit discipulis suis, tu facias hospitibus et peregrenis ut habeas vitam aeternam". This ceremony is only found in Gaul, Spain, and Ireland. At the Council of Elvira in 305 an order was made that it should be performed by clerks and not by priests. This limitation, of which the wording is quite clear, has been unaccountably interpreted to mean that it was then forbidden altogether (Jenner H. Transcribed by Geoffrey K. Mondello, Ph.D. The Gallican Rite. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VI. Published 1909. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, September 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).
There are many practices that the Irish and others had that they have since lost. And part of it is because many spend more time celebrating St. Patrick's Day than they do looking into their own history and the history of the true Church. If you are interested in looking more, a good place to start may be The History of Early Christianity page.
The Bible Does Not Endorse Mixing Pagan Practices
Most do not care if they mix paganism in with their worship and holiday practices.
But the Bible has a different view. The following is from the New Jerusalem Bible, a Roman Catholic accepted translation of scripture into English:
14 Do not harness yourselves in an uneven team with unbelievers; how can uprightness and law-breaking be partners, or what can light and darkness have in common? 15 How can Christ come to an agreement with Beliar and what sharing can there be between a believer and an unbeliever? 16 The temple of God cannot compromise with false gods, and that is what we are -- the temple of the living God. (2 Corinthians 6:14-16, NJB)
19 What does this mean? That the dedication of food to false gods amounts to anything? Or that false gods themselves amount to anything? 20 No, it does not; simply that when pagans sacrifice, what is sacrificed by them is sacrificed to demons who are not God. I do not want you to share with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons as well; you cannot have a share at the Lord's table and the demons' table as well. 22 Do we really want to arouse the Lord's jealousy; are we stronger than he is? (1 Corinthians 10:19-22, NJB)
Some think they are strong enough spiritually so they can mix paganism, but they are really arousing God’s wrath according to the Apostle Paul. Paul also wrote:
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
"I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people."
"Come out from among them And be separate, says
the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you."
18 'I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
Notice God will be a Father to those who will not be part of pagan practices. Not a Father to those that embrace them as part of worship.
Although some act like having practices that the pagans had pleases God, they are deluding themselves:
26 Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. (Ezekiel 22:26, NIV)
God says that instead of this pleasing Him, including pagan practices will bring His wrath (Ezekiel 30:13). You are not honoring God by observing St. Patrick's Day.
More on God's Holy Days and secular holidays is shown in the free online booklet: Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?
St. Patrick's Day is a Roman Catholic holiday to honor a Roman Catholic saint, who supposedly upon orders by a Roman Pope, spread Roman Catholic doctrines all over Ireland--and that claim itself seems improper.
Doctrines like the Greco-Roman trinity are among those that we in the Continuing Church of God believe obscure the truth of God and which obscure the message of the Bible to many in Ireland today.
Furthermore, the apostles specifically wrote that the type of drinking parties and revelries that are intergral to the celebration of many for St. Patrick's Day are not something that one would not participate in once they became a real Christian.
It is quite presumptuous, as well as wrong, for the Patrick who is supposedly being celebrated on this day to conclude that God will use him on the last day to judge all the Irish race. This suggests to me, at least, that he was possibly delusional (or the one who originally came up with that story was). Why would non-Catholics wish to be part of this delusion?
The more common stories of St. Patrick lead to a misunderstanding of what Christianity is and the nature of the Godhead. It also is highly deceiving for the Irish as they will not be judged by this Patrick.
For those and all the related reasons, we in the Continuing Church of God do not intentionally wear green on St. Patrick's Day, do not pinch others, nor do we intentionally observe other celebrations related to Patrick on that day.
A related video is also available: Should Christians Celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
A booklet of possibly related interest may be: Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?
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Thiel B. Why The Continuing Church of God Does Not Wear Green on St. Patrick's Day. www.cogwriter.com/stpatricksday.htm 2007/2008/2009/2011/2012/2013/2016 0318