LCG on New Year’s


Here are excerpts from the latest commentary from the Living Church of God:

By Gary F. Ehman | Thursday, December 29, 2011
The winter tide festivities continue on, with people moving almost mindlessly through them–looking neither left nor right, only onward to the end of them, full of parties, food, drink and maxed-out credit cards.

In just a few more days it will be the New Year and the glut of holiday celebrations will cease and we all can get back to normal—at least until Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mardi Gras, etc.

Ahh, the New Year, it is the traditional time to look forward and to look back. But, why do that? Where did this concept come from and why such wild celebrations to see a year end and a new one begin? Is there a reason why people make resolutions to do better then they have during the past year?…

A quick survey of thousands of Internet sites and dozens of reference books, shows New Year observances reach far back to Babylonian fertility rites associated with the spring and the renewal of the land following winter. It is believed that the Babylonians were the first to make New Year’s resolutions as part of divination of what the new year was to bring.

The Romans worshipped Janus, the two-faced god of doors and gates. Janus had two faces, one looking forward and one looking back. Roman emperor Julius Caesar in 46BC established January 1 as the Roman New Year’s Day and named the month “January” after the god Janus. He set this month as the appropriate “door” to the year.

But is the middle of winter the “appropriate door” of time to begin the year? Jesus Christ, the God of the Old Testament, when giving the nation of Israel His Holy Days, said man should begin the year in the spring (Exodus 12:2; cf. Deuteronomy 16:1).

The tradition of using a baby to signify the new year was begun in Greece around 600BC. It was their tradition at that time to honor their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility (The Golden Bough, Sir James George Frazer, “Dionysus,” Chapter XLIII). The Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth.

Early Romans believed that loudness, lewdness and drunkenness were necessary to celebrate the beginning of the New Year. The legends show they hoped such behavior would confuse Pan and the other malicious gods, thus preventing them from interfering in the everyday lives of mortals for the year to come…

But, are wild celebrations, full public drunkenness and perverted behavior appropriate for reasonable, thinking human beings, and especially for those who call themselves “Christians”? “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 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).

What would and should a true Christian do in regard to this stunning array of wintertime paganism? Send for your free booklet, What is a True Christian? or read it online by clicking the link.

There is nothing new about the world’s New Year’s celebrations; they are as old as Satan’s original deception.

Did you know that not only was this day not observed by early true Christians, even Roman Catholic supporting writers condemned the celebration associated with it?

A night of drunken revelry is not a Christian holiday and should not be observed by the faithful.

Some articles of 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.
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 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 Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught?
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?

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