Thank you for your response to my comment. I have since read some more of your posts, so I just wanted to point out, with the greatest of charity (no malice, harm, or insult intended), the following inconsistencies in your own words.
For example, I found the following lines from your post "Two Very Quick Notes About Passover":
"none of us should be slave to following some kind of Haggadah procedure"
"the fact of the matter is that there is little specified as to how to celebrate it annually. G-d has given us great freedom. Let’s not make this a drudgery. It is a CELELBRATION!"
But this liberal view of procedures and rituals does not square with the following strict quote about detailed procedures from this post:
- "G-d has given us some pretty simple instructions as to how He wants to be worshipped and as to what His people should practice in their spiritual walk." (You then go on to show snippets from the Torah, which is loaded with liturgical norms and procedures and rules and regulations, etc. etc.)
Additionally, the freedom of celebration is further complicated by the contradiction about what we can and can’t do, based on what is NOT in the Bible:
- "And no where in the Bible are these authorized or approved in their "Christian" versions. In fact, G-d commands His people to follow Him — not the traditions of men."
- "However, the actual Seder is not in the Bible…. the order of that Seder is not recorded in Scripture.
In fact, here you seem to want to have your cake and eat it too, attempting to have liberality and strict interpretation:
- "I conclude that we have great freedom in Messiah as to how we celebrate our Passover. The important thing is that we do, indeed, celebrate it as He told us, the ways He told us. And the fact of the matter is that there is little specified as to how to celebrate it annually."
The scriptures you quote that condemn the pagan practices (Jeremiah 10:2-3; Leviticus 18:3,30; Deuteronomy 7:1-5,16) apply to the worship of strange gods, but they do not mean that all customs of pagan origin are in and of themselves evil. Otherwise, the ancient Israelites would not have been allowed to use incense, because pagans did that; they would not be allowed to use an altar or blood sacrifices, because these were also offered in pagan rituals as well. How are we to know what things are allowed and what things aren’t allowed, just because they were once pagan (as many converts were once pagan)?
If pagan people can become people of G-d, why not things in the world He created?
Or, in your words, is there freedom how we celebrate, or are we to celebrate it as He told us, in the ways He told us?
Clearly, the short answer to this paradox is that not everything is in the Bible, as even John the Evangelist noted in John 21:25: "There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written." Additionally, when Christ died on the Cross, he fulfilled the Law and ushered in a New Covenant, which did away with the legalism of the Old Law.
That is why I hold that the way we are to celebrate is how the teaching authority (Magisterium) of the Church tells us, since they (as bishops) speak with the authority passed on to them as the successors of the Apostles – the ones who would most completely know all that Jesus said, did, and taught.
As I said before, I don’t agree with the association of the Easter bunny and painted eggs with the Resurrection of the Lord. I do not believe, however, that this interferes with the proper celebration (through the Liturgy of the Eucharist) of the Resurrection. The memorial of our deliverance by the Messiah, not just at Easter, but on every Sunday, is not profaned by any of this, because nobody is worshipping eggs, rabbits, or the springtime when we give thanks to the Lord for His Son and the bountiful world He created.
The Lord made the world and found it good. Likewise, He made man in His image and likeness, and found us very good. Who are we to judge as evil the things of the world that G-d has redeemed with His blood? "What G-d has made clean, you are not to call profane." (Acts 10:15)
Just some additional thoughts that I hope you will prayerfully consider this Passover season. As I said before, I do not mean this as an insult or to harm you. It is difficult to convey feeling and passion in mere written words (hence the need for a living witness, such that we have in the Church). Also, as G.K. Chesterton said, "Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of ‘touching’ a man’s heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." I don’t mean to hit you over the head with Scripture, so I hope that through prayerful consideration of my words, G-d will touch your heart. G-d bless you, brother.
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