Many, many things have pagan roots, even words we use every day. I recently wrote an article, which will also be helpful in understanding this topic more fully. It is titled, Why Celebrate Christmas in December? Click on the title to read it. It is just two sentences longer than two pages and will help in this area. Now the answer to the question in the title of this article is a resounding, “NO!”
You may say that is a very simplistic answer, but it is a very simple question when you do a little digging. If you spend a little time looking things up, there are many places named after Pagan gods, Native American deities, Egyptian gods, and more. These days, we have all heard of Isis. Well, Isis was the mother god in Egypt and had influence on Greek and Roman religions. There is a place in the Grand Canyon called Isis Temple which is named after her. I do not often use Wikipedia on the Internet but had to laugh when I read the following:
Isis Temple in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, is a prominence below the North Rim, and adjacent Granite Gorge. The prominence lies north of the north bank of the west-flowing Colorado River, and is just north of Middle Granite Gorge. The Trinity Creek and canyon flow due-south at its west border; its north, and northeast border/flank is formed by Phantom Creek and canyon, a west tributary of Bright Angel Creek; the creeks intersect about 3 miles [4.83 kilometers] southeast, and 1 mile [1.61 kilometers] north of Granite Gorge.
So, if I stay away from things because they are wrong or pagan, I guess I would not want to go there. With places called Isis Temple, Trinity Creek, Phantom Creek, and Bright Angel Creek [that might be good or bad], this might not be a place to go! Why not? If names of places being pagan or something wrong like the Trinity Creek keep you away then you would be missing one of the natural wonders this world has to offer. Another bit of information, much of the Grand Canyon has pagan names. This may not be pagan, but look at this name, “Devil’s Garden.” It is an area of Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. One formation is even called “Dark Angel.” Who names these places? Because it is not godly people! This world belongs to the Bad Guy still, until Jesus comes and sets up his kingdom. You need to remember a few verses which you may know, but maybe not, so here they are.
1 John 5:19 (NIV)1
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
That is God’s, His Son’s, and our Adversary! He is in control, and owns it because the Man and Woman in the Garden of Eden gave it to him. The Evil One gloated that it was given to him (mentioned in the gospel of Luke below) when he was the Tempter of Jesus.
Luke 4:5 and 6 (NIV)
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.
Jesus did not call him a liar, or say, “Hey! My Daddy owns all that!” Why? Because he knew the Evil One was telling the truth. The Bible even calls the Accuser the, “god of this age!”
2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV)
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Folks, this is talking about the Evil One, not God or Jesus. There are many more verses in the Bible which show how bad he is. But many times we know how bad he is by his name given in the verse, which is always a descriptive name in the Hebrew or Greek text. Sadly the translators used words like Satan or the Devil. Those are transliterations, not translations, and I do not want to teach something I have already got on our website. See our article, “Is There a Devil and Is He Real?” It covers his descriptive names, please read it to have a better understanding.
If we look at everything around us, we would be surprised as to how many pagan things are around us. There are many words you use every day that are pagan. Did you know July and August were named after Emperors of Rome? They were, according to many sources, deities. Wikipedia states, “A deceased emperor granted apotheosis by his successor and the Senate became an official State divus (divinity/deity). Members of the Imperial family could be granted similar honours and cult; an Emperor’s deceased wife, sister or daughter could be promoted to diva (female divinity/deity). The first and last Roman known as a living divus was Julius Caesar, who seems to have aspired to divine monarchy.” Julius Caesar’s adopted heir Octavius (later known as Augustus) rose to sole power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavius set about solidifying his power, and the era of the Roman Empire began. Both Julius and Augustus were considered divinities. So now, should we not use those names? Should we skip those months? The answer to both is, “NO!” You cannot get away from things which can be wrong or pagan in their background.
Hey! How about movies? Thor® [and its sequels] and The Avengers® [and its sequels] all have Norse gods; Thor [the god of thunder, rain, and farming] and Loki [the trickster god]. Both those definitions can be found at Dictionary.com. So, should we quit watching those kinds of movies? No! There are many more movies, but I am sure that you, like me, would not watch them anyway. Like horror, living dead, occult, and more. I have seen occult movies to learn, because of this verse below and other verses. One more piece of trivia; the name Nemesis comes from the Greek, the goddess of revenge. Nemesis® is the name of the last Star Trek® The Next Generation® movie. In this fallen world it is impossible to get away from things which are pagan, or were pagan in the past. Have you ever watched a movie or television show about, “Hercules” [a half pagan god]? Or read about a ship called, “Poseidon” [an Olympian god] or about, “Pluto” [another Olympian god] who has a planet named after him? When speaking of the planets should we leave out the ninth one? Or Mars [Roman god of war], Venus [Roman goddess whose functions encompassed love, beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity and desire], or Neptune [Roman god of freshwater and the sea]? And there are more! That would be ridiculous! You cannot get away from pagan names. So, do not get so religious that you are no earthly good. Remember who is in control! We read it above in 1 John 5:19! He is the, “god of this age,” which we read before in 2 Corinthians. Let us look a little more at our Enemy.
2 Corinthians 2:11 (KJV)
Lest Satan [should read: Adversary] should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices [can also be translated, designs, schemes, scheming, intentions, thoughts, enterprises, purposes].
You will be ignorant if you know nothing in the Bible about our Enemy and know nothing about what the world is putting out about him. I looked up the word, “devices,” and it is the Greek word: νόημα which is transliterated into the English as noema. It is pronounced no’-ay-mah, Meaning: 1) a mental perception, thought 2) an evil purpose 3) that which he thinks, the mind, thoughts or purposes. When you boil those three definitions down, I would say, “evil thoughts and purposes” is something about our Enemy that we need to know about. So, since it is something we are to know about our Enemy, then it is sad most Christians do not know anything about him. That is the only reason I study movies about the occult, so as to not be ignorant of what the world he is in control of, is putting out. I do need to know our Enemy, and so do you. I am not saying that you need to watch demonic movies, but I am saying you need to know what our Enemy is doing. Hiding your head in the ground like an ostrich will not protect you from his attacks.
1 Peter 5:8 (KJV)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
This verse speaks volumes! We will get eaten if we are not sober and vigilant, by the Adversary. That is why we must know our Enemy. That is true in war but more so in the fight we are in with God’s Enemy. Also, it is a spiritual battle, not against flesh and blood. This Enemy is called, “…the prince of the power of the air….” See this verse below.
Ephesians 2:2 (KJV)
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
There is so much about this Accuser, this Wicked One, this Temper. But I will give you a couple more verses about him for this article, so we can get to more about what all this pagan stuff means today.
Ephesians 6:12 (RSV)
For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
We are contending with [others translate it as: wrestling, struggling, fighting, battling, and in conflict with] principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. These are spiritual beings, demons, and they all work in a kingdom of the Adversary. He is responsible for killing people, not God, and holds the power of death.
Hebrews 2:14 (RSV)
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself [Jesus] likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil [the Greek reads, Slanderer],
We now know who is behind all this negative garbage in the world, and it sure is not God. Please do not blame God for all the evil, sin, and suffering in this world; blame the one behind all this pagan stuff in the world. So many, many things are named wrong and have names that are far from godly. YOU CANNOT GET AWAY FROM PAGAN THINGS IN A FALLEN WORLD WHERE THE ADVERSARY IS THE ONE WITH DOMINION AND CONTOL OVER EVERYTHING, EXCEPT US CHRISTIANS!!!
Let us look at even more pagan stuff in everyday life. How about the days of the week, which we use all the time. Are they godly, or of a pagan background? Let us look at them, and the answer will be apparent.
- Sunday: “sone day,” meaning, “day of the sun,” after sun worship.
- Monday: “day of the moon,” honoring moon worship.
- Tuesday: “Tīw’s Day,” the English name is derived from Old English Tiwesdæg, and Middle English Tewesday, meaning, “Tīw’s Day,” the day of Tiw or Ty’r, the god of single combat, victory, and heroic glory in Norse mythology.
- Wednesday: “Woden’s day,” honoring Woden the chief Anglo-Saxon god.
- Thursday: “Thor’s day,” honoring the Norse god of thunder.
- Friday: comes from the Old English Frīġedæġ, meaning the “day of Frige,” a result of an old convention associating the Old English goddess Frigg with the Roman goddess Venus [whose functions encompassed love, beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity and desire. In Roman mythology she was the mother of the Roman people through her son Aeneas].
- Saturday: “Saturn’s day,” in honor of Saturn the god who ruled the universe until dethroned by Zeus.
So, am I honoring Saturn, a pagan god, when I say Saturday? No! Nor if you use the name of any other day of the week. It is just a name of something in this world, and we know who controls this world.
Do we think that many holidays are over commercialized? Sure they are! Some people I had contact with use every holiday as a reason to party, get drunk [even use drugs], and/or for a sexual relationship. We do not condone extra marital sex, or premarital sex, as God established marriage. It is a Creation Ordinance, and in those cases to celebrate with your spouse is perfectly fine. We do enjoy gifts at holidays, and I always love being a cheerful giver. Every time I give a gift, I love to watch how it blesses the receiver. Seeing their eyes light up, their smiles, and facial expressions makes my day. I love how open people get around holidays, especially Christmas. I also get to share the Word with those who are receptive. A holiday to me brings out the best in many people.
Every Christian has the right to celebrate any holiday they want to. We do not put any holiday above another, or endorse any particular holiday. We enjoy every holiday here in the USA, as a time to feast like Israel’s three feasts in the Hebrew Scriptures. For us it is a time to eat, be with family and friends, and fellowship together. We never endorse anything where people drink to excess.
Ephesians 5:18 (KJV)
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
It says wine here, but I think that would include all alcoholic beverages. Are there any days in this Administration which are more important than others? No! But let us think a little about reasons to have any Christian holidays! First, let us look at the regular holidays we have here in the USA. We have many days which are special days to many people, but they are not days we get off of work. Here are but a few: Martin Luther King Day [some get off that day], Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day [some get off that day], Saint Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Veteran’s Day [some get off that day], and more. These are holidays where people [for the most part] get off work: such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and New Year’s Day. I talked about what we do on these days in my previous Christmas article, mentioned and linked earlier. We were one of the first countries to set aside a day to give thanks to God for anything with a Thanksgiving Day. My family always gets together, fellowships, and enjoys eating a wonderful meal together. We also have a cookout for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. It is always a time of good food, family, and fun.
We have two other holidays that for most people are off work: Resurrection Sunday [Called Easter by most, which was a pagan holiday] and Christmas. My family gets together everywhere for Christmas, but we usually only have Resurrection Sunday here where I live. We get together and have a feast, fellowship, and love each other on both of these days. Christmas I will have here, at my mother in law’s, at my daughter’s, and at my mother’s house. Many think of these as religious holidays, but none really are.
There is one holiday I purposely left out, and that is one nobody gets off work for. It is not a family time for most [meaning, not a time for feasting]. For some it is a family and fellowship time, as they all dress up and go out for fun together [mostly to bless the kids and watch over them]. The reason I am bringing it up is because of all the negative articles which other Christians have put out on it. This holiday is Halloween, formerly All Saints Day, which is still celebrated by some Catholic churches, especially in other countries. I have heard it said that Halloween is demonic, devilish, and even pagan. That is not how my grandchildren and my kids see it. To them it is a time to dress up as something fun and go out for candy. Are there those who use it for wrong? Most likely, but I have friends who are Catholic and to them it really is a day they remember the great folks of the past and honor them. So, from those two perspectives why is it evil? Let us look at a couple verses in God’s Word.
Acts 15:8 (NIV)
God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them [the Gentiles] by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us [the Jews].
This verse is Peter speaking about Cornelius and the other Gentiles first receiving the gift of holy spirit in Acts 10. God knows the heart and looks upon it when people are doing things. On Halloween, if He knows the heart, then He knows that most kids are only thinking fun and candy, not anything pagan, demonic, or devilish. Many churches set up Halloween night [or Fall Festival night], and we have taken our grandchildren to these churches to have fun and get candy. We live in rural Michigan and I know of three churches which do this annually. Another thing, if you are teaching (or I should say training up) a child in the way he should go, then they should have the Word to help them. As we do!
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
The Word of God judges the thoughts and intents of the heart. I feel I could teach more but that covers it. These two verses should be yelling at you and should answer questions about anything pagan in your life. When I put a gift under a tree at Christmas, God knows my heart, and knows I am just putting a gift under the tree, not committing a pagan act. Also, if we have the Word of God in our hearts, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. By the way, the KJV and many other versions do not say, “attitudes” but say, “intents,” or “intentions” of the heart. To me that says a bunch, but there is more, which we will get into shortly.
We are now going to discuss religious holidays. Biblically, there are none! So let us talk about four days to remember in this Administration, and why we celebrate them.
First, let us talk about the day Christ died. Main stream Christianity calls it Good Friday. I cannot take the time in this article to explain, but it did not happen on a Friday. If you think it did, you better go back to school because your math is wrong. Remember, he was dead for three days and three nights. Jesus said that. Well you cannot get three days and three nights from after 3 P.M. Friday to before 6 A.M. Sunday morning. It was not a great day; it was one of the darkest days in history. Imagine our loving heavenly Father God watching as evil men beat, whipped, tortured, and crucified His Son. Even though it had to be done to redeem us, could you watch people do that to your son or daughter? I sure could not. So, why remember that day? Let us look at some verses.
Romans 5:6 (NIV)
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
Before we were Born Again, Christ died for us. He did that to redeem us back from God’s Enemy, who has dominion today. Two verses later it states the same thing.
Romans 5:8 (NIV)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
While we were still sinners, he died for us! Let us read another verse on the same topic.
1 Corinthians 15:3 (NIV)
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
This next verse really speaks some great Truth.
2 Corinthians 5:15 (NIV)
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
There are other verses which speak the same thing, that he died for us! So, with the Bible making this kind of statement about the day he died and that it was for us, it seems fitting we should remember that day. Here in this verse it adds, “…and was raised again,” which happened three days and three nights later. This takes us to the most important day for us to remember.
Let us talk about Easter, which is what most people call it. Also, there are three early English translations that actually read Easter rather than Pentecost: the King James Version  (which is the most used and sold English Bible), The Bishops’ New Testament , and The Tyndale New Testament . We prefer to call it Resurrection Sunday! We could look at many verses as to why this day is special, but we will just show you two in Romans. These are the key verses in the Scriptures which have what we call, “The Formula for Salvation.”
Romans 10:9 and 10 (NIV)
9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
If we confess with our mouths [not just think it or write it out, but say it], “Jesus is Lord,” and if we believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, not that he died for you, or that he was born, but that God raised him from the dead, is the key to salvation! Our Salvation is not based on his birth, which is the most important holiday for most Christians, nor is it based on the fact he died for us, but on the fact he was raised from the dead by his heavenly Father. Can you see why this is such a great day to remember and celebrate!? This takes us to Pentecost.
One holiday that few celebrate is Pentecost. We do, because it is the birthday of the Christian Church, and the first day anyone ever got, “Born Again” [you may think that is not true, because in John 3, Nicodemus wanted to get born again, but that is an error in translation, which I will cover in another article]. It was one of the feasts in the Hebrew Scriptures, but it was also the day Peter stood with the Eleven and spoken in tongues for the first time. What did the people who heard them say, “…we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” I believe that is a day we should remember because it was the beginning of this Administration. It is called the, “…administration of God’s grace…” [Eph. 3:2], and, “…administration of this mystery [secret]…” [Eph. 3:9]. So much can be said that a book needs to be written on this Administration that started that day on Pentecost. This day should be celebrated. Now let us go to the last day to remember, Christmas.
Does the Bible ask us to celebrate any holiday [by the way, that word comes from holyday]? No! The Bible does not! I am pointing out days I see we should remember. The birth of Jesus was not even celebrated for almost 300 years after his birth, and there is nothing about any Christmas in the Bible. This topic deserves a book also, but for now at least, you will have this article. Christmas comes from Christ’s Mass, and the term did not come into use till the Middle Ages.2 In European history, the Middle Ages or Medieval period lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. That is a thousand year time span, and when it first began to be called Christ’s mass [which is Roman Catholic] and the exact time it was changed to Christmas, we do not know. But it was during the Protestant Reformation which ended the Middle Ages about 1521 A.D. and started with the Diet of Worms, and Martin Luther. For many Christians, it is the holiest of days, but Scripture does not say that. Not one person in the Bible ever celebrated Christmas, yet I am sure Jesus and his family knew when he was born. There are only three places in the Bible where anyone did something on a birthday, but not one of those is about the birth of our Savior. Yet today, it is the biggest of Christian holidays, but it is totally without Biblical precedent. I am not going to ask anyone to quit celebrating because it is my favorite time when I can talk to folks about Jesus. People are more giving, friendly, and receptive, so enjoy it because you are not going to change it. So that you know, Jesus was born in September, but it is so ingrained in our culture we could never change the celebration to September.
We are mainly sharing all this for you to understand why, from a biblical perspective, we should remember these days. I would like to show you from the Bible some interesting thoughts on pagans and food offered to pagan gods. First, let us see what the Christian Scriptures say about sacred days.
Romans 14:5 and 6 (NIV)
5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
There are no specific rules here except doing it, “to the Lord,” and giving “thanks to God!” Remember in this Administration Jesus is, “Lord!” So today, we can consider one day sacred, or not sacred. It is up to us, not God. So, we here at “Living Love with Jesus” see reason to remember at least four days. We remember the Day Jesus died, Resurrection Sunday, Pentecost, and Christmas, but we use the secular holidays for family time also. If you chose not to, that is fine. Always remember God knows the heart and then go enjoy life. I mentioned in my Christmas article about the feasts Israel celebrated. We look at secular holidays as days of feast for our family. Here is one verse which shows what I am referring to.
Exodus 23:16 (NIV)
“Celebrate the Feast of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field. “Celebrate the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.
Pagan stuff is everywhere, and as we have shown earlier, it is impossible to get away from. In many of our major cities, holidays of other non-Christian religions are celebrated. Knowing that, I believe even though there are pagan symbols everywhere, you can still enjoy the parade and fireworks of a Chinese New Year’s festival and not be committing a pagan act. As I said, God looks on the heart. We Christians living in a fallen, Adversary controlled world can still honor Jesus as Head of the Church in the midst of all this pagan garbage around us.
In the first century Church the question of eating food sacrificed to idols came up and Paul addressed it. Take a look at this verse
1 Corinthians 8:4 (NIV)
So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one.
We think this revelation Jesus gave Paul shows that he considered idols as, “…nothing at all in the world…” but let us look a little deeper. Pay attention to the bolded words.
1 Corinthians 8:5–8 (NIV)
5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many, “gods,” and many, “lords”), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. 7 But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
Food sacrificed to idols means nothing, and that was a pagan act before, but not now! Therefore, do not let all this pagan garbage bother you because it means nothing if your heart, which God knows and looks at, is right with Him and His Son. We would not ask you to do anything that would not let the light of God in Christ in you shine. We are living epistles and need to be living and teaching these Truths; even to the new babes in Christ who have not eaten yet of the steak [meat] of the Word. I doubt if few even really think that something is pagan, unless someone is trying to cause division and leads them in that direction. Folks, there is enough evil in this world without you trying to find it where it no longer exists. Today, there are pagan words and names on everything, and our Enemy would love to use them to cause the babes in the Word to fall and to cause divisions in the Lord’s Church, which is his Body. PLEASE DO NOT LET HIM!