Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Friday, April 06, 2007

What is Wrong With Easter...Nothing!

For the Gospel has a good article on the subject What is Wrong with Easter. It covers the recent Adventist Review article by George Reid on the subject. I recommend taking a few minutes and reading the article at For the Gospel. The Article begins:

“Should we participate in Easter celebrations?” This is the question posed in an Adventist Review article entitled “A Note About Easter.” Apparently there is confusion among Adventists about whether Easter should be observed. Increasingly, the answer to this question has been in the affirmative, with passion plays and Easter services becoming more widespread within the denomination. But this proliferation of Easter celebrations raises an important and potentially tricky question for Adventists — on which day should Easter be celebrated? After all, the Bible tells us that Jesus rose from the tomb on a Sunday (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1, Luke 24:1, John 20:1). George Reid of the Adventist Biblical Research Institute has addressed this issue and appears to be very hesitant to recommend celebrating Christ's resurrection in common with the wider body of Christ. Of Adventists who endorse celebrating Easter, he says, “They are fearful we will be misunderstood, and for them it is important that we be seen as orthodox and acceptable to the society around us. They conform to customs around us, at times unthoughtfully. Actually this practice conveys another misunderstanding — the idea that we give special significance to Sunday because it was the resurrection day. A few of our churches have introduced Sunday morning services for Easter, which for many Adventists creates problems. We recognize that we are not treating Sunday as holy time, but the public may not catch the subtle difference.” Is the potential for allowing people to conclude that there is significance in worshiping the resurrected Savior on Sunday so unattractive as to do away with Easter observance entirely? Does the Sabbath trump the resurrection of Christ? These and other thorny questions are raised by Reid, a few more of which will be explored below.

My question is why don't we as local churches offer Easter Sunday morning services as an outreach to people who may not normally even go to a church except on Easter or maybe Christmas. Both of these days should be celebrated at our local churches if for no other reason then as a neighborhood outreach. Many Adventist churches will have special presentations for the Sabbath before Easter, why not another session on Easter Sunday?

We sing the old hymn "Tell me the story of Jesus" yet in a country with the culture of going to church on Easter Sunday we are afraid to open our churches and tell them the story of Jesus.

For you Adventist Churches that do offer Easter Sunday service, good for you!
Churches like Pleasant Valley Church and Kelso-Longview SDA church.


Anonymous said...

Of course the question should arise if we are actually treating Saturday as a "holy" time by having a church service on that day? And then, what have we actually been preaching if we can't open our churches for a service on any day of the week not to mention a day to celebrate the defining occurrence for Christianity? It speaks of very deep misunderstanding of the Gospel to even refer to these as "thorny" questions.

Nutty Nuthatch said...

The same Ellen White wrote, "Would it not be well for us to observe holidays unto God, when we could revive in our minds the memory of His dealing with us? Would it not be well to consider His past blessings, to remember the impressive warnings that have come home to our souls so that we shall not forget God? " {AH 475.4}

There are no Adventist holidays, times to celebrate. The only thing that comes remotely close are the "offering days," for which the churches take up offerings for a particular ministry.

Without Christ's birth (aka the First Coming), and without Him rising from the dead, there would be no Second Coming!

I also see so much irony in that Easter and Christmas generate so much debate among Adventists, yet the Review (or other publications) never speak out against Valentine's Day, with its Catholic and pagan origins. The Adventist boarding schools keep holiding Valentine's banquets year after year, although they generally have an undertone of exclusivity (if you don't have a date, you don't fit in).