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TRADITIONS, TRADITIONS, TRADITIONS
By Betty Freauf
April 22, 2003
As I read the article in the newspaper on 4/19/2003 that SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) was causing such fears in Our Lady Help of Christians Roman Catholic church in Toronto, Canada that the church was altering certain ancient rituals which could help it spread, I thought, TRADITION, TRADITION, TRADITION going right out the window from the SARS scare. If our traditions are so easily abandoned by a health scare, why are there so many disagreements between different denominations?
At government request, churches throughout Toronto were moving through Holy Week which culminated with Easter services on Sunday, with many rituals dropped or modified. Worshippers were asked not to touch the holy water or kiss icons. The breaking of bread was being eliminated to a few people in each church, and the cup sharing of wine, celebrating the blood of Jesus, was being avoided.
The article went so ridiculously far as to state that choir members who had coughs or sore throats had been asked to refrain from singing because saliva, potentially containing the virus, could spread as voices were projected. In my mind's eye I saw this funny little bug flying through the air on a piece of spit infecting everyone in the congregation.
FEAR is False Evidence that Appears Real. Our current fear-based paranoia continually flamed by the media and its exaggerated, often unsubstantiated, biased stories is causing us to give up precious freedoms.
The collective human mind is bombarded with so many changes, events and contradicting information that it overloads, switches off and becomes subservient. This is happening all over the world today. We are being given one event after the other to fill us with fear and insecurity. The aim being to destabilize societies and break resistance. Cults use the same techniques. Certain religions brainwash children with fear and guilt from the earliest age.
These articles about SARS, small pox, anthrax, potential asteroids hitting the earth, pesticides killing off "Mother Earth", terrorists and the list will grow are designed to instill and continually reinforce fear in the minds of the general public.
Most of us filed our income tax recently out of fear of the I.R.S. The public school nuclear war classroom courses are designed to give children guilt and depression so death education courses are added to encourage suicide. Since the invasion of Iraq, some teachers are adding fuel to the fire with their personal diatribe. Fear is a great stimulus to force change. Instilling fear in the masses is an essential element in keeping them under control. Luke 21:26 in the bible says that men's hearts would fail them for fear...
The evil all around us has cast a net of fear, and we now live perpetually looking over our shoulders or looking between our venetian blinds watching those "suspicious" neighbors. Will this stress eventually not cause a heavy toll on our immune systems? Is this why cancer and other medical problems are on the rise??
Now maybe Mary Starrett and I aren't taking this SARS scare seriously enough. [www.newswithviews.com/Mary/starrett7.htm] but I remember the Y2K computer scare. Oh yes, I admit we prepared a little bit at our house "just in case those computers wouldn't function after January 1, 2000." I laugh now at our foolishness but aren't the scouts always to be prepared??
When I hear about "tradition", I'm reminded about the story a pastor told. This young couple got married. The bride was preparing her first ham dinner so she cut the end off the ham. Her husband asked why. She said her mother did it. So the groom called his mother-in-law and asked why she did and she replied, "I don't know, my mother did it, so call grandma." So he called grandma. Grandma's reply: "Well, honey, I didn't have a roaster big enough to hold it so I had to cut off an end." Tradition, Tradition, Tradition, humbug!
We attended traditional Easter services, a day that many people only see the inside of a church but for some reason they feel compelled to go on Easter Sunday. The church grounds were spruced up and the "welcome" sign hung out. But no one ever asks why Easter doesn't fall on the same day every year? If Jesus came out of the grave and I believe with Pastor Chuck Baldwin that he did (and only once), why is there such a variance in dates? [www.newswithview.com/baldwin/baldwin103.htm]
Could it have something to do with the moon goddess? And where did the "tradition" of the Easter Bunny and eggs originate? From where did all these strange customs come which have nothing to do with the resurrection of our Savior? Pastor David Meyer says in his tract regarding Easter that professing Christians were not the only ones who celebrated a festival called "Easter." "Ishtar", which is pronounced "Easter," was a day that commemorated the resurrection of one of their gods that they called "Tammuz", who was believed to be the only begotten son of the moon-goddess and the sun-god. In those ancient times before the birth of Jesus, there was a man named Nimrod...Genesis 10:8-10.
On the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, the celebration was held. It was Ishtar's Sunday and was celebrated with rabbits and eggs. To read more about this subject, go to [www.lasttrumpetministries.org] and scroll down to "tracts". Meyer also explains why the "ham" is the "traditional" Easter dinner and how paganism has infiltrated the contemporary "Christian" churches.
Pastors claim on Easter that all four gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - confirm the resurrection, and yet if one takes a real close look at Mark in most of the new bible editions and reads the fine print between verses 8 and 9 in Mark 16 regarding the resurrection, you'll find that it says "most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20" which is all about the resurrection. And what adorns most church pews these days: The New International Version (N.I.V.) with that disclaimer.
As years go by and more bibles are printed ever so gradually eliminating the resurrection as unimportant to Christian tenets, where will the Easter Sunday tradition end up? As Pastor Baldwin says "Christ's empty tomb sets Christianity apart from the religions of the world. Only Christians celebrate an empty grave!" But if Easter is a pagan holiday, why do we observe it? Shouldn't every Sunday be resurrection Sunday? See my article, "The Subtle Side of Gradualism" [www.newswithviews.com/Betty/Freauf10.htm] Passage of time can be used effectively to make people lose sight of what has taken place and those who wish to eliminate the resurrection making it just another "religion" have ONE WORLD RELIGION (unity) in mind as the ultimate goal. Creeping totalitarianism is effective because each generation views conditions at any given time as "normal."
I called the fine print in the N.I.V. to the attention of an 80+ year-old-lady who sat beside me in church on Easter. She said she didn't know that and then said, "It's all because the schools won't allow bibles in them any more." I commented, "But this bible is in the church!" She began talking to someone else.
I often wonder what Jesus thinks about all these "traditions" so many of us hold so near and dear and will go to the mat in defending. Matthew 15: 1-9 refers to the traditions of the elders. V. 7, 8, 9: "Ye Hypocrites... This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Allow me to close with Colossians 2:8: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ.
You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free but first it will make you miserable as it is most certainly doing to me.
© 2003 Betty Freauf - All Rights Reserved
Betty is a former Oregon Republican Party activist having served as state party secretary, county chairman, 5th congressional vice chairman and then elected chairman, a precinct worker for many years and twice ran unsuccessfully for the Oregon State Legislature. The Republican tradition is to stay neutral in Primary races but in Betty's case. They supported her opponent. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"The collective human mind is bombarded with so many changes, events and contradicting information that it overloads, switches off and becomes subservient."