Notable Stories To Retell
Questions Prompted By The Islamic Religion - By Mrs. L. B.
After services some young people were fellowshipping outdoors, a short distance from where their parents stood. Paula was telling Edith about something she had read concerning Islam. They ALL wanted to hear more.
"This author writing about Islam surely got me thinking," Paula was saying. Her younger sister quickly laughed expressing her sincere comment: "Now that IS unusual!" Several of the group smiled, but told her to hush, as they wanted to hear more.
So Paula continued, "The pamphlet I read revealed a connection between the ancient pagan religion of the Moon god and Islam. As I read more, my mind turned to Easter and what a reference book had revealed -- that the name Easter came for Ashtareth (Eostre) a pagan goddess of the sun religion. I asked myself what is so bad with Islam still practicing the moon god religion-- if our churches are still practicing Easter-- OR should we be retaining a pagan goddess' name in worshiping [Messiah]?"
Many listening to Paula were wide-eyed in amazement. Some clearly shook their heads as if to say, 'No, we shouldn't.' Edith only replied, "The apostles never did observe Easter! But I did hear a pastor say that the people have been believing in Easter for so long now that they would find it hard to change."
"But why not?" asked Paula. "Oh, something interesting! The author met a cab driver in Washington, D.C. who was from Iran. They got to talking about the Islamic religion. And the cab driver said that by adopting the ancient pagan things of the moon god, it helped their religion to convert more people throughout the Middle East to the Muslim religion.
Edith quickly interrupted with: "Hey! that is exactly what I've read in the Encyclopedias and other reference books, that the church at Rome, many centuries ago, adopted pagan practices which increased their converts-- that was their purpose too!"
Charlie quietly had listened, but now voiced his thoughts. "I would think that [Yahweh] wouldn't like mixed worship of Him-- at least that is what I've gotten from the Bible." Paula answered, "Yes, the author that revealed the errors of the Islam religion used 2 Cor. 6:14-17, which condemns any attempt to mingle [Messiah] with Baal (a pagan deity). So having Easter worship services for [Messiah], puts [Messiah] AND Baal (Ashtareth, Easter, Eostre) together, as if Messiah is just another pagan deity!"
Another young person couldn't help but voice it this way. "What an abomination to our [Yahshua]!" And even another asked, "Doesn't the first of the Ten commandments (Ex. 20:3) strongly reveal that [Yahweh] hates to share worship with another so-called deity? I wonder! wouldn't [Yahshua] hate a day to honor HIM with a day called by a pagan goddess' name? Hey! another thing, does it really say in the Bible that we are to have a DAY to observe His resurrection?"
Paula was thinking of answering these questions when she felt a tug at her hand. Looking down at her hand she saw her five-year-old cousin. Her tiny voice said, "I know who you are talking about!" "Who?" Paula asked. So Becky quickly eased herself up on her tippy toes (perhaps thinking they could hear her better) and nearly shouted, "The lady called Easter, who gives me those pretty colored eggs and candy every Easter!"
Most in the crowd caught the atmosphere of amusement with little Becky's enthusiasm-- but then their faces revealed how a pathetically false teaching was revealed in Becky's little mind. Paula reached down to hug Becky, saying, "Sweet Becky, we can get you pretty candy anytime without an Easter day or Easter lady." Turning now to Edith and the others she said, "But yes, it is due to that idol named Easter that gives us today the ritual of Easter eggs, rabbits, etc. I have to admit I can't see what it has to do with [Messiah] coming out of the grave!"
At that point in the conversation, Becky's parents began to come look for her. Becky turned towards her mother with: "They were telling ME about the lady named Easter!" Her mother looked puzzled, but off they went, waving to the crowd of young people. The rest began to part too, but they left with heavy hearts-- thoughtful! The Set-apart Spirit would be able to do His work in their hearts. Truth begins to work in the few hearts that love truth rather than traditions of men (2 Thess. 2:10-12).
Webster's Dictionary affirms that "Easter comes from the name of the old Teuton goddess of spring. He states that the early Anglo-Saxson spelling was EASTRE...
Would you consider it pleasing to the Almighty Father to use the names of pagan gods or goddesses, integrating them with [worship of Yahweh] as long as we first somehow "Christianize" or "sanctify" them-- giving them a new meaning? Suppose we decide to make a Set-apart day out of the day the Saviour was baptized? We don't know when that day was anymore than folks know the day he was born; so we'd select a day the pagans used to hold a feast on, and call it "Dagoon Day" ...Would that be all right?
In reply to these questions you should observe that the Almighty plainly told His people, Israel, NOT to "mention the name of other [elohim]" (Ex. 23:13, Josh. 23:7)... [The Ruler (Yahweh)] did NOT intend for Israel to salvage the NAMES of idols and use them in WORSHIPPING HIM!
...Astarte, Ishtar, and Eostre is Semiramis, the Queen of Babylon ...
-G. M. Bowers
(This was sent to us by Mrs. Lorene B., the author of it.) (Lorene, just a note: I changed the "Christs" to "Messiahs", "Lords" to "Rulers" and "God" (when referring to the Almighty) to "Yahweh". Recently we have been studying and finding out some unpleasant things about the words "Christ", "Lord", and "God". Thank-you for understanding, and for the excellent story. Love, Rebekah)