A substantial number of Churches of Christ observed Easter yesterday and last week—holding an Easter service, an Easter egg hunt at the church, or otherwise observing Easter.
They did so even though the traditional Churches of Christ interpretation of the Bible is that observing Easter is not authorized by God, violates God’s command against recognizing special religious days and heathen holidays, and is sinful.
Are those churches ignoring the Bible, sinning, engaging in false teaching, and gone apostate?
Or is the traditional interpretation wrong?
Is there any other traditional Church of Christ interpretation and practice that is wrong?
Traditional Interpretation Regarding Easter: Command from God Against It
The traditional view of the Churches of Christ is that observing Easter—special things on the day or week, an Easter service, an Easter Egg hunt at the church, a sunrise service, Holy Week services, a “Seven Last Words” service, or similar activity—is sinful for varying reasons.
The traditional view: In the Bible, God commands us (1) not to engage in religious activities not authorized in the New Testament (1 Cor 4:6, 2 John 9, and Col 3:17), like Easter and (2) not to observe special religious days or heathen holidays, like Easter (Galatians 4:8-11; Jeremiah 10:2). There are no passages in which God asks people to observe Easter.
Part 1 of this article quotes from early- and mid-20th century issues of the Gospel Advocate, a leading Church of Christ periodical, which explain the traditional interpretation: Easter is “found in the pronouncements of an apostate church,” that “it is sinful to sanction and observe Easter as a special religious day,” and such worship is “displeasing to God and will bring a curse.”
Some modern Church of Christ sources express similar sentiments, if on slightly less strident terms, such as “if one were to add to Jehovah’s worship … Easter it would be sinful,” “Jesus said it is a sin to honor the religious traditions of men as doctrines from God,” and “Christians are not authorized to celebrate Easter as a special annual event acknowledging the resurrection of Christ.”
But it seems that some Churches of Christ no longer hold such views about Easter.
Maybe We Were Wrong
So, are those churches who observe Easter ignoring the Bible, sinning, engaging in false teaching, and gone apostate?
Or was the traditional interpretation—that observing Easter is prohibited by the Bible— wrong in the first place?
Maybe There is Another Traditional Interpretation That is Wrong …
What other Church of Christ traditional interpretation of the Bible might be wrong?
Is there any other Church of Christ interpretation of the Bible that seems not to make sense?
Is there one that is different from the way the vast majority of other Christians interpret the Bible?
Any that goes against Jesus’s words or example?
Any that might harm people?
Any that seems to contradict lots of scripture?
Any that blocks people from fully carrying out the Greatest Commandment? Any that blocks people from loving—worshiping—God with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind? Any that blocks people from loving—serving—others?
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For Sources & Notes: See Sources & Notes of Part 1.