So I watched a sermon from the pastor I don't like to name, where he was defending Christmas. I agree essentially with what he was saying. But he then went on to condemn celebrating Jewish Holy Days.
This reminded me of stuff I already covered slightly.
I know there is a Hebrew Roots movement out there calling for trying to put Christians back under the Law, and that is wrong.
But we also have counter to that a new kind of Legalisim, that says no matter what the reason it's a sin period for a Christian to be Circumscribed, or follow the dietary laws, or keep the Sabbath, or observe Jewish Holy Days. All the passages they are drawing on for this are about Judiazers.
It's wrong to teach you need to follow The Law to obtain Salvation, or to keep Salvation or to prove Salvation. Or in my view even that it's needed to lead a good obedient rewarding Christina Life. The Law is written on our Hearts now, it's between each individual and The Holy Spirit how he lives.
He started his Christmas sermon with Romans 14, I love Romans 14. But he pretty much makes it sound like the specific context of Romans 14 is about Vegetarianism. It's not, Romans 14 like most of what Paul was dealing with in Romans came down to disputes between the Jewish and Gentile Christians living in Rome. It's about the dietary laws, he is saying it's ok to eat non kosher foods, and also ok not to. But if EITHER side tries to judge the other that is wrong.
Colossians 2:16 is often misused. "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an
holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:" It's saying let no one Judge you concerning them, but it gets taken as saying it's bad to observe them.
Zachariah 14 and Ezekiel 45 both show that the Holy Days and the Sabbath will be apart of the future when Jesus Reigns on Earth. And I believe Ezekiel 40-48 is the New Creation not the Millennium.
Jesus we know during His life kept the Passover and Tabernacles, and Hanukkah. No matter what your excuse, no matter what your view on The Law or dispensations is. To say it's a Sin to do something Jesus did is absurd.
Now I also think it's wrong to require people to do anything Jesus did, especially for Salvation. He lived a perfectly Sinless life FOR US so we don't have to. But he did nothing that can be considered a Sin.
Acts references numerous times the Early Church observed Old Covenant customs. I've spoken elsewhere against the Sunday replacing The Sabbath myth.
Also right after the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 Paul goes and gets one of his new gentile converts circumcised. Now that gets abused by Rob Skiba to say you don't need circumcision for Salvation but you still need to do it to obey God. That is wrong, but it does show if someone wanted to purely for like it's health benefits to be circumscribed Paul was not gonna throw everything he said in Galatians at them.
This Pastor says that any holiday he celebrates is going to be about Jesus (though elsewhere in the Sermon he offhandedly mocks those calling Thanksgiving bad).
Messianic Jews and other Christians who keep the Jewish Holy Days make them about how they point to Jesus and The New Testament. Because all Scripture points to Jesus.
During the Passover Seder they draw on how Jesus is the Passover Lamb, and tie that into Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53, and I think Esther is more relevant to Passover then people realize. And of course they quote from The Last Supper. On First Fruits they are reminded how Paul called Jesus our First Fruits. On Shavout they talk about Acts 2 and the end of Joel 2, to me Revelation 6 and 7 should also be thrown in.
Basically the Nisan Holy Days are when we should be observing the "Easter" Holy Week, and the Feats of Weeks (Shavout) when we should observe Pentacost, (Karaite reckoning rather then Rabbinic) as opposed to the convoluted Catholic reckoning. Still I would not call it a Sin to observe them on the Catholic dates (or Rabbinic reckoning, or the Samaritan one for that matter), since we're not bound by the Law at all anyway, commemorating the Passion is good even if it's not actually on the right day. But the Pagan traditions that filtered into it (including the name "Easter" itself, we should call it Resurrection Sunday and/or First Fruits) like the Bunny and the Eggs I would recommend dropping.
If one wants to adapt them to our modern Solar Calendar for convenience sake but not using the Catholic method. First I'd say still begin each day the previous Sunset.
My recommendation would be to have April 6th (or the Thursday closest to it) function as the 14th of Nisan, with the previous Sunday (or April 2nd) as Palm Sunday/The Triumphal Entry and the following Sunday as Resurrection Sunday/First Fruits. Then the Sunday 7 weeks from First Fruits would be Pentecost and the Thursday a week and a half before that Ascension Thursday. And if you wanna do something for Second Passover that'd be May 6th. March 6th would be the fast of Esther, the 7th and 8th would be Purim and the 10th Yom Adar. And the New Year would be March 24th. And the last day of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 21) would be April 13th.
An alternative method would be to make Nisan 14 equal March 25th and Nisan 17 equal March 25th, I actually like using those days for The Annunciation and the Visitation. Along with June 24th or 25th for the Birth of John The Baptist and the Summer Solstice for the marriage of Mary and Joseph.
If one wants a similar adaptation to our Calendar for the Tishri Holy Days. Simply having September equal Tishri can be convenient, since September literally means 7th month. But if you want Hanukkah to fall on Christmas then you'd rather have October be Tishri. People who support a September 11th 3 BC birth of Jesus have reason to make that day the first of Tishri. I however believe between the Yom Kippur and Tabernacles following that is when John The Baptist was conceived (Sunset September 20th to Sunset September 24th). I have an eschatological hypothesis that involves Yom Teruh being Sunset September 25th to sunset September 26th in 2033 AD.
The Fall Feast Days tend to be viewed as Eschatological in how they apply to Jesus. I think The Rapture is very relevant to the Feast of Trumpets and maybe also Yom Kippur. The 7th Trumpet will sound on Tishri 1st I believe, and Yom Kippur may be the Bema Judgment as well as much later the White Throne Judgment, and I see Tabernacles as when New Jerusalem will descend.
But Tabernacles could also be just a good excuse to read John 7, and I think 8, 9 and the beginning of 10 were on Tishri 22. I also think the First of Tishi was when the Star of Bethlehem was first observed, But the Magi arrived in Jerusalem a year and three months later. I think Yom Kippur is possibly the day Gabriel appeared to Zachariah. But at the very least it's a great time to talk about the significance of The Veil being torn when Jesus was on The Cross. Many of course look to the Tishri Holy Days for the Birth of Jesus, but I don't anymore.
Some also think the Transfiguration happened on Tabernacles, I do not believe that chronologically works. But seeing a thematic connection to Tabernacles is still valid.
Purim can be used as a great time to show how the Book of Esther points to Jesus. Mordecai was honored and Haman hanged on the 17th of Nisan, the same day as The Resurrection. And I've talked about the significance in Haman and his sons technically dying the same way Jesus did.
Of course he doubles down on Hanukkah saying it isn't even ordained in the Old Testament. I have refuted that notion elsewhere too.
How does one make Hanukkah about Jesus? Those who say Jesus was born on a Fall Feast Day often place his Conception during Hanukkah (first of Tevet most likely) making that the time of the Annunciation and Visitation, I supported that in the past but not anymore. Some who are among the minority defending the traditional date for Christmas think Jesus was born during Hanukkah. I however have argued that the December 25th Jesus was born on was late in Tevet. That would make it one of those years where Hanukkah fell near Thanksgiving. There is evidence the early origin of Thanksgiving (which was not originally in November) was The Pilgrims observing a form of Tabernacles. And Hanukkah has been called a sort of Second Tabernacles based on 2 Maccabees 10:1-8. 1 Maccabees 4:44-59 does talk about "Sacrifices and Thanksgivings" being offered in some translations.
At the very least Hanukkah can be a good excuse to get people to read John 10. Many also seeing how it revolves around The Menorah (being often called The Festival of Lights) as a good time to talk about all the New Testament symbolism it has, the 7 Lamp stands surrounding The Throne in Revelation 4, the Seven Fold Spirit. As well as Jesus being the Light of The World.
Hanukkah is about history that we know is a type of the End Times, Antiochus Epiphanes is a type of The Antichrist. So it's a good prompter to studying Bible Prophecy.
Oh, that's right, this Pastor had in another Sermon ranted on how he rejects the notion of Antiochus Epiphanes having anything to do with Daniel, people like him are the straw-man Preterists cling to to make all Futurists look bad.
His logic was that you shouldn't have to read anything else to understand The Bible. Only The Bible is God's Word, but part of the purpose of Prophecy is to authenticate God's Word, therefore proving from secular historical documentation that Bible Prophecies have been fulfilled is vital.
But showing his hypocrisy again he brings his understanding of New World Order conspiracy theories into his view of Bible Prophecy, a lot of extra Biblical sources are needed to make that work.