Saturday, April 10, 2004

Happy Easter

I wish all my Christian brothers and sisters a very happy Easter, oops, I mean Resurrection Sunday. You can't say Easter anymore. That's right. If you are a good member of the American Taliban it is a sin to think of bonnets and bunnies any more. It is such a terrible sin that the Easter bunny must be whipped. You read correctly. A group of capital C Christians from the Glassport Assembly of God church in Glassport, Pennsylvania broke eggs and flogged an Easter bunny character to impress upon the faithful the folly of the pagan origins of Easter. I guess they saw The Passion one time too many.

Here is an article from the Dallas Morning News (registration is required to read anything, so I have copied it here).

It's Easter, but some prefer to use a more sacred name

The Resurrection, not bunnies and eggs, should take center stage, many churches say

04:23 PM CDT on Friday, April 9, 2004

By BERTA DELGADO / The Dallas Morning News

For most of the world's Christians, tomorrow is Easter Sunday. But a growing number prefer what they consider a more appropriate name: Resurrection Day.

The reasons stem from the past and from the present.

Because of "the commercialization and the background of the word Easter" – including its association with spring and fertility – "many churches choose to emphasize the Resurrection," said Dr. Mark Bailey, president of Dallas Theological Seminary.

The holiday, he said, "is not about eggs, it's not about rabbits."

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"Easter" is derived from the names Germanic tribes used for their goddess of fertility.

"Churches want to make clear that this isn't a holdover of a pagan holiday," Dr. Bailey said. "It's the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus as the Son of God."

The Rev. Ralph Holland is senior pastor of Mundo de Fe, a Spanish-language church started by Covenant Church in Carrollton. Both churches, he said, prefer to call the celebration "Resurrection Sunday."

"The background of the word Easter speaks of fertility, but for us, the Resurrection speaks of life," Dr. Holland said. "Christ gave us new life. We're born again."

Some churches say they don't want society's trappings to get in the way of worship. St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Grand Prairie sometimes declares Easter a "dress down day."

"We want to take the focus off the commercialization," said Paul Jones, a spokesman for the 12,000-member church.

"Our purpose is not to celebrate corporate America at this time, but the Resurrection Day. So we say come in T-shirts, jeans, whatever.

"The focus is not on wearing a fancy Easter bonnet and new patent leather shoes."

Not everyone sees the distinction as a big deal. "Easter" doesn't bother the Rev. Jeff Jones.

"I don't get bent out of shape with people celebrating with Easter bunnies," said the senior pastor of Fellowship Bible Church North in Plano. "It's up to parents, if they know Christ, to make sure that it's more than that."


My fellow Christians, let's give it a rest. I do think that Christians can wear bonnets or dye eggs and still know the importance of the life and death of Jesus.

Happy Easter. Put on your bonnet and don't flog any bunnies.