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God's Not Mad at You
“Are Christian holidays pagan?

“Are Christian holidays pagan?

JUNE 25, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “Are Christian holidays pagan?

Steve Brown:
Are Christian holidays pagan? The answer to that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
This is Key Life dedicated to the message that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them, anyway. That teaching raises a lot of questions. So here’s author and seminary professor Steve Brown, along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with answers from the Bible, that’ll make you free.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. How you doing?

Steve Brown:
I’m doing really good. And better, now that you’re here.

Pete Alwinson:
I share the blame.

Steve Brown:
You know, we’ve been doing this for, I checked. We’ve been doing this for 25 years. Did you know that?

Pete Alwinson:
No, you’re kidding me.

Steve Brown:
You were only 11 years old, when we started this.

Pete Alwinson:
Absolutely. We, we all had, both had gray hair, no non gray hair, no gray hair.

Steve Brown:
I didn’t. I had hair. And you were 11 years old. We decided, that is, that we have done this for 25 years, by the way. And, it’s been, you have no idea the thousands of questions. Well, maybe no, I bet thousands of questions, we have answered, spoken from Sinai and straightened out the body of Christ. It is a hard calling, but somebody has to do it and we’ve done it. So, by the way, go to ForgeTruth.com and you can find so much good stuff there. The name of Pete’s men’s ministries is called Forge. And at that website, so much good stuff. So you go and check it out. As I said, Pete comes in on Fridays and we spend this time answering questions. We do not speak from Sinai. We are often wrong. So, try to keep that in mind, so that you check your Bible, to decide for yourself, what’s right and what’s wrong. But we’ll give you some hints as we go along. And by the way, we love to get your questions. You can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, and you can do that 24 hours a day, if you’ve got a question. And sometimes we put that question on the air, so 1-800-KEY-LIFE. Or you can send your question to

Key Life Network

P.O. Box 5000

Maitland, Florida 32794

In Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can send your question, e-mail Steve@keylife.org. And all of those places are places should the Spirit move and tell you to do it, you could help us financially. I promise we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. Oh, by the way, you can give on your phone, you can text Key Life at 28950 and just following instructions. And by the way, we understand when you can’t help us financially. We are a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. They’re kind of an accrediting organization or organizations who oversee our books to make sure, but we were ethical before they came along. So, we’ll be careful with your gift. We’re not for profit. If you can help, if he can’t, we understand, say a prayer. Pete, why don’t you pray, and then we’ll get to some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Let’s pray. Our great God, what a joy to come into your presence. And Lord to know that even at the end of this week, you have been in charge of the whole time. We praise you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We lift up your name and ask that you would continue to build us in the grace and knowledge of our risen savior, Jesus Christ. Do that through your word, through preaching. And we pray for our leaders for this week-end, that they would cause a church service to come together, under your leading and that we would be able to follow you well, that your gospel would be preached to us and we would grow as we follow you. Thank you for Key Life, for Steve, for those that do so much behind the scenes. And we commit this time of Q&A to you, right now. So, we pray in Jesus name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Pete, let’s go first to our phone lines.

Caller 1:
We’ve continued to announce Easter as the celebration of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Since Easter is the name of an idol, also known as Astoreth, are we dishonoring God and breaking the first commandment?

Steve Brown:
It’s a good question. And you’d be surprised how often we get this about a lot about Christmas and about Easter and about other holidays that Christians celebrate. And I’d say my thing, and I don’t want you to comment on it too, but when we celebrate on the day, when pagans celebrated something else, that’s saying to the world we won, you lost. And so it’s a really cool thing to do. When was the last time you saw one of those pagan celebrations? Not anytime in the last 400 years. That means we won and you lost. So no, we haven’t violated the first commandment. We have lifted up the first commandment and glorified God by saying, God is great and we won and you lost.

Pete Alwinson:
I love it. I love it. And I, you know, we both really appreciate this woman’s comment. This sister really has brought up a good issue, that a lot of Christians stumble over, that’s why they keep bringing these things up. And that’s why we keep having to say, because the tomb was empty and so is the cross, we won, that’s our holiday now.

Steve Brown:
It really is. So leave us alone.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. And let’s go, let’s move ahead. And now they come back and they say, what’s Easter all about, and we tell them about Jesus.

Steve Brown:
Oh yeah. You get a chance to really tell them about what’s going on. Yeah, it is a good question. And you’d be surprised how often we get it at Christmas and at Easter, and even other holidays that go back for a long time, in almost all those cases, in fact, for instance, Halloween, the purpose of the mask is to make fun of the pagan view of that sort of thing. It’s again, when it’s properly understood it’s we won and you lost. In 30 words or are less, Pete, would you answer this question? Why does a good, all powerful God allow evil to exist? In 30 words or less.

Pete Alwinson:
There you go. And I’ve used four already. By God’s glory for his glory, he is doing his will and he does it right well. And, as you have so often said, and we don’t understand all that, but we know, read Proverbs 16 and you will see that he uses evil to accomplish his good goals.

Steve Brown:
And, you know, that’s a good question.

Pete Alwinson:
It is.

Steve Brown:
It’s not an easy thing to answer.

Pete Alwinson:
No. No.

Steve Brown:
You know, to have faith. And by the way, I’m not above pushing my books. I just turned the new book into the publisher. And so who knows in another year or so, it’ll be out, but it’s called Laughter and Lament: The Touchstones of Radical Freedom. And I’ve been writing for months about lament, about suffering and pain and darkness and abuse and racism and injustice, and it, and I’m tired of it, to be honest with you. And there aren’t any easy answers. We can’t just be glib when we talk about it. But the fact that in the midst, in the midst of the darkness, we affirm God’s goodness and his sovereignty is a miracle of sorts.

Pete Alwinson:
Absolutely.

Steve Brown:
And I don’t think we would do that if it weren’t true.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
Because we would think just the opposite. And so. Affirm your faith, even when it hurts.

Though he slay me, still I will trust him.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And that was the last good thing to Job said, but at least he said that,

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
and that’s what we should strive for.

Pete Alwinson:
Absolutely. That is so good. I can’t wait till your book comes out. And so many others are, so many people are going to need that. There is so much darkness and difficulty, and yet it is God’s word that makes us alive, come alive again and gives us hope. The gospel gives us hope in the midst of all of this suffering.

Steve Brown:
And Pete and I have both been combined. We’ve been, served as pastors for years that are an incredible number of years. And we’ve seen this, we’ve seen it work out in reality time after time after time, in the worst of situations. And I hate it. I didn’t mean that evil is not evil when pain is not pain. And that we join hands and tiptoe through the tulips with Jesus. It’s hard. life’s hard.

Pete Alwinson:
And you know what, the church has not never taken this lightly. The church has always seen the problem of theodicy, the problem of pain and has taken it seriously. C.S. Lewis wrote a book, The Problem of Pain, it’s a good one to read. It’s a tough, it’s a deep read. But his Grief Observed, same thing.

Steve Brown:
Oh man. Or George Buttrick, God, Pain and Evil.

Pete Alwinson:
There you go.

Steve Brown:
You know, we take it seriously. But even though guys, when they wrote books on it, who did their theodicy thing, which is justifying God in the midst of the darkness, even when they did that, it wasn’t simple.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. It’s not.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. And in the end you got to say, You, you choose, you choose to worship God though he slay me or you choose not to.

Pete Alwinson:
And when we get home, we’re going to see, we’re going to hear the end stories and we’re going to see the glory and the goodness. And I think we will see many of the reasons.

Steve Brown:
Oh, I do too. I hope so. Because, I just don’t want to go to heaven, if God’s not going to give me some answers.

Pete Alwinson:
I got to know more. I got to learn. That’s right. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And I think that’s going to be true.

Pete Alwinson:
I do too.

Steve Brown:
We’re going to be able to see the whole picture in a way that God has.

Pete Alwinson:
Yes.

Steve Brown:
This is an e-mail, are we living in the end times?

Pete Alwinson:
Easy to answer, according to Peter and his sermon on the day of Pentecost, yes. The question everybody’s really asking though, is this the end of the end times?

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
That we don’t know.

Steve Brown:
No, we really don’t. And Jesus said we didn’t. And if he said it, I mean, that’s cool.

Pete Alwinson:
I know.

Steve Brown:
I got an e-mail this morning asking me if I would teach more on eschatology. My simple answer was, are you crazy? No, I’m not. You know, I’m not even sure. I, you know, I, I agree with almost everything you taught on the book of Revelation. And I sat there in the church.

Pete Alwinson:
You did.

Steve Brown:
You were the pastor doing that. And I learned so much and I think, I think we’re on the same page. But, you know, you could be wrong. Do you think that?

Pete Alwinson:
I have thought that, it’s a really challenging deal. And now, like my friend, a new Christian e-mailed me the other day, he said, so are we in the time of the fulfillment of Isaiah 38? I go, well, let me go check it and I’ll get back to you. So we have to be careful on some of those things.

Steve Brown:
What is Isaiah 38?

Pete Alwinson:
Well, it’s about war and battle and we see what’s going on in Israel right now. And so that’s what he was making the connection to. We don’t always know.

Steve Brown:
And who knows, maybe we are.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
You know, if he’d come back before next Thursday, it would solve a lot of problems for me.

Pete Alwinson:
Absolutely.

Steve Brown:
Pete, we’re out of time and we’ve got to go. Again, we love to get your questions and we love to talk all about them. Again, we don’t speak from Sinai, but we are honest in our answers. Guys we’re out of here, but first Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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