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Ishtar Sunday


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Good Morning fellow brothers and sisters. We’re gathered here this morning to pay homage to Ashtoreth the queen of heaven. But were going to have to do some fancy semantical footwork to make sure that no-one sees it that way. At the very least, I’ll be teaching you how to make yourself feel better about this gross practice so that you don’t have to give up your Easter ham.

Brothers and sisters in John Calvin I’ll be structuring this strategy with a little ADE from following three points.

Acknowledging the Truth

Discrediting the Truth

Establishing the Lie

The first thing we’ll address is the inconveniently uncanny resemblance between the word Easter and Ishtar. My best advice on this one is to play stupid for as long as you can. Jeremiah said we shouldn’t even speak the name of the Queen of Heaven, so you’ll need to convince yourself and your children that you really aren’t gathered here for Ishtar Sunday, because Easter is technically a different sounding word, so you’re therefore innocent of using the queen of heaven’s name as the title of the Sunday you’ve chosen to celebrated the ultimate victory of Jesus Christ over all evil. Besides, what’s in a name? If we don’t care, why would God.

Now, while I recognize that it was Constantine the Holy Roman Emperor who founded the Roman Catholic church that changed the Passover to Easter because the dates were close and he preferred worshipping the Sun God, obviously it goes without saying that we reformers have nothing at all to do with the Roman Catholic Church (were like total opposites), that doesn’t mean we are following in their footsteps and dabbling in paganism.  Besides even if the origin is pagan, that doesn’t mean we can’t take an evil thing and make it good does it? Yea, has God said we can’t use previously pagan practices, wresting them from the enemy, to serve Him and Him only?

Brothers and Sisters, I’d like to turn your attention to the following passages that can be really easily used to justify ourselves in just about any area of our lives.

We’ll start with the word of God as find it in Deuteronomy 12:30.

“After they’ve been destroyed, be careful you aren’t tempted to follow their customs. Don’t even ask about their gods and say, “How did these people worship their gods? We want to do what they did.”

Wait, No, how did that get… Well that just looks bad….Sorry brothers and sisters, wrong prooftext! That’s not the point we’re looking to prove at all!

Yes here it is, *clear throat* turn your attention AWAY from that passage and towards 1 Corr 8:1-9

“4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”

That’s better. You see Brothers and Sisters, since Ashtoreth isn’t real and we know it and we’re not like those weak people, we can have a clean conscience knowing that even though we’re celebrating a disgustingly pagan holiday named after Ashtoreth, since we’re doing it in the Name of the Lord, we’re well within our rights. Do you see how good it feels to use the Scriptures to justify yourself?

I must say that I’ve also heard some other rumours going about. Some heathens have suggested that Jesus was actually in the grave for three days and three nights like He said He would be. And on top of that, they said He didn’t actually rise on Easter Sunday Morning. They say He rose some time the evening before.

Let’s read in Matthew 12:38-40

“38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

Now it’s clear that this does not fit the Easter story, so I’m going to encourage not to take Jesus so seriously here. We know that He died few hours before the Sabbath began. We’ll call that a day. Then there was all of Saturday. Two days. Then there’s Saturday night. Three days. There it is. He was dead for a part of three different days. Problem solved. Some people have been perplexed by this reasoning thinking, “wait isn’t that like only a day and half”. I say, “that’s the kind of confusing mess you find yourself in when you take Jesus at His word.” We have to take into account the customs and mannerisms of that day and how to understand them in such a way that we can justify the customs and mannerisms of our day and age.

I once met this fellow who was trying to explain to me that Jesus was actually crucified on Wednesday, at the exact time that the people were supposed to slaughter the Passover lamb, which was the day before the day of the Passover feast which was actually recognized as a special Sabbath apart from the weekly Sabbath. And that he was actually in the grave for a full three days and three nights and rose on Sabbath just before sundown. He said there was no mention of Jesus Rising on Sunday morning and that all the images of him walking through the opening of the grave with the stone rolling away as the sun came up was all nonsense and that he actually rose and passed through the stone wall conquering the grave at the end of the Sabbath, signifying that His work was done at the end of the Seventh Day.

Now as wonderful and sensible as that would be, and as much as I would love to let Jesus words be true and let every man be a liar, this tall tale is simply not compatible with our customs. Besides do you really think the Lord cares about such dumb technicalities? He knows our hearts doesn’t He? I know He said he would only give ONE sign but do you really think it matters that much? He was pretty much in the grave for three days and three nights, right? Who are we to question His ways? If he says a day and half is three days, that’s good enough for me. Isn’t that good enough for you? It’s good enough for me?

We need to that our sins are washed away by the blood of the Easter Ham of God, I mean the precious Lamb of God. Man, I must be getting hungry.

Now that I remember it, that same heretic said that pork was still unclean even though we know for a fact that modern translators have inserted “In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean,” at the end of Mark 7:19 so that we could finally eat bacon. It’s really no wonder that guy has no friends.

But rather than ending today’s sermon condemning my fellow man, I think we should give thanks for the hearty meals many of us have prepared for this afternoon. The Lord has so richly blessed us.

Yes yes , right… lift hands. May the Grace of God be with you all. May His face shine upon you all while you eat your pig on the Passover. Amen!



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