Inevitably on various Christian holy days like Lent, Christmas, and even Easter you’ll find some misguided soul pontificating about the “pagan origins” of this or that holiday. I try to ignore them, but it is frustrating none the less.
Often said people think of themselves as participating in a form of Christianity that is void of Gentile influence connecting back to a purer form that emerged from Judaism. First, this ignored that diversity of Judaisms when Christianity began. Second, it assumes that Judaism avoided influence from the surrounding nations. While some Jews may have fought for this ideal it is something that proved impossible. Even Second Temple Jews were Hellenized to various degrees.
This pious idea ignores that Christianity is inevitably a Gentile religion now. There is no golden age void of “pagan influence.” What must be proven is that the Gentilization of Christianity is always wrong or evil.
Let us assume Lent, Easter, and Christmas are structured around and influenced by pagan holy days that the church baptized. Is it wrong to have done so? If Jesus Christ is glorified through their renewal does it matter? Is it even possible to avoid putting Christian holy days on days already claimed as pagan? How do we avoid the days of the week, named after pagan deities? What about the months of the year which are the same? Should we move to a Jewish calendar?
My point is simple: complaining about how a holy day for Christians is similar to old pagan holy days is a
mute moot point. Of course, I imagine (in fact, know of) people who are scared of the Christmas tree but see nothing wrong with having a worship gathering on the weekend before or after the 4th of July were they sing about the nation and honor military personnel. So it is wrong to redirect a holy day toward the worship of Christ but OK to take a Sunday once a year to sing praises to our country? Odd.
Now if a Christian holy day adopted evil practices like child sacrifice that would be one thing, but this is not what happened. So my advice is ignore those who go around crying “pagan this, pagan that.” Instead follow the Pauline admonition to honor God if you chose to observe a holy day. It is never wrong to worship our God.