In other words, the very practice of Ash Wednesday and Lent are simply made up observances and this is the problem. It is not that one might not learn something valuable by abstaining from this or that for 40 days or that there is no value in gathering on Wednesday 40 days before Easter to remember the suffering and death of our Savior. The problem is that the human heart is an idol factory (Calvin). Once it is given license to create and impose Christian observances, it never ends. What begins with good intentions becomes a form of bondage.
“I am of opinion, that as many other things crept in of custom in sundry places, so the feast of Easter to have prevailed among all people of a certain private custom and observation insomuch that not one of the Apostles hath any where prescribed so much as one rule of it to any man. The success and event hath manifestly declared unto the world, that of old it was observed, not of Canon, but of custom. And a little after, they that keep Easter the 14th day of the month, bring forth John the Apostle for their Author. Such as inhabit Rome, and the West parts of the world, allege Peter and Paul for themselves, that they should leave such a tradition, yet there is none of them that can shew in writing any testimony of theirs for confirmation and proof of that custom.”
~Socrates (380-439 AD), Church History, book 5, chapter 22.
Reformed churches have historically been opposed to observing man made holy days such as Christmas and Easter. Even the Reformed churches on the continent, which left some holy day observance to Christian liberty in some of their confessions, did so because of either compromise with the stubborn people for the sake of further Reformation, or because the civil magistrates forced them to. Gisbertus Voetius, a delegate to the Synod of Dordt, relates that the Dutch Church had been trying to get rid of holy days for a long time, but the allowance of holy days by the synod was “imposed from the outside, burdensome to the churches, in and of itself in an absolute sense unwelcome; to which Synods were summoned, compelled, and coerced to receive, bring in, and admit, as in the manner of a transaction, in order to prevent worse disagreeable and bad situations” (Selectarum Disputationum Theologicarum pars prima, cited in Why are Ecclesiastical Feast Days in our Church Order?). The later Dutch Further Reformation was more successful in removing holy day observance from the churches (c.f. Nadere Reformatie Contra Christmas).
Sadly, today, not only are many Reformed churches going back to observing Christmas and Easter, some are even beginning to observe Lent, Good Friday, Advent, etc. as well. In this post we will outline eight reasons the Reformed have been opposed to man made holy days and have exclusively observed the Lord’s Day 52 times per year.*
“Enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God.” Deuteronomy 12:30-31
“What does a rabbit with a basket of eggs have to do with Jesus Christ and His religion? Nothing! What about hot cross buns? Nothing! What about a sunrise service? Nothing! What about ham? Nothing! Encyclopedia International (1978) declares, “Many of the customs associated with Easter are derived from various spring fertility rites of the pagan religions which Christianity supplanted.” The Catholic Encyclopedia declares, “A great many pagan customs celebrating the return of spring gravitated to Easter.” Encyclopedia Britannica states, “Christianity … incorporated in its celebrations of the great Christian feast day many of the heathen rites and customs of the spring festival.” Compton’s Encyclopedia (1978) declares, “Some Easter customs have come from this and other pre-Christian spring festivals.””
~Let God Be True
Source and read more: http://www.letgodbetrue.com/bible/holidays/easter-problems.php
Why don’t you participate in Halloween any longer?
So many of our Western ‘holidays’ are secularized/Christianized pagan holy-days. As a one-time pagan who mocked Christians who took part in these adulterated holidays, I can in no way celebrate them with my family. Halloween is only one on a list of holidays that have been co-opted from pagan belief systems: Christmas, Easter, Halloween – they may all be widely accepted, and the former two have had Jesus thrown into the mix, but their origins and symbolism remain largely pagan in nature.”