When I became Torah observant a little more than two years ago one of the things I had to contend with, among others, was the pagan police. This was pagan, that was pagan, here a pagan, there a pagan, everywhere a pagan. For those who have been through it, you know that that’s no joke. Saying things like “Lord” or “God” or even “Jesus” was pagan, and therefore not to be said. There is a certain logic to it, which is why it can be so effective. Since I became Torah observant in late August, early September, just before all the holidays, it was tough to sort out truth from fiction. See, it wasn’t just this I was contending with, it was also those who called the apostle Paul a false apostle. Ironically, it was easier for me to put that to the test and prove it bunk, than all these pagan claims.
One thing that didn’t help was my neck. See? It was before my surgery, so during this time I spent the majority of my time laying down. Sitting up, being vertical, for half and hour was enough to over do it for my neck. It would typically cause me to vomit and then I’d have to spend the next week completely resting… Which I had a hard time doing. During the year of 2014 I lost 75 pounds. For me to spend the time researching often meant I was going to pay for it. What made it frustrating is when people didn’t list their sources.
On some things, it was easy to verify, but on other things….it was next to impossible. Everyone was saying that Christmas was pagan. Now since I had researched some of it before I had become disabled, before I became Torah observant, I felt like I had a handle on at least the basics. Yes, I knew Christmas had some pagan origins, but Christianity had taken it and made it Christian, so it was okay…Right?
On things like “Lord” there was some logic to it. It is true that the word Ba’al is translated as “Lord”, but Adonay is also translated as “Lord”. You can see the list for yourself here. So this was an example of taking one thing, out of context, and building a doctrine out of it. Again, it was fairly easy for me to see the problems with it because I knew other words were translated as “Lord” coming into this. But the argument that Jesus was pagan because there was no J prior to the 1600’s. Some were as outlandish as claiming that Jesus meant “hail Zeus”. Even then, not understanding the language or much of the difference between transliteration and translation, I knew that it was ridiculous. The mistake they had made was confusing transliteration with translation, so they took the sounds, Je=hey and sus=Zues to come up with their claim. The thing is, translation doesn’t work like that. That is how transliteration works, as transliteration is all about how it sounds. It’s about taking a word and making it pronounceable for you. Take grace for example. In Hebrew it’s chen. What I did there was give the transliteration of the Hebrew word, instead of writing it in Hebrew. Chen has the same meaning as grace. That’s why it’s a translation because you match up the meanings, the definitions. Not the sounds, the transliterations.
It’s ironic that it was linguistics that drew me into Torah. I came to Torah because of my study of Paleo-Hebrew and Proto-Canaanite. As I began to study the pictographic language, and I began to see the depth of not just modern Hebrew but also ancient Hebrew, my understanding grew. Once I came to the word Torah and saw not just what it meant in Hebrew, but also the pictographic, I began to see that my previous understanding of Torah being law, was at least grossly inaccurate, and perhaps even wrong. With Torah being defined as instructions, which even that is an over simplification, then I began to realize that to have God’s instructions done away with or abolished just didn’t make sense any more. As I accepted Torah the light came on. It was literally like someone turned on the lights. Everything suddenly made sense. The problem was there were new questions, new issues I had to work through. So the pagan police had said Christmas was pagan and connected to Nimrod, Tammuz and Ishtar. So naturally I didn’t want to celebrate something that would offend God. So Christmas of 2014 I didn’t celebrate. For that matter, I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving either because it to was “pagan”.
With the dawning of 2015 I met new friends like Tyler Dawn Rosenquist and Matthew Vander Els and Rico Cortes and Ryan White and Dr. Dinah Dye. It was this quintet that had a huge impact on me in the year 2015. I learned to check the sources on anything. If it doesn’t have sources then it’s hard to substantiate their claim. They can always say they didn’t get the info from whatever source you find that contradicts them. I also learned archaeology and anthropology and understanding the historical context of scripture. I found out that there is no archaeological evidence that connects Christmas to Nimrod, Tammuz and Ishtar. The best that one can say is the Christmas is a combination of some Germanic traditions and some Norse traditions and of course there is Saturnalia from Rome. It’s certainly not one of the seven feasts laid out in Lev 23.
So now I knew. Now I had the facts. So for the holidays of 2015 I set out to do a few things. One was to give the facts, the truth, the archaeology, to dispel the inaccuracies of the pagan police. However, that wasn’t enough. In 2014, in the few months that I had been Torah observant, I had managed to do quite a bit of damage. So in 2015 I had to fix that. When Thanksgiving came round my brother was put in a position of choosing between me or his wife’s relative. The Thanksgiving of 2014 I had managed to not only offend, but also insult my brother while at Thanksgiving at his house. This relative didn’t want anything to do with me because of that. I had apologized to my brother, but was that going to be enough? I had told my brother that I’d like a second chance, but if it’s not possible, then I understand. My brother was able to work it out. Both of us were there. Myself and this relative, and things went without incident.
Another thing I had learned in 2015 was that His Name is not just the literal pronunciation and spelling of His Name as some may claim, but it’s more about His reputation. In 2014 I had done a lot to hurt His name, His reputation. I had taken His name in vain because I brought shame to His reputation. I didn’t want to bring Him anymore shame, so I sought to bring honor to His name. That doesn’t mean compromising the truth, but I had learned something through all that. You can do more for truth by being humble, than by trying to sound like you know something when we still see through a glass darkly. In 2015 by being humble and repentant I had done more to honor God than all the stuff I said and wrote in 2014.
See? When you get right down to it, the facts, the archaeology is out there and can easily substantiate the history of Christmas and other things. I also learned that lukewarm, as mentioned in Revelation is about mixing, it’s about mixing that which is pagan with that which is holy. So you can’t mix a pagan holiday and add Christ to it and make it okay. I choose n0t to celebrate Christmas, but I also choose to be with my family. I don’t have to participate in the tree or gifts, but I can be with my family. I can be in this world while not being a part of it.
As a result of this and the Sacred Namer’s I started my own page on Facebook where it’s all about archaeology and anthropology, but it’s also about linguistics. In my research I have learned a lot about the languages of the Ancient Near East. I even discovered a language called Cushitic that is still in use today. There is so much I have learned, and there is so much I still have to learn. It’s funny how archaeology and linguistics is what drew me to Torah to start with, and now it’s the same thing that helped me out. A lot of the claims by the pagan police are based on Alexander Hislop’s book “The Two Babylons”, which has been completely debunked. We have someone today who has published his own book based off of Alexander Hislop’s book, and he calls his book “Fossilized Customs“.
I have shared this with you so that you can learn from what I went through. Always search for the truth. When searching for the truth don’t just find stuff that matches what you like, and always verify sources. See if the author did their homework and if their work stands up to criticism. Often times, testing ourselves can be the hardest thing to do as we tend to think we’re right. Instead, be humble and teachable, and search out the truth.
In His service