THE KEEPING OF DAYS.
It is tantamount to blasphemy to say "walk in the Spirit" is fulfilled in the religious convolutions and draconian regimentation of the Orthodox Calendar. The clockwork monstrosity of their religious calendar is just another facet of what amounts to the Eastern Orthodox Talmud.
The Hebrew Roots Movement and the Eastern Orthodox are obsessed with calendars and the keeping of days, and both go into great error. The Hebrew Roots Judaizing heretics (Galatians is about that heresy) insist on keeping dead feast days from an old law now "done away", and usually insist on trying to patch together a Hebrew Calendar now lost because of the Babylonian and Assyrian captivities. The Orthodox insisted for over 1,000 years that the Roman Julian Calendar must be used, as if somehow a heathen calendar strewn with months named after false gods and Caesars who made themselves into gods is somehow "part of the Faith". Ridiculous. Numerically most modern Orthodox believers called new calendar believers have now aligned themselves with the Gregorian Calendar, but perhaps with differing motives. This caused many massive schisms in their "one church" they like to hide.
So what is the Evangelical born again Christian, and Protestant view of "the keeping of days" and Calendars? The denominations are various, so here I will give my own view, as an Evangelical (that is one who emphasizes the importance of the good news or gospel as central to the Faith), and I think a large majority of Protestants will agree:
General Information .
Many different societies have used their own special calendar during recorded history. Most have been based on the apparent motion in the sky of the Sun or Moon. Early in the Roman Empire, around what we would now call 400 BC, a calendar with a year of 365 days was instituted. Over time, the calendar got out of step with the seasons, and the Emperor Julius Caesar declared every fourth year to be a 'leap year' (with an extra day) and, to solve the past problems, the year we would call 46 BC was made 445 days long!
This Julian calendar greatly improved the situation, but there was still a small error, where the calendar would get about 3 days off for each 400 years. As a result, the actual occurrence of the equinoxes and solstices slowly drifted away from their assigned calendar dates. As the date of the spring equinox determines that of Easter, the church was concerned, and Pope Gregory XIII, with the help of an astronomer, Christopher Clavius (1537-1612), introduced what is now called the Gregorian calendar. Wednesday, Oct. 4, 1582 (Julian), which was followed by Thursday, Oct. 15, 1582 (Gregorian); leap years occur in years exactly divisible by four, except that years ending in 00 must be divisible by 400 to be leap years. Thus, 1600, 1984, and 2000 are leap years, but 1800 and 1900 are not.
The Gregorian civil calendar is a solar calendar, calculated without reference to the Moon. However, the Gregorian calendar also includes rules for determining the date of Easter and other religious holidays, which are based on both the Sun and the Moon. The Gregorian calendar was quickly adopted by Roman Catholic countries. Other countries adopted it later, sometimes choosing only the civil part. It was not adopted by the Soviet Union until 1918; Turkey did not adopt it until 1927.
1) Sunday (Revelation 1: 10).
Sunday is specially named "the Lord's Day". It is not a sabbath (the sabbath is eternal in Christianity - Hebrews 4). It is not obligatory to keep this as a day to gather or worship, but it is not to be viewed either as some clockwork sinful calendarisation of the Faith if one decides to go to church every Sunday.
2) Christian Days (Romans 14:4-6).
I believe keeping a small amount of days like Christmas and Easter is allowed in the Faith, but probably not preferable, as described in Romans 14:4-6, and keeping Sunday if you so wish. What is forbidden however is the religious maze of days adopted by Orthodoxy where this freedom in Christ is ironically magnified into complete bondage.
Again Judaizing sects have a field day with this subject saying Christians believe Jesus was actually born on that day (bunk) Christmas is the winter solstice (it never has been) the word Easter comes from the goddess Eostre (a name hypothesised by the Venerable Bede supported nowhere in history) etc etc.The word Easter is likely simply from the word East, as the OED gives that as its root.
I see nothing wrong with remembering the birth and crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, but both Christmas and Easter are very commercialized, which is also not the fault of Christians. This is a massively long subject, but what I am saying is Rom 14:4-6 is basically saying "do not condemn" - days are in general not a big deal issue, unless you use so many it becomes pseudo religious bondage, or if the day itself is religious error (like All Souls Day in Catholicism and Orthodoxy), or you start going back to the law of a now done away old covenant, when keeping feast days do become sinful. Say now if you believe those who remember Jesus on Resurrection Sunday will go to Hell. If not - maybe be quiet then.
3) National Days.
Keeping a day as "a religious day" and "national days and holidays" are different entirely. Not only this but many days remembered or observed by the nation where you live are to specifically remember not celebrate the events or agree with either sides perspectives. For instance a person in the UK remembering Guy Fawkes Night is not necessarily celebrating him being burnt and agreeing with it, nor celebrating his attempt to blow-up parliament, but as the old rhyme says "I see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot". Similarly when people in the USA keep 4th July Celebrations it is to remember. unless they state specifically they are not pacifist and with to takes sides in the war it remembers, and then they can say to them it is a celebration. When churches remember these days along with the nation, the Judaising sects say that means it is one of their religious days. That simply is not true.
I know of no calendar that is not utterly corrupted with heathen gods or religious impurity. Even the Babylonian Calendar the Jews used at the time of Jesus and still do now, has the month Tammuz in it. The Christian / Protestant attitude to Calendars surely is whatever is there is there, it is not part of the Faith. This really is no big deal until you start turning the faith into one of religious robots. No one is more against the doctrines of Catholicism than me, yet using out present Calendar, the Gregorian one, is not a religious issue to me. Protestant doctrine I would say is generally the diametric opposite of Orthodoxy, calendars are not an issue until you make an issue out of them, as they are all so corrupted it is when you add them to the Faith you sin, not when you do not.
5) A clockwork extravaganza of churchianity.
Japan is a fine example of what happens to a country under strict draconian bondage to conformity, traditions and culture, About 1% of them profess to be Christian, and of those the majority are sacerdotalists. A tragedy beyond telling when such a polite people can remain unsaved. The same with Greece - almost no Christians there, just fakes, in a clockwork religion in a society ruled by tradition and conformity. Holding a whole country in strict bondage to man made traditions and a clockwork calendarization of the Faith destroys souls. Make no mistake about it. It is part of churchianity not Christianity.
6) The word "church".
The study of the word "church" and how it has slidden away from its actual meaning (the christian individuals), in order to mean (to confuse the issue even further)
a) church buildings
b) A fake priesthood lording it over a perceived laity
is part and parcel of this whole subject, as under such circumstances it is a false foundation that helps to slip, slide and accelerate the calendar issues into churchianity instead of Christianity.
(under construction - must edit repeat statements)
EARLY ROMAN CALENDAR :
The Romans borrowed parts of their earliest known calendar from the Greeks. The calendar consisted of 10 months in a year of 304 days. The Romans seem to have ignored the remaining 61 days, which fell in the middle of winter. The 10 months were named Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December. The last six names were taken from the words for five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten. Romulus, the legendary first ruler of Rome, is supposed to have introduced this calendar in the 700s B.C.E.
According to tradition, the Roman ruler Numa Pompilius added January and February to the calendar. This made the Roman year 355 days long. To make the calendar correspond approximately to the solar year, Numa also ordered the addition every other year of a month called Mercedinus. Mercedinus was inserted after February 23 or 24, and the last days of February were moved to the end of Mercedinus. In years when it was inserted, Mercedinus added 22 or 23 days to the year.
EASTERN ORTHODOXY AND CALENDARS.
1) Eastern Orthodoxy has historically always had the heresy of having heather Calendars, like the Julian (Julius Caesar) Calendar, strewn with months representing false gods and Caesar worship, as part of the Christian Faith, whereas Evangelical born again Christians see them simply incidental in any society as all calendars are very corrupted.
2) There has been an absolutely colossal split in Orthodoxy over the decision by the majority of Orthodox churches to go over to the Gregorian Calendar, subdivided later into further splits in the church, like the formation of the Matthewites.
3) I have been unable to obtain a percentage ratio statistic on which is the most numerically popular, the old or new calendar. The new calendarists, who are unlikely to be in the majority as thats unpopular in Russia, have adopted a rather potpourri stroke pragmatic approach to the subject, by having Easter according to the old Julian Calendar (as the rift would be made even wider by not doing so) but having Christmas according to the Gregorian Calendar, presumably to fit in with the world wide majority of those claiming to be Christian (including the Catholics) and perhaps to unite into the commercialism of Christmas that has been proven to be a major driving force of the secular world's financial system, and fuels a nations economy. Also it would seem pointless to move over to the Gregorian Calendar and then totally hypocritically keep all of your feast days Julian. Many old calendarists also see this as a major strategic move in an ecumenically centered plot to eventually make the Pope head over both churches.
This means Eastern Orthodoxy if seen as a whole, has two Christmas Days and one Easter Day. yet on the BBC in England the smaller old calendarists seem to pull strings behind the scenes with the BBC to win the publicity war, who for years have made the emphatic statement "The Eastern Orthodox church celebrates Christmas on January 4th" which presumably goes unchallenged by the new calendar side in order not to cause the rift to get even bigger, and to present to those without knowledge across the globe a united image of an actually disunited religion.
4) Isolating the precise history of how this happened as a complete picture is more difficult than you might at first think, ironically and paradoxically because the world wide Orthodox churches who claim to be Christian were more diverse than they are willing to admit as it shatters their "one church in unity" lie if they admit otherwise. both in doctrine and in divisions over the desires of ethnic churches to have a bishop and congregation of their own ethnicity, especially in war torn countries.
I think perhaps I was making a mistake formerly here on this page, by going into too much detail about the various arguments within Eastern Orthodoxy over calendars, and their disagreements with Rome over them. The real issue to address is the devastating impact that a liturgical, almost clockwork lifestyle can have on a person's Faith and spiritual state of mind. When I explain the various tussles over calendars please proceed to study why liturgicalism is unbiblical, as so many "isms" usually are, or the point of this page will be lost.
The attitude of Evangelical (the good news preaching Christians) and/or born again Christians is that all the present day calendars are pagan, including the Babylonian Calendar adopted by the Jews in Babylon (the one with the month Tammuz in it - a dead give away) the Julian Calendar introduced by Julius Caesar based on Roman gods, the Gregorian Calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, and the controversially entitled "Revised Julian Calendar" which some think is more like a tweaked Gregorian Calendar. To Evangelicals a calendar is more something that is simply "there" in society, is in practical terms of pagan origin, and thus is not an actual part of our Faith at all. When you start delving into calendars and all sorts of issues like perihelion shifts, egg shaped orbits, solstices and astronomically specified oscillations, equinoxes, Astronomical Almanacs, and such like, it reminds me of the warnings about not getting involved in "endless genealogies". How for could the early church live their lives by the clockwork observance of a calendar of days, when the days they celebrate did not yet exist, it is one long anachronism, and if they had their own clockwork observance of a calendar of days and remembrance of saints, it is an oxymoronic argument, as that only proves modern Orthodoxy does not observe it.
At the time of Jesus....
At the time of Jesus at least two Calendars were being used by early converts, The Babylonian Calendar the Jews adopted in Babylon, and the heathen Roman Calendar. This is especially true as most of the preaching in the early church started in Jerusalem then spread throughout Israel. So why make the heathen Julian Calendar part of your Faith? It's ridiculous and actually racist.
1) The first Hebrew Calendar
There are references to a Calendar used by the Jews in the old testament, but this first calendar was lost probably in the dispersion of the Northern Kingdom of Israel among the nations, and in the Captivity in Babylon of Judah from the Southern Kingdom. Various people have tried to put this old first calendar together. I find the subject of calendars difficult but I would imagine these attempts to put together this first calendar are futile, spurious and bogus, indeed worse than fruitless too, as usually it is attempted by those entrenched in the Judaizing heresy repudiated in the Epistle of Galatians.
2) The Babylonian Calendar.
In Israel at the time of Jesus there were two calendars used, one was used by the Jews, the Babylonian Calendar, with the month of Tammuz in it. I am not an historian so I cannot tell if the Romans outlawed its use. The other was Roman.
3) The Julian Calendar. 45 BC
The official reason to introduce and enforce the Julian Calendar on the first Roman Empire by Julius Caesar was to help unite the Empire, but it seems obvious that Caesar was obsessed with his image in history and his perceived greatness, and that has to be possibly his biggest motivation. Caesar is said to have wept when contemplating the achievements of Alexander the Great when realising he was now older than him at his death, and had in comparison achieved nothing, and thus set out on his exploits to conquer Gaul, and expand the Empire., and the same vain glory goes for the Gregorian calendar introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII, as a modification of the Julian calendar, for the glory of himself and the Popes.
4) Byzantine Calendar :
The Byzantine calendar, also called "Creation Era of Constantinople" or "Era of the World" was the calendar used by the Eastern Orthodox Church from c. 691 to 1728 in the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It was also the official calendar of the Byzantine Empire from 988 to 1453, and of Kievan Rus' and Russia from c. 988 to 1700.
The calendar was based on the Julian calendar, except that the year started on 1 September and the year number used an Anno Mundi epoch derived from the Septuagint version of the Bible. It placed the date of creation at 5509 years before the Incarnation, and was characterized by a certain tendency which had already been a tradition among Jews and early Christians to number the years from the calculated foundation of the world (Latin: Annus Mundi or Ab Origine Mundi— "AM").[note 2] Its Year One, marking the supposed date of creation, was September 1, 5509 BC, to August 31, 5508 BC.
I cannot claim to fully understand all the nuances of these various calendars in order to verify the precise details on all these links, and as an Evangelical Christian my view of calendars are that they are of secular or heathen origin from the start, with exception of the now lost Hebrew calendar. You must be careful not to become entangled in a similar mistake to "endless genealogies" with the subject of calendars.
5) The Attic or Athenian calendar .
To insist on using the Julian (Julius Caesar) Calendar, the Eastern Orthodox religion, are making an outright statement that the Greek believers in Berea (the Bereans were Greek) used the Roman Calendar, not the Greek or Babylonian (the Hebrew Calendar was lost in the Babylonian and Assyrian Captivities). How are they so sure?
Remember over the cross of Jesus an accusation was written in Greek, Latin and Hebrew. Why Greek? After Alexander's Empire collapsed the Greek language was still a big trading language. The Greeks had probably at least 3 Calendars, one of which would be obviously statistically dominant. It can be argued as the New Testament was written in Greek, why choose to use the Roman not a Greek Calendar. According to this link:
The Attic Calendar:
There were 3 The Attic or Athenian calendars.
A festival calendar of 12 months based on the cycle of the moon
A democratic state calendar of 10 arbitrary months
An agricultural calendar of seasons using star risings to fix points in time.
1) Hekatombaion (Ἑκατομβαιών) July/August
2) Metageitnion (Μεταγειτνιών) August/September
3) Boedromion (Βοηδρομιών) September/October
4) Pyanepsion (Πυανεψιών) October/November
5) Maimakterion (Μαιμακτηριών) November/December
6) Poseideon (Ποσειδεών) December/January
7) Gamelion (Γαμηλιών) January/February
8) Anthesterion (Ἀνθεστηριών) February/March
9) Elaphebolion (Ἑλαφηβολιών) March/April
10) Mounichion (Μουνιχιών) April/May
11) Thargelion (Θαργηλιών) May/June
12) Skirophorion (Σκιροφοριών) June/July.
The point being if you are going to choose a heathen calendar, used at the time of Jesus, why make it Roman, not Greek or Babylonian? They might argue "because there were so many"
see this link:
Ancient Greek Calendars:
nevertheless they were all heathen, pagan, and not part of the Faith, until you make your Faith a liturgical fraud.
6) The Gregorian Calendar. 1582 AD
Pope Gregory XIII kept the names of the months, and amount of days in the month, of the Julian Calendar, but lopped off 13 days from it to as it were "reset" the calendar, and instituted a new way to correct the calendar as time went on, and so it was called The Gregorian Calendar. The motivation of Pope Gregory the XIII to change the calendar is as interesting as the change itself. Personal glory might have been an aim, but was there a more sinister objective? That of thinking that the influence of the Catholic Empire would be so great other nations would eventually be forced to make the same change, and thus subject themselves to Papal influences in their spiritual liturgical lives? At first it seems implausible as they were already united under the Julian Calendar, but of course if the point is subjection to the Papacy then the first unity under the Julian Calendar does not affect that. It may be argued by the "old calendarist" or self styled "True Orthodox" minority in Greek Orthodoxy that the change in the 1920's to the new Calendar of Milutin Milanković was part of a monstrously conceived Catholic plot to ecumenically united the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches together, by aligning the beginning of seasons and Christmas together by lopping 13 days off the old Julian calendar. The old calendarist Orthodox Faith accuse the Catholics of sun worship sometimes because of their correction of the calendar to cycles of the sun and especially the issue of the solstices.
It is an interesting anecdote that early Protestants said that the Pope is the antichrist or beast in the Book of Revelation, and that one of the proofs of it is that he will "think to change times and laws" Daniel 7:25, and that thus the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII therefore helps to prove this, as he "changed times". My feeling is that the Pope, and indeed Hitler, are both more like precursors of the antichrist or Beast, rather than the actual person himself.
7) The New Julian Calendar.
Is it Julian or really Gregorian?
In 1923 Greece became one of the last countries in Europe to finally switch to the Gregorian Calendar. Or did they....... this is a great argument within Eastern Orthodoxy. Milutin Milanković , like Pope Gregory, lopped off 13 days and said (at least) he was restarting the old Julian Calendar as a "Revised Julian Calendar" as he was of the Eastern Orthodox Faith himself. But to call it the "Revised Julian Calendar" with any proper credibility the identifying characteristics of the old Julian Calendar must be present. The old calendarists and the new calendar Eastern Orthodox Religions present two different arguments:
The old calendarists in Greece (who are in the minority) say that the Milankovic Calendar is actually a "Revised Gregorian Calendar", as by lopping off 13 days, and aligning Christmas Day with the actual day in real time that the Gregorian Calendar celebrates it, and by starting the seasons on entirely different dates approximately two weeks early, you have adopted characteristics that are very much Gregorian. Despite changing the way anomalies over time must be corrected, making the character "new" it is a deceptive misnomer to call it "The Revised Julian Calendar" and is more accurately "The New Gregorian Calendar". Also, quote: "The argument is also made that since the use of the Julian calendar was implicit in the decision of the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea (325) which standardized the calculation of the date of Easter, no authority less than an Ecumenical Council may change it." I think the validity of this is strongly contested by the majority in Greece.
The "New Calendar" Orthodox Churches, who make up the vast majority of Greek churches, counter argue (as far as I understand) that the way of calculating Easter is retained from the Old Julian Calendar, which is a more significant Feast as the date of the crucifixion and resurrection are certain, whereas no one really knows the date of Christ's birth. Secondly that the day of the new year is the same, to them it is September 1st (I found this out only recently). Thirdly the old Julian Calendar, not the Gregorian, was the one that gave us the names of the month, and therefore for that reason it is a revision of the original Julian Calendar, and it is the Gregorian calendar that is a deceptive misnomer not the term "New Julian Calendar".
It seems counterproductive of me to say which of these two I think present the strongest case, when the real issue here to see is the destructive influence of the calendar by its links to the so called "Divine Liturgy" with its saturation of false saints, sinful feasts, and sinners elevated to being "equal to the apostles". For instance, quote "An icon celebrating the veneration of icons, the Triumph of Orthodoxy is the festal icon for the first Sunday of Great Lent." These calendars are leading people into the mire of idolatry and many other errors. The sophist Greek response to such clear new testament commands as "keep yourselves from idols" is to retort "Jesus manifest in the flesh was an icon." They muddle people up between a theophany, the incarnation, an idol and an icon, and then cement them into idolatry through feast days. This is just one issue of calendar days and the liturgy. Its like bowing before the mass bread and saying "It's okay, I am only venerating, not worshipping." And many like things they do.
I am sure both sides have many other arguments as to why the new calendar of Milankovic is either a Revised Gregorian or conversely a Revised Julian, and that these debates will go on and on and on. It reminds me of the quotation by Sir Isaac Newton "I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." Even so these men cannot see the wood for the trees. The Calendar obsession of their Faith and its mechanical religious influence on them conceived by men not God destroys the concept of being led by the Spirit, and walking in the Spirit, and freedom in Christ, as slavishly bound up in man made traditions as those who follow the Talmud in error.
CALENDARS & PSEUDO SAINTS & LITURGIES:
The original heathen calendar used by the Orthodox church, of which the others are just modifications, is then linked in with boring man made liturgies and their vain repetitions, quote "as the heathen do", and pseudo saints, along with a multitude of "rites" created by vain priests and bishops ro gain religious power and vainglory for themselves.
7) The Antichrist's Calendar.
The antichrist may change the calendar it is often interpreted. One spin on this is the belief that trying to "take over the world" as a dictatorship strategy after Hitler would be unpopular, thus he may propose his plan to dominate the world as one to "save the world". This might perhaps involve uniting all calendars world wide into one??? (speculation on my part). In any event the bible says:
"And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." Daniel 7:25.
Certain Protestants might try to apply that to the Popes who invented the Gregorian calendar, and say it is another proof he is supposed to be the antichrist in that he "changed times".
Calendar and Easter.
All the same infallible calendar? After World War I various Orthodox Churches, beginning with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, began to abandon the Julian calendar or Old Calendar, and adopt a form of the Gregorian calendar or New Calendar. The Julian calendar is, at the present time, thirteen days behind the Gregorian Calendar. Today, many Orthodox Churches (with the exception of Jerusalem, Russia, Serbia, and Mount Athos) use the New, Gregorian Calendar for fixed feasts and holy days but the Julian calendar for Easter and movable feasts. In this way all the Orthodox celebrate Easter together. The Orthodox Church calendar begins on September 1st and ends on August 31st. Each day is sacred: each is a saint's day, so at least one saint is venerated daily.
This begs the question therefore, if they are practicing the same Faith as the first Faith, what was the first Calendar of the First Infallible Faith? Was it the Babylonian Calendar the Jews used? Who lost track of their own calendar in the Captivity in Babylon? And to this day use the Babylonian Calendar? That is quite a hard question for the Orthodox Christian religion to answer, who lay such weight on the practicing of their clockwork liturgical calendar, and yet claim it to be infallibly the same as the first church. It is not so hard if you build your faith on "walk in the Spirit" not on calendar regimentation of your Faith.
quote "Christmas is celebrated by Orthodox Christians on the 7th of January in the Gregorian Calendar - 13 days after other Christians.
In the East, Christmas is preceded by a 40 day fast beginning on November 15th. This is a time of reflection, self-restraint and inner healing in the sacrament of confession. Usually, on Christmas Eve, observant Orthodox Christians fast till late evening, until the first star appears. When the star is seen, people lay the table ready for the Christmas supper.
On Christmas Day people take part in divine liturgy, after which many walk in procession to seas, rivers and lakes. Then a great feast is held indoors where everyone joins in to eat, drink and enjoy themselves."
In Orthodox Russian the tradition is mixed with other pagan traditions of ancient Russia such that people may visit their neighbours in disguises, dance, sing and ask for presents, similar to trick-or-treating. They also dig into frozen rivers and streams to "bless" them with rituals.
There was also another schism in the Russian church (see link)
1) Wiki - Revised Julian Calendar
2) You Tube video "Double Dating: Julian Calendar or Gregorian Calendar