It is that time of year again—the time of year that we must tell everyone else why they’re wrong for celebrating Easter. We loathe the very idea of Easter not because of the very idea of the Easter Bunny but because celebrating the death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior in the church is blasphemous and idolatrous. I mean why celebrate a biblically based holiday when you can do the complete opposite like celebrating Reformation Day, Thanksgiving and Calvin’s 500th birthday in churches.
The Post Reformation pastors and theologians of the day, following the Reformers, abolished Easter, among other things. In June 1647, England Parliament, headed by the Puritans at Westminster, passed legislation abolishing Christmas and other holidays: “Forasmuch as the feast of the nativity of Christ, Easter, Whitsuntide, and other festivals, commonly called holy-days, have been heretofore superstitiously used and observed; be it ordained, that the said feasts, and all other festivals, commonly called holy-days, be no longer observed as festivals; any law, statute, custom, constitution, or canon, to the contrary in anywise not withstanding.” (Daniel Neal, The History of the Puritans (London, 1837; rpt. Minneapolis: Klock , p. 45).
The Puritans “proposed a stricter observance of Sundays, the Lord’s Day, along with banning the immoral celebration of Christmas — as well as Easter, Whitsun and saints’ days.” (Patino, Marta, The Puritan Ban on Christmas). The reason the puritans denied the celebration of any holy days was a biblical foundation to deny the “dressing up” of any other day than what God had specifically prescribed in Lord’s Day worship. “Holy days’ have no such prescription — there is no Scriptural command, approved example, or good and necessary inference, which warrants tying specific acts of redemption to ‘holy’ days of our own choosing.” (Chris Coldwell, The Religious Observance of Christmas and ‘Holy Days’ in American Presbyterianism) (I would encourage the reader to read the entire article that Coldwell has at that link which covers not only Easter, but other holidays.)
In “The Quest for Purity: Dynamics of Puritan Movements” by Walter E. a Van Beek, he states, “Because Easter invariably fell on a Sunday, this was a problem for Puritan preachers who were consistent with their repudiation of of the traditional calendar. The usual solution was to preach a sermon that had no direct connection with Easter.” (Page 77.) How would a congregation today take a non-Easter sermon on Easter Sunday? What would your reaction be, reader?