For “Scripture Sunday”:
Before You Ask Someone to Be Your Valentine...
“Millions send Valentine’s Day cards to express their affection for someone special. But how did this holiday originate? And does Valentine’s Day represent what true love is all about?
Does Valentine's Day really celebrate true, caring love?
Every year, more than a billion Valentine cards are bought and sent throughout the world. The act of sending a nice card seems to fill a natural yearning to express how much we care for someone.
But does Valentine’s Day really celebrate true, caring love? Or does this popular holiday actually promote something else?
Origins of Valentine’s Day
When we think of Valentine’s Day, we call to mind hearts, chocolates, flowers and expressions of love. Yet before joining in the fun, wouldn’t it be wise to know where this tradition came from?
Valentine’s Day may be acceptable to millions of people, but not to God.
First, we should understand that Valentine’s Day began when the early Roman Catholic Church tried to Christianize an ancient pagan Roman holiday called Lupercalia. That celebration was a licentious festival that honored Lupercus, the hero-hunter of wolves. This festival was so immensely popular among the Roman people that church leaders included it in their calendar, hoping to retain their new parishioners and turn them from sexual licentiousness to morality by linking it to a saint.
The saint they chose for this mid-February Roman festival was St. Valentine. One source explains:
St. Valentine is believed to have been a Roman priest who was martyred on this day [February 14] around [A.D.] 270. How he became the patron saint of lovers remains a mystery, but one theory is that the Church used the day of St. Valentine’s martyrdom in an attempt to Christianize the old Roman Lupercalia, a pagan festival held around the middle of February.
“Part of the ancient ceremony entailed putting girls’ names in a box and letting the boys draw them out. Couples would thus be paired off until the following year. The Church substituted saints’ names for girls’ names, in the hope that the participant would model his life after the saint whose name he drew.
“But by the 16th century, it was once again girls’ names that ended up in the box. Eventually the custom of sending anonymous cards or messages to those one admired became the accepted way of celebrating St. Valentine’s Day” (Helene Henderson and Sue Ellen Thompson, editors, Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, “Valentine’s Day,” 2005, p. 576).
Although all historical sources contain some of the same notions about how Valentine’s Day developed, each one highlights another facet of the story. Another states:
Some people have tried to connect the historical Saint Valentine with the later practices of Valentine’s Day by saying that the saint married couples despite the emperor’s prohibition, or that he sent a note signed ‘from your Valentine’ to the daughter of his jailer.
“However, the early Christian saint Valentine probably had nothing to do with the traditions later celebrated on his feast day; it is simply by his placement in the Christian calendar that his name became associated with it. Later, the word valentine may have been confused with the Norman French word galantine , meaning lover of women, as the g and v were often interchangeable in common pronunciation.
“In any case, February 14 gradually became a traditional date for exchanging love messages, and Saint Valentine became the patron saint of lovers” ( Macmillan Profiles: Festivals and Holidays, 1999, p. 363).
Theories differ as to how a holiday for lovers developed in February. Some think the mating of birds at that time of year is connected with the tradition:
One is based on the belief throughout rural Europe during the Middle Ages that the birds began to mate on February 14. Chaucer, in his ‘Parliament of Foules,’ refers to the belief in this way: For this was Seynt Valentyne’s day. When every foul cometh ther to choose his mate” (Stephen Christianson, The American Book of Days, 2000, p. 139).
Regardless of the varied sources and ambiguous history of Valentine’s Day, a few identifiable points continue to surface: Valentine’s Day originated with an ancient pagan Roman feast called Lupercalia. That festival was based on fertility and sexual licentiousness. In the third century, the Roman Catholic Church attempted to Christianize the ancient festival practice by naming it after a martyr.
The hope was that the festival adherents would thereafter follow the examples of church saints, no longer engaging in the ancient practice of free sex while honoring an ancient god. Despite some success, the holiday still contributes to immorality among many and promotes a wrong view of love.
A counterfeit holiday
Something that is counterfeit always indicates there is something real that it stands in place of, the genuine article. Could the same be true of a holiday? The roots of Valentine’s Day lie in a pagan festival, not the Bible. In the Catholic Church’s efforts to “Christianize” a pagan festival to gain adherents, did it overlook the real thing—holidays that reflect God’s perspective on love and giving?
In fact, what was overlooked in the adoption of pagan holidays was God’s true Holy Days and what they mean. We can find all of God’s Holy Days or festivals listed in Leviticus 23. And you can also find in the New Testament that Jesus Christ, the apostles and the entire early Church all kept those exact same festivals. Jude is apparently referring to these when he writes of “your love feasts” in Jude 12.
In contrast, the holidays that are widely celebrated in modern Christendom, including Valentine’s Day, are not found in the pages of the Bible. Instead, they are largely rooted in ancient pagan holidays that have been given a veneer of Christianity.
Where does God stand on Valentine’s Day?” Continued at: https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/before-you-ask-someone-to-be-your-valentine
(If you want to know more about God’s festivals, please request or download our free booklet God’s Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind .)
“What's Wrong With Showing Love? Valentine's Day has long been hugely popular as a romantic tradition despite its ancient and unseemly origins. So what's wrong with celebrating this holiday?
Valentine's Day it is definitely not a holiday with true Christian values.
Valentine’s Day is all about showing “love,” giving a card or flowers or chocolates to a loved one. All of that’s good, right? Wrong.
Valentine’s Day is big business. According to the National Retail Foundation, Valentine’s Day for 2012 added around $17.6 billion to the U.S. economy—making retail spending for this day the second-largest behind Christmas.
It does matter to God how we worship Him.
For a lot of people it’s the holiday to express your love to someone special. According to Kemberly King, a business instructor at South University, young adults ages 25 to 34 spend the most on Valentine’s Day gifts. Interestingly, men will outspend women—almost 2 to 1—with the biggest categories for all spending being restaurants, candy, romantic getaways and flowers.
A quick Web search for the origins of Valentine’s Day will give you the basics of the accepted history of the day. A deeper search will acknowledge its pagan origins. The Good News has published a variety of articles on both of these aspects of the holiday.
While Valentine’s Day is the most promoted holiday after Christmas and Easter even among traditional Christian churches, it is definitely not a holiday with true Christian values.
How can “love” be wrong?
There’s nothing wrong in showing love to others—after all, isn’t that the most valued Christian characteristic? But what’s been lost in how we go about it, and how we worship God for that matter, is whether we are actually following what God teaches in the Bible.
It’s like an automobile manufacturer telling you to put only gasoline in the fuel tank, but then you decide that diesel fuel is just as good! It just won’t work.
Here’s a quick review of the background of Valentine’s Day—before exploring a deeper point about this holiday.
By most accepted historians, Valentine’s Day was an adaptation by the Catholic Church of the ancient pagan Roman celebration of Lupercalia, a fertility festival. The Catholic Church updated and connected it to a “Saint” Valentine sometime late in the third century A.D. (though there is some confusion as to who this person actually was). It really took off commercially as a holiday in the late 1800s, promoted as a day to show your “love” to others—especially romantic love to your special someone.
So what’s wrong with that? Here’s the problem: Lupercalia was an immoral fertility festival also featuring gluttony and drunkenness. At the end of the festivities young men would draw the name of a young lady from a box, and the two were considered a pair (sexually and otherwise) for the coming year.
As a festival, Lupercalia was dedicated to the Roman god Pan, recognized as the god of fields, groves and wooded glens—and pictured as having the hindquarters, legs and horns of a goat. This pagan deity was connected to fertility and the season of spring. None of what is connected to the feast of Lupercalia is worthy of a Christian’s observance.
But what’s wrong with a little paganism?
What about showing love on Valentine’s Day if I’m not doing it for pagan reasons? Isn’t that okay? No, because the expression of that kind of “love” is still rooted in a former pagan holiday. True Christians must not adopt pagan festivals as holidays, for they are to strive to please God in everything they do.
Even when you think you’re innocently observing a holiday like this, you’re still advancing the origins and meanings of the day—especially from God’s perspective, as He certainly knows where it came from. God said not to do this. He told the Israelites entering the pagan land of Canaan:
“When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise . ‘ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:29-31, emphasis added).
When we merge pagan teachings with what God instructs through the Bible, we weaken the truth and violate God’s clear command.” Continued at: https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/valentines-day-whats-wrong-with-showing-love
It was explained to me thus: If you offered The Lord a glass of clear water, but there was a drop of sewage in it, he would not want it. Please don’t have any paganism, (sewage) in your worship.
For several days I took Jay to the nursing home to see his mother, but one day his sisters were there and he was really rude to them, and me, because they wouldn’t let him have his mother’s car. He doesn’t have a drivers license, and he always has more month than money, so how is he going to pay for insurance? His sisters said that he needed to show to be responsible before he got behind the wheel again, as he has so many DWI and PI tickets. He kept on turning the AC on in my van, even on winter days, because of his bad diet which causes him to have high blood pressure. One day, he was so rude to me that I just left him at the nursing home, and haven’t had anything to do with him since.
Yes, I missed posting and church last week. I had got really cold and had congestion in my chest and stayed with my electric blanket most of the week. My friend took me to the doctor and they did xrays, blood work and put me on antibiotics and steroids. I didn’t have a fever, but they said it was a type of pneumonia.
Jay’s neighbor was going to the nursing home near the church, so he gave me a ride this last Saturday, and a couple in the congregation gave me a ride home. The ignition is still acting up on the van, and so I am not driving it especially as I am not up to full strength yet. I took a big crockpot of spaghetti bolognese to the pot luck.
The Bible readings were Ex.18:1-20:23, Isa. 6:1-7:6 and Mat. 5:8-20 and the Teaching was more about The Reformation and Martin Luther as it is near the anniversary of his death on February 18, 1546. Also about Tindale who was put to death by “Bloody Mary”.
I hope you are all well and this changeable weather hasn’r got you down to. Hurrah for electric blanket days!