Beware the Snare of Valentine’s Day
by Christine Egbert
In Deuteronomy 12:30, the LORD (Yahweh) warned his people not to be snared into worshiping Him the way pagan nations worship their gods. In spite of this, the Roman Catholic Church merged many Christian doctrines with pagan practices such as Sunday sabbath; Christmas, Lent, Easter, patron saints, halos, steeples, and, in A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius renamed two highly sexualized Roman festivals (Lupercalia and Juno Februata) Saint Valentine’s Day.
Assisted by Vestal Virgins, Luperci priests sacrificed goats and dogs in the cave a she-wolf was claimed to have nursed Romulus and Remus (Rome’s founders). Clad only with loincloths and smeared with blood, these Luperci priests romped about Rome, flogging naked young women with whips made from the skins of sacrificed animals they called Februa (from which we get the English word February) to guarantee their fertility.
The History of Juno Februata (goddess of sexual fever)
Every February 14th, the names of teenage girls were written on paper billets and placed in a jar. The teenage boys would then draw a girl’s name and, in modern vernacular, ‘hook up’ and celebrate through the streets of Rome playing erotic games. Disregarding Deuteronomy 12:30, the Roman Catholic Church claimed to have Christianized these pagan festivals by changing the rules a bit. Now both boys and girls were to draw the names of Catholic saints they were to emulate and the young men were to send the girls romantic messages which contained Saint Valentine’s name.
Cupid, that winged child-like archer found on many Valentine cards today, whose name comes from the Latin verb cupere, meaning “to desire”, was claimed to be the son of Venus, the Roman goddess of beauty and love. In Greece, Cupid was known as Eros, from which we get the English word erotic. It was believed that Cupid impregnated both goddesses and mortals and that he would shoot invisible gold-tipped arrows at men and women driving them crazy with passion and then laughing at their misery.
The Church’s Adoption of Pagan Rituals
The Roman Catholic Church, disregarding Deuteronomy 12:30, asserted their right to “redeem” pagan practices and symbols by assigning them new names and meanings. They based this right on their faulty interpretation of Matthew 16:18-19, where Jesus (Yeshua) told Peter that He would give him the keys to the kingdom and that whatever Peter “bound on earth” would be “bound in heaven.” This mistranslation of Matthew 16:19 gave birth to many unscriptural doctrines.
The LITV (Literal Translation of the Holy Bible) renders this passage correctly: “Whatever you bind on earth shall occur, having been bound in Heaven. And whatever you loose on the earth shall be, having been loosed in Heaven.”
The Greek “estai dedemenon” and “estai lelumenon,” are in the periphrastic “future” not “past” perfect tense. Literally, it says “shall be, having been bound,” and “shall be, having been loosed.” In other words, Peter was to uphold that which the Father already declared. Correctly translated, the passage is consistent with God’s warning not to add to or take away from His Word and is in perfect harmony with Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) prayer: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Peter, just like Moses before him, was to act in accordance with God’s instructions. Jesus (Yeshua) never gave Peter (or anyone else, including the Popes of the Roman Catholic Church) the right to abrogate His Father’s instructions.
In 1969, to his credit, Pope Paul VI removed Saint Valentine from the Church’s calendar. But, it would have been far better had the Roman Catholic Church never attempted to “Christianize” this pagan holiday in the first place.
Today, more than ever, Valentine’s Day is not about love but about sex and making money! Just listen to the erotic commercials that gross sales in the billions! Throughout scripture, God warns us to have nothing to do with pagan ways. Syncretism—the combination of different forms of belief or practices—is never God’s way… so beware of this snare.