Christian History Gargoyle_by_flumpo

Published on October 31st, 2012 | by James B. Jordan

24

Concerning Halloween

It has become routine in October for some Christian schools to send out letters warning parents about the evils of Halloween, and it has become equally routine for me to be asked questions about this matter.

“Halloween” [not Holloween] is simply a contraction for All Hallows’ Eve. The word “hallow” means “saint,” in that “hallow” is just an alternative form of the word “holy” (“hallowed be Thy name”). All Saints’ Day is November 1. It is the celebration of the victory of the saints in union with Christ. The observance of various celebrations of All Saints arose in the late 300s, and these were united and fixed on November 1 in the late 700s. The origin of All Saints Day and of All Saints Eve in Mediterranean Christianity had nothing to do with Celtic Druidism or the Church’s fight against Druidism (assuming there ever even was any such thing as Druidism, which is actually a myth concocted in the 19th century by neo-pagans.)

In the First Covenant, the war between God’s people and God’s enemies was fought on the human level against Egyptians, Assyrians, etc. With the coming of the New Covenant, however, we are told that our primary battle is against principalities and powers, against fallen angels who bind the hearts and minds of men in ignorance and fear. We are assured that through faith, prayer, and obedience, the saints will be victorious in our battle against these demonic forces. The Spirit assures us: “The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20). [product id="1152" align="right" size="small"]

The Festival of All Saints reminds us that though Jesus has finished His work, we have not finished ours. He has struck the decisive blow, but we have the privilege of working in the mopping up operation. Thus, century by century the Christian faith has rolled back the demonic realm of ignorance, fear, and superstition. Though things look bad in the Western world today, this work continues to make progress in Asia and Africa and Latin America.

The Biblical day begins in the preceding evening, and thus in the Church calendar, the eve of a day is the actual beginning of the festive day. Christmas Eve is most familiar to us, but there is also the Vigil of Holy Saturday that precedes Easter Morn. Similarly, All Saints’ Eve precedes All Saints’ Day.

The concept, as dramatized in Christian custom, is quite simple: On October 31, the demonic realm tries one last time to achieve victory, but is banished by the joy of the Kingdom.

What is the means by which the demonic realm is vanquished? In a word: mockery. Satan’s great sin (and our great sin) is pride. Thus, to drive Satan from us we ridicule him. This is why the custom arose of portraying Satan in a ridiculous red suit with horns and a tail. Nobody thinks the devil really looks like this; the Bible teaches that he is the fallen Arch-Cherub. Rather, the idea is to ridicule him because he has lost the battle with Jesus and he no longer has power over us.

(The tradition of mocking Satan and defeating him through joy and laughter plays a large role in Ray Bradbury’s classic novel, Something Wicked This Way Comes, which is a Halloween novel.)

The gargoyles that were placed on the churches of old had the same meaning. They symbolized the Church ridiculing the enemy. They stick out their tongues and make faces at those who would assault the Church. Gargoyles are not demonic; they are believers ridiculing the defeated demonic army.[product id="1232" align="left" size="small"]

Thus, the defeat of evil and of demonic powers is associated with Halloween. For this reason, Martin Luther posted his 95 challenges to the wicked practices of the Church to the bulletin board on the door of the Wittenberg chapel on Halloween. He picked his day with care, and ever since Halloween has also been Reformation Day.

Similarly, on All Hallows’ Eve (Hallow-Even – Hallow-E’en – Halloween), the custom arose of mocking the demonic realm by dressing children in costumes. Because the power of Satan has been broken once and for all, our children can mock him by dressing up like ghosts, goblins, and witches. The fact that we can dress our children this way shows our supreme confidence in the utter defeat of Satan by Jesus Christ – we have NO FEAR!

I don’t have the resources to check the historical origins of all Halloween customs, and doubtless they have varied from time to time and from Christian land to Christian land. “Trick or treat” doubtless originated simply enough: something fun for kids to do. Like anything else, this custom can be perverted, and there have been times when “tricking” involved really mean actions by teenagers and was banned from some localities.

We can hardly object, however, to children collecting candy from friends and neighbors. This might not mean much to us today, because we are so prosperous that we have candy whenever we want, but in earlier generations people were not so well off, and obtaining some candy or other treats was something special. There is no reason to pour cold water on an innocent custom like this.

Similarly, the jack-o’-lantern’s origins are unknown. Hollowing out a gourd or some other vegetable, carving a face, and putting a lamp inside of it is something that no doubt has occurred quite independently to tens of thousands of ordinary people in hundreds of cultures worldwide over the centuries. Since people lit their homes with candles, decorating the candles and the candle-holders was a routine part of life designed to make the home pretty or interesting. Potatoes, turnips, beets, and any number of other items were used.[product id="1234" align="right" size="small"]

Wynn Parks writes of an incident he observed: “An English friend had managed to remove the skin of a tangerine in two intact halves. After carving eyes and nose in one hemisphere and a mouth in the other, he poured cooking oil over the pith sticking up in the lower half and lit the readymade wick. With its upper half on, the tangerine skin formed a miniature jack-o’-lantern. But my friend seemed puzzled that I should call it by that name. `What would I call it? Why a “tangerine head,” I suppose.’” (Parks, “The Head of the Dead,” The World & I, November 1994, p. 270.)

In the New World, people soon learned that pumpkins were admirably suited for this purpose. The jack-o’-lantern is nothing but a decoration; and the leftover pumpkin can be scraped again, roasted, and turned into pies and muffins.

In some cultures, what we call a jack-o’-lantern represented the face of a dead person, whose soul continued to have a presence in the fruit or vegetable used. But this has no particular relevance to Halloween customs. Did your mother tell you, while she carved the pumpkin, that this represented the head of a dead person and with his soul trapped inside? Of course not. Symbols and decorations, like words, mean different things in different cultures, in different languages, and in different periods of history. The only relevant question is what does it mean now, and nowadays it is only a decoration.

And even if some earlier generations did associate the jack-o’-lantern with a soul in a head, so what? They did not take it seriously. It was just part of the joking mockery of heathendom by Christian people.[product id="1181" align="left" size="small"]

This is a good place to note that many articles in books, magazines, and encyclopedias are written by secular humanists or even the pop-pagans of the so-called “New Age” movement. (An example is the article by Wynn Parks cited above.) These people actively suppress the Christian associations of historic customs, and try to magnify the pagan associations. They do this to try and make paganism acceptable and to downplay Christianity. Thus, Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc., are said to have pagan origins. Not true.

Oddly, some fundamentalists have been influenced by these slanted views of history. These fundamentalists do not accept the humanist and pagan rewriting of Western history, American history, and science, but sometimes they do accept the humanist and pagan rewriting of the origins of Halloween and Christmas, the Christmas tree, etc. We can hope that in time these brethren will reexamine these matters as well. We ought not to let the pagans do our thinking for us.

Nowadays, children often dress up as superheroes, and the original Christian meaning of Halloween has been absorbed into popular culture. Also, with the present fad of “designer paganism” in the so-called New Age movement, some Christians are uneasy with dressing their children as spooks. So be it. But we should not forget that originally Halloween was a Christian custom, and there is no solid reason why Christians cannot enjoy it as such even today.

“He who sits in the heavens laughs; Yahweh ridicules them” says Psalm 2. Let us join in His holy laughter, and mock the enemies of Christ on October 31.

[product id="1138" align="center" size="small"]

Print Friendly


About the Author

He is a Protestant theologian and author. He is director of Biblical Horizons ministries, a think tank in Niceville, Florida that publishes books, essays and other media dealing with Bible commentary, Biblical Theology, and liturgy.



24 Responses to Concerning Halloween

  1. Ed says:

    This author has very few quotes of scripture in his entire article. Rather, he fills the pages of his writing with his knowledge on the subject. Any man who tries to make an argument of spiritual truth by extensively drawing from his own intellect and “knowledge”, rather than drawing from God’s Word, is merely speaking for himself. He does not speak for God, nor does he speak God’s truth.

    Here’s what God says about people like this, and to those who are seduced by them:

    19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? 20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Isaiah 8

    Furthermore, his usage of the few scriptures he actually quotes reminds me of another warning from God’s Word about guys like this:

    17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

    14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 2 Corinthians 2

    Notice this: to whom do we appear as a “savour of death?” It is to those who perish! It is the perishing who obsess with death, and who engage in rituals of death (which things Halloweeners celebrate–darkness, death, evil apparitions, etc–as is obvious to any small child.)

    Notice also that while our Lord teaches us we are to celebrate Christ and his triumph, He gives us no admonition, whatsoever, to don satanic attire and “mock satan”. In fact, quite the opposite, He warns us against anything of the sort!

    22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5
    (Wesley said: “…those who heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, under pretence of proving all things, have no countenance or excuse from this scripture.”) To which I would personally add–unless of course they are defying yet another warning from God’s Word:

    20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5
    (Matthew Henry said: “They confound and overthrow distinctions between good and evil. They prefer their own reasonings to Divine revelations; their own devices to the counsels and commands of God.”)

    Contrary to the “filthy dreamers” who fill volumes with their own words, those who love God’s Word could fill volumes with quotes from The Lord, like the following:

    17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment? Malachi 2

    5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

    8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

    9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

    10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Jude 1

    I’ll take God’s Word any day and every day over anything man has to say.

    • GentleDove says:

      Thank you, Ed, I really appreciate you, and the other men bringing Scripture to bear on the matter.

      • Ed says:

        Thank you GentleDove (I LOVE that name!)

        I copied one of your comments and sent it to a christian friend as a fantastic refutation of the RC hogwash (sorry, I have a hard time finding a good name for evil) being propagated in this article…which is really crazy considering the author, James Jordan, attended Reformed Theological Seminary and was ordained in the Association of Reformed Churches.

        So much for being reformed. I loved, also, your point of correction regarding Luther.

        The scriptures I posted actually shook me when I considered that the author and others like him on this website are–I’m sure–well-meaning men. But it grieves me deeply when men cast aside clear warnings from God’s Word in favor of their opinions, which directly contradict our Lord. It’s one thing for them to hold to heretical ideas, but another entirely when they then teach and seduce so many away from the clear and pure teachings of our Lord.

        God is jealous over us!

        2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 2 Corinthians 11

        4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1

        Ed

  2. Michael Riemer says:

    “Michael, I think that you do have a balanced approach to the whole issue.”

    Well, I admit, there are times that I am not “balanced.” But posts such as this, I believe really help one to balance their stand on issues. Articles such as this help to educate and bring into focus other facts and arguments that were not known or understood before. It helps to open the eyes, that just maybe the “other-side” might be correct or just may have an understanding or new perspective we need to help temper, season and moderate our walk with the Lord.

  3. Alex Alexander says:

    Really thought-provoking and refreshing article. Thanks. I bet the zealots who want to burn you at the stake for the advocation of dancing with devils (Boo!) still send their kids to (virtually satanic) public schools.
    Alex A
    UK

  4. Rich says:

    I don’t see what difference it makes one way or the other. Maybe 1000, or even 200 years ago, people celebrated Halloween for a purpose, but today, I don’t know a single person who is celebrating anything. It’s nothing more than a day to have fun by dressing up, which we all like to do (my daughter went as an Ole Miss Cheerleader), and get free candy; nothing more, nothing less. There is no association with anything religious or spiritual.

    So, I say, who give a rats #&%.

    • GentleDove says:

      Having fun is a purpose with religious implications. All of life means something and springs from spiritual issues (Prov. 4:23). Who or what we worship is made manifest in our actions or religion. All men worship or serve the creature or the Creator (Rom 1:20-25). Who or what is being served in dressing up and getting free candy for fun on Halloween? Is Halloween how God has instructed Christians in His word to serve Him? Halloween was my favorite “holiday” as a child (and an adult), before I was converted to Christianity. I would encourage Christians to examine their loyalties and emotional/memory attachments with honesty before God in prayer.

  5. Wikins says:

    Which are the most effective sites in addition to websites dedicated in studying in addition to reading?
    Wikins http://is.gd/zbFg67

  6. Sara says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. This really clears things up for me. Thank God.
    I was listening to a man named Scott Johnson and he taught that Christians should not celebrate Christmas, Halloween, and Easter because they were pagan holidays. He even said that Christians could not even celebrate their own birthdays because birthdays are pagan. How stupid. I don’t listen to him anymore because he is wrong on alot of things.
    So thanks again for writing this article. I feel so much better after reading this.
    God Bless you James.

  7. Len says:

    Al Mohler also has some thoughts on the history of Halloween on his site. http://www.albertmohler.com

  8. Doug Jerving says:

    On one hand I fully agree that as Christians we are delivered from the wiles of Satan, who is a defeated foe. Mockery is an inappropriate response to the demonic based on Jude verse 9. Still, that is not precisely my point in responding here.

    The other hand is my agreement with Gentle Dove. There is no good reason for Christians to celebrate or appropriate these most obviously Christianized forms of paganism. Mr. Jordan admits that he does not know enough about the history of some of the modern practices. Still, the very fact that they derive from Romanism should be enough to make a sincere believer in Christ question them. On the several major holidays listed in the article, Halloween may be the least obviously pagan in my book. At least in name it is “Christian” except that it promotes a failed theology regarding saints, not as living believers in Christ, which we all should be, but as dead superior Christians who should be venerated and prayed to. This is reminiscent to the say the least, of pagan ancestor worship.

    Christmas gives itself away in its very name: the very concept of a mass is Roman Catholic and associated in the RC past with celebrations exclusively for the dead.

    Easter by its very name is pagan. It is the Westernized form of Ishtar, or Astarte, the Babylonian fertility goddess. ( Oh! That’s what all those eggs are all about!)

    Any doubt about these things could be answered by the late Alexander Hislop’s “The Two Babylons or The Papal Worship Proved to be The Worship of Nimrod and His Wife” first published in 1916. This is one of the most copiously footnoted and well documented books on the subject ever done to the present. It is hard to find, but probably still available on Amazon (used). Donald Grey Barnhouse, D.D., highly praised this work as invaluable in exposing the paganism of the Roman system.

    I think there is enough proof that Halloween and so much else that goes by the name Christian today is nothing more than a syncretist religion. It is the mixed worship of Yahweh and Baal, and it defiles the Church and every believer associated with it.

    • E Harris says:

      The article above seems to be intent on justifying the Catholic Heirarchy against those who criticize it for attempting to marry the church with old pagan Rome.

      Now, I’m sure that there are MASSIVE holes in my knowledge of “Christian Historicism” (which is structured heavily around the idea that the Roman Heirarchy is of the spirit of antichrist). But still. The article above seems to be slanted in the direction of #1) Making sure that Rome and Paganism are portrayed as enemies of each other. #2) Making sure that the Roman Heirarchy is portrayed as being on the side of the church, christianity, goodness. #3) Making sure that NOTHING PAGAN can be traced to anything within the walls of the RCC. (maybe in a misguided attempt to defend the old “Holy Roman” order, against those new-fangled fundamentalist Bible-thumpers who simply don’t trust Rome)

      I’m not knowledgeable enough to call the Mr. Jordan wrong. I simply see that these are some possible biases in his article. That said, if/where it’s true, it offers more historical depth than I’ve heard from most fundamentalist doctrinaires who simply take a one-theme approach to Halloween.

    • Michael Riemer says:

      “Any doubt about these things could be answered by the late Alexander Hislop’s “The Two Babylons or The Papal Worship Proved to be The Worship of Nimrod and His Wife” first published in 1916. This is one of the most copiously footnoted and well documented books on the subject ever done to the present.”

      I really liked James B. Jordan’s post. I found it very interesting and somewhat refreshing. He brought up things I did not know or have even thought about. At this time I do not really know how much I agree with or even disagree with, but it sure makes me think. It looks like I will have to do a little more research into this issue. Good job!

      A number of years ago Ralph Woodrow wrote an updated book, “Babylon Mystery Religion.” Which was more or less an “updated” easy to understand version of Hislop’s book. It was a best seller for Woodrow. However, years later he took another look at Hislop’s book, “The Two Babylons” and he had to write another book, “The Babylon Connection.” Which exposed, that much of Hislop’s book was only mythology and that no matter how many footnotes or documentation of mythology there is, does not mean it is a sound basis for history. And He stopped selling his book even through it was a money maker for him. In writing his retraction, it was not his intention to just discredit Hislop’s book, but, as he states: “it is our desire that this effort will help us understand “the way of God more perfectly” (cf. Acts 18:26).

      I think in all we do for God, that should also be our cry, “to understand the way of God more perfectly.

      • Doug Jerving says:

        Michael, I think that you do have a balanced approach to the whole issue. And I have read Woodrow’s books as well. I know that he was sincere and honest in his decision to remove BMR from publication. It is true that much in Two Babylons is based upon ancient texts that predate Christian history; still Hislop clearly puts the pieces of the puzzle together. We may be able to throw out, let’s say, two thirds of what he used as evidence for his position, and we would still have incontrovertible proof that what he was saying was essentially true.

        I think Hislop’s premise that the RCC is neo-Babylon and equates to the whore of Revelation falls short of good interpretation. I am convinced like many who follow American Vision, that Babylon is equivalent to first century Judaism in the book of Revelation. Despite this, the facts of Church History strongly concur with Hislop’s opinion that Rome was, at least in later manifestations, an apostate church and for whatever reasons, political, moral, spiritual, it had synthesized Christian doctrine and practice to old customs taken from the heathen cultures it sought to subsume.

        I am aware that there are a good many sides to this debate by sincere and dedicated Christians. It is not my intention to discredit or call into question anyone’s faith in Christ based upon these things. I reiterate that the evidence should be enough for any sincere Christian to question the holiday, but that assumes they have taken time to study it for themselves. And once questions have been answered, it still remains for those believers to decide what they can do in good conscience. With Paul, I will not judge you in regards to festivals (Colossians 2:14-23).

  9. Mark says:

    Satan is a fallen angel???? Sorry, wrong answer. That believe is due to a misunderstanding of scripture. Satan was created as Satan and God used him to accomplish His will…….

    • Lee says:

      Mark,

      My understanding is that Ezekiel 28 is a possible reference to Satan. When I read it sure seems possible and it refers the King of Tyre as a cherub which I think would essentially be an angel. The fact that he is fallen could be to accomplish all of His will. I don’t see how being a fallen angel (if Ezekiel is appropriate interpretation) is a contradiction to your last sentence.

      Isaiah 14 doesn’t seem to contradict this either.

    • E Harris says:

      Wherever the ‘original evil’ came from, it did NOT come from God. God is Holy and Good.

      This leads me to the (logical) conclusion that the original evil, which disrupted good and opened up the lying possibility of ‘something else’… came from a created being. Yet all that God creates is GOOD. Hence, one of the good beings that God created, thought up a lie, believed it, and rebelled against Good, beginning a competition against God. God (as Creator) is infinitely stronger than whoever/whatever rebelled. So, the biblical narrative that most Christians believe – that Lucifer became Satan, the snake – is in fact logically plausible.

  10. GentleDove says:

    I don’t believe the conclusion that Halloween is a Christian holiday that should be celebrated by Christans holds water.

    All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day (Nov. 2) are all Roman Catholic holidays, not Biblical holidays or Christian holidays. Luther chose Oct. 31 to nail his 95 Theses on the door of the All Saints’ castle cathedral in Wittenberg because he knew monks, professors, friars and other RC people would read it when they came for All Saints mass on Nov. 1; he wasn’t somehow endorsing Halloween by choosing that date.

    These RC holidays to remember dead saints and martyrs were chosen to coincide with pagan days of remembering the dead. The Romans (Mediterraneans) knew and wrote about the Celts and Druids in the 200s BC and had conquered Ireland by AD 34. We also know about the Druids from early writings in Ireland. They did actually exist, in spite of Mr. Jordan’s attempt to cast doubt on that fact, and they engaged in magic and human sacrifice to appease their gods, including their god of the dead, Samhain, on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

    Even if you think RC is Christian and that a pope can declare a Christian holiday, there is nothing in remembering or honoring dead saints and martyrs that require it be on a day of pagan ritualistic appeasement of their god of death. Such a day ought to be abolished by Christendom, not co-opted by it. There is nothing in remembering martyrs that requires dressing up in costumes, playing trick or treat, bobbing for apples, having bonfires (bone-fires), or lighting jack o’ lanterns. These practices find their origins in pagan rituals of worship of demons and false gods on that date.

    Century by century the Christian faith has rolled back the demonic realm of ignorance, fear, and superstition…but, not by celebrating Halloween. We are not told in Scripture to mock Satan by making funny images of him or by dressing up like demons or cute characters. We are told to resist him, and to avoid evil (even its appearance), and to stop all pagan practices. That is not a matter of “Christian liberty” but of direct command from God.

    Even children dressing up and collecting candies, which is not sinful in itself, takes on the appearance of evil when associated with a wicked unholiday and its rituals. Like meat offered to idols, we shouldn’t partake of it, once we know its origins and associations for the sake of others who also know that it is pagan and not Christian. That is why the “celebration” of Halloween was not practised in America until the immigration of the Roman Catholic Irish to America in the mid-1800′s.

    • Special K says:

      Well said, Gentle Dove.

    • Dave says:

      I think all the comments railing against Halloween being a RC holiday are off base, and maybe a bit overzealous for our protestant tradition.

      What Jordan has said, and I also believe from my own research is that Christians were celebrating some form of Saint’s day as early as the 300′s. Even by the 700′s, as is mentioned int he article, the holiday/festival was very much in place.

      The key thing to keep in mind is that the catholic church in the 300′s was not the same catholic church in the 1500′s, or even the same as the one today. Catholicism, like protestantism, has changed and adapted many of its beliefs and practices over time. Some for better, others for worse.

      To call the circa 300 catholic church pagan based off the protestant reaction to the circa 1500′s catholic church is simply uninformed.

      • GentleDove says:

        1. By the 300s, the church was already getting off base (the Bible) with heresies (gnosticism, Arianism, etc.), nuns/priesthood, monasticism, state church (Constantine I), etc.

        2. I don’t care when the church started celebrating some form of a Saint’s day; it’s not Biblically-based, but pagan-based. Christians view death as enemy of Christ to be finally conquered in the resurrection of the Last Day. Christians celebrate LIFE every Lord’s Day (the Biblical holiday).

        Christians don’t dress in costume and give out candies in honor of death. That is a purely pagan practice, and I don’t care when the church appendaged it; it should never have been incorporated into church calendar or Christian practice. According to Scripture, Christians are not supposed to copy pagan practices–whether hearts are in it, or they feel like it’s fun to have what the pagans have, or to fit in with the world better, or however they justify it to themselves in their own minds.

        3. By the 300s, the RC church already knew about pagan festivals of the dead and wanted one for themselves, including specifically the Druidic festival of Samhain.

        4. I didn’t call the 300s RC pagan; I explained that RC syncretized with pagan religions in the 300s (and btw, it did become progressively pagan from them on).

        The paganism of RC in the 1500s was not the basis for my argument.

        One of the reasons why Roman Catholicism had degenerated to the point it had by the 1500s was the seemingly-harmless compromised it made earlier on, including in adopting the “holy days” of the pagans. Perhaps we ought not to follow their lamentable example.

  11. E Harris says:

    Great article about the deeper meanings in Halloween!

    I do think we can go TOO FAR in ‘mockery’ and actually lower our standards, becoming like those we mock! Gargoyles? It is hard to read deliberate ugliness as anything but amateurish or worse. Demons love the mockery of impersonating the enemy. Why should we? It’s almost like casting our tent toward Sodom, when we purposely glorify in things that are slightly depraved. We’re asking for trouble, not defeating it. The evidence is in the fact that the world LOVES halloween, especially the pagan and anti-Christian world. They have forgotten all about “All Saints Day” and instead celebrate Halloween, using themes almost completely divorced from church themes.

    I admit, that Halloween seems almost like a Rumspringa, where there is a controlled-explosion within a greater context, in order to provide some levity and balance. So, it’s not like we should altogether oppose Halloween, just like we should not altogether embrace it.

    • Mike says:

      “But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’ ”

      - Jude 9

  12. Andy says:

    This provides some much-needed balanced insight into October 31. I am still much less than enthusiastic about certain aspects of adult celebrations of contemporary Halloween that are all-too (i.e. sexually provocative costumes and the depiction of violence and gore). But at least now we know some of the historical underpinnings of what was once very good. I hope it can become that again. Thank you!

Back to Top ↑

electronic-white
tail-ref