Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween confusion.

Yesterday I was asked what I think about Halloween as a Christian and as some one who has lived in The U.K , U.S.A and Canada. I love Fall and all the colours and foods , I love Thanksgiving and everything that it stands for but Halloween is a hard one to figure out. I am always amazed at how many Christians get caught up in this celebration. I can never figure out how you can worship the Living God and yet find it acceptable to celebrate a night that has its roots in Celtic and Pagan beliefs. Halloween is originally the night that Celts believed that the veil between the living and the dead is at its most vulnerable and they felt that they need to appease the spirits of the dead so that they would not return to haunt them and their family. The High Priests who dabble in fortune telling and the people would leave food items outside for the evil spirits to take hoping that this would prevent the spirits from entering their homes. (hence trick-or-treat)

Bats, owls and other nocturnal animals, also popular symbols of Halloween, were originally feared because people believed that these creatures could communicate with the spirits of the dead.
Black cats have religious origins as well. Black cats were considered to be reincarnated beings with the ability to divine the future. During the Middle Ages it was believed that witches could turn themselves into black cats. Thus when such a cat was seen, it was considered to be a witch in disguise.Witches and witchcraft are dominant themes of the holiday. Witches generally believe themselves to be followers of an ancient religion, which goes back far beyond Christianity, and which is properly called 'Wicca'. To witches, Halloween is a festival of the dead, and represents the end and the beginning of the witches year. It marks the beginning of the death and destruction associated with winter. At this time the power of the underworld is unleashed, and spirits are supposedly freed to roam about the earth; it is considered the best time to contact spirits. The apostle Paul said Witchcraft is one of the acts of the sinful nature and those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:16-21; see also Revelation 22:15).

I know many say that it is just innocent fun...but is it?? I'm not convinced that celebrating a demonic holiday is innocent. I do think that many jump on the band-wagon with out really giving it much thought and so are opening them selves up to all sorts of spiritual horribleness.

So I must say that I am confused that Christians are willing to celebrate and let their kids celebrate Halloween. I'm not here to judge and get on people's cases but I am confused and wonder what all my blogging friends think about this topic??!!


lindsey said...

Good blog Vashti....I am looking forward to reading comments! xx

Cristy said...

Great post Vashti! I am one of the VERY few people I know that does not celebrate Halloween in any way. When my boys were little, we had a harvest festival and they could dress up as something God made, or a Bible character. It wasn't on Halloween, so it wasn't a substitute. Now we celebrate a person in history who has had an impact on Christianity, watch a video and do crafts from that time period in history. Again the kids can dress up as something God made.

Even many churches have Halloween nights, and trunk or treat, and we have never participated.

My favorite thing is to get together with other believers to have a worship night.

We don't pass out candy, although we have friends who use it as an opportunity to pass out tracts, but with our little ones, we want to show them clearly that we DON'T partake in any way.

My boys are now 22, 20 and HATE halloween.

Even with the Christian points( which are very valid) aside, why would you tell your children one day a year they can accept candy from total strangers? Why would you allow every scary thing to children- ghosts, demons, witches, etc to be jumping out at them in haunted houses? And that is fun??? Witches, monsters, etc terrify young children.

We hate halloween and all it stands for. But in our area, we are a dying breed...

Sorry to be so long winded!

Vashti said...

thanks for your comment!

Edie said...

Hi Vashti - I found your blog from Chatty Kelly. I absolutely love what you wrote here. I hate halloween and all that it stands for. While I do believe that Christians need to be a light in the darkness, I do NOT believe that we are going about it the right way by participating in this celebration of evil and death. Many people seem to think that just because they don't dress their kids up in scary costumes then that makes it ok.

One of my close blogging friends just "got it" a couple days after halloween. When I asked her what it was that she wasn't seeing her answer mainly indicated that because it was commonly celebrated by Christians it must be ok. I could go on and on but I will stop. Thank you for being so straight forward in this post.

Hug those beautiful kids for me!!!

Mrs. Valente said...

Amen and amen! Nothing demonic can ever be innocent. And how much worse that "we" (as a church) are teaching children that if it's shrouded in candy and fun, it's innocent!!

Anonymous said...

Hello, my dear friend. Allow me to shake it up a little???

First off, I grew up in a Pentecostal church in the States and every year, as a child had a church Halloween celebration...AT CHURCH! Not a "Fall Harvest" or Halloween alternative. It was complete with a bubbling caldron of home-made root beer and costumes. It wasn't until the founding pastor retired that we begun having more conservative "Fall" celebrations with a strict Bible Costume policy. The earth didn't open up and swallow us and I think importantly, that the children learned not to fear something... the "Devil's Holiday" or even the devil, himself. We weren't celebrating evil or promoting demons...we were celebrating each other and community which, of course can be done without Halloween parties! It's just that in my experience, it did not and none of us were attacked by or inhabited with demons.

Secondly, sine you mentioned paganism, I think that we have to review why we demonize Halloween and not Christmas and Easter. All three of thoise holidays have their origins in "pagan" practices. The difference is that Halloween was the only one that the early Christian Church didn't hijack for their own purposes. If we are going to fear Halloween because of it's early, evil origins then we must question the origin of easter egg hunts and candy baskets and gift giving and tree decorating as well...all pagan events. I suppose that what was meant for evil with these practices have been turned "into good" one would argue.

Thirdly, why do we fear the devil and his demons? We are supposed to be children of light. I know that everyone who has read dear Vashti's thoughts (which are great and highly respected...this woman of God is one of my dearest friends on the planet)are rather fundementally evangelical and therfore still interpret the scriptures as to writing about real, literal demons and a real, literal devil. Possibley we are damaging kids more by teaching them that there is a real, pretty horrific boogie-man of a devil constantly lurking, trying to steal tem away to a place where they will burn for eternity rather than putting on a monster costume once a year and getting a bag of candy.

And fourthly: I know that, as a born-again, Christian myself that my opinions are very far outside of the "perimeter" but just something to ponder, I'm not interested in debate....I already understand that my views are out of line with most everyone of you who will read this ;)

Thanks for sharing always, you Rock!!!!