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  • Halloween

    Its that time of year again. The gift shops are losing all the teddy bears and bunnies and the shelves are filling with horror masks grotesque outfits and pitchforks.

    I HATE this time of year with immoderate venom unusual in a liberal lefty like myself. It seems a celebration of everything negative, base and evil. Worse it is so obviously "for the kids".

    When two surly 15 year olds turn up on the doorstep a week before the day wearing a plastic mask each it is easy to turn them away. However how should one react when a cluster of 3 or 4 cute little 4 to 5 year olds with sheets on their heads and a bevy of parents hovering anxiously in the background look up all expectant.

    It seems wrong to turn them away, you can't shatter their innocence by telling them what a sinister festival they are celebrating but giving them sweets seems just as wrong. They're a bit young to preach to!

    How do people handle this one and the season in general.

  • #2
    Hi A Seeker
    My two pence , from the other side of the Atlantic.

    When I was a boy we'd never heard of Halloween (in the UK), we used to look forward to Bonfire Night on November 5th and make a "Guy" (not "guy", Guido Fawkes, executed 1606) stuffed with straw and wheel him around collecting old wood, and occasionally pennies. The village would start piling up a bonfire on the rugby field about a month before to let the wood dry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes_Night

    As a boy I never heard that this was an anti-Catholic act, we had no idea he was a Catholic, and besides, in popular eyes Guy Fawkes was always viewed as a kind of antihero for having tried to blow up Parliament, not as a terrorist. Oddly, Guy Fawkes was not actually burnt, as most people think, since burning was a kinder punishment reserved for religious criminals (such as Baptists, Arians and witches), wheras the punishment for treason was to be hung (to within an inch of death) then "drawn" alive and quartered. Fawkes committed suicide by jumping from the scaffold before they could get to work on him.

    Unfortunately today due to fire-safety concerns (and injuries from kids throwing 'sparklers', or going back to lit fountain candles), and the omnipresence now of American TV shows (not that I'm at all patriotic, the Christian's citizenship is from heaven), plus the not very PC aspect of burning an effigy of a Catholic... er hmm, the UK seems to have been converted to Halloween.

    Anyway. I don't see what's to like in Halloween, sugar instead of bangers-and-mash and roast chestnuts, "trick or treat" instead of "penny for the Guy", phhh. And all the commercialism...

    Plus as a Christian what's this teaching?
    God bless
    Steven

    Comment


    • #3
      If you do a search on this topic, you will find it has been discussed and debated numerous times on this board - not always with good results.

      Keep the topic within the purpose of Apologetics and Evangelism and we can have a good discussion.
      Come unto me all that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

      Comment


      • #4


        Thanks for the run down steven but i live in maidstone! I was born in pembury and have lived in either kent or sussex my whole life.

        You were obviously a boy a longer time ago than me. I can remember looking forward to both as a kid. I went to lewes fireworks when i was a student when they were still carting burning oil drums through the high street and chucking fireworks around. Great fun. Happier days before you had to stand behind a rope 2.49 km away from a man in an asbestos overall lighting a firework the size of your thumb. Which goes fzzzt. And we all say oooooooo, aaaaaaaaa etc. It greives me that a whole generation of kids will never experiance the simple joy of sticking a banger in a hollowed apple, lighting it and running like heck!

        Still the phone box thing is out of hand!

        Interestingly the idea of celebrating the torture and gruesome death of a 17th century terrorist seems morally fine to me. I'll definatly be going to the local Bonfire party and will have words to say if there is no guy to symbolise the robust ethics of our forefathers and their rough and tumble approach to crime and punishment.Its the 5 year old wearing a sheet with a couple of holes cut in it asking for a lollipop which i object to. Sounds odd put like that.

        Anyway, thanks again for the insight.

        PS
        Would'nt want to be hung or quartered but i've never understood what was so bad about being drawn. I mean the queen has a portrait done every year and you don't hear her complaining!

        Comment


        • #5
          Within the purposes of Apologetics and Evangelism? Okay, then....

          My husband is a youth pastor. Can you imagine the discussions that went on in our home?

          Hallowe'en is actually short for "All Hallows Eve" and is the day before All Saints Day. When my children were small, we served a church that had an "All Saints" party. Children did dress in costume, but their costumes had to be one of three things -- "saints" of the church (famous christians), biblical characters, or something they wanted to be when they grew up. My daughter went her first year as Queen Esther (what little girl wouldn't want to be queen) and her last year as an interior decorator. My son went one year as Daniel, and another as Josiah, the boy king.

          The kicker was -- you needed to memorize a Bible verse or famous quote for whatever character you chose. So, many of the children learned Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men..."

          At home, our pumpkins were carved with hearts and crosses. The children painted smiling faces on smaller ones. One year, Pastor John (that's my DH) did a pumpkin carving in church for children's time (heart) telling about how christians are like "Jesus o'lanterns." And our candy packets usually included candy corn or a small candy bar bagged up with a Christian tract (Christian bookstores are a good place to find this).

          At church, youth group time usually included a lesson around Hallowe'en about the roots of it, the reality of the spiritual realm, and the "spiritual forces, principalities and powers" against which Christian struggle in their daily lives....
          Disconnection is not an option!

          I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. ~ John 15:5-8

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          • #6
            Ok. I've just read some of the other halloween threads. I did'nt realise i was opening such a can of worms!

            So we will tread carefully.

            I will say that i suspect that its rather different over US side than it is over here. We don't tend to dress up as fish, spacemen, GI's or anything like that. De rigeur is witches, ghosts, horror masks (some of which are really gross) zombies, vampires etc. The common factor is that they have to be scary. From what i read it sounds more like a giant outdoor street fancy dress party over there! Sounds fun!

            There was one i saw last year which was a scream mask plus robe with a little pump so when the objectionable little whatname pumped his little squeeze bulb fake blood ran down the mask. It was genuinely nasty.

            So if you enjoy a harmless bit of fun with your kids dressed up as wombles please don't be offended by my first post. I just hate having to watch TV in the conservatory at the back of the house with the lights turned off pretending to be out.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hello fellow Brit
              Originally posted by A Seeker View Post
              Thanks for the run down steven but i live in maidstone! I was born in pembury and have lived in either kent or sussex my whole life.
              Who'd have thought , I saw Location: Near to God, but altogether too far from Godliness!, and naturally thought... well..
              You were obviously a boy a longer time ago than me.
              No comment!!
              Would'nt want to be hung or quartered but i've never understood what was so bad about being drawn. I mean the queen has a portrait done every year and you don't hear her complaining!
              Have you seen some of the recent ones, oouiihh..
              s

              Comment


              • #8
                Have you seen some of the recent ones, oouiihh..
                Yer' not wrong.

                They say the camera adds 20 pounds. Some of those painbrushes add 30 years. And i think its faintly unpatrotic for her Mag to be painted as a less green version of Yoda.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Children did dress in costume, but their costumes had to be one of three things -- "saints" of the church (famous christians), biblical characters, or something they wanted to be when they grew up. My daughter went her first year as Queen Esther (what little girl wouldn't want to be queen) and her last year as an interior decorator. My son went one year as Daniel, and another as Josiah, the boy king.
                  I love it! Satan hijacks our festivals so....

                  To be honest i can't see a problem with costumes, its the horror element i don't like.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by A Seeker View Post
                    Its that time of year again. The gift shops are losing all the teddy bears and bunnies and the shelves are filling with horror masks grotesque outfits and pitchforks.

                    I HATE this time of year with immoderate venom unusual in a liberal lefty like myself. It seems a celebration of everything negative, base and evil. Worse it is so obviously "for the kids".

                    When two surly 15 year olds turn up on the doorstep a week before the day wearing a plastic mask each it is easy to turn them away. However how should one react when a cluster of 3 or 4 cute little 4 to 5 year olds with sheets on their heads and a bevy of parents hovering anxiously in the background look up all expectant.

                    It seems wrong to turn them away, you can't shatter their innocence by telling them what a sinister festival they are celebrating but giving them sweets seems just as wrong. They're a bit young to preach to!

                    How do people handle this one and the season in general.

                    Last year, my 17 year old son set up an evangelism table in our front yard. He had candy for the kids, and he and his friends presented the gospel for each group, even acting some of it out like a play. 18 kids got saved last Halloween.

                    Christians can use this opportunity for good and for God. We just have to be creative.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sold Out View Post
                      Last year, my 17 year old son set up an evangelism table in our front yard. He had candy for the kids, and he and his friends presented the gospel for each group, even acting some of it out like a play. 18 kids got saved last Halloween.

                      Christians can use this opportunity for good and for God. We just have to be creative.
                      Awesome!

                      A simplified idea along the same lines is this: give out the best treats in your entire neighborhood (you know, not those peanuts-in-a-bag that some people give ). Taped to each treat's wrapper, tape a great Bible tract that is aimed towards kids (something like this)
                      (Make sure to tape it with strong tape and don't staple it - anything with a sharp metel spike in it will be thrown out - rightfully so).

                      Turn this opportunity into a way to spread the message through generosity, instead of making the kids think "that's that crazy christian who lives in that house that never gives out candy. I don't want to grow up to be like him!".
                      http://www.mychristiansite.com/personal/vision/ <-- My site. Check it out

                      http://www.freehovind.com Please sign the petition to pardon Kent Hovind.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Jesus went to the 'festival of light' which was a 'holiday' not ordained by God, but customary. He also attended a wedding celebration (Pagan origens aplenty), and even provided the wine.

                        Now, these festivals I cannot compare to Halloween, but some groups of people used to honor Saints who have gone before us, without all the demonic garbage.

                        So, what would Jesus do if laughing, excited children showed up on His doorstep expecting a customary treat?

                        Leave the oil lamp off and go see a movie? Go to the temple for a 'harvest' event instead? Ignore them? Hand out tracts instead of candy?

                        No, I truly believe that He'd be out on a well lit door step radiating joy and laughter handing out the biggest, juiciest figs and dates in town. Just enjoying the joy of little ones and the visitors (regardless of the garb they wear), and being a Light where ever He happens to be placed.

                        So, that is what we'll be doing, imitating our best understanding of Christ.




                        (but we -totally- understand believers who simply IGNORE it altogether, and go catch a movie! We simply feel that we are called to be a light to our neighbors - in our neighborhood, with so many children, it is an obvious rejection to be 'gone' on this night.)

                        Originally posted by A Seeker View Post
                        However how should one react when a cluster of 3 or 4 cute little 4 to 5 year olds with sheets on their heads and a bevy of parents hovering anxiously in the background look up all expectant.

                        It seems wrong to turn them away, you can't shatter their innocence by telling them what a sinister festival they are celebrating but giving them sweets seems just as wrong. They're a bit young to preach to!

                        How do people handle this one and the season in general.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JoyInHim View Post
                          Jesus went to the 'festival of light' which was a 'holiday' not ordained by God, but customary.
                          Shalom Joy,

                          Just to clarify, the "Festival of Light" that Jesus attended was a Biblical celebration of the re-dedication of the Temple. It is known now as Chanukah, but back then it was known and celebrated as the Feast of Dedication. It was based on the true Biblical victory of the Macabees in returning the Tempe to Jewish hands and cleansing it of pagan things and re-dedicating it to the L-rd.

                          http://christianactionforisrael.org/...as/lights.html
                          (1) Reason for Christian Interest
                          Q: Is there a Christian interest in the Festival of Hanukkah?


                          EDB: I have asked myself, Why are some Christians vitally interested in the Jewish Festival of Hanukkah? Perhaps the most obvious answer is that Jesus attended the Festival, as we may read in the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verses 22 and 23: "Then came the Feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade" (NIV)


                          The Feast of the Dedication' - Dedication' is the English translation of the Hebrew word Hanukkah'.
                          ~~In Messiah,
                          Vickilynn
                          Micah 6:8

                          sigpic


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                          • #14
                            Yes, but my understanding is that this was a man-made celebration feast day - not a God ordained one. Certainly not comparable to halloween, as I said earlier. My point was, Jesus partook in secular events (such as the wedding feast, which has pagan origins, and can be seen as 'secular' in some regards.)

                            Thank you for the additional historical information.
                            Originally posted by Vickilynn View Post
                            Shalom Joy,

                            Just to clarify, the "Festival of Light" that Jesus attended was a Biblical celebration of the re-dedication of the Temple. It is known now as Chanukah, but back then it was known and celebrated as the Feast of Dedication. It was based on the true Biblical victory of the Macabees in returning the Tempe to Jewish hands and cleansing it of pagan things and re-dedicating it to the L-rd.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoyInHim View Post
                              Yes, but my understanding is that this was a man-made celebration feast day - not a God ordained one. Certainly not comparable to halloween, as I said earlier. My point was, Jesus partook in secular events (such as the wedding feast, which has pagan origins, and can be seen as 'secular' in some regards.)

                              Thank you for the additional historical information.

                              Shalom Joy,

                              Just to be clear, The Feast of Dedication is not a secular event and has no pagan origins, that is my point.

                              I understand your point about Jesus attending secular events however, you included the "feast of lights" (aka The Feast of Dedication) to support your point and that is not an accurate inclusion and may confuse or mislead the readers.

                              The Feast of Dedication is a Biblical celebration of the victory of G-d and is far from being a secular event. Also, again, the Feast of Dedication has no pagan origins. So, while your point is made, to include the Feast of Dedication is not accurate to my understanding and it needed to be clarified and separated from those secular events you referred to.
                              ~~In Messiah,
                              Vickilynn
                              Micah 6:8

                              sigpic


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