Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Holiday Hysteria (a Christian defense of Halloween)
Catholic Exchange ^ | October 31, 2008 | Rod Bennett

Posted on 10/31/2008 9:49:19 AM PDT by NYer

Today is Halloween — and, as you may have noticed, many of our Evangelical friends now shun America’s October spook festival altogether. They tell their children that Halloween is “the devil’s holiday” and that trick-or-treating is little better than dabbling with a Ouija board or consulting an astrologer.

Contemplating the Idea of Death

Though such extremism might seem odd or funny to many of us, it’s really, in one sense, quite admirable. If I thought Halloween was what they think it is, I’d keep my kids away from it, too — no matter how odd it might seem to others. But I’m afraid that if our separated brethren don’t stop for a moment and listen to some good old-fashioned Catholic wisdom on this subject, they’ll all be forced to become Jehovah’s Witnesses before long. And that, I think you’ll agree, would be terrible. Let’s try to spare them that fate, at least.

What exactly is Halloween all about?

Basically Halloween is our local manifestation of one of mankind’s oldest and most basic impulses: the impulse to contemplate — and even to celebrate — the idea of death during the fall of the year.

After all, the natural world itself dies in the autumn, and that death (along with our sure and certain hope of a glorious resurrection for it next spring) has always set human beings to contemplating their own impending date with mortality. The pre-Christian world was positively overflowing with these local death festivals. Whether it was the turning of the leaves along the Danube or the first frost on the haystacks of Burgundy, the pagans who lived in Europe before the coming of Christianity found something driving them to tell ghost stories around the end of October, to dress in creepy costumes, and to build bonfires against a new (and not entirely unpleasant) chill in the air. In some places, dances were held to drive away evil spirits; in others, it was believed that the shades of departed loved ones might take a holiday from Hades on this particular night, and could turn up at your doorstep for a spooky reunion.

Inculturation Is an Old Tradition

Before too long however, Catholic missionaries went to Europe from the East and preached the Gospel of Jesus to these cheery, superstitious heathens. Their fiery crusades against pagan idolatry are the stuff of legend: they inspired their converts to chop down the sacred groves, to smash their idols, and to turn instead to the worship of the one true God, Who created heaven and earth. But these missionaries had another quality as well, an attribute that’s often glossed over in hostile secular accounts. That attribute was empathy.

These early missionaries actually liked the people they were converting. They liked their folkways, and their culture. They liked their music, their dances, and even their local death festivals — or liked, at any rate, everything about them that could be liked without compromising the faith. Interestingly enough, we know from history that Pope Gregory sent his missionaries out with explicit instructions that anything in the local culture which was not actually incompatible with Christianity was to be left strictly alone. Today, we call this approach “missionary inculturation,” and most of us have realized that it isn’t really necessary for a Bantu tribesman to put on a three-piece suit before we allow him to come to church. We may feel very enlightened when we take this approach today, but the truth is that the whole evangelization of Western Europe (325-1100 AD) was accomplished under this principle.

 This is the real reason why many Christian holy days correspond to older festivals from the pre-existing pagan calendar. The Europeans, for example, had many cherished family traditions surrounding their winter solstice festivals, and so the Church allowed them to incorporate many of these customs (Christmas trees, etc.) into her nativity celebrations. Likewise, Easter was already a spring holy day for the pagans, devoted to the contemplation of rebirth, new life, and resurrection. It was only natural, then, that many of these ancient customs found themselves gaining new and deeper significance under the reign of Christ, the true God of springtime and fertility.

The pagan death festivals were superceded in just this way by two Christian holy days based on a similar theme — All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). The pagans found it natural to remember their departed loved ones at this time of the year, and the Church wisely allowed them to maintain continuity with the old ways. To say, however, that the Church merely “Christianized” the existing paganism is to miss the point badly. As St. Paul dramatically points out in his Epistle to the Romans, paganism already had a good deal of inchoate truth in it already. What the Church actually did was to gather up some of these inchoate truths, sift out what was patently unusable, and then point the pagans to the final fulfillment of their ancient longings as revealed in the faith of Christ.

An Echo-Holiday

And yet Halloween isn’t quite All Saints Day, is it? Or All Souls Day. What is it then?

You might say that Halloween is an “echo-holiday.” Halloween is to All Saints & All Souls Days as Mardi Gras is to Ash Wednesday — sort of their outlaw second cousin. Halloween is that part of the ancient death festivals which couldn’t quite be comfortably domesticated. It’s the part that still wants to run wild on the autumn winds, to soap windows and overturn outhouses. And yes, like Mardi Gras, this urge is difficult decently to restrain at times; the sowing of wild oats often produces crops that have to be reaped by the whirlwind. But just because a thing is subject to abuse doesn’t mean the thing itself is evil — a principle that our Evangelical friends have sometimes forgotten when the subject was wine, and we ourselves have often needed to be reminded of when the subject was sex.

Yet it isn’t the puritanical aspect of Evangelicalism that causes me to worry about a possible descent towards the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It’s the knee-jerk response that Halloween is to be feared solely because it has “pagan origins.” The truth is that a good deal of what all of us do every day has pagan origins. The mathematics we use has pagan origins; our form of government has pagan origins; the very letters with which this sentence is written have pagan origins. In fact, most of the churches from which these anti-paganism sermons issue are, architecturally speaking, Greek revival temples in the “neo-classical style.” So “pagan origins” alone isn’t quite enough to damn Halloween all by itself. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the great glories of Christianity that it does save and redeem and baptize pagan things — ourselves included!

Jehovah’s Witnesses, on the other hand, profess to despise everything associated with our pre-Christian past. They especially despise the practices of the Catholic Church that redeem various elements of that pre-Christian past. They teach their disciples to hate and fear all holy days and holidays alike, and will have nothing to do with either Christmas or Easter for precisely the same reasons that Evangelicals are now despising Halloween.

And this is the reason I have found it worthwhile to mount, from time to time, a Christian defense of Halloween. Because one day — perhaps not too long from now — my own friends and relatives are going to feel forced, by their own careless presuppositions, to drop the other shoe on all holidays, to spend December without Christmas, and springtime without Easter, to go to a ballgame and refuse to sing the National Anthem.

If you find, as I do, that such a prospect makes your skin crawl a little, I hope you’ll join me tonight in soaping a few windows or turning over an outhouse or two. For truth’s sake.

Happy Halloween!


TOPICS: Catholic; History; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: evangelical; halloween
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-165 next last

1 posted on 10/31/2008 9:49:21 AM PDT by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 10/31/2008 9:50:02 AM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
They teach their disciples to hate and fear all holy days and holidays alike, and will have nothing to do with either Christmas or Easter for precisely the same reasons that Evangelicals are now despising Halloween. And this is the reason I have found it worthwhile to mount, from time to time, a Christian defense of Halloween.

So, he's saying tha one cult's excess excuses another evil.

3 posted on 10/31/2008 9:52:10 AM PDT by aimhigh
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Great read, great points-Thanks!


4 posted on 10/31/2008 9:54:47 AM PDT by icwhatudo (PALIN VID=========>>>>>http://www.overstream.net/view.php?oid=n1ronxelmtin<++++++++)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

There’s no excuse to not have fun on Halloween. If any children show up dressed with Hussein stickers we can redistribute their candy to someone else.


5 posted on 10/31/2008 9:54:49 AM PDT by pnh102 (Save America - Ban Ethanol Now!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

It’s just a holiday for children.


6 posted on 10/31/2008 10:00:58 AM PDT by TexanToTheCore
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

If you’re Christian and you choose not to celebrate Halloween that’s your business. They’re your kids. I can see both sides.


7 posted on 10/31/2008 10:01:45 AM PDT by ReneeLynn (The heels are on, the gloves are off.~ Sarah Palin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

The Christianizers didn’t just base the new calendar around the pagan calendar because they like the pagans... I think more to the point was that they wouldn’t have been able to impose the change without fitting the new celebrations into the existing ones. It was a compromise.

Really good piece though. Thanks.


8 posted on 10/31/2008 10:11:42 AM PDT by wingnutz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aimhigh
Nope, he's saying that the evangelicals are starting on the slippery slope that leads to a cultish fear of everything "pagan".

Merely being "of pagan origin" is not in and of itself evil. We were all pagan once, and therefore much of everyday life is pagan in origin.

The question is whether it is incompatible with Christianity. Paganism, in its better forms, had much in it that was good and true. That which was good and true was redeemed by Christ. That which was evil and wrong must be rejected. But you can't just reject it all out of hand on the grounds of 'paganism'. That leads to the cultish rejection of much that is good.

9 posted on 10/31/2008 10:15:36 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse - TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: NYer

We have a long tradition of tales, about ghouls and goblins, around campfires and in front of fireplaces. I still remember “Bloody Bones” and share it with the younger generation on occasion. I think it was harmless, I don’t remember any mutilated animals, decapitated corpse (okay maybe one, read about it for days so it was highly unusual) nor people particularly deranged.

I think the most disturbing part of Halloween now is the danger to the children who engage in the practice. It is very sad that one has to discard unpackaged goodie, look for needle marks and check “goodies” with a metal detector. That is why a lot of celebrations are confined to supervised carnivals. Some are advocating an alternative to Halloween, similar to first night for New years, which is also a good idea. It is all in good fun and kids (mostly) love it.


10 posted on 10/31/2008 10:15:44 AM PDT by Peter Horry (Mount Up Everybody and Ride to the Sound of the Guns .. Pat Buchanan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

I’m currently working on my Christian defense of pornography.


11 posted on 10/31/2008 10:16:56 AM PDT by demshateGod (the GOP is dead to me)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother

But you can’t just reject it all out of hand on the grounds of ‘paganism’. That leads to the cultish rejection of much that is good.

All the “good” things about Halloween are what...costumes and candy???


12 posted on 10/31/2008 10:31:50 AM PDT by TheGunny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: TheGunny
You would know the answer if you had read the article.

Contemplation of mortality, the tying in of the death and rebirth of Nature with the death and rebirth of Man in the person of Christ, honoring those who have died, confronting fears of death . . . . there's lots of worthwhile food for thought under the costumes and candy.

Our parish does a Hallowe'en party where the kids come as their favorite saint. It makes the underlying issues more obvious, but they are there, regardless.

13 posted on 10/31/2008 10:38:07 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse - TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: demshateGod

Exactly! My reasons are many to abstain from H’ween but a key factor is this: Phil 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.

H’ween falls very short here. Im no cultist...thats all I have.


14 posted on 10/31/2008 10:40:38 AM PDT by TheGunny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Peter Horry

Of course the reality is those dangers while real are pretty rare. There’s always been some jerks out there (legends of poisoned/ trapped Halloween treats go back to the mid 60s) and there’s always going to be some jerks out there. But chances are you won’t encounter them. We’ve gotten pretty hyper paranoid, especially when it comes to kids, in the last few decades, but there really isn’t much evidence to back up that increased paranoia.

While there will be problems, there always are, on an individual kid basis they still have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting tampered Halloween treats.


15 posted on 10/31/2008 10:41:48 AM PDT by dilvish
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother

My reasons are many to abstain from H’ween but a key factor is this: Phil 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.

H’ween falls very short here. Im no cultist...thats all I have.


16 posted on 10/31/2008 10:42:00 AM PDT by TheGunny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: NYer; AnAmericanMother; familyop

It’s a shame Catholics haven’t been so historically broad-minded about the celebration of Jewish holidays as they have been the pagan ones.


17 posted on 10/31/2008 10:43:44 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Shofekh dam ha'adam, ba'adam damo yishafekh; ki betzelem 'Eloqim `asah 'et-ha'adam.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: TheGunny
I think you're looking at the surface factors and deciding that that aspect is not right, pure, lovely, or admirable. And you're right. A lot goes on on Hallowe'en that shouldn't.

But I think you're going to have to get Christmas in your sights next, if that is your criterion -- runaway commercialism, blatant greed, drunken holiday parties, spending beyond one's means, are not true, noble, right, pure, lovely, or admirable.

Don't mistake superficial human error and excess for the underlying message.

18 posted on 10/31/2008 10:46:04 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse - TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: NYer

bump for later


19 posted on 10/31/2008 10:51:06 AM PDT by Skooz (Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother
I hardly think that celebrating the birth of my Savior is an equivalent to H’ween on any level....So, now that we have searched out the underlying message of Christmas, what is the underlying message of H’ween that lines up with my last post???

Im not judging ANY of you who feel its ok to make this compromise...it is a matter of conscience for me to not do so. I dont believe that the Bible teaches this type of permissiveness.

20 posted on 10/31/2008 10:53:19 AM PDT by TheGunny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother
BTW...if you are a Christian, your posts kinda indicate that you are trying to justify your participation in H’ween. Like I said, Im not judging you nor is this an indictment on your faith. Im not trying to come off as hyper-spiritual either, its a matter of conscience for me. As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!
21 posted on 10/31/2008 10:56:47 AM PDT by TheGunny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: TheGunny
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy


22 posted on 10/31/2008 10:58:26 AM PDT by meowmeow (In Loving Memory of Our Dear Viking Kitty (1987-2006))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Zionist Conspirator; AnAmericanMother; familyop
It’s a shame Catholics haven’t been so historically broad-minded about the celebration of Jewish holidays as they have been the pagan ones.

Through the Hebrew Catholic Year - A Collection of Traditions and Prayers for the Jewish Holidays for Catholics.

23 posted on 10/31/2008 11:01:26 AM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: dilvish

I am sure you are right, but every Halloween there are warnings on nearly every TV station with “safety tips”. That is on local news (which I still watch) since I haven’t watched in years. Interesting side note, went to the grocery store yesterday evening (a little past 19:00 hrs.) in a small town of around 6.000 people and saw three houses that appeared to have “trick or treaters” and went by the local high school, heavy traffic and people parking, when “game night” is normally Friday night. Don’t know what was going on but thought I had missed a day for a moment.


24 posted on 10/31/2008 11:03:45 AM PDT by Peter Horry (Mount Up Everybody and Ride to the Sound of the Guns .. Pat Buchanan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Haven’t read the article yet, but I’ll post my 2 cents anyway.

We have two daughters. One is 17 and the other is 2.

We disallowed any Halloween celebration for our first daughter because we believed it to be the devil’s holiday. No costumes, no candy, no trick-or-treat.

Every year we found something else for her to do, usually the “Harvest Party” at church where she had a good time with other kids.

We were pretty uptight about Halloween.

The past few years, we have changed our view. As long as WE are not celebrating Satan, who gives a rip whether or not we allow any Halloween festivities?

My wife will take my 2 year-old trick or treating tonight. She’s dressed as a fairy tale princess.


25 posted on 10/31/2008 11:04:00 AM PDT by Skooz (Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TheGunny
Of course Christmas as a Major Feast is not the equivalent of All Souls or All Saints . . .

. . . but the underlying message I think is to remember the dead, to remember that we also must die, and to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Not a popular message for moderns, because death has been largely sanitized and hushed up and locked away in hospitals and nursing homes where most people don't have to confront it. And most moderns don't like to confront the issue of the Four Last Things and what may happen to us after we die.

So no, it's not on a level with Christmas. But it is important.

26 posted on 10/31/2008 11:05:07 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse - TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: NYer; AnAmericanMother; onedoug
Through the Hebrew Catholic Year - A Collection of Traditions and Prayers for the Jewish Holidays for Catholics.

As I said, historically. Historically the Catholic Church has "superseded" and abolished Jewish holidays while adapting and "baptizing" pagan ones.

For most of Catholic history such a group as you reference would have been forced underground or else condemned as "Judaizers."

27 posted on 10/31/2008 11:08:21 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Shofekh dam ha'adam, ba'adam damo yishafekh; ki betzelem 'Eloqim `asah 'et-ha'adam.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: TheGunny
No, not trying to justify because we don't really participate.

Kids are almost grown and don't trick or treat. We have candy in case neighborhood kids come by trick or treating, but few do (not that many young kids in the neighborhood, some years we may get as many as 10-15, others none). Some years I'll carve a pumpkin to put on the porch, too busy this year.

Just trying to take a clear-eyed view of the situation.

28 posted on 10/31/2008 11:08:28 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse - TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: meowmeow

I agree that candy corn is praiseworthy. Just eat it and skip the Satan worship.


29 posted on 10/31/2008 11:10:01 AM PDT by demshateGod (the GOP is dead to me)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: NYer
It's interesting than an entire religious defense of Halloween was mounted in this article without one piece of scripture. Man centered reasoning and logic can make a compelling case absent a bible based teaching.

See:

Is Halloween Harmless?

30 posted on 10/31/2008 11:10:03 AM PDT by DouglasKC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother
. . . but the underlying message I think is to remember the dead, to remember that we also must die, and to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory...

Purgatory? You're kidding right?

(Death) Not a popular message for moderns, because death has been largely sanitized and hushed up and locked away in hospitals and nursing homes where most people don't have to confront it.

Ignorant and narrow. H’ween is going to bridge this? The fact that not all Christians minister in the slums of India, Dar fur or in Hospice facilities here shouldnt be taken to mean that they are ignorant of death or the effect it has on the observers of it.

Com’on now. In the interest of full disclosure, I am no longer a Catholic and dont really desire to split doctrinal hairs with you. I will say however that I veiw the doctrine of “Purgatory” to be reprehensible and destructive to people. One of the most heretical teachings in Christendom.

31 posted on 10/31/2008 11:18:00 AM PDT by TheGunny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: meowmeow

Ok...you got me there:o) Dont forget the little pumkin ones..


32 posted on 10/31/2008 11:18:42 AM PDT by TheGunny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Skooz

I have a tub of candy for the children that visit my house tonight. I will be glad to see them. It’s the same candy we serve in our addictions ministry to people trying to get off booze and drugs.

My year old grandson is going to be dressed as a pirate tonight. His mother is a Christian, fully versed in spiritual warfare. She will take him to relatives’ houses including mine. I’ll be glad to see the little man. He’s my joy in life.

Halloween impacts me with local children and parents coming to my door. I impact them by giving them candy. That’s the extent of it.

I get a lot more ticked off every December when the word “holiday” takes the place of Christmas in twenty bazillion ads.


33 posted on 10/31/2008 11:20:19 AM PDT by Luke21
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: NYer
What exactly is Halloween all about?

Candy and kids dressing up like Dora the Explorer or whatever other character is popular on TV that year.

Some killjoys want to project more onto the Halloween than that, but kids don't care.

34 posted on 10/31/2008 11:25:25 AM PDT by Citizen Blade (What would Ronald Reagan do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TheGunny

Someone who claims to be an ex-Catholic is surprised that someone still Catholic believes in purgatory?

The reality and inevitability of physical death must be socially recognised for death to be properly digested and understood by the culture. Holidays are part of that process of cultural orientation.

Halloween does need to be reformed, and materialist excesses rejected, but it does serve a social AND religious purpose by serving as a cultural theatre of mortality.


35 posted on 10/31/2008 11:29:05 AM PDT by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Halloween is “the devil’s holiday”


36 posted on 10/31/2008 11:29:31 AM PDT by Titanites
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Here is what I have determined about Halloween.

Halloween is based on the fact that it is the night before All Saints Day.
In prior times it was believed that the forces of darkness were allowed, semi-free, rein on this night.
Goblins, witches, zombies, vampires, etc were allowed to roam freely throughout the countryside.

The practice of costumes was to disguise who was, and was not, one of the evil ones.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, etc.

The treats were to appease the evil ones with a, sort of, sacrifice.

We are today, sort of, too literate and sensible to believe that evil flies on the wings of the wind on All Saints Eve, but the tradition lives on.

37 posted on 10/31/2008 11:29:36 AM PDT by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Titanites
You photoshopped the original picture:


38 posted on 10/31/2008 11:32:04 AM PDT by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Philo-Junius
another world heard from....

beg to differ, H’ween doesnt serve my faith or “religion” what so ever. Thank you.

39 posted on 10/31/2008 11:32:44 AM PDT by TheGunny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Luke21
I get a lot more ticked off every December when the word “holiday” takes the place of Christmas in twenty bazillion ads.

You and me both, brother. That's my number one pet peeve on earth. Don't get me started.

40 posted on 10/31/2008 11:33:42 AM PDT by Skooz (Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Zionist Conspirator

The Church “baptised” Pesach and Sukkot as Easter and Pentecost, respectively; one could argue that Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah have been incorporated into Advent and Christmas.

I think that about covers the Torah-mandated festivals—am I missing any?

I also think Purim has been long overlooked by everyone Christian as a great opportunity for a clearly God-mandated party, even though it is extra-Torah. It also is a great fancy-dress opportunity in the Spring which balances Hallowe’en nicely.

Although I suppose a lot of dry evangelicals could stumble over the “drink until you are unable to tell the difference between Mordecai and Haman” tradition.


41 posted on 10/31/2008 11:35:51 AM PDT by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: TheGunny

It’s of course your right not to participate, but thaf doesn’t change the social and cultural aspects of the question.

Society has to come to grips with death, and Halloween, properly used, can be a useful part of that process IF the Christians show up to inform it. If we withdraw in scorn, the matter goes to the materialists and others by default.


42 posted on 10/31/2008 11:39:32 AM PDT by Philo-Junius (One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: demshateGod

How many people do you think are actually worshiping Satan by dressing in costume and begging for candy?

I thank God every day that He led me out of this sort of legalism.


43 posted on 10/31/2008 11:39:46 AM PDT by djrakowski
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

I’m afraid that if our separated brethren don’t stop for a moment and listen to some good old-fashioned Catholic wisdom on this subject, they’ll all be forced to become Jehovah’s Witnesses before long.....

....These early missionaries actually liked the people they were converting. They liked their folkways, and their culture. They liked their music, their dances, and even their local death festivals — or liked, at any rate, everything about them that could be liked without compromising the faith. Interestingly enough, we know from history that Pope Gregory sent his missionaries out with explicit instructions that anything in the local culture which was not actually incompatible with Christianity was to be left strictly alone....the truth is that the whole evangelization of Western Europe (325-1100 AD) was accomplished under this principle.

....The pagan death festivals were superceded in just this way by two Christian holy days based on a similar theme — All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). The pagans found it natural to remember their departed loved ones at this time of the year, and the Church wisely allowed them to maintain continuity with the old ways. To say, however, that the Church merely “Christianized” the existing paganism is to miss the point badly. As St. Paul dramatically points out in his Epistle to the Romans, paganism already had a good deal of inchoate truth in it already. What the Church actually did was to gather up some of these inchoate truths, sift out what was patently unusable, and then point the pagans to the final fulfillment of their ancient longings as revealed in the faith of Christ....

....You might say that Halloween is an “echo-holiday.” Halloween is to All Saints & All Souls Days as Mardi Gras is to Ash Wednesday — sort of their outlaw second cousin. Halloween is that part of the ancient death festivals which couldn’t quite be comfortably domesticated. It’s the part that still wants to run wild on the autumn winds, to soap windows and overturn outhouses. And yes, like Mardi Gras, this urge is difficult decently to restrain at times; the sowing of wild oats often produces crops that have to be reaped by the whirlwind. But just because a thing is subject to abuse doesn’t mean the thing itself is evil....

....[Jehovah's Witnesses] teach their disciples to hate and fear all holy days and holidays alike, and will have nothing to do with either Christmas or Easter for precisely the same reasons that Evangelicals are now despising Halloween. And this is the reason I have found it worthwhile to mount, from time to time, a Christian defense of Halloween.

Ping for reference.

44 posted on 10/31/2008 11:39:55 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (What can I say? It's a gift. And I didn't get a receipt, so I can't exchange it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Richard Kimball

LOL. That is scary.


45 posted on 10/31/2008 11:40:44 AM PDT by Titanites
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: demshateGod
I’m currently working on my Christian defense of pornography.

Vatican plea to uncover Virgin Mary and show her breast-feeding baby Jesus

46 posted on 10/31/2008 11:47:58 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (What can I say? It's a gift. And I didn't get a receipt, so I can't exchange it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Philo-Junius
They can have it. Every year it grows more and more insignificant and irrelevant...thats how important the “social and cultural” aspects are. It has nothing to do with people becoming acclimatized or familiar with death. Its bunk.
47 posted on 10/31/2008 11:52:42 AM PDT by TheGunny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Philo-Junius
The Church “baptised” Pesach and Sukkot as Easter and Pentecost, respectively; one could argue that Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah have been incorporated into Advent and Christmas.

That's Pesach and Shavu`ot. Sukkot comes in the fall (just ended last week). And Ro'sh HaShanah and Yom Kippur come nowhere near chr*stmas (the old 1936 St. Andrew's Missal said that Ro'sh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot had all been changed to the ember days of september)!

I think that about covers the Torah-mandated festivals—am I missing any?

You missed the funnest one of all--Simchat Torah!

I also think Purim has been long overlooked by everyone Christian as a great opportunity for a clearly God-mandated party, even though it is extra-Torah. It also is a great fancy-dress opportunity in the Spring which balances Hallowe’en nicely.

Of course.

Although I suppose a lot of dry evangelicals could stumble over the “drink until you are unable to tell the difference between Mordecai and Haman” tradition.

Why does everyone put down the teetotaling thing? I for one think it is a charming relic of the old proto-abolition New England and Northern Protestantism (back when antebellum Southerners considered whiskey a necessity of life).

Then of course the Orthodox Union seems to be very down on alcohol (they posted an article one year saying "It's not a mitzvah to get drunk on Purim!" and advocating drinking grape juice. Of course, the Orthodox Union is "Modern" Orthodox . . .

48 posted on 10/31/2008 11:57:06 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Shofekh dam ha'adam, ba'adam damo yishafekh; ki betzelem 'Eloqim `asah 'et-ha'adam.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

Nursing an infant is equivalent to pornography? Oh my goodness... someone (many someones, perhaps) needs to lighten up!


49 posted on 10/31/2008 12:03:52 PM PDT by djrakowski
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: Zionist Conspirator
Historically the Catholic Church has "superseded" and abolished Jewish holidays while adapting and "baptizing" pagan ones.

Jesus Christ established a new covenant. He is our Paschal lamb. We now celebrate Jesus Christ born in a cave, circumcized in the Temple, rising from the dead, and ascending into heaven. We celebrate Passover at each and every Mass. There is nothing pagan about any of these feast days, all of which fulfill the promises made to but ignored by many Jews.

50 posted on 10/31/2008 12:05:24 PM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-165 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson