Friday, October 29, 2010

Don't Celebrate Halloween if you are Afraid of Satan

Have you ever looked at the origins of Halloween? I haven't until today.
"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.
The festival 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." -Internet Monk
Dressing up as ghosts, demons, and even satan is a MOCKERY of Satan because Jesus is victorious. 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!

For a Christian to not celebrate Halloween because they think it is evil and are afraid of Satan is the same as not celebrating Christmas because Santa Claus and Rudolph aren't real.

Our culture has distorted the celebration to be sure, in the same way it distorts Christmas and Easter. That doesn't mean we abandon Christmas. No, we define it and celebrate it on our terms. Halloween has very rich Christians roots, and it has a lot of potential to be redeemed and celebrated by Christians for God's glory, not shunned or feared.

7 comments:

Nicole said...

I couldn't disagree more with the version of Halloween's origins posted here, but I absolutely love your take on why Christians can/should celebrate it. It's the fear of 'satan' that causes so many of the world's evils to be perpetrated. Rock on, and show no fear!

DK said...

Hey Nicole! Long time no talk. I was super excited to see a comment from you and then I had a strong sense of deja vu.

Remember this: http://perpetualanticipation.blogspot.com/2009/10/church-and-halloween-alternative-party.html

In regard to the origins of Halloween. I think as any holiday, it evolves over times convalescing with other similar traditions as it encounters different cultures. I confident you could trace a handful of different roots to the Halloween celebration.

I would be curious to read a "definitive" historical study, tracing back all the roots to the origins of Halloween.

On a tangent, Are you doing NaNoWriMo!? I am. I will be taking a break from blogging to focus my energy on an idea I have ben developing for the last ~6 months.

Melany said...

I followed the link to the original article, and found it a really interesting explanation... the jury is still out in my mind- even if Halloween was initially a mockery of Satan, it seems that today it is more of a glamorization of Satan, esp. with the current fetish for vampires and other elements of supernatural darkness, it seems that many of the people are participating in a celebration, rather than a mockery, of evil. At the same time, my childhood memories of dressing up and collecting candy are good ones. At this point I haven't quite figured out what to think, but I am glad at least for the post which makes me think.

Anonymous said...

David,

I highly question this presentation of the origins of Halloween. I don't have time to delve further into it right now (as I am studying for an Ecclesiology exam), but when I do, I am sure to say something more.

-Samuel

DK said...

I'd love to hear your thoughts Sam. As I mentioned in an early comment, I'd love to know the historical roots and the sources behind the article. But I found the presentation of it very intriguing.

Nicole said...

Hi David, it has been a long time! I hope all is going well for you! Are you still teaching with SUN?

Lol I had totally forgotten leaving a similar comment last year! Well obviously Halloween is a hot-button issue for me. My fave holiday ever, and so often maligned.

What I enjoy most about reading your blog is that although you and I practice different religions and tend to approach these subjects from very different starting points, you always manage to subvert my expectations, and I love that!

As for the origins of Halloween, I think the version you gave is more of an interpretation of Halloween as seen through a Christian filter -- and it's actually fairly fascinating as such. But celebrations of Halloween do pre-date the concept of Satan. In early pagan celebrations, Halloween was the time of year when the veil between life and death was thinnest, and it was believed that for this one night spirits walked the earth and could commune with the living. Many of our Halloween traditions have evolved from people's attempts at communicating with benign spirits and protecting themselves from troublesome ones.

Of course, with our modern culture's tendency to regard death as something to be feared and held at bay, rather than something to be accepted and embraced, it's no wonder so many people equate death with evil and badness.

I do also like your idea of dressing up on Halloween as a mockery of all the bad things we fear. To mock something takes away its power over you, and I think that's such a great way for Christians to approach Halloween. What a great catharsis, just in time to clear the way for Christ's birth.

I have yet to do NaNoWriMo, although it's been on my to-do list every year. This year, November was just too busy for me to consider it. There's always next year though! I hope your project is going well -- let me know!

DK said...

Love your perspective Nicole! Even if you only chime in on Halloween.

You have quite possibly given me the highest honor imaginable. I really appreciate your affirmation of my blog and especially the subversiveness. :)

My NaNoWriMo project really came alive! I'm loving it and am really excited to continue working on it in coming months. Imagine Brave New World infused with The Matrix. Throw in some Equilibrium, The Giver, Half Life 2, and Wall-E to and you can get the gist of what I'm brewing.

I'm actually working for a company in the Semiconductor industry in Tualatin now. It's great because it has allowed my wife Elena to go back to school. But in regard to SUN, Katie and I email occasionally... she's having a daughter! I miss Davis greatly.