Halloween - Doctrine of the Practices of that Day

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VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Not only is October 31 Reformation Day, this year it is also the Lord's Day. We ought not to celebrate the pagan or Roman Catholic holidays but rather the one day in Scripture that is commanded by God to be kept holy. And we thank the Lord for His work of Reformation in ages past and pray for more to come.

The article is great. Thanks, Matt!
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
See: http://www.apuritansmind.com/WhatsNew.htm

Articles Dealing with the Satanic Holiday "Halloween":

The Way of the Heathen
by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

The Devil's Advertising
by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

Necromancy
by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon



Articles for Reformation Day (October 31st)

The Life of Calvin
by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

A Short Summary of Calvin's Institutes
by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

A Long Overview of Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion
by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

Overview of Interpreting John Calvin (Ford Lewis Battles)
by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

John Calvin: Theologian, Pastor and Social Reformer
by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

A History of the Reformation
A 250 Page sketch of the major characters of the Reformation
by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

Gradual Reformation Intolerable:
A Brief Inquiry into the Actions of Luther and the Writings of Calvin in Reforming the Church Against False Worship
By Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

Martin Luther's 95 Theses

The German Reformation
By Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

The Swiss Reformation
By Dr. C. Matthew McMahon
 

Scot

Puritan Board Sophomore
The Way of the Heathen
by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

I printed this article and will give it to my ten year old daughter tomorrow. I think it will help her understand a little better why we don't celebrate halloween. :up:
 

Scot

Puritan Board Sophomore
Not that I agree with this article but I thought I'd post it to see some of your thoughts.

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" 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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

James B. Jordan


Mr. Jordan writes several newsletters including Biblical Horizons, Biblical Chronology, Open Book and Rite Reasons. The above article appeared in the August, 1996 issue of the Open Book Newsletter. For more information on Biblical Horizons please visit www.biblicalhorizons.com.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Matt, Matt, Matt...

Don't you realize how wonderful and Christian Halloween is? How wonderfully helpful the Church calendar is, and in particular Halloween?

How Halloween is simply a mockery that is a way to show the victory of the gospel? How all the witches, ghosts, blood, fires and ghoulishness is simply a way to show Christianity?

Well, I suppose you didn't. Maybe you should spend more time reading that paragon of Reformedom - Jim Jordan:

http://www.ransomfellowship.org/D_Halloween.html
 

Scot

Puritan Board Sophomore
Matt, Matt, Matt...

Don't you realize how wonderful and Christian Halloween is? How wonderfully helpful the Church calendar is, and in particular Halloween?

How Halloween is simply a mockery that is a way to show the victory of the gospel? How all the witches, ghosts, blood, fires and ghoulishness is simply a way to show Christianity?

Well, I suppose you didn't. Maybe you should spend more time reading that paragon of Reformedom - Jim Jordan:

:lol:

Thanks for the link Fred. A friend sent me the article in an e-mail so I couldn't post a link.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
sarkizein to derma, does not hallow us either, those who are robed in the righteousness of Christ.

I often wonder if some of the ministers mocked here on PB ever read these posts.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Scot
Matt, Matt, Matt...

Don't you realize how wonderful and Christian Halloween is? How wonderfully helpful the Church calendar is, and in particular Halloween?

How Halloween is simply a mockery that is a way to show the victory of the gospel? How all the witches, ghosts, blood, fires and ghoulishness is simply a way to show Christianity?

Well, I suppose you didn't. Maybe you should spend more time reading that paragon of Reformedom - Jim Jordan:

:lol:

Thanks for the link Fred. A friend sent me the article in an e-mail so I couldn't post a link.

n1qshok.gif
Dan,

You mean you do not believe that Jordan is the greatest exegetical and theological giant of the 20th and 21st centuries??!!??

You mean you are not blown away by his "kingdom speak" ??!!??

Wow.

Sarastically yours,
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
You mean you do not believe that Jordan is the greatest exegetical and theological giant of the 20th and 21st centuries??!!??

You mean you are not blown away by his "kingdom speak" ??!!??

Wow.

Sarastically yours,


Fred (and others), have you seen the latest BH, where Jordan calls those opposed to FV "the liberal party" in the PCA?
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by Pilgrim
You mean you do not believe that Jordan is the greatest exegetical and theological giant of the 20th and 21st centuries??!!??

You mean you are not blown away by his "kingdom speak" ??!!??

Wow.

Sarastically yours,


Fred (and others), have you seen the latest BH, where Jordan calls those opposed to FV "the liberal party" in the PCA?

http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/bh/bh177.htm

:eek:

[Edited on 10-14-2005 by poimen]
 

Scot

Puritan Board Sophomore
Bushes and trees in our neighborhood have been decorated with orange Halloween lights for about a month now.

Wow. You should consider yourself lucky to live in such a godly neighborhood! Don't you know that those lights are representative of the gospel?

(sorry, Fred's sarcasm must be rubbing off on me)
 

Puddleglum

Puritan Board Sophomore
Honest question here:

Can someone explain the difference between the "don't practice Halloween because it's associated with this bad stuff" argument (which is what I think I'm hearing here) and the "don't listen to rock music because it's associated with bad stuff" argument (which seems to not be a popular position here)?

Thanks,

-Jessica

[Edited on 10-15-2005 by Puddleglum]
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
What's next? Aborting babies to show some picture of the Christian faith? I don't think so. I'll leave Halloween and other holy days to the pagans and papists.
 

sola_gratia

Puritan Board Freshman
Some christians I know are having a party on halloween, and I know people will be dressing up and all that. They want me to come, and I don't know if I should. What do you think? I told them I won't be dressing up if I do, but that I am still thinking about whether or not I am going to come.

[Edited on 10-15-2005 by sola_gratia]
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by sola_gratia
Some christians I know are having a party on halloween, and I know people will be dressing up and all that. They want me to come, and I don't know if I should. What do you think? I told them I won't be dressing up if I do, but that I am still thinking about whether or not I am going to come.

[Edited on 10-15-2005 by sola_gratia]

Dress up as the pope. It only seems appropriate.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Christians should take a stand against all things that are representations of evil. Halloween is a day that devil worshippers and witches hold dear. It is only right that we reject the day and all things that are associated with it.

I have no problem with having a Christian party on that day celebrating the reformation. It would give believers an opportunity to glorify Christ and pray for the world.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by Puddleglum
Honest question here:

Can someone explain the difference between the "don't practice Halloween because it's associated with this bad stuff" argument (which is what I think I'm hearing here) and the "don't listen to rock music because it's associated with bad stuff" argument (which seems to not be a popular position here)?

Thanks,

-Jessica

[Edited on 10-15-2005 by Puddleglum]

Jessica,
Halloween is directly associated with evil. Music, per se, is not. However, I know there are many music groups that subscribe to the worship of devils. I suggest, for the believer to as well, reject those whom hold evil and the devil dear.
 

Gregg

Puritan Board Sophomore
Does anybody know what the pumpkin symbolizes with halloween (other than it being harvested in the fall)? Or is that mainly it?
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by Gregg
Does anybody know what the pumpkin symbolizes with halloween (other than it being harvested in the fall)? Or is that mainly it?

from what i have heard, it is a lantern of sorts. Likened to a lighthouse for demons. It directs them where to go.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Quoted from the above link:

Jack-o'-lanterns were originally carved from large turnips. The Celts carried these carved lanterns through their villages in an attempt to ward off evil spirits. Later, Irish folklore resulted in a tale explaining the use of "œjack-o'-lanterns": a man named Jack tricked the devil into climbing a tree. Once the devil was in the tree, Jack carved a cross on the trunk, "œpreventing" the devil from coming down. The devil then made a deal with Jack promising to keep him out of hell after he died if only he would remove the cross from the tree. After Jack died, he could not go to hell, and he was not allowed to enter into heaven. He was forced to wander around the earth with a single candle to light his way. The candle was placed in a turnip to keep it burning longer. When the Irish came to America in the 1800's (during the potato famine), they adopted the pumpkin instead of the turnip. Along with these traditions, they brought the idea that the black cat was considered by some to be reincarnated spirits who had prophetic abilities.
 
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