On Hallowe'en

The practice of living the life in Christ: fasting, vigil lamps, head-coverings, family life, icon corners, and other forms of Orthopraxy. All Forum Rules apply. No polemics. No heated discussions. No name-calling.

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gimme your lunch money
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Post by gimme your lunch money »

There is no strict dichotomy between Pagan archetypes and Christian archetypes. Often, what were commonly used as symbols/festivals/rituals in paganism were taken up into Christianity. This does not mean a strict "borrowing" in the strict vulgar sense (as atheists, Jews, and muslims would say). Rather, it would mean that these archetypes and symbols were already there "floating" in the universal unconsciousness of humankind. Sometimes, in human cultures these archetypes would be manifested materially into holidays, images, rituals, or beliefs (albeit in a Satanically twisted way). These archetypes include the cross, the concept of a "triadic" God, a "Virgin", and certain days which were recognized to be inherently "holy". In my opinion, this is the case with the last day of October and is also the case with Easter and Christmas. If we were to avoid every single thing simply because it originally had associations with something anti-Christian, then we should stop calling planets by their familiar names, change the names of all the days of the week, change the names of every month, burn our one-dollar bills, spurn both Socialism (because of its connotations with an atheist dialectical materialist) and Capitalism (because Adam Smith was a deist and a freemason), and never use chemistry (because of its original associations with theurgy and alchemy), among many other impracticalities. Since we do not do these things, then why do we spurn dressing up kids like ooompaloompas and begging for treats?
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spiridon
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Halloween-by H.G. Bishop Suriel of the Coptic Church

Post by spiridon »

The subject of Halloween is something that has caught my attention (over the last few weeks). Some might ask why?

As this is a natural part of life in America, they may add that: "this is the second important occasion on our yearly calendar after Christmas. It's a fun time for us and our children, who dress up in scary clothes and go around trick-or-treating and having lots of fun." Fun? I am not so sure about that. Can we call dressing up our children as vampires, ghosts, devils and witches fun? As I passed through some stores, I was somewhat surprised by how much impact Halloween played in people's lives. It was everywhere, in shopping centers, banks, hospitals, households, everywhere you could see signs of people preparing for this "fun" celebration. I was even asked by one person in a retail store where I had obtained my black gown, because this was exactly what she was looking for, for a Halloween party! When I replied "from Egypt," she became so sad, perhaps because she expected me to tell her which costume shop I had bought it from!

We also need to realize that Halloween is a big business in America. The Christian Broadcasting Network states that, "Merchants also look forward to October 31. The sale of candy, costumes, decorations, and party goods make Halloween one of the major retail seasons of the year". In a book called "Halloween and Satanism" it states, "Did you know that Halloween is a day witches celebrate above all other days? Even the Internal Revenue Services has given tax-exempt status to the church of Wicca (the official church of witchcraft), which means your gift to witchcraft is a tax-deductible, charitable donation of a religious nature, the same as if you were tithing to the (Christian) Church".

So how did Halloween begin? Many centuries before the birth of Christ, the Celts and priests, inhabitants of Britain and Ireland, observed the festival of Samhain on October 31 (Samhain is their god, lord of the dead). This marked the eve of the Celtic New Year, which began on November 1. It was at this time that the full harvest was complete and winter was creeping in. The Celts believed that the power of the Sun was fading and for the next few months, darkness would prevail. They also believed that during the Samhain, the evil separating the living and the dead was at its thinnest. They believed that on the evening of October 31, evil spirits and souls of the dead passed through the barrier and entered the world of the living. Departed family members would revisit their earthly homes. The thought was frightening and exciting!

The Celts believed that these spirits and dead souls could torment the living. Crops might be destroyed, babies stolen, farm animals killed. But this was also an opportunity to commune with the spirits, and divine the future. The Devil, the lord of darkness, was ordinarily feared, but during Samhain, his power would be called on to foretell the future.


Trick-or-Treat

The Druids were responsible for appeasing the goblins and preventing harm to the people. Huge Samhain bonfires were lit to guide the way of the spirits. Various sacrifices, including human, were performed to assure a good year. Like many pagan cultures around the world, the Celts left out food for the spirits, hoping that a "treat" would prevent an evil "trick".

Centuries later, descendants of the Celts continued to observe the Samhain festival by dressing as evil spirits. They roamed from house to house, demanding food in exchange for the "spirits" leaving the home unharmed. They craved demon faces in hollowed-out turnips and lighted them with candles.

This is what is called "Jack-O-Lantern". The story says that an Irish drunkard named Jack made a deal with the devil and the devil agreed to spare his soul for ten years. But a year later, Jack died and was turned back from the gates of heaven. So he went to the gates of hell and was rejected by the devil also. So as Jack was walking to find a place, he was eating a turnip so the devil threw him a live coal out of the fires of hell. So Jack put the coal in the turnip to help him see. It is believed that since that time Jack is roaming the face of the earth with the Jack-O-Lantern, seeking a place of rest.

I hope such a story that is rooted in devil worship will make people think carefully before they put a Jack-O-Lantern in their house! Just as people once offered gifts of food to the spirits, people today offer treats to the children who represent them. In reality, the lighted Jack-O-Lanterns the children carry are really a symbol of the fires and torches of former Halloweens and of the ancient Samhain. This was the beginning of the trick or treat!


All Hallows' Eve

In the seventh century, the Roman Catholic Church set aside a day in May in memory of the early Christians who died for their faith. It was called All Saints' Day. By the year 900, the date was changed to November 1st. Another name for All Saints' Day was All Hallows' Day. October 31st was known as All Hallows' Eve, which was later shortened to Halloween. The reason for the change of the date was an attempt to encourage people to replace this evil celebration with a holy feast.



Halloween in America

Halloween, with all its customs, arrived in America in the mid-1800's with the Irish immigrants. The costumes of the children going "trick-or-treating" have become an established American tradition. Only in recent years have parents hesitated to send their children into the streets because of the increased danger of accidents, poisoned food, and menacing strangers. People today might be innocently imitating the ancient Celtic customs, but in an indirect way, they are participating and celebrating something sinister and evil.

The Christian Broadcasting Network states that, "Witches and Satanists still consider Halloween to be one of the strongest times during the year to cast a spell". On Halloween, most witchcraft practitioners participate in a ritual called "drawing down the moon". In this, the chief witch of the coven (group of witches) becomes, they believe, a channel for the moon goddess. During this ritual, the participants - both male and female - are 'sky-clad' that is, naked! Evidence persists that some Satanist and voodoo groups offer sacrifices - usually animals, but possibly human babies.


The Biblical Response to Halloween

People celebrating Halloween today are naturally not thinking about the darkness and evil that underlies most Halloween practices. They are just thinking of it as a fun time. Some might say, "Surely, you cannot deny children or adults the fun of the Halloween just because of its past hideous history. Can there be anything wrong with lighthearted raging?"


Let us See What the Bible says

In the book of Deuteronomy, God gives clear instructions to His people concerning associating with such practices. "When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. These shall not be found among you anymore who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a sportiest, or one who calls up the dead" (Deuteronomy 18:9-11).

In the second book of Kings it says, "And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger" (2 Kings 17:17). So, all of these practices God saw as evil, and they angered Him. Saint Paul mentioned witchcraft amongst the works of the flesh which are manifest in Galatians 5:19-21. Also, Saint John, in his Revelation, mentions that sorcerers "shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8).

In the book of Micah the prophet also, God speaks out strongly against those who practice witchcraft and the like by saying, "I will cut off sorcerers from your hand, and you shall have no soothsayers. Your carved images I will also cut off, and your sacred pillars from your midst; you shall no more worship the work of your hands; I will pluck your wooden images from your midst; thus I will destroy your cities. And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury on the nations that have not heard" (Micah 5:12-15).

I hope that it is clear to the beloved readers, the background behind Halloween and that it is not something which is "fun" and nice. It does have evil connotations to it that we must be aware of. What does it mean as a Christian to dress your child as a witch or devil? Is this what our Lord has asked us to teach our children? Some might say that, "This helps us to teach our children not to be afraid of anything." Is this the way to teach our children not to fear, or is it through the words of Christ that fear is cast out and peace and comfort prevail? I am sure the answer is clear!

Let us rethink how we spend this day. Let us educate our young people about the facts of Halloween and perhaps arrange for a spiritual meeting to replace the Halloween parties that young people attend. During this time, perhaps a lecture or discussion can be organized around this topic. It should be also a time of fervent prayer, so that our Lord Jesus Christ will protect us from all the powers of the Enemy. As we say in the Prayer of Thanksgiving. "All envy, all temptation, all works of Satan, all intrigues of the wicked, rising up of enemies, visible and invisible, do cast away from us and all your people".
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DavidHawthorne
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Halloween

Post by DavidHawthorne »

Christ is in Our Midst!
I also have been thinking on this holiday of late and it SEEMS to me that in the last ten years this holiday has become bigger and bigger while Christmas and especially Easter have become less and less in our society. As an example: This month the sci-fi channel has spooky movies galore while at Nativity and Pascha it's hard to find anything religious even with a satellite dish with a bajillion channels. I am thinking in terms of the excitement with which it is celebrated even apart from the meaning of the holidays. It's almost as if a secularized society feels "safe" celebrating a holiday with a vestige of spirituality (in Halloween's case, the Occult) rather than overtly Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter. Have I just become more sensitive to the innate "wrongness" of Halloween (although for most people it's just "fun" for the kids to dress up) or do others here have a sense of its growing pre-eminence among the major cultural holidays? Am I just getting crankier with age or do I really percieve a cultural shift?
Any thoughts? Is Mr. Hawthorne a subconscious Halloween conspiracy theorist or not?
In Christ,
Rd. David
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Post by joasia »

I always bless my windows and doors with holy water on that night. I usually come straight home from work but I had to go to church to pick up an icon of Christ. I didn't stay for vespers(for St. John of Kronstadt) because I wanted to get home as soon as possible. I don't have a car.

But, I had the icon with me, wrapped in a plastic bag. I held it in my arm all the way home. It was my best protection.

In Christ,

Joanna
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Ps. 50)
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尼古拉前执事
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The Truth About Halloween

Post by 尼古拉前执事 »

The Truth About Halloween

Where did the name Halloween come from?


Originally this Druid holiday was called "The Vigil Of Saman." In early Britain it was called Samhain, which is pronounced So-wein. When Roman Catholicism became a world political and religious power the pagan customs were still widely celebrated. In 800 A.D. the Roman Catholic church moved "All Saints'' Day" from May to November 1st. All of the "saints" who did not have a special day in their honor on the Catholic calendar were to be honored on All Saints'' Day. It was also a time to pay respect to the dead by visiting their graves. The "new day" that was to replace the pagan vigil of the dead was called "All Hallow''s Day". It soon became the custom to call the evening before "All Hallow''s Eve, which was soon shortened to Halloween. The important fact to note is that the intended "Christianization" of the pagan day miserably failed. The Catholic Encyclopedia even admits it. It says: ! "The night of October 31st and the vigil of the feast of All Saints, Halloween derives its name from an older English term, All Hallow''s Eve, although its traditions derive from pagan worship. An important source of the customs of Halloween was the Druidic religion of pre-Christian Gaul and Britain."


The name of the holiday is the only thing that has changed. Halloween still carries its pagan significance. Halloween is still an observance of death. There is no Christian significance to be found in Halloween. Jesus Christ is conspicuously absent! I can celebrate Christmas in a Christian way by celebrating the Birth of Christ. I can celebrate the Easter season in a Christian way by focusing on the atoning death, burial and glorious resurrection of Christ. What about Halloween? It is a day dedicated to idolatry, fear, death and the occult. You cannot celebrate those things to the glory of God. The Bible tells us, Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31. Dr. John MacArthur wrote these timely words about Halloween in his Grace To You newsletter in response to a listener who wrote and asked: What is your perspective on Halloween? He answered:


First of all, dressing up like witches, ghosts, or goblins is incompatible with a Christian''s testimony. Furthermore, many of the customs of Halloween are associated with the worst kinds of pagan beliefs and ceremonies; they are usually sinister things such as demons, witchcraft and superstition. If we as Christian parents simply disregard the unchristian aspects of such practices as mere fantasy or superstition and then encourage our children to participate in them, we run the risk of communicating the message that the spiritual battle waged by the rulers of darkness (Ephesians 6:10) is not to be taken seriously.

What is the origin of costumes?


The early origin of costumes is repulsive. On the evening of October 31st, the Druids ordered the people to put out their hearth fires. Then they built huge new year''s bonfires of oak branches, which they considered sacred. They burned animals, crops and human beings as sacrifices to their gods and goddess. During this diabolical ritual the PEOPLE WORE COSTUMES made of animal heads and skins. They then practiced divination, looked for omens in the struggle of the victims sacrificed in the fires, jumped over the flames or dashed through them, danced and sang. All of this was done to frighten the evil spirits away. Further, they believed "Saman would then send evil spirits to attack people on the eve before the November 1st celebration. The only way these people could escape was by assuming disguises and looking like the evil spirits themselves."
It seems to me that these "evil spirits" must also have been stupid spirits if they could be fooled by such a masquerade. Sadly, the fools were the superstitious idol worshippers who refused to glorify the true God. As a result they became "vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened." Romans 1:21 As you can see, gross looking costumes have their source in paganism and because of this we should "...cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light." Romans 13:12.

What is the origin of the bonfire?


According to The Oxford English Dictionary, the word bonfire is derived from the word bone-fire, so called because it was a great fire in which bones were burned in the open air. The Druids held two main great ritual fire festivals each year when humans and animals were burned in sacrifice to their gods. One was held on Beltane (May eve, April 30) and the other on Samhain or Halloween. The next day, divination was done based on the bones remaining. These ritual fires were called bone-fire.

What is the origin of Trick or Treat?


Now, just by chance if you had forgotten to dress up or could not fool the evil spirits by dressing in animal skins or other disguises, there was a way to exorcise them. People were to set out a TREAT of food and fruit, and provide the wandering spirit with shelter for the night. If the demon spirit was satisfied with your TREAT, it was believed that he would not TRICK you by casting an evil spell on you thereby causing havoc.


There is another shocking account of Trick or Treat written by a former witch, Irene Park. She says:
The Druids in Ireland would go through the neighborhoods and countryside on the eve of October 31st to collect offerings to Satan. They would carry lanterns, bags of money, and canes with very sharp points on the ends (currently known as leprechaun staffs, good luck horns, or fairies'' wands). At each house, they would demand a specific amount. If the household would not or could not give the offering (penance or treat), the Druid would use the cane to castrate the male human or one of their prize animals.


In later years, James Napier, in his book, Holidays of Legend, says, "Irish farmers went house to house begging for food for their ancient gods. Good luck was promised to all who donated but threats were made against those who would not give." There is absolutely nothing in Trick or Treat that honors our Lord Jesus Christ! In fact it is a form of idol worship. One former witch who came to know Christ puts it this way: Trick or Treat is a reenactment of Druidic practices. The candy has replaced the human sacrifices of old, but it is still an appeasement of those deceptive evil spirits. The traditional response to those who do not treat is to have a trick played on them. When you give out Halloween candy, you are, in essence providing a sacrifice to the false gods. You are participating in idolatry.


After considering the origin of Trick or Treat, I quit giving out candy. I have no desire to reenact pagan Druidic practices, even in diluted form. It seems to me that is exactly what you are doing when you give out goodies on Halloween. Reenacting occultic worship rituals certainly does not glorify God. Consider carefully the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."

What is the origin and significance of the Jack-O-Lantern?


According to the Encyclopedia, "The apparently harmless lighted pumpkin face of "Jack-O-Lantern" is an ancient symbol of a damned soul." One article I was reading said that pumpkins and turnips were for much the same reason that costumes were used at one time. Superstitious people hollowed out turnips or pumpkins placing candles inside to scare evil spirits away from their houses. Another book I read says, "The candlelit pumpkin or skull...served as a beacon for the sabbat and as a signal to mark those farms and homes that were sympathetic to the Satanists and thus deserving of mercy when the terror of the night (Halloween) began."

I certainly am not sympathetic to satanists, are you? Then why display a Jack-O-Lantern? In more recent times, John Ankerberg says this about the Jack-O-Lantern –The carved pumpkin may have originated with the withces’ use of a skull with a candle in it to light the way to coven meeting. But among the Irish, who, as noted, caused the popularization of Halloween in America, the legend of ‘Irish Jack’ explains the Jack-O-Lantern. The legend goes: There was a stingy drunk named Jack who tricked the devil into climbing an apple tree for an apple but then cut the sign of a cross into the trunk of the tree preventing the devil from coming down. Jack forced the devil to swear he would never come after Jack’s soul. The devil reluctantly agreed. Jack eventually died but was turned away at the gates of Heaven because of his drunkenness and life of selfishness. He was next sent to the devil who also rejected him keeping his promise. Since Jack had no place to go, he was condemned to wander the earth. As he was leaving Hell (he happened to be eating a turnip), the devil threw a live coal to him. He put the coal inside the turnip! and has since forever been roaming the earth with his ‘jack-o-lantern’ in search of a place to rest. Eventually, pumpkins replaced turnips since it was much easier to symbolize the devil’s coal inside a pumpkin.
The folk tale is tragic! It indicates that the people knew neither the Bible nor the way to Heaven. John 3:16 makes it clear that no one has to be outside of heaven.. The verse says, For God so loved the world (mankind), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should NOT perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3 also makes it clear that if any individual refuses to trust Christ as Savior that person is condemned already. John 3:18 & 36 says, He that believeth on him is not condemned. But he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. There is no roaming or wandering the earth. There are no deals that can be made with the Devil. It is either Heaven or Hell depending on what you have ! done with Christ. If you do not know Christ as your Savior, you are condemned already. If you have put your faith in Christ, Heaven will be your eternal home. (Look up the following passages of Scripture – Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; John 14:6; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 10:9-13).

What is the relationship black cats & cats in general have with Halloween?


In the 1959 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia under Halloween it says, Druid priests believed that cats were once human beings but were reincarnated as punishment for evil deeds. Because of this they held cats sacred and involved them in their idol worship of October 31st and November 1st. This is supported by The American Book of Days, by George Douglas which says, "Druids believed the cat was sacred and...that cats had once been changed (from being human and reincarnated) into that form as punishment for evil deeds."


The link between witches and cats has been well known for centuries. "Even after Christianity spread to Europe...oxen were sacrificed on October 31st...and in medieval Europe, black cats [were] chosen as victims in the belief that they were witches in disguise [and] were burned on that day (Halloween)."


It is plain to see that cats, particularly BLACK CATS were thought to represent EVIL. Further, they were a symbol of REINCARNATION. Black cats are still associated with Halloween. Each year Humane Societies in many cities issue warnings to black cat owners to watch out for their pets. Additionally, the Society will not release black cats around Halloween for fear they will be mistreated or sacrificed. Their decision, in my opinion, is a wise one. I have been asked to evaluate occult sites on numerous occasions and sadly I have seen the remains of cats that have been sacrificed. Here is but one example. "Sergeant Lars Holden, yesterday told of the grisley find of dead cats with their feet nailed to the floor, encircled by candles, in an abandoned beachfront building." If you have a dark or black cat, keep it in the house around Halloween.

What is the significance of bobbing for apples?


In A.D. 43 the Roman Empire was in solid control of the Celtic people. As a result of this control the idol worshipping Romans introduced another ceremony honoring their false gods and goddesses (particularly the festival of Pamona) to the already demoniacal Druid New Year's celebration. They would try to grasp fruit, floating in water, without the use of their hands. This is the origin of BOBBING FOR APPLES.



SUMMARY OF HALLOWEEN'S HISTORY


Now you have a brief historical sketch of Halloween. Is there any doubt that Halloween is a pagan worship day? Halloween is doubtless the only day that you would even consider honoring the devil, witches, ghosts, vampires and perverse acts. Why honor Satan and his demons at all? Deuteronomy 32:16-17 tells us that God is provoked when demons are honored and not him...They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up.… Halloween is a demonic worship day. We would be wise to heed Paul''s admonition in I Corinthians 10:20 where he says he does not want us to fellowship with demons or pagan practices in any way. The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devil.
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Re: On Hallowe'en

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