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October 31, 2007


If your Church celebrates Halloween, then your Church is dead!

Be not conformed Pastor.
Contend for the faith.

Completely with you on the concept of not isolating from culture but engaging with it.

However, a factual note that may be of interest about one of your examples: while the notion that Christmas was borrowed from (and a deliberate competition with) Sol Invictus is still widely bandied about, there is actually good, though quite technical, evidence that this is not so. A substantial body of liturgical scholars argue that the date was calculated by counting 9 months forward from the date on which the Annunciation was celebrated (Mar 25 in the West and Apr 6 in the east, thus generating both Dec 25 and Jan 6 which are still the 2 major markers of nativity season). We now also have some liturgical evidence that Christmas was being observed liturgically before Sol Invictus was invented.

This is known as the "computation hypothesis" if you'd like to find out more about it. Again, I'm not objecting to the idea that a date borrowing could have happened, just pointing out that in fact it may not have, despite how popular the idea has become.

Thanks Beth,
I'm glad that I can count on you for a reasoned dialogue! I'm aware of the controversy surrounding Christmas, Sol Invictus and the Annunciation; perhaps it was just an easy target for use in my argument. (Or are our positions something to do with my Anabaptist and your Anglican proclivities?) I have many other examples of how the church has re-imagined the practices of other traditions and used them in spirit-led ways. That is why no congregation can truly say they are a first-century church. Duplicating what was done in the first-century is unnecessary for the church of the twenty-first century (though we may/should take our cues from it). Your argument is a good one. Thanks again.

P.S. I'll leave the first comment below in to verify that not all dialogue is either reasoned, spirit-led, or even "dialogue."


I think you're correct in the statements you make and other you bring in as well.

I think people place waste too much time and focus on the power of evil by placing an emphasis on Halloween. I saw kids in pumpkin patches, church festivals and kids on my front porch not thinking the least about that kind of thing.

I personally like the idea of thinking of it as mocking "evil" of the world myself. U2 and Bono did this on one of their tours when Bono dressed like the Devil with horns. So maybe reverse thinking is in order here as I read one of posted remarks above.

Aren't we promoting the Devil and evil by really advertising it in a way when we put up signs of protest? I believe evil manifest itself within a man's heart and his personal choices he makes. That little thing called "free will".I must be a hopeless case as I sat on my front porch dressed up like a witch and telling the little kids to mind their manners, brush their teeth for good dental hygiene and to remember to mind their parents and they had their best interest at heart when they came by my home.

I'm Baptize and try to practice my faith according to Gods word and Jesus teachings which above all places the emphasis that LOVE must take precedent over all things. I think people have swung too far to the left with the assumed damage done with this one day to Christianity. Granted the costumes have gotten a bit raunchy, but times will always change.

And reflecting on history itself where America implemented isolation in different periods it only served to make it worse in the end. Halloween has become a selective day to argue it pros and cons in religion because it's an easy target.

We can go further on the subject as well. Where do we draw the line on any holiday? Should we get take Santa out of Christmas? We could find a laundry list of reasons of why we shouldn't celebrate or participate concerning holidays. St. Patrick's Day is another example and its association with Leprechauns being tricksters.

It seems to me a lot of "hoopla" is made about nothing when we should be worried about more pressing issues then this. Just two examples are pedophiles(here in America and else where in the world). And what about global issues such as genocide and poverty. Poverty right here in America too.

I don't feel damaged by Halloween as an adult. I participated in it as a kid. My parents are religious, believers in Jesus and His teachings, and also Southern Baptist(saved too). They try to live out His teachings by "loving one another," as He commands more then anyone I know. We never thought Halloween was an evil holiday at all when I was growing up. This is a movement that has been gaining ground for sometime that I've witnessed among a few friends. I've been to my fair share of Southern Baptist revials too and never heard the preacher say, "don't take your kids trick or treating." I might add my Southern Baptist church never went "nuts" over it either back in the day in the 60's and 70's and they were part of the Southern Baptist Convention.

At some point kids do grow up and become adults. They have to participate and deal with the real world the good and evil alike. I think it healthy to a certain degree in helping kids conquer fear that many horror movies promote. Why don't we all boycott Hollywood as well?

As I stated we have more dangerous and pressing matters to deal with in this world today, but Halloween is an easy one to pick apart. Perhaps we should stop celebrating Thanksgiving. After all we did slaughter some peaceful Indian tribes in our early history.Were they not settled in here first? I think you get the idea of where I'm going here. Selective arguments just don't work on this one.

I mean really we could all sit here all day long and pick apart each holiday one by one on the calendar finding flaws and faults within them all.I'm not a literalist, but I'm a believer in God and His words, Jesus but not man ideas of twisting His message. "He who is without sin. Let him cast the first stone."

I concur with your statements completely.


Kim Cox

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