Monday, October 24, 2005

Fall Festival, Harvest Festival, Or Halloween?

No matter what you call it, Fall Festival or Harvest Festival, it’s still Halloween; it’s still a pagan holiday.

This pagan holiday will be here next week on 31-October-2005. Halloween is second only to Christmas in commercial sales. Walk through any department store, or large drug store and you’re assaulted by witches, ghosts, goblins, and jack-o-lanterns. Halloween is a big deal, and I don’t mean just in sales.

If you drive by any elementary school the week before Halloween, you’ll see children dressed up in all sorts of costumes. Nowadays, a lot of the costumes seem benevolent enough. Fairy princess’, Spiderman, M & M candies, etc. These types of costumes can be cute, and they make for good photographs. Parents can be very creative in making up costumes.

Sometimes the costumes are just a little more sinister. Little vampires, little witches, little Jason’s, or Freddy Krueger’s. Kids walking around with fake blood on their tattered clothes, fake scars or open wounds that just “stick on”. Many Christians seem to enjoy the Halloween season just as much as non-believers. “What’s wrong with letting the kids have a little fun? It’s just make-believe.”

But making-believe what? That sometimes it’s okay to be a witch, a vampire, or an axe murderer? It’s not okay. The celebration is still of Halloween, a holiday that’s as pagan as you can get.

Halloween has its roots in three eras of history each with their own celebrations that have merged to form the Halloween of today.

The first celebration goes back to pre-Christian Ireland and Scotland as a celebration of the Druids or Celtic priests. The Celtic new year was November 1st, and was celebrated with the festival of Samhain. On Samhain eve, or October 31st, young people wearing grotesque masks carved lanterns from turnips and carried them through the villages. It was a harvest festival, and a festival of the dead.

The druids believed that on that night the earth came into closest contact with the spiritual world; and ghosts, goblins and witches destroyed crops, killed farm animals and brought havoc on the villages and villagers. They also believed that spirits of the dead roamed around.

During the dark ages in central Europe, The Christian church destroyed many of the temples of pagan gods and goddesses. However, the pagan worship was never completely eradicated and took on the form of witchcraft.

Many of the symbols of Halloween that we are familiar with today, such as black cats, broomsticks, cauldrons and spells, come from the Black Sabbath. The Black Sabbath is one of the highest of the Witches’ Sabbaths which was celebrated on October 31.

According to the fact sheet published by the Rocky Mountain Family council;

“The third precursor to Halloween goes back to the early Roman Catholic Church. The church had appointed certain days to honor each saint and basically ran out of days in the year for all their saints to have a day, so they decided to have one day to remember all the saints. They called it All Saints' Day. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory the third changed All Saints' Day from May 13th to November 1st, and in the year 834 Pope Gregory the fourth extended this celebration to the entire Roman church. This event was called Allhallowmass, and as you might suppose, there was a celebration on the evening before on October 31st, called All Hallow E'en, "all hallow" meaning all of the hallowed ones. As you might guess, the contraction of hallow and e'en is where the word Halloween is derived.”

So there you have it. Halloween is born. Many proponents of the Halloween celebration say that it has some roots and ties in Christianity. That is simply not true. Read your Bible. You will not find a single reference to Halloween. In fact, specific practices that are celebrated in Halloween are condemned by the Bible. Read Deuteronomy 18:10 (King James Version) which says: “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch."

If you allow your children to celebrate Halloween, then you’re allowing the idea of paganism to enter your children’s belief system. It doesn’t matter what you call the celebration, whether Halloween or Harvest Festival, or Fall Festival. To your child, it’s still celebrating Halloween. Their friends do it, now your children get to celebrate it too. The name is different, but so what? It’s still the same.

Paganism and Christianity are mutually exclusive. It’s very dangerous for churches to organize celebrations that coincide with Halloween.


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