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prisonchaplain

Prisonchaplain's response to Halloween

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How do I respond to Halloween? 2 Cor 10:4-5: The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

 

How do I respond to Halloween? "Here's some candy. God bless you, in the name of Jesus!"  :)

 

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Halloween, in my book, is a family holiday that should be centered on family. Therefore, I call it good. Do others utilize it for evil? Sure. They also get drunk at Christmas.

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But what about all the evil spirits that come out before all hallows day? I thought the costumes were so they couldn't recognize us?!

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I thought Halloween was actually an original Christian holiday. A vigil to remeber martyr's and saints. Only later it came to incorporate all this other stuff. I could be wrong, I haven't brushed up on my history of Halloween.

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PrisonChap

Again I have to thank you.  I think you have a very good response to Halloween there.

 

Folk Prophet

You didn't mention how many families get together at Christmas, get drunk, ... and fight.  The big family fights.  Or at other holidays if they miss the fights too much.

 

I think it's from an original Christian day, the day of All Souls Day, which I think is the first or second of November.

How they got into the souls the night before and all that, don't know.

 

Now, some of you, not around here, may not know of the great Mexican involvement here, which consists of going to the cemetary with food or candy offerings for the dead relatives.

This is known as Day of the Dead, or actually night ot the dead, as I think they go at night, or Dia de los Muertos. 

You will find at this time of year in all the stores candy or cookies in the form of a skeleton or skull, or such-like.  Those are for the offering to the dead.

Which, of course, becomes another opportunity for the Mexicans, in some cases to get drunk and fight.

 

Aren't holidays wonderful.

dc

 

I had never heard that the costumes had a purpose.  I think also there have been all kinds of pagan rituals and so forth to take advantage of All Souls Day in some way.

Edited by David13

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Folk Prophet

You didn't mention how many families get together at Christmas, get drunk, ... and fight. The big family fights. Or at other holidays if they miss the fights too much.

If you have a point, I cannot imagine what it is.

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Much of Halloween's customs come from the Celtic Pagan celebration of Samhain.  I don't pretend that today's revelers focus on that, any more than Christians do the customs that were borrowed from German paganism, for Christmas.  Still, the overall perception of tonight is of darkness, witches, goblins, demons, etc.  So, my family doesn't trick or treat, but we welcome trick or treaters with candy, and a scripture strip.  We're also up for parties and church-run "harvest festivals."  Our goal is not to condemn the culture, but simply to refrain from unnecessary endorsement of the worst of it. 

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I'd like to draw a parallel to the Pentagram.  It was originally a Christian symbol that represented the five wounds of Christ.  Pointing up meant that we were looking up to heaven.  Pointing down represented the condescension of Christ.

 

Later, Satan worshipers hijacked the symbol and turned it into something evil.

 

Halloween originally had an odd meaning to the Celts.  One that may be interpreted as either sinister or sacred (to them) but it seemed to be largely just a harvest festival.

 

Then Christianity took it over and turned it into something akin to Memorial Day with a religious bent with a harvest festival.

Then Hollywood twisted it and turned it into what it is today.

 

So, which meaning of the stars do we use on the temple today?

Which meaning of Halloween to we observe?  

 

My kids were Superman, a Princess, two ninjas, a ranger (Ranger's Apprentice--which means, yet another assassin) and two mistborn (you'll have to look that one up).

 

Verdict: ???

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Here's the best verdict I can come up with:

 

Romans 14:22-23King James Version (KJV)

22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

 

So...if you do Halloween, do it for God's glory.  If you do the alternatives (Harvest Festivals, etc.) do those for God.  If you abstain, then let that be for God's glory, as well.  Careful not to call the participants Pagans.  Careful too, not to judge the abstainers as Pharisaical. 

Edited by prisonchaplain

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In Catholic Tradition from which this celebration is rooted in, Nov 1 is All Saints' Day, Nov 2 is All Soul's Day.  From October 31 through Nov 2 is Hallowtide, with October 31 as Hallow Evening or Hallowe'en for short which is the preparation day for Hallowmas (Saints' Mass).

 

This triduum is a Feast for the Dead with All Saints' Day a remembrance of those who are thought to have received the Beatific Vision (including those who are not officially canonized by Popes such as martyrs of the faith and infants who die before baptism) while All Souls' Day is a remembrance of all the others who died faithfully.  This Feast serves as a unification of the work of the Church Militant (those who are working for the Kingdom of God who are still alive) with the work of the Church Triumphant (those who have triumphed over death), united in prayer to help the Church Penitent (those who have died in sin).

 

In Filipino culture, Hallowtide is spent gathering at the cemetery.  My family has our own family cemetery where all our relatives are buried, so it becomes a giant family reunion.  The entire cemetery is cleaned on Oct 31.  The Hallowmas is offered by the parish priest in the mausoleum on Nov 1 and the party goes on all the way to Nov 2 with people pitching their cots right there in the cemetery for those who can't stay awake.  There's food and fireworks and kids running around like mad, and mahjong and.... karaoke.  We don't do the costumes and trick-or-treating.  Lately, Philippine malls have been hosting trick-or-treat events.  It's not a big affair though because most everybody is at the cemeteries.

 

Tying this to the LDS Faith, Hallowtide is better served as an opportunity to perform work for the dead in the Holy Temples before passing candy out to the superheroes princesses and ninjas...

Edited by anatess

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My parents' ward usually has an annual Trunk-or-Treat event the Saturday before Halloween; failing this, it's early in the afternoon on Halloween itself.

The centerpiece is an annual chili cook-off, in which members bring in pots of chili for judging. Once judging is complete, the people who showed up get to eat buffet-style.

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It's late, after Halloween, but I thought I'd respond to this since I just saw it.

 

In our family, Halloween is a cultural holiday where we remember our ancestors. My family is Azorean Portuguese and most were originally Catholic. My grandmother always put up a special place in the house with photos of everyone who had passed, flowers, and pretty "things" reminding her of them. My children and I have followed this custom.

 

We invite friends and family over for a "remembrance" celebration.

We invite our friends to put their loved ones' photos on the table also

We go around the room, and give everyone the opportunity to say a few words about the person they've lost or they're remembering, and to light a candle in their honor. Then the whole room repeats their name, "Aunt Alice, we remember you."

 

It is a sweet, tearful, and precious time.

 

We also let the children dress up and go trick or treating, and we hand out candy.

 

The reality is most of the major Christian festivals have evolved in one way or another from pagan ones, because people were pagan before they were Christian. The keyword here is "evolved" and I think what is most important is what YOU are thinking during the holiday. At Yule/Christmas, are you thinking about Krampus and his black devil helper? Or are you thinking about the birth of Christ?

 

Culture is important in our church. 

I like that.

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It seems to me that Halloween is in reality an non issues for Christians.  At worst it could be a distraction but of all things that will challenge Christians in the last days - I honestly believe Halloween is only an issue if we make it so - and I believe that there are enough issues that we face in today's society that it really does not make sense to be distracted.

 

As for being related to pagan rituals - Tell me where the term "Easter" came from?  And how we determine the date we celebrate Easter?  It is not based in biblical scripture.  And Christmas?  Where do Christians get the notion that Jesus was born in December (winter) during the winter solstice?

 

If we are worried about Halloween being a pagan intrusion into Christian holidays - Halloween is hardly the place to start cleaning house. 

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I'd like to draw a parallel to the Pentagram.  It was originally a Christian symbol that represented the five wounds of Christ.  Pointing up meant that we were looking up to heaven.  Pointing down represented the condescension of Christ.

 

Later, Satan worshipers hijacked the symbol and turned it into something evil.

 

 

 

Yes, I've seen several Pentagram Stained Glass windows on churches in Spain.

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We used to give out tracts with Halloween candy.  Big candy bars, because if you are going to leave a tract with Halloween candy, it had better be big. Now, where we live in VA, there are few sidewalks and even fewer streetlights.  SO most people go to fall fests or trunk or treating.  Our church had a great Fall-fest with bouncy houses, games, hayrides and a bonfire.  It was so much fun!  Even for the adults!

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Yes, I've seen several Pentagram Stained Glass windows on churches in Spain.

 

We actually have pentagrams --dare I say it? -- integrated into our temple architecture.

 

4396522980_e78d780858_b.jpg

 

Sometimes the blatant superstitions people hold about such things just boggles the mind. Why, did you know that at some point, the LDS Church had 666 members?!

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Halloween is a subject in which my family made decisions based on impressions, cultural reactions, the opinions of others in church, and just on our subjective feelings.  It is one of the last issues I would fall on a sword over.  That said, it comes across as treating the spirit realm lightly, and of making the Devil, the demonic, the unrighteous as all trivial, fun, light and, well, just something to drink to.  It comes across like Mardi Gras -- something not really for us.  So, we bless the trick or treaters with generous amounts of candy (and a scripture strip), we go to church-sponsored festivals and 'trunk or treats,' and we avoid the heated debates between the "It's no big-deal" folk and the "You're giving your child to Satan" ones. 

Edited by prisonchaplain

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Halloween is a subject in which my family made decisions based on impressions, cultural reactions, the opinions of others in church, and just on our subjective feelings.  It is one of the last issues I would fall on a sword over.  That said, it comes across as treating the spirit realm lightly, and of making the Devil, the demonic, the unrighteous as all trivial, fun, light and, well, just something to drink to.  It comes across like Mardi Gras -- something not really for us.  So, we bless the trick or treaters with generous amounts of candy (and a scripture strip), we go to church-sponsored festivals and 'trunk or treats,' and we avoid the heated debates between the "It's no big-deal" folk and the "You're giving your child to Satan" ones. 

 

You can pretty much say this of all Christian holidays... Easter Bunny, Santa Claus... they all have their heated debates.  And then there's Harry Potter.

 

Sometimes, people just need to just have fun!

hk99j.jpg

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I hear this.  I remember a Sunday School teacher telling us that if you take the first n in Santa and put it at the end, you get Satan!  I look back and think about how profound that was...n't.

 

Still, Halloween is a very different vibe from the complaints about commercializing Christmas or the over-abundance of rabbits and chicken embryos at Easter.  Just sayin'.  :cool:

Edited by prisonchaplain

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I hear this.  I remember a Sunday School teacher telling us that if you take the first n in Santa and put it at the end, you get Satan!  I look back and think about how profound that was...n't.

 

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