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> Halloween, A christian view
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BluegrassLady 
Posted: 28-Oct-2004, 12:11 AM
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What an interesting thread. I must admit that I have never really given much thought to what was behind Halloween. When I was a child..it just was and I don't remember any negative suggestions regarding it. It wasn't until my son's daughter got old enough to want to participate that it became something more. Because their church was against it, they didn't let her go. Their church did have a fall festival, with hay rides , games and candy. Now, however, with a new young minister, who doesn't feel that it is wrong, the grandkids will be out this year with their cartoon charactor costumes on.

I don't pretend to understand it all. Whatever the parents want to do is fine with me. They have to do what they think is right.

Just my two cents worth. biggrin.gif


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Madadh 
Posted: 28-Oct-2004, 06:45 AM
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Oh what a little internet research will find:

From: http://home.comcast.net/~buaidh/Samhainn.html

Samhainn
Celtic Celebration of Renewal

Halloween and All Saints Day have their origin in the ancient Celtic feast of Samhainn celebrated on the first day of November. In the modern Gaelic languages, the name of the feast means "summer's end": Samhain (pronounced "sow-en") in Gaeilge (Irish Gaelic), Samhainn ("sah-vun") in Gàidhlig (Scots Gaelic), and Sauin ("sow-in") in Gaelg (Manx Gaelic). In the modern Brythonic languages, the name of the feast means "the first day of winter": Nos Calan Gaeaf ("nos cal-ahn gie-ahv') in Cymraeg (Welsh), Nos Kalann Gwav ("nos cal-ahn gwahv") in Kernewek (Cornish), and Noz Kala-Goañv ("noz cal-a-gwah") in Brezhoneg (Breton).

The Celts honored the intertwining forces of existence: darkness and light, night and day, cold and heat, death and life. Celtic knotwork art represents this intertwining. The Celts observed time as proceeding from darkness to light. Thus, the Celtic day began at dusk, the beginning of the dark and cold night, and ended the following dusk, the end of a day of light and warmth. The Celtic year began with An Geamhradh ("an gyow-ragh"), the dark Celtic winter, and ended with Am Foghar ("am fu-ghar"), the Celtic harvest. Samhainn marks the beginning of both An Geamhradh and the new Celtic year.

Samhainn begins at dusk on October 31, the eve of the new Celtic year. Oidhche Shamhna ("oi-kha haw-na"), the Eve of Samhainn, was the most important part of Samhainn. Villagers gathered the best of the autumn harvest and slaughtered cattle for the feast. The focus of each village's festivities was a great bonfire. Villagers cast the bones of the slaughtered cattle upon the flames. (The English word "bonfire" comes from these "bone fires.") With the bonfire roaring, the villagers extinguished all other fires. Each family then solemnly lit their hearth from the one great common flame, bonding all families of the village together.

The eve of the Celtic year was a very holy time. The Celts believed that Oidhche Shamhna was a gap in time. Our world and the Otherworld came together on the night between the old and new years. The dead could return to the places where they had lived. Many rituals of Oidhche Shamhna provided hospitality for dead ancestors. Celts put out food and drink for the dead with great ceremony. Villagers left their gates, doors, and windows unlocked to give the dead free passage into their homes. Swarms of spirits poured into our world on November Eve. Not all of these spirits were friendly, so Celts carved the images of spirit-guardians onto turnips. They set these jack o'lanterns before their doors keep out unwelcome visitors from the Otherworld.

There was also a much lighter side to the Celtic New Year rituals. Children put on strange disguises and roamed the countryside, pretending to be the returning dead or spirits from the Otherworld. Celts thought the break in reality on November Eve not only provided a link between the worlds, but also dissolved the structure of society for the night. Boys and girls would put on each other's clothes, and would generally flout convention by boisterous behavior and by playing tricks on their elders.

Divination of the events of the coming year was another prominent feature of Samhainn. Celts used hazelnuts, symbols of wisdom, to foretell the future. Bobbing for apples, another traditional Samhainn pastime, was a reference to the Celtic Emhain Abhlach, "Paradise of Apples," where the dead, having eaten of the sacred fruit, enjoyed a blissful immortality.

Ancient Celtic religion cast the year as a contest between the gods of winter and summer for the favor of the goddess of the earth. The god of summer claimed victory at Latha Buidhe Bealltainn, May Day, but at Samhainn the god of winter, who was also lord of the dead, was victorious. Celts often depicted the god of winter with antlers which he shed each autumn like a stag. Families in Brittany still herald the coming of winter by the baking kornigou, little cakes in the shape of antlers, to commemorate the god of winter shedding his "cuckold" horns as he returns to his kingdom in the Otherworld.

The ancient Celts used a lunar calendar of thirteen lunar months. As contact and trade with the Romans increased, the Celts adapted the Roman calendar into a Celtic solar calendar of twelve months beginning with Samhainn on the first day of an t-Samhain (November).

Celts were among the first people to adopt the new Christian religion. Saint Paul wrote his Epistle to the Galatians in about 53 AD to the Christian Celts of Galatia in what is now central Turkey. Christianity affirmed the Celtic ideals of family, community, renewal, and respect for the dead. The Christian Church elected to begin its liturgical year with the Feast of the Circumcision on the first day of January. The choice of January 1 was a compromise between the Celtic year beginning with Samhainn on November 1 and the Roman year beginning on March 1.

The Celts became a refuge for Christianity following the collapse of the Roman Empire in 476 AD. Celtic monks established monasteries throughout western and central Europe. The monasteries preserved the sacred scriptures of Christianity and kept the faith alive in the midst of chaos. In gratitude to its Celtic faithful, the Western Church gave Samhainn a Christian blessing in 837 AD when it designated November 1 as the Feast of All Saints or Hallow Tide. The evening of Oidhche Shamhna became Hallow Evening, Hallow E'en, or Halloween.


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maryellen 
Posted: 28-Oct-2004, 08:29 AM
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Urian: if we are going to use scripture, here is one. "Those who are not for Me, are against Me."
Pagans, witches, etc. are not for one God. Half of the New Testament is telling pagans to stop their ways and follow Jesus. St. Paul is often telling people to stay away from gods like Baal. Is this judging? Yes. We have to teach ourselves and others what we see as right and wrong. Teach why or why not something glorifies God.
"Judge actions, not people" But a person is defined by what they do, what they believe. No one is casting people into hell. Every Christian knows they cannot do that. We are deciding what is the wrong and right way to live. Not just for this life, but keeping in mind the next as well. No one is browbeating -- we are discussing Halloween. I described very specific examples of violence earlier. Not generalizations.


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Tassiecelt 
Posted: 28-Oct-2004, 08:52 AM
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I'm impressed with the thoughts and info coming up here, and the fact that we can discuss this as brethren even with a variety of thoughts and beliefs on the topic.

Maryellen, you display a real strength in your Bible knowledge.

Another command might be "Jer 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. "
Israel fell into idolatry many times by incorporation heathen beliefs into their own. God clearly condemned that time and time again.

Witchcraft is also clearly condemned by God, but the question is 'how closely is witchcraft connected to Halloween?'.

I have heard that covens around the world consider Halloween a serious and important date.
I know that even here, some Christian groups have prayer vigils to pray against what they consider a time of heightened evil activity.

The problem is that we all (I can assume) love celtic things, and as some have shown, Halloween is very celtic.

Can we (to use a friends expression) "pick off the meat and leave the bones"?
Can we take what good there is (if any) in Halloween and leave the rest?

Some have suggested that in dressing up - but not as witches.

I guess we will all come to our own conclusions, but it's good to question our beliefs, reassess them and examine them.

Jesus spoke against those who cared more for traditions of men than the commandments of God. So are our traditions in line with His teaching?

Thats' why I like to examine what I believe. Sometimes I find I have to change, other times not.

this is how we grow i guess.


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Danann 
Posted: 28-Oct-2004, 09:49 AM
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OK... I think some things need an explaination...

First, Wicca and Witches in regards to Hallow'en - or Samhainn. This was a festival celebrated in the Celtic nations as the new year... its thought that the day between Summer - when all things live - and Winter - when all things die - there's a barrier that thins to a point of crossing. The Celts would put out treats and feast for their relatives that had passed on in case they stopped by to check on them. This is where passing out food comes from. Children would paint their faces, don masks and the like to "trick" people into thinking that they were the spirits... there's the costuming aspect. This was not a Witches holy day or even a Druidish thing, it was a cultural thing. Just as Passover was a cultural thing.

Now, I am a Christian, have been most of my life. But with my interest in Celtic lore, I delved into the practice of Wicca, I was never a witch or a practicing witch, but I did research things quite a bit. The Witch's creed is to harm none, so the antics on Halloween can't be said that its done by those witches. For the most part, their beliefs are for peace. The Bible, since there's a fondness for taking verses out of context... Says "Judge not, lest yourself be judged."

When the Pope in the 3rd and 4th centuries decided to expand Christainity across the world, his direction was clear... Don't change the people or their practices... moralize them and adopt them. This was the reason that Christianity spread so fast. Christmas was the Roman Holiday celebrating the sun, Easter a holiday celebrating the goddess Eastre - earth and planting. Every holy holiday we have has pagan roots. All Saint's Day is the day celebrating life conquering death... that even when evil rules the night, Saints walk victorious in the morning... This was the Bishop Patrick's stance on Samhainn.

Witches and goolies really had nothing to do with what Halloween was about. Do you condem the Spanish for having Dios de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)? This is the celtic equivelent. And in its roots has nothing to do with Witches or the craft.


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urian 
Posted: 28-Oct-2004, 01:53 PM
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QUOTE (maryellen @ 28-Oct-2004, 07:29 AM)
Urian: if we are going to use scripture, here is one. "Those who are not for Me, are against Me."
Pagans, witches, etc. are not for one God. Half of the New Testament is telling pagans to stop their ways and follow Jesus. St. Paul is often telling people to stay away from gods like Baal. Is this judging? Yes. We have to teach ourselves and others what we see as right and wrong. Teach why or why not something glorifies God.
"Judge actions, not people" But a person is defined by what they do, what they believe. No one is casting people into hell. Every Christian knows they cannot do that. We are deciding what is the wrong and right way to live. Not just for this life, but keeping in mind the next as well. No one is browbeating -- we are discussing Halloween. I described very specific examples of violence earlier. Not generalizations.

sounds like I hit a nerve. so, are you proposing juding an enitre group of people? That would be something akin to every non-christian calling christians evil because of the crusades, the inquisitions ?

yes. I realize I digressed a bit. It happens at times I did apoligize.

as far as casting people into hell, I see it done on a daily basis where I live. NOt all religious groups, mind you, but many judge someone by their actions, the way they look, etc. Heck, I mayself have been told that I was goin gto hell for looking like a kin head abd having tattoos from 10 plus years ago.

as for the browbeating comment, Like I said. I digressed some.

I realize full well what we are discussing...I am able and capable of reading and discerning for myself, thank you. If I was unclear as to WHAT we were talking about, I wouldnt have posted initially.


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cori 
Posted: 28-Oct-2004, 02:24 PM
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I know I am coming in late...as usual, but I am finding this to be an extremely interesting thread.

Urian, please don't be offended by people telling you that you are going to hell because of a tattoo. My father is a Christian and he has tattoos from years ago. It doesn't mean he's going to hell. What sends a person to hell is their disobedience of God's commands. Without even entering into issues of witchcraft and such, eveyone is bound for hell. Please don't misunderstand me. Keep reading.

God outlines ten basic rules for mankind. You may have heard of the ten commandments? Many people try hard to keep them, but it isn't going to be enough to secure heaven for them. James 2 says that "if any man keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." Tell me, have you ever lied? I have. Ever stolen anything? Not even something really small? I have. Ever taken the Lord's name in vain? I have. Ever looked on another person with lust? Jesus called that adultery. I'm guilty there too. The bible calls this sin and "the wages of sin is death". Hell. Separation from God.

But there was one man who could pay the penalty for us. God Himself. And he did. It's that simple. Acceptance of this fact and rejection of sin secures an eternity on a new earth. Rejection of this and continued disobedience secures an eternity in a place the bible calls "the lake of fire", what we call hell.

So no, people can't send other people to hell. They ought to be showing other people how to avoid it. Most people who escape it sit smugly by, not caring whether any else does or not.

Sorry if this is off topic. wink.gif



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urian 
Posted: 28-Oct-2004, 02:29 PM
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QUOTE (cori @ 28-Oct-2004, 01:24 PM)
I know I am coming in late...as usual, but I am finding this to be an extremely interesting thread.

Urian, please don't be offended by people telling you that you are going to hell because of a tattoo. My father is a Christian and he has tattoos from years ago. It doesn't mean he's going to hell. What sends a person to hell is their disobedience of God's commands. Without even entering into issues of witchcraft and such, eveyone is bound for hell. Please don't misunderstand me. Keep reading.

God outlines ten basic rules for mankind. You may have heard of the ten commandments? Many people try hard to keep them, but it isn't going to be enough to secure heaven for them. James 2 says that "if any man keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." Tell me, have you ever lied? I have. Ever stolen anything? Not even something really small? I have. Ever taken the Lord's name in vain? I have. Ever looked on another person with lust? Jesus called that adultery. I'm guilty there too. The bible calls this sin and "the wages of sin is death". Hell. Separation from God.

But there was one man who could pay the penalty for us. God Himself. And he did. It's that simple. Acceptance of this fact and rejection of sin secures an eternity on a new earth. Rejection of this and continued disobedience secures an eternity in a place the bible calls "the lake of fire", what we call hell.

So no, people can't send other people to hell. They ought to be showing other people how to avoid it. Most people who escape it sit smugly by, not caring whether any else does or not.

Sorry if this is off topic. wink.gif

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maryellen 
Posted: 28-Oct-2004, 05:14 PM
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Maybe it goes without saying, but obeying God's law does not get you into heaven. You can sin every day of your life and accept Jesus as your savior, beg for forgiveness of your sins (from your heart) and that according to the Bible will enter your name into "The book of names."

You can also obey all the ten commandments and still not go to heaven. That is one of the reasons Jesus came: To show the people that following each rule without putting your heart and mind towards God will get you nowhere.

If someone were lying near death on the side of the road, there is no commandment (of the 10 commandments) that forbids you from ignoring them. However, Jesus came and said the greatest commandment is Love your neighbor as yourself and love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind. So that commandment tells you to help that person.

I am not disagreeing, just adding and clarifying what was previously said.

Also, no one suggested judging people by the past. Judging them by their present actions is what is allowed.
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urian 
Posted: 28-Oct-2004, 05:44 PM
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1 Corinthians 5:13 God will judge those outside. "Purge the evil person from your midst."

James 4:11 says "Brothers do not slander one another," and James 4:12 continues: "But you - who are you to judge your neighbor?"
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urian 
Posted: 28-Oct-2004, 06:39 PM
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Exodus 12:12... I will execute judgement. I am the lord
Proverbs 29:26 Many seek the rulers favour; but every man's judgement from the Lord.



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Shadows 
Posted: 28-Oct-2004, 08:32 PM
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We are all over looking the greatest comandment of all, if it is followed you can't go wrong!

" Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

Simple and plain in the christain bible and also in the pagan beliefs ( even though the pagans believe that what actions you take come back three fold to you... good or bad )

That statement covers all 10 commandments plus some.


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urian 
Posted: 28-Oct-2004, 11:15 PM
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QUOTE (Shadows @ 28-Oct-2004, 07:32 PM)
We are all over looking the greatest comandment of all, if it is followed you can't go wrong!

" Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

Simple and plain in the christain bible and also in the pagan beliefs ( even though the pagans believe that what actions you take come back three fold to you... good or bad )

That statement covers all 10 commandments plus some.

very true.

and I apologize to you, tassie, for almost thread jacking this thread
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MacAibhistin 
Posted: 28-Oct-2004, 11:26 PM
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I go away for a few days and look what happens! Well, in all honesty, I could tell by the title of the thread and its originator where this thread was going - straight to hell. tongue.gif

It is an interesting thread, and a fun read all in all. Here's my two cents worth. Halloween is not a holiday, unless you are a true pre-Christian Celt (which, I am sure, none of us truly are). So, today, it is an Old World carried over tradition that has been adapted to fit our materialistic culutre - hence the emphasis on treats and prefabricated costumes based largely on pop-culture caricatures. Nevertheless, in North America, we enjoy the tradition and it provides most people with a little fun. It does not encourage us to become Satanists and I have never heard of anyone leaving their church to join a coven because of Halloween. I am a Christian, but I see no need to walk in fear. What would Jesus do? The same thing he did when he grew up in Nazareth. He participated in the local customs of the day and placed. He fished, he went to parties, he danced, he drank wine, he went to church, etc.

It seems that some people try to state their beliefs on here in such a way as to make others who don't feel the same as somehow inferior. Folks, let's not tear each other down, show a little respect and compassion. We don't need legal interpreters of a creed spreading their "stuff" here, it simply is not what this neo-Celtic community is to be about.

If you don't like Halloween, stay home. If you like it, enjoy it. If youths in your areas are being violent or destructive, it is not because the event is from the Devil, it is because these kids have poor values (and poor role models!)

God Bless and good night.

Rory
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cori 
Posted: 29-Oct-2004, 07:10 AM
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QUOTE
We are all over looking the greatest comandment of all, if it is followed you can't go wrong!

" Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

Simple and plain in the christain bible and also in the pagan beliefs ( even though the pagans believe that what actions you take come back three fold to you... good or bad )




This is a good commandment, yes. God says that the greatest commandment is to "love one another as I have loved you". This goes beyond all human love. This love is unconditional. biggrin.gif
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