December 14, 2017

Concerning Halloween by James B. Jordan

Note from Chaplain Mike: This was Michael Spencer’s favorite article on Halloween. Thanks to James B. Jordan for giving us permission to reprint it as we prepare to celebrate our first Halloween since Michael’s death.

It has become routine in October for some Christian schools to send out letters warning parents about the evils of Halloween, and it has become equally routine for me to be asked questions about this matter.

“Halloween” is simply a contraction for All Hallows’ Eve. The word “hallow” means “saint,” in that “hallow” is just an alternative form of the word “holy” (“hallowed be Thy name”). All Saints’ Day is November 1. It is the celebration of the victory of the saints in union with Christ. The observance of various celebrations of All Saints arose in the late 300s, and these were united and fixed on November 1 in the late 700s. The origin of All Saints Day and of All Saints Eve in Mediterranean Christianity had nothing to do with Celtic Druidism or the Church’s fight against Druidism (assuming there ever even was any such thing as Druidism, which is actually a myth concocted in the 19th century by neo-pagans.)

In the First Covenant, the war between God’s people and God’s enemies was fought on the human level against Egyptians, Assyrians, etc. With the coming of the New Covenant, however, we are told that our primary battle is against principalities and powers, against fallen angels who bind the hearts and minds of men in ignorance and fear. We are assured that through faith, prayer, and obedience, the saints will be victorious in our battle against these demonic forces. The Spirit assures us: “The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20).

The Festival of All Saints reminds us that though Jesus has finished His work, we have not finished ours. He has struck the decisive blow, but we have the privilege of working in the mopping up operation. Thus, century by century the Christian faith has rolled back the demonic realm of ignorance, fear, and superstition. Though things look bad in the Western world today, this work continues to make progress in Asia and Africa and Latin America.

The Biblical day begins in the preceding evening, and thus in the Church calendar, the eve of a day is the actual beginning of the festive day. Christmas Eve is most familiar to us, but there is also the Vigil of Holy Saturday that precedes Easter Morn. Similarly, All Saints’ Eve precedes All Saints’ Day.

The concept, as dramatized in Christian custom, is quite simple: On October 31, the demonic realm tries one last time to achieve victory, but is banished by the joy of the Kingdom.

What is the means by which the demonic realm is vanquished? In a word: mockery. Satan’s great sin (and our great sin) is pride. Thus, to drive Satan from us we ridicule him. This is why the custom arose of portraying Satan in a ridiculous red suit with horns and a tail. Nobody thinks the devil really looks like this; the Bible teaches that he is the fallen Arch-Cherub. Rather, the idea is to ridicule him because he has lost the battle with Jesus and he no longer has power over us.

(The tradition of mocking Satan and defeating him through joy and laughter plays a large role in Ray Bradbury’s classic novel, Something Wicked This Way Comes, which is a Halloween novel.)

The gargoyles that were placed on the churches of old had the same meaning. They symbolized the Church ridiculing the enemy. They stick out their tongues and make faces at those who would assault the Church. Gargoyles are not demonic; they are believers ridiculing the defeated demonic army.

Thus, the defeat of evil and of demonic powers is associated with Halloween. For this reason, Martin Luther posted his 95 challenges to the wicked practices of the Church to the bulletin board on the door of the Wittenberg chapel on Halloween. He picked his day with care, and ever since Halloween has also been Reformation Day.

Similarly, on All Hallows’ Eve (Hallow-Even — Hallow-E’en — Halloween), the custom arose of mocking the demonic realm by dressing children in costumes. Because the power of Satan has been broken once and for all, our children can mock him by dressing up like ghosts, goblins, and witches. The fact that we can dress our children this way shows our supreme confidence in the utter defeat of Satan by Jesus Christ — we have NO FEAR!

I don’t have the resources to check the historical origins of all Halloween customs, and doubtless they have varied from time to time and from Christian land to Christian land. “Trick or treat” doubtless originated simply enough: something fun for kids to do. Like anything else, this custom can be perverted, and there have been times when “tricking” involved really mean actions by teenagers and was banned from some localities.

We can hardly object, however, to children collecting candy from friends and neighbors. This might not mean much to us today, because we are so prosperous that we have candy whenever we want, but in earlier generations people were not so well o_, and obtaining some candy or other treats was something special. There is no reason to pour cold water on an innocent custom like this.

Similarly, the jack-o’-lantern’s origins are unknown. Hollowing out a gourd or some other vegetable, carving a face, and putting a lamp inside of it is something that no doubt has occurred quite independently to tens of thousands of ordinary people in hundreds of cultures worldwide over the centuries. Since people lit their homes with candles, decorating the candles and the candle-holders was a routine part of life designed to make the home pretty or interesting. Potatoes, turnips, beets, and any number of other items were used.

Wynn Parks writes of an incident he observed: “An English friend had managed to remove the skin of a tangerine in two intact halves. After carving eyes and nose in one hemisphere and a mouth in the other, he poured cooking oil over the pith sticking up in the lower half and lit the readymade wick. With its upper half on, the tangerine skin formed a miniature jack-o’-lantern. But my friend seemed puzzled that I should call it by that name. `What would I call it? Why a “tangerine head,” I suppose.’ (Parks, “The Head of the Dead,” The World & I, November 1994, p. 270.)

In the New World, people soon learned that pumpkins were admirably suited for this purpose. The jack-o’-lantern is nothing but a decoration; and the leftover pumpkin can be scraped again, roasted, and turned into pies and muffins.

In some cultures, what we call a jack-o’-lantern represented the face of a dead person, whose soul continued to have a presence in the fruit or vegetable used. But this has no particular relevance to Halloween customs. Did your mother tell you, while she carved the pumpkin, that this represented the head of a dead person and with his soul trapped inside? Of course not. Symbols and decorations, like words, mean different things in different cultures, in different languages, and in different periods of history. The only relevant question is what does it mean now, and nowadays it is only a decoration.

And even if some earlier generations did associate the jack-o’-lantern with a soul in a head, so what? They did not take it seriously. It was just part of the joking mockery of heathendom by Christian people.

This is a good place to note that many articles in books, magazines, and encyclopedias are written by secular humanists or even the pop-pagans of the so-called “New Age” movement. (An example is the article by Wynn Parks cited above.) These people actively suppress the Christian associations of historic customs, and try to magnify the pagan associations. They do this to try and make paganism acceptable and to downplay Christianity. Thus, Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc., are said to have pagan origins. Not true.

Oddly, some fundamentalists have been influenced by these slanted views of history. These fundamentalists do not accept the humanist and pagan rewriting of Western history, American history, and science, but sometimes they do accept the humanist and pagan rewriting of the origins of Halloween and Christmas, the Christmas tree, etc. We can hope that in time these brethren will reexamine these matters as well. We ought not to let the pagans do our thinking for us.

Nowadays, children often dress up as superheroes, and the original Christian meaning of Halloween has been absorbed into popular culture. Also, with the present fad of “designer paganism” in the so-called New Age movement, some Christians are uneasy with dressing their children as spooks. So be it. But we should not forget that originally Halloween was a Christian custom, and there is no solid reason why Christians cannot enjoy it as such even today.

“He who sits in the heavens laughs; Yahweh ridicules them” says Psalm 2. Let us join in His holy laughter, and mock the enemies of Christ on October 31.

Reprinted by permission from:
OPEN BOOK, Views & Reviews, No. 28
Copyright (c) 1996 Biblical Horizons
August, 1996
http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/open-book/no-28-concerning-halloween/

Comments

  1. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Back when he had an afternoon talk show on KBRT-AM, Rich Buhler always used to say he could tell when October had begun because all the “Is Halloween Demonic?” phone calls would start to come in. Every year, starting October 1st. And the back-and-forth fight would continue in the phone-ins all the way to October 31st. Every year.

    Thus, century by century the Christian faith has rolled back the demonic realm of ignorance, fear, and superstition.

    So why do American Evangelical Culture Warriors try to outdo each other (and everyone else) in the Fear & Superstition department? Fear of Secular Humanists, Fear of Evolution, Fear of Homosexuals, Fear of Halloween, Fear of The Heathen, Fear of Satan hiding under their bed. What else is all the freakout over Halloween but Fear and Superstition?

    • If I would go trick or treating in Volorado Springs, I’d love to think of the possible costumes I can wear when I knock and James Dobson’s door and say, “TRICK OR TREAT!!!! 🙂

      Let’s consider the possibilites…

      1. High School Science Teacher ready to teach evolution 🙂
      2. Get Metholdist clergy attire and say I’m a liberal theolgian!! 🙂
      3. Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard 🙂 Can you imagine that one..”Hi I’m Julia Gillard and I’d like to get into US politics and help elect the first Atheist President!!

      Oh the possibilities!!! 😀

      • cermak_rd says:

        Democratic precinct rep.

        In our area, they go out on Halloween night because people are likely to be home and willing to open their doors to strangers. It’s a good way to remind people to get to the polls. We, uhh, don’t have Republican committeemen. I think they’re either organized differently or they don’t bother in our area (most of our races are decided by the spring primary and then the winner of that runs unopposed in the fall).

  2. No matter the lineage or history, the appearance of halloween is evil. It’s evil whether it is suppose to mock Satan or not. I can think of 100 more ways to rejoice in Christ’s victory over death, Hell and the grave than by dressing my kids up and celebrating a pagan holiday. 1 Thess. 5:22 “Abstain from every form of evil.”

    • The verse you quote has nothing to do with your point. In context, it is about evaluating prophecy in the church.

      I, for one, do not think one needs to view Halloween through a spiritual lense at all—Christian or evil. It can be taken as a simple American holiday and enjoyed and participated in as such without seeing any good or evil message involved in it. To the pure, all things are pure, and may be used lawfully.

      Nevertheless, knowing that one may attach spiritual significance may be of benefit to some.

    • Dan, the whole point of that article is that Hallowe’en has not, for a very long time, been a pagan holiday.

      Where did it come from? The traditions of the Scots and the Irish (and to a lesser extent, English and Welsh) immigrants to America. The British Isles have been Christian since round about the 5th century, if not a little earlier.

      The English, by the way, never made a big deal out of Hallowe’en – their big celebration was Bonfire Night, 5th November, where they burn effigies on bonfires and set off fireworks, commemorating the execution of Guy Fawkes.

      Now, were these folklore traditions a remnant of paganism? Yes, but not some secret disguise in which the worship of the old gods continued (sorry, neo-pagans, but the worship of the god Samhain is problematic, in that it’s not even clear there was a god of that name in the first place.) It was an excuse for children and young people to dress up, black their faces with burnt cork (if they couldn’t afford a mask) and go from house to house singing and dancing in return for apples and nuts (the origin of the ‘trick or treat’ routine, though nowadays they just turn up at the door for the candy and don’t perform in exchange). For the older people to play games such as bobbing for apples or girls to play at ‘who will I marry?’, and eat special foods (colcannon, barm brack, the like).

      It became this big holiday in America for commerical purposes, and the irony is that it’s made its way back across the Atlantic so that now we have pumpkins in shops (where never pumpkins were before) all for the purpose of carving out jack o’lanterns (because we have no tradition of pumpkin recipes) – this is doubly ironic, because the original lanterns would have been turnips (as in the phrase ‘turnip-ghost’ which some of you may have heard of before) and it was only when they got to the New World that pumpkins (which are much easier to carve than turnips) became available.

      Getting knotted up about Satanic influences and pagan holidays is exactly the kind of over-reaction that is taking this silly festivity too seriously. I very much doubt Americans in the early 20th century ever believed they might be in peril from wandering into fairy forts on this night and I’m very much certain that nowadays nobody in Ireland believes in the old pishogues any more (even though, back in the early 60s, when I was a small child, the lingering remains of such lore struggled on).

      I don’t deny the existence of the devil or evil spirits. I do say that if occultists, Anton LaVey style Satanists, and neo-pagans and Wiccans want to celebrate it as a “Sabbat”, go ahead and knock yourselves out, guys (the idiots who do animal killings, on the other hand, are idiots).

      To my even-Christians, relax. Enjoy the horror movies on the telly (if you can get a good one without gore and hack’n’slay), stuff your faces on the sweets and nuts, and say a prayer in unison with the Communion of Saints on 1st November, and remember our departed on 2nd November.

      • Okay, here’s a holiday that is fairly much in the same tradition as Hallowe’en, and I can guarantee that there is no extreme Christian worrying about paganism because none of you lot in America ever heard of it.

        The day after Christmas? 26th December?

        Now, maybe some of you Anglo-philes vaguely heard of “Boxing Day”, since that’s what the English call it.

        We Irish call it “Stephen’s Day” because it’s one of the Twelve Days of Christmas, the feast of St. Stephen, Proto-martyr.

        And people dress up in costumes, wear masks (or black their faces), and go from house to house singing and dancing to collect money for a party to “bury the wren”. It’s called “going on the wren” (pronounced “wran”) and in the 19th century it would have indeed included a real live (or rather dead) wren in a holly bush.

        ZOMGBBQ11111!!!! Paganism!

        Yup. Pretty much. Here’s a link to a description of it in a 19th century account of Cork, with a version of the Wren Song everyone knows a verse of:

        The wren, the wren, the King of all birds
        St Stephen’s Day, he was caught in the furze
        Although he is small, his family is great,
        So please you, kind lady, give us a trate (treat)

        http://www.from-ireland.net/custetc/wrenboys.htm

        Yet I don’t see “deliverance ministries” wetting themselves over the diabolic celebration of St Stephen’s Day and how this is when the Devil prowls about on his birthday.

        Simply because for, whatever reason, this is one immigrant holiday that never took off in the same way as Hallowe’en did. So you never heard of it. So nobody got worked up over it.

        End of rant and grumpy old lady “You kids get off my lawn!” imitation.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          The day after Christmas? 26th December?

          Now, maybe some of you Anglo-philes vaguely heard of “Boxing Day”, since that’s what the English call it.

          “Syerge Syuit here.
          After Rewolution, things will be different.
          Boxing Day will become Brezhnev Day!”
          — “Sergei Suit”, Russian Revolutionary character from The Kenny Everett Video Show skits

      • cermak_rd says:

        Actually pumpkin recipes would only be helpful if you have the small pumpkins (@6cm diameter) we here in Chicago call pie pumpkins. The large ones are pretty much inedible, grown merely for jack o’lanterns & maybe seeds to be roasted.

        • Which is why I’m gasping and going “So wasteful!” when I see the big pumpkins on sale over here, because all they’ll be used for are as decorations, and I still have the country upbringing that “vegetables are for eating”.

          🙂

          Never mind, when Imbolc rolls around, I’ll have another rant on the go.

          😉

      • Samhain celebration here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11662602

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      No matter the lineage or history, the appearance of halloween is evil.

      I remember exactly the same argument made about Dungeons & Dragons (which may very well have saved my life) during the Satanic Panic of the Eighties. And about Unicorns (one of whose names was “Christ’s Horse”) when Shirley Mac Laine & Co were putting unicorns and rainbows all over the place.

      It’s evil whether it is suppose to mock Satan or not. I can think of 100 more ways to rejoice in Christ’s victory over death, Hell and the grave than by dressing my kids up and celebrating a pagan holiday.

      And the Massachusetts Puritans and Jehovah’s Witnesses made exactly the same “pagan holiday” argument about Christmas. And as time goes on, more and more gets defined as “pagan” until all that’s not Forbidden is Bible Study, Prayer, and Witnessing and all that’s not Forbidden is Absolutely Compulsory. Long Live Big Brother.

      Beware of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Especially when you claim that knowledgs and declare Unclean what God has not declared Unclean.

      1 Thess. 5:22 “Abstain from every form of evil.”

      Isn’t seeing everything outside the four walls of your enclave as Evil one of the signs of Cultic behavior? As well as (returning to the point above) a breeding ground of “ignorance, fear, and superstition”?

      • Isn’t seeing everything outside the four walls of your enclave as Evil one of the signs of Cultic behavior? As well as (returning to the point above) a breeding ground of “ignorance, fear, and superstition”?

        Sounds like my Mormon days….

      • So, Headless, want to join me in sacrificing small birds to heathen gods in a Druid ceremony of dressing up as a demon with blackened face and ragged clothes?

        A.k.a. as “going on the wran” for St. Stephen’s Day?

        Remember, if it’s Christmas, it’s Papist, and if it’s Papist, it’s Pagan!

        🙂

        • Make sure you get rock music for the sacrifice!! =)

          • Eagle, I always get so confused about chanting “Hail, Satan!” backwards 😉

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            No, METAL. Dio’s “Last In Line” even has an appropriate music video — delivery boy takes the wrong elevator and ends up in Heavy Metal Hell.

            “PLAY SOME SLAYER! SLAYER PUTS ME IN THE MOOD TO DO SOME CRIMES!!!”
            — Black & Decker (and Max their pet fire axe), two skinhead characters from the small-press comic strip Collegiate Hepcats

    • Christians took a pagan soltice festival and adopted it to celebrate the birth of Christ. They took a pagan fertility festival and celebrated the Resurrection. Why not clean up Halloween?

      In addition, I think it’s time we started celebrating Earth Day to God’s glory. We’ve assigned pagan meaning to that one far too long.

      • Ted, I can see us having this argument over Christmas, and how It’s Not Biblical.

        Seriously. Just you wait.

      • They did neither. This is why it is helpful to read EASTERN church history. Much of what we are told about the connections between European pagan practices and Church celebrations goes away when one realizes that some of those practices PREDATED the spread of Christianity into the Europe from which we are supposed to have stolen the pagan traditions.

        In passing, Christmas is celebrated nine months after the feast of the Annunciation and was celebrated that way BEFORE Constantine in many areas. No one was fully sure when Jesus was born, and when one considers a liturgical year, having the birth nine months after the announcement is quite sensible. The Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist is celebrated six months before the birth of Jesus because John was six months older than Jesus. No one claims that John was born on that day, it is simply a liturgical year convention.

        As the old man in C.S. Lewis Chronicles of Narnia was wont to say, “What do they teach them in school these days?”

        • Thanks, Padre. I was referring to the times of the year more than the celebrations themselves, but I’ll yield to the wisdom of the East.

          But you’re with me on the Christmas tree and the Yule log, right? Sanctified pagan practices?

          And Santa Claus seems to have gone the other way: from Christian to pagan…

          • Quite true on the Christmas tree, the Yule log, and (sadly) Santa Claus. The Western Church was more willing to use previously pagan practices than the Eastern Church. I have read arguments going both ways on the subject and do not have a fully formed opinion on when one has adopted too many pagan practices and baptized them.

    • Dan, I think the verse you quote can be read as an item in a list of final instructions, but the way you use it begs the question (petitio principii). The whole thrust of this post on Halloween is to question how “evil” it is, and you’ve assumed it is in your comment.

    • Yes, my daughter the cowgirl, the neighbor girl who was the flapper, the 7 princesses I’ve seen so far, Buzz Lightyear and Spider-Man. OH, so evil.

  3. While I see where both sides of the arguement come from I do have a couple of thoughts…One concerning expressing our liberty at the cost of the weaker brethren. Where do you draw that line? and Two…I really have trouble seeing these (or any) holidays as being “Christian” but rather church holidays started presumably with good intentions and yes we do celebrate Christmas and Easter and participate in some of the others.

    • cermak_rd says:

      My problem with the weaker brethren usage is it can very much lead to an autocracy by these allegedly weaker brethren.

    • Additionally, the entire point of the weaker brother argument rests in the fact that everyone knows that it’s the weaker brother argument.

      After all, Paul’s advice was that Christians should refrain from eating meat offered to idols in front of those of tender consciences, not to pretend to those people that meat offered to idols still had some kind of bad juju associated with it. To do otherwise is to undermine the purity and the power of the Gospel.

  4. cermak_rd says:

    I would suggest that if you expect others to treat your religious elements graciously it is useful to treat other religion’s elements gracefully. For instance, I don’t argue against transubstantiation because I fully recognize that opens the door to people making fun of burning bushes and my concept of the Torah being inspired.

    In the same way, I would not treat the pagans ungraciously by saying that the tale of Samhain is wrong.

    • Well, depends what you mean by the tale of Samhain.

      The early attempts at scholarship which postulated a particular Celtic (or some variety of British or even Anglo-Saxon) god of the dead named “Samhain” are incorrect, since digging into the etymology (though difficult and confused) means that “Samhain” should be more correctly translated as something like “Summer-end”, meaning the end of the first half of the year.

      That it is a festival associated with the dead, with spirits, and with the liminal states wherein the Otherworld and this world interpenetrate each other (and therefore humans can cross over into the world of the fairies, the spirits, the gods and the dead can return to the mortal world) – sure.

      Anything more than that, though, is pretty much modern adaptation. Pagans who are comfortable with that, I have no problem. Pagans who are militant about “This is not a Christian festival, it’s a Sabbat of the Old Religion!”, on the other hand, need to do some more reading.

      And idiots who use it as an excuse for ‘devil’ worship and torturing small animals – they have nothing to do with either neo-pagans or Christians.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        The early attempts at scholarship which postulated a particular Celtic (or some variety of British or even Anglo-Saxon) god of the dead named “Samhain” are incorrect…

        Especially if those attempts date from the Victorian era. There was a tradition of that period that when the historical records were silent, it was acceptable to reconstruct/fabricate the history filling in the gap. Add Victorian romanticism and Medievalism and…

        Drives post-Victorian historians crazy.

  5. Nice choice of artwork and photos for this post, Chaplain Mike.

    I have my candy ready. Problem is, I will have to end up eating it. We used to have five friends on our road with 9 kids that came on Halloween. Now everyone has moved away and since we live in the boonies, no kids come up here. But….just in case our teenaged neighbor girl decides to pop in with some friends, I have to have the candy nearby.

    But I get to see photos of my little step-grandchildren and great nieces and nephews dressed up for Halloween.

    I know that Halloween has Christian roots, but my family celebrated it just as a “fun” thing to do. I liked seeing the insides of houses that I never saw otherwise.

  6. Oh boy, I just noticed that that first piece of artwork with the funny houses and bats gets MUCH bigger when clicked on. Often, the inserted photos here stay the same small size when clicked on. I saved it to my computer, but it would be great to know the artist too.

  7. “The only relevant question is what does it mean now…”

    OK, sure. So this should be applied to Halloween as a whole, in its present form.

    What it means to people now is not a Christian celebration of the defeat of evil, but a chance to goof about dressed as zombies etc… The centuries of history have faded away and leave nothing but a party that flirts with comedy death imagery. Let’s not pretend we can find anything noble in it now, nor flatter ourselves that we’re about to redeem it. Given this situation, I don’t blame Christian parents for wanting to hold back on some of the activities offered to their kids. Why bother imbibing death imagery?

    [Note: I live in the UK where Halloween is morphing into something more like the US version, but at the moment kids don’t where super hero costumes, rather it’s all witches, devils and zombies]

  8. As followers of Yeshua…we have no need to fear if we are honoring Yahweh in all we do.

    However, we do need to be aware. Halloween may appear to be a “cute” celebration time for children…yet you can see in the decorations and costumes that there is still an evil undertone in many of them.

    In addition, there are children and animals being sacrificed every year around this time. It is certainly no “fun” day for them. The more we emphasize the fun…the more people focus on that rather than seeing the truth of the horrors that take place during this time. There is ample evidence out there for what is really happening…in addition to the people who have made it out of ritual abuse cults.

    • Cedric Klein says:

      While it may be possible that someone somewhere is actually performing human sacrifices & probable that some ding-dong is performing animal sacrifices, could you show me a documented example of a legally-verified ritual abuse cult? As far as I know, there is none. The most well known examples are from the books “Michelle Remembers” and “Satan’s Underground”- the former being unproven & the latter being a complete hoax.

      Today I watched Vincent Price in Poe’s “House of Usher” and went to a friend’s birthday party dressed as Hannibal Lecter. This morning I’ll be going to church (not as Lecter, tho I am tempted *G*) to worship God/Jesus/The Spirit (or Yahweh/Yahshua if you prefer). I see no conflict between the two.

  9. A really interesting explanation… the jury is still out in my mind- even if Halloween was initially a mockery of Satan, it seems that today it is more of a glamorization of Satan, esp. with the current fetish for vampires and other elements of supernatural darkness, it seems that many of the people are participating in a celebration, rather than a mockery, of evil. At the same time, my childhood memories of dressing up and collecting candy are good ones. At this point I haven’t quite figured out what to think, but I am glad at least for the post which makes me think.

  10. Brdonaldson says:

    If modern-day Halloween celebrants ever made mention of Jesus’ victory over Satan, I might buy your “explanation.” But the event, as celebrated in my region, is always much closer to the original appeasing of demons than to glorifying Christ.

    That said… I wonder why the early Jews didn’t shun sacrifices, as many pagan religions performed sacrifices before the Jews ever did…

  11. I have no problem with Halloween. My kids are out trick-or-treating right now, and I’m home, happily handing out candy to all the cute kids who stop by. I think it’s a good, fun, wholesome holiday. That said, I do wonder about the claims in the original essay by Mr. Jordan, that it is okay to mock Satan.

    My mind immediately went to the Jude epistle, chapter 1 (see especially verses 8-10). It seems to me that this is something even the archangel Michael did not do. Have I been parsing that verse incorrectly?

  12. Meat sacrificed to idols.