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To wonder why some Christians have a problem with Halloween?

(216 Posts)
JellyDiamonds Wed 29-Oct-14 16:12:24

The first time I encountered this was at Uni when a girl I was friends with refused to partake in any Halloween celebrations whatsoever on the grounds that it was "evil". Her family were evangelical Christian, and even though she was more relaxed in her religious beliefs than them she wouldn't budge on Halloween. It was a shame as she missed out on all of the fun. But she'd never celebrated it, and her family would go out on the 31st to avoid trick or treaters.

I don't understand it? My mum was raised a Christian and has always loved halloween. She sees it for what it is, a bit of fun for kids.

I feel a bit sorry that these people won't allow their children to take part in the same customs that their peers do. Doesn't it leave them feeling a bit left out at school etc?

Should these people just get a grip and stop being intolerant?

Tigresswoods Wed 29-Oct-14 16:13:54

Urgh tell me about it. My mum was against it so we never did it as kids. I love it now & so does DS. grin

Tigresswoods Wed 29-Oct-14 16:14:40

I think her issue was its "celebrating evil"

Whatevs. It's good fun

hiddenhome Wed 29-Oct-14 16:14:44

It's participate, not partake.

Charitybelle Wed 29-Oct-14 16:16:32

I also don't get it. But, it would be interesting if there's a MNter out there who can explain what the basis for this dislike of Halloween is in religious terms? I really am not sure so would be interesting to hear it from their POV?

MrsDutchie Wed 29-Oct-14 16:16:37

Haha my parents are similar types of Christians and would hand out Christian leaflets instead of chocolates and sweets to children. How our house was never egged, I'll never know...

These are the same parents who banned board games on Sundays even when we had a family visiting. I felt so awful for the kids!

Catsize Wed 29-Oct-14 16:17:28

Makes me uneasy and until this year I haven't contemplated celebrating it. However, I fear I am being sucked in as I have just bought two pumpkin costumes.
There is something a bit odd about getting kids to dress in horrible costumes and celebrate the occult.

ArabellaTarantella Wed 29-Oct-14 16:18:38

My neighbour would never let her children do Halloween. She kept them all indoors with the curtains shut and the lights off. She didn't believe in 'begging by extortion'.

To answer your question: As Christianity moved through Europe it collided with indigenous pagan cultures and confronted established customs. Pagan holidays and festivals were so entrenched that new converts found them to be a stumbling block to their faith.

thisthreadcouldoutme Wed 29-Oct-14 16:19:36

The church near where I live have a children's party for Halloween every year. Only they can't go dressed as Halloween things. They have to go as superheroes. Ds1 wanted to go when he was 1st old enough until they told him he wasn't allowed to wear his pumpkin costume. He's never wanted to go again.

MrsDutchie Wed 29-Oct-14 16:19:49

Charitybelle - I don't know about all Christians but for my family it was this idea of bringing evil into the home and heart, and keeping yourself in purity. E.g. once as part of RS we were meant to visit a Buddhist temple. My Dad refused to sign the permission slip because he didn't want me to be exposed to spiritual forces of evil. He was really narked when I chose to study Buddhism as my religion for A-level RS and got almost 100% in most of the modules. Heathen grin

JellyDiamonds Wed 29-Oct-14 16:21:40

There's nothing occultist about halloween though. Most halloween parties involve dressing up in silly costumes, bobbing for apples and dancing to the monster mash. I've yet to attend one where any kind of satanic rituals have taken place.

Idontseeanysontarans Wed 29-Oct-14 16:23:01

Halloween/Samhain from a Pagan perspective is considered to be the time of year when we remember our loved ones and ancestors but also the time when spirits can 'cross over'. The Christian church saw no difference between spirits and evil beings like demons etc so it is considered to be a bad thing for a Christian to celebrate. Samhain is also Pagan New Year.
Halloween means All Hallows' Eve and the 1st of November is All Saints Day iirc - the church basically overrode folk beliefs by placing their own festival on top of it.

scarevola Wed 29-Oct-14 16:23:22

In it's current form it's pretty much assimilated into the Christian calendar as you can tell from the very name (it's a old short form of All Hallow's Eve) and as the day before the Christian festival invoking all the saints, the forces of darkness had the easiest opportunity to stalk the land.

No conflict whatsoever in acknowledging the existence of evil. Indeed, could Christianity even exist without it? (for no divine salvation would ever have been required, if there was nothing to save people from)

Idontseeanysontarans Wed 29-Oct-14 16:25:10

It's also party time - I will be donning my witchy costume and going trick or treating with the DC's, for Most of the day, going to a party and doing my Samhain ritual at night smile

JulyKit Wed 29-Oct-14 16:27:34

My (very limited) understanding of the origins of Halloween is that it was a pagan festival (Celtic, I think - new year?) in which spirits of the deceased were said to roam the earth for a day. It was then 'subsumed' by the Christian church as 'All Hallows Eve' (night before All Souls Day), and like many 'Christian' festivals/rituals, would have kept many of its pagan routes.

At various times, and for various reasons, it seems that parts of Christianity (sects, etc.) get very antsy about Christianity's 'pagan' roots. Similarly (if I understand correctly), some 'reformed' Christian groups/theories have been very wary of what they saw as 'Papist' practices. Halloween is perhaps seen as both 'Papist' and 'pagan'.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Wed 29-Oct-14 16:27:41

Evangelical parents at DCs' school were never prepared to do Halloween parties, even if I promised faithfully that I'd stick to pumpkins, spiders and "monsters" rather than anything magical or demonic. To my mind it's fundamentally a Christian festival based on the festival of remembrance of the dead at Allhallowtide, so I genuinely fail to see what they're worried about

blueemerald Wed 29-Oct-14 16:29:30

It is so frustrating. I put up a few decorations in my classroom for the week before half term and some of the students (all boys secondary school) honestly believed that halloween was the celebration of the devil's birthday and that I worshiped Satan.
We did a crash course in the history of Halloween.

EmilyGilmore Wed 29-Oct-14 16:31:14

"There is something a bit odd about getting kids to dress in horrible costumes and celebrate the occult."
Catsize

Yes, I feel this way too. I am taking mine to two parties because I don't want them to miss out but I don't like it at all. I just find it really weird. All I see on the news atm is people being murdered, beheaded or dying horrible Ebola deaths. And on Friday children will dress up and pretend to be bleeding from every pore, have daggers through their heads and look like corpses.

Why is that fun? It's so horrible to me. I'm not a killjoy so we go along with it (baby will be a witch's cat, older child a pumpkin) but the gore really perplexes me.

I was brought up in a Christian house but Halloween wasn't banned. It just wasn't a big deal for any of us over the age of 30, I don't think.

DesperatelySeekingSanity Wed 29-Oct-14 16:32:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Charitybelle Wed 29-Oct-14 16:35:45

Cheers for the interesting titbits about evil and Christianity. I suppose I never think of Halloween as anything to do with evil because it's so entwined with children and cute costumes. I guess it is a bit creepy when you think about it.

OP - YANBU, but then a lot of stuff to do with religion is a little barmy to me. So....on the face of it, a dislike of a pagan ceremony about evil spirits walking the earth seems quite rational really??

JulyKit Wed 29-Oct-14 16:37:31

Charitybelle - why 'evil' spirits?

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 29-Oct-14 16:42:47

My parents didn't like Halloween - but more what they called the "Americanisation" of it (i.e. the commercial side).

We didn't go trick or treating as children, but nobody else did either. It had started to be common place when I was a teenager, but costumes were generally white sheets with eye holes in grin.

Idontseeanysontarans Wed 29-Oct-14 16:44:19

The thing is that many of the 'evil spirit' beliefs go back to a time when belief in an actual physical Satan/demon or an everyday household spirit like a Brownie was common - Christianity teaches that anything other than the Holy Trinity is evil so it's to be expected that it's frowned upon.
For me it's not just a time to remember people who have passed. It's a time to reflect on the last year and plan on how to make changes to my life for the coming year.
It's not exactly bell book and candle, more candle, lighter, wine and cauldron filled with incense but it's a time of reflection.

OOAOML Wed 29-Oct-14 16:45:06

Interesting comments about costumes - I have noticed that these days almost all the costumes you see are witch/zombie/vampire type things, whereas when I was young (I sound really old, I'm only in my 40s) people would dress up as all sorts: superheroes, characters from books etc, and only some people as witches wink. We went out guising and we would do a song or a poem, but again it wasn't anything 'horror' related.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 29-Oct-14 16:45:54

Oh yes, Arabella - that reminds me, my dad didn't approve of the concept of trick or treating as he thought it was the height of bad manners to allow one's children to beg for sweets from the neighbours wink.

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