Halloween; simple fall fun or not?

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Halloween should not be celebrated

Many Christians, who decide not to celebrate Halloween, usually point back to history. According to History.com, Halloween’s origin began in the Celtic festival of Samhain, which was first celebrat- ed on the evening of Oct. 31 about 2000 years ago. On this night, it was believed that “the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trou- ble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future,” the website said. “For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.”

Years later, after Rome conquered Celtic land, Pope Boniface IV began a May remembrance feast for Christian martyrs. A subsequent pope, Gregory III, moved the celebration to Nov. 1 and saints were also honored. Nov. 2 became known as “All Souls’ Day,” a day to honor the dead and, eventually, through various other namings of the holiday, Oct. 31 acquired the name “Halloween.” History.com said, “It is widely believed today that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church- sanctioned holiday.”

Because of Halloween’s pagan origins, many Christians believe the holiday should not be celebrated.

Halloween is simply a fun, American holiday

Other Christians seem to disregard the origins of Halloween. Maybe, they think it is irrelevant. For them, Halloween is simply an occasion to dress up and to bag candy.

Angie Mosteller, wife of a California Baptist University professor, goes further and said, on her website CelebratingHolidays.com, that Halloween can be used as an opportunity to witness about Christ. She said, “So many aspects of Halloween are natural starting points for spiritual conversa- tions: “Why do you think Halloween is such a dark holiday?”; “Do you believe in ghosts?” [and] “Are you afraid of death?”. Halloween provides a rare opportunity to discuss the reality of the spiritual world which is so often neglected or ignored in a materialistic culture like ours.”

Halloween is a chance to mock evil

About ten years ago, Anderson M. Rearwick III, a professor at Mount Vernon Nazarene College, posted an opinion piece on ChristianityToday.com titled “Matters of Opinion: Hallowing Halloween.” He comes to the conclusion that Halloween is an occasion for Christians to show they fear God, not Satan. He said, “Christians certainly may be leery of sharing anything with modern pagans and Satanists who claim Halloween is theirs. But who gave these individuals the right to claim this holiday?”

He later said, “What would a reclaimed Halloween express? In our culture, Halloween tra- ditionally has allowed us to look at what frightens us—to experience it, to laugh at it and to come through it. So at the end of October, we are visited by cute Caspers, laughing pumpkin heads and goofy ghouls.”

To Rearwick III and some other Christians, Halloween should not be a cause for concern. Instead, Christians should celebrate, rather than shy away from the festivities, which is exactly what Satan would want them to do. “By giving him this respect, such believers are giving his authority cre- dence,” Rearwick III said.

Rearwick III makes one concession about his philosophy that is worth noting. He said, “Not all be- lievers should celebrate Halloween. For those who have been redeemed from the occult, Halloween in its foolishness may contain what was for them deadly serious.”

About Jenny Miner

I am a journalism major and long-time Banner staff member and will, this year, be serving as the Editor-in-Chief. I just returned from an intense semester in Washington, DC, where I learned a lot about the future of journalism. I am looking forward to one last year working for The Banner and am hopeful that the team will make great strides in keeping up with the rapidly changing journalism field, as well as do our job to keep the CBU community informed about all news California Baptist University.

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