A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith


Mocking vs glorification

posted by Linda G. Howard

About 1400 years ago, the Roman Catholic Church and the Byzantine (Greek Orthodox) Church unofficially adopted a fun celebration the day before All Saints’ Feast Day.  The day became known as All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween.

The purpose  of this time was to mock evil.  Dressing up like skeletons and wearing death masks, people–young and old–paraded through the streets and celebrated our freedom from evil through the sacrifice of Jesus.

After studying the subject, it appears that this All Hallow’s Eve  commemoration sprang up as an informal celebration.  Later, known as Halloween, the day formed from a joyful expression rising from the villagers and common folk who wanted to express in a playful and joy-filled way their release from sin and fear.

Other than Resurrection Day, All Saints’ Day is the most holy day within the Liturgical Calendar.  It started within the eastern (Byzantine) and western (Roman Catholic) churches, sometime in the early 600’s.

The foundation of the celebration came from the tremendous persecution Christians experienced in the early days of the church.  Torture and death under the Roman Empire had run rampant for the early believers.  Rome’s emperors needed a scape goat to explain the decline of the empire.  Torturing Christians became a reflective entertainment for the masses.  It was a distraction from the woes the Roman citizens were experiencing.  As a result, All Saints Day was a holy day of honoring these martyrs.  Christians still living expressed their love and gratitude for the sacrifices and deaths of the early Christians.

The scriptural bases was the New Testament teaching that those Christians who have died pray for us who are still alive, interceding before the Father.  This is not a day to worship the saints but to venerate and acknowledge their past, present and future contributions to the growth of all Christians, by remembering their prayers and faithfulness.  At first it was time of feasting to remember the martyrs.  Later, the expressions of joy were extended to all saints, living and dead.  Within the Roman Catholic Church, this celebration is focused on men and women who have been canonized as saints.  Most Protestants dropped the celebration of All Saints Day, even though they have clung to the celebration of Halloween.

In the 600’s, the day before All Saints Day (Halloween) became a time to remember the poor.  Dressed in their evil-mocking costumes and masks, the poor would visit the homes of their more prosperous neighbors.  The poor would be given sweet buns to carry back to their families.  It appears that the custom grew from the fact that the more prosperous neighbors wanted to be sure that the entire community would have enough provision to celebrate All Saints’ Day.  This wasn’t a custom glorifying begging but of blessing others with gifts.  The giving of sweets was an expression of love by the Church, desiring that all people would share in God’s gracious provision on this holy day.  As the custom grew, it playfully became known as trick-or-treat.

Slowly, over the 1500 years that have elapsed, the customs of dressing up and receiving sweet treats from neighbors has stuck.  Sadly, the original meaning of the celebration has been long forgotten, even by Christians.  In fact, within Protestant traditions, the day is more and more rejected as witchcraft, wicca and other evil religious orders have adopted the day as a time of glorification of evil, rather than mocking.

Too often within the traditions of the Church, mocking evil becomes glorification.  Christian feast days–like Christmas and Resurrection Day–become an excuse for drunkenness and gluttony.  Perhaps Halloween–the day before a time of most holy remembrance–should not be ignored by Christian.  Perhaps it should become a wake-up call.  While we are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, our Adamic nature lurks concealed by religious zeal ready to pounce and pervert even those things which are most holy in our lives.

When does mocking evil become glorification?  It isn’t merely the day of Halloween that I struggle.  I wrestle with it every day.  Maybe we need to learn to respect and avoid the enemy of our souls.  The Bible tells us to flee from evil rather than try to overcome evil in our own strength.  Jesus’ death releases us from the fear of death and hell; it doesn’t give us license to flirt with sin.

In the meantime, I want to bless the children in my neighborhood with sweet treats.  I will pray for them, asking God that they too will become part of the mystical body of Christ, which is the Church.



Previous Posts

The Choice that Changed Everything--a sermon for the mentally challenged community
The choice that changed everything Nehemiah 9:17 Central Theme: Man choices to sin and God chooses to be gracious. A ream of paper has 500 sheets--not more and not less. A foot is 12 inches--not more and not less. There are many absolutes in our lives. There is a couple of absolutes that totally

posted 10:48:30pm Aug. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Friendship Evangelism
For many years, I taught a seminar called "Friendship Evangelism."  The basis of this teaching was that people are much more susceptible to hear the promises of the Gospel, if they know and respect you.  We all have a knowledge of the friendship of David and Jonathan from the Bible.  Even if we o

posted 9:12:04am Aug. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Overcoming Fatigue
After four days of Camp Agape, my children laugh that I'm in my Camp Coma for about a week.  While it's humorous there is a lot of truth in their designation of my abilities.  There are some things that I've learned from others and from my own experiences regarding physical fatigue. First, this

posted 6:37:05am May. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Explaining grace
In the past weeks, I've been going over some of the key words in our covenant relationship with God.  Perhaps one of the most important words we use is grace. Most of us have learned and maybe we even remember God's Riches At Christ's Expense This is great explanation of grace and

posted 9:48:06pm May. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Familiar customs and limited means
When the Biblical young woman, Ruth, married into a Jewish family she understood little about their ways, God or religion.  This is my supposition; but I base the conjecture on facts.  Moabites were shunned by the Israelis.  Decades before, Moab wronged the wandering tribes who desired to trav

posted 7:47:06am May. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.