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Question: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
Yes - 77 (41%)
No - 78 (41.5%)
Maybe - 13 (6.9%)
Unsure - 13 (6.9%)
Other (Explain) - 7 (3.7%)
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Author Topic: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?  (Read 97244 times) Average Rating: 0
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DanM
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« Reply #225 on: August 11, 2008, 11:53:47 AM »

Would everyone please keep the discussion on topic. Whoever wishes to discuss general calendar questions may ressurect an old thread on this issue or create a new one. 

Thank you. 

Pravoslavbob
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It seems to me that the Halloween topic at any rate is dead, since its discussion has not been able to advance so far enough beyond general religious sentiments as to refute or accept the available facts of the matter. 
Perhaps the discussion of Christmas ought to have its own thread, though I suspect that it would not be relevant for a few more months.  Also, ozgeorge has already provided a very masterly finale to any such discussion.
Another thread that comes out of the Halloween topic that might be worth pursuing, if anyone is interested, would concern the accumulation of feasts and fasts in church history.  I hope it is obvious that St. Ignatius, e.g., did not celebrate Christmas, Annunciation, the Conception of the Forerunner etc., nor would he have kept the Apostles' Fast, the Dormition Fast, Lent etc., nor, finally, would he have known what to do with monasteries and hermits.  What exactly was happening in the churches as these feasts and fasts multiplied?  Did popular piety borrow from the pagan milieu for so long that the church claimed ownership at some point?  Or were these things simply tacked on at the behest of professional clergy who enjoyed filling out the year with more fun things to do or perhaps were meeting popular demand?  Or what?  Have the feasts and fasts have taken on a life of their own?  Do we have an advantage over St. Ignatius or did he have one over us?  These are for me absorbing questions.  Perhaps others are interested in pondering them. 
DanM
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« Reply #226 on: August 11, 2008, 12:56:32 PM »

Sorry for the little digression.  Embarrassed

But thank you DanM for answering my question.  Smiley
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« Reply #227 on: August 11, 2008, 02:53:45 PM »

It seems to me that the Halloween topic at any rate is dead, since its discussion has not been able to advance so far enough beyond general religious sentiments as to refute or accept the available facts of the matter. 
Perhaps the discussion of Christmas ought to have its own thread, though I suspect that it would not be relevant for a few more months.  Also, ozgeorge has already provided a very masterly finale to any such discussion.
Another thread that comes out of the Halloween topic that might be worth pursuing, if anyone is interested, would concern the accumulation of feasts and fasts in church history.  I hope it is obvious that St. Ignatius, e.g., did not celebrate Christmas, Annunciation, the Conception of the Forerunner etc., nor would he have kept the Apostles' Fast, the Dormition Fast, Lent etc., nor, finally, would he have known what to do with monasteries and hermits.  What exactly was happening in the churches as these feasts and fasts multiplied?  Did popular piety borrow from the pagan milieu for so long that the church claimed ownership at some point?  Or were these things simply tacked on at the behest of professional clergy who enjoyed filling out the year with more fun things to do or perhaps were meeting popular demand?  Or what?  Have the feasts and fasts have taken on a life of their own?  Do we have an advantage over St. Ignatius or did he have one over us?  These are for me absorbing questions.  Perhaps others are interested in pondering them. 
DanM

These are not questions for orthodox christians I do not believe; since we already know what is our religion and faith.

Welcome to the site DanM.

A point of note; celebrating a feast in the holy church is our perogative. It is an embelishment, the richness, the see-able, hear-able, feel-able aspects of orthodoxy. Like your own birthday; it does not change becuase you do not celebate it. Like your wedding the marriage does not change becuase you did not have the 'reception' with the huge cost and fanfare. It is a peragotive.

But if we do celebrate holy occasions than let them be "holy' in nature without blemish. Fully 'characterising' our belief, edifying God and edifying to God. NOT celebration for celebrations sake and if God is not edified than "that is not my fault....I am gonna do it anyway".

Halloween, xmas, easter are today widely accepted celebrations; thanks to the U S.

In my New York office I have hindus, muslims, "non-practicing catholics (as they call themsselves), and orthodox and jewish. All of these people love halloween, easter and especially xmas. They bring in all the lovely pictures of their children from xmas day, halloween and easter celebrations.

Interesting thing is that HOW they celebrate these occasions never permits them or allows the teachings of the holy church to be revealed to them since the main aspects of the "celebrations"  can not and does not 'characterise' the true faith in Christ and His holy Church. Thus through these "celebrations" God is not edified and can not be. These are family days full of fun and pre-occupations with the enjoyments of life. Typical, common, human behavior and desire no matter what religion you claim.

Thus how we 'celebrate' NOT-THAT-WE celebrate is the real issue...The key point.

xmas trees and rudolph and frosty the snow man and all the halloween trappings are good for hindues and muslims and non-practicing catholics and so on since 'holiness' and 'reverence' to God in the name of our Savior Jesus christ is a non-issue and not edified in the nature of the practices.

WE are too busy with the virginia ham and the new drapes. Not that there is anything wrong with ham and drapes if that is what your into during trhe Holy Days (Holidays if you wish).

The 'christians' observe the same 'element' just like the muslims and hindues find no problem with enjoying and embracing but with Jesus at the center. At lease that is what they (the christians say).

Only problem to me is trying to descern the Jesus of the bible and His Church with what is happening.

Kids sitting on the lap of an over wieght man dressed like a shaman in the middle of an expensive department store with visions of sugar plumbs dancing in thier heads all night.

This is christian?

I find it just the same with halloween. Christ is not justified in the antics, the glib, the boohs, the whole ghosts and goblin thing.

I read all the hopeful posts about how halloween and its traditions are christian. That is of no consequence since these traditions are not distinguished as "christian" today. As such they fail to edify God. So the faith is fine. the tradtition is corrupted and can not thus qualify the faith anymore. It should be abandoned until corrected or just abandoned.

I blame the christ loving holloween goers for letting the traditions slip into the subculture it is now.

Orthodox people have no interest in things that do not and can not edify God.

We do not look for 'time-off' from being Orthodox christians. We are looking for ways to be more orthodox and all the time; even when we sleep if possible.


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« Reply #228 on: August 11, 2008, 05:14:09 PM »

Laying aside any Christian connection with Halloween for the moment, I'm not sure how kids having a bit of fun can be anti-Orthodox; even if they dress up and ghosties and ghoulies and whatever. However, I've lived all my life in countries that don't celebrate Halloween and I have reservations about the holiday from a safety point of view, probably because the thought of my kids accepting sweets from strangers is something completely foreign to me. Over the years, I have seen a growing objection to the holiday, mostly through fundamentalists, mostly through the internet and mostly in the form of complete misinformation based on outright fear. IMO, if anyone feels that celebrating Halloween is a threat to their faith and ultimately their eternal salvation, they probably shouldn't do it. Those who don't fear it should probably continue in freedom. 
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« Reply #229 on: August 11, 2008, 05:22:55 PM »

I have reservations about the holiday from a safety point of view, probably because the thought of my kids accepting sweets from strangers is something completely foreign to me.  

This is my one objection with Halloween as well.  My parents only let me go trick-or-treating at family members' houses, though, so they didn't have that to worry about.  Halloween was basically just an excuse to dress up silly and eat candy with grandma.
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« Reply #230 on: August 11, 2008, 06:30:52 PM »

Laying aside any Christian connection with Halloween for the moment, I'm not sure how kids having a bit of fun can be anti-Orthodox; even if they dress up and ghosties and ghoulies and whatever. However, I've lived all my life in countries that don't celebrate Halloween and I have reservations about the holiday from a safety point of view, probably because the thought of my kids accepting sweets from strangers is something completely foreign to me. Over the years, I have seen a growing objection to the holiday, mostly through fundamentalists, mostly through the internet and mostly in the form of complete misinformation based on outright fear. IMO, if anyone feels that celebrating Halloween is a threat to their faith and ultimately their eternal salvation, they probably shouldn't do it. Those who don't fear it should probably continue in freedom. 

Is not this the same as saying:

'I have seen a growing objection to getting your palm read, mostly through fundementalists, mostly throught he internet and mostly in the form of complete misinformation based on outright fear. IMO, if anyone feels that having your palm read is a threat to their faith and ultimately eternal salvation, they probably should'nt do it. Those who don't fear it should probably continue in freedom'.

I see no difference in slipping-in whatever subject of behavior or belief or attitude or so on in your statement I want; it has the same affect: "Do what you want to do if you like it".

Very liberal and secular attitude indeed.

I get your point but sadly this 'thinking of yours' does not deliver on sound orthodoxy.

I will agree that many on this forum would side with your open and airy point of view.

That is what we all like. "freedom"

After we get home from liturgy or vespers we want to be what we want to be and decide how we want to live and what is important and what is not. That is why views like your are well received.

It is nothing "wrong" with that. We are pre-occupationists by nature. "freedom" allows us time to be carried off; be it fantasy or what have you. And who wants to be denied "freedom"?

Orthodox Christians do!

Our fathers taught us to deny ourselves the world and seek the path of rightiouness. That "path" is straight. It is thus 'Orthodox'. Like Paul we are bond servants of Christ. Thus our freedon is IN Christ only.

As I have been saying for years on this forum; Orthodoxy is the life we live full time. It is a life no different from our forefathers.

Orthodox christians are just as pre-occupationistic as the next person but our pre-occupation is with fervent and contrite prayer and living in this world in a way that is obedient to God. We pray that He will place in us His divine grace and will for us, His Holy Church and all mankind.

Orthodox christians are NOT interested in anything that distracts us from our Holy and rightious way of life. Such distractions makes us unhappy. It is not that these distractions are sins but they are DISTRACTIONS.

I hope that is clear.

Who wants to be distracted from something that they enjoy and are hoping to achieve? NO body!

So then halloween may be a fun day of goofy-ness and booh and gooh and that is it. No bad no foul. But how do we make time for it. How do we get the energy to persue the traditions. The answer is that these traditions are important to our lives, our kids lives our heritage...WE are pre-occupied with these practices. We can not appreciate life without them.

I understand that completely!

But this is clearly not the love of Christ and rightious life in Him that is driving us at all. It is this life "OUR" life we love so much. The life we should have left behind at baptism in exchange for a holy life in Christ. Walking and living Christ like in all manners and everything.

It seems that is why so many people have high-jacked this practice this 'holiday' halloween and use it for all kinds of reasons religion, money making, ludeness etc. What else should be done with the thngs of the world? They are to be corrupted just like the world they come from .....this world. This world and all its aspects are corrupted. The lord said :"If the salt looses its flavor how shall it be seasoned? It is to be trampled under foot by men"

Thus is what we have today with halloween.

On the other hand........

Nothing truly holy and of God in the name of Christ could ever be corrupted and abused this way.

I am not convinced that we are better christian or improving our circumstances in a way that brings us or our children closer to God with trick-er-treating and the whole halloween tradition. It has the potential to take away more than it offers to our true and holy lives; especially now since now the enemy has caught hold of it.

Best we discard it.

We can give our kids candy on another day. And instead of costumes of vampires and witches and dead people or superman we can make them into Davids and Solomans, and Arch Angels and Apostles etc. That sounds real good to me.

Ask you kids if they want to be Arch Angel Michael. I hope they are bursting with excitement. If not than we have a work cut out for us.

We have to use every opportunity to protect our spiritual lives and the spiritual lives of our children. That is why the Church is on earth. We should not right off this duty to placate ourselves or our loved ones with things that are contrary to our aim.

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« Reply #231 on: August 11, 2008, 09:25:30 PM »

Is not this the same as saying:

'I have seen a growing objection to getting your palm read, mostly through fundementalists, mostly throught he internet and mostly in the form of complete misinformation based on outright fear. IMO, if anyone feels that having your palm read is a threat to their faith and ultimately eternal salvation, they probably should'nt do it. Those who don't fear it should probably continue in freedom'.

I see no difference in slipping-in whatever subject of behavior or belief or attitude or so on in your statement I want; it has the same affect: "Do what you want to do if you like it".

Very liberal and secular attitude indeed.

I see that you have not failed to approach the subject with your usual judgemental attitude. Feel free to continue, because it makes no difference to how I will live my life and how I will ultimately face my Saviour. I rely on His mercy, not yours. Thanks be to God for that.

Quote
I get your point but sadly this 'thinking of yours' does not deliver on sound orthodoxy.

At least you "get my point". That's something, at least.

Quote
I will agree that many on this forum would side with your open and airy point of view.

Well, that certainly is a relief to hear.

Quote
That is what we all like. "freedom"

Indeed! Christ came to free us from the fundamental and legalistic mindset that plagued His own people and I take that freedom very seriously. Judge not that ye be not judged. His words, not mine.
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« Reply #232 on: August 11, 2008, 10:15:51 PM »

Is not this the same as saying:

'I have seen a growing objection to getting your palm read, mostly through fundementalists, mostly throught he internet and mostly in the form of complete misinformation based on outright fear. IMO, if anyone feels that having your palm read is a threat to their faith and ultimately eternal salvation, they probably should'nt do it. Those who don't fear it should probably continue in freedom'.

I see no difference in slipping-in whatever subject of behavior or belief or attitude or so on in your statement I want; it has the same affect: "Do what you want to do if you like it".

Very liberal and secular attitude indeed.

I get your point but sadly this 'thinking of yours' does not deliver on sound orthodoxy.

I will agree that many on this forum would side with your open and airy point of view.



Watching baseball isn't sound Orthodoxy. Reading James Joyce isn't sound Orthodoxy. Listening to The Clash isn't sound Orthodoxy. However, none of these "secular" activities claim to be Orthodoxy, or an alternative to sound Orthodoxy. Likewise, Halloween, an entirely secular evening once a year where American kids dress up like spacemen, bumble bees, infantry, pirates, ghosts, princesses, and pumpkins (and maybe the one really economically unfortunate kid who has to wear a trash bag and pretend he's a california raisin), and go door to door filling plastic pumpkins with candy. It's about as harmful as the "pagan" Christmas tree, in my opinion. Just because Druids worship trees doesn't mean we become tree worshipers when we put up a tree in our houses and wish each other a Merry Christmas.

This whole issue is a matter of opinion. It's not a question of abused "freedom" as you've cast it. It's an innocuous "holiday"(not holy day) in the States meant for fun. If you see it as otherwise, then fine. Be the weird neighbors who admonish those of us who allow our children to have a little harmless fun that isn't directly related to the Church. (You know, like when they read "secular" books in school, or play "secular" sports). Please though, don't elevate your opinion to dogma.
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« Reply #233 on: August 12, 2008, 09:50:33 AM »

I see that you have not failed to approach the subject with your usual judgemental attitude. Feel free to continue, because it makes no difference to how I will live my life and how I will ultimately face my Saviour. I rely on His mercy, not yours. Thanks be to God for that.

At least you "get my point". That's something, at least.

Well, that certainly is a relief to hear.

Indeed! Christ came to free us from the fundamental and legalistic mindset that plagued His own people and I take that freedom very seriously. Judge not that ye be not judged. His words, not mine.


Orthodoxy!

Think Orthodoxy!

We will be able to understand each other and help each other then.



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« Reply #234 on: August 12, 2008, 10:11:05 AM »

I'm truly of very mixed feelings about Hallowe'en. Now that I am no longer a child, and have no children of my own, it really doesn't affect me and I rarely, if ever, think about it.

My parents very strictly forbid me to dress up or go 'trick or treating' (although we always handed out candy to the otherkids), and I remember well that first Hallowe'en when I begged them to allow me to dress up like the other kids were-to no avail. My childish mind made  no associations whatsoever with the spirit world, the occult etc. I merely wanted to be part of a lovely make-believe world of dress-up and a bit of fun with the other kids. Dressing up was the key attraction for me, and I cried bitterly to be left out of the fun.

To this day, I believe this was unnecessary harshness for a small child to have to endure. And it didn't stop with Hallowe'en-no participation was permitted for Christmas concerts or anything else. I do rather wish it had been otherwise. I wouldn't want any other child to have to experience these things. Life is so hard as it is.
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« Reply #235 on: August 12, 2008, 10:21:26 AM »

Watching baseball isn't sound Orthodoxy. Reading James Joyce isn't sound Orthodoxy. Listening to The Clash isn't sound Orthodoxy. However, none of these "secular" activities claim to be Orthodoxy, or an alternative to sound Orthodoxy. Likewise, Halloween, an entirely secular evening once a year where American kids dress up like spacemen, bumble bees, infantry, pirates, ghosts, princesses, and pumpkins (and maybe the one really economically unfortunate kid who has to wear a trash bag and pretend he's a california raisin), and go door to door filling plastic pumpkins with candy. It's about as harmful as the "pagan" Christmas tree, in my opinion. Just because Druids worship trees doesn't mean we become tree worshipers when we put up a tree in our houses and wish each other a Merry Christmas.

This whole issue is a matter of opinion. It's not a question of abused "freedom" as you've cast it. It's an innocuous "holiday"(not holy day) in the States meant for fun. If you see it as otherwise, then fine. Be the weird neighbors who admonish those of us who allow our children to have a little harmless fun that isn't directly related to the Church. (You know, like when they read "secular" books in school, or play "secular" sports). Please though, don't elevate your opinion to dogma.

"Innocuous", "pagan christmas trees", wierd neighbors, baseball, druids, and last but not lease church. then a quip about "secular sports and books".

You deserve to celebrate halloween.

This kind of argument is exactly what I hear from most protestants and non-beleivers who love this strange tradition.

You deserve to celebrate halloween.

Enjoy!


May I mention:

I may be the wierd nieghbor to you but in my world I am not wierd at all; I am the president of my "secular" block association and a leader in the "secular" boy scouts. I even drive a "secular" car on "secular" streets. Sometimes I read "secular" newspapers and drink "secular" coffee out of "secular" cups. I even use "secular" money.

Never-the-less people respect me for being Orthodox or they dislike for being orthodox.

I am happy either way.

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« Reply #236 on: August 12, 2008, 10:28:25 AM »



This kind of argument is exactly what I hear from most protestants and non-beleivers who love this strange tradition.





It's also the argument I hear from most Orthodox- if they're ever even confronted with a question about October 31st.

Never-the-less, people also respect me for being Orthodox or they dislike me for being Orthodox. If only dressing like a dinosaur had anything to do with it.
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« Reply #237 on: August 12, 2008, 10:30:37 AM »

I'm truly of very mixed feelings about Hallowe'en. Now that I am no longer a child, and have no children of my own, it really doesn't affect me and I rarely, if ever, think about it.

My parents very strictly forbid me to dress up or go 'trick or treating' (although we always handed out candy to the otherkids), and I remember well that first Hallowe'en when I begged them to allow me to dress up like the other kids were-to no avail. My childish mind made  no associations whatsoever with the spirit world, the occult etc. I merely wanted to be part of a lovely make-believe world of dress-up and a bit of fun with the other kids. Dressing up was the key attraction for me, and I cried bitterly to be left out of the fun.

To this day, I believe this was unnecessary harshness for a small child to have to endure. And it didn't stop with Hallowe'en-no participation was permitted for Christmas concerts or anything else. I do rather wish it had been otherwise. I wouldn't want any other child to have to experience these things. Life is so hard as it is.

You are right.

It is even harder for those of us who 'choose' to live in Christ.

Our faith is a suffering faith. For the kids to.

"Suffer the little children unto me"


My parents always provided us with wonderful alternatives. I had a wonderful childhood. NO halloween and NO xmas trees or toys.

I respect to this day my parents sacarfices for my protection.

It is through them and the grace of God that I am so firmly ingrained in the holy church way of life.
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« Reply #238 on: August 12, 2008, 10:32:33 AM »

It's also the argument I hear from most Orthodox- if they're ever even confronted with a question about October 31st.

Never-the-less, people also respect me for being Orthodox or they dislike me for being Orthodox. If only dressing like a dinosaur had anything to do with it.

Huh
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« Reply #239 on: August 12, 2008, 10:33:16 AM »

You are right.

It is even harder for those of us who 'choose' to live in Christ.

Our faith is a suffering faith. For the kids to.

"Suffer the little children unto me"


My parents always provided us with wonderful alternatives. I had a wonderful childhood. NO halloween and NO xmas trees or toys.

I respect to this day my parents sacarfices for my protection.

It is through them and the grace of God that I am so firmly ingrained in the holy church way of life.

It's wonderful for you to imply that those of us who DID have Christmas trees (like the furs we cover our churches with around Nativity!) are less spiritual than you. You weren't "protected", friend...you just lived a different life.
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« Reply #240 on: August 12, 2008, 10:39:41 AM »

It's wonderful for you to imply that those of us who DID have Christmas trees (like the furs we cover our churches with around Nativity!) are less spiritual than you. You weren't "protected", friend...you just lived a different life.

I was not impling that.

I have no issue with you having your church covered with branches and shrubs.

And please refrain from referring to me as "friend"; this is extremely impolite.
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« Reply #241 on: August 12, 2008, 10:58:01 AM »

Just voted.

ABSOLUTELY NO.
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« Reply #242 on: August 12, 2008, 11:01:41 AM »

Beware the witches' coven.


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« Reply #243 on: August 12, 2008, 11:07:42 AM »

Our faith is a suffering faith. For the kids to.

"Suffer the little children unto me"

The two instances of the word suffer here have drastically different meanings; the first is synonymous with mistreated, and the second with bring. It is an accident of the English language that the same sequence of characters is used in both meanings.
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« Reply #244 on: August 12, 2008, 11:16:47 AM »

The two instances of the word suffer here have drastically different meanings; the first is synonymous with mistreated, and the second with bring. It is an accident of the English language that the same sequence of characters is used in both meanings.

Other, more modern translations use the word "permit" or "allow" in place of "suffer".
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« Reply #245 on: August 12, 2008, 11:23:54 AM »

Our faith is a suffering faith. For the kids to.

"Suffer the little children unto me"



Please tell me you didn't mean to say that......
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« Reply #246 on: August 12, 2008, 11:24:51 AM »

Other, more modern translations use the word "permit" or "allow" in place of "suffer".
Yes, but these words are both more passive than that sense of suffer. Perhaps "direct them unto Me" might be a little better.
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« Reply #247 on: August 12, 2008, 11:27:35 AM »

In Reference to Reply #242 - is that a Greek School Halloween Party?
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« Reply #248 on: August 12, 2008, 11:31:12 AM »

In Reference to Reply #242 - is that a Greek School Halloween Party?
No, Scottish.
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« Reply #249 on: August 12, 2008, 11:54:01 AM »

i checked the OSB (NKJV), and the Greek Interlinear NT Online for Mark 10:14.  Both use the word "Let" in place of the word "suffer".

But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
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« Reply #250 on: August 12, 2008, 11:58:15 AM »

I had another thought. If Orthodox Christians had their own Christian schools, this whole problem could be solved. There would be no need to celebrate Hallowe'en. If none of the other kids were dressing up, no one would feel left out. I wonder if Hallowe'en is celebrated in the RCC Separate School System?
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« Reply #251 on: August 12, 2008, 12:23:43 PM »

I wonder if Hallowe'en is celebrated in the RCC Separate School System?

Ages ago I knew an Orthodox couple whose children attended a Catholic school.  The kitchen staff at any rate dressed up for Halloween. Scared the kids silly with an axe. 

The best argument against H. may be, "If in doubt, throw it out."  I can respect that argument when applied by individuals to themselves.  The problem starts when I decide that if I am not sure of something, I must intimidate others into believing that they must not be sure of it, either.  This Rousseauist instinct (forcing men to be free) is dangerous, not least because of the many times I have been wrong before; it is best for me to apply my opinion only to me.  The value of a discussion like this is obvious:  the only way to be sure that I am right is to meet with opposition.

Amdetsios pleads with us to "Think Orthodox," but there is no Orthodox position on H.  The best bet would be to find injunctions against celebrating non-Christian feasts and argue from analogy, though that would entail either proving that H. is not Christian (which I have already demonstrated to be false) or that proscriptions against non-Christian feasts are validly applied to non-Orthodox feasts (which requires proof, not presumption, of religious nature) or to non-Orthodox non-religious celebrations (which would remove Thanksgiving, Valentine's, Labor Day etc.).  My advice to the anti-H. partisans in a discussion like this is to provide more proof and less presumption. 

DanM
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« Reply #252 on: August 12, 2008, 02:14:33 PM »

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And please refrain from referring to me as "friend"; this is extremely impolite.

It is, bro?  Grin
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« Reply #253 on: August 12, 2008, 02:19:44 PM »

^^^ In New York metro area and a few other US cities, the GOA operates its own Schools.  I don't know if Halloween is celebrated at those schools by parties and such.
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« Reply #254 on: August 12, 2008, 02:21:14 PM »

No, Scottish.

Seriously?  Scottish?  I think my leg is being pulled....
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« Reply #255 on: August 12, 2008, 02:23:10 PM »

Thought I would add that if you and yours decide that Halloween isn't for you, more power to you. That's your decision, of course. My gripe came when it was suggested that taking part in the silly aspects of Halloween is a disqualifier for practicing genuine Christianity. 
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« Reply #256 on: August 12, 2008, 02:27:04 PM »

The best bet would be to find injunctions against celebrating non-Christian feasts and argue from analogy, though that would entail either proving that H. is not Christian (which I have already demonstrated to be false) or that proscriptions against non-Christian feasts are validly applied to non-Orthodox feasts (which requires proof, not presumption, of religious nature) or to non-Orthodox non-religious celebrations (which would remove Thanksgiving, Valentine's, Labor Day etc.).  My advice to the anti-H. partisans in a discussion like this is to provide more proof and less presumption.

What kind of proof is needed especially when the West celebrates All Saint's Day on a different date than Orthodoxy.

OK, looking at Thanksgiving - we are Thankful every day and we don't need a 388 year old feast to remind us of being Thankful.  I attended the Thanksgiving Eve Divine Liturgy - only 5 people showed up.

There was actually a St. Valentine who may (or may not) be commemorated on February 14.

Every Sunday is Labor Day for the Orthodox.

Point is made.   Smiley  If our Hierarchs aren't going to express an opinion on Halloween, I suppose each person can do what he/she feels.  Personally, I don't celebrate Vespers services for Western Holidays especially when the Eastern equivalent of that Holiday has long passed.
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« Reply #257 on: August 12, 2008, 03:24:24 PM »

OK, looking at Thanksgiving - we are Thankful every day and we don't need a 388 year old feast to remind us of being Thankful.  I attended the Thanksgiving Eve Divine Liturgy - only 5 people showed up.

The direction in which I think I was heading is this, that H-ween, V-day, T-giving and Christmas are, like Labor Day and D-Day, American institutions.  As such they are not feasts in the same sense that All Saints is in Orthodoxy & All Souls in Catholicism.  Perhaps some opposition to H-ween comes from the feeling that H-ween really is someone else's feast. 
It seems to me that H-ween, V-Day and T-giving are much less important for their roots than for the pleasure of the activities each encourages.  All three have religious roots, but those have long since been forgotten as we have amplified what at one time would have been incidental details. 
I personally know of no incidental details attached to feasts commemorating, say, ecumenical councils.  I value those feasts for objective reasons that are subjective in impact.  With H-ween it is exactly the opposite:  no one is interested in the (original) point of the night because all the attention is focused on the candy, costumes etc.  NO ONE would care for a H-ween that was really a pre-feast for All Saints and Martyrs.  In short, H-ween has been secularized.  The fact that people attribute to it apocryphal pre-histories and bizarre motivations constitutes the insult of demonization  added to the injury of secularization.  The same thing has happened to the Christmas tree in some Fundamentalist circles and to Christmas itself in others.
DanM

PS.  The idea of a T-giving Eve liturgy seems to show the church at work again--sanitizing local pre-Orthodox customs so that the local converts (does anyone remember how Conrad's _H of D_ starts off?) can retain an institution in the Orthodox context. 

PPS.  Fr. Schmemann provides an interesting test for H-ween.  Somewhere in his journals he says that the chiefest question is how the objective in the faith is made subjective.  Feasts and fasts appear to be viable means thereto.  Now, what objective truth is it that is being subjectively experienced in H-ween?  If there is one, then maybe it is a religious celebration from which we should abstain.  If not, then it is what it seems to be--a meaningless, national  carnival night.
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« Reply #258 on: August 12, 2008, 03:42:25 PM »


Orthodoxy!

Think Orthodoxy!

We will be able to understand each other and help each other then.

But is Orthodoxy to be identified SOLELY with the monastic, ascetic struggle to escape the world, as you would suggest?
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« Reply #259 on: August 12, 2008, 04:38:01 PM »

Seriously?  Scottish?  I think my leg is being pulled....
It's an obscure reference. I'm hoping someone will be able to decipher it.
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« Reply #260 on: August 12, 2008, 04:40:52 PM »

But is Orthodoxy to be identified SOLELY with the monastic, ascetic struggle to escape the world, as you would suggest?

Good question!

Yes!

"Oh my brethren love not the world neither the things that are in the world; the world is passing away and the lusts thereof for all is passing".

This is what the apostles commanded for us to observe.

But I believe you already knew the answer to this question.

Considering all the various posts on this thread; your post is quite odd and out of place. Just as my posts are.

I pray that your question was sincere. My response is.

God bless you+++
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« Reply #261 on: August 12, 2008, 04:54:20 PM »

Beware the witches' coven.




Nice pictures!

Proverbs 22:6 ("train a child in the way he should go")

Keep up the good work!

May I offer simple words of God to His Church since we have resorted to pictures of children to help support a point. I thought the word of God a very good picture as well since it makes the ultimate point of all.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 ("Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.")

James 1:27 ("keep oneself from being polluted by the world")

3 John 1:11 ("do not imitate what is evil")

Romans 12:9 ("abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.")

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 (do not learn to imitate detestable ways, including spiritists, sorcerers and witchcraft)

Ephesians 5:11-12 ("Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness" / "live as children of light")

1 Timothy 4:1 (don't "follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons")

1 Corinthians 10:21
2 Corinthians 6:14-17 ("what fellowship can light have with darkness?")

Philippians 4:8 (think about pure, lovely, noble things)

1 Corinthians 11:1 ("follow the example of Christ")

1 Corinthians 10:31 ("whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God")   James 4:7-8 (submit yourselves to God / resist the devil / purify your hearts)

Ezekiel 44:23 ("…teach my people… to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.")

Proverbs 22:6 ("train a child in the way he should go")

Matthew 18:6 ("if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin…")

Hosea 4:6 ("My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.")

John 3:19-20 (people love darkness instead of light)

Romans 13:12 ("put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.")

Ephesians 6:11-18 ("take your stand against the devil's schemes.")

1 John 5:19

2 Chronicles


The readings in scripture is endless that point us to the way of God in our lives.
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« Reply #262 on: August 12, 2008, 04:55:41 PM »

Good question!

Yes!
So you condemn as non-Orthodox any idea that contradicts your strict, ascetic view of the faith, even though the sanctification of times, places, and even cultures has become very much a part of the prevailing Orthodox ethos?

Quote
"Oh my brethren love not the world neither the things that are in the world; the world is passing away and the lusts thereof for all is passing".

This is what the apostles commanded for us to observe.
But what of how Tradition has come to interpret what the Apostles commanded us to observe?  At least equal in strength to the ascetic ethos of the monastics is the sacramental ethos that sees everything in the world as potentially manifesting the sanctifying life of Jesus Christ.  Would you deny that this is also part of Tradition?

Quote
But I believe you already knew the answer to this question.

Considering all the various posts on this thread; your post is quite odd and out of place. Just as my posts are.

Indeed!  Quite out of place, but necessary to address a mentality that, though truthful insofar as it goes, is potentially quite imbalanced and even judgmental.  Besides, within the context of a discussion of whether we should feel free to celebrate Halloween or not, a critique of the spiritual foundation of your strict opposition to Halloween is not exactly so far out of place.

Quote
I pray that your question was sincere. My response is.

God bless you+++
And also you, Deacon.
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« Reply #263 on: August 12, 2008, 05:05:18 PM »

Nice pictures!

Proverbs 22:6 ("train a child in the way he should go")

Keep up the good work!

May I offer simple words of God to His Church since we have resorted to pictures of children to help support a point. I thought the word of God a very good picture as well since it makes the ultimate point of all.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 ("Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.")

James 1:27 ("keep oneself from being polluted by the world")

3 John 1:11 ("do not imitate what is evil")

Romans 12:9 ("abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.")

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 (do not learn to imitate detestable ways, including spiritists, sorcerers and witchcraft)

Ephesians 5:11-12 ("Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness" / "live as children of light")

1 Timothy 4:1 (don't "follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons")

1 Corinthians 10:21
2 Corinthians 6:14-17 ("what fellowship can light have with darkness?")

Philippians 4:8 (think about pure, lovely, noble things)

1 Corinthians 11:1 ("follow the example of Christ")

1 Corinthians 10:31 ("whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God")   James 4:7-8 (submit yourselves to God / resist the devil / purify your hearts)

Ezekiel 44:23 ("…teach my people… to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.")

Proverbs 22:6 ("train a child in the way he should go")

Matthew 18:6 ("if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin…")

Hosea 4:6 ("My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.")

John 3:19-20 (people love darkness instead of light)

Romans 13:12 ("put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.")

Ephesians 6:11-18 ("take your stand against the devil's schemes.")

1 John 5:19

2 Chronicles


The readings in scripture is endless that point us to the way of God in our lives.

Yes, I've resorted to pictures of children to help support my point. The point is- what does a kid in a superman costume excited over a bucket of candy have to do with  the devil? In all my years as an American youth dressing up on Halloween and strolling around my neighborhood for a couple of hours I not ONCE had a single thought of evil, the devil, ...or even anything remotely spiritual in nature.  By casting yourself in such "spiritual", binary opposition to what has become a day devoid of any spiritual strength, you infuse it with a new spiritual strength that it never had. By making your children aware of the "devil's work" supposedly celebrated on that day, you are creating demons they would otherwise have never heard of. This reminds me of my fundamentalist neighbor when I was a child- one day I wandered over to his yard to find him burning his kid's toys- the toys that represented "unreal" things. He burned a stuffed purple dragon, a few dolls based on creatures that could have come from a Tolkien novel, etc. I found his daughter (around my age) weeping in her room from a total lack of understanding. He brought the adult world of demons and spirits into her pure world and shattered her innocence, infusing her innocent play with all sorts of crazy notions she otherwise would not have been privy to- thereby filling her innocent world with horrible spirits and terrible things. 

Perhaps not a direct result of these types of things, but the daughter did have two children out of wedlock from two different men by the time she was 21.
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« Reply #264 on: August 12, 2008, 06:19:48 PM »

So you condemn as non-Orthodox any idea that contradicts your strict, ascetic view of the faith, even though the sanctification of times, places, and even cultures has become very much a part of the prevailing Orthodox ethos?
But what of how Tradition has come to interpret what the Apostles commanded us to observe?  At least equal in strength to the ascetic ethos of the monastics is the sacramental ethos that sees everything in the world as potentially manifesting the sanctifying life of Jesus Christ.  Would you deny that this is also part of Tradition?
 
quite imbalanced and even judgmental.  

a critique

Excuse me for only slicing out key phrases from your last paragraph.

I do not "condem" anything.

I do not have a "strict ascetic view of the faith".

You give me too much credit.

It is the Lord who condems and who commands us to obey Him.

You write very well.

The"traditions" and "cultures" that prevail in the Holy Church are only good if they are edifying to God in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior.

Who needs church "traditions" and "cultures" that do not and or can not edify God?

If these "traditions" and "cultures" are embraced by those of us who are the faithful than we are the subject of what we embrace. That is our fault NOT the Churches. If what we embrace (in the church) is edifying to Him then we are fruitful servants of the Lord and His Holy Church. If what we embrace (in the church) does not edify Him then we are not fruitful servants.

The "ethos" of the holy Church is the same as the Ethos in heaven. If not than we have made a wrong turn since these two are equal. "On earth as it is in Heaven". Says the Lord our God.

I am sure that the Alter in heaven has NO trees and shrubs around it with the Saints singing 'rudolph the red nose reindeer'.

Not that I am saying these things are sins. I am saying they are of NO value to God and so they are of NO value to His Church or His people.

The point here is NO VALUE TO GOD. NO value to the Church

Fruitlessness is wickedness. Read the scripture on the fig tree with no figs. Such things are to be discarded and thrown out into outer darkness where they belong. Twice dead.

WE are busy with being 'fruitful' as christians..at all times and with all things. WE avoid fruitless pursuits, fantasies and endeavors. These things may not be evil but are prepared for the devil and his angels. NOT us.

WE dwell on earth in the spirit of truth which is filled with Gods Glory. We seek out men to follow this way with US. WE do not follow anyone but Christ.

Listen to Bogoliubtsy who completely disagrees with what I am saying but manages to state this:

The point is- what does a kid in a superman costume excited over a bucket of candy have to do with  the devil? In all my years as an American youth dressing up on Halloween and strolling around my neighborhood for a couple of hours I not ONCE had a single thought of evil, the devil, ...or even anything remotely spiritual in nature.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interesting.

Apparently he sees nothing wrong with engaging his kids or anyones kids in mindless, spiritless endeavors.

I beleive him. Even before the pictures he posted as well.

That is why I am praying that we can all understand that this mindset is destructive. WE are to be Orthdodox in our view point and thinking on all matters. Orthodoxy does not promote mindless, spiritless thinking and pursuits. Quite the opposite.

The orthodox mind is always at work. We do not take off for mindless spiritless halloween and the like.

Such activities may not be evil. But they lack of sprituality and thus can not bear fruit so they are to be dismissed, and discarded whole.

All of us are not going to think this way.

All of us are not going to make it into heaven either.

I love you all.

As my posts would indicate I am very weak so I need each person here to truly remember me in their prayers. I have fallen down and am trying to stand back up again. But not where I was standing before. I am willing to give away my previous position to stand firmly with the Lord.

Maybe if I succeed in that he we let me be a door keeper in in His heveanly kingdom.

PLease pray for me.

WE must remember to pray for each other right now and always no matter how different unfortunately our views may be.


God bless us all..Amen







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« Reply #265 on: August 12, 2008, 06:23:55 PM »

Such activities may not be evil. But they do the lack of sprituality can not bear fruit so they are to be dismissed, and discarded whole.

To the pure, all things are pure.
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« Reply #266 on: August 12, 2008, 07:46:35 PM »

Such activities may not be evil. But they lack of sprituality and thus can not bear fruit so they are to be dismissed, and discarded whole.

How do you know what fruit any activity might bring to bear? Going to the grocery store "lacks spirituality", but we don't know who we might affect while involved in that mundane activity; what hope in Christ is offered to a stranger in an act of kindness. Do you truly believe that God is restricted by the limitations of your own intuition and discretion, and that he is prevented from acting in activities that you disapprove of?
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« Reply #267 on: August 12, 2008, 07:57:00 PM »

This reminds me of my fundamentalist neighbor when I was a child- one day I wandered over to his yard to find him burning his kid's toys- the toys that represented "unreal" things. He burned a stuffed purple dragon, a few dolls based on creatures that could have come from a Tolkien novel, etc. I found his daughter (around my age) weeping in her room from a total lack of understanding. He brought the adult world of demons and spirits into her pure world and shattered her innocence, infusing her innocent play with all sorts of crazy notions she otherwise would not have been privy to- thereby filling her innocent world with horrible spirits and terrible things. 

Perhaps not a direct result of these types of things, but the daughter did have two children out of wedlock from two different men by the time she was 21.

What a terribly hurtful thing to do to his children. Really sad.  Sad It's easy to understand the daughter's confusion and her disappointment that her father would do such a thing.
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Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
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« Reply #268 on: August 12, 2008, 08:06:21 PM »

What a terribly hurtful thing to do to his children. Really sad.  Sad It's easy to understand the daughter's confusion and her disappointment that her father would do such a thing.

And what will it do to her understanding of God when the man who is supposed to represent Him to her behaves this way?
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If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Amdetsion
Worship God with all thy strength and all thy might
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Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Patriarchate; Addis Abebe Ethiopia
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HH Abuna Pawlos - Patriarch of Ethiopia


« Reply #269 on: August 12, 2008, 08:12:22 PM »

How do you know what fruit any activity might bring to bear? Going to the grocery store "lacks spirituality", but we don't know who we might affect while involved in that mundane activity; what hope in Christ is offered to a stranger in an act of kindness. Do you truly believe that God is restricted by the limitations of your own intuition and discretion, and that he is prevented from acting in activities that you disapprove of?

I have no idea what you are talking about.

'I' have not claimed to "know" anything much less "what fruit any activity might bring to bear".

Do you know?

Going to the grocery store? You lost me here. Sorry!

I have no activities noted on this thread that 'I' disapprove of.

I suggest you re-read the posts on this thread.

You seem to simply be disagreeing just to disagree.

Which is your perogative of course.

What is your point?
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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