Poll

Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?

Yes
79 (40.9%)
No
78 (40.4%)
Maybe
15 (7.8%)
Unsure
14 (7.3%)
Other (Explain)
7 (3.6%)

Total Members Voted: 193

Author Topic: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?  (Read 118415 times)

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Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #315 on: August 14, 2008, 01:42:06 PM »
But when you state very clearly your view that the whole world is corrupted because the whole material creation is the work of a demented or evil demiurge, then you state a doctrine that comes straight out of the Gnosticism that St. Irenaeus wrote many treatises to combat, a heretical doctrine that has nothing to do with orthodox Christianity.  Don't you see now how doing this undermines your credibility when you claim to teach nothing but unadulterated Orthodoxy?

The only thing "credible" is Orthodoxy.

The thread is about halloween not me.
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Offline DanM

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #316 on: August 14, 2008, 04:54:57 PM »
The only thing "credible" is Orthodoxy.

The thread is about halloween not me.

Can you direct me to online documents of the Ethiopian Orthodox church which will provide sources for the belief that the world was created by a mad or evil demiurge?  Is such a doctrine contained in the Broader Canon, perhaps? 
If you care to read them, St. Irenaeus and Tertullian can be found at http://www.ccel.org/fathers.html.
DanM

PS.  I insist it was accidental that I found this:  "Bible Messages: Pagan Festival of Easter ...  Most Christians (so-called as well as many genuine ones) are celebrating Easter this weekend. Do you realize this is a pagan festival?" at http://www.christianhospitality.org/.  Shades of Halloween!

PPS.  Not to be overlooked:  online critical texts of OT pseudepigrapha at http://ocp.acadiau.ca/index.html?1En.

Offline Keble

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #317 on: August 15, 2008, 12:17:53 PM »
Amdetsion, this thread (as well as the "born again" thread) is increasingly about your failure to recognize that you are tending to represent yourself as Orthodoxy.

Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #318 on: August 15, 2008, 01:44:16 PM »
Amdetsion, this thread (as well as the "born again" thread) is increasingly about your failure to recognize that you are tending to represent yourself as Orthodoxy.


Insulting words indeed.

God bless you.
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #319 on: August 15, 2008, 01:57:59 PM »
Exactly!

The whole world is corrupted because of this very fact you state.

We are therefore to reject the whole world and everything in it.

Father Deacon Amdetsion, you and I know that Christ selected His Disciples from the World and told them that the world would ultimately reject and kill them as a price for spreading the message of Christ.  Christ never told His Disciples to reject the whole world and everything in it.  Why would you teach and preach something contrary to what Christ taught and what authority gives you the right to do so? 

You said elsewhere that you have attended Orthodox sponsored UN prayer services in NYC, Christ wants you to find the people whose hearts are turned towards God like the Disciples found Roman officials whose hearts were turned towards God.  Christ doesn't want you to reject the UN (for example) and crawl under a rock - Elijah paid the price for disobeying God even though He was taken up in a chariot of fire.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #320 on: August 15, 2008, 03:37:09 PM »
Insulting words indeed.
Insulting only if the words are false.  The question is:  Is what Keble said true?
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Offline ComingHome

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #321 on: August 15, 2008, 09:36:22 PM »
I'm so glad I read this whole thread rather than just the Deacon's comments.  As a former Jack Chick believer, this discussion has been of benefit to me in seeing things from another perspective.  (BTW, I deserted Chickism long ago.) 

I did appreciate the reference to Ralph Woodrow who was once as crackers as Jack but has since come to see things differently (although he has not as yet seen the fulness of Orthodoxy AFAIK).

Offline Salpy

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #322 on: August 15, 2008, 10:02:56 PM »
Spirit good, matter evil?  Is that your point?

I think you are reading too much into Deacon Amde's post.  He never said matter was evil.  He said to reject the world.  "The world" in Christian understanding can mean other things besides matter.  I think what Deacon Amde means is something more along the lines of what Christ was talking about in John 15:18-19, or What St. James was talking about in James 4:4 ("...friendship with the world is hatred toward God.  Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.") 

Offline Salpy

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #323 on: August 15, 2008, 10:19:13 PM »
Can you direct me to online documents of the Ethiopian Orthodox church which will provide sources for the belief that the world was created by a mad or evil demiurge?  Is such a doctrine contained in the Broader Canon, perhaps? 
If you care to read them, St. Irenaeus and Tertullian can be found at http://www.ccel.org/fathers.html.
DanM



Again, I think you and Mr. Y, like Bogoliubtsy, are giving an interpretation to Deacon Amde's use of the word "world" that is not supported by his posts.  I don't see him condemning matter or suggesting that matter was created by a demiurge, like the gnostics.  Perhaps you guys can point out where he did that.  I can't see it.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #324 on: August 15, 2008, 10:45:12 PM »
Salpy,

This might be the source of some confusion;

Reply #272;

Quote from: Amdetsion on August 12, 2008, 06:19:48 PM
Quote
Who needs church "traditions" and "cultures" that do not and or can not edify God?
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.
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.

DanM replies;

Quote
This view strikes me as a crypto-Manichaean view of things.  Such a view makes more sense if we believe that the whole material creation is the work of a demented or evil demiurge.

Then in reply #279, Deacon Amde repeats DanM's quote;
Quote
Such a view makes more sense if we believe that the whole material creation is the work of a demented or evil demiurge. 

To which Deacon Amde responded with;

Quote
Exactly!

The whole world is corrupted because of this very fact you state.

We are therefore to reject the whole world and everything in it.

We are only here on earth to edify God with all of our life. All the time. Till we die.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 11:15:13 PM by Riddikulus »
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #325 on: August 16, 2008, 02:25:16 AM »
O.K.  I see where the confusion came from.  I get the feeling from other posts by Deacon Amde that he is not familiar with gnosticism or with the concept of the demiurge.  That could be why he replied the way he did.  I would be astounded if he were a gnostic.  I think his use of the word "world" is more along the lines of what I cited from the Bible a few posts ago.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #326 on: August 16, 2008, 03:04:32 AM »
O.K.  I see where the confusion came from.  I get the feeling from other posts by Deacon Amde that he is not familiar with gnosticism or with the concept of the demiurge.
 

Yes, I would agree.

Quote
That could be why he replied the way he did.  I would be astounded if he were a gnostic.  I think his use of the word "world" is more along the lines of what I cited from the Bible a few posts ago.

Yes, I would agree again, but I also believe that Deacon Amde's propensity to diatribe (no matter how well-meaning) rather than dialogue might be at the heart of the matter.  ;)
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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #327 on: August 16, 2008, 03:13:47 AM »
On feast days the church is empty.  Even our parish feast day it was Father and I at liturgy.  No preparations by the faithful, no dinner, no kids, no one was there.  But for secular halloween preparations will be starting in several weeks, people will be expected by secular social customs to participate and in some instances hundreds and hundreds of dollars will be spent by a single family on costumes, candy and partying.  Does anyone else see the problem here? 
I despise secular Halloween for many reasons.  Not only has some pseudo-pagan ritual been thrust upon our society but we have been trained by the corporations to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on Halloween.  And the funniest part about it...... trick-or-treat night here isn't even on official Halloween.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #328 on: August 16, 2008, 03:51:11 AM »
On feast days the church is empty.  Even our parish feast day it was Father and I at liturgy.  No preparations by the faithful, no dinner, no kids, no one was there.  But for secular halloween preparations will be starting in several weeks, people will be expected by secular social customs to participate and in some instances hundreds and hundreds of dollars will be spent by a single family on costumes, candy and partying.  Does anyone else see the problem here? 

Of course, there is a problem, but that people aren't attending Church on feast days doesn't exclude us from partaking in secular activities; with the hope of affecting others with the love of Christ. Hiding out doesn't make any impact on the status quo - and (begin rant) fundamentalists spreading lies about the origins of Halloween being satanic has just the opposite impact (end rant). We might see family members putting more effort into preparing for the celebration of a nephew's 21st than the Birth of Christ, but that doesn't mean we should avoid the nephew's celebration because it doesn't fall into the category of sacred. How does it serve Christ to offend our family members?

Quote
I despise secular Halloween for many reasons. Not only has some pseudo-pagan ritual been thrust upon our society but we have been trained by the corporations to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on Halloween.  And the funniest part about it...... trick-or-treat night here isn't even on official Halloween.

The same reasoning can be applied to Christmas. Do you despice that celebration because of all the secular broohaha, pseudo-pagan ritualism and corporate manipulation involved? And I'm sure people aren't forced to partake in Halloween, and are at liberty to arrange an alternative event - or they could, of course, work at reinstating the original Christian celebration.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2008, 04:29:44 AM by Riddikulus »
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #329 on: August 16, 2008, 10:53:39 AM »
I despise secular Halloween for many reasons.  Not only has some pseudo-pagan ritual been thrust upon our society but we have been trained by the corporations to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on Halloween.  And the funniest part about it...... trick-or-treat night here isn't even on official Halloween.
So is the problem Halloween or is it manipulative corporations?
"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens

Offline DanM

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #330 on: August 16, 2008, 12:08:47 PM »
So is the problem Halloween or is it manipulative corporations?

We may wish to blame manipulative corporations, but if they did not read the desires of the masses properly, they would be manipulating nothing.  I might become a billionaire by manipulating everyone into reading Locrian Greek texts, but it is not likely to happen, is it?
All public holidays/holy days, feasts etc. are subject to continuing re-evaluation by everyone.  E.g., certain American civic holidays used to be celebrated with a great deal of solemnity and personal involvement which are now simply used as an excuse for three-day week-ends.  Again, Christmas has been constantly re-evaluated throughout Christian history makes that obvious.  At bottom, the problem is how we read Halloween, or Christmas, or Memorial Day etc. 
The fact that there is a growing sense that Halloween is no longer fit for children--so churches are now having Halloween substitute parties (rather as the Fathers are said to have inaugurated Chrismas to keep Christians out of Saturnalian-influenced celebrations of Sol Invictus)--is probably a good sign.
I think that if we are really opposed to Halloween, our best precedent is St. Augustine's tolerance of Lupercalia (a genuinely pagan feast celebrated by Christians!).
DanM

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #331 on: August 16, 2008, 12:36:55 PM »
^ The French don't have to have excuses for three-day weekends. Vive le vondredi!
"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #332 on: August 17, 2008, 07:02:14 AM »
Of course, there is a problem, but that people aren't attending Church on feast days doesn't exclude us from partaking in secular activities; with the hope of affecting others with the love of Christ. Hiding out doesn't make any impact on the status quo - and (begin rant) fundamentalists spreading lies about the origins of Halloween being satanic has just the opposite impact (end rant). We might see family members putting more effort into preparing for the celebration of a nephew's 21st than the Birth of Christ, but that doesn't mean we should avoid the nephew's celebration because it doesn't fall into the category of sacred. How does it serve Christ to offend our family members?

The same reasoning can be applied to Christmas. Do you despice that celebration because of all the secular broohaha, pseudo-pagan ritualism and corporate manipulation involved? And I'm sure people aren't forced to partake in Halloween, and are at liberty to arrange an alternative event - or they could, of course, work at reinstating the original Christian celebration.

I celebrate Old Calender Feast of the Nativity.  It is a quiet day of reflection and celebration with my family.

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #333 on: August 17, 2008, 07:07:27 AM »
So is the problem Halloween or is it manipulative corporations?

Manipulative corporations.  Secular holidays say a lot about the customs, mores and norms of a society.  I think the question may be that is it wrong to have such a large secular festival that centers around a pagan ritual/holy day, custom?  We do the trick-or-treat thing.  But like I said the whole lame thing is that each community in my area has a different night for trick-or-treat.  So you actually have people that do the trick-or-treat circuit and go more than one night.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #334 on: August 17, 2008, 08:15:41 AM »
I celebrate Old Calender Feast of the Nativity.  It is a quiet day of reflection and celebration with my family.

My goodness. With our tradition Christmas we have little chance of a quiet day of reflection. There's plenty of reflection, but it's on the move. There's always so much preparation with a house full of children and friends and family dropping in to exchange gifts and share the meal. I missed that very much last Christmas; the first we spent in Australia. The Feast of Nativity has always been truly clamourous day for us. I remember one year a member of our family had saved fireworks from Guy Fawkes Night and as they weren't going to be with us for New Year's we let them off on Christmas Day instead; to the delight of the children. Of course, we can't do that in Australia; we might start a bush fire! ;D
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #335 on: August 17, 2008, 08:58:11 AM »
So you actually have people that do the trick-or-treat circuit and go more than one night.
Yeah, and they get a lot of candy. I think there are worse crimes against humanity.
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Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #336 on: August 17, 2008, 09:09:57 PM »
O.K.  I see where the confusion came from.  I get the feeling from other posts by Deacon Amde that he is not familiar with gnosticism or with the concept of the demiurge.  That could be why he replied the way he did.  I would be astounded if he were a gnostic.  I think his use of the word "world" is more along the lines of what I cited from the Bible a few posts ago.

Correct.

Thanks Salpy.

"World" is man and all of his ideas and pursuits.

"Earth" and Gods creation is another subject altogether.

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #337 on: August 17, 2008, 11:32:11 PM »
Yeah, and they get a lot of candy. I think there are worse crimes against humanity.

Never said it was a crime against humanity.


This is a crime against humanity




« Last Edit: August 17, 2008, 11:35:12 PM by username! »

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #338 on: August 17, 2008, 11:34:23 PM »
My goodness. With our tradition Christmas we have little chance of a quiet day of reflection. There's plenty of reflection, but it's on the move. There's always so much preparation with a house full of children and friends and family dropping in to exchange gifts and share the meal. I missed that very much last Christmas; the first we spent in Australia. The Feast of Nativity has always been truly clamourous day for us. I remember one year a member of our family had saved fireworks from Guy Fawkes Night and as they weren't going to be with us for New Year's we let them off on Christmas Day instead; to the delight of the children. Of course, we can't do that in Australia; we might start a bush fire! ;D

Pascha is the feast of feasts and is usually a joyous and busy busy time for us.

Offline Quinault

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #339 on: August 17, 2008, 11:43:50 PM »
My daughter wants to dress up as her patron saint Paraskeve this year and carry a bowl of eyeballs like in her icon.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2008, 11:47:15 PM by Quinault »

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #340 on: August 17, 2008, 11:47:32 PM »
Pascha is the feast of feasts and is usually a joyous and busy busy time for us.

We wouldn't have Pascha if not for the Nativity! And certainly it is a most joyous and preparation intensive time, too!
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #341 on: August 17, 2008, 11:49:09 PM »
My daughter wants to dress up as her patron saint Paraskeve this year and carry a bowl of eyeballs like in her icon.

What a fabulous idea, Quinault!! And just think of the opportunity she could have to share the reasons for her costume choice. We Christians really need to take St Paul's advice and be as cunning as serpents, instead of flies in the ointment. Trust a little child to come up with such a cunning plan! :)
« Last Edit: August 17, 2008, 11:51:01 PM by Riddikulus »
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Offline Quinault

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #342 on: August 17, 2008, 11:53:55 PM »
Riddikulus; I wish I could claim owndership of the idea, it was completely my daughter's idea.

Her sisters patron saint is Anna and her brothers is Seraphim of Sarov. So if she wants to be Paraskeve I need to be sure that her little brother and sister follow the saint theme also. Seraphim would be fairly easy- a hunchback and a teddy bear.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #343 on: August 18, 2008, 12:07:12 AM »
Riddikulus; I wish I could claim owndership of the idea, it was completely my daughter's idea.

Her sisters patron saint is Anna and her brothers is Seraphim of Sarov. So if she wants to be Paraskeve I need to be sure that her little brother and sister follow the saint theme also. Seraphim would be fairly easy- a hunchback and a teddy bear.

^^LOL
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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #344 on: August 18, 2008, 12:53:01 AM »
We wouldn't have Pascha if not for the Nativity! And certainly it is a most joyous and preparation intensive time, too!

 thank you for the theology lesson, I wasn't aware of that. :P ::)

Offline Ebor

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #345 on: August 18, 2008, 12:55:16 AM »
Our eldest boy's first Halloween costume was as St. Dunstan: simple monk's tunic and belt with a little homemade wooden blacksmith's hammer tucked into the belt.  Dunstan being the patron saint of blacksmiths and locksmiths and the legend of how he was working in the forge when Old Scratch came in for some new shoes for his cloven hooves.   :)

The bowl of eyeballs is quite an idea. Any idea how you'll do it?

Ebor
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #346 on: August 18, 2008, 02:48:42 AM »
thank you for the theology lesson, I wasn't aware of that. :P ::)

No trouble, at all.
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Offline Zarabas

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #347 on: August 18, 2008, 09:35:47 AM »
Some people are saying we need "moderation" in our lives. Then those same people have the nerve to define what is and what is not ORTHODOX. Orhtodoxy does not teach that moderation allows to engage in what is satanic by its very nature.

Halloween has been "Christianized" by the Western Churches. So many Orthodox protest against the Roman Catholics and Protestants and are Anti-Ecumeists only in some cases. Where Halloween is involved, the ecumenism is tolerated for the sake of children having "fun". But what kind of "fun" are kids having? Why are ghosts witches vampires and devils "fun" for children? How are these "fun" things moderate? They represent evil in various forms. Laughing at our fears? Only fools laugh at evil to pretend it doesn't exist.

While most people here are ready to criticize Coptics and call them un-Orthodox or erroneously "monophysites" they eagerly enjoy celebrating Halloween just as Wiccans enjoy doing this, and Satanists. Co-celebrating Halloween with such people who are clearly anti-Christian is what is happening. You dont have to participate in Wiccan and Satanic rituals to co-celebrate. But using their symbols, promoting their beliefs, and justifying it all for the sake of your childrens "fun" is so hypocritical and stupid. Parents are supposed to protect their children and teach them that fear of evil is not a laughing matter, but part of their salvation in Christ. When we reduce the satanic to "fun" we invite it into our lives on a spiritual level that is harmful. Halloween has and always will introduce children to alternative spiritualities that are against the Orthodox Church.

Halloween is an example of ecumenism that is far worse than you can imagine. It unities Christians under the false sense that it is a Christian event, and it unites us with those who despise Jesus Christ.

If you think I'm wrong, then dress up your children in Halloween costumes and take them to Church if its so appropriate. Let the Papa give communion to your child or yourself dressed up as a witch or vampire. Sounds crazy? According to most people here its just "fun".

Wake up people.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2008, 09:41:04 AM by Zarabas »

Offline DanM

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #348 on: August 18, 2008, 11:41:38 AM »
Orthodoxy does not teach that moderation allows to engage in what is satanic by its very nature.
Halloween has been "Christianized" by the Western Churches.

Dear Zarabas,
So far no one has taken me up on the matter of the non-Satanic origins of H-ween.  You may recall that I nailed four theses on the local Wittenberg door:
(1)  The Pantheon was built by Agrippa.
(2)  It was rebuilt by Hadrian.
(3)  It was dedicated to Santa Maria ad Martyres by Pope Boniface IV in 609 with an attached foundation feast celebrating all martyrs.
(4)  That feast was transfered by Pope Gregory III to November 1 on the occasion of dedicating a chapel in St. Peter's to All Saints, giving rise to All Hallows' Even (Halloween).
If you could prove that (3) and (4) are false, my argument would be undone.
However, it seems to me that you have raised the ante somewhat:  you have alleged that H-ween is Satanic by its very nature but Christianized subsequently.  Surely you can furnish some evidence of these claims? 
You see, H-ween, unlike murder and theft, is not explicitly condemned by, say, Scripture, so we must use our wits to decide if it is acceptable or not.  Part of that procedure is generally acceptable evidence and validly inferred conclusions.  You are saying all sorts of striking things, but cite no evidence to buttress your claims.  Please consider whether you can rebut my theses and buttress yours.
No matter how strongly we may hold our opinions, if they are not based on properly understood evidence, there is not much point on forcing them on others.
DanM

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #349 on: August 18, 2008, 12:02:40 PM »
Some people are saying we need "moderation" in our lives. Then those same people have the nerve to define what is and what is not ORTHODOX. Orhtodoxy does not teach that moderation allows to engage in what is satanic by its very nature.
No, it does not teach that. Rather, it teaches that nothing is satanic by nature: that all things belong to God and are corrupted by the devil and his angels.
"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #350 on: August 18, 2008, 01:36:05 PM »
Speaking as a Copt, I know many Coptic Churches that host Halloween parties at their own churches, encouraging children to dress up as saints, angels, clergy, etc.

I personally don't see the issue with vampires, ghosts, and werewolves.  The intention is acting like something, like....an actor.  I'm sure my Coptic friend knows the low budget Egyptian saint movies that contain protagonists and antagonists, antagonists that include demons, thieves, harlots, murderers, heretics, etc.

Arguing the origins of a practice is irrelevant.  Christmas lights seem to originate from pagan practices.  Doesn't make the use of lights pagan.

Now one could argue that the use of antagonist actors and Christmas lights have been given a symbolic purpose, while the use of Christmas costumes are just vain fun.  I personally wouldn't call "fun" vain.  It would seem just as "vain" as reading a non-religious book, watching the "Dark Knight" or any other non-religious movie, going to the beach, watching the news (nothing can be more vain and "evil" than politics, but it's fun ;-) ), listening to music, playing sports, playing home games like monopoly or backgammon, etc. etc. etc.

Doing things for the sake of "fun" was never thought of as vain, but as long as it brings friends and families together safely and without any wrongs (or if it stimulates the mind in some way), why not "fun" for the sake of "fun?"

Finally, it has come to my attention, if you read the beginning of the thread, many of the things you may have heard from a Coptic priest's sermon on Halloween (or from HG Bishop Sourial) are either false (like the idea that the money used for candy goes out to Wiccans) or partially true and out of context (like the origins of Halloween).

God bless.
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Offline livefreeordie

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #351 on: August 18, 2008, 01:45:25 PM »
No matter how strongly we may hold our opinions, if they are not based on properly understood evidence, there is not much point on forcing them on others.
DanM

Here is some "evidence" those of you who are interested can chew on.  I'm no historian, but the following is from the History Channel. It'll have to suffice as a historian for now! I guess how you view the origins of Halloween comes down to how you view the ancient celtic religion and druids.

"Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble 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. 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.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas."

Offline Quinault

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #352 on: August 18, 2008, 02:41:24 PM »
Our eldest boy's first Halloween costume was as St. Dunstan: simple monk's tunic and belt with a little homemade wooden blacksmith's hammer tucked into the belt.  Dunstan being the patron saint of blacksmiths and locksmiths and the legend of how he was working in the forge when Old Scratch came in for some new shoes for his cloven hooves.   :)

The bowl of eyeballs is quite an idea. Any idea how you'll do it?

Ebor

Depends upon whether the eyeballs will be to just look at or if she wants to let people play with them.

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #353 on: August 18, 2008, 03:00:34 PM »
I'm positive candy companies make edible eyeballs, but I don't know if such things would be available in all markets.
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Offline DanM

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #354 on: August 18, 2008, 04:05:40 PM »
Here is some "evidence" those of you who are interested can chew on.  I'm no historian, but the following is from the History Channel . . .
In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.  The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

I restrict my comments to two points:  the Feralia and the Pomonalia. 
The Feralia to which the History Channel alludes occured on February 21, not October.  It was a private feast connected with the Parentalia.
The so-called Pomonalia was never celebrated by the Romans, although it is celebrated with relish by anti-historical neo-pagans.  Pomona was an Italo-Roman goddess of fruit but of no importance.
I am confident that anyone who does his homework will discover other holes in the same bucket.  E.g., the amount of nonsense swirling about Samhain boggles the mind.  What I have read indicates that the scholars are unsure of all their facts, but it seems safe to say that Samhein was not combined with non-existent Roman feasts.

Livefreeordie has done everyone a service by citing his source.  For my part, I have debunked the History Channel's Roman errors using The Oxford Classical Dictionary.  I would accept published materials that are online.
Opinions are dicey anyway, but we could avoid a lot of trouble if we all agreed to restrict our evidence to published or authoritative sources.  This does not remove the need to exercise caution--I had a professor who sternly reminded me that just because something was in print did not mean that it was true--but at least we would be relieved from the onerous chore of winnowing out enormous piles of Internet-propagated piffle. 
DanM



Offline livefreeordie

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #355 on: August 18, 2008, 04:17:08 PM »
  For my part, I have debunked the History Channel's Roman errors using The Oxford Classical Dictionary.  I would accept published materials that are online.

You are an intense fella DanM, I'm afraid I've exhausted any desire I had to know more about the subject, so hopefully someone else will help you carry the flame of inquiry in the origins of good ole' Halloween.  In the meantime, this inquiring mind wants to know, will you be making the History Channel aware of it's error?  ;)

Offline EofK

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #356 on: August 18, 2008, 04:24:22 PM »
Post of the Month!

I restrict my comments to two points:  the Feralia and the Pomonalia. 
The Feralia to which the History Channel alludes occured on February 21, not October.  It was a private feast connected with the Parentalia.
The so-called Pomonalia was never celebrated by the Romans, although it is celebrated with relish by anti-historical neo-pagans.  Pomona was an Italo-Roman goddess of fruit but of no importance.
I am confident that anyone who does his homework will discover other holes in the same bucket.  E.g., the amount of nonsense swirling about Samhain boggles the mind.  What I have read indicates that the scholars are unsure of all their facts, but it seems safe to say that Samhein was not combined with non-existent Roman feasts.

Livefreeordie has done everyone a service by citing his source.  For my part, I have debunked the History Channel's Roman errors using The Oxford Classical Dictionary.  I would accept published materials that are online.
Opinions are dicey anyway, but we could avoid a lot of trouble if we all agreed to restrict our evidence to published or authoritative sources.  This does not remove the need to exercise caution--I had a professor who sternly reminded me that just because something was in print did not mean that it was true--but at least we would be relieved from the onerous chore of winnowing out enormous piles of Internet-propagated piffle. 
DanM



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Offline Myrrh23

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #357 on: August 18, 2008, 05:49:32 PM »
No, it does not teach that. Rather, it teaches that nothing is satanic by nature: that all things belong to God and are corrupted by the devil and his angels.

So, would the practice of witchcraft be a corruption of prayer?

« Last Edit: August 18, 2008, 06:19:41 PM by Myrrh23 »
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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #358 on: August 18, 2008, 06:30:09 PM »
So, would the practice of witchcraft be a corruption of prayer?



I don't know what you are getting at with this.  I know that in Islam prayer must be done a certain way for it to count and if it is corrupted, well, Allah will thusly not be pleased. 

The practice of witchcraft period by a self-professed Orthodox Christian would place that person outside of the church.  The Latins would call that excommunication.  Of course if a person would stop practicing witchcraft and make a confession then he could be received back into the church.  Being "in the church" in Orthodoxy means being able to receive Communion/participate in the Sacramental life of the church.

Offline DanM

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Re: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #359 on: August 18, 2008, 07:18:15 PM »
In the meantime, this inquiring mind wants to know, will you be making the History Channel aware of it's error?  ;)

In some circles facts are regarded as rude.
DanM