Dick publishes a newsletter called Ekklesia...Then & Now which explores a diverse range of reflections on the church. From time to time we've disagreed, but he has always presented well-thought-through positions. Most importantly, he is a gentleman who does not respond rudely or arrogantly.
I've said all of that to compliment his last issue ("Witches and Goblins and Ghosts, Oh, My!"). He gives perhaps one of the most balanced perspectives on Halloween I've read in a long time. What I like about Dick is his meticulous research into whatever topic he is discussing. I am familiar with much of the background on this topic so I can vouch for what he writes.
Dick points out that "All Saints' Day" (November 1) was originally a celebration of Christian martyrs which began very early in Christian history. It was much like our Veterans'and Memorial Days--celebrating those who have served honorably, and especially those who have given their lives for the cause.(Note: Holloween or "Hollowed Evening" is the evening before All Saints' Day.) Here is a quote from his newsletter:
The suggestion that Halloween is a Satanist holiday is the invention of fundamental Christians in the nineteenth century. Dozens of anti-Holloween webpages confidently claim that Satan loves Holloween. Perhaps he does, but if so, probably no more than the modern secular (emphasis on secular -DBW) versions of Christmas and Easter.I especially appreciated his opinion of the ever popular "Hell Houses" that are put on by several churches throughout the United States. If you know me you can figure Dick has a low opinion of them. Here's another quote:
Hell houses are designed to "scare the hell out of children," and promoters claim substantial spot-conversions of attendees. Show me one example in Scripture of anyone converted to Christ through such fear and intimidation tactics. Those who are, sadly, are likely either to fall away quickly or become carbon copies of their creators.I hope you will check out Dick's websites and maybe even subscribe to his newsletter. Be prepared to be challenged, though!