Thoughts to Ponder are my musings regarding community, things of the Spirit, and living as a Christ-follower. I don't offer the words of a professional or an expert; just a fellow traveler and explorer. Please don't take my musings more serious than I do. I've discovered a long time ago that I do not hold the keys of knowledge or wisdom. If I did, I misplaced them somewhere...typical.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All Saints Day and Holloween?

Although I haven't personally met him face to face, I consider Dick Soule a friend of mine. We've had several email exchanges over the past couple of years and I've grown to respect and admire him.

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!


Dick said...

So Darryl...I came on here to see what you'd written lately, particularly after mildly chastising you for not hitting my blog, and what do I find?

Thanks for the kind remarks! I wholeheartedly agree that we are friends, and if we never get the chance to meet in the flesh, be prepared for a big hug when we both go the heaven!

We do indeed disagree at times, but I appreciate that we can always discuss those differences in an atmosphere of respect and civility, always recognizing that the things we agree about are FAR more important than the relatively minor details we occassionally debate.

Brittany said...

Wow, I wish I could have read that.

I've always hated the idea of hell houses (maybe just because I'm a complete coward ^^). I feel like the way to really reach people is to show them God's love, while keeping in mind fear and awe of him... Love comes first. Just like the Shema, eh? ^_^

It's like they just found another form of fire and brimstone sermons.

Love ya, Dad, and see ya soon!