Do you “observe” Halloween? Not observe it? Have you changed from one view to another? Share your thoughts below. Or peruse the following Halloween-related links. Or give your views on the horror(?) that is The Mouse’s assimilation of a willing Star Wars franchise.
Concerning Halloween — James B. Jordan
In this column the theologian and author of Through New Eyes: Developing a Biblical View of the World and Creation in Six Days: A Defense of the Traditional Reading of Genesis One shares his Biblical/historical view of Halloween’s origin. “This is “the best article on Halloween written, hands down,” says SF contributor A.T. Ross. “Jordan mops the floor with legalism and all of the myths many Christians have still imbibed.” From Jordan:
Satan’s great sin (and our great sin) is pride. Thus, to drive Satan from us we ridicule him. This is why the custom arose of portraying Satan in a ridiculous red suit with horns and a tail. Nobody thinks the devil really looks like this; the Bible teaches that he is the fallen Arch-Cherub. Rather, the idea is to ridicule him because he has lost the battle with Jesus and he no longer has power over us.
[…] Thus, the defeat of evil and of demonic powers is associated with Halloween. For this reason, Martin Luther posted his 95 challenges to the wicked practices of the Church to the bulletin board on the door of the Wittenberg chapel on Halloween. He picked his day with care, and ever since Halloween has also been Reformation Day.
Shooting at Halloween pumpkins — E. Stephen Burnett
From myself: “At Halloween, do demons really run wild over neighborhoods and souls? Or might Christians ‘demonize’ decorations, to the glee of the actual Devil? This former pumpkin-‘killer’ explores our actual worst enemies, and the One Who defeated them.”
Satan, The Imaginary, And Halloween — Rebecca LuElla Miller
From Becky: “How we as Christians celebrate Halloween, then, hinges on these three factors — our view of Satan, our understanding of the imaginary, and what we want to say to our culture. Is there one right way of doing Halloween? I don’t believe so. I do believe we should avoid pointing the finger at other Christians and saying that they’re doing it wrong.”
This is my summary of a fantastic piece at a blog called Alastair Adversaria, Of Boggarts. My summary: “The author’s suggestion: the Harry Potter series, by virtue of its created-world and with its third book’s specific subplot about fighting against certain magical creatures, can help Christians react better to some evils.” More from the author:
In the light of the gospel we can, like Harry and his classmates, learn to perform the riddikulus charm on our demonically-induced fears. After the gospel has taken effect we can mock things that once terrified us. This is one of the purposes of the celebration of Halloween. The gospel reveals that much of the fear that Satan excited in men prior to the advent of Christ resulted merely from the exaggerated shadows that he cast in the darkness. Now that light has come the shadows are removed and Satan is reduced to a far less terrifying stature. We can begin to laugh at the shapes that we once saw in the shadows.
Whilst there are undoubtedly evil forces at work in our world — Harry’s world contains Dementors and Death Eaters, not just Boggarts — we need to learn that many of the terrors that haunt us are merely products of our fearful imaginations. Satan loves to have the huge shadows that he tries to cast taken seriously. We will only truly defeat him when we learn to laugh at the shadows, walking through death’s shade while fearing no evil.
Speaking of the Devil’s work and the defeat of evil …
Darren Aronofsky’s Noah: Environmentalist Wacko — Brian Godawa
The Biblical fantasy novelist and screenwriter (To End All Wars) is not a fan of the Noah movie script. (The film, starring Russell Crowe, recently had its filming interrupted by the real-life floods of Hurricane Sandy.) The movie fails in its absurd creative license, radical-environmentalist themes, characters, and especially its portrayal of God. From Godawa:
Noah is depicted as attempting to follow God’s will in the script, a will that includes the complete annihilation of the human race, as opposed to the Genesis depiction of starting over with eight humans to repopulate and ultimately provide a Messiah.
[…] It seems everyone in this story is more compassionate than God.
Speaking of horrors and Brian Godawa …
An Apologetic of Horror — series by Brian Godawa
In this series he sets the record straight on the horror genre — not every horror story or film, some of which do celebrate evil, but the perception that all horror stories are only evil.
Horror is not an inherently evil genre of storytelling. It can be used for gratuitous evil purposes, or for godly moral purposes. The Bible tells many stories using the horror genre in order to inspire holy fear of evil and admonish or chastise those in sin.
If you know Axe Cop, this needs no explanation. Only celebration.
If you don’t know Axe Cop, you may make the error of one YouTube commentator: “This looks like it was invented by a nine-year-old!” A five-year-old, actually. And drawn by his grown-up (and professing Christian) cartoonist brother.