27 October, 2007

Confessoins of a Former Druid

Beaver Dam, MS-- As a child, I thoroughly enjoyed dressing up in funny homemade costumes and running to my grandparent’s house to “trick-or-treat.” My grandmother would always be so surprised that batman or spiderman or a ghost or even frankenstien was at her door. She would shriek with fear until I threw off my mask to reveal that her worst nightmare was not upon her. (As I got older, I witnessed my little brother and sisters do the same thing, and I became suspicious that maybe I had not scared her as much as I had previously thought.)

She had the most amazing treats-- those giant orange peanuts. The first 4 or 5 were so delicious, but I think the exposure to air does something to them as the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th orange peanuts became increasingly horrid in taste.

It was always such a fun time… until I was about 12 or 13. That’s when Angela Martin informed me on the school bus that Halloween was a demon holiday. I was shocked. I had never participated in anything satanic as far as I knew. I just knew that the cornucopia of endless candy was available to me. My parents even let me stay up late and eat candy. We had fun making homemade costumes together, carving happy pumpkins together, and finding the perfect candy collection container. How could this be something bad? How could this be equated with demons? But it got me to thinking.

After I became aware of the shocking history of Halloween in the Encyclopedia Britannica (it used to be in books), I put a lot of thought into what the holiday really meant. I spent a lot of time thinking of my parents and how they seemed to have so much fun with the holiday. I began realizing it was probably all fake. It was then that my naïve celebrations of the holiday turned to more deeper spiritual questions. Why did my parents allow me to participate in this day? Since they were going along with what seemed to be innocent rituals, were they also secretly participating in the ancient not-so-innocent rituals of witchcraft? They had never given any indication of these awful things. However, I concluded that, because they were allowing me and my siblings to trick-or-treat and carve pumpkins it most definitely must also be the case that they were endorsing witchcraft.

Upon this realization, I immediately began questioning my Christian upbringing. Sure, those two “Christians” had brought me to church for 3 services a week for 13 years. Sure, they had read the Bible to me every night for, it seemed like, hours. Sure, every Sunday afternoon, I had to listen to an hour-long Calvinistic radio broadcast. But, since they allowed me to dress up as different characters (sometimes even a ghost) on Halloween once a year, I needed to know what these so called “Christians” were really all about behind the facade. So I began researching what was beneath this holiday of theirs.

I discovered all the terrible history of the day celebrated on October 31st. I discovered that the holiday, when celebrated 1000 years ago, was all about Baal. I discovered that, as part of the Druid festival, humans were sacrificed after being herded into thatched cages and set on fire. I discovered that the Druids 1000 years ago believed the dead would play tricks on mankind to cause destruction.

The more I thought about it, the more it became obvious to me that, since my parents allowed me to go door to door collecting candy and since I was allowed to carve pumpkins, then certainly they must also truly believe as the Druids of 1000 years ago. I therefore, upon discovering their real convictions, began practicing as a Druid. Despite the years of church services, family devotions, and extra home sermons on Sunday afternoons, I was wholly convinced that Druidism must be the true way. Year-round, I began all sorts of pagan rituals on my own. I began thinking deep, dark thoughts all the time. I found other Druids in my area and we would draw straws to see who would become the human sacrifice. I was certain that many destructive tricks played on Halloween night were the result of dead spirits.

It wasn’t until I was older, around the age of 16 or 17, when I stopped trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins, that I realized I had fallen for a Druid lie. When I stopped the trick-or-treating, when I stopped wearing the hard plastic Marvel Comic character masks with the rubber band stapled by each ear to stretch across the back of my head and get twisted in my hair… it wasn’t until I stopped trick or treating and costuming and all the other bad things that we do on Halloween, that I came to my senses and stopped participating in the Druid rituals. I realize now that it was the trick-or-treating door to door that caused me to slip into Druid forms of worship. When the trick-or-treating stopped, the desire to worship idols also ended. It was no coincidence.

So please allow this to be a warning to all of you parents who are considering carving pumpkins this Halloween. Don’t do it! It may confuse your children as it confused me. It may cause them to slip into idol worship and human sacrifice.

Instead, be consistent with your beliefs, take them to a “Fall Celebration” or a “Fall Festival” or a “Harvest Time”, but never refer to such activities as Halloween.

21 comments:

Richard Boyce said...

Ok, I'm completely buggered on this one. At first it appeared as though you were presenting the origins of Halloween in a clever way...but then you seemed to mock the idea of being opposed to celebrating All Hallows Eve like the pagans around us. Are you for or against celebrating the holiday? I'll not debate you either way...I'm just trying to understand your post.

Robin@heartofwisdom said...

I'm confused too??

The Bible holds the answer to these type questions. I posted an article about Halloween on my blog and received several interesting comments. See http://tinyurl.com/ypd2ck

Brother Slawson said...

I will be the first to admit that I am totally against celebrating a holiday by worshipping demons and sacrificing other humans.

I am not, however, against going door to door and collecting candy in funny costumes. I am not against carving a face on a pumpkin.

As a child, I believe my heart was totally innocent in these things I considered to be fun. The truth is, this never really caused me to slip into idol worship. My idea was to write a satire about those who place a satanic motive or influence on those who would trick-or-treat or carve a pumpkin.

I could just as easily write a satire on based on the belief that no one should play or watch any sort of ball game.

Over 3500 years abo, Mesoamericans played a ballgame, which was a complex ritual based on religious beliefs. Losers were often sacrificed. Despite the clear pagan connection and similarities, no one screams "foul" and or attempts to make arguments that we should not have ball games.

I do not think there is anything inherently evil in collecting candy or carving pumpkins, as some seem to claim. Neither do I think such activities will cause our kids to stumble as the "confession" in the satire suggests.

Darrin said...

I would have to say there's more darkness surrounding halloween than your typical ball-game. I also did this as a kid, and don't think there's anything inherently wrong with pumpkins and getting candy, but we do need to use wisdom and follow the Spirit and our conscious in these issues. My kids will again go to a church-related festival, as the Druid suggests.

Team Tominthebox News Network said...

I genuinely like to focus on a REAL event worthy of celebration that ACTUALLY took place on October 31st. It was 490 years ago this year that a German Monk by the name of Martin Luther, nailed his ninety-five thesis to the church door at Whittenburg. It's a celebration of the gospel message being reclaimed from corruption and falsehood. Eat all the candy you want, but don't forget to teach your kids about that and thank God for those who risked their lives for the sake of the Gospel.

-Tom

Scott Roper said...

I keep an Asherah myself. It's all in good fun--I don't worship it or anything.

Brother Slawson said...

I wonder what Paul would say?

I think one possibility is (Message Version):

Put red and blue flashing lights on your porch with carved pumpkins and get the biggest bowl of candy you can find. Fill it with Bible verses that tell about the Lord Jesus Christ. Maybe have some information about your beliefs and your church meeting times. Hand out candy and show the love of Christ to everyone who comes to your door.

Paul would continue...
What better opportunity, people! All these kids are coming to you! You don't even have to leave your house! Put a "real-estate-sized sign" in your yard that says "We love trick-or-treaters" or "Calvary Baptist Church Loves Trick-or-Treaters."

My discussion...
It's not the costumes or the pumpkins, people. It's the idol worship that is bad. I personally have never seen anyone led into idol worship as a result of collecting or passing out candy. I know of absolutely no one who has stumbled over this.

Paul used absolutely every opportunity he had. We should too. This is an opportunity to show love and kindness to your neighbors. You do NOT have to condone worship of idols or witchcraft in any way. If you are not able to share the love of the Lord Jesus in such a situation, that doesn't mean it cannot occur.

But please, don't tell a non-Christian that you do not like trick-or-treating or pumpkins because the Druid did something 2000 years ago. Be aware that your Pharisaic rules about costumes and pumpkins will cause them to first question your sanity, second your intelligence, and then worst of all, they will have great suspicions of anything you say, including anything you say about the Gospel.

On Marrs Hill, Paul did not walk up and tell them how bad all their false gods were. He took what they had and used it... an alter to "the unknown god." I have a feeling that those who have a hard time passing out candy on October 31 with Bible verses would also have a hard time walking up to an idol "to an unknown god" in a neighbor's yard and telling them about Jesus.

Is it possible to take something meant for evil (or claimed to be for evil by our fellow Christians) and use it for good?

Darrin said...

These are interesting thoughts. Sometimes the best practical approach seems hard to find. Kind of a moot point in my part of town: Lots of us Pharasaic believers, so not many trick-or-treaters. I do think that someone with an altar to worship an unknown god would be somewhat approachable, since they even give an outward sign of seeking deity. However, people collecting candy give no indication of spiritual interest - they're just having fun. Doesn't preclude witnessing to such, though. I suppose if we had visitors in our neighborhood, I might stay home and try to witness while my family went out to do something else.

Brother Slawson said...

Darren,

First, I want to say I truly appreciate your consistent thoughtful comments at TBNN.

Now, I also want to make clear that I believe we all are very much Pharasaic about something. The choices are numerous: cards, hair length and make-up and pants, internet, computers, movies, just as a start.

Sure, every one of these things can be used for evil. In fact, I personally know cases where every one of these things has caused someone to stumble. I cannot say that about pumpkins and kid's costumes.

My intentions with the Druid satire were in no way to justify celebration of Halloween or satanic worship. Neither was the satire intended to encourage us to participate in Halloween activities as a form of witness. (Though, I believe we should take every opportunity to speak truth to the world.)

The main intention with the Druid was simply to satire the Pharasic beliefs about pumpkins and kid's costumes only. (I was also glad to take a shot at orange peanuts.)The Pharasee's constantly imposed more rules than necessary to make themselves feel better, while their hearts were evil. In the Druid satire, I desire to bring attention to the "more rules than necessary" part. (For sure, let's leave prideful hearts to another day.)

Is there really a fear that our kids will slip into idol worship and satanic practices? If so, the Druid allows parents to realize those fears.

G. Twilley said...

My wife and I have become avid readers here - it's always a great laugh and interesting to see the subject turned a little.

re: Oct 31st - we will be passing out candy in our new neighborhood, in fact, we'll be opening our door to some of our neighbors as well. It's the one time of year where it seems absolutely appropriate to do this sort of thing; to open our home up to people we don't know, and if we had children, to open ourselves up to other homes we don't know. A good friend of mine who is now an associate pastor @ a church in California once told me [my paraphrase] that Oct. 31st is one of the few days that a community is socially allowed and compelled to interact with itself and during this time, most Christians are excluding themselves out of that interaction.

I think, altogether, the day really marks the further ghettoization of Christians - we create our own "safe" environment to get away from the influences of "the world" and to show ourselves as a sanctified people when what we were called to do by the Savior seems to be more along the lines of what He actually did and what Oct 31 gives us an opportunity to do - go out to our neighbors and interact with them.

Anyways, altogether fun blog site!

Rhett said...

Enjoyed the satire!

I'll admit, I'm probably more on the Pharasic side when it comes to Halloween...

But then again, I live so far out in the country that we'll never have to worry about anyone coming out here on Halloween anyway!

Keep up the good work.

Happy Reformation Sunday!!

RK

nora said...

Last night our church had our annual Trunk 'n Treat, a night for people to pass out candy to children out of their trunks in the church parking lot. It has become a well-known community event, and last night it was attended by at least a thousand people. More than the numbers, though, the thing that struck me last night, was how many of the people that attended would be considered "the least of these," as they were lower-income people. Some were not appropriately dressed, many brought their infant babies as a way of getting free candy, some were over 16 years old and not even dressed in costume. But I rejoiced, because they experienced God's love from God's people in a real and tangible (if physically unhealthy) way. It's an opportunity that will hopefully at some point make them more open to the fact that God truly does care about them.

A said...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with pumpkins and candy. However, I will not participate in glorifying death and the work of the devil. I am not going to celebrate a 'Christianized' Halloween. I am going to celebrate Reformation Day.

I think you are confused in your use of the example of Paul on Mars Hill. Paul used the altar to the Unknown God as an example and a starting point of engagement. He did not advocate sacrificing on that altar. Paul did not do things the pagan way in order to have the opportunity to proclaim the gospel. Neither should we celebrate Halloween the worldly way in order to have an opportunity to proclaim the gospel. Instead, we can use the day like Paul did. Start the conversation by pointing out how people are universally scared of death, and rightfully so. Then go on to consider why we are subject to death (our own sin), and how we can escape death (the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ).

Use pagan ideas to point to Christ. Do not adopt pagan ideas in the hope of pointing to Christ.

Chuck said...

My friend Todd Mitchell has posted one of the more salient approaches to Halloween that I have had the pleasure of reading. In a word, the point is not where Halloween came from; it is what it celebrates presently.

Check it out: http://withtearsoppressed.wordpress.com/?s=halloween

Daryl said...

Tom,

Excellent post, well done!!

. You had me hook, line and sinker for about the first half or so.

Funny how Halloween brings out the legalists on both sides, for and against.

Thanks for this.

Brad said...

This Just In - Tom-in-the-Box Endorses Pagan Druid Practices for Halloween!

The Christian community has been rocked to it's foundations by an earth-shattering article published by the highly respected news service Tom-in-the-Box, heralded in the past for its no-nonsense reporting of current trends and events affecting Christianity today. This article, penned by the respected reporter Brother Slawson, while at first appearing to be a hard-hitting look at the deleterious effects of trick-or-treating (what's with all these dashes, anyway?)in-point-of-fact turned out to be a tongue-in-cheek (gotta love 'em)mockery of the good Christian practice of banning all things Halloweeny. This is a huge departure from the normally respectable standards at Tom-in-the-Box, and many Christians are up-in-arms (OK, so a little overkill with the dashes, but its fun).

Assembly of God Pastor P. E. Lagian has released a statement warning all True Christians that T-I-T-B is to be avoided at all costs. "Them boys must have a whole legion of demons flyin' around in their heads. Just readin' what they write online you could probly have demons fly right out the moniter and wiggle in your ear. We're scheduling a deliverance service just for them this coming Sunday night. We'll cast them demons out come heck-or-high-water!".

All of Christendom is in a state-of-shock, and hoping for a statement-of-repentance from this august news organization.

Brad said...

BTW, anybody notice that the title is ConfessOINS rather than ConfessIONS of a Former Druid? With all this demonic activity, I'm suspecting some hidden message there. Could this be the subliminal trigger programmed into the minds of all the other Druids posing as Christians to rise up and start the 7 year tribulation?

Brother Slawson said...

Brad,

After rethinking things, I do want to issue a formal apology statement:

I am sorry (so-so-sorry) for mentioning the word "Halloween" in reference to October 31st. I realize the evil origins and do not wish to contribute to such.

To be consistent, from now on, I also wish to make it know that I will no longer refer to:
*any months (January, February, etc.)
*any days of the week (Sunday, Monday, etc.), or
*any planets (Mercury, Venus, etc.)
if the current name was derived from a false god or false diety.

I will only use original Hebrew names.

Be not deceived, God is not mocked said...

Where to begin...

1) I won't send my kids out trick or treating, nor do I find a need to replace the holiday with anything else (wasn't that the failing of the Catholic Church in the first place, and a motivator for Martin Luther to find fault with it?)

2) Nothing wrong with a ball game??? You have got to be kidding. How many people skip church for a ball game? How many people know more batting averages than Bible verses? A baseball fan is a fanatic (that's what fan is short for). Living in times when people are all against religious fanatics in general, why does no one mention the sports fans. I believe baseball (and sports in general, lead more to idolatry than any holiday). Halloween gets a few weeks of attention, baseball gets months.

3) Second-guessing Paul is bad. You have no clue what he would say. However, since he was against openly eating food sacrificed to idols (the first don't-ask/don't-tell policy), I don't see him promoting using Halloween for witnessing. After all, he didn't join in an idolatrous ceremony to interrupt it and start witnessing; he preached from the outside in.

4) The apology... Using terms (names of planets, days, etc.) defined by the world for communication is like calling October 31st Halloween. However, referring to the day as Halloween, and actually getting involved in the activities are completely different things. However, there is nothing wrong with referring to the first day of the week as "the Lord's Day" and the 7th day as "the Sabbath", and if you can come up with ways to identify the months, days, etc. and still make yourself understood, more power to you.

5) Where I am originally from (Puerto Rico), many people take advantage of the costumes to commit crimes they wouldn't normally dare to. I know of cases of mugging, rape, burglary and murder, committed by people in costume. Many remain unsolved because the criminal could not be identified (a benefit of being allowed to run around in disguise). Therefore, just from a pragmatic point of view, Halloween should be done away with.

While I am against legalism, you are wrong to mock those who take a stand. That is definitely one thing Paul would condemn you for: mocking a believer who is following his conscience (whether that makes him weaker or stronger than you).

Chris said...

I have a MAJOR problem with Halloween, and I'd like to use this platform to explain it.

I'm overweight. I'll admit it...there's more of me to love than most.

This candy-glorifying "holiday" is the most difficult time of the year for us "regular-sized people", and frankly, I'm not going to put up with it.

This Halloween, I'm no longer going to shut off my lights and read Dr. Agatston's South Beach Diet Book by candlelight. I'm going to get off my sizeable posterior and do something about this travesty.

I'm going to turn my porch light on, unlock my door, and hand out diet pills. (Guaranteed to work, or double my money back...)

(This comment was written tongue in cheek. Tom in the Box is a place for satire, and I, for one, would like to continue the trend of satirizing things. I am saying nothing at all about people who choose to not celebrate Halloween or people who do. I have my own opinion on who is right, but I have not and will not say here what it is. Just enjoy the satire.)

Anonymous said...

Just like anything in life there goods and bads... Halloween can be a fun family activity or it can be a satanic ritual. I celebrated halloween growing up and I loved every bit of it and it was such an awesome family activity. I think people get too worked up about it. I did it and I'm fine...