Satur-deja Vu

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MLB Postseason – That’s Adam Duvall making his home run trot that put the Braves up 3-0 last night. The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals are split one game each in their best of 5 National League Division Series. The Nationals and Dodgers are also evenly split in the other NLDS; meanwhile in the American League the Yankees took game one over the Twins and Astros beat the Rays. Continue reading

All Saints Day

all saints Today is All Saints Day, which might not mean much if you are not either Catholic or Episcopalian. The November 1st date of All Saints is why Halloween was last night, and the reason Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the door of the church at Wittenberg on October 31st – he knew that practically every person would see it the next day as they attended mass to celebrate All Saints.

Whatever you may have heard about Halloween being the celebration of Satan’s birthday (a created being that was not born) the origins are uniquely Christian, whereas the celebrations of Easter and Christmas are actually pagan but that’s another story. Richard Donohue, vicar of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Birmingham, offers the clearest explanation of Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day I have ever read, including bits on the Book of the Dead and the Latin American tradition of “day of the dead” as well.

“All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are related, but they are two separate celebrations,” Donohoe said. “On All Saints’ Day there’s a call to live as saints, to remind us how we’re supposed to live. On All Souls’ Day, we’re talking about all souls and asking God’s mercy for them. We’re talking about those people who have died before us, and their process of getting to heaven, through Christ.”

This article was written by Greg Garrison for AL.com based on his interview with the Rev. Richard Donohue. I highly recommend clicking the link and reading it in full.

Thanksgiving

Christians do not agree about the celebration of Halloween.  There is some dispute over Christmas.  Let’s embrace Thanksgiving for all its worth.

There is an argument to be made for the Christian roots of Halloween.  The very name is created from the words Hallows Eve, the day before All Saints Day.  But let’s be honest, unless you’re Roman Catholic most American do not celebrate All Saints (or even know what it is).  Would you celebrate Christmas Eve if you didn’t believe in Christmas?  Halloween may also have roots in paganism, and is certainly associated today with the occult and many “non-Christian” activities as well. Continue reading

Happy Monday

According to the official Happy Monday declaration, one of the things we do on Monday morning is review some of the headlines you may have missed.  We also look forward to the week ahead and share encouragement in the form of inspirational quotes, Bible verses and humor.  There was a complaint last week (via text message, not in the comments) that there wasn’t much to be happy about.  I’ll try try to keep it positive. Continue reading

Jesusween

Not all Christians feel the same way about Halloween.  To be fair, Christians feel differently about all kinds of things from playing music to consuming alcohol.  The answer to any question very much depends on who you ask.  But Halloween is next week and Christian responses really run the gamut on this one, from full participation to turning the lights off and going to bed early.

Jesus Ween seeks to make October 31st all about Jesus.   Continue reading

What About Ghosts?

Halloween is coming up.  You can read my obigatory Halloween rant here; I want this post to be something else.  Let’s examine the reality of witches, demons, evil spirts and ghosts.  Let’s separate literal truth from literary fiction, because in this life “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorites, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”  Eph 6: 12

In Matthew 14, Jesus comes to the disciples walking on water.   Continue reading

Christmas Creep

Have you seen it yet?  Most retailers are geared up for Halloween, but you get the distinct feeling that Christmas isn’t too far behind.  Except for the fact that it’s still three months away.

I’m not referring to your weird uncle (everybody has a weird uncle).  Christmas creep refers to the gradual tendency for Christmas celebration (retailing) to start a little earlier each year.   Continue reading

Christians and Halloween

Halloween – I’m not going to write a new rant on Halloween this year, click here to read the one I wrote last year.  After reading the post, be sure to read at least the first two comments; I probably should amend the post by including those footnotes in the article.

Christians – Here’s another thought to keep in mind: we should be Christ-like toward each other.  If you have Christian friends, co-workers or relatives that do not celebrate Halloween, please don’t study up on it and accost them.  Don’t e-mail someone a link to my blog and brag about how right you are/wrong they are, etc.  If I saw a Christian brother who was putting his marriage in danger by spending too much time with a female friend, then I have an obligation to say something.  Maybe he doesn’t even realize, or perhaps he assumes no one has or will notice.  That would be one thing.  If my neighbor does not hand out candy on Halloween, then that’s another entirely.  I have to respect his doing what he feels is best for his family.

If you read those first two comments on that post I linked, you will be reminded that celebrating Easter and Christmas are extra-biblical.  So many details about how to live as Christians in our particular culture have to be worked out by each believer. We are all on the same side.  Christians should not be cannibalistic and apt to devour our own.  Infighting hurts the witness and testimony of us all.  If we can’t love each other, how can we love those in the world?  The un-saved and un-churched need to see Christians treat each other the way we would each like to be treated.

The Pagan Roots of Halloween; and Easter and Christmas

trick-or-treatJust like the Internet Monk rants here, I was raised in a fundamentalist Baptist home.  We read the King James Bible, went to Sunday School, prayer meeting, revival, and every other time the church door was open.  We didn’t wear shorts at my childhood home, nor go swimming in mixed company.  My dad went to the public school and had me excused from the two weeks of swimming our P.E. class had in August.  Dad was a street preacher, standing on the corner of a downtown city block shouting the Gospel at passing traffic.  (He still does that once a week, but I no longer hand out tracts to pedestrian passersby.) 

But you know what my parents did let us do?  Go trick-or-treating.  Continue reading

The Great Pumpkin Proposes a Toast

As hard as it may be to believe, there was a time when the InternetMonk was not the stuffy old grouch he is today.  Prove it to yourself by reading this post, entitled The Great Pumpkin Proposes a Toast, hidden away deep in the IM archives.  I do the dirty work so you don’t have to.  Happy Halloween.