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October 31 1999,

What the Samhain is going on?
by Paul deParrie

This holiday season opens up with the ususal round of "Christian" denunciations of the holidays. Only Thanksgiving seems to escape -- but it is only a matter of time that someone discovers some obscure pagan cult that worships ground hogs on the last Thursday in November.

Yes, I know that October 31 was once celebrated as Samhain, a thoroughgoing pagan cultic holiday. I am fully aware that what we call Christmas was once Saturnalia, one of the most debauched Roman celebrations imaginable -- actually, the pure mind probably shouldn't imagine it lest it fall into entertaining wicked thoughts. I am, of course, apprised of the fact that our Easter celebrations (and even the name) derives from the Middle East fertility goddess Ishtar. I know all about the coincidence of trick-or-treat, decorated fir trees, and colored eggs to the pagan celebrations thereof. Yes, I know all this.

Yet, there is one more thing I know. I know about each of these days --

"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

Psalm 118: 24 (KJV)

Satan didn't make these days, and he doesn't own these days.

Jesus commands us as believers, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

When these verses suddenly dawned on me a few years ago, I decided that I will endeavor to never surrender any of God's days to the devil again.

In fact, I will make positive moves to retrieve them from apparent enemy hands! Where there are abuses -- pagan or secular -- such as the commercial focus of Christmas, I will try to counter it in my celebrations. I will find ways to focus my rejoicing on that day in the Lord.

What a concept!

At the same time, I will not go out of my way to convince Christians who are fully convinced that Halloween is evil, that they should do as I do. This, I believe, goes way beyond what God has given me to do. This dillema is not new. Paul the apostle faced it too. His solution?

"Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks."

Romans 14: 4-6 (KJV)

I will not tempt or mock the brethren who are inclined to "regard not the day" unto the Lord. I won't even spend time debating it with them if they are "fully persuaded in their own minds." (I can only hope for the same consideration from them.)

I will, however, speak to those who, like me, floated around uncertainly over the issue for years and were never able to come to a solid conclusion. For those, I hope to enlist their assistance in retaining every day as the Lord's in which we may all rejoice.

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Copyright © 1999 Culture War Associates