Views about Halloween... Can you be a Christian and still celebrate it?

OrthoCole

Sparrow
Orthodox Catechumen
The origins of Halloween are irrelevant to its present-day manifestation. To claim otherwise risks a Genetic Fallacy.

In Orthodoxy, we trust the words of holy elders and God-bearing bishops over others. I do not know who Fr. Benjamin Naasko is. I am sure he is a good man, but his opinion does not trump that of holy elders, who have been cited in this thread. Each person is entitled to their view, but that does not make their view valid.

Our Lord says that bad trees cannot bear good fruit. St. Paul tells the Ephesians to have no fellowship with darkness. We cannot hope to 'celebrate Halloween in a holy way' given the current cultural milieu, despite the feast's apparent origins in All Saints/Souls Day. Instead, let us reject any celebration of Halloween with love towards our neighbours.

Since you are a catechumen, I would advise you to seek the consensus of holy fathers when exploring this and other issues.
Thank you for your advice. I'm just sharing some thoughts from a Priest, that's what the thread is for. I'm not sure if you read the excerpts but Fr. Naasko says many of the modern Halloween traditions are of Christian origin but have been perverted, and can be re-Christianized while avoiding the other aspects. I'm inclined to agree with him, and I also agree with the Elders of our Church that participation in the perversions of this tradition should be avoided. I don't think the two attitudes are mutually exclusive.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
Thank you for your advice. I'm just sharing some thoughts from a Priest, that's what the thread is for. I'm not sure if you read the excerpts but Fr. Naasko says many of the modern Halloween traditions are of Christian origin but have been perverted, and can be re-Christianized while avoiding the other aspects. I'm inclined to agree with him, and I also agree with the Elders of our Church that participation in the perversions of this tradition should be avoided. I don't think the two attitudes are mutually exclusive.

The origins of Halloween are irrelevant to the debate of whether Christians should participate in it. Attempts to veer into that territory constitute a Genetic Fallacy.

Personally, I suspect that we may never know the true origins of Halloween (at least in this life), but it appears to have been a failed Roman Catholic attempt to Christianize pagan traditions such as Samhain.

We see a lot of this today in countries like India and Latin America, in which the Spanish and Portuguese tried and failed to Christianize pagan practices. The Catholics in these countries still participate in feasts that involve demon worship, though they will claim that it's just 'harmless fun.'

Again, though, the origins are irrelevant.
 

OrthoCole

Sparrow
Orthodox Catechumen
The origins of Halloween are irrelevant to the debate of whether Christians should participate in it. Attempts to veer into that territory constitute a Genetic Fallacy.

Personally, I suspect that we may never know the true origins of Halloween (at least in this life), but it appears to have been a failed Roman Catholic attempt to Christianize pagan traditions such as Samhain.

We see a lot of this today in countries like India and Latin America, in which the Spanish and Portuguese tried and failed to Christianize pagan practices. The Catholics in these countries still participate in feasts that involve demon worship, though they will claim that it's just 'harmless fun.'

Again, though, the origins are irrelevant.
Fr. Naasko actually addresses Samhain in the article, and the supposed pagan roots of Halloween. The origins are not completely irrelevant when we are talking about how Christians in the modern day can reintegrate Christian traditions of the past into our local customs. We look to the past to see how they did it so we can model ourselves after them.

But let me very clear so their is no misunderstanding... I agree that the modern demonic aspects are evil and should be completely avoided by Orthodox Christians, period. Therefore Christians could (potentially) take up the Christian practices associated with All Hallows Eve within their own communities, separate from the worldly Holiday. What this would look like may be slightly different from Parish to Parish. Even Met. Jonah, whose video you previously shared, said to do a Christian activity instead, well this could be a model for that.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
Fr. Naasko actually addresses Samhain in the article, and the supposed pagan roots of Halloween. The origins are not completely irrelevant when we are talking about how Christians in the modern day can reintegrate Christian traditions of the past into our local customs. We look to the past to see how they did it so we can model ourselves after them.

But let me very clear so their is no misunderstanding... I agree that the modern demonic aspects are evil and should be completely avoided by Orthodox Christians, period. Therefore Christians could (potentially) take up the Christian practices associated with All Hallows Eve within their own communities, separate from the worldly Holiday. What this would look like may be slightly different from Parish to Parish. Even Met. Jonah, whose video you previously shared, said to do a Christian activity instead, well this could be a model for that.

Yes, I saw that Fr. Naasko addresses this, but it is irrelevant to the argument. Fr. Naasko's historicity is also questionable; just because something was used as anti-Catholic propaganda, this does not imply it is false.

And yes, our parish is doing a Moleben on the night of October 31st, in order to counteract the demonic aerial forces.
 
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