Monday, October 28, 2002

The Devil's Playground-Part I-Halloween-Halloween's coming up Thursday, the next Harry Potter movie's due out next month and Josh Claybourn's wondering why the Freemasons are so bad. I've had a post on the "negative supernatural" cooking for weeks; Josh's post hit the "pour" button. Halloween-This is a night where it is socially acceptable to dabble in the occult and the ghoulish. There are three downsides for the holiday, other than the sugar rushes that the kids will be heading to school with on Friday. The first problem of Halloween is that it gets a week's worth of free airtime to Wiccans and other "good witches." Paganism gets to say it isn't as bad as it's made out to be, is older than Christianity and deserves respect. Some people will be lead astray by this coverage. The second problem is that it gives the negative supernatural a good name. There are two sources of supernatural power, God and Satan. If it ain't coming from God, three guesses where it's coming from? The first two guesses don't count. First Guess--a mana that permeates the universe that isn't evil or good in itself?. Nice try-it gives that power to nature rather than to God. This would lean towards a more pantheistic world view, something akin to The Force in Star Wars. Second Guess-The power of the supernatural lies within us, we only need to know how to tap it? It only appears that way. Third Guess-the Devil? You've got it! The third problem with Halloween is that people will treat the negative supernatural as a fun fiction. If Satan can't get people to worship him, the next best thing he can do is to get people to ignore him, so that he can do his work in peace. If demons, vampires and exorcisms are just something you see in the movies or TV, then you're tone-deaf to the spiritual dimension of life. This is where the casual acceptance of Halloween is problematic for people who look at spiritual warfare as a real and ongoing affair. It would be hard for my Buffy-watching father-in-law to take spiritual warfare seriously. It's hard to get a kid dressed up as a ghost or a demon on Thursday to take the Devil seriously on Sunday. I'm not going to question the salvation of people who hand out candy on Thursday (I've even seen evangelistic Halloween packages at the local Christian bookstore, where the candy comes with a kid-level salvation tract) or go trick-or-treating with their kids, but the underlying theme of Halloween being the Devil's night out makes it something I don't want to be a part of.

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