Witch Alternative

W

In case you think I have spelt “which” incorrectly, I haven’t, it is a play on words. My title is a way of addressing those who came up with a Hallowe’en alternative. In order to do this, a history lesson is required. Hallowe’en is the night before “All Hallows Day” also known as “All Saints day” which takes place on November 1st. On this day the All Saints Festival was established during the times of persecution in the early church. Many believers have died for the faith and still do. Hallowe’en on the other hand has many versions of its origin but across the board it was a time when the dead where honoured. But now it has become a time to dress children up as wicked creatures, witches, devils and the like. But on this day the church remembers the reformation. The time when Martin Luther in 1517 with his ninety-five thesis began to address the corruption in the roman catholic church.

However, we find ourselves in a time where those of the world have imagined and promoted an alternative. In this alternative they have their parties, where children are dressing up as dead children, as devils, witches and politicians, collecting sweets from neighbours they don’t know very well or at all. This might just be expected, but what is less expected and yet has happened, is that Christians have come up with their alternative to the alternative. Instead of Christians remembering the origin of “All Hallows day” and developing a witness that will testify to the truth of this time, they have instead come up with alternatives of the alternative.

As Christians we think we shouldn’t need much convincing to not dress children as wicked creatures but apparently it’s all just a bit of fun. Yes there is nothing wrong with eating few sweets and dressing up, but neutrality is impossible and so the clothes you wear say something. This is why what is worn on Hallowe’en is not worn to church on the following Sunday.

The issue at hand is one of memory, that Christians who create alternatives to the world’s alternative to “All Hallows Day” do so because they have forgotten that the church got there first. We came up with the original as a way of remembering those who were persecuted and died for the faith. These two days belong to the church and they do not belong to the world and the church fails to restore the true meaning as long as it continues to participate in coming up with alternatives to the world’s alternative.

 

By Daniel Ralph

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