SGWMSCOG

10月31日的万圣节,是人们装扮成精灵、公主、恶魔等角色参加派对的欢庆节日。乔装打扮的孩子们挨家挨户敲门,喊着“不给糖就捣蛋”,向人们讨礼物。要是什么也拿不到,孩子们就会恶作剧一番。

万圣节看上去相当天真无邪,实质果真如此吗?追溯历史可知,这个广受欢迎的节庆,实际上起源于异教的鬼节。

 

1. 万圣节最初由罗马天主教设立

万圣节本该译作“万圣夜”,也就是天主教节日——“诸圣节”的前夕。公元835年,教皇格里高列四世(公元827-844)把11月1日定为“诸圣瞻礼日”,纪念及追思正在经历炼净,还没进入天国的亡灵。天主教主张“诸圣相通” ,即现世的教会信徒与天国诸圣、炼狱亡灵都保持联系,并且彼此可以代祷。1) 万圣夜(英语:Halloween,为“All Hallows’ Eve”的缩写,意为“万圣节(诸圣节)的前夜”),意为万圣节前夕,中文常讹称为万圣节。2)毫无疑问,圣经中绝对没有遵守此日的记录。

 

2.  从”死亡领主”的祭日演变而来的万圣节

万圣节的庆典夹杂了世界各地的民俗。历史学家一致认为,万圣节的起源可以追溯到古代德鲁伊的传统节日。“德鲁伊” 特指早期居于法国北部、英国及爱尔兰地区的凯尔特人中,受过良好教育且担任祭司的群体。每年的10月31日正是凯尔特人的“萨温节”(Samhin),他们会敬拜“死亡领主”(The Lord of Death),还用活人献祭。凯尔特人相信在这一天,人界与冥界的界限会变得模糊,死去的鬼魂、恶灵和巫女会重游人间。

 

3. 万圣节的“鬼”模“鬼”样是为了吓鬼

凯尔特人相信这些恶灵会在活人身上捣鬼,故此戴上模样可怕的兽头面具,围着篝火跳舞,装出被恶灵追赶的样子。他们向鬼魂祭献食物,希望那些鬼魂因此感到自己受到欢迎。人们相信若不献上食物,鬼魂就会向他们施咒。

4. 当今的万圣节风俗

十九世纪下半叶,受到爱尔兰饥荒的影响,大批爱尔兰人移民美国。这些新移民把庆祝万圣节的习俗带到了美国这片土地,对推广万圣节起了有力的作用。如今孩子们在万圣节挨家逐户要糖果、零钱等礼物,否则就恶作剧一番的风俗就是从那时候流传下来的。另外,在天主教的倡导下,人们还会在此节日分享一种叫做“灵糕”(soul cake) 的圆形面包,用以替代古人给亡灵献食物的传统。而万圣节的灯笼本来是用大头菜(turnip)做的,后来发现用南瓜来雕刻更加容易,就换成了南瓜灯。这种挖了人脸的大南瓜灯(Jack-O-Lantern) 也与迷信和邪术的传说有关,相传这位年轻人杰克(Jack)曾与撒但进行谈判。到了十九世纪后期,万圣节越来越侧重于游戏、事物和节日多彩的盛装,恐怖的氛围也淡化了。

5. 万圣节是一个商业化的异教节日

据统计,美国人每年会花费250到300万美金在万圣节的庆典上,成为全美仅次于圣诞节的第二大商业节日。

万圣节的本质意义,在于相信死去的灵魂会在这一天重回人间,并给活人赐福或降祸。但是,圣经教导我们,人若死了,他的灵魂就会回到上帝那里,等候审判。(传道书12:7)

 

启示录20:11-13 并且另有一卷展开,就是生命册。死了的人都凭着这些案卷所记载的,照他们所行的受审判。于是海交出其中的死人.死亡和阴间也交出其中的死人.他们都照各人所行的受审判……

路加福音16:26 不但这样,并且在你我之间,有深渊限定,以致人要从这边过到你们那边,是不能的,要从那边过到我们这边,也是不能的。

 

结合启示录20章、耶稣所教导的“财主与拉撒路的比喻”,我们能知道天国和地狱是有深渊限定的,死了的人会照自己在世上所行的受审判。

也就是说,上帝会根据我们在世上的行为,作出赐福或降灾的审判。在万圣节向逝者的灵魂献食物,祈福辟邪的做法,明显是误解了灵之世界的法则。这样的见解毫无根据,也不符合圣经的教导。无论是在万圣节还是其他的仪式上,凡是不按上帝的教导所献上的祭物(多数为食物)都是献给魔鬼的。

 

哥林多前书10:20 我乃是说,外邦人所献的祭,是祭鬼,不是祭神。我不愿意你们与鬼相交。

 

我们得防备庆祝异教节日的假先知和假教会。一定要谨慎对待万圣节这样的庆典,恐怕参与到其中,没有行上帝的旨意,反而去崇拜魔鬼撒但了。

 

马太福音7:15 你们要防备假先知。他们到你们这里来,外面披着羊皮,里面却是残暴的狼。

 

人人都有一死,死后且有审判。人死后是去天国还是地狱,取决于他在世的所作所为。万一受到迷惑,不知道来龙去脉,就盲目参与到像万圣节这样异教的传统中,也会受到刑罚。财主与拉撒路的比喻说明了,由世上的表现决定死后的命运。因此,我们必须查明这些节日的由来,远离异教庆典,以免中了魔鬼的圈套。

撒但为了迷惑人类,在这时代也策划了各种邪恶的奸计。万万不可跟随人的传统。而务要遵守新约真理,才可以获得灵魂的救恩!

 

参考资料:

1. Catholic Online, All Saints’ Day

2. Dictionary.com, Halloween Word Origins

3. History.com, History of Halloween

4. The Facts on Halloween, John Ankerberg,John Weldon,Dillon Burroughs, Harvest House Publishers, 1973

5. History.com, Halloween

6. The American Folklife Center, The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows

Halloween which falls on October 31, is a joyous festival on which people dress up as goblins and demons and attend costume parties. Children dressed in costumes go door to door asking the owner of the house with the question, “Trick or treat?” If no treat was given, the children would perform a mischievous deed on the owner or on the property belonging to the owner.

However, is Halloween as innocent a tradition as it seems? A probe into the history of this widely-favoured festival would see that it originates from an ancient pagan festival for the dead.

 

1. Halloween was officially designated by the Roman Catholic Church

Halloween refers to the night before the “All Saints Day”, a Catholic festival.  Halloween is also referred to as All Hallows or Hallowmas and was celebrated on November 1 as was designated by Pope Gregory IV (827-844) in A.D. 835. The festival was put in place to commemorate the departed faithful souls which they believed that have not been purified to reach heaven. The Catholics believe that there is a prayerful spiritual communion between those in the state of grace who died and are either being purified in purgatory or are in heaven.1) The word “Halloween” came from “All Hallow’s Eve,” which means the day before the All Saints Day, which later became Halloween. “Hallows” is defined as “saints” and “mas” is defined as “Mass.”2) Without a doubt, there are no records in the Bible about celebrating this day.

 

2.  Halloween developed from the day of the “Lord of Death”

The customs of Halloween is a culmination of various folk customs around the world. Historians came to a consensus that Halloween developed from the special day celebrated by the ancient Druids who were educated and were the priestly class of the Celtic people who resided in northern France, United Kingdom and Ireland. These Celts worshiped a god known as “The Lord of Death” or “The Dead” on the summer festival Samhain on October 31, where human sacrifices were offered. They believed that on this night, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred and that ghosts, evil spirits and witches returned to earth and roamed the earth.

 

3. Halloween costumes were introduced to entertain the dead

Since the Celts thought these evil spirits might play tricks on the living, they dressed in grotesque masks and costumes typically consisting of animal heads and skins, danced around the bonfires, pretending to be pursued by evil spirits. They offered food to the ghosts so that they would feel entertained and welcomed and at home. If food were not provided, they believed these evil spirits would cast spells on them.

4. Halloween traditions today

During the second half of the 19th century, the new immigrants; the Irish who went through the potato famine of 1846 popularised the Halloween celebration as a national celebration. This is how the trick-or-treat tradition appeared when the Americans began dressing up in costumes and going door-to-door asking for food or money. The round-shaped sweet bread called soul cakes which were given out to commemorate the dead souls was “encouraged” by the Catholic church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food for the dead spirits. Halloween lanterns were originally carved out of turnips which then changed to pumpkins during the modern times since they were easier to carve. The Jack O’Lantern’s tale was about a young smith who made a pact with the devil. In the late 1800s, Halloween became a holiday for parties, games, foods, festive costumes and the scariness or the horror of Halloween faded away. 1)3)4)5)6)

 

5. Halloween is a commercialised pagan festival

Statistically, Americans spend around 2.5 to 3 billion dollars every year, which is the second largest amount after Christmas.

Halloween is basically a feast believing that dead spirits can return to the earth and give us good or bad luck. However, the Bible explains that if a person dies, his spirit returns to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7) and waits for judgment.

Revelation 20:11-13  Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. … and each person was judged according to what they had done…”

Luke 16:26  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’”

Through Revelation Chapter 20 and Jesus’ parable about the rich man and Lazarus, after a person dies, we can understand that there is a great chasm fixed between heaven and hell. The person who dies will be judged according to what he has done on this earth.

Offering food to the dead through the Halloween festival and wishing for blessings to eliminate bad luck is an unfounded and non-biblical way to perceive the spiritual world. Biblically, most sacrifices; which are mostly done with food and not in accordance to God’s instruction, in Halloween, or any other special ceremony are all offered to demons; the devil and not to God.

1 Corinthians 10:20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.

We must watch out for false prophets and the false churches following pagan festivals such as Halloween, and we must be cautious about participating in these festivals that worships other gods.

Matthew 7:15 Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

A man is destined to die once, and after that he must face judgment. A person is destined to go to heaven or hell based on their actions while living on this earth. One may also be subjected to judgement if they were misled into practicing pagan customs like Halloween without knowing.

Matthew 15:14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

We should ensure that we are not being deluded by the devil, and steer clear of such pagan rites and rituals by being aware of the origin of such festivals. We should not pursue the customs of men but rather the truth of God which is the new covenant which promises the salvation of our souls.

Hide [-]
1)   Online, Catholic. “All Saints' Day - Saints & Angels.” Catholic Online, Catholic Online, www.catholic.org/saints/allsaints/.
2)   “Everything After Z by Dictionary.Com.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, dictionary.reference.com/features/halloween.html.
3)   History.com Staff. “History of Halloween.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009, www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween.
4)   The Facts on Halloween - Harvest House. www.bing.com/cr?IG=5C6674F8707E4CE889B89F234403967A&CID=2875188A1ABB61AE201513BE1BBD607C&rd=1&h=0dXD7q3b-GVboq8rlOvHyqP1VlCeaHQ3wFNIuJS-NVA&v=1&r=https%3a%2f%2fwww.harvesthousepublishers.com%2fbooks%2ffacts-on-halloween-9780736922197%2f&p=DevEx,5067.1.
5)   History.com, A&E Television Networks, www.history.com/topics/halloween.
6)   Santino, Jack. “Selected Halloween & Día de Muertos Resources at the Library.” Selected Halloween & Da de Muertos Resources at the Library of Congresss | The American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/folklife/halloween.html.

ANNOUNCEMENT
close

In adherence to the Post-Circuit Breaker Phase One measures, the World Mission Society Church of God Education Centre will remain closed.

All education will continue to be conducted online.

Let us do our part to adhere to the details of the measures and stay safe. Please be physically and spiritually healthy!