Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Hysteria Is Back Again In the Churches of God


"To all COG members out there: 
Is your children’s Christianity so feeble as to be endangered 
by a plastic mask and a few candy bars? 
Are your children so inadequately grounded in their religion 
as to be tempted into a life of witchcraft by attending a costume party? 
Are you yourself so poorly rooted in your faith that you fear your children
 will ask questions to which you have no satisfactory answers?"


Bob Thiel is quit vexed at the post below.  I posted this last year around Halloween due to the outright silliness spouted by so many of the splinter group leaders at this time of year.  The article is by Keith Stump that came out several years ago.



HALLOWEEN HYSTERIA
by Keith Stump


October is quickly flying by, meaning it’s time for the traditional Christian hand-wringing over that most “demonic” of holidays, Halloween! In anticipation of the usual anti-Halloween propaganda, I offer the following observations about this alleged “satanic festival of evil”:

First, there’s no need to point out that Halloween is not found in Leviticus 23. (Duh.) Leviticus 23 is obsolete and irrelevant anyway. Second, forget the lengthy dissertation about how the papacy (the alleged “image of the beast” and “great whore”) instituted the Roman Catholic celebrations of “All Hallows Eve” and “All Saints Day”. That, too, is irrelevant. Today’s Halloween has nothing to do with honoring Christian saints. For most, Halloween long ago ceased being viewed as a religious observance—and never was, by Americans.


The Halloween that many of us know today is largely an American phenomenon. And it’s a purely secular observance.

Yet some of Halloween’s customs do have roots in pre-Christian (“pagan”) practices. “Pagan” has long been a popular buzz word among Christians, especially among the COGs. As a Plain Truth and World Tomorrow writer, and occasional GHOSTwriter (how occult!) for the Armstrongs, I used the word liberally for decades. If it’s “pagan” in origin, it MUST be evil (like, I suppose, playing cards, wedding rings, dominoes, medicine, beer, the theater, the names of the days of the week and months of the year, and so on—all of which are scrupulously avoided in the COGs, aren’t they?).

Some of Halloween’s customs can be traced to practices of the Celtic New Year, particularly among the Druids of ancient Britain. The Celts worshipped nature deities and practiced a relatively benign type of witchcraft. (Shame on them for living before the birth of Christ! Why, they must have been as evil as Cyrus the Great, who worshipped Ishtar, the pagan goddess of love and war, and Ahura Mazda, god of light and wisdom. [Oh, wait a minute—God still called Cyrus "that righteous man from the East." Never mind.])

The Celtic festival of Samhain (which means “summer’s end” and marked the Celtic New Year, and is properly pronounced SOW-in, not “Sam Hain”) was considered to be a magical time, when the thin veil between the worlds was lifted, and the dead walked among the living. It was a night of ghosts and fairies, in which bonfires were lit and fortunes were told, and the thoughts of all turned to the afterlife. For some odd reason, the Celts didn’t think that exposing their children to contemplation of death and the afterlife was a problem. And, of course, the “witches” of the time were primarily herbalists and midwives. Witches as evil, devil-worshiping crones were an invention of the medieval Church, perpetuated by modern fundamentalists.

Despite fundamentalist assertions, there were no orgies or human sacrifices or cannibalism or devil-worshipping during Samhain. Anyone who claims otherwise is an incompetent researcher or an outright liar. And—despite all those sermonettes you’ve heard—there was never a Celtic “god of death” named “Samhain”.

The ancient Samhain festival in no way “glorified” the demonic world, nor—except for a relatively few “Satanists”—does Samhain today. Modern pagans who celebrate Samhain regard it as a time to look back on the past year and reflect on how they can become better people, and a time to honor departed loved ones and welcome them into their presence. Modern Halloween is even less focused on “making contact” with the spirit world.

Stop for a moment and consider rationally: Is a six-year-old girl trick-or-treating in a Cinderella costume “fellowshipping with demons”? Is a child covered in a sheet with eye-holes “associating with spirits”? Are employees attending a company costume party “consorting with the devil”? Is hanging a plastic skeleton in your window “paying homage to Satan”? Is carving a jack-o’-lantern “fashioning an idol”? Is bobbing for apples a “wicked revel”? Some who are reading this would reply with a resounding “yes”. And that’s because of the spiritual myopia that warps their thinking, as I’ll discuss in a moment. Goofball notions are de rigueur for the fundamentalist.

Others who are reading this have heartwarming memories of Halloween. It’s a slice of genuine Americana. It was one of the highlights of their childhood calendar—a time of family crafts and costume-making, a time to celebrate creativity and imagination. It was a time for children to dress up and solicit candy from their neighbors. (We were even taught to say “thank you”, which I’m sure irked Satan no end.) Trick-or-treating allowed the entire community to share in the Halloween festivities, as costumes were admired and rewarded with goodies. Halloween reaffirmed social bonds with friends and neighbors. These are hardly the “unfruitful works of darkness” (Eph. 5:11), unless one is a fanatic who interprets that phrase like, well, a fanatic.

(A parenthetical note to hypocrites: Anyone who condemns Halloween, yet enjoys an occasional Bela Lugosi or Boris Karloff film, or reads a Stephen King or Anne Rice thriller, or a Harry Potter novel, or who watches “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or “The Wizard of Oz” or Disney’s “Snow White” or “Sleeping Beauty” or the “Lord of the Rings” films or who plays fantasy-based video games or visits Disneyland’s “Haunted Mansion” or watches a stage magician is a hypocrite, pure and simple. It’s like a conscientious objector being a fan of war movies. But hypocrisy is nothing new to the COGs, is it? And, for that matter, is “glorifying violence” any less “sinful” than “glorifying the occult”? (Hmm. I must have been imagining those LCG members sitting in the theater when I saw “Terminator 3″.))



To all COG members out there: Is your children’s Christianity so feeble as to be endangered by a plastic mask and a few candy bars? Are your children so inadequately grounded in their religion as to be tempted into a life of witchcraft by attending a costume party? Are you yourself so poorly rooted in your faith that you fear your children will ask questions to which you have no satisfactory answers?

I have seen no evidence of children being psychologically warped or seduced into a life of witchcraft and perversion as a result of innocent Halloween activities. I HAVE, however, seen many fearful and superstitious COG children who have been conditioned to be abnormally hypersensitive to anything blackened with the feared label “occult”. One child in particular comes to mind, whom I witnessed shrieking in stark terror at the mere sight of a jack-o-lantern. Are you raising fearful children who, like medieval peasants, see Satan lurking behind every tree and demons skulking in every dark corner? Are you raising children who fear they will “open themselves up” to “demonic control” at any moment by the slightest misstep? What a tenuous, precarious and paranoid spirituality! Satan is a defeated enemy! We need not shrink inanimate mortal remains. Explain that fear of black cats is an ancient superstition of the ignorant. Talk to them about the fanciful creations of horror fiction, like werewolves and vampires. It’s healthy to examine the things that frighten us. Tell them about “ghosts” or disembodied spirits. (The dead are relatively safe; it’s the living you need to watch out for!) And talk to them about the subject of life after physical death. Tell them about the Lord of Life who overcame death. Assuage their fears about those who can kill the body but not the soul.

Halloween is also a good time to reconsider our own views about death and the afterlife. The unbiblical doctrine of “soul sleep” would be a good place to start. The Bible clearly teaches (and centuries of experience demonstrate) that death does not interrupt self-awareness; personal identity survives death! By contrast, Herbert Armstrong’s so-called “restored truth” about “What is Man?” is totally without biblical foundation, though his followers blindly accept it. Measuring truth by the teachings of a morally unprincipled deviate who was indisputably unqualified for ministry by biblical standards (i Tim. 3:2-7; Titus 1:6-7) is far scarier than any aspect of Halloween! (A rule of thumb, which I’ll throw in free of charge: The farther an individual or group moves away from the teachings of the so-called Philadelphia era of the Church of God, the closer he moves toward genuine truth and balanced spirituality.)


So here’s my point: Objection to Halloween is a reflection of something much broader: an obsession with trivialities, a confusion of priorities, a primitive fear of the unknown, an arrogance that finds “righteousness” in being odd-ball and out-of-step. Fundamentalists can find something offensive or objectionable in almost anything. They have a world view in which virtually everything is “anti-Christian”. They have lost the ability to filter the important from the inconsequential. The traditional COG prohibition against Halloween ignores the facts of history, misrepresents the modern holiday, and demonstrates a woeful lack of spiritual discernment.

So, in a nutshell, my message to Christians about Halloween is: Lighten up! There is nothing spiritually harmful about this tradition. Sensibly observed, Halloween can be a day of wholesome fun and merriment. Believe it or not, not everything in life has to have some deep spiritual connotation. Halloween is “Satan’s Holiday” only to those who concede it to him or arbitrarily label it as such. Christians have been redeemed from the forces of evil. We don’t have to give credence to Satan’s claimed authority in any area of life. Don’t surrender to the fear, superstition and hypocrisy of the fundamentalist, who wouldn’t recognize a little harmless fun if he tripped over it, who is oblivious to the value of fantasy, who has no idea what “magic” and “witchcraft” really are, to whom everything paranormal is “demonic” and who trembles before the power of Satan and his demons (whether he admits it or not). Don’t fall prey to shady “scholarship” and flawed arguments about this holiday. Don’t let anyone judge you in respect of this or any other occasion. Safe, fun Halloween activities are NOT “of the “devil”.

To believe other wise is just plain silly!




57 comments:

Douglas Becker said...

tempted into a life of witchcraft

Since rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and Herbert Armstrong rebelled against the CoG7, he must have been a warlock.

So this halloween, if you want to keep your children out of witchcraft, do not, repeat, DO NOT, allow them to dress up for halloween in Herbert Armstrong costumes.

Anonymous said...

Majoring in the minors is a COG trait. The more you can find to "come out" of the more you feel special and theologially correct.

Halloween at it's adult level these days has it's weirdness, but at the trick or treat stage is harmless for sure.

However, if one is going to adopt the fundamentalist mindset. If one is to take Satan as really really 'the god of this world," etc, one really is going to avoid it. It just fits the paradigm for fundamentalists.

With the NT admonishments to "come out of her, my people and be not a partaker of her sins," you simply aren't going to be comfortable with Halloween. The idea of being special, chosen and a people of His own, is not going to feel comfortable with compromising the goofiness or spiritual darkness of Halloween.

Of course it is harmless for the most part, but a prime example of something that would make a fundamentalist uncomfortable and I don't think they could be anything but uncomfortable.

On this topic, like Christmas and Easter , I think we have to give people their space. I can look any literalist in the eye and say, "I understand your feelings on this one."

The Pagan origins of the Christ myth are mostly unknown and unacceptale to being taught of course. But there is no getting around the origins of such holidays as xmas, easter and halloween. It is what it is. Sunday worship is what it is but Sabbath keeping is also a pagan offshoot of a Sumerian god rest/human annoyance tale given a Hebrew twist. A very long story but not original to the OT.

We make all this stuff up to comfort ourselves and address the "what's going to happen to me when I die," issue.

We are the only sentinent being that knows that we know and wonders about such future events. It is , frankly, the origin of all religion.

As John Denver noted, "relatively speaking, you make me what I am. Darkness needs the sunshine like the ocean needs the sand..." A beach needs both to be a beach. Otherwise it is just a desert or an ocean.

We need our boogeymen to make our practices seem more correct. After all, "God's Holydays or Pagan Holidays..Which?" has incredible drawing power to the either/or response.

While I totally understand the origins and not so mandatory nature of the Holydays, I miss them. It gave the illusion of specialness and knowing. It made one feel safe in an unsafe world. It made you feel like you had many who would help you if you needed it because you all looked forward to the same good things.

I don't feel very safe anymore alone. The group think of WCG was an illusion but it felt like it wasn't. I believed Ron Kelly when he said "we'll take care of you." But he lied and it was all smoke and mirrors.

We live, we learn and we leave...

I hope there is more and I would like to believe that any real Deity was not so cultic and limited as the Bible one. I miss the group of like minded folk. I won't say I don't. But I also want to know what is real and what isn't and that can leave you alone in a crowd or on the outside looking in.

I have been around long enough, studied enough, shared enough of that study with ministers who say, "I know you are right on that. I have always wondered about that. But I can't say that or I'd lose my job."

We are an insecure species in this world. Our food supply can dry up in three days. Our money can evaporate as worthless overnight. Our security can disappear in an instant. Life is short even if long.

Happy Halloween...

M.T.Pumpkins

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid in the WCG, almost every single fun holiday was banned, birthdays, Easter, Halloween, Christmas. All we had was Thanksgiving, oh, and of course, Mothers and Fathers Day was ok. Hey! So now, I just like to decorate the yard. Used to be cute and spooookey when my kids were younger, now I am full blown into scary. Must be latent childhood coming out. Last night I put a new motion activated ghoul in the bathroom and scared the pookey out of my husband. Yep, arrested development! ;)

Anonymous said...


RE: HALLOWEEN HYSTERIA by Keith Stump

One of the reasons that Halloween is becoming a bigger thing all the time in North America is that the stores have found out that they can sell a lot of ugly junk at that time of the year. Some merchants act like they would sell their own children for the almighty dollar that they seem to worship above all else. Personally, I am quite happy to just ignore the whole Halloween fuss. WCG people who whine that they have been deprived and that their lives have been ruined by not being allowed to observe Halloween sound like a bunch of spoiled drama queens.

As for your “parenthetical note to hypocrites,” I have no interest in reading a bunch of overly lengthy Harry Potter books or Stephen King (whoever he is) books or watching any of those dizzy Disney movies or other nutty television shows you mentioned. Those in the WCG and its Splinter Groups who are attracted to such things just “don't get it” as HWA might say. As the apostle Paul wrote, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the TRUTH and turn aside to MYTHS” (II Timothy 4:3-4, NIV).

As for your comment about “The unbiblical doctrine of ‘soul sleep’,” have you never read in the Old Testament of the Bible that “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2, NIV). Have you never read in the New Testament of the Bible where Jesus said, “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out--those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:28-29, NIV).

As for your unsubstantiated claim that “Leviticus 23 is obsolete and irrelevant anyway,” I am sure you hope that the Punishment for Disobedience listed in Leviticus 26:14-39 is gone too. Unfortunately for you, it might turn out that it is actually just you yourself that is obsolete and irrelevant. It is very interesting and significant that those who hate HWA and accuse him of all manner of evil often seem to end up praising things like Halloween, witchcraft, sorcery, etc. If they really were better than HWA, and logical, and sensible, I would have expected them to have something better to offer. A lot more could be said, but why bother?

As for your comment that “Satan is a defeated enemy!,” perhaps what you should have admitted was that you yourself have been totally defeated by your “friend” and enemy Satan.


Assistant Deacon said...

Lev. 26:14-29 is obsolete. Goodness, a child with a picture Bible could figure that one out.

Unbelievable. It's plain as the nose on your face. You do yourself and your arguments no favors with nonsensical rantings like this one.

Anonymous said...

A guy I know claims the Holy Spirit wants him to dress up as a "Farting Bible" this Halloween!

Anonymous said...


Some time after the WCG under Joseph Tkach Sr. openly turned against everything in January 1995, I ran into a WCG guy who seemed to be going along with the changes.

I asked him something like, "If the Bible scholars in the World's churches are so smart and know so much then why, when it is all said and done, do these churches end up observing things like Halloween?"

His reply was that "They are entitled to some mistakes."

Oh!

Byker Bob said...

While my son was in pre-school and grade school in So. Cal., we were constantly being made aware of a minor Christian revival. I'm thinking some of his classmates were probably evangelical, and they were most definitely an influence in the classrooms. One time of the year during which they became very noticeable was the Halloween season, and they were very vocal about the holiday being based on Satan and the demons.

To state that mainstream Christians gleefully embrace such holidays is yet more Armstrongist disinformation about the Christian community, just as it is total disinformation that mainstream Christians don't really study their Bibles. When you are cloistered within an ACOG, it is easy to simply accept all the negatives they have to share about people on the outside. When you actually get out for yourself, you discover the degree to which we were lied to, and the extent to which others have been unjustifiably maligned. Armstrongism is and was a literal house of horrors!

As far as someone dressing up as a flatulent Bible goes, nobody who truly has God's Spirit would indulge in such mockery.

BB

Anonymous said...

Yes, go ahead and wallow in the satanic filth of Halloween. Those of you on this blog are the bottom feeders of society. Demon possessed and spiritually dead. Go ahead and worship your daddy on this most sacred of Satan's nights. Take your little kids out to be agents of this demon possessed night that allows evil spirits to take over.

Assistant Deacon said...

Ah, yes, the bottom-feeders.

Well, as SOMEBODY once said, SOMEWHERE, there is none righteous, no, not...

...wait for it...

...one.

But hey, thanks for checking in, Anon.

Steve Kisack said...

I have fond memories of Halloween and Chritmas when I was a kid. So glad my parents weren't in the wacky cult at that time. So sorry I deprived my kids of a lot of the harmless fun of Christmas and Halloween. I didn't care too much for Easter cause they dragged us to church. Yuk!

DennisCDiehl said...



This song was first released on the Seasons of the Heart album by John Denver

Relatively speaking you make me who I am
I need you exactly like the ocean needs the land
I need you like the sunshine needs the shadows and the night
I need you the way love needs the savage hurtful fight


The rich ones need the poor ones
The blind need those with sight
Sinners need the pure of heart
The black ones need the white

Relatively speaking the contrast make sit go
Every action taken is related in the flow
Stars and losers, kings and fools go dancing hand in hand
Relatively speaking you make me who I am

Relatively speaking the contrast make sit go
Every action taken is related in the flow
Stars and losers, kings and fools go dancing hand in hand
Relatively speaking you make me who I am
Who I am

Words by Arthur Hancock
Music by John Denver

For every God there must be a Satan. For every Jesus, there must be a Devil. For every virtue, there must be a vice. For every good, there must be evil.

In reality, there are no demons and no Gods. But if you have one, you must create the other for contrast.

I'd suggest "The Origin of Satan" by Ellaine Pagels.

Anonymous said...

"Don't fall prey to shady 'scholarship' and flawed arguments about this holiday...Christians have been redeemed from the forces of evil...To believe other wise is just plain silly!"

IMHO, to believe in "the forces of evil" is "just plain silly." People are people. We are an undisciplined population, and we're just as likely to do "good" or "evil" as we are to do anything else. Most of the time we're just wildly throwing darts at a dart board, flailing around in our quest to survive, as creatures have done since the beginning of time. Whether what we do winds up being "good" or "evil" is often assigned by others after the fact. Our conscience notwithstanding, the results of our actions can just as easily wind up being for "good" as they can for "evil," regardless of our intentions.

What's silly is to believe that everything we do is either by the grace of some supernatural being or else is the fault of some other supernatural being, while simultaneously believing that we are still fully responsible for all our actions. What's silly is to believe the "shady 'scholarship'" which is used to force such clashing ideas into contraposition with each other. Let's face it, taking responsibility for our actions is the only grown-up thing to do and the rest is stone age superstition. Truthfully, it makes no difference whether you want to dress up like mythological creatures once a year, or dress up in a suit and tie to listen to some boring old guy blather the same old hackneyed nonsense for 2 hours once a week. It all boils down to the same thing at the bottom line: superstition. I guess the difference is, those who dress up like mythological creatures know that what they're doing is the product of superstition, and they do it anyway, just for fun. Some old guy lecturing at you for 2 hours wouldn't exactly be fun, no matter how you slice it.

John Phillips said...

Nice that Keith is such a jerk.

I am Protestant. I was raised as a Presbyterian but now attend an Episcopal church in New Jersey. Some of us don't do Halloween either and have not for a long time.


There is such a thing as freedom to believe in America and it should come without having to be mocked and made fun of by people such as Keith Stump .
I found his article very condescending and self righteous.
Found you blog surfing around.

Anonymous said...

There is such a thing in America as freedom to mock and make fun of people such as Keith Stump. Thank the Framers of the First Amendment for that blessing.

Jeering is one of the most effective ways we humans persuade members of our society to abandon foolishness--or if not that, at least to warn others not to adopt the foolishness.

Just my 2 cents,
Penny Zwerth

Assistant Deacon said...

"Nice that Keith is such a jerk."

Well, there's an effective way to complain about someone else being condescending.

Palmieri said...

Penny, that is a load of bull crap.
It is called bullying and intimidation and it is an effective way to silence the opposition.
Use of terms like 'birther' and 'truther' , 'nazi' are used to label and silence.

Douglas Becker said...

Thanks for the picture.

I'll post it on the door this halloween to make it clear we aren't participating (not hysteria, I just don't want to be bothered -- besides, there are health problems to be considered).

Byker Bob said...

What would really be scary would be for some wonderfully artistic persons in Edmond, Charleston, Wadsworth, and some of the many other pissant ACOG International Headquarters cities to create and don Herbert W. Armstrong masks, and to go door to door to pass out scads of the old "1975 in Prophecy" booklets.

BB

Anonymous said...

keeping halloween as a kid, trick or treat was taught to us even in school, what it meant, even to the point of soaping someones windows, egging places as we got older, which I did not partake in BTW. But there were other things the 'innocent children' did that really had nothing to do with civility.

So I guess it is okay to teach young people to strong arm or extort someone, even tho it is only candy. What a waste of money, from the costumes to the cavities and diabtetes that may come afterward. What a shameful waste of blog space. lol.

Anonymous said...

OH, NOES!!!!

Halloween is almost as bad as people who see Herbie as a slick salesman con artist!

Anonymous said...

"Halloween is almost as bad as people who see Herbie as a slick salesman con artist!"

Obviously someone needs to review Herbie's co-worker letters from the 40's, 50's, and 60's. Those unvarnished harangues are primary historical documents that reveal exactly where Herbie's mind was at.

Either that or someone is trying to say that Halloween is actually pretty good!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I enjoy Halloween.
The kids in their costumes are cute.
Plus, I get to eat the leftover chocolates.
Yesterday I put a pumpkin on our front stoop- not carved, just a pumpkin.
But I did see a picture online of a pumpkin carved that was Frank Zappa and it was awesome.

Norm

Mish-Mash said...

Up ere in NEPA, we had a little dude in s apiperman costume stop by. We gave him a few snickers and on his way. Thats the aftermath of Satanism we had tongight. I think I'll go wrap my dad (COGer) in TP while he is sleeping. That will at least give me a laught this crazy holiday season. Anyone want to rent him from me, he's a hoot ! I'll post a video one of these days and then you will all know why Mish-Mash is so nuts. All she wants to do is hang out in the summer at the Jersey Shore went its fixed !

Michael said...

"The Bible clearly teaches (and centuries of experience demonstrate) that death does not interrupt self-awareness; personal identity survives death!"

WTF? Excuse me, but do not centuries, nay millenia of experience demonstrate precisely that death does interrupt self-awareness?
Does anyone happen to know of any dead people that are self-aware?
Or have a personal identity?
Didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the blast from the past, Gary!

It was fun to re-read some of the comments (Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 9:09 PM, Anonymous October 4, 2012 at 12:13 AM, Anonymous October 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM)by folks who associate Halloween with Satan, extortion, Satan, dental problems, Satan, diabetes, Satan, witchcraft, Satan, sorcery, Satan, "overly lengthy Harry Potter books", Satan, Disney movies, Satan, evil merchants who "would sell their own children", Satan, rejecting HWA's "truths", Satan, and lastly, Satan.

Anonymous said...

Palmieri, when you called my comment "a load of bull crap," you bullied and intimidated me so severely that I was afraid to comment again for a whole year. So you see, you illustrated your own point.

Don't feel bad, though. I haven't suffered a PSTD flashback for months now, and my counselor has taken me off sedatives.

I hope you have recovered from the trauma inflicted by Keith Stump's article as I have after your cruel insult.


Penny Zwerth

Corky said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, go ahead and wallow in the satanic filth of Halloween. Those of you on this blog are the bottom feeders of society. Demon possessed and spiritually dead. Go ahead and worship your daddy on this most sacred of Satan's nights. Take your little kids out to be agents of this demon possessed night that allows evil spirits to take over.

Hateful, evil minded nut jobs just like this "anonymous" one is one of the main reasons that I am no longer religious. People just like this incite riots, cause untold misery to innocent people, call good, evil and evil, good. Their diseased minds can't tell one spirit from another.

Halloween is observed in a spirit of fun in this day and age. Only to the warped, diseased mind is "fun" considered evil.

Christmas? Well, that's the epitome of that spirit of love and giving that HWA preached so much about but didn't seem to "get" himself. No, to his warped and diseased mind, Christmas was an evil pagan celebration.

The truth is, Christmas is not celebrated in any spirit of evil at all but in a spirit of loving kindness, giving, joy, peace and goodness - all in spite of those who abuse it and in spite of people who call evil, good and good, evil.

Joe Moeller said...

Many Christians, not just COG types, are not celebrating Halloween for self evident reasons.

I have noticed over the years a slow "sexualization" of the holiday. What once was Frankenstein, or Dracula costume, or perhaps a costume of a nurse , cat, or fireman, has evolved into "the slut version". LOL!

So if you dress as a nurse, its "the SLUT Nurse", or if you dress as a cat , its "the SLUT Cat", or the "SLUT Vampire" etc.

I am readying myself for the next stage of things and wondering whats next and how down ladder society is going to go ... A slut dressing as the SLUT SLUT??

Curious times and sociological expression!

Luv,
Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

I think the Armstrongite reaction to this article, and Halloween in general, simply stems from a deep rooteed fear of anything unfamiliar to them, based on assumptions about what the Bible means and the outside world. I really shouldn't use the term, "the outside world," because what they take that to mean tradtional Christianity. People who try to adhere to what Armstrong taught really need to take a deep breath and impartially analyze the facts about the organization they belong to, and the doctrines they espouse. The fact of the matter is that if they're truly honest with themselves and do their homework, they're going to come to the inevitable conclusion that they've believed a marketing gimmick from a shrewd advertizing man; a set of doctrines which were designed to get people to pay for the lavish expenses of a small elite. If they can possibly understand this, they'll see Halloween in it's true light: just some day for the kids to have fun. By the way, why do the COGers have this fetish with the timing of days? I've witnessed a vast interest in the New Moon. I even heard about one COG family who would go outside and sing hymns on the night of the new moon. Sounds pretty spooky if you ask me!

Anonymous said...

These days I make up for the decade of crappy Halloweens I endured courtesy of the WCG by making sure I'm always the house on the trick or treat route giving out the full size candy bars - none of that "fun size" stuff here. :)

Questeruk said...

The main ethical problem with Halloween is the message to small children that it’s fine to ask anyone, including complete strangers to “give me something, or I will do something nasty to you”.

Don’t have to be a Christian to think that is a dubious morality.

Painful Truth said...

The Herbert W. Armstrong Halloween mask is on the market. Sold them 2 years ago in Portland. Simple to make and great fun for the family

Anonymous said...

Primarily, Halloween comes from the Christian holy day All Hallows and the Gaelic feast Samhain.

Wikipedia's Samhain article

Britain W. Stevenson said...

Anonymous said...

Yes, go ahead and wallow in the satanic filth of Halloween. Those of you on this blog are the bottom feeders of society. Demon possessed and spiritually dead. Go ahead and worship your daddy on this most sacred of Satan's nights. Take your little kids out to be agents of this demon possessed night that allows evil spirits to take over.

October 4, 2012 at 12:13 AM

LOL...Well Anonymous,I guess you haven't experienced any of the satanic actions or comments or abuse and lies, etc. coming from COG >ministers< or >"PROPHETS"<. Talk about SATANIC FILTH, DEMON POSSESSED AND SPIRITUALLY DEAD!! Who might be their daddy??

Anonymous said...

With regard to Halloween, I think Mr Drew Carey (2002 White House Correspondents' Dinner) made a great point: "Halloween is another big (pagan) holiday. A satanic holiday. No one's bothered by that for some reason. You know, fun for the kiddies. When I was going to church they always told me Satan's the most evil one, he's the one you've got to watch out for. And then, once a year, the whole country goes, 'Hey, let's party with this guy!'"

Anonymous said...

Halloween is fast becoming a big business in Australia as well!

Anonymous said...

I recall "The Bible Story" claiming that Jeroboam somehow instituted Halloween. Which made no real sense from a historical viewpoint and I dont recall now if it was ever repeated in their magazine polemics -RSK

Anonymous said...

So no one anywhere ever should get to enjoy a good time on Halloween because "ARGLE BARGLE RAAR PAGAN WITCHES!"? Why, that would be as monumentally stupid as demanding everyone stop having birthday parties just because some ancient bint supposedly asked for some guy's head as a present. Oh, wait...

Anonymous said...

Hey, was that a way for some person to try to ruin birthday parties forever- by asking for someone's head as a present?

What if someone ruined the Feast of Tabernacles forever by using 2nd tithe money for Dexter to "fix" a relationship problem caused by the UCG/COGWA split?

Ha!

Anonymous said...

What strikes me is how people like Stump have the audacity to speak with authority after preaching the diametric opposite under Armstrong. It's amazing that anyone would listen to him at all.

But what's really sick is how everything part of society seems to be full of the same corruption and hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

BB, there is no such thing as the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a con job to make people feel that if other people don't agree it's just because they don't have the Spirit of God. They just can't get it. It's effectively labeling them as spiritual morons and giving up on them. When you do that, you don't listen because you think it's a waste of time. Great con. Keeps people in the cults. You left the Armstrong cult but you are still in the cult of Christ. You only came half way out.

Anonymous said...

I seriously disagree that there is no impact on children re Halloween. I have a small child who looks at the sheer ugliness of skulls and skeletons and other decorations, she expressed how ugly they are, yet I refuse to allow her to learn to be afraid of them or to tell her about what a Grim Reaper is or ghosts, or any such thing. Why introduce first of all, ugly, then even fear? Being afraid of ghosts and goblins, etc, ad nauseum. My daughter will get a good night sleep, some when we walk by want to talk about how scary those things are, really ridiculous to me. Hey, if you want your kids to be afraid of the dark and introduce things like that to them, go ahead. Not me, no thanks, there is so much more to be concerned about it our ever changing world. This is not a minor thing if your little one learns to be scared about things where they may not sleep well at night.

Anonymous said...


Reject ALL the EVIL.

To be consistent with rejecting false apostles like Joseph Tkach, Sr., and false prophets like Gerald Flurry, and false ministers like Victor Kubik, and false clowns like Ronald Weinland, and the false light of James Malm, and the false science of the immoral evolutionists, one should also reject false customs like Halloween.

Byker Bob said...

Anonymous 8:33, What you may not know is that I also left the atheist church after about thirty years, so am well aware of Nietzsche, Rand, and objectivist constructs as applied to members of the deity. Nobody ever wins theist vs non-theist arguments except in their own minds, so it's best to just let it pass as a personal matter, like being a Democrat or Republican.

BB

Anonymous said...

I hate to say this but I think Keith Stump has lost what he may have once had. His article on Halloween and his self righteous put down of those who don't agree with him proves it, how sad. I think Halloween is wrong. I could point out a hundred different sick things why Halloween is wicked but there is no point. Those who agree already know what I mean and those who don't wont want to hear it anyway. If someone doesn't agree with what I think that's fine with me, we all have a choice in the matter, I won't put you down because of how you see Halloween, that's the way you see it and it doesn't matter what I say or anyone else, but for those who don't agree with Keith stump, don't put us down either, we simply choose not to think Halloween is a good thing. If I don't believe in Halloween leave it at that, I think I have good reason not to and won't try to force it on you or insult you because you don't agree. I have read Keith Stump articles in the past, but his hateful self righteous attack toward those who disagree with him is shocking. Please don't follow his example..

Britain W. Stevenson said...

Anonymous said...

I seriously disagree that there is no impact on children re Halloween. I have a small child who looks at the sheer ugliness of skulls and skeletons and other decorations, she expressed how ugly they are, yet I refuse to allow her to learn to be afraid of them or to tell her about what a Grim Reaper is or ghosts, or any such thing. Why introduce first of all, ugly, then even fear? Being afraid of ghosts and goblins, etc, ad nauseum. My daughter will get a good night sleep, some when we walk by want to talk about how scary those things are, really ridiculous to me. Hey, if you want your kids to be afraid of the dark and introduce things like that to them, go ahead. Not me, no thanks, there is so much more to be concerned about it our ever changing world. This is not a minor thing if your little one learns to be scared about things where they may not sleep well at night.

October 25, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Yes I believe this. But one more thing to add to your list to keep your daughter away from is the ministry of the Philadelphia Church of God. Talk about the devil!

RSK said...

Not that it really matters to me, but I find it a bit funny to wring one's hands over children seeing ghosts, goblins, witches, etc and yet tout the Bible. Bloody circumcisions? Check. A woman nailing a man's head to the ground with a tent stake? Check. Tribal genocide? Check. Rape of siblings? Check. Ghosts of the dead? Check. I could go on...

Anonymous said...

It's how you handle it. I surely never scared my son with demon stories, or had him dress as Satan. We always kept it light, and fun. No meanness, and no tricks. It was like a costume party, strutting your stuff for the neighbors, and receiving candy. One year he wanted to be a clown. Another year, a character called "Bunny Foo Foo". It did concern me another year when he wanted to be Boy George, but we didn't make it into a federal, he had some fun with it, and it ended up having no deeper meaning or lasting effect. People in the ACOGs do a great job of manufacturing forbidden fruit.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10/25 8:33PM said: "BB, there is no such thing as the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a con job to make people feel that if other people don't agree it's just because they don't have the Spirit of God..."

While I disagree with you about the HS since I'm a Christian I do agree with your general thesis i.e. HWA asserted that all Christ-followers who weren't baptized according to his WCG formula (water baptism & laying on of hands) didn't really have God's Holy Spirit. Thus, Armstrongites were "converted" while other Xians were "unconverted." Such a claim sets up an "us vs. them" mentality that leads to the cultism that was WCG! & if it's true then why did HWA copy doctrines that other Xians taught & which he believed to be true? How did they come about learning such truths except it be from the HS! & also if HWA/WCG had the HS while other Xians didn't then how come his legacy of "bad fruits" (eg broken homes, divorce, incest, financial misappropriation, false predictions, etc.) is just as bad (if not worse!) than those Xians he condescendingly labeled "unconverted" & which Christ warned us about (Mt 7:18-20)? It seems HWA/WCG was just as capable of committing attrocious acts as those in the large Xian denominations & yet he & his followers somehow had the HS, but other Xians from other denominations didn't?!!?
The last time I looked no human or human institution has a monopoly on God's HS other than God Himself & He promises to give it to all who ask (Lk 11:13).

Anonymous said...

Gross picture.

Anonymous said...

I would rather see funny pumpkins puking than read the gross puke from COG ministurds condemning Halloween.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:42, that is how false teachers accomplish their permanent damage leading to people throwing up their hands, and walking away from any sort of belief. It is an outgrowth of the aftermath question, "How could God have allowed this to happen to people who loved and worshipped Him?"

We've got people who, instead of believing in any manifestation of God, would most likely prefer to believe that the dinosaurs farted and when the flatulence cooled and condensed, it became Moses and the Israelites, who immediately began concocting outrageous stories which were redacted and edited into the Old Testament. Had they had loving and truthful teachers, they never would have lost faith and begun entertaining and studying atheism.

Anonymous said...

"I would rather see funny pumpkins puking than read the gross puke from COG ministurds condemning Halloween."

And you would probably prefer to eat dirt than crap, but I'll take a pass on both.

Anonymous said...

Armstrong wasn't wrong about everything. He proved the mainstream churches were full of BS. And if people reject all _his_ proofs (because they never did their homework before getting into the WCG), there are plenty of other proofs. It's inconceivable anyone could return to that.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Dude 224: When I got booted from AC, and attended another college, I discovered that the Armstrong organization had lied about other colleges. When I began attending a non-denominational Christian church, I discovered that the Armstrong organization had also lied about other churches. They worked in their stereotypes, generalizations, sarcasm, and elitism in an attempt to give WCG members an aversion to any of the common "ways out". And, it largely worked. It took 30 years to get past the prejudices which they had so cleverly embedded into my psyche, and to seek any kind of spiritual guidance. Bottom line is, they lied about everything. I'm sure that like corn in dog crap, there was some truth mixed in with all the lies. Crap contaminates corn.

MT Dog Intestines

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:24 said: "Armstrong wasn't wrong about everything..."

Depends on who you ask...

IMO the few teachings he was correct about were later changed by the man himself for his own self-seeking agenda. eg I believe he was right re his early teaching on church government, but later he changed it asserting the primacy of Peter & 1-man dictatorial rule; I believe his early teaching on divorce being severely restricted is right, but he later changed it & liberalized it to the point of marrying a divorced woman himself & then later divorcing her! I could go on, but won't suffice to say there are far more errors he taught than sound, biblical doctrines proving the man was an outright fraud & those who still trust in him, his words & his worldview have built their faith on a foundation of sand & this fact is being proven over & again as time marches on.