萬聖夜的邪惡

不少華人誤稱十月三十一日為「萬聖節」“Halloween”,其實,這日應被稱為「萬聖夜」,即「萬聖節前夕」的意思。時至今日,「萬聖夜」或「萬聖節前夕」已成為北美洲的一大節日。聖誕節為美國最重視裝飾的節日,而「萬聖夜」則緊隨在後,成為第三位。[i]在二零零七年,根據保守的估計,美國人已花了五十億美元在「萬聖夜」的服裝、裝飾及道具上,[ii]排行在節日消費單的第六位。[iii]對加拿大人來說,「萬聖夜」亦是一個極其重要的節日。在二零零五年,為著慶祝這個日子,加拿大國民共花了約十一億加元。[iv]

在「萬聖夜」的發源地英倫三島,由二零零一至二零零六年短短的五年內,在這節日的消費增加了十倍,高達一億二千英磅。除了聖誕節及復活節外,「萬聖夜」是第三個叫超級市場賺錢的節日。每逢「萬聖夜」前,大小的超級市場皆擺滿了南瓜、女巫帽子及有關的商品,[v]而全球亦愈來愈多人慶祝「萬聖夜」。比方說,在數十年前,這個日子對墨西哥及加勒比人來說,乃是十分陌生的,但現今卻愈來愈普及。

從表面來看,「萬聖夜」是帶給商人無限商機及兒童歡樂的一個節日;可是,英倫三島於這日子內,其搗蛋罪案卻增加了20%。[vi]在「惡作劇抑或款待」﹙或含有「不給糖就搗亂」之意﹚“Trick or Treat”的過程裡,當屋主不肯把金錢或禮物送給小孩子時,不少年紀較大的少年人便向房屋擲雞蛋。無數居民因房子、汽車受損、被人粗暴對待、或被人恐嚇而向警方發出投訴。[vii]

究竟「萬聖夜」是怎樣的一個節日呢﹖

「萬聖夜」的意思

古時及奉行巫術的人,稱十月三十一日為「撒漢」“Samhain”,[viii]現今人士則稱之為「萬聖節前夕」“Halloween”[ix],意即「萬聖節的前一天」“All Hallows Eve” or “The Eve of All Saints’ Day” or “Hallow’s e’en”。[x]

萬聖夜的源頭

克爾特人一年之首

克爾特人“Celts”是「語言的群體」“Linguistic Group”,他們皆是操印歐語系的語文“Indo-European Languages”。[xi]十一月一日是古代克爾特人慶祝新年的日子,在這期間把人及動物的祭牲獻給「撒曼」“Saman”(「死亡之神」 “The Lord of the Dead”)及太陽神。[xii]十一月一日為古今巫師公認的新年,他們視之為大日。[xiii]

克爾特人奉行階級制度,而督伊德人則是他們的智者,或祭司。[xiv]相信萬聖夜是源自「督伊德人」“Druids”,他們認為「撒曼」“Saman”(「死亡之神」“The Lord of the Dead”)於那夜大開死門關,讓亡魂四處遊蕩,故此僧人在那天晚上生火驅逐亡魂。這些異教的僧人更在這節期裡把祭牲獻給神明;此外,有力的證據顯示在祭牲中有些是以人為祭物的。[xv]

在昔日的克爾特人中,他們視萬聖夜為一年最後的一天,也是一個用來查究未來的晚上。克爾特人斷定那天晚上有亡魂被釋放出來,舊地重遊。自羅馬人征服英倫三島後,他們便把羅馬人收割節的特色加添在萬聖夜的身上,藉此來記念巴莫拿“Pomona”—果樹的女神“goddess of the fruits of trees”。[xvi]

天主教與萬聖節

主後七世紀

最早期,天主教是在五月慶祝萬聖節“All Saints Day”的。在主後608年羅馬皇帝為著滿足剛歸入羅馬版圖的異教徒,便准許他們把「撒漢」“Samhain”這節日與「萬聖節」混在一起來慶祝。羅馬萬神殿“Pantheon”被改建為基督教禮拜堂,在此有人記念去世的聖人,也有異教徒在萬聖節前一天祭祀「死亡之神」。[xvii]

主後八世紀

在主後的八世紀,天主教教皇貴勾利三世“Gregory III”把十一月一日封為「萬聖節」,藉此記念去世的聖人,自此之後,人家便稱十月三十一日為萬聖夜了。[xviii]

北美洲與萬聖夜

在殖民時代,美國人已認識「萬聖夜」。直至1840年代,愛蘭人把「萬聖夜」的習俗帶到美洲。在二十世紀中,「萬聖夜」已成為一個主要為兒童而設的節日。在過去的十年,它已成為一個極為商業化及全國性的節日。[xix]

萬聖夜的習俗

「惡作劇抑或款待」“Trick or Treat”

古人認為死去的靈魂在十月三十一日裡四出遊蕩,他們會重返昔日的家園,以火來取暖。這些鬼魂得著家人的「款待」,因他們為死人擺上供品。古人相信那天晚上是邪靈、鬼怪及騎在掃把的女巫出沒並戲弄人(「惡作劇」)的時間。[xx]現今小朋友四出拍門,要求人家給與糖果,乃是象徵著亡魂四出覓食的行動。至於扮鬼扮馬,穿上鬼怪的面套及衣服,以此來恐嚇人,乃是表徵著邪靈捉弄人的意思。[xxi]

萬聖夜的打扮

古代「督伊德人」“Druids”,在十月三十一日晚上,以動物及農作物作為祭品,有時甚至以人為祭物獻給太陽神「莫奧拉」“Muck Olla”及死亡之神「撒漢」“Samhain”。在儀式進行之際,他們會穿著以動物頭顱及皮革製造的服裝,藉此驅逐污鬼。[xxii]時至今日,也許人家不最明白其意義,但背後實含有迷信的色彩,與異教直接扯上關係。

南瓜的燈籠

有資料顯示,古時「督伊德教」的僧人“Druids”以蘿蔔燈籠放在門前,為要把污鬼驅走。時至今日,在北美洲人家則以南瓜來代替。[xxiii]

撒但教與巫術

巫術又稱「衛加」“wicca(wise ones)”、[xxiv]「那古舊的宗教」“the old religion”、「婦人的靈」“woman spirit”、「女神敬拜」 “goddess worship”、「手藝」 “the craft”等。「巫師」又稱為「督伊德人」“Druids”,蓋爾語 “the Gaelic word”是「智者」或「魔術師」“wiseman or sorcerer”。「巫師」,這個詞彙沒有性別之分,可以是男巫師或女巫師。[xxv]

自一九七零年代初開始,巫術便如雨後春筍般出現在世界各處,而紐約市則是他們的「麥加」﹙大本營﹚。[xxvi]「女神的盟約」“the Covenant of the Goddess”﹙一個巫師組織﹚的發言人指出,其發展是極之迅速的。由1986至1993年間,其會員便由二萬人增加至三十五萬。[xxvii]美國各處皆有女巫集會,甚至她們的名字亦出現在該市的電話冊內。[xxviii]在北美洲的大小書店內,我們皆可以找到教導巫術的書籍,甚至阿拉巴馬大學、紐約大學及不少學校亦有提供巫術的學科。再者,無數自稱為巫師的人接受電臺及電視的訪問,並且很多報刊亦有講論施咒的文章。[xxix]

「巫術」“witchcraft”可以分為黑、白巫術兩種。「白巫術」是源自克爾特人“Celts”,他們乃是最後一批移居到英國的人,廣義來說,他們乃是現今的愛爾蘭人、威爾斯人、蓋爾人“Gaelic”及不列塔尼人“Breton”。[xxx]此外,白巫術也是源自戴安娜女神及其它有關生育的異教信仰。[xxxi]「黑巫術」與敬拜撒但有關,他們十分淫亂;並在祭祀的儀式上,有些甚至以人為祭牲。[xxxii]

在巫師的圈子裡,傳統是以十三人為一個「巫師集會」“coven”,男女皆混合在一起,把世代相傳的魔法及儀式傳遞下去,他們稱為「衛加」“Wicca”,這字源自舊英文“Anglo-Saxon”,意即「變曲」或「定形」“bend or shape”。由於這些巫師可以憑著己意把自然的規律及力量扭曲來施行奇事;故此,他們就成為當地的老師、醫治者“healers”及接生的人“midwives”。在古代,雖然他們擁有領導人,但卻沒有中央的組織來管轄他們。這些巫師公開一同分享心得,彼此交換咒語。

在本世紀中的西方國家內,出現了兩個極具影響力的男巫師。首位是古里“Aleister Crowley”,他被稱為「全世界最邪惡的人」“the wickedest man in the world”、巫師“magician”及江湖術士“charlatan”。他自己卻寧願被稱為「大獸」“the Great Beast”。這人施行一連串的巫術,稱為「性的巫術」“sexual magic”。他為要擁有邪惡的能力,便在「祕密祭祀儀式」“orgies”中,奉獻人及動物為祭牲。[xxxiii]另外一位,乃是安東萊非“Anton La Vey”,這人於1966年在三藩市開設撒但教會[xxxiv],並且於1969年出版「撒但經」“The satanic bible”。在十多年前的銷量已超過二十五萬本了。[xxxv]

有人指出,撒但教於六零年代再次活躍起來,與一套電影名叫「魔鬼怪嬰」“Rosemary’s Baby”有關,這套影片於當時十分賣座,成為那時的票房記錄。[xxxvi]

查理斯文遜“Charles Manson”效法安東萊非“Anton La Vey”,敬拜撒但及實踐邪教的活動,並且把當時的一位女明星沙朗蒂“Sharon Tate”殺死。[xxxvii]

「逃出撒但教」的作者指出有些女撒但教徒寫信給他,告訴作者有關撒但教的祭祀儀式。撒但教徒要在夜深前往墳場去,踐踏一個有人一般大的十字架,並且否認相信基督。隨後儀式便會開始進行,兩名女撒但教徒便要喝動物的血,而這些祭牲是活生生被剝皮的。[xxxviii]

施黑巫術者可叫人感到苦惱、使人生病及死亡。而白巫術的巫師則可醫治人、改善農作物的收成及施加保護等,這乃是不少海外宣教士可作見證的。[xxxix]總言之,巫術的信念、崛起及發展應是叫我們關注的。

哈利波特與巫術

哈利波特為舉世馳名魔幻文學小說的男主角,其創作人是羅琳“J. K. Rowling”。在1994年,她仍是一位無依無靠以公共援助金養活的單親母親;但自第一本《哈利波特》於1997年面世後,她便搖身一變,成為千萬讀者愛戴的作家。《哈利波特》全系列共有七本,已被翻譯成六十多種語文。在2007年,其總銷量已接近四億本。為此,羅琳已躍升為全世界數一數二的巨富之一。

雖然《哈利波特》的情節是虛構的,但書中所談及的巫術卻是真實的。聞說,羅琳曾深入研究巫術後,才把這些內容注入書內。[xl]根據某項調查顯示說,看過或唸過《哈利波特》的青少人,12%的人因而對巫術產生與趣。[xli]如此的現象乃是不容成人忽視的。總言之,《哈利波特》間接及直接地推動了巫術的發展,這是不可置疑的事實!

萬聖夜及女巫節日

巫師的年曆已被撒但教所採納,但有些卻被修改,八個主要節期統稱為「撒巴斯」“sabbats”。於「撒巴斯」“sabbats”期間,巫師齊集在一起慶祝,表明向魔鬼效忠,圖謀惡計及使用符咒,並且一同宴樂、喝酒、跳舞及行淫。[xlii]在對比不同資料之來源,其日期則略有差異。[xliii]現今巫師每月於月圓之夜舉行巫師集會,出席者有六位男巫師、六位女士及一位男大祭師或女大祭師。在這些集會中,他們分別施咒叫人受損或受益。在這八個節日裡,最為重要的日子是「萬聖夜」。[xliv]

二月一日或二日

「加道瑪斯」“Candlemas”,又名「安冥」“Oimelc”,乃是冬天潔淨的節期,也是慶祝春天將至的日子。這個節日與「比節」“Brigit”女神有關,她是一個生育、學習及醫治的神明。[xlv]

三月二十一日

約是「春分」“Vernal Equinox”[xlvi]的時間,那時日夜長短是一樣的,而日光的時間則會漸漸增長。

四月三十日或五月一日

「巴丹」“Bethane”或「華貝加斯之夜」“Walpurgis Night”大概與種植農作物的時間相同。克爾特人“Celts”在這期間獻上祭物。這乃是一個生育的節期“Fertility festival”。這節期與「巴倫尼斯」“Belenus”扯上關係,牠是克爾特人“Celts”所信奉的火神。[xlvii]

六月二十一或二十二日

「聖約翰前夕」“St. John’s Eve” or “St. John’s wort”,[xlviii]即「夏至」“Summer solstice”是全年日光最長的一天。

七月三十一日或八月一日

稱之為「拉瑪斯」“Lammas” or “Lughnasadh”,乃是初熟果子的節期。信奉巫術的人士,相信這節日是由神明「倫」“Lugh”來主領的。[xlix]

九月二十一日或二十三日

「米高瑪斯」“Michaelmas”,即「秋分」“The autumnal equinox” or “Fall equinox”。那時日夜長短是一樣的,而日光的時間則會漸漸縮短。

十月三十一日

萬聖夜是女巫一年的終結及開始,與冬天扯上關係,因為這是表徵著毀壞及死亡。跟其它七個節期對比,「衛加」巫師“Wiccans”視「撒漢」“Samhain”(萬聖夜)為最重要的日子。[l]在這期間,死門關大開,亡魂可自由在大地上遊蕩。萬聖夜被視為與靈體接觸的最佳時間。[li]傳說男神「得達」“Dagda”及女神「摩利根」“Morrigan”於這天交配,藉此造福其部落及賜與他們生育的能力。在這節期內,他們進行公社的活動、集會及獻祭等。[lii]

十二月二十一日

「冬至」是全年日光最短的日子,古代人慶祝「沃」“Yule”這節日。[liii]在天主教的年曆裡,他們於春天的季節以「復活節」來取代「春分」及「華貝加斯之夜」“Walpurgis Night”。在夏天期間,以「聖母升天節」“The Assumption”及「潔淨主日」“Purification Sunday”來取替「聖約翰前夕」“St. John’s Eve”及「拉瑪斯」“Lammas”。在秋天裡則以「萬聖節」來取代「萬聖夜」。在冬天的時分,又以聖誕節來代替「沃」“Yule”及「加道瑪斯」“Candlemas”。[liv]

非信徒應有的回應

普遍人皆有對錯、正邪、光暗及是非黑白的觀念。[lv]聖經讓我們看見神乃是正義、正直及光明的源頭;另一方面,撒但則是錯誤、邪惡及黑暗的源頭。

基於違抗神的命令,撒但及悖逆的天使皆成為墜落的天使,而牠卻是眾邪靈的元首;故此,牠的綽號為「鬼王」﹙太9:34﹚,意即靈界的大魔頭﹙弗6:12﹚。[lvi]在別處的新約聖經內,撒但或魔鬼被稱為「那試探人的」﹙太4:3﹚、「迷惑普天下」者﹙啟12:9﹚、「殺人」者、「說謊之人的父」﹙約8:44﹚、「世界的王」﹙約12:31;14:30;16:11﹚及「世界的神」﹙林後4:4﹚。最可怕的是,撒但深知人的軟弱,便利用物質、情慾、金錢、權力、地位及虛假信念的誘惑,叫人沉溺在罪惡中無法自拔,最終與牠同歸於盡,成為牠的戰利品及陪葬品﹙彼前5:8;啟20:10﹚。

不錯,世人皆被罪惡所勝,意即被這位「世界的王」所牢籠,這是神深深曉得的。基於深知人無力及無法可脫離罪惡的捆綁及其惡果,神便為世人預備了唯一的救法:通過耶穌基督的降生、工作、犧牲、復活及升天,叫世人知道祂就是神的獨生愛子及世人的救主﹙約1:18;3:16﹚。這是耶穌基督首次降臨在世上的目的,這亦是聖誕節為普天同慶的因由。

凡願意認罪、悔改及相信耶穌基督在十架上所成就的救恩,這人必能得著赦免及拯救。基督為「世界的光」﹙約8:12﹚,因為祂不但叫人認識自己的本相,並且叫人懂得怎樣轉向天上滿有榮光的主。再者,耶穌基督必會再來,以萬王之王及萬主之主的姿態出現在世人的眼前。基督為「明亮的晨星」,因為祂必叫人親眼目睹神無比的榮光。[lvii]各位未認識耶穌基督的朋友,或許你感到現正身處在黑暗的環境中,但切勿忘記耶穌基督是我們的盼望及出路。誠意邀請你前來接受這「世界的光」,並且把你生命的主權交給祂!

基督徒應有的認知

為真神所憎惡

「你不可向耶和華你的神這樣行,因為他們向他們的神行了耶和華所憎嫌所恨惡的一切事,甚至將自己的兒女用火焚燒,獻與他們的神。」(申12:31)神藉摩西來提醒其子民,以人為祭牲獻給假神是耶和華所憎惡的。「撒漢」乃是萬聖夜的前身,異教徒以人為祭牲獻給假神,神視之為可憎的。

禁止施行巫術

「你們不可吃帶血的物,不可用法術,也不可觀兆。」「不可偏向那些交鬼的和行巫術的;不可求問他們,以致被他們玷污了。我是耶和華你們的神。」(利19:26;19:31)神嚴禁信徒交鬼及行巫術,而萬聖夜的「款待」“Treat”就是祭鬼的行動,神的兒女絕不可與這邪惡的風俗扯上關係,免得受到沾污。

剷除邪惡勢力

「行邪術的女人,不可容她存活。」(出22:18)昔日舊約時代,以色列人不容許施行邪術的人存活。這不是說,信徒應把所有行巫術的人處死,我們卻應以和平的手法,設法把這邪惡的活動在我們所身處的社區中剷除。可悲的是,現今北美洲的教會已漸漸走下坡,失去屬靈的影響力,反倒被異教思潮所毒害。

不可效法外邦

「又使他們的兒女經火,用占卜、行法術賣了自己,行耶和華眼中看為惡的事,惹動他的怒氣。」(王下17:17)神清楚囑咐其百姓,切勿效法外邦祭祀的儀式。

全國復興之途

「凡猶大國和耶路撒冷所有交鬼的、行巫術的,與家中的神像和偶像,並一切可憎之物,約西亞盡都除掉,成就了祭司希勒家在耶和華殿裡所得律法書上所寫的話。」(王下23:24)約西亞王帶領國民走向復興之途,把神所憎惡的風俗及行為除掉。加拿大及美國教會已愈來愈世俗化,叫主的心傷痛。北美洲人視萬聖夜為大日,願意花錢花力來慶祝,這原本是邪惡的節期竟被多人所擁戴。求主憐憫,讓教會領袖有所看見,能帶領信徒踏上復興之途。

交鬼招惹刑罰

「這樣,掃羅死了。因為他干犯耶和華,沒有遵守耶和華的命,又因他求問交鬼的婦人,沒有求問耶和華,所以耶和華使他被殺,把國歸於耶西的兒子大衛。」(代上10:13至14)掃羅在窮途末路時,沒有向神求助,反求問交鬼的婦人,惹動耶和華的怒氣,叫他失去國位。弟兄姊妹,難道我們不懼怕神的刑罰麼?

情慾表現之一

「我說:你們當順著聖靈而行,就不放縱肉體的情慾了。因為情慾和聖靈相爭,聖靈和情慾相爭,這兩個是彼此相敵,使你們不能做所願意的。但你們若被聖靈引導,就不在律法以下。情慾的事都是顯而易見的,就如姦淫、污穢、邪蕩、拜偶像、邪術、仇恨、爭競、忌恨、惱怒、結黨、紛爭、異端、嫉妒、醉酒、荒宴等類。我從前告訴你們,現在又告訴你們,行這樣事的人必不能承受神的國。聖靈所結的果子,就是仁愛、喜樂、和平、忍耐、恩慈、良善、信實、溫柔、節制。這樣的事,沒有律法禁止。凡屬基督耶穌的人,是已經把肉體連肉體的邪情私慾同釘在十字架上了。我們若是靠聖靈得生,就當靠聖靈行事。」(加5:16至25)使徒保羅把隨從聖靈與體貼肉體的表現列舉出來,而屬乎肉體的表現之一,就是施行邪術。行邪術者多為著自己個人的好處,乃是情慾的表現。萬聖夜小孩子四處求糖果,大小朋友以各樣方法來捉弄人,叫自己得著滿足,這是情慾的表現。基督徒子弟,切勿效法及跟隨。

要禁戒行惡事

「各樣的惡事要禁戒不做。」(帖前5:22)保羅提醒信徒要禁戒行惡事,這是信徒行事為人的原則。萬聖夜的源頭既迷信及邪惡,作為神的兒女便切勿慶祝了!

基督徒應有的回應

雖然萬聖節的本源是邪惡的,但基督徒卻可把握這個機會,藉此推動兒童、家庭及福音外展的工作。

比方說,在萬聖夜前的主日,我們可在兒童崇拜內,向小朋友講解萬聖夜的本源及福音的真義,並且事前鼓勵小朋友作邀請的工作。如此的行動,不但可叫教外的孩童能有聽聞福音的機會,也是基督徒子弟學習關懷自己同學及朋友的良機。

此外,教會也可在萬聖夜的晚上舉行家庭遊藝會,邀請信徒及非信徒家庭赴會,藉此父母與孩子、家庭與家庭可有更多聯繫及交誼的時間。

即使教會沒有安排聚會的話,我們亦可自發的傳福音。對基督徒來說,派發糖果不一定是代表慶祝萬聖夜的行動。反之,我們可在這晚上派發福音禮包,把糖果及福音單張或小冊子一併送出。

可行的話,全教會於萬聖夜前作外展的工作,在鄰近派發遊藝會或類似聚會的邀請咭及福音刊物。正如使徒保羅勸勉我們說:「凡我所行的、都是為福音的緣故、為要與人同得這福音的好處。」﹙林前9:23﹚讓信徒們一起攜手藉著這個邪惡的節日反守為攻,為主得更多的靈魂,同心拓展神的國度!


[i] It is an extreme example of how Halloween has become the second biggest holiday for decorating, just behind Christmas.

The National Retail Federation says Americans will shell out more than $5 billion on candy, costumes and decorations this year…a record amount of money all in the name of fun.

Halloween Spending Comes In Second Behind Christmas, NBC Augusta.com, 2007 October 26. Retrieved on November 14, 2007.

[ii] There’s a lot more to the business of Halloween than just Snickers, Twizzlers and Milky Ways, as consumers are expected to spend more than $5 billion this year on costumes, decorations and props to celebrate the haunted holiday. 

“Halloween is becoming as big as Christmas, especially in this area,” said Joseph Driscoll, store manager of Spirit Halloween in Glen Burnie.

Halloween spending is no trick, Examiner.com, 2007 October 26. Retrieved on November 14, 2007.

[iii] Overall, Halloween is the 6th ranked annual holiday in terms of spending. It trails the winter holidays, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.

Halloween Spending On The Rise, RTT News, Global Financial Newswires, 2007 October 26. Retrieved on 2007 November 14, 2007

Halloween remains the sixth-largest spending holiday after: Winter Holidays ($435.3 billion estimated), Valentine’s Day ($13.19 billion), Easter ($9.6 billion), Mother’s Day ($11.43 billion), and Father’s Day ($8.23 billion). Because it is not a gift-giving holiday or an apparel holiday, it ranks lower than other annual holidays in terms of spending.

Consumers Proving They Aren’t Spooked as Halloween Spending Continues to Grow, National Retail Federation. Retrieved on November 14, 2007.

[iv] Toronto, ON – According to a new Ipsos Reid survey conducted on behalf of the Retail Council of Canada, eight in ten (81%) Canadians will be spending some money on Halloween this year. And among this group, they expect to spend an average of $57.04 each. This amounts to a total of approximately $1, 108, 857, 600 to be spent on Halloween this year.

Halloween Spending Outlook, Ipsos News Center, 2005 October 24. Retrieved on November 14, 2007.

[v] UK spending on Halloween will top £120m this year, says Bryan Roberts from industry analysts Planet Retail. This compares with £12m five years ago. The pumpkin market alone is worth £25m. It is the third most profitable seasonal push in supermarkets after Christmas and Easter, with whole aisles turned over to pumpkin costumes, witches hats and the like.

Heald, Claire. Boo! Is Halloween too scary? BBC News Magazine, 2006 October 31. Retrieved on November 14, 2007.

[vi] Teenagers who cause trouble while out trick-or-treating face fines of £80 by some police forces this Halloween.

Police are preparing for a sharp rise in anti-social behaviour to coincide with the annual festival. 

Statistics suggest there is a 20% increase in nuisance crime around this time of the year. 

Fines for Halloween troublemakers, BBC News, 2006 November 28. Retrieved on 2007 November 14, 2007.

[vii] Last year, the majority of calls complained of damage to property, rowdy behaviour and intimidation.

Fines for Halloween troublemakers, BBC News, 2006 November 28. Retrieved on 2007 November 14, 2007.

[viii] Grimassi, Raven. Hereditary Witchcraft, Secrets of the Old Religion (Llewellyn) 20.

[ix] All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween, originated in the 7th century AD. It was celebrated on 13 May and was a night to remember deseased saints and martyrs. The date was later changed to November 1 in order to Christianize the pagan holidays Bethane and Samhain-festivals of summer, winter, fire and of the powers of darkness.

The Halloween Goddess, Christian News at Worthy News Spiritual Warefare Feature

[x] Tuleja, Tad. Curious Customs (New York, New York: Harmony Books, c1987), 170.

[xi] Ellis, Peter Berresford. The Druids (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, c1994), 23.

[xii] Tuleja, Tad. Curious Customs (New York, New York: Harmony Books, c1987), 170.

[xiii] Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 10.

[xiv] Ellis, Peter Berresford. The Druids (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, c1994), 43.

[xv] One of the fuctions of the Druids was to officiate during sacrifices to the gods, and there is ample evidence to suggest among the commodities sacrificed were human beings.

Cunliffe, Barry. The Ancient Celts (Penguin Books) 191. 

[xvi] Halloween, name applied to the evening of October 31, preceding the Christian feast of Hallowmas, Allhallows, or All Saints’ Day. The observances connected with Halloween are thought to have originated among the ancient Druids, who believed that on that evening, Saman, the lord of the dead, called forth hosts of evil spirits. The Druids customarily lit great fires on Halloween, apparently for the purpose of warding off all these spirits. Among the ancient Celts, Halloween was the last evening of the year and was regarded as a propitious time for examining the portents of the future. The Celts also believed that the spirits of the dead revisited their earthly homes on that evening. After the Romans conquered Britain, they added to Halloween features of the Roman harvest festival held on November 1 in honor of Pomona, goddess of the fruits of trees.

The Celtic tradition of lighting fires on Halloween survived until modern times in Scotland and Wales, and the concept of ghosts and witches is still common to all Halloween observances. Traces of the Roman harvest festival survive in the custom, prevalent in both the United States and Great Britain, of playing games involving fruit, such as ducking for apples in a tub of water. Of similar origin is the use of hollowed-out pumpkins carved to resemble grotesque faces and lit by candles placed inside.

Halloween, Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia (Microsoft Corporation, c1993-1996).

[xvii] Larson, Bob. Satanism, The Seduction of America’s Youth (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, c1989), 40-41.

[xviii] Tuleja, Tad. Curious Customs (New York, New York: Harmony Books, c1987), 170.

[xix] Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 13.

[xx] Such ghosts walked the countryside retrieving offerings of food and drink(the treat) supplied by living family members. Other darker forces roamed the night as well. Demons, homoglobins, and witches on broomstick, haunted the night with acts of mischief (the Trick).

The Halloween Goddess, Christian News at Worthy News Spiritual Warefare Feature

[xxi] The Halloween Goddess, Christian News at Worthy News Spiritual Warefare Feature

[xxii] Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 19.

[xxiii] Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 20-22.

[xxiv] In the second half of the 20th century, a self-conscious revival of pre-Christian paganism occurred in the United States and Europe. The foundation of this revival was witchcraft, or wicca (said to be an early Anglo-Saxon word for witchcraft). Wicca is interpreted simply as the nature and fertility religion of pre-Christian Europe and is based on books such as Charles Leland’s Aradia: The Gospel of the Witches (1899), Margaret Murray’s The Witch-Cult in Western Europe (1921), and Robert Graves’s The White Goddess (1948). Although they are now considered unreliable by scholars, such books gave inspiration to some people seeking spiritual alternatives. The writings of Englishman Gerald Gardner, who in his book Witchcraft Today (1954) claimed that he was a witch initiated by a surviving coven, imparted much of the alleged lore and rituals of English witches. Although his claims have been questioned, covens of modern witches sprang up under Gardner’s inspiration and spread to the United States in the 1960s. This form of witchcraft—with its feeling for nature, its colorful rituals, its love of fantasy, and its challenge of conventional religion and society—harmonized well with the countercultural mood of the 1960s and grew rapidly during that decade.

Modern witchcraft continued to prosper during the subsequent decades. Many followers of the ecological and feminist movements found in wicca a religion with congenial themes. Wiccans emphasized the sacred meaning of nature and its cycles and the coequal role of gods and goddesses and of priests and priestesses. Some wiccan groups, called Dianic (after the goddess Diana), include only women and worship the goddess exclusively. Closely related “neopagan” religions have also appeared in revivals of ancient Egyptian, Celtic, Greek, and Nordic religions.

Wicca perceives itself as a modern religion based on the broad themes of ancient pre-Christian paganism, although it is not drawn directly from paganism—for example, wicca eschews some features of the old paganism, such as animal sacrifice. Increasingly, wicca draws from many pagan traditions, with the result that the distinctions between witchcraft, occultism, neopaganism, and various strands thereof have become blurred. Modern witchcraft is entirely different from Satanism or the diabolical witchcraft imagined by the persecutors of past centuries. Major wiccan themes include love of nature, equality of male and female, appreciation of the ceremonial, a sense of wonder and belief in magic, and appreciation of the symbolism and psychological realities behind the gods and goddesses of antiquity. Contributed by: Robert S. Ellwood

Halloween, Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia (Microsoft Corporation, c1993-1996).

[xxv] Witchraft is known by several names, including wicca (wise ones), the old religion, womanspirit, goddess worship, or simply the craft. Witches may also be called Druids, the Gaelic word for wiseman or socerer: The term witch is generic, referring to both men and women. Though the ord warlock generally is applied to male witches, adherents of the craft deny this distinction. 

Larson, Bob. Satanism, The Seduction of America’s Youth (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, c1989), 161-162.

[xxvi] In the early 1970s, during a resurgence of Witchcraft around the world, New York City became something of a Mecca for emerging public figures associated 

Grimassi, Raven. Encyclopedia of Wicca and Witchcraft, (Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2000), 313.

[xxvii] The reality of the resurgence of witchcraft in modern times so often ridiculed and dismissed as sheer fantasy, can no longer be ignored.  It has become the pagan expression of choice to many; the darling of the feminist, the haven for the rebel, and most troubling, the object of fascination among many teenagers.   There are many forms of this type of belief. Called Wicca, neo-paganism, goddess worship, or simply the craft, it may be practiced openly or held in secret. Centered on the divine nature of all things, this movement is coming out of the “broom closet”, and it is quite vocal as to who is to blame for its problems and for those of the world. 

Two years ago, the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago brought together a collection of religious leaders and laypeople from all around the world.  One of the most popular groups at the Parliament was the Wiccans.  Phyllis Curolt, head of one group called “the Covenant of the Goddess”, talked about the rapid growth of their organization, (from 20,000 in 1986 to 350,000 in 1993!) and about how witches and pagans of all sorts have been the victims of Christian prejudice and violence for generations. 

She branded Christianity as immoral, based on two charges which have been echoed by many Wiccans that I have spoken with.  Her first charge is that Christianity is immoral because of its claim to be the only truth, the only way to know God.  She did not attempt to establish the truth or falsity of Christianity’s truth claims. Rather, she was insulted at what she considered the arrogance and prejudice of making such a claim.  Secondly, she charges that Christians killed nine million witches during the medieval ages.  Her conclusion was that Wicca was a far better option because it is loving and benign, while Christianity, of course, is cruel and bloodthirsty.

Honsberger, Bill. Why not Burn Witches? ﹙Evangelical Ministries to New Religions On-line: Birmingham, AL), Retrieved on November 21, 2007.

[xxviii] 3993 Witch-Hunting To Telephone Directories

In the 14th century, persecution of witches was common. In the 200 years between 1450 and 1650, thousands of witches were put to death.

Salem, Mass., was the center of a famous witch hunt in 1692. The last execution for witchcraft was in Scotland in 1772. Because of this, up to 20 years ago and for centuries before, no one would admit that he was a witch. 

In 1962, witches began to pop up everywhere, and now covens are being formed all over the country. Their names are even listed in many city telephone directories.

Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: A Treasury of Illustrations, Anecdotes, Facts and Quotations for Pastors, Teachers and Christian Workers (Garland TX: Bible Communications, 1996, c1979).

[xxix] In recent years, witchcraft—the alleged power to cast spells of influence on people or events—has become almost commonplace in America. The publishing of books on how to practice witchcraft1; the offering of courses on witchcraft at the University of Alabama, New York University, and other schools; the scheduling of radio and television interviews with self-claimed witches; the publishing of articles in large circulation daily newspapers-all these offer tips on how to cast curses or spells.

1 Books in Print 1970 (New York, 1970) II, 1757. Almost 100 titles of books on witchcraft are listed.

Zuck, Roy B. The Practice of Witchcraft in the Scriptures, V128, #512,October 1971Bibliotheca Sacra ., electronic edition. (Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary, 1998).

[xxx] 牛津現代高級英漢雙解辭典,(香港:啟思),第184頁。

[xxxi] Griffon, T. Wynne. History of the Occult, (Mallard Press), 12.

[xxxii] Griffon, T. Wynne. History of the Occult, (Mallard Press), 12.

[xxxiii] Griffon, T. Wynne. History of the Occult, (Mallard Press), 26.

[xxxiv] Griffon, T. Wynne. History of the Occult, (Mallard Press), 26; McDowell, Josh & Stewart, Don. Concise Guide to Today’s Religions, (Here’s Life Publishers), 192.

[xxxv] McDowell, Josh & Stewart, Don. Concise Guide to Today’s Religions, (Here’s Life Publishers), 194.

[xxxvi] McDowell, Josh & Stewart, Don. Concise Guide to Today’s Religions, (Here’s Life Publishers), 192.

[xxxvii] McDowell, Josh & Stewart, Don. Concise Guide to Today’s Religions, (Here’s Life Publishers), 192.

[xxxviii] McDowell, Josh & Stewart, Don. Concise Guide to Today’s Religions, (Here’s Life Publishers), 191.

[xxxix] Dr. Kurt Koch, noted German theologian and pastor, has counseled thousands of persons entangled in various forms of occultism. He reports that through black magical powers, witches are able to bring upon others oppression, disease, harassment, and even death. Through white magic, persons have been healed, crops have improved, protection from harm has been maintained, and so forth.5 Many missionaries report having witnessed evidences of the supranatural power of witchcraft in foreign lands. But the American public at large has only recently been confronted directly with the open display of these powers on a wide scale.

Zuck, Roy B. The Practice of Witchcraft in the Scriptures, V128, #512,October 1971Bibliotheca Sacra ., electronic edition. (Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary, 1998).

[xl] Yes, the Harry Potter books are written as fantasy. BUT, first of all, J. K. Rowling did a lot of research into actual witchcraft beliefs and practices, and she put a lot of that into these books. These articles give a brief overview of the plot of the books and point out some places where you can find practices or philosophies related to witchcraft and the occult.

http://www.johnankerberg.org/hp-articles/hp-articles.htm

[xli] Teen-agers who have read Harry Potter books or have seen the Harry Potter movie were more likely to have experimented with psychic or occult activities than those teens who had not, a recent study found.

Results from a survey given in late March on teens and the supernatural are still being released by WisdomWorks Ministries, an organization that holds nationwide conferences for teen-agers and parents on “how to view life from God’s perspective.” WisdomWorks is calling the results that have been determined thus far “significant.”

The study revealed that 41 percent of teens have either seen the Potter film or have read one or more of the Potter books. As a result of watching the movie or reading the books, 12 percent said they were more interested in witchcraft.

Steele, Mandi. Just Wild About Harry, WorldNetDaily.com, Posted: June 30, 2002, 1:00 a.m. Eastern

[xlii] A gathering of witches for the purposes of celebrating allegiance to the Devil, casting spells, plotting evil and indulging in the abandoned pursuit of feasting, drinking, dancing and orgiastic sex. The notion of the witches’ sabbat (or sabbath, in imitation of Jewish custom) was central to the mythology of witchcraft, and a simple uncorroborated allegation that a suspect had been seen at a sabbat was too often sufficient to send that person to the gallows or to the stake. The sabbat was first mentioned in the course of a witch trial at Toulouse in 1335, which ended with some eight people burned.

Pickering, David. Dictionary of Witchcraft (London: Cassell, c1996), 224.

[xliii] Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 128.

[xliv] Some present-day witches meet monthly in covens, usually when the moon is full. A coven consists of six males called warlocks, six females, and a high priest or priestess. They also hold eight festivals a year, with the most significant one being on Halloween. In these meetings spells of influence are conjured either for the benefit of others (to heal physically or to help in numerous other ways), or for the harm (physical or otherwise) of others. The former is commonly known as white magic and the latter as black magic.

Zuck, Roy B. The Practice of Witchcraft in the Scriptures, V128, #512,October 1971Bibliotheca Sacra ., electronic edition. (Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary, 1998).

[xlv] It was associated with the goddess Brigit, a goddess of fertility, learning and healing.

Cunliffe, Barry. The Ancient Celts (Penguin Books) 189.

[xlvi] Ecliptic, in astronomy, the apparent great-circle annual path of the sun in the celestial sphere, as seen from the earth. It is so named because eclipses occur only when the moon is on or near this path. The plane of this path, called the plane of the ecliptic, intersects the celestial equator (the projection of the earth’s equator on the celestial sphere) at an angle of about 23°27’. This angle is known as the obliquity of the ecliptic and is approximately constant over a period of millions of years, although at present it is decreasing at the rate of 48 seconds of arc in each century and will decrease for several millenniums until it reaches 22°54’, after which it will again increase.

The two points at which the ecliptic intersects the celestial equator are called nodes or equinoxes. The sun is at the vernal equinox about March 21 and at the autumnal equinox about September 23. Halfway on the ecliptic between the equinoxes are the summer and winter solstices. The sun arrives at these points about June 21 and December 22, respectively. The names of the four points correspond to the seasons beginning in the northern hemisphere on these dates. The equinoxes do not occur at the same points of the ecliptic every year, for the plane of the ecliptic and the plane of the equator revolve in opposite directions. The two planes make a complete revolution with respect to each other once every 25,868 years. The movement of the equinoxes along the ecliptic is called the precession of the equinoxes. A correction for precession must be applied to celestial charts to find the true position of the stars at any given time.

The ecliptic is also used in astronomy as the fundamental circle for a system of coordinates called the ecliptic system. Celestial latitude is measured north and south of the ecliptic; celestial longitude is measured east and west of the vernal equinox.

In astrology, the ecliptic is divided into 12 arcs of 30° each, called the signs of the Zodiac. These signs, or “houses of heaven,” are named after the constellations through which the ecliptic passes.

Ecliptic, Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia (Microsoft Corporation, c1993-1996).

[xlvii] A ceremony is associated with the Celtic god of fire, Belenus.

Cunliffe, Barry. The Ancient Celts (Penguin Books) 189.

[xlviii] Pickering, David. Dictionary of Witchcraft (London: Cassell, c1996), 186.

[xlix] The festival of Lugnasad, presided over by the god Lugh.

Cunliffe, Barry. The Ancient Celts (Penguin Books) 189.

[l] Grist, Tony and Allen. The Illustrated Guide to Wicca, (A Godsfield Book) 52.

[li] Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 127.

[lii] The Irish literatures provides the most detailed insight into the divisions of the year into seasons. The end of the old year and the beginnings of the new was marked by the greatest of the ceremonies, Samhain, which took place on 1 November. It was on the occasion that the male god Dagda and the female goddess, ususally Morrigan, came together, and through their intercourse the well-being of the tribe and fertility of all their enterprises were assured. In some versions of the myth the goddess, now an old hag, was revitalized by the union and became young and beautiful once more. Samhain was the time when all the important communal acts, meetings, and sacrifices took place. The strength of tradition which lay behind the festival has ensured its survival as Hallowe’en and its Christianized version, the festival of All Souls.

Cunliffe, Barry. The Ancient Celts (Penguin Books) 189.

[liii] February 1 or February 2: Oimelc-also called Cadelmas (Santanism holiday) (festival of winter purification and the approach of spring) 

March 21: Spring Equinox

May 1: Beltane (fertility festival)

June 21 or 22: Summer solstice (longest day of the day)

July 31 or August 1: Lammas or Luhnasadh (festival of first fruits)

September 21 or 23: Fall equinox

October 31: Samhain or Halloween (Celtic new year)

December 21: Winter solstice (Yule-shortest day of the year) 

Larson, Bob. Satanism, The Seduction of America’s Youth (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, c1989), 209.

Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 127-128.

[liv] Russo, Steve. Halloween (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, c1998), 128.

[lv] In most ancient cultures, certain gods or spirits stand over against other gods and thus also over against human beings (e.g., Pali Māra, → “death” — allegorically, the worldly sensuality that seeks to thwart the enlightening → meditation of Buddha; → Buddhism), though without → dualism characterizing the worldview as a whole. These divine enemies always include various wild → animals that are hostile to us.

Erwin Fahlbusch and Geoffrey William Bromiley, The Encyclopedia of Christianity (Grand Rapids, Mich.; Leiden, Netherlands: Wm. B. Eerdmans; Brill, 1999-<2003), 1:822. “The Encyclopedia of Christianity is the first of a five-volume English translation of the third revised edition of Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon. Its German articles have been tailored to suit an English readership, and articles of special interest to English readers have been added. The encyclopedia describes Christianity through its 2000-year history within a global context, taking into account other religions and philosophies. A special feature is the statistical information dispersed throughout the articles on the continents and over 170 countries. Social and cultural coverage is given to such issues as racism, genocide, and armaments, while historical content shows the development of biblical and apostolic traditions. This comprehensive work, while scholarly, is intended for a wide audience and will set the standard for reference works on Christianity.”—“Outstanding reference sources 2000”, American Libraries, May 2000. Comp. by the Reference Sources Committee, RUSA, ALA.

[lvi] The fall of a number of angels may have occurred soon after the angels were created. Scripture depicts Satan as an apostate angel exalted above other evil angels as ruler of the kingdom of darkness. As mastermind of the fallen spirit world Satan is called “prince of demons” (Matt. 9:34), “prince of the powers of the air” and “prince of darkness” (Eph. 6:12). The other evil spirits are called Satan’s angels (Matt. 25:41).

Carl Ferdinand Howard Henry, God, Revelation, and Authority, Originally Published: Waco, Tex. : Word Books, c1976-c1983. (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1999), 6:237.

[lvii] This phrase gives powerful testimony to Christ as the God-Man (cf. 2 Tim. 2:8). Bright and Morning Star.This is the brightest star announcing the arrival of the day. When Jesus comes, He will be the brightest star who will shatter the darkness of man’s night and herald the dawn of God’s glorious day (see note on 2:28).

John Jr MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, electronic ed. (Nashville: Word Pub., 1997, c1997), Re 22:16.

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