Man of lawlessness

There have always been those who are disobedient in society but is there anyone who does not sin? No. We all have sinned but there are those among us that determine not to, though we all fail at some point. However, the majority of people strive to live a moral and upright life. For others crime is a way of life and there seems to be more adopting that way too. Below is one very small sample of what we read in the newspapers or see on the television almost every day………..

English: A Merseyside Police patrol car.
A Merseyside Police patrol car. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Crime Alert for the residents of North Sefton from Merseyside Police.

Residential Burglaries

During the Christmas and New Year period burglaries have taken place in the following locations:

Bath Street, Lord Street, Pitts House Lane ( caravan), Talbot Street, The Causeway, Braemar Avenue (shed), Portland Street, Nolan Street

Possible Bogus Caller                                                                                                 

There has been a report that a male knocked on doors of houses in Merepark Drive Southport and stating he was from the Council and was collecting soft toys. Enquiries were made with the Council and they were not aware of anyone collecting toys in the area. The male is described as white, approximately 50 years old, bald, wearing a black coat and scarf with a lanyard around his neck saying ‘Sefton Council’.

SCAM WARNING From Lancashire Police

We have received reports of 2 males knocking on house doors claiming to be from BT and stating that they need access to the property immediately to fix a phone line problem.

These males do not represent BT, have no ID cards on them and appear to be targeting vulnerable individuals who are living alone. A card has been pushed through a letterbox promising to return.

Please make your loved ones aware and remind them that they do not need to let strangers in to their house. Always ask for ID, and if in doubt, call the company which they claim to represent (But don’t call any phone numbers they give you themselves).

If you have someone trying to gain entry to your property, you can call the Police on 999, or report any other suspicious sightings on 101.

Man arrested after injury shooting in Southport town centre

04 January 2018

Update – Friday 5th January

The man has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Detectives are continuing to appeal to anyone with any information on this incident or any gun crime issues, to please contact the Merseyside Police gun crime hotline on 0800 230 0600 or speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Original Release

Merseyside Police detectives investigating an injury shooting in Southport in December have arrested a man today, Thursday 4 January.

This morning, two warrants were carried out in the Southport and Walton areas.

At an address in Wyresdale Road, Walton, a 21-year-old man from Walton was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and Section 18 assault. He has been taken to a police station for questioning by detectives.

The arrest is in relation to an incident in Eastbank Street on Thursday, 21 December in which a man was shot in the head and a member of the public received a back injury.

——

Don’t these offenders realise there is a price to pay? Ask them and they will probably not care, they have lost all sense of moral standards, all they think about is themselves.

2 Thessalonians 2

The man of lawlessness

1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us – whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter – asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

‘They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.’ 

What more can be said?

Shirley Anne

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In the blink of an eye

Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’

We are mortal beings created in the image of God but one day we will pass away, we will return to the dust (elements) from which we were made, that is our flesh will experience that death. Everyone dies this way there are no exceptions, though some have not experienced death

Genesis 5
24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: ‘He could not be found, because God had taken him away.’ For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
The life you have was given by God and He takes it away….

Job 1:21
and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’

There is a purpose for life regardless of what many might say. God has a purpose in everything He does. Many argue against there being a God forwarding excuses such as ‘why is there evil in the world, why does God allow sickness and suffering?’ and many other things. Answers to these questions and many more can be found here http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/sciencefaith.html for those who want to reason with an open mind.

All About Evil
All About Evil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So it will be that our flesh decays but our spirit will not. So why did God make us? No-one can say with certainty for who knows the mind of God? However, those He made He wants a relationship with. Because God is pure and holy there can be no evil in His presence, in fact ‘evil’ is the absence of God. He made the angels but some  turned away from God, they became vain and in the absence of God they ‘became’ evil. In the same way God made humans and in the same way some rebel and reject Him and in the doing so become evil, sin is the evidence. Because humankind cannot rectify that we remain in our sin and are accordingly separated from God. God however provided the solution, Jesus died that we might be saved. He took upon himself our sins and if we believe we are cleansed and pure in the eyes of God. That means that although our flesh dies our spirit will dwell with God. If we refuse that wonderful gift we remain outside of God’s presence forever!

One day in the future Jesus will return but no-one knows the day, it could be tomorrow, next month, next year, no-one knows. There will come a time when it will be too late to accept God’s gift…..

Matthew 24:40
Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.

Matthew 24:41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

Luke 17:34
I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.

Luke 17:35
Two women will be grinding corn together; one will be taken and the other left.’

Why will this happen?

Isaiah 57:1
The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.

At that time there will be great suffering and despair, it will be the time of the end

Daniel 12

[ The end times ] ‘At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people – everyone whose name is found written in the book – will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. …
What will it be, a promised everlasting life or condemnation forever? The choice is yours, no-one else’s and all you have to do is believe in Jesus, repent of your sins and invite him to be your Saviour. After all there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.
Shirley Anne

Sometimes

75px-jinxed_posterSometimes things go well in my work and other times not so well. I go to a house and from beginning to end I am faced with problem after problem as if the house itself were jinxed. We use that term flippantly but I think there is an element of truth in it. As a believer in God I also believe in the devil or if you prefer evil spirits and that being the case if such evil spirits are about, havoc can ensue. Despite what some people say, houses can be inhabited by the forces of evil as can some people. Exorcisms are real events, I have attended one myself. I digress a little however. Little things happen in my work which serve to annoy me, for example, I am installing a replacement light unit only to find some internal part is missing. I effect a repair then discover something else is wrong too. I manage to fix that and move on to the next task and find executing it is difficult in one way or another, limited access, wiring problems and a host of minor irritations are sometimes part of the course. Now I expect problems in my line of work but sometimes certain jobs are replete with them just as if an invisible force is working against me.

English: Warding off Evil Spirits A brief spla...
Warding off Evil Spirits A brief splash of “disinfectant” to ward off foot and mouth. Fortunately the outbreak was distant, at the other end of a neighbouring country – the risk all but non existent. At time of writing the outbreak seemed to be under control – fingers crossed (about as effective as the illustrated activity which had something medieval about it) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I manage to overcome them, I have to else the work would have to be abandoned. You wouldn’t believe the number of times I have called out to God to help me with a problem and in seconds I have it sorted. Maybe you are now thinking she’s lost the plot and it is simply coincidence but I tell you it happens often. If an unseen evil force was working against me it would be incumbent of me to seek assistance from the only one who could help now wouldn’t it? Be that as it may I pray anyway just in case. Earlier in the week, and it is only Wednesday as I write this, I was inundated with work and it all went smoothly. I was tired though. On Wednesday I was rested, full of energy and rearing to go. I had work to do, replace four light units, re-position one of them and add a fifth elsewhere. Lots of things went wrong just like I described above but eventually I had it all done. It was well after one o’clock when I finished so I decided to dine out at a local pub, one of a number of great places to eat hereabouts. Just as I was placing my order my phone rang. I had left an item of equipment at the house, something I have done on two other occasions lately. I cannot place the blame on evil spirits for this, just me getting forgetful! I returned after my lunch to collect it. Fortunately the house was only a half-mile away and more or less on my way home.

Shirley Anne

Wake up!

Now that Christmas is over and things in your life get back to normal once again think what it was all about. What did you really benefit from the holiday? Yes, you will say that you were able to spend time with family and friends and have a good time together but why wait until Christmas each year to do that? Surely you love your family and they you that you can spend time with them more often? The truth is for many that they never see their family other than at this time of year so for them it is special. People say Christmas is for children and it is a time for celebrations and good-will to all men (mankind), so why when the holiday is over does that good-will disappear? People are blind to the message of hope and reconciliation that Christ offers to those who will place that hope in him. The world is under the control of an evil force which seeks only to destroy God‘s creation, and we are God’s creation. We are blinded from the truth and it is done in a subtle way. We choose to ignore it at our peril and then it is too late. Wake up people and understand the times…………………….

 

Seek the Lord your God before it is too late. Make this coming year something really special for your life, come to Jesus Christ whilst you still have the time…………

Shirley Anne

Following like sheep

Jack-o-lantern
Jack-o-lantern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you ever wonder why sheep stay together following each other so closely? People are very much like sheep, they will, by and large, follow in the same way. Of course people are individuals but only up to a point. We follow trends together, partake in the same holidays, do pretty much the same as each other in many ways. Today, that is the 31st of October is beginning to mark an increasingly popular holiday we call Halloween. One family’s children keenly follow what they think as harmless fun and before we know it every other family’s children are doing the same thing. It is all about not wanting to be different, not wanting to be left out or to be labelled a spoil-sport. Their individualism is lost to the cause. Why are people so ready to follow like sheep? I label Halloween as evil, an evil event of evil origin. There was once a time it was rare to celebrate such holidays but now it is beginning to be considered normal to do so. Much of the celebration, probably most of it is fuelled by commerce as are the other holidays of the year. Someone saw a way to make pots of money and hey presto, it all became popular. None of what Halloween represents today is good. Children are encouraged to make-believe in ghosts, ghouls, witches and wizards and they dress in orange and black, the colours now associated with Halloween in this country at least. Pumpkin sales go through the roof and are mainly only sold at this time of year and used not for cooking but for ornamentation. What sense is there in that? Children are also misguided and  encouraged to go ‘trick or treating‘, basically a threatening behaviour to those on whose doors they knock. What they are saying is give us a treat else we will do something nasty. Is this not evil at work? No, it isn’t just a bit of fun, let’s call it by its rightful name.

All About Evil
All About Evil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We teach children all the wrong things and then wonder why society is in such a state. Santa Claus, birthday and Christmas presents, the paraphernalia surrounding Christmas and Easter and Guy Fawkes are all symbols of secularism by which the human race sets its standards and everyone follows like sheep. In my blog yesterday I posted an article about a loving and peaceful world, the way it should be and will be one day but we have to rid ourselves of all this useless clutter and evil that fills our lives first. Only one thing prevents it from happening and it is what is going on in our hearts. Ask yourself why the world isn’t like the one described in yesterday’s post and what you yourself will do to change things.

Shirley Anne

In your lifetime

Recently we have been reading about and listening to news broadcasts on television reporting the events surrounding the death of a policeman in the course of his duty. The cause of his death as we all know here in the UK was that he was run over by a driver behind the wheel of a stolen pick-up truck who had been trying to evade capture after a reported burglary. The unfortunate policeman leaves a young wife and two young children after the meaningless murder. I say murder because that is what it was, a deliberate action on behalf of the driver who apparently drove at police officers who had laid a ‘stinger’ in the path of the stolen vehicle in order to avoid it. At the time of writing this on Wednesday afternoon two days after the event four people are being questioned in connection with the incident. Nothing more about the events which have taken place can be said at this time. Sadly this is only one incident in the many hundreds and thousands of anti-social incidents which are reported each year. Moral standards mean nothing to some people who are prepared to go to any lengths to satisfy their needs without working for them, even killing innocent people in the process. There is no respect given to others, no consideration except to self-satisfy at whatever cost. Something is lacking in their brains when they think nothing is wrong with their behaviour. It is alright to thieve, assault, murder and behave as they do whilst everyone else has to put up with it according to them. They have no fear of the consequences for they never expect to be caught. Fortunately most of them do get caught but sometimes even this is no deterrent. Many are persistent offenders and return to their former ways once they have served out their sentences. For the young policeman killed in the line of duty there is no second chance, his life has ended. I have said this before on a number of occasions that this world is getting worse, not better. Some think otherwise but they walk with blinkered eyes. As a Christian believer I live out my life in the knowledge that I will be judged by my Creator but many will not agree with those beliefs and I say to their own peril. The word of God tells me about these ‘end times’ and the events leading up to them and after them and I can see these things slowly happening all around me. The Bible speaks the truth but people won’t listen, their eyes are closed, their hearts are hardened and they live as if there isn’t a tomorrow in which they will be judged. In my lifetime I have seen or heard about many incidences of evil and it has gotten worse not better. Do not be deceived, even more wicked and difficult times are ahead. Now is the time to repent and call upon God to save you through Jesus Christ because you never know the time you have left.

Shirley Anne

What kind of world is this?

The Lost World (Conan Doyle novel)
The Lost World (Conan Doyle novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A couple of days ago we saw the horrible events unfold by the siege of an ordinary cafe in Sydney, Australia, where members of staff together with customers were being held hostage by a man wielding a gun in the name of  his religion. Two unfortunate captives lost their lives during the melee which ensued to bring about an end to the situation by the authorities. There was very little more that could be done than what was done to avert some casualties. Nonetheless many more lives might have been lost had action not been taken when it did. It is indeed a very sad world in which we live. Of course many will put the blame on religion in this and many other incidences like it but in fact religion per se has nothing to do with it, it is the deranged minds of those who carry out such atrocities. Some people are simply inherently evil in their dealings with others. Perhaps they cannot help themselves, perhaps they can but their behaviour is seldom an aberration from an otherwise normal one. A gun-wielding terrorist or madman is one thing but what about the behaviour of some of those who watched the events unfold? Some were seen to be taking ‘selfies’, pictures of themselves, with the action in the background! What is it with some people who feel the need to portray themselves as if part of an unfortunate situation? Have they no respect for anyone other than themselves? Personally I don’t understand why it is that some people like taking pictures of themselves all the time anyway. I am thinking they are either so self-centred or attempting to make themselves a somebody of importance. In whose eyes I wonder? The world is full of self-centred and selfish people. Maybe they should take note of the actions of one of the hostages in that siege who lost her own life by shielding her pregnant friend during the gunfire. There is no greater love than a man (or woman) lay down his (her) life for another.  John 15:13 (paraphrased). If only there was real love in this world.

Shirley Anne

How can a good God allow evil and suffering?

The following article is copied in its entirety from http://www.faithfacts.org and full credit to them is given and recognised.

How can a good God allow evil and suffering?

There may be several reasons for suffering. A major factor is our fallen, sinful world. Because of sin, throughout the ages, the perfection and goodness of the world is tainted. We experience illness, disease, natural disasters, hunger, and all types of suffering.

As mortals, we cannot know all of God’s reasons. But, God loves us enough to give us free will. We are not robots. As a result, people make mistakes. People turn away from God’s perfect goodness through sin.

Thus, our own choices sometimes produce evil over good. It is impossible for God to have created man with free will and evil not be a consequence. Also, the choices of others (including previous generations) can produce suffering. The consequences of bad choices sometimes affect not only the person who makes the wrong choice but also their family, friends, and sometimes even society.

The Old and New Testaments make it clear that suffering can be a result of God’s discipline in our lives—similar to the discipline a loving parent has for his child. A loving parent stops a child from putting his hand on a hot stove. The child “suffers” at the moment by being denied access and by the temporary pain of a spanking. But the parent sees the “big picture” and disciplines the child. So, too, can God discipline us. Hebrews 12:10-11 illustrates this point: “…but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

While God whispers to us in our comfort, suffering is God’s megaphone to a deaf world. Suffering can produce benefits greater than the suffering itself. It can strengthen people, lead people to faith, help us to appreciate the good, and be a tool to influence others. Indeed, suffering can mold us. “Suffering produces perseverance… character… hope….” (Romans 5:3-5). The actual trials of faith are worthwhile and precious as is faith itself! Our faith is strengthened as we rely on Christ to see us through troubling times.

In Acts 8:1-13 we see the story of Stephen, the first martyr recorded in the Bible. He died a horrible death by stoning. Why would God let that happen? We are told that the persecution of the church led to Christians being scattered. Wherever they went they and preached the word. This scattering resulted in the good news being preached throughout the world (Acts 2:5, 19:10; Romans 1:8, 10:18, 16:25-27; Colossians 1:6, 1:23).

Photo of Tony Snow This interview with Tony Snow about his cancer gives a wonderful testimony of faith through suffering. Tony passed away in the summer of 2008. The title of the interview is: “Cancer’s Unexpected Blessings” and the subtitle is: “When you enter the valley of the shadow of death, things change.” Here is the interview from Christianity Today.

We may not know the reason for suffering in any individual situation. But we can affirm, with relief and joy, that in “all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). The Psalms are full of cries for deliverance from trouble as well as the assurance that God is with us and will deliver us from suffering.

Our observation is that this issue is used as an excuse by some to try to blame God or to deny God’s existence. But on reflection, most will acknowledge that we really cannot blame God for our troubles. Actually, the reality of evil, suffering, and injustice—when considered fully—is an argument for the existence of a good God. Certainly, abandoning God does not make the problem of suffering any easier. Philosopher Alvin Plantinga, as quoted by Tim Keller in his book Reason for God, put it thus:

“Could there really be any such thing as horrifying wickedness [if there were no God and we just evolved]? I don’t see how. There can be such a thing only if there is a way that rational creatures are supposed to live, obliged to live….A [secular] way of looking at the world has no place for genuine moral obligation of any sort…and thus no way to say there is such a thing as genuine and appalling wickedness. Accordingly, if you think there really is such a thing as horrifying wickedness (…and not just an illusion of some sort), then you have a powerful…argument [for the reality of God].”

It is the knowledge that God sent His only son to suffer and die for us that our sins are forgiven and that our ultimate suffering will be relieved. As Paul Little proclaims, God is “not only aware of suffering—he feels it. No pain or suffering has ever come to us that has not first passed through the heart and hand of God…Comforting are the words of Isaiah the prophet, foretelling the agony of Christ: ‘He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering’ (Isaiah 53:3).”

And as Tim Keller comforts the believer, “The Biblical view of things is resurrection—not a future that is just a consolation for the life we never had but a restoration of the life you always wanted. This means that every horrible thing that ever happened will not only be undone and repaired but will in some way make the eventual glory and joy even greater.”

Why do bad things happen to good people? The Christian answer is that there are no good people! None of us deserves the life that we have, which is a gratuitous gift from God. (See Innocent People.)

The skeptic can use evil and suffering as a stone against Christianity, but he has no consolation in his own worldview. Christianity is the only religion or worldview that has an answer to evil and suffering. Eastern religions ignore evil; Darwinism and Communism rely on it; atheism is clueless about it; and Islam has a superficial view of it. Only Christianity provides an answer—that we are living in an abnormal world which God will restore. For more on this, see our Christian Cram Course.

For more helpful insights into this topic, check out these links:

The Problem of Evil

A Good Reason for Evil

Got Questions

Student versus Professor

 

Shirley Anne

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Feet in both camps?

In a day or two many people will be celebrating Halloween and many of those people confess themselves to be Christian. As Halloween is based upon ancient pagan and other rituals those who call themselves Christian should consider into which camp they are placing their feet for we cannot worship both God and the things of Satan. This article explains the history surrounding the festival known as Halloween and is taken from this site…

http://www.halloween24.com/blog/archives/

 

 

 

The history of Halloween

 

Torn between fun and scary traditions, between religious celebration and pagan superstition, Halloween has long surpassed the boundaries of the English speaking countries. The holiday marked by costumed parties, bonfires, carved pumpkins, wandering souls and creepy house decorations made its triumphal entry in different cultures all over the world, demolishing religious barriers and quenching people’s thirst for spooky fun. However, Halloween has passed through numerous stages and has been constantly “refined” by religious beliefs and historical conditions until it reached its current version. Its history has been marked by witchcraft, strange beliefs, pagan rituals and Christian vanities, culminating with a tribute paid to the Holly Marketing which managed to make Halloween a profitable business all over the world.

 

Origins

 

During Samhain people dressed up in animal skins to chase away the spirits and the wild animals which may get close to the celebrating crowd. There was also the habit for women to endorse manly clothing and men to dress up in women’s clothing to deceive the spirits. This is probably the first trace of the Halloween costume tradition, a tradition that will be successfully perpetuated along time.

 

Another Halloween tradition that it’s supposed to have its origins in this 2,000 years old festival is the pumpkin carving. The Celts took parts of the bonfire to their homes to protect their belongings from the avenging spirits, so they carved turnips, rutabagas and gourds to safely transport the fire. However, other traditions, legends and myths, including the well-known Stingy Jack’s story, are also associated with the pumpkin carving tradition.

 

 

Halloween and the Roman Conquest

 

In 43 A.D., the territories inhabited by Celtic population were conquered by the Romans, who brought with them their own culture civilization and beliefs. The Romans celebrated the dead on Feralia, a holiday which took place in late October, so the Celtic traditions were successfully combined with the Roman ones, bringing Halloween one step closer to the holiday we all know today. In addition to Feralia, there was another Roman holiday which impacted Halloween – Pomona. Pomona was the goddess of trees and was symbolized by an apple, therefore there are signs that the tradition of bobbing apples was a Roman ritual taken over by the Celts and incorporated in the traditional Samhain.

 

Halloween and Christianity

 

Samhain was a celebration which survived in time and the Celtic beliefs, although altered by the passing of time, continued to have a great impact on the British Islands inhabitants. Their Christianization has not affected their faith in wandering spirits, in the purifying power of bonfires and in Druidic prophecies. However, the Christian authorities were not fond of the idea that a festival reminiscent from a pagan religion was still practiced in Christian communities. Therefore the efforts of abolishing the Samhain were more intense in the 7th and 8th century, culminating with a “Christianization” of the original celebration.

 

In 609 A.D. Pope Boniface IV established May 13th as Day of the Dead in an attempt to erase old Celtic rituals and beliefs. However, the bonfires and costumes specific to Samhain were still seen in the last day of October, sign that the pagan celebration was held in parallel with the Christian holiday. This determined Pope Gregory III to overlap the Christian holiday with the pagan ritual, in an attempt to transform the old celebration in a religious holiday that will commemorate the dead as well as the Christian martyrs and saints. The holiday was renamed “All Saints Day” or “All Hollows Day” (or Hallowmas which in Old English stands for “All Saints Day”) and was celebrated on November 1st. Yet, the ghost of Samhain continued to hunt the Christian authorities as the English communities did not want to give up the ancient festival. Because it preceded All Hollows Day, the celebration was known as “All Hollows Eve” (which has later on evolved into “Halloween”).

 

Alongside the religious celebration, another Halloween tradition was born. Instead of leaving food at the doors for the wandering spirits, people were encouraged to share parts of their meals or specially baked “soul cookies” with the poor in exchange of prayers for dead’s souls. Christians believed that the dead will not step in the other world unless the living prayed intensely for their soul. In exchange of a “soul cookie” (sweet pastry) poor people promised to pray for the dead, ensuring their smooth passage in the other world. The process was called “go a-souling” and it rapidly grew popular among children too, preceding what we now know as “trick-or-treat”.

 

Halloween and Guy Fawkes

 

Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes

 

The introduction of the Protestant religion left people without one of their favorite holidays: the All Hollow’s Eve. The Protestants did not recognize the saints and their importance in the mediation between person and God, therefore a holiday that would celebrate the saints was unnecessary. However, the holiday was reincarnated in Guy Fawkes Day in 1606, when Fawkes was executed for his attempt of removing King James from the throne on November, 5th. Bonfires (known as “bone fires”) were lit again, this time to symbolically burn Pope’s bones, while children roamed from door to door asking for money to build their own effigies. While the phrase “a penny for Guy” was popular at the time, the Guy Fawkes Day was soon left in oblivion.

 

Halloween is a complex holiday which has grown, evolved and refined along with the times and societies in which it has been practiced. Yet, its core always remained the same: there is a time when boundaries are blurred, social barriers are crossed and reality mingles with fantasy in a one of a kind moment. That time is called Halloween!

 

Christian, come out from among those who worship not the things of God……..

Shirley Anne