1. Maureen

    From “Of the Soldier’s Crown” by Tertullian

    “….he awaiteth the free gift of Christ…

    “If no Scripture hath determined this TRICK OR TREATING, assuredly custom hath confirmed it, which, doubtless, hath been derived from tradition. For how can a thing be used unless it be first delivered to us? But, thou sayest, even where tradition is pleaded, written authority ought to be required. Wherefore let us enquire whether none, save a written tradition, ought to be received. Certainly we shall deny that it ought to be received, if there be no precedents to determine the contrary in other observances, which, without any Scripture document, we defend on the ground of tradition alone, and by the supports of consequent custom…

    “For these and such like rules OF HALLOWEEN, if thou requirest a law in the Scriptures, thou shalt find none. Tradition will be pleaded to thee as originating them, custom as confirming them, and faith as observing them. That reason will support tradition, and custom, and faith, thou wilt either thyself perceive, or learn from some one who hath perceived it. Meanwhile thou wilt believe that some reason there is, to which submission is due.”

    1. Polycarp

      I dunno, Maureen, I am tempted to believe that you have no real clue as to who Tertullian was or what he stood for.

  2. Maureen

    I’ve read a lot of Tertullian. I’ve not just read “On Shows”, but read it as an audiobook. I know perfectly well that he’s protesting Christian involvement in a particularly revolting form of pagan human sacrifice (his own besetting temptation), and against incorporating other entertainment-like pagan acts of worship into Christian life. He provides proof that the customs he protests are indeed forms of pagan worship and not just secular entertainment, and that such worship is not something archaic and forgotten.

    He’s not talking about protesting the celebration of a Christian festival. He’s certainly not claiming that a Christian festival is pagan, without any historical proof.

    The more one looks into the actual history and practices of celebrating Halloween, instead of trusting to misconceived academic legend, the more you see it associated with Christian mask customs, Christian alms procession customs, and Christian fall festivals thanking God for the harvest and praising the saints and martyrs. Contemporary secularization of the festival is more responsible for its distasteful aspects than its actual religious origins. Halloween is a hallowed vigil of the Lord that celebrates His faithful ones and the spiritual warfare we all must face. To let that be stolen away from us — that is what we should protest.

    Furthermore, since Tertullian, if anything, loved and respected celebrating the saints and martyrs a little too much (since that love led him to draw away from the Church, as being too forgiving of those who lapsed), your quotes are opposite his point of view.

    My quotes are mostly meant to be funny — but if you read the material surrounding them in “On the Crown”/”On the Soldiers’ Crown”, you will find that there’s a good deal that’s also to my point in what I haven’t quoted.


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