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Proverbs for Today: Who’s an April Fool?
By Jim Roberts

Youth 85 Magazine – April 1985
Steve was delighted when he found the note signed with Lori’s name, the girl in class he
most admired. It was an invitation to meet for lunch in the cafeteria.

But when he went to the meeting place, he didn’t find Lori. Instead, he found a note telling him he was an April fool.
Steve checked his calendar. It was April 1 all right. Feeling hurt and angry, he walked away, wondering where this crazy custom came from.
Where did April Fool’s Day come from? Several origins have been suggested. Virtually all
peoples, says Jan M. Hatch in The American Book of Days, have woven fool’s errands into their cultures. Often these are in the beginning of spring.

In 1564, the French changed their New Year’s Day from March 25 to January 1. The confusion this caused may have begun April Fool’s Day.

Wherever you go, April Fool’s Day has one common element: A prankster gets his fun at the expense of the one fooled. But practical jokes that aren’t carefully thought through can have unfortunate effects.
Notice what Proverbs 26: 18-19 says about these: “Like a madman who throws
firebrands [pieces of burning wood], arrows, and death, is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, ‘I was only joking” ”

Just such a harmful incident occurred at a senior class party. One senior had added a package of chocolate-flavored laxative to some fudge she made. Those who ate it got violently ill.

Two days after the party, college entrance exams were given. The students were still so
weak they made low scores. This hurt their chances for college acceptance.

This girl did not consider the consequences of her prank. She got her laughter by victimizing
others. Later she felt horrible.

Injury and even death can result from someone’s selfish idea of fun. Such cases are
isolated, but they demonstrate the real danger of practical jokes.

It is really those who pull harmful pranks who are being foolish, not their victims. When someone is injured, it doesn’t help to cry, “I was only joking.”

There are many positive ways to have fun and exchange
good-natured joking. But we need to always keep our practical jokes practical and make sure our fun is fun – and keeps on being fun.


What is the origin of April Fools’ Day?  

The Good News, April 1985  


April Fools’ Day — or All Fools’ Day, as it is also known is of ancient origin, although its exact origin is obscure. The custom of playing practical jokes on friends on a particular day or sending them on fools’ errands was practiced from earliest times.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica: “What seems certain is that it [April Fools’ Day] is in some way or other a relic of those once universal festivities held at the vernal equinox, which, beginning on old New Year’s Day, the 25th of March, ended on the 1st of April. This view gains support from the fact that the exact counterpart of April-fooling is found to have been an immemorial custom in India. The festival of the spring equinox is there termed the feast of Huli, the last of which is the 31st of March, upon which the chief amusement is the befooling of people by sending them on fruitless errands.”

The practice of April-fooling long antedates Christianity, its roots buried in dimmest antiquity. Obviously, April Fools’ Day is of pagan origin!

Another source declares: “To find the practice so widely prevalent over the earth, and with so near a coincidence of day, seems to indicate that it has had a very early origin amongst mankind” (Book of Days, page 462).

Since the evidence is overwhelming that April Fools’ Day stems from ancient pagan custom and tradition, and since the Bible, the Word of God, nowhere teaches Christians to partake in observing such a day of mockery, foolishness, jesting and ridicule, and since God actually condemns foolish jesting in His Word (Ephesians 5:4), followers of Jesus Christ should have nothing to do with this custom.

God commands Christians, “Learn not the way of the heathen” (Jeremiah 10:2, Authorized Version). Regarding worldly customs inherited from heathenism, God declares: “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (II Corinthians 6:17).