Halloween from a Christian's Perspective
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As most of you know, I became saved in my mid 30's. I was good and upright most of the time, but that doesn't get you anything regarding salvation. The only road to salvation is through the blood and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I'm not getting on a soapbox or providing a sermon (well, a little one anyway). The reason for web page is to ask each and every one of you to consider the ramifications of this 'holiday' we (our society) call Halloween. Yea it's an awkward subject. That fact pushes me even more to 'stand out of my comfort zone' to say what’s on my heart.
Up until the time I was saved I allowed my children the 'right' to go out trick or treating as I felt it had no harm. Only until I DID become saved and started researching Halloween, was I very much awakened by all the goings related to this 'holiday'. I have put together an article for your reading pleasure. Please take this seriously. All too many times we (as parents) don't want to be the 'bad guys' when it comes to our children. Well, in my humble opinion, we don't have that option. We are required to raise our children up as best we can. We have enough problems with the world ideas without adding more to it. Some might say, "But we only do this in fun...we don't practice witchcraft." That which represents Satan and his domain cannot be handled or emulated "for fun". Such participation places you in enemy and forbidden territory and that is dangerous ground. To me it's a very 'black and white' issue – there is no 'gray area' here.
Another reason you shouldn't permit your children to celebrate Halloween by dressing up and going door to door is the issue of safety. The possibility of a child being struck by an automobile, kidnapped, poisoned, or otherwise injured is greater on Halloween than on any other night of the year.
Still, I think it is wise for parents to give their children a creative alternative to celebrating Halloween. They shouldn't feel like they've missed something because they are Christians.
Our family likes to spend Halloween together. We plan special activities that are more fun for the kids than begging candy. In the past, we have all gone out together for ice cream, or we might stay home and have a special evening together doing something just for them. Rent a tape! Play some games! Read the Bible – wow, what a concept!
That way when the children face the inevitable pressure of talking with their friends about what they did on Halloween, they can share their faith in positive terms, rather than having to speak of what they can't do because of their parents' Christian faith.
Through the ages, Halloween has gone by various names but all have been tributes to the same dark force, Satan. There is no place in the life of the Church or the Christian for such participation.
As a final note: If you really feel so compelled not to allow your children to recognize this 'holiday' for the mere fact they will get free candy, please let me know and I will personally buy some candy for your children. As always, please take no offense at my suggestions. I feel compelled and led by the Holy Spirit to pass this on. Trust me – your kids will get over it (at least the first year) and actually respect you more for the decision you made!
Thanks for your time. I'll get off my soapbox and start my little sermon now....
WHAT IS HALLOWEEN?
Millions of Christians will allow - even encourage - their children to participate in Halloween on October 31.
The Christian church tried to eliminate the Druid celebration by offering All Saint's Day as a substitute. As Christianity spread over Europe and the British Isles, it attempted to replace the pre-existing pagan cult worship of Apollo, Diana or Ymir, but to no avail.
Some churches will fully sanction the event with parties held on their premises. Decorations will feature witches, brooms, cats, Jack-o-Lanterns, and bobbing apples.
What's the harm? Where did this holiday come from? Why is the holiday celebrated? History provides the answer.
The uninformed Christian has no idea that there truly are demonic spirits, which are contacted and activated as people call out to them in jest or in seriousness. Every act around Halloween is in honor of false gods, which are spirits in the realm of the Satanic. Those who have been deeply involved in witchcraft and who are now free, declare that even those who say they worship spirits of nature are in actuality contacting the satanic realm without knowing it.
HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN
The American celebration rests upon Scottish and Irish folk customs which can be traced, in a direct line, from pre-Christian time. Although Halloween has become a night of celebration to many, its beginnings were otherwise. The earliest Halloween celebrations were held by the Druids in honor of Saman, lord of the dead, whose festival fell on November 1.
It was the Druid's belief that on the eve of this festival, Saman called together the wicked souls that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals. They were released in the form of ghosts, spirits, witches or elves.
The Druids, an order of priests in ancient Gaul and Britain, also believed that the cat was sacred because cats once had been human beings but were changed as a punishment for evil deeds. From these druidic beliefs come the present-day use of witches, ghosts, and cats in Halloween activities.
If we as Christian parents simply disregard the unchristian aspects of such practices as mere fantasy or superstition and then encourage our children to participate in them, we run the risk of communicating the message that the spiritual battle waged by the rulers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12) is not to be taken seriously.
Allowing children to participate in the celebration of Halloween may appear to be quite harmless on the surface, but the spiritual implications are far from Christian. In today's world, fortune-telling, ouija boards, ESP, telepathy, horoscopes, voodoo, clairvoyance, yoga, hypnosis, magic, transcendental meditation, Eastern religions, reincarnation, metaphysics and many other practices are expressly forbidden in Scripture. They are related to the occult and satanic forces. Therefore believers should have nothing to do with them. Note the following Scriptures:
"Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 19:31)
"Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance" (1 Chronicles 10:13)
"Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you." "A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads." "I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people." (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Leviticus 20:27, 20:6)
The Bible very clearly instructs Christians to have nothing to do with the practices of darkness. Halloween is a rite with pagan, demonic roots. The Celtic people who lived over 2,000 years ago, feared the evening of October 31st more than any other day of the year. It was the eve of the Lord of the Dead. To celebrate, the people built bonfires, wore masks and costumes in order to prepare for the arrival of spirits. Fire rituals and divination were part of their celebration. Pagan priests even offered human and animal sacrifices. The following symbols and customs all have satanic origins:
The term "Jack-o'-lantern" came from an Irish folk tale of the 18th century. Jack was an Irishman. He had tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree. He then cut a cross symbol in the tree trunk, thus trapping the Devil in the branches. At his death, he was unable to again access to Heaven because of his meanness. The Devil, having a long memory, would not allow him into Hell. So he was forced to walk the earth endlessly. The devil took pity on him and gave him a piece of coal to light his path. Jack put it inside a hollowed-out turnip that he had been eating.
Apples were considered have long been associated with female deities, and with immortality, resurrection, and knowledge. One reason is that if an apple is cut through its equator, it will reveal a five-pointed star outlined at the center of each hemisphere. This was a Goddess symbol among the Roma (Gypsies), Celts, Egyptians, etc. There are many Halloween folk traditions associated with apples:
a. Unmarried people would attempt to take a bite out of an apple bobbing in a pail of water, or suspended on a string. The first person to do so was believed to be the next to marry.
b. Peeling an apple in front of a candle-lit mirror was believed to produce the image of one's future spouse.
c. Attempting to produce a long unbroken apple peel was said to estimate the number of years you had to live. The longer the peel, the longer your life expectancy.
BROOMSTICKS AND WITCHES
This image (however cartoon-like) shows an actual ritual in which witches mount broomsticks (symbol of the male organ) and leap high around the fields on them to "teach" the crops how high to grow. In our drug-conscious society, it should be noted that the flying witch actually related to the fact that witches believed they could fly great distances to their feasts by smearing their bodies with "flying ointment." This ointment actually contained drugs like bella-donna, aconite and cinquefoil and gave them psychedelic "trips" so that they thought that they flew distances. Are these images we wish to convey to our children?
The black cat is also both the witches' "familiar" or magic helper, and is the chief totem (idol) of the goddess of Wicca, Diana. In legend, she turns into a black cat to commit incest with her brother, Lucifer. It is also a form of the Egyptian goddess, Bast.
GHOST AND SKELETON
These relate to the belief that spirits of the dead were roaming throughout the land. They induce fear in children.
FRUITS AND NUTS
Three of the sacred fruits of the Celts were acorns, apples, and nuts - especially the hazelnut, considered a god and the acorn, sacred from its association to the oak.
SKULL AND MASK
The Druids wore masks, skulls and costumes, even offered human sacrifices on October 31st, to ward off evil spirits.
BOBBING FOR APPLES
In AD 43 the Roman Empire was in solid control of the Celtic people. As a result of this control the idol worshipping Romans introduced another ceremony honoring their false gods to the already demoniacal Druid New
Year's celebration. It was in honor of their goddess of fruit trees. They would try to grasp fruit, floating in water, without the use of their hands. This is the origin of BOBBING FOR APPLES according to the Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Associated Press quote, October 16, 1977.
TRICK OR TREAT
The Druids went from house to house asking for a contribution to their demonic worship celebration. If a person didn't give, their trick was to kill him. The people feared the phrase "Trick or Treat."
Therefore, it is inappropriate for Christians to celebrate Satan's high holy day or to celebrate with those who practice witchcraft and use occult symbols such as witches, black cats, ghosts, jack-o'-lanterns, etc. This time can be used to make children aware that Halloween is an alliance with the powers of darkness and that it is now our privilege to live as children of light.
As believers, we can take this opportunity to provide a creative alternative to this celebration of darkness. In ancient Israel, the majority of Jewish festivals occurred at the same time as pagan festivals. God did not simply tell his people not to engage in pagan festivals, He provided an alternative. During every major pagan festival, the Hebrew people would take part in a God-given alternative, a festival celebrating the same general subject but with a completely different focus.
As a parent of young children, you have a responsibility to follow the biblical admonition to protect and train them with Scriptural principles. Children need to be taught that there is no such thing as a "cute" witch or a "friendly ghost". Scripture is very clear that Christians are not to celebrate pagan rituals. The Halloween season is a golden opportunity to make this clear to the children.
I have come to believe that celebrating Halloween does not honor Christ. I have shared my conviction with my family. As a result, we have replaced the celebration of Halloween with something completely unassociated to it. We make it a family night and do something special together. You can see that I do believe in the PRINCIPLE OF REPLACEMENT. I believe that Romans 12:21 teaches it. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
Certainly remove the bad. Explain to your children why you are not celebrating Halloween any more. BUT then replace it with something that will glorify God (I Corinthians 10:31). Be creative. Make what you do more fun, yet honor Christ. Have a harvest party where you focus on Christ the creator and his provisions for you. Have a Christian video party. Have a glory gathering where Christian songs are sung and the Word is preached. Get a group together and go from door to door (not dressed up) and pass out Gospel tracts then meet for a time of fellowship afterward.
My closing challenge to you is this. Prayerfully consider what Christ would have you to do. May your desire be that of James, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (James 4:7-8).
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?
"'Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God." - Leviticus 19:31
"There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, or who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or one who calls up the dead." - Deuteronomy 18:10-11
"The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so." - Deuteronomy 18:14
"He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger." - 2 Chronicles 33:6
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." - Romans 12:9
"Avoid every kind of evil." - 1 Thessalonians 5:22
"Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God." - 3 John 1:11
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." - Matthew 5:13
"For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." - 2 Corinthians 2:15
"This is what the LORD says: Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them. For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel." - Jeremiah 10:2-3
"My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge." - Hosea 4:6a
"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." - Ephesians 5:1, 8-11
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