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Children in scary costumes…bobbing for apples at a party…candy and treats galore. Sound familiar? Bring back any warm and wonderful memories? For many people, this is what Halloween is all about. It’s a lot of harmless fun that everyone enjoys on the 31st of October.
However, when you take an honest look at Halloween, one has to wonder if it is actually as harmless as it seems. This is especially true when you consider its origin and the symbolism of its many practices.
This post is designed to help you come to an understanding of Halloween in the light of historical and Biblical truth. All I ask is that you examine its contents carefully and prayerfully.
THE ORIGIN OF HALLOWEEN
It all began many centuries ago in the British Isles among a group known as the Druids. The Druids worshipped many gods and believed in the immortality of the soul. Every year they celebrated a festival in honour of their god Samhain, lord of the dead. It was believed that the spirits of the dead returned to visit the living during the evening of the festival. Great bonfires were lit to guide these ghostly visitors and to ward off evil spirits roaming the countryside. Traditional Halloween fires were still being lighted in Scotland as late as the 19th century.
The name “Halloween” (or Hallowe’en) is a contraction derived from All Hallows Eve. When Christianity came to the British Isles, the Catholics celebrated All Saints Day (All Hallows) on November 1st. The festival of Samhain fell on the day before, the eve of All Hallows. It eventually became known as Hallows evening, or, Halloween.
One of the practices during this festival was for the Druids to roam the countryside soliciting donations from the local farmers. A donation brought with it a promise of a fertility blessing being placed on your farmland. A refusal to donate brought with it the threat of a curse being placed on the family and the crops. Hence we have the origin of the Halloween custom of “trick or treat”. While it may be cute for a group of little kids to say it when they come to your door, the message behind it is “appease the gods of the Druids or else!”
For centuries witches have considered Halloween to be their greatest day of the year. They believe that spirits (demons) are at the peak of their power, thus making more power available for their evil work. This is one of the reasons witches and devil costumes are so prevalent. It is commonly reported that witches and satanists still hold their Black Masses on this evening.
What about the jack-o-lantern? Surely there’s nothing wrong with that! According to Irish tradition, a man named Jack was condemned to walk the earth carrying a lantern until Judgment Day. Hence the idea of the jack-o-lantern is in keeping with the earliest traditions of Halloween.
A quick study will show that Halloween is deeply rooted in pagan tradition and the occult. One has to wonder how it became such a popular observance in the 20th century.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?
What does the Bible have to say about our participation in such things as Halloween? I think there are a few Scriptures we need to look at to find our answer.
When the Lord was preparing to send His people into the Promise Land to possess it, He gave them some very clear instructions:
“You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whole you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place.” Deuteronomy 12:2-3 ESV
If the people of God were to completely do away with all the pagan practices of the Canaanites, why are we still clinging to the pagan practices of the ancient Druids?
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son…” Colossians 1:13 ESV
We have been delivered from the dominion of darkness by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Do we honour Him by participating in something that is so clearly from the dark side?
“…for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Ephesians 5:8, 11 ESV
Are we walking in the light of God when we participate in something like Halloween? Can people see the light of God in us when we practice something so obviously rooted in darkness. Does our participation expose the darkness, or promote it?
I encourage you to closely study the Scriptures we have listed and ask yourself the questions connected with them. I believe they will lead you to the attitude the Lord would have us adopt toward Halloween.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
How should we respond to this information on Halloween? Allow me to offer a few suggestions:
1. Establish it that you and your children will not make a practice of participating in Halloween. (Joshua 24:15).
2. Get rid of all Halloween paraphernalia (masks, costumes, window dressings, toys, etc.). (Deuteronomy 12:2-3).
3. Teach your children the truth about Halloween. While you don’t have to go into graphic detail, tell them it has bad origins and would not be honouring to Jesus. Children understand spiritual things a lot better than we sometimes believe.
4. Unfortunately, Halloween is not going to simply go away because we no longer participate. Therefore, we have a responsibility as parents to provide good, wholesome alternatives for our kids. Some families go to a hotel with a swimming pool for the evening. Others get several families together for an evening of fun and games which are unrelated to Halloween. Sometimes Churches will provide an alternative evening through their Sunday School program.
A FINAL WORD…
I hope the information I have posted here has helped you come to a proper understanding of what Halloween is all about. While we certainly do not judge those who choose to participate in this festival, we do want to make people aware of it’s occult origin. Halloween is definitely not the treat for kids it is made out to be. It is, however, a definite trick of the enemy to get us to participate in the fruitless deeds of darkness. I guess the real question to ask is, can we participate in Halloween while truly living in the Reign?
14 thoughts on “What About Halloween?”
I was never really into Halloween. Likely because my dad gave me this schpeel every. single. year.
Mac touched on something really important; the spiritual understanding of children. In our church, kids prophesy, see angels, and heal the sick (or “owies” as the case may be). One thing I am really thankful of through the Halloween boycott, is the spiritual sensitivity I maintained. Now, as a 30 year old, my spirit-alarm goes berzerk during horror movie previews at the theatre. I seriously have to close my eyes, plug my ears because my spirit is telling me “keep this out!”
Pastoral Note: when reading the torturous up and down of the Israelites; it was all about the alters to idols in the high places. A godly king would tear them down, a rebellious king would set them up, and wonder why his country lost the battle, had a plague, was forced into slavery… This article really makes one think about alters in high places in our own families.
Great article dad.
Thanks Sonny. Thanks also for the great spiritual insights you provided. I love you!
Reblogged this on New Life and commented:
Check out this post by fellow pastor and blogger Mac Dumcum. What do you think about Halloween? How do you deal with it?
I feel you have some interesting insights into this, but there is something I feel led to share. Please note that I have yet to make up my mind on whether or not I will let my children partake in Halloween when they are old enough.
Your argument for not observing trick-or-treating and Halloween in general is because of what it once represented. However, let me ask you this…do you put a Christmas tree in your home? Do you decorate with lights and holly things of that nature? Do you celebrate Christmas on December 25th? All of these things stem from pagan worship celebrations and ceremonies, which over the years were adopted by Christians and had their purpose and meaning changed to reflect worship of Christ as opposed to pagan gods. All of the verses you posted for why you shouldn’t partake in Halloween would work the same for the traditions we have surrounding Christmas. Yet today you are more likely to get strange looks from those in your church for NOT putting up a Christmas tree and decorations than FOR putting up these things. Why? Because they no longer represent what they once did. Are there still people who partake in pagan worship celebrations on December 25th? I don’t doubt it for a moment. Is that what Christians are doing? Not at all.
The same thing could be used for celebrating birthdays — something that was reserved for pagan gods for centuries.
My point is not necessarily to discredit what you are saying, but merely to show that for your thought process to be consistent, you would need to exercise the same views when it comes to every other celebratory tradition present in our society today that stems from false religions.
I have addressed your concerns in a separate post. You can read it here.
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for posting this! I am getting so many comments, from Christians nonetheless, about my refusal to have my children participate in Halloween this year. I am glad that I’m not alone!
You definitely are not alone. May the Lord richly bless you as you stand for truth.
Thanks for reading!
You are welcome to my house for a cup of anti-Halloween coffee any day, my brother. God bless you for taking a stand and telling the truth. I, for one, made people angry by stating that I would not celebrate Halloween. I wonder what my church would think if I tried to cancel “trunk or treat?” Hmmmm. It’s a thought.
I would gladly sit down for a cup of coffee with you. Thanks for reading!
Thank you Mac. The trick and treat thing seemed to begin in the UK after the film ET. I certainly have no memory of trick and treat prior to that. As a child I hadn’t a clue what Halloween was. Once again our church will be taking a ‘Treat or Treat’ light party out to a local park on 31 October.
I’m glad you enjoyed the article David. Thanks for sharing the interesting tidbit of info on Halloween in the UK. Halloween was part of my life in the US right from the beginning. What it even sadder is that the church I grew up in promoted it as something positive! They may have a different view today.
Thanks for reading!
Thinking out loud… But for next year; I’m thinking of presenting a “Stay Home in Love” campaign for Halloween 2013.
WHAT IF – our church prepared a small clear goodie bag:
Pencil, activity sheet, candy, invitation to a free kids movie night (perhaps Veggie Tales or something else appealing to a wider audience) or a “Family Fun Day” at our church a couple weeks later…
That could be a winner of an idea Dude. Definitely worth pursuing.
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