|Our family in October 2010.|
So I am often greeted with something akin to shock when I say that my family doesn't celebrate Halloween. There are a number of reasons for celebrating this holiday but the most surprising to me are the excuses given by Christians. I read a question asked by Focus on the Family on Facebook about Halloween and who would be celebrating or not celebrating. One of the most popular reasons for celebrating Halloween was its "whatever you make of it." Do you believe the day is "whatever you make of it" or do you believe it should be avoided?
Our family chooses not to celebrate and we take care not to attend "alternative" church parties that are held on this night. We simply do not take part.
Many have likely delved much deeper in this subject than I have. A quick internet search can deliver much of this information and more. But, I thought it would be fun to share with you an article I wrote in 2003 on the subject for my school paper. I was a senior in high school.
What is Halloween?
The majority of Americans just celebrated a holiday called Halloween. Halloween is an annual celebration, but just what is it actually a celebration of? And how did this peculiar custom originate? Is it, as some claim, a kind of demon worship? Or is it just a harmless vestige of some ancient pagan ritual?
Our modern celebration of Halloween is a descendent of the ancient Celtic fire festival called Samhain and it was celebrated during their new year, which started November 1st. The days were getting shorter and darker, the time of year when things died off. There was much "foretelling" of people's futures. The believed that this was the time when the "veil between the worlds" was at its thinnest, and the dead could communicate with the living. It was generally believed that the spirits could pass back and forth into the physical world. The Druids (the religious priests) told the people in order to hide or appease the spirits they were to mask themselves and/or set out food for them.
The celebration of Halloween was brought to America when several hundred thousand Irish Catholics came over during the seven-year potato famine. These immigrants brought their various customs and celebrations with them. That started the Americanized celebration of Halloween, as we know it today.
Although it is masked, there are still cults that celebrate Halloween in an unlawful manner. Witchcraft and satanic worship is definitely in existence although hidden. Some people have used the argument that Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter, which both have pagan background, and yet they complain about Halloween as being evil. We as Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter because of significant Biblical and historical events, but Halloween has no Biblical acceptance only condemnation.
This holiday does not sound like something a Christian should be involved in. In fact, the Bible tells us specifically what God thinks. Deuteronomy 18:10-12 says, "There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee." There are many other verses reflecting God's view on divination, satanic worship, and human sacrifice. These things may not occur in your celebration but that does not matter. Jesus has called us to be salt and light to the world but we are not to be of the world. Does celebrating this "holiday" reflect Jesus in your life?
This is another brief note intended to provoke thought. I wrote this last year as a note on my Facebook page.
Have you ever pondered the reasons why Christians excuse themselves to the participation in Halloween? Is it the naivety of what the holiday they are celebrating actually represents? Is it the denial that the holiday celebrated today has any real connection to the pagan holiday originating from the Celts and is simply now a children's holiday for fun and candy? Is it open defiance of fundamental moral and ethical responsibility?
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:15
The difficulty of this issue is not an argument as to the origins of Halloween being wicked and pagan. Indeed, even our Christian celebrations of Christmas and Easter have pagan origins. But, on these particular days we celebrate the life of our Savior. We emphasize to our children pure and edifying truths. On Halloween we dress our children up in costumes and parade around the neighborhood. "Trick or treat" is on every child's lips with a bag waiting for the candy they know is coming. As parents we do not typically promote greed and engorgement of junk food but most parents are as excited as the kids to celebrate on this day.
My purpose in writing this is to encourage a new thought process for anyone who has received the Holy Spirit. Now is the time to pray for discernment. Now is the time to pray for protection from Satan's attacks. Prayer is effective warfare and, yes, you are in a battle so "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.