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I don’t know what you’re talking about…?

About this time last year, I wrote a note on Facebook which ended up being a controversial and very hot topic. I thought it might be time to share it again….
I highly recommend you view the original post and read the dialogue that followed. There were a lot of good, true, and important things said.
 
I saw a poll yesterday on a Christian radio’s website asking if it is “ok” for Christians to celebrate Halloween. More than 50% said yes—only 30% said no.

I was very disappointed to see that.

Sure, I expect people to have harvest parties and alternatives to Halloween, but for that many Christians to actually celebrate Halloween? Unbelievable.

But, some might reason, there’s nothing in the Bible that says you can’t get dressed up and go ask for candy!

Although there are no direct references to the holiday in the Bible, God is very clear about pagan and witchcraft practices—and that’s exactly what Halloween is.

Here’s some background (from Wikipedia):

The term Halloween (and its alternative rendering Hallowe’en) is shortened from All-hallow-even, as it is the eve of “All Hallows’ Day”, also which is now known as All Saints’ Day. Some modern Halloween traditions developed out of older pagan traditions, especially surrounding the Irish holiday Samhain, a day associated both with the harvest and otherworldly spirits. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century. Halloween is now celebrated in several parts of the western world, most commonly in Ireland, the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom and occasionally in parts of Australia and New Zealand.

Many European cultural traditions, in particular Celtic cultures, hold that Halloween is one of the liminal times of the year when spirits can make contact with the physical world, and when magic is most potent (according to, for example, Catalan mythology about witches and Scottish and Irish tales of the Sidhe).

The celebration has some elements of a festival of the dead. The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family’s ancestors were honoured and invited home whilst harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.

When the Romans occupied Celtic territory, several Roman traditions were also incorporated into the festivals. Feralia, a day celebrated in late October by the Romans for the passing of the dead as well as a festival which celebrated the Roman Goddess Pomona, the goddess of fruit were incorporated into the celebrations. The symbol of Pomona was an apple, which is a proposed origin for the tradition of bobbing for apples on Halloween.

Other traditions include carving lanterns from turnips or rutabagas, sometimes with faces on them, as is done in the modern tradition of carving pumpkins. Welsh, Irish and British myth are full of legends of the Brazen Head, which may be a folk memory of the ancient Celtic practice of headhunting. The heads of enemies may have decorated shrines, and there are tales of the heads of honored warriors continuing to speak their wisdom after death. The name jack-o’-lantern can be traced back to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a greedy, gambling, hard-drinking old farmer. He tricked the devil into climbing a tree and trapped him by carving a cross into the tree trunk. In revenge, the devil placed a curse on Jack, condemning him to forever wander the earth at night with the only light he had: a candle inside of a hollowed turnip. The carving of pumpkins is associated with Halloween in North America where pumpkins are both readily available and much larger- making them easier to carve than turnips Many families that celebrate Halloween carve a pumpkin into a frightening or comical face and place it on their doorstep after dark. The American tradition of carving pumpkins preceded the Great Famine period of Irish immigration and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 1800s.

(For more visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween)

So, when you think about whether or not to celebrate Halloween, keep these verses in mind:

Deuteronomy 18:10-12
For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the Lord.

Leviticus 20:27
‘Now a man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones, their bloodguiltiness is upon them.’

1 Chronicles 10:13-14
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, and did not inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.

Galatians 5:19-21
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 5:7-12
Don’t participate in the things these people do. For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.

1 Thessalonians 5:22
Avoid every kind of evil.

I do not celebrate Halloween. I never have. We don’t have harvest parties or any alternatives to Halloween at my church. We haven’t in over a decade. Why create an alternative to a thoroughly wicked, evil, and disgusting thing? How do Christians stand out as if we participate in the most sinful holiday of the year?

When someone asks me about Halloween, I tell them I don’t acknowledge it. Why? Because Having intimacy with Jesus means refusing to do or even think certain things-things that are acceptable for others become unacceptable for us.

Halloween? What’s that?

drgnfly1010 View All

In a word: passionate. About Jesus, church, ministry, music, reading, family, friends, and sometimes even iced skinny soy mochas.

2 thoughts on “I don’t know what you’re talking about…? Leave a comment

  1. Hey Bethany!

    I completely agree with you. I’ve never celebrated Halloween; my parents never allowed my siblings and I to trick or treat or dress up specifically for Halloween, and now that I’m older, I can’t see myself ever celebrating it by my choice.

    Excellent post!!

    – Rebecca

  2. Although this was a few weeks ago, I’d still like to voice my opinion on this. This is a very controversial topic for Christians.

    Halloween is a holiday, just like any other. It’s simply what you make it. Just because you dress up and go from door to door asking for candy doesn’t make you involved in witch craft. It’s about kids having fun on a holiday, not about kids worshiping Satan and being involved in Satanic things.

    I understand clearly where you’re coming from, but I do not think God demands us to completely stay away from Halloween festivities. I do not, however, believe in dressing up as things such as grim reaper, witches, ghosts, or things like that… but what’s wrong with dressing up as a simple thing such as a character from a movie, or a police man?

    I believe that as Christians we should be very careful where we go trick-or-treating on Halloween and look out for the places that we go to in general, and that we should celebrate Halloween more as a harvest holiday instead of a “scary movie” holiday. Which reminds me, I do not believe in watching scary movies for the same reasons that you do not believe in celebrating Halloween. Satan can be very tricky and loves to make things look as if there’s no big deal to it – which is how sin was born. Many of my friends who watch Harry Potter tell me that they aren’t “participating in the witch craft, so it’s no big deal”. But the devil is deceitful, and movies have power that affect our spiritual self.

    The only thing is, there honestly isn’t something wrong with going from door to door asking for candy on a holiday. You aren’t watching a scary/witch craft movie, you aren’t listening to that kind of music, and you aren’t doing it to worship Satan. Halloween is not “Satan’s holiday”, no matter what people think. Sure, non-Christians have turned it into that – but it started out as a holiday just like any other.

    “Why create an alternative to a thoroughly wicked, evil, and disgusting thing?” – There is an alternative to doing evil, and that is doing good. So basically you’re saying why should we do what is good in place of what is evil? That doesn’t exactly make sense… harvest festivals have nothing to do with Satan. Period. I love carving pumpkins on Halloween and decorating for the fall (yes, even carving a pumpkin of Jesus. That is not Satanic.) I used to go to my church’s harvest festivals. There was nothing Satanic going on. God never condemned the church for holding a harvest festival. Why? Because Satan meant Halloween for evil, but Christians use Halloween for good (Gen. 50:20). Holding harvest festivals is putting Satan in his place by saying that we give him no control over the holiday. However, by not doing such thing because you believe that it’s his holiday, you’re basically giving him control over Halloween, telling him that it is his. You’re not going to be able to avoid everything that is evil. The entire world is filled with evil. But God still sent his only son to come to earth and be friends with the sinners. He hung out with them. He didn’t avoid all of the places that sinners went to because he thought they were the places of Satan since evil lived there. He didn’t stay in heaven because he thought the earth was Satan. If he did that, then wouldn’t the earth be a much more corrupt place? Jesus would’ve never died for us. And by not coming down to earth, God would be giving Satan control over this territory.

    If Christians are always in their own little group, how are we going to reach people? I heard someone preach recently that if Christians are always in a huddle, the only thing non-believers can see are their butt-holes. Yes, that’s a little far-fetched, but honestly, it’s true. That’s how many of non-believers perceive Christians as. Why? Because, we’re stuck-up. We’re judgmental. We “must stay far from sin and those who sin”. I think we need to take an example from Jesus and enter those places of sin. Not for the sake of participating in the sin, but for loving and sharing the gospel to those who do sin and having control over Satan. (Just so you know, I’m not pointing fingers at you. It’s just something that relates to this topic and I’d like to share because I feel strongly about this.) We do have control over the devil because God lives in his. Satan can’t defeat us on Halloween if God is with us.

    I did a little research on this topic, and here’s one thing I found at http://carm.org/questions/other-questions/where-did-halloween-come-can-christian-celebrate-it that clearly defines what I’m trying to say:

    “”The answer is simple: Yes and No. Let’s look at the negative first.
    The Christian is not to be involved with or support the occult, witchcraft, demonism, or any other thing that uplifts the occult. To do so is to contradict God’s word, dabble in demonic spirits, and invite judgment from God. If a Halloween celebration is centered on demons, devils, spirits, etc., I would say don’t have anything to do with it.

    On the other hand, it isn’t wrong to dress up in a costume and go door-to-door saying “Trick or Treat.” Provided that the costume isn’t demonic, I can’t see anything wrong with this. It’s just fun for the kids.

    Take a look at the Christmas tree. It was originally an ancient fertility symbol. Yet, it has become a representation of Christmas and the place where gifts are placed. Are the Christians, then, paying homage to an ancient pagan fertility god? No. Not at all. They do not consider it pagan at all and are simply joining in on a cultural event and giving no honor to anything unbiblical.

    In the Bible in 1 Cor. 10:23-33, Paul speaks about meat sacrificed to idols. This meat was often sold in the meat market and the question arose, “Should a Christian each such meat?”

    Paul said in verse 25, “Eat anything that is sold in the meat market, without asking questions for conscience’ sake.” This is most interesting. He says it is okay to eat the meat bought in the market place even though that meat may have been sacrificed to idols.

    Then in verses 28-29 he says, “But if anyone should say to you, ‘This is meat sacrificed to idols,’ do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; 29 I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience?” (NASB). Paul is saying that if you find out the meat was sacrificed to idols, don’t eat it — not because of you, but because of the other person. In other words, eating that meat won’t affect you. But, it may affect the attitude of another who does not understand the freedom the Christian has in Christ.

    Is it any different with Halloween (or Christmas)? No. Even though Halloween has pagan origins, because of your freedom in Christ, you and/or your kids can dress up in costumes and go door-to-door and just have fun. However, if you are not comfortable with doing this, then you should not. If you know of a person who would be hindered by doing it, then you shouldn’t either.”

    Sorry that I basically wrote an essay on here… I type a little faster than I can think =)

    My summary: I do believe there is something wrong with Christians thinking it’s fine for their kids to dress up in “scary movie” costumes and teaching their kids that Halloween is about haunted things and celebrating it that way. But those who celebrate Halloween just by going to parties dressed up in different, normal costumes or even go from door to door asking for candy – their heart isn’t celebrating Halloween for the sake of it being “Satan’s holiday”, but for the sake of having holiday fun. And if we have a protective covering over ourselves and God on our side, who can stand against us? (Romans 8) Why give Satan even more control over Halloween by not celebrating it because we believe that it’s only his holiday? Why can’t it be used for good, too, such as harvest festivals and having fun? It doesn’t have to be all about witchcraft. It’s what we make of it.

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