Growing up I loved Halloween. I mean, what kid doesn’t right? Dressing up, and getting all kinds of junk food, and your parents are okay with it, it was awesome!
When my daughter was little I took her out, and for years all she wanted to be was a princess. Tiara and wand in hand, we would go around a couple blocks and come home. She just loved to skip down the street in her dress getting candy. Then I would check it before she got any. For most of us we see the need to check candy as probably the worst part of Halloween. Which, if we really thought about that, we should realise any holiday that we have to worry about things like that, is probably not a great holiday for Christians, or Non-Christians to celebrate. Most people can’t fathom why someone would try to harm kids by putting things in candy. Yet, it happens, and it’s now just seen as a hazard of the holiday.
But, that isn’t the worst part of Halloween. We just don’t talk about the other stuff because it makes us uncomfortable. Things like murders, animal sacrifice, satanic rituals, voodoo, and black magic. What other holiday do we celebrate where you have to worry about your pet being left outside? Or other things being damaged or wrecked? How many people do you know who would never leave a pet, car, bike, or anything outside on Halloween for fear of what would happen?
But, these are real and horrible things that happen, and I didn’t list all of the stuff that goes on because, it actually makes me sick to my stomach, and I find I get extremely angry (bordering on rage) which isn’t good. However, I am bringing this all up to hopefully give people pause to think about Halloween in a different way. Rather than the warm and fuzzy Halloween that just means dressing up and getting candy.
So, this came on my heart to write about Halloween. I think, because Halloween is close at hand, and more, and more Christians blindly take their children out to get candy without a second thought as to why this holiday exist in the first place, and that is an issue of concern.
So, as I said before we used to celebrate Halloween. A few years ago, my husband and I started watching the Mark Fairley’s Fuel Project videos such as “Know Your Enemy” and “Stay Free” after our Pastor gave them to us to watch. We were challenged about what we accept as being benign in our daily life; that really isn’t. One primary lesson learned was that “if it isn’t for God it is for satan”, there really is no grey zone, because if it’s not for God what is left? Why do it? Read it? Listen to it? Everything has the potential to be used for Gods purpose or satans. Even benign objects if worshipped become idols and are against God. Like a sculpture of a bull in Baal worship, or an Asherah pole. The Bible is clear that these are anything but “just objects”.
So, we decided not to keep celebrating Halloween. But, for awhile we kept carving pumpkins. Mainly because we had always really enjoyed carving pumpkins, but, we realised that the idea of a, “Jack-o-Lantern” is to ward off evil spirits- no more pumpkin carving.
So here is a quick history of the main points of Halloween. Halloween was originally called Samhain (pronounced Sow-in), and was a Celtic holiday. They believed on Samhain that the dead could walk the earth again due to a “blurring” of “worlds” (spiritual and earthly). So they dressed up to fool the spirits. They also believed that this “walking dead” time allowed their Druid priests to predict the future. They would create large bonfires, and sacrifice animals, and burn crops as offerings to their Gods. They would also attempt to fortune tell for each other on Samhain.
When Romans conquered the Celts they incorporated their “day of the dead” and holiday for Pomona with Samhain. This is where we get “Bobbing for Apples” as Pomona was a goddess of fruit and trees. Interestingly, the Catholic Church is also associated with Halloween by the creation of “All Saints Day” on November 1 , and “All Souls Day” November 2 by Pope Bonefice IV. Which, makes sense when you find out that many traditions, and practices of the Catholic Church are based in Druid practices. They dressed in costume to ward off evil spirits as well.
As a side point; Jesus never had to dress up to ward off spirits, he cast them out and they feared/fear him, and the disciples were able to the same after him by casting them out in his name. So that begs the question: Why would Catholics who profess being Christian need to dress up? Why not just cast them out in the name of Jesus like the disciples? Back to the other, so, another name for, “All Saints Day” was All-Hallows. So then, the night before became All-Hallows-Eve, this is where “Halloween” comes from.
Trick-or-Treat most likely came from a tradition in England on All Souls Day. Where poor people would go to people’s homes and beg for food, they would be given “Soul Cakes” in return, the poor person prayed for the households dead. Which, the Catholic Church promoted. Some think, as a way to discourage leaving wine and food out for roaming spirits (like the druids). Incidentally, this is also a practice done to keep “Fae or fairly folk” happy. In America, the practice included going around for money or food.
Women started believing that on Halloween they could divine their future husband by doing yarn tricks, apple pairing, or using mirrors (by standing in a dark room with a candle then looking over their shoulder to see the face of their future husband in the mirror).
The complacency regarding Halloweens true meaning came when communities in the 1800 tried to make it less “evil”. They started having parties where they dressed up but the practice of ghost stories or tales of death were discouraged, and the superstitious and original druid religious aspects were also ignored. But to this day people fear black cats, breaking mirrors, walking under ladders, spilling salt or walking on cracks, especially on Halloween. Interestingly, many Christians ignore these aspects of Halloween, even though the Bible is explicit in saying we should not indulge in such things:
“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;” 1 Timothy 4:7
“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:31
“There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you.” Deuteronomy 18: 10-12
Yep, pretty clear, yet many Christians will tell you that, “It’s just a day”, or “If I don’t believe it, then it doesn’t matter”, or “I’m not a part of anything superstitious, evil or satanic”, or my favourite “I want my kids to fit in, not be made fun of, or feel left out”. Well, I think that if a Christian is worried about “Fitting in” with the world, they are not focused on God. As it says in the Bible, we shouldn’t fit in, and should stand apart. I also don’t think any of the other excuses would hold sway with the Lord.
I believe that Christians participating in a day devoted to the evil things of this world and satan, is not acceptable. By celebrating Halloween we align ourselves with those that were/are worshipping other Gods and entities. Even if our own celebrations are not “Evil” or “Goulish” it doesn’t matter because we in effect are saying “If I ignore it then it doesn’t matter”, but these things really do matter and ignoring them doesn’t make it any less for satan.