Why After We Became Christians, My Family Chose To Cease Participation In Further Halloween Festivities
Editor’s note: The following renamed and re-structured 3-part study is based on a previous article, entitled “Halloween and Biblical Christianity.” That article, however, was written without taking into consideration, several pieces of information which have only recently come to this author’s attention. In addition, I also believe it contained at least one unsustainable and therefore somewhat inconsistent application angle, as well as coming across a bit harsher and more judgmental in tone than was either completely necessary or intended. For those who love the Lord (and subsequently a mistake-making servant like myself) enough to have lovingly caused me to reconsider and make corrections, I thank you. And for the aforementioned reasons, and because my only concern is for the complete, straightforward truth and cause of Christ to be proclaimed and promoted, I lovingly furnish the following in place of the former… To God be the glory!
First off, I wish to thank you for your interest in, and exploration of, the following article. Please understand before you begin, that it is not my intention to “set church doctrine;” to speak for anyone else; or to speak from anything else other than my own experience, research, considerations and conclusions, regarding Halloween and its related and subsequent, personal celebration as a New Testament Christian and his family.
It occurred to me after conducting and then discussing some of this research with other good brethren over the years, that almost without exception, virtually every New Testament Christian who has ever allowed their children to regularly participate in this once yearly October event known as ‘Halloween,’ or any of our congregations or the denominations which have in some way sought to capitalize on this very worldly and/or “other-worldly” holiday through all sorts of ministerial mimicry such as “Trunks of Treats” or some other copycat imitation, have only done so, simply because they have never truly taken the time to biblically, objectively, and thoroughly explore and examine its origins, actions, and intentions in the overwhelming and glaring illumination of God’s holy word.
And so, it is therefore my most ardent hope and prayer that each and every Christian person who truly and sincerely cares about their walk with the Lord, might truly, honestly, and objectively explore the following with both an open heart, an open mind, and most of all, an open bible, and then make their own better educated and well-informed decision…
Why After We Became Christians, My Family Chose To Cease Participation In Further Halloween Festivities;
Part One: The Foundations…
Not too long after my wife’s and my conversion to Christ, becoming Christians in April of 1985, I began to take a very serious and contemplative look around at some of the activities and festivities we had always routinely and in lemming-like lock-step with the rest of the town, taken part in as unquestioning celebrants of Halloween. Being instructed by God’s holy word that when we become New Testament Christians we are to not love the world or the things of the world, and that we are to therefore leave the old man of sin behind and be transformed into the image of Christ instead, this seemed like the only right and logical thing to do (See: 1 John 2:15-17; Romans 6:1-13; II Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:14-7:1, 13:5; Ephesians 4:17-24).
God, in His holy word, also commanded through His divinely-inspired spokesmen such as the Apostle John, that His people were to constantly and continually “test the spirits.” “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1). The divinely-inspired Apostle Paul would likewise and similarly instruct when writing to the first-century congregation of the churches of Christ (Romans 16:16) which met in Thessalonica, when he stated, “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:21-22). Please note: “…every form of evil…” (emphasis mine – DED).
We all understand and accept that Halloween is universally and intrinsically known for its witches, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, demons, zombies, black magic, and the like. These iconic symbols are forever, indelibly, and intrinsically etched into every fiendish fiber and festivity of this fall event. It also struck me, in what should certainly come as no surprise to anyone who has ever even peripherally considered it, that Halloween is therefore subsequently and additionally, the single most mischievous, mayhem-laden, and malevolent night of the year. Some Christian people who want to continue to celebrate this holiday with their family, friends and neighbors at all cost, may seek to summarily turn a blind eye to, and deny the reality of these statements, but their truth is extremely evident and obvious no matter where you turn… And these are truths most certainly not missed – but indeed are capitalized and counted upon – by those who are worshippers and practitioners of the dark “gods” and arts…
It is a well-documented and inarguable fact, that Halloween is the one night of the year that occultists, Satan-worshippers, and modern-day witches, warlocks, and dark arts practitioners consider as undoubtedly their most special and powerful night of the entire year – by their own admission (www.endoftheamericandream.com quotes the following from W.I.C.C.A. – for more information on this modern-day witch/witchcraft association, see www.wicca.com):
Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means “End of Summer”, and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat.
It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st. It is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands. It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honor the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort.
Originally the “Feast of the Dead” was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the “wandering dead”. Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.
That same website also informs us that: On page 96 of the Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey wrote the following…“After one’s own birthday, the two major Satanic holidays are Walpurgisnacht (May 1st) and Halloween.”
After consideration of the above, perhaps you may want to ask yourself (just as I had to after examining similar material), “Should I as a Christian, celebrate and participate in Halloween festivities, holding this holiday up as a special occasion as they do, or, should I stay as far away from it and its festivities as I can possibly get?”
Perhaps some insight into God’s perspective on such things as witchcraft, sorcery, and mediums and spiritists (all of which play a major role in Halloween) might help with that decision at this point. Please carefully consider the following straightforward commandments of scripture (Underling mine)…
- “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you” (Deuteronomy 18:9-14).
- “Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. But he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel… And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. Also he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger… And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen. Therefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon” (2 Chronicles 33:1-11).
Now some might complain, knowing that we are under the New Covenant, “But that’s the Old Testament!” But neither God, His Son, nor Their holy Word has changed (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; and Psalm 119:89)! They still, all Three of the Godhead, in their absolute purity and holiness, find all such “abominations” to still be abhorrent. Please note the following from the New Testament – the final two of which are found at the very end of it:
- “And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed” (Acts 19:18-20).
- “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).
- “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
- “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie” (Revelation 22:14-15).
While the above texts all seem to make it pretty clear as to what God’s perspective is of those things intrinsically iconic of, and inherently intertwined with, certain Halloween celebrations today, perhaps at this point it would also prove profitable in assisting you to make a well-informed decision regarding whether your continued participation in future Halloween festivities would be God-pleasing or not, to examine the origins of some of the practices which we imitate (even if, as is so often the case today, ignorantly or innocently: Acts 17:30-31), during modern-day, door to door “trick or treating.”
Now, please understand as we do so, that the following list is by no means meant to be either exhaustive or exclusive. Also, that the information being presented below has been obtained and arranged from a variety of different sources and resources over the years. Therefore, it is my strong hope, suggestion, and intention, that all who review this material might merely utilize it only as a starting point to pique their interest, and then to go on and perform their own objective and exhaustive search and research into these Halloween origins, so as to formulate their very own, very thorough, and very well-informed opinion, for “…each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12 – emphasis mine – DED).
Anyone who takes on an objective and in-depth study of the origins of Halloween will soon find that many of them are easily traced back to the ancient druids or shaman who served as the priestly class of the ancient, pagan, Celtic religion. Modern man might refer to and picture them more in terms of something like “witch doctors,” or “medicine men.” Their beliefs included that of reincarnation; that is to say, that once a person dies they can come back to life again in a different body; an idea similar to what modern-day Hindus believe – and an idea which the Scripture strongly and resoundingly rejects: “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27; see also Ecclesiastes 12:7; Luke 16:19-31).
These druids were also polytheists, or believers in many and multiple gods (a purely satanic practice which neither God, Christ, the Holy Spirit – or even the heavenly host – has ever, does ever, or will ever tolerate: See Matthew 4:8-10; Revelation 22:8-9). As polytheists they believed in a plethora of various and diversified “nature gods” (a practice which God’s word once again, clearly condemns; see Romans 1:18-25, as well as any reference which addresses idolatry). This included their so-called “sun-god,” Belenus, as well as Samhain, their so-called “lord of the dead.” The reason this becomes important to us is because their belief in Samhain necessitated human sacrifice; a bloody evil which was commonly, constantly, and continually practiced (and incidentally, which helped set the stage for some of the Halloween traditions we imitate today). Not only did they have full confidence in human sacrifice as a method of successful divination, but were actually reported to have burned alive scores of people at once whom they had imprisoned in large cages, believing the more the victims, the better their crop yield.
With the advent of the Celtic new year which both these pagan people as well as their druidadic priests believed began on what is our November 1st, they also apparently believed that on the night before (our October 31st), or the last night of the previous year, that Samhain, their “lord of the dead,” reincarnated all of the ‘evil’ dead who had been condemned to enter the bodies of animals, at which time he decided what animal form they would inhabit in the coming year. The ‘good’ dead would at this time supposedly also be reincarnated as humans. The druids also apparently believed that the punishment of the ‘evil’ dead could somehow be abated somewhat by sacrifices, prayers, and gifts to Samhain. (A sort of bribe of “buy-off” if you will. Later on as you will recall, some of these pagan practices perpetuated themselves into the perverted Catholic doctrine of ‘purgatory,’ with its very similar “pay-off/escape from punishment” sale of indulgences).
Druidadic worshippers during this time sought to appease Samhain because of his perceived control and power over the souls of their dead loved ones from the past year in particular, believing that, for those who had died within the past year, Samhain granted their spirits a brief reprieve to return to visit their former families and places of habitation. Hence they believed that ghosts, evil spirits, and even witches abounded on this one unique and their last night of the year. (Sound familiar? It did to me.)
In order to honor their ‘sun-god’ Belenus and to help him to rejuvenate the sun – as well as to frighten away any evil spirits that might be lurking and looking to cause problems (because these evil spirits allegedly feared fire) – young boys would travel the neighborhoods begging for any material available to help with the great bonfires. (This too, sounded very familiar and creepily similar to certain Halloween activities which it apparently spawned… again, at least to me.) It is reported that up until fairly recently, these Scottish hilltop Halloween fires were still reportedly referred to as ‘Samhnagen’ in Samhain’s supposed honor.
On this night, evil and frustrated ghosts were believed to play evil tricks on their human counterparts. In response, people donned grotesque masks and danced around these great bonfires, often pretending to be chased by evil spirits. While these fires were lit to ‘scare away’ supposedly ‘evil’ spirits, food was put out to make the ghosts or souls of the ‘good’ dead that Samhain had supposedly released feel welcome and at home.
Don’t you find it incredibly interesting that during today’s Halloween festivities, porch lights (like welcome fires) are turned on as a sign and to invite and make feel welcome those who have “donned grotesque masks” and are imitating any and all sorts of spirits to stop by and get some food in the form of welcome treats? It is also notable that because this night was believed to be the entry point into a new year, an increased interest in divination and fortune telling for their futures also became an important part of this October 31st holiday!
And such practices and celebrations of the dead supposedly returning to mingle with the living are not necessarily unique to any given region or religion either. The Chinese and Japanese peoples both have their festivals for the dead that in many ways resemble some of the reverence and ritual regarding the dead that our contemporary American celebrations of Halloween contain. Mexico’s similar, so-called “Day of the Dead” begins November 2nd and lasts for several days, and the Hindu’s also celebrate their own brand of “dead to life” holiday known as “Holi.”
It might be appropriate at this time to backtrack for just a moment, into some of the Catholic Church’s failed attempts to reform and refit this grotesque and gruesome holiday into something more… “glorious” and “God honoring,” at least in their eyes…
In the middle ages the Catholic Church attempted to oppose the paganism of this satanic celebration of Samhain by superimposing November 1st with the tag “All Saints Day,” and November 2nd as “All Souls Day,” the former being promoted as a celebration of dead saints (according of course, to the corrupt and unscriptural Catholic definition thereof) and especially those who had been martyred, while the latter, “All Souls Day,” evolved into a day to pray for the dead in order to help them escape the torments of “purgatory” (which of course, once again as with so much of Catholic doctrine, occurs absolutely nowhere in the sacred scriptures). In 835 Pope Gregory IV combined the two remembrance days into one, and November 1st, ‘All Saints Day,” the day after Halloween (“Hallow’s Eve” – later to be transformed into “Halloween”) became a day dedicated by the Catholic Church, to the virgin Mary and their dead “saints.”
It was of paramount importance for me, to find out and factor in that almost all of the traditions surrounding today’s Halloween’s celebrations have their roots deeply entrenched in paganism, polytheism, Druidism, and apostate Catholicism… Please let us now carefully consider some of the very specific origins of some of those traditions and practices, and then honestly ask ourselves the question as Christians, “Can we, who are to honor and glorify God in all things; and to do all things in the name and by the authority of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; truly, faithfully, and in good conscience to Christ our Lord, really honor, glorify, and celebrate these things by virtue of our continued participation in them?” (See: Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.)
- Take for example, the practice of “trick or treating:” Going from door to door seeking treats may hail back to the Druid practice of begging material for the great bonfires. It is also related to the Catholic concept of purgatory and the custom of begging for a “soul cake” (for which actual recipes can be found online). A “soul cake” is a small round cake, like a biscuit, which was traditionally made for All Souls’ Day revelers to celebrate the dead. These plain cakes, often simply referred to as souls, were given out to children and beggars who would go from door to door during this period saying prayers and singing psalms and songs for the dead. Traditionally each cake eaten would represent a soul being freed from Purgatory. The practice of giving and eating soul cakes is often seen as the origin of modern day Trick or Treating, which now falls on Halloween.
- As for the “trick” custom of Halloween, this [term of extortion] is related to the idea that ghosts and witches created mischief on this particular night. For example, if the living did not provide food or “treats” for the spirits, then they would “trick” the living. People feared that terrible things might happen to them if they did not honor the spirits. The Druids also believed that failure to worship their gods would bring dire consequences: If the gods were not treated properly in ritual, they would seek vengeance. Further, some people soon realized that a mischievous sense of humor could be camouflaged – that they could perform practical jokes on others and blame it on the ghosts or witches [supposedly] roaming about.
- In his article, “Halloween,” Walter L. Porter1 reported: “Jack-o-lanterns are lamps lit by coals from hell carried by a man named Jack, who was a worthless drunk of long ago who used to make deals with the devil, so the story goes. He tricked the devil so often Satan refused to take him into Hell, and he was too worthless to go to Heaven. So now he roams the earth as a ghost carrying his lantern lit by a coal from hell.” (A further illustration and explanation of this origin was subsequently found in the following from elsewhere: “The ancient custom of human sacrifice to appease the gods usually involved the town idiot or town dunk, who, being captured, was paraded around town all day in a cage and then sacrificed Halloween evening.”)
- Porter then also went on to report: “Another symbol of Halloween is the black cat. Black cats have a long history of association with evil. They were considered to be animals inhabited by the spirits of witches… A few days ago my wife told me she saw a television announcement from the [local] Animal Shelter warning residents… about the coming Halloween celebration. The announcement said for owners of black cats and dogs (especially puppies) to keep them securely penned up, because Satanists, who consider Halloween a sacred night, round these up to use as sacrifices in order to indulge their unholy lust for blood and death. Many places in today’s America, and indeed, throughout the world, also sacrifice human lives, usually babies and young children. Their blood is either smeared on their often naked bodies, or drunk in mock imitation of the Lord’s Supper”
- What about costumes? As noted, Halloween was a night where mischievous and evil spirits roamed freely. As in modern poltergeist lore, mischievous spirits could play tricks on the living – so it was advantageous to “hide” from them by wearing costumes. Masks and costumes were worn either to scare away the ghosts or keep from being recognized by them. “In Ireland especially, people thought that ghosts and spirits roamed after dark on Halloween. They lit candles or lanterns to keep the spirits away, and if they had to go outside, they wore costumes and masks to frighten the spirits or to keep them from being recognized by these unearthly beings”2 (There is much, much more; this is just tip iceberg!)
And while I completely understand and would even concur with those who would correctly claim that rites and rituals both can, and sometimes do change in meaning over the course of time, and that just because someone is out “trick or treating” today doesn’t automatically mean they are out worshipping Samhain or Satan, in all due fairness, how can we possibly, adequately and faithfully answer the scriptural questions we must in order to truly and obediently walk with our God, if we are completely ignorant of the origins of what we are, at the very least, out imitating, mimicking, and participating in perpetuating, in some form or fashion during these festivities? God clearly states that we are not even to imitate the evil deeds of darkness – let alone exercising full and intentional participation in them… doesn’t He? Instead we are told to expose them… aren’t we? Indeed we are – at least as far as I can see. But please see and study for yourself from the following (Emphasis mine – DED):
- “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good…” (III John 11).
- “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:1-11).
Just exactly how serious is God about His beloved children’s abstinence from such activities? I’ll simply let Him tell you…
- For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord” Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)
And while the Apostle Paul apparently recognized and reiterated just as I did above, that these pagan-oriented and originated rites and rituals were really pointless (probably because the false gods and idols therein represented, respected and revered were really non-existent anyway), he still communicated to the first century congregation of the Lord’s church that worked and worshipped in Corinth, a very chilling and frightening truth which would ultimately force them to make an “all-or-nothing,” “festivities-participated-in” choice. This, because the demons behind their non-existent idols and man-made entities were most assuredly real!
- Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify (1 Corinthians 10:14-23).
Why After We Became Christians, My Family Chose To Cease Participation In Further Halloween Festivities;
Part Two: The Children… Both ‘Of Light’ and ‘Little!’
I would like begin this section by reminding us of the fact that Jesus is indeed the Light of world; and that we, as His blood-bought and now penitent New Testament church and children following in His footsteps and seeking to be transformed daily into His image (II Corinthians 3:17-18; Romans 12:1-2), must also be.
- John 8:12: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
- 1 Timothy 6:15-16 says of Jesus Christ: “…He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light…”
- John 1 repeatedly refers to Jesus Christ as the Light, and the giver of light… In fact, He is referred to as such a total of seven times in those ten short verses (John 1:1-9 – highlighting mine – DED): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”
The Bible also stresses again, and again, and again, that those who are truly Christ’s, must also live, and walk in, and as, the light as well (again, any and all emphasis mine – DED):
- 1 John 1:5-7: This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
And although the list is far from exclusive or exhaustive, other Scriptures to consider as we would each personally seek to answer the question as to whether or not we as God’s children should participate in any further Halloween festivities, should most certainly include:
- Philippians 2:15-16 which says we are to: “become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life…”
- Matthew 5:14-16 which states: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven…”
In the Scriptures, God’s New Testament children are constantly being referred to in terms of being “lights,” in and to, a world entrenched in the darkness and ignorance of sin, selfishness, and the schemes of Satan:
- Ephesians 4:17-19: “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart…”
- 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4, & 6: “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them… For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Just as the good things of God are always represented and referred to in the Bible as “light,” the evil things of Satan are almost always referred to, by complete contrast, as being “darkness” (a term which actually signifies the absence of light):
- Ephesians 6:10-13: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
- Paul, in Colossians 1:12-13 says that God has “…qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light,” by having “delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son…” (Please also see: Acts 26:18, and 1 Peter 2:9-10).
- I Thessalonians 5:5: “You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.”
Now, it seems to me that it would be fairly difficult to completely miss the definitive distinction and acute separation that light and darkness must enjoy according to God; that said light and darkness simply cannot co-exist without sure and certain contamination, according to the divinely-delivered word of almighty God, unless someone just simply wanted to. Wouldn’t it to you, or not? For as we all must certainly know, absolute light and complete darkness do not, and cannot, by their very nature, mix, anymore than God and Satan can, who are diametrically and completely opposed to one another as well. Godly good, and satanic evil, are as we know, exact opposites, and continually and completely contrary to one another, and therefore must stay as forever separate as absolutely possible according to the word of God as quoted above – again, at least as far as I can read, see, and study from the above.
And so, in “light” of all the aforementioned information, there were many questions and Scriptures which I had to very carefully, honestly, and objectively consider, regarding my family’s continued participation in the celebration of such darkness-and-Halloween-related events… some we have touched upon briefly, others of similar consideration follow.
- If the purpose of the Christian life is to honor and glorify God in everything I do – and it is – then how exactly am I doing that when imitating and mimicking the evil events that Satanists and occultists remember, appreciate and celebrate on their special day – even if innocently? And doesn’t Acts 17:30-31 come into the discussion here?
And moreover, how could I continue to even casually participate, especially now, where I am no longer ignorant of the truth anyway (2 Timothy 1:12-16; Hebrews 10:26-31)?
- How can my participation possibly bring glory and honor to the one and only Lord of the universe, if and when I join in celebrations originally designed to honor and pacify the false pagan god Samhain? (And furthermore, could I really, completely, and with a clean conscience as a Christian, just ignore the “no other gods before me” portions of the Scriptures, as well as God’s avowed hatred of idolatry, as found throughout both the Old and New Testaments and still truly think I was alright with God?)
- Could I completely ignore the crystal clear warning of I Corinthians 10:19-22 (which see), and continue to truly and in good conscience think that God would just overlook my determined sin of omission on judgment day?
- In light of everything we’ve explored and discussed from God’s Holy word, how exactly would the one and only almighty God of the universe and the One to whom I will give account on Judgment Day, really view my participation in such Halloween celebrations? If His Son Jesus were sitting in my living room as a teenager on October 31st, what would Jesus truly do? Would He participate in such a seemingly satanic and Sam-heinous celebration? In fact – some of said celebrations’ origins supposedly predating Christ – where in the Scriptures do I see His participation therein?
- We know from Romans 10:17 and 14:23, that “faith comes by hearing the word of God,” and that “whatever is not of faith is sin.” In other words, whatever we can find no authority for in the word of God (by either command, example, or necessary inference) to practice and participate in, cannot be done by faith, and therefore stands as an unauthorized and sinful practice which is punishable by fire (Leviticus 10:1-2). Where in the bible do we find anything but abhorrence by God for any of the evils and origins, associated with, representative of, and celebrated by, Halloween participation?
- What about 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22: Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil? How do we comply with that command, when we join in the revelries and festivities of the one night of the year that witches, atheists, and Satanists recognize and revere as their most dark and evil? Do my children really need to be out “rubbing shoulders with” and glorifying such? Doesn’t “bad company” still “corrupt good morals” (I Corinthians 15:33)?
- What about Romans 12:9: Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good; or Ephesians 5:11: Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them; or 3 John 11 wherein it unequivo-cally states, Beloved, do not imitate evil? That word “imitate” means to copy or act out. A.T. Robertson’s Word Pictures of the Greek New Testament points out that the Greek for “do not imitate” in that passage …is the present middle imperative in prohibition, i.e., do not have the habit of imitating.”
- And what about what God says in 1 John 2:15-17? Was I going to cave in to the world and love the things they loved, living and celebrating and reveling in the worldly and ungodly things the pagans did, or not? THAT was the question!
And these are just a few of the types of questions I believe we as Christians should consider regarding our continued participation in this pagan, worldly, “other-worldly” evil and unbiblical “holy-day” of the dead. At least, I had to.
And then, there are own little children… Innocent little children symbolize both the faith and purity it takes to enter heaven (Matthew 18:1-4). They are gifts from God (Psalm 127:3). What does it say to the great and mighty God who blessed us with these precious and priceless little soul-packages he gave us to teach His ways, when we dress them up as imitators, illustrations, and representatives of witchcraft, evil spirits, doomed departed souls, bone-baring monsters, bloodletting bullies, or any other manifestations of misery which He finds so abhorrent; or, even if we allow then to participate in festivities (no matter how they’re dressed) which were originally designed to celebrate false gods, goddesses, murder, mischief and mayhem? And even if they’re not dressed up as demons and etc, but “good guys” and “so-called “superheroes,” will they not inevitably be mixing and mingling with those who do and are creating mischief and following in those footsteps as they mimic and mingle with the “trick or treat” mania of the masses going door to door in their neighborhoods? (Is I Corinthians 15:33 still true?) And are we not, at the very least, also probably guilty therefore, of perhaps piquing their curiosity regarding the occult when they do (Read Matthew 18:6-10 lately)? I’m sure that Satanists and occultists probably hope so.
You may be thinking, “But people will think I’m weird if I don’t do Halloween!” Three things if I may:
1). Great! All the more reason NOT to participate! Study Matthew 5:10-16; 1 Peter 2:9-11, 4:1-5, 12-16!
2). The day we as Christians become more concerned about what others say about us than what God says to us, we can pretty much kiss eternity with God good-bye anyway, can’t we? Study John 12:42-50!
3). And talk about irony?!? How’s this for “irony?” Those who dress up their pure and precious little children as ghosts, ghouls, goblins, demons, witches, lost souls, and blood seeking and sucking zombies, to then go out and threaten mischief on their friends and neighbors if they don’t give them free candy… then calling US WEIRD for our lack of conformity to such depravity? Please!
I, personally, would have to agree with what Mr. Porter concluded in his afore-noted “Halloween” article, as he closed with the following comments and considerations:
The world scoffs at such warnings. Halloween, they say, is just a cute, innocent way to have a little fun. But there is nothing cute or innocent about Halloween. Even if most people no longer take them seriously, all the old symbols of evil remain. Taking innocent young children around to cry, “Trick or treat” in order to get good things to eat, is wrong for many reasons. The fact is, the very words “Trick or treat” are words of extortion, meaning, “Either you give me a treat, or I will bring evil upon you and your property.” It too can be traced back in history. It is a variation of the practice of leaving food outside for the ghosts and spirits that were let loose to wander on this “Night of the Dead.” Is this what Christians should be indulging with their young children? Whether or not most people consider it to be an innocent game, makes no difference. Should we bow down and worship an idol as part of a game, and then justify what we are doing by saying, “Oh, I know it is not really a god, but it’s so much fun, and the children love it?” Is there no other decent, wholesome way to share pleasant things to eat with our children without paying homage to crime, darkness, and death? It is not possible to put one foot on the side of the devil, and the other foot on the side of God…: “I do not want you to be partners with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons” (1 Corinthians 10:20-21)!
Why After We Became Christians, My Family Chose To Cease Participation In Further Halloween Festivities;
Part Three: Common Objection Number One:
But What About Christmas?!?!
When sinners, who have for many, many years followed in lemming-like lock-step, and without thought, hesitation, or question, giving their full-blown support and participation to these evil-mimicking Halloween festivities, all of the sudden come to Christ and begin to live for Him and as “strangers and aliens” here on earth – choosing to thereby at least honestly question if not outright cease their participation in such festivities – almost without exception most of their families and friends go into a frantic and frenzied, uninformed and all-out panic! Imagine that… friends and loved ones actually responding in fear that their beloved family member is sincerely trying to discover and live out the truth of God that will set them free (John 8:31-32), and enable them to live a better, more godly, more fulfilling and satisfying life, both here and hereafter! That’s just sad. And while it may be surprising, it is certainly neither unexpected nor unanticipated by the word of God, but is business as usual. Three sections of Scripture that summarily validate the immediately-preceding statements, for the sincere and faithful seeker to find, study, and consider when being faced with such familial and fear-driven opposition:
- Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 10:32-39).
- And two texts from the divinely-inspired apostle Peter (all emphasis mine – DED):
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation (1 Peter 2:8-12).
For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles–when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:3-5).
And of course their first line of defense in seeking to preserve their participation in these (what I would see as) pretty much indefensible-in-light-of-the-bible Halloween festivities, is usually therefore, “Well, what about Christmas? Are we going to have to cancel that too?!” Well, what about Christmas?
Now yes, there are several things about Christmas that neither most of the world, nor even the vast majority of the religious world at large has apparently ever stopped to consider. For example:
- Yes, “Christmas” (“Christ-Mass”) is of Catholic origin, coming into existence several centuries after the bible was completed (and is therefore never found named or referred to within the sacred text).
- We are never, ever, ever told in Scripture, the date of Jesus birth – ever.
- We are never, ever, ever told in Scripture either, to thus celebrate Jesus birth; but instead, we are unmis-takably commanded by Christ Himself to commemorate His death, to thus remember Him on the first day of each week – and how (Luke 22:14-20; Acts 20:7); a practice which faithful churches of Christ (Romans 16:16) have carried out on the first day of every week ever since, for the past 1980 or so years.
- And if you want to truly see how sad the lack of biblical knowledge (even by the vast majority of self-professed “Christians”) truly is concerning Jesus’ birth, just remember the next time you see a nativity scene, that the bible never specifies how many “wise men” came to see Jesus, and in addition, absolutely specifies that they didn’t come anywhere near the manger, but came to “the house” (Matthew 2:11).
With the above thoughts in mind, perhaps it easy to see why some today might want to compare Christmas to Halloween in defense of their continued participation in the latter. However, here is where most of the similarities come to an abrupt and screeching, holiday halt!
Now please let me say before I get into the further biblical discussion thereof, that most of the biblically-informed brethren I know (and my family as well) both understand and teach that their gift-giving and the love and warmth they share with family and friends during the late November through early January holiday season – and particularly on December 25th – is not for any religious observance whatsoever, nor to celebrate the birth of Jesus in any way, shape, or form.
The simple fact of the matter is that members of my own family have been known to purchase and give gifts of love to one another at various chosen times and even occasionally, simply impulsively throughout the entire year! December 25th is no different, just simply serving as a fitting and usually more convenient time (what with children and grandchildren out of school and most everyone home from work) to do so on a much larger and grander scale than usual. It’s just that instead of putting gifts on a living room table under a decorative lamp, setting them beside a dinner plate, coffee cup, or place setting, we place them under a tree – and that’s all the tree is – a pretty decoration no more meaningful than a fancy lamp or dinner plate setting to us.
Having established that indeed there are certain similarities (Catholic ties, etc), let us now consider where all such similarities between Halloween and Christmas stop… and although the following comparisons might seem to some to be almost too fundamental and common-sense to even mention, apparently, mention them we must, in order to help allay the fears of some of our more frenzied and fearful friends and relatives seeking to secure and keep safe, their “sacred” Christmas celebrations from the “Halloween-ceasers.”
Any legitimate and objective research you do will undoubtedly reveal the following facts regarding the Thanksgiving/Christmas gift-giving season:
- That more people’s thoughts and focus tend to turn more toward God, Jesus, and the “Christian experience” and it’s values during this time of year than at any other.
- More people attend “church” during the Christmas (and Easter) season than at any other.
- That the Christmas holiday season is the one time of year when more money is contributed to charity and to help the needy, than at any other time of the year.
- Family and friends get together to express and exercise their love (and even forgiveness of wrongs in many cases) more during this time of year than at any other.
- Some wars and bloodshed have been known to experience “cease-fires” during this particular time.
While I am sure that many other wonderful blessings both unique and unquestionably tied to the origins and celebrations of the Christmas season could be listed, these should suffice for the point. And the point is simply this:
- Can any honest person truly and legitimately argue that the immediately above elements are not all “good and wonderful things?” No. How can showing and showering those you love, and even those needy you don’t know, with gifts of love and charity ever be a bad thing? It can’t. And, how can being more mindful of, and deciding to put more effort into, seeking a better and closer relationship with God ever be a bad thing? It isn’t either. And doesn’t Philippians 4:8 clearly, unequivocally and unmistakably state: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things”? Indeed it does.
- Now, conversely, can any honest person truly, sincerely, objectively and legitimately argue that the origins, imitations, celebration of, and participation in Halloween festivities such as are explored at length in the preceding sections of this study, are anywhere near that same level of “good,” or, that they are in large part, anything other than “evil?” (And if you think they are, please go back and objectively re-read and re-study those origins and festivities in their specificity and entirety; items such as the false god Samhain, human sacrifice, soothsaying, witchcraft, the devil, demons, darkness, zombies, drinking parties, lewdness, bloodletting, the mischief and mayhem of that night, and all the like.)
Folks, the fact is that God gave us the ability to discern the difference between good and evil in the form of a brain. He gave us the standard of His word with all of it clearly and plainly spelled out. Adam and Eve as our first human ancestors additionally ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Hence, it is easily seen that the ability to discern the difference between good and evil is in both our physical as well as spiritual gene pools.
And so, if we as human beings are but willing to be honest with ourselves, we can certainly and easily figure out the category to which something belongs, when given only the two categories of “good,” and “evil.” In fact, God expects us to. Please note the following texts and what they tell us:
- In I Kings 3:9, Solomon begged God to give him “…an understanding heart to judge [God’s] people, that [he might] discern between good and evil.” Can we discern the difference between “good” and “evil” enough to know that giving gifts and time to those we love is “good,” while imitating practices designed to honor pagan gods is idolatrous, and therefore “evil?” We obviously possess that ability.
- 34:14 as well as 37:27, say: “Depart from evil and do good…” Ps. 36:4 says we are to “…abhor evil.” These passages illustrate at least to me, why we ought to depart, and cease and desist from Halloween celebrations which are steeped with and rooted in evil, but differentiate those from some of the good things we still should and do participate in during the Christmas holiday season. They are entirely different – for those who can (and will) discern good from evil.
It is ultimately for our own good that we must depart, cease, and desist from doing that which is evil in any of its aspects, while clinging to and continuing to participate in that which is good. And God certainly expects – yea, and even demands – that we discern and recognize the difference between the two and respond accordingly – He, even condemning those who don’t, or who continue to confuse the two (as seen below).
With the difference between the evil so prevalently done at Halloween, versus the good so prevalently done at Christmas very specifically and very much in mind, please study very carefully the following Scriptures. When you do, the difference as to why the two holidays cannot be summarily considered, celebrated, or dismissed as being one and the same – or even legitimately suggested as somehow fully falling into the same category – should become quite obvious if it hasn’t already (Emphasis mine – DED)!
- He who earnestly seeks good finds favor, but trouble will come to him who seeks evil (Pr. 11:27).
- The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good (Pr. 15:3).
- For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil (Eccl. 12:14).
- Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isa. 5:20)!
- Hate evil, love good… (Amos 5:15).
- You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you say, “In what way have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord… (Mal. 2:17).
- For the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:28-29)..
- Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good (Ro. 12:9).
- Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil (I Thess. 5:21-22).
- Let him turn away from evil and do good… (I Ptr. 3:11).
- Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God (III Jn. 11).
Actually, in its shortest and most simplistic of terms, the difference between why my family does not and cannot participate in Halloween, but most definitely does and can continue to share and celebrate gifts of love and kindness at Christmas, boils down simply, to the divinely inspired directive of 3rd John 11 as seen referenced immediately above.
Hence our summarization is exceedingly simple. God’s word divinely and distinctively differentiates between that which is good, and that which is evil. God’s word also validates that He expects us to do the same (Hebrews 5:14), and to avoid any and all participation in the evil deeds of darkness (Eph. 5:11), while continuing participation in those things which are and represent good (Gal. 5:22-25).
Therefore, as we have seen, we must reason, study, and differentiate between that which is good, and that which is evil, and act accordingly. As seen above, evil (specifically relative to Halloween and its festivities as earlier outlined) is never to be imitated or regarded as good, but is to be “hated,” “abhorred,” “abstained” and “turned away from.” Meanwhile, good (for the sake of this study, the “good” specifically relative to the Christmas holiday gift and love sharing season and some of its festivities as earlier outlined), is to be earnestly “sought after,” “loved,” “held fast” and “clung to,” and “practiced” and “imitated.”
And to either ignorantly or impulsively group all of the evil things representative and indicative of Halloween, in with some of the good things that occur as a result of the Christmas season and its celebration, and to suggest that they fall into the same exact category – especially when it comes to our dual participation in or dual avoidance thereof as one – would therefore cause the perpetrator thereof to fall under the auspices of Isaiah 5:20, Amos 5:15, Malachi 2:17, and I Thessalonians 5:21-22, wouldn’t it? I would think so.
And so please brethren; might I humbly beseech us all: Let us never seek to call and classify evil as good and good as evil just for the sake of a few sugary pieces of candy… after all, sacred birthrights have been sold for similar before and the momentary food reward was far, far from worth it (Gen. 25:29-34; Hebs. 12:14-16)!
In closing, please let us all honestly, prayerfully, seriously and scripturally consider the contents of the above study. Let us additionally reconsider and restudy Acts 26:18, Revelation 18:1-5, I Corinthians10:14-21, and 3 John 11 one more time. Let us remain determined to live lives of light that seek to honor, please, and praise the God of good we love. Let us remain determined to illuminate and imitate, and glorify and elevate, the Lord we love and no other, ever. And whatever we do in word or deed, let us do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the Father through Him, as commanded (Colossians 3:17). Let us test the spirits (I John 4:1-6), and faithfully carry out the commandments contained in Romans 13:11-14 (which please see).
I love all of my brethren. And whether they continue to participate in Halloween festivities or not, I will continue to sincerely and from the heart, love – and respect – them. But while “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, [and] is not provoked” (I Corinthians 13:4-5a); and while this godly love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, [and] endures all things” (vs. 7), never failing to be these things (Vs. 8a); it also, in addition, “thinks no evil” and “does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth” (vss. 5b–6). Therefore, I both had to – and will continue to – lovingly and patiently be willing to share and discuss the results of this biblical and historical research – along with my personal conclusions and convictions which are based thereupon – with any and all of my brethren who might be interested… God bless and good studying (I Peter 1:3-11)!