“Ooh, should I be a witch or a princess this year?” “Look how cute they are, all dressed up!” “How adorable is that costume?” “Did you pick up candy for the trick-or-treaters?” All of this sounds like a quaint Halloween scene likely played out in millions of American homes each year. Seems innocent enough, doesn’t it?…
Halloween, or “All Hallows Eve,” is derived from the 2,000-year-old Celtic pagan festival called “Samhain.” During Samhain, the people would light bonfires and sacrifice crops and animals to the Celtic deities, wear costumes typically consisting of animal heads and skins to ward off ghosts, and would tell each other’s fortunes as they believed the presence of otherworldly spirits made it easier for Druids—or Celtic priests—to make predictions about the future. The festival marked the end of summer and harvest, and the beginning of the dark, cold winter—a time of year that they associated with human death. By 43 A.D., the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of Celtic territory and began blending local practices with Roman traditions. Over the course of 400 years, Samhain was merged with similar Roman festivals such as Feralia, a day in late October to commemorate the dead. (**all facts courtesy of History.com**)
Today, Halloween is the fourth-largest holiday celebrated in the United States, with Americans spending around 9 billion dollars annually on candy, treats, costumes for adults, children, and pets, party favors, and ghoulish decorations. Many churches also often participate by offering children the opportunity to dress up and collect candy on-site instead of the traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating – usually on or around Halloween.
I’d like to share with you some Scripture to address this holiday which celebrates the dead, spirits, and other evil things. Let’s start with Deuteronomy 18:9-14 (NKJV), “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.” Here the Word of God directly commands us to stay away from mediums, sorcery, pagan practices, and everything relating to the occult.
Or how about Ephesians 6:12-13 (NKJV), “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 places. 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.” The Word instructs us to put on God’s full armor so that we can withstand all of the darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness constantly swirling around us even though we can’t always see them with our naked eye… so then how can we (Christians) justify participating in a pagan holiday which celebrates and elevates them? This is both counter-biblical and counter-productive to the Christian walk. Not to mention, the many spiritual doors that dabbling in the occult can open – don’t get me started on Ouija boards and fortune telling.
As Christians we are called to be light and salt. In Matthew 5:13 Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” We are called to look DIFFERENT from the world. When we come into relationship with Christ, we become His disciples – a new creation – a royal priesthood – a holy nation – a chosen people for God’s own possession (see 1 Peter 2:9).
It’s time for us to start behaving in accordance with God’s Word in this area. As Christians we all have a duty to reject Halloween and the worldly pagan practices it embodies. It’s much deeper and darker than the innocent commercialized image that the world projects (see 2 Corinthians 11). Let’s call a spade a spade here – this holiday celebrates the very pit of hell itself. Don’t believe me? Look at the ghosts, goblins, and jack-o-lanterns adorning your neighbor’s lawn.
If all this isn’t enough, it directly targets our children! Admittedly, no parent wants their child to be the odd man out, the strange kid that everyone makes fun of for not participating in the group activity. However, the potential for this scenario is a small price to pay compared to giving the enemy leeway by making our children vulnerable to dark influences over their lives. Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV) makes it clear that when we train up our children in the way they should go, they will not depart from it later in life. We owe it to them to set the right standard for Christian living. The things of the occult have no part in this.
In closing, I pray that Christians who think Halloween is just a cute holiday for them and their children or friends to have some fun with will take a hard look in the mirror – and in their bibles – to see the Truth. Enough said.