For most little kids, some teenagers, and let’s be honest, adults too, October is often characterized by anticipation for Halloween.
Everyone loves candy and pulling together a creative costume, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with those things. Halloween is the only day of the year where it’s completely acceptable to walk up to any neighbor’s door step. What a great way to begin friendships!
While all this is swell, I have a problem with Halloween.
Candy and costumes are fine and dandy, but the reason we have this “holiday” is not.
Some don’t like Halloween because its origins are “pagan,” while this doesn’t thrill me either, this isn’t what bothers me.
There are other holidays that supposedly have pagan roots as well, like Christmas and Easter, but these holidays have taken on completely different reasons for celebration. Most would never associate Christmas with a pagan celebration, when one hears Christmas one thinks of the birth of Jesus. After all, that’s the whole reason for Christmas. Christmas, Christmas, is a all about Jesus coming into the world.
Halloween is differs from these because it’s retained what originally made it so dark.
The Celts, over a thousand years ago, had a festival called Samhain. Essentially they believed that the night before the harvest brought in the new year, the dead were able to come back to earth. On this night they also practiced fortune telling, made sacrifices to their gods, and wore costumes.
Over the years Halloween evolved becoming a Roman celebration honoring both the dead and their goddess of the harvest. When the Catholic Church’s spread reached the Celts, Samhain became All Soul’s Day, which involved many of the same Celtic traditions.
Immigration and other factors brought Halloween to America, making it a part of American tradition.
Like I said earlier, there’s nothing wrong with dressing up, spending time with friends, and eating candy.
But what I have a problem with is this: Halloween also celebrates evil.
Now some might say that ghosts, zombies, haunted houses, skeletons, etc. etc. aren’t real, and so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have a little fun and scare each other. However, even if these things aren’t real, they represent what is of the Devil.
As a Christian, I don’t feel like I can completely condone this tradition in good conscience. Some may disagree with me, but why should we celebrate that which represents what we want no part in? Despite what some people, even Christians, may say these things aren’t silly, and they’re not to be taken lightly.
In fact, the Bible has very strong words against sorcery (as was practiced during Samhain, and is celebrated during Halloween), witchcraft, and that of the Devil. Most of these practices were punishable by death. (Exodus 20:18)
Do not turn to mediums of necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.
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!
(There are also some stories in Acts involving the Apostles and encounters with sorcery and the like. Never is it condoned but fought against. Paul also lists such things in Galatians with that which is of the flesh – not of the Spirit. He concludes his list with “those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5)
Simply what is not of the Light, of Jesus, is of the dark, of Satan. In the end, we want to stand for what is good and true.
So am I going to hide away in my room tonight, close all the curtains, and turn out the lights? Absolutely not. That would be stupid and a missed opportunity to share the Lord.
Halloween, while I don’t agree with it’s origins or reasons for celebration, is not a reason to hide. If you look at the Gospels, Jesus spent time with sinners and tax collectors, people the “righteous” hated.
Something else to keep in mind is that today is also Reformation Day, the day when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Gate, ushering in an explosion of light. This actions put the Reformation into full throttle, restoring truth over lies.
So today, go out and be the Light for those dwelling in darkness. Nail your joy in the salvation of Jesus upon you so that you might encourage the desire of the Truth over lies in others.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.