October 31st is upon us again and many Christians give pause at this time of the year to ask the dreaded question, “should I participate in Halloween?” It is not my intention to dictate to you the way you live your life nor do I pass judgment for you as to the right or wrong of this holiday. However, I do intend to arm you with enough information for you to make an honest appraisal of the celebration of Halloween.
It might interest you to know that Halloween is a pagan holiday (a pagan is one who follows “polytheistic” [many gods] religion. They are noted for their love of sensuality). Also, you might like to know that Christmas and Easter started out as pagan holidays. Let me explain with a brief history tour:
EASTER – The Pagans were originally behind what we now know as Easter. We as Christians celebrate Easter as Christ Resurrection. We didn’t do as the heathen did—–but we used that day as one to promote our Lord. We took a day that some evil people celebrated as having done bad things & done some good things with it.
CHRISTMAS – Christmas was instituted from The Pagans worship of their god “Samhain.” The Pagans considered Samhain one of their many god‘s and referred to him as “The Lord Of Death.” Today he is called the “Grim Reaper.” Druids (some who practice Pagan religion), were actually the source of the Christmas tree. They celebrated mother earth by worshiping the oak of the Holly. We as Christians celebrate Christ birth as Christmas.
We have “Christianized” these two holidays and to God’s people they now represent days that are holy and pure.
Now, let’s look back at “HALLOWEEN.” The Celts who practiced pagan religion actually originated Halloween. It was a time to pray for the dead. For them, the New Year began November 1st of each year. They believed that Samhain gathered all the souls of those who had died in the past year. These souls had been confined to the bodies of animals to atone for their sins. They were then sacrificed on October 31.
Today, just look around your neighborhood or take a visit to a large department store. You will find on display every type of tombstone, spider web, and plenty of grotesque Goblins, Ghouls and Witches. Along with all of these “Goblins” is a myriad of candy to help us celebrate. Is going around collecting candy as harmless as it appears on the surface? Collecting and eating candies was mere fun and enjoyment for me as a child. What is really behind this tradition of dressing in a costume and going from home to home shouting “Trick or Treat”?
Let’s first consider the costumes. The Druids believed that evil spirits roamed the earth during Samhain casting spells and tricks on people. They believed if you wore a mask or a costume you could trick the demons into thinking you were one of them and they would leave you alone. In other words, you could “mask” your true identity.
How about Trick or Treat? This came from the belief that if you set food or candy out on your door step for the night the spirits would pass you by, not cause your milk to spoil or your cattle to have birth defects, or damage your family. The Druids would then go around collect the food and burn it as a sacrifice to their gods.
The Jack-O-Lantern is an ancient symbol of condemned souls. The story originated from a fellow named Jack that supposedly tricked the devil into chasing him up a tree. Jack then jumped out and mounted his crucifix so the devil could not get to him. Jack then put an ember from Hell that the devil threw at him inside a pumpkin or gourd and used it as a lantern. It was also a symbol used by the Druids and pagans to determine who was in agreement with them and deserved mercy from the tricks. It became a symbol of unity. People lit a jack-o- lantern to show the Druids they we are one of them. Currently, witches use hollowed out gourds and skulls as a light during their rituals.
I believe that October 31st by itself, dressing up in costumes, eating candy is not evil in itself. However, what is important here is that we know what the devil, the church of Satan and witches think about the day and we must consider what part we will have with the devil.
In closing let me remind you, there are many things in life that “appear” harmless but have significant negative consequences. Just remember Adam and Eve thought partaking of the forbidden fruit was “harmless.” Lot’s wife thought looking back was “harmless.” The point is this, Halloween was, and still is, a holiday to celebrate evil. It is up to each Christian to determine if participation is something they really want to do. Perhaps one of my favorite verses from the Bible can help: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 (KJV)