BY DR. RUSSELL K. TARDO
Halloween has become an issue among Christians. Long considered harmless fun, many are now questioning its history, nature, influence and fruit. The revitalization of Satanism and Witchcraft and their obvious association with Halloween has caused Christians to wonder whether they should participate in it at all. There is no denying the bizarre and occultic nature of Halloween decorum (certainly witches, devils, ghouls, monsters, vampires and ghosts are not Christian in character!). But in spite of that, some Christians defend their participation in the holiday asserting their “liberty” in Christ from the bondages of “legalism”, or shrugging it off as innocent fun. Many churches see the whole thing as evil and will have nothing to do with the celebration whatsoever. Others see no harm in it and participate fully, with costume parties, Halloween decorations and trick-or-treat. Still others try to find a “middle-of-the-road” approach, allowing trick-or-treat and masquerades, but as “Bible characters” instead of demonic and occult figures.
What’s wrong with Halloween? And, what should be the attitude of the conscientious Christian towards it? Is it harmless, or is it sinister? The facts we present below should help you to answer that question once for all.
1. The Halloween celebration is thoroughly rooted in Paganism and the Occult.
History traces it back to the ancient religion of the Druids, a religion so evil that Rome forbad its practice. The AMERICAN PEOPLES ENCYCLOPEDIA explains: “The origin of Halloween customs antedate Christianity. The Druids, members of pagan orders in Britain, Ireland and Gaul, held a celebration on October 31st, the eve of the Festival of Samhain. It was a night of ghosts and fairies, in which bonfires were built and futures were foretold and witches rode through the sky.”
Superstitions linking cats with reincarnation made them special objects of notice on Halloween. Unquestionably, the holiday had its origin with the pagan Druids, only they called it the “Festival of Samhain – the lord of the dead”. Samhain was nothing more or less than a demon (a demon spirit of death at that, or perhaps he may have been Satan himself!) who was given special homage on Halloween. This is where the emphasis on death comes from on that night. Death symbols such as coffins, tombstones, skeletons, skulls and crossbones, ghosts, mummies and graveyards are common Halloween decorations.
Numerous legends surrounded the holiday, but two significant things supposedly occurred on that night.
First, It was believed that the dead would rise out of their graves and wander the countryside, trying to return to the homes where they formerly lived. Frightened villagers tried to appease these wandering spirits by offering them gifts of fruits and nuts. If not placated, villagers feared that the spirits would kill their flocks or destroy their property. This is the origin of our present day “trick-or-treat”! It’s a custom born out of superstition, and pagan superstition at that!