Summary: Is Halloween Christian?
A Christian Halloween?”
10/18/2007 - Marsing, ID
“19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
“19Y manifiestas son las obras de la carne, que son: adulterio, fornicación, inmundicia, disolución, 20Idolatría, hechicerías, enemistades, pleitos, celos, iras, contiendas, disensiones, herejías, 21Envidias, homicidios, borracheras, banqueteos, y cosas semejantes á éstas: de las cuales os denuncio, como ya os he anunciado, que los que hacen tales cosas no heredarán el reino de Dios.”
The Holy Scriptures show us the way to heaven and show us the way to God. Scripture clearly tells us that those who practice “witchcraft” will not inherit the kingdom of God.
BLENDING OF PAGANISM WITH CHRISTIANITY
When Christianity spread to parts of Europe, instead of trying to abolish these pagan customs, people tried to introduce ideas which reflected a more Christian world-view. Halloween has since become a confusing mixture of traditions and practices from pagan cultures and Christian tradition.
By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. During their rule of the Celtic lands, Roman festivals were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The Romans observed the holiday of Feralia, intended to give rest and peace to the departed. Participants made sacrifices in honor of the dead, offered up prayers for them, and made oblations to them. Another festival was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.
As the influence of Christianity spread into Celtic lands, in the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV introduced All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs, to replace the pagan festival of the dead. It was observed on May 13. In 834, Gregory III moved All Saint’s Day from May 13 to Nov. 1 and for Christians, this became an opportunity for remembering before God all the saints who had died and all the dead in the Christian community. Oct. 31 thus became All Hallows’ Eve (’hallow’ means ’saint’).
Sadly, though, many of the customs survived and were blended in with Christianity. Numerous folk customs connected with the pagan observances for the dead have survived to the present.
In 1517, a monk named Martin Luther honored the faithful saints of the past by choosing All Saints Day (November 1) as the day to publicly charge the Church heirarchy with abandoning biblical faith. This became known as "Reformation Day," a fitting celebration of the restoration the same biblical faith held by the saints throughout church history. (http://www.jeremiahproject.com/culture/halloween.html)
HALLOWEEN COMES TO AMERICA
Traditional Halloween symbols (witches, black cats, pumpkins, candles, masks, parties and pranks) appeared in the U.S. during the late 1800’s. In 1848, millions of Irish emigrants poured into America as a result of the potato famine. With this sudden influx of people, the holiday of Druidism found its new home on alien shores. "Proudly Celtic, they called Halloween Oidche Shamhna (`Night of Samhain’), as their ancestors had, and kept the traditional observances" [Common Boundary, Sep./Oct. 1993, p. 31].
The JACK-O-LANTERN is the festival light for Halloween and is the ancient symbol of a damned soul. Originally the Irish would carve out turnips or beets as lanterns as representations of the souls of the dead or goblins freed from the dead.
When the Irish emigrated to America they could not find many turnips to carve into Jack O’Lanterns but they did find an abundance of pumpkins. Pumpkins seemed to be a suitable substitute for the turnips and pumpkins have been an essential part of Halloween celebrations ever since.
Pumpkins were cut with faces representing demons and was originally intended to frighten away evil spirits. It was said that if a demon or such were to encounter something as fiendish looking as themselves that they’d run away in terror, thus sparing the houses dwellers from the ravages of dark entities. They would have been carried around the village boundaries or left outside the home to burn through the night.
Bats, owls and other nocturanal animals, also popular symbols of Halloween, were originally feared because people believed that these creatures could communicate with the spirits of the dead.
This pythoness united to the arts of divination a claim to be a necromancer.
“10There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.”