Summary: Halloween is a major-moneymaking holiday that captures our lives this time of the year. Every store is filled with Halloween candy, costumes, and decorations. Halloween is rooted deep into our culture. What should we do?
Please e-mail me with any comments or if you use any part of this at your church at Mail4ChrisR@aol.com. I would love to hear about it. God Bless! - Chris
Halloween: Problem or Potential?
The culture in which we live challenges a Christian lifestyle daily. As Christians, we often face tough choices of how we engage the culture with the Truth of Jesus Christ. October 31 will be no exception.
Halloween is a major-moneymaking holiday that captures our lives this time of the year. Every store is filled with Halloween candy, costumes, and decorations. TV, radio, schools, and more give attention to October 31. Halloween is rooted deep into our culture. We have to ask, “Is this a problem or does it bring potential?”
Before we can form any opinions about this question there is much we need to examine. In this column I hope to present you with some facts that you can consider. This column is longer than usual, as I am very passionate about this issue, but I plead with you to read to the end. The history of Halloween is where we will begin.
The Celts lived more than 2,000 years ago in the area from Great Britain to Germany. The Celtic Vigil of Samhain, named after their God Samhain, the lord of the dead, is the source of the present day Halloween celebration. Their new year began on November 1. 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, Wicca is one of the fastest growing cults in America. Wicca is a Neopagan religion. It can be traced back to Gardnerian Witchcraft which was founded in the UK during the late 1940’s. Wicca is based on the symbols, seasonal days of celebration, beliefs and deities of ancient Celtic society. Added to this material were Masonic and ceremonial magical components from recent centuries. In this respect, it is a religion whose roots go back almost three millennia to the formation of Celtic society circa 800 BCE.
Modern witches (wiccans) celebrate eight main holidays, the most important of these is Samhain (Halloween). Samhain is considered the most important because the veil between the world’s of the living and the dead is at its thinnest point in the year, making communication easier. The souls of the dead are reported to come to the land of the living. The Internal Revenue Service has given tax-exempt status to the church of Wicca (the official church of Witchcraft). Their financial gifts are tax deductible just as your tithes would be to this church. And state governments license Wiccan “clerics” to marry couples.
Put Ephesians 5:11 into practice, "... Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Halloween does not have a tradition and history that is in any way, shape or form, in line with Scripture or the Christian faith. The history of Halloween and current cult represent evil. Satan is real and wants us to believe Halloween is simply childish fun and games. But the acceptance of Halloween’s devilish schemes is troubling for many reasons. Children and adults are conditioned to be receptive to occult doctrines and practices. and are desensitized by the violence and death associated with it’s celebration.
Halloween does desensitize our children by exposing them to violence, death, mutilation and gore. Not only do they expose them to it, they glorify it! Adults and children line up to buy tickets for Haunted Houses. Inside there are sadistic, demonic, bloody, violent themes with ghosts, goblins and other vile images. Are these appropriate themes and images in which Christians should embrace? Exposure to these types of things can have long-lasting negative effects on children. All parents ought to be concerned.
Exposing a vulnerable child to these themes and images can have harmful consequences that run the spectrum from nightmares to emotional damage. In fact, Dr. Grace Ketterman, M.D. says in her book, You and Your Child’s Problems: “A tragic by-product of fear in the lives of children as early as preadolescence is the interest and involvement in supernatural occult phenomena.”
I remember, as a youth, being with friends who wanted to play “games” to “summon the spirits.” Just as many of you, I dressed up in scary costumes to “trick-or-treat” and went to haunted houses as a child, and I am not a Wiccan. But despite my memorable past, I have to admit that I was very scared at times. Fear is the emotion still invoked at Halloween. Fear is NOT a Christian value: “There is no fear in love” (1 John 4:18). And children face more fear today than when we were children.