Summary: So many believers allow themselves to be deceived into thinking that Halloween is harmless fun, when it honors death, sin and Satan!
Date Written: October 16, 2008
Date Preached: October 16, 2008
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Sermon Series: Seasonal Sermon
Sermon Title: Should the Believer celebrate Halloween?
Sermon Text: Ephesians 6:12
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
In 12 days, we will all be subjected to an annual ritual that personally, I find offensive and disturbing, but many of you sitting here may find it to be a harmless and fun part of life. I am speaking about Halloween.
What is Halloween? Most of us know it as a night where we all go and get candy OR we dress up in costumes and go to parties. In America it is known as an annual holiday and celebration.
But you have to ask yourself, what are we actually celebrating on this holiday? How did this holiday come to be? Is this holiday we celebrate a form of demon worship, or is Halloween just some harmless fun and games that people play every year?
Let’s think about it for a moment. Halloween is BIG business! The selling of candy, costumes and other related items makes this holiday 2nd only to Christmas in the amount of money spent by Americans! WOW! But, again what are we celebrating, what is the history of Halloween?
Well what we know as Halloween is really a mixing of several traditions. First of all, some 2000 yrs ago, a people called the Celts (Kelts) lived in Great Britain. They had an intellectual class known as the Druids, who served as priests, judges, lawmakers, and scientists.
These Druids had an elaborate pagan religious festival called the Fire Festival or Samhain (pronounced sow-en) that marked the Celtic New Year.
The Druids believed that during ‘sow-en’ the barrier between the natural and supernatural world was removed, and dead were able to move freely among the living. The Druids held this celebration as the most solemn and important night in the Celtic year.
When Christianity reached Great Britain, Pope Gregory 4th in 835AD attempted to “Christianize” this festival. He moved the "Feast of All Saints" from the spring to November 1st to replace the pagan festival.
The night before, which was supposed to feature a sacred vigil in church, became known as "All Hallow’s Eve," or Halloween because the old customs of the Celts and Druids were hard to get rid of. The church denounced them as pagan and ungodly and this is how “All Hallow’s Eve” or Halloween became known as a pagan holiday.
Now the costumes and going door-to-door comes from another tradition that came later in Europe! On “All Hallow’s Eve” masked players/actors would go from house-to-house, putting on a simple drama or musical performance in return for food and drink. This began with a Christian theme.
But, the "trick-or-treat" custom we know today is totally American! Back in the 1800’s, when immigrants brought their Halloween traditions to America, the night became an occasion for pranks and mischief.
People would go out at night, soaping windows, overturning outhouses, and pulling gates from their hinges. People jokingly attributed these acts of mischief to the supernatural, however by 1920 the joke wasn’t funny anymore. The damage being done to the neighborhoods was no longer a joke and it was on the rise.
In an attempt to counteract this Halloween night vandalism, community clubs like the Boy Scouts began to organize alternatives for the mischief makers, alternatives that were supposed to be safe and fun.
Children were encouraged to go door-to-door in their neighborhood and receive treats from homeowners and merchants. They believed this family atmosphere would keep the troublemakers away. By the 1930’s this custom had spread nationwide, and you would hear, "Trick or treat!" echoing thru neighborhood streets on Halloween night.
So when we look at what we have as Halloween today, it came about as a combination of:
The pagan rituals of the Druids of ancient Ireland…
The Christianization of pagan events by the Pope…
And finally by the civic elements of urban America, clubs like the Boy Scouts wanting to stop vandalism!
These elements came together to form what we now know as Halloween. Now I will admit that in my youth I thought of Halloween as fun and getting candy.
But, in recent years during the Halloween holiday there has been a renewed interest and sharp rise in pagan rituals and celebrations! Why? Well, it is our culture!
Popular TV shows such as "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" make witchcraft seem fun and acceptable. We find shows on TV now that try to normalize pagan and evil themes that we KNOW are wrong!
Shows where vampires have day jobs as detectives, store clerks reap souls for the Devil, reporters time-travel to get their stories straight, cheerleaders walk through fire and people of all kinds talk to dead people.