Summary: Have you ever wondered, "What's wrong with Halloween?" This message takes a Biblical examination of this holiday's origins and provides guidance on how Christians should view this "holiday".
What’s wrong with Halloween?
Small detour from the current series in Acts for this week only
Right up front - this message comes from a friend of mine, Pastor Jimmy Dillon, and is used with his permission. I first heard this message about 13 years ago and really felt that it is important enough to share it today.
Over time I have found that many Christians ask of October 31st is, "What’s wrong with Halloween?" This morning I hope that we can examine this question and if anything – give you something additional to think about as you seek to strengthen your relationship with the Lord.
It is not my hope to encourage or discourage anything or to press my personal beliefs on any family -- but merely to provide some facts for you to consider and ponder and research on your own.
I encourage you VERY strongly to seek out the Spirit of the Lord on this, and do as He leads.
Go with me to Ephesians 5:11-17 - Read
In order to examine Halloween fully, we must understand the origins of this holiday. The practices and rituals that surround Halloween are traced back to the “Druid Festival of the Dead” originating sometime around 100 A.D.
It was commonly referred to as the “Samhain Festival” which was a Celtic celebration that focused on death.
-- The Celts in Western Europe believed that ghosts and other spirit-beings visited on Samhain Eve – aka October 31st.
The also believed that the barrier between the physical world and spirit world was at its weakest on this date and so the ancient Druids, who were a priestly class of Celts, believed that Samhain "the Lord of Death" gathered souls of the evil dead who had been condemned to enter the bodies of animals and good people’s souls were reincarnated as humans.
The Druids would then offer sacrifices, prayers, and gifts to Samhain
-- Attempting to lighten the punishment of the evil dead.
-- The Druids would even pray for and to the dead in Roman temples trying to contact them through the spirit world.
-- This is where we get religious organizations such as the Catholic church teaching about a place called Purgatory (where souls are said to go and wait for something …) which is not found anywhere in the Bible. God’s Word says “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” ~ 2 Cor 5:8
-- The thought process that people can be talked to or communicated with after death is complete nonsense.
Remember the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:22 …
-- Verse 26 talks about a great chasm that souls cannot pass, this is the separation for the coming Day of Judgment in Rev 20, at the Great White Throne.
-- There is no holding place that people can be prayed too or for (Purgatory is a lie)
-- Even the book of Hebrews emphasizes this in Ch 9 v 27 which says, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment”
Halloween came to America in the 1800’s and I assure you that the pilgrims did not go around and say “trick or treat”.
-- A group of immigrants brought the celebration and practice of Halloween to America in the 1800s, and it was not until the 1950s that American’s began dressing up in costumes and giving candy to one another.
-- This act was based on the Celtic offering of gifts to evil spirits (discussed earlier), and when an offering was not made (treat) there would be an undesirable outcome (trick).
TRANS: So, I think the next logical step would be to look at the symbols of Halloween and what they mean to the celebration in this nation.
II. THE SYMBOLS OF HALLOWEEN
Many take great pride in dressing up as scary creatures on Halloween and this originated from this same Celtic celebration where they hid themselves in ghoulish costumes or disguises so that wandering spirits would mistake them for one of their own and not harm them. So, let’s look at some of the most obvious symbols:
These are but a few of the symbols associated with this holiday – and there are many more but for time sake I will keep it brief.
-- Black cats were considered reincarnated evil souls that had the ability to divine or "see into" the future.
-- Jack-O-Lanterns (or pumpkins) were carved out and a candle put in them to try and frighten away evil spirits from the home or they were showing sympathy and submission to the evil spirits.
-- Bonfires came from the practice of "bone fires" which was a large fire containing bones of those that were being sacrificed to the God of Death - Samhain