Today the world is celebrating. Christians are involved in “Trunk or Treat” or “Harvest Festivals” on Church campuses. The rest of the world, at least here in the U.S., are throwing “Halloween” parties, brawls and bashes. Google says, “Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second-largest commercial holiday after Christmas.”
My response? NO thank you! Let me briefly clarify my reasons for refusing to entertain Halloween as a “holy day.”
Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on the first of November. It was believed that on that day, the souls of the dead returned to their homes, so people dressed in costumes and lit bonfires on the night before, commonly known as Allhalloween, or All Hallows’ Eve, to ward off evil spirits. It is considered a powerful turning point in the wheel of the year, signifying the cycle of life, death and rebirth.
Halloween is the time when people who follow ‘new-age’ teaching release and let go of negative and lower energies that hold them back and celebrate the new energy that will eventually take its place. New Age is a range of spiritual or religious practices and beliefs which rapidly grew in the Western world during the 1970s. Although analytically considered to be religious, those involved in it typically prefer the designation of spiritual or Mind, Body, Spirit and rarely use the term New Age themselves. It has been described as a buffet style religion where one can pick and choose the tenants preferred from any religion, including an eclectic range of beliefs and practices based on Buddhism and Taoism, psychology, and psycho-therapy; paganism, clairvoyance, tarot and magic. Essentially, one can create a custom-made belief system. Part of that system encourages the use of Psychotropic drugs, which New Age recommends taking in order to help practitioners interact with the spirit world. New Agers call it channeling, but it’s actually demon possession. Other practices encouraged include belief in reincarnation, astrology, psychics and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects like mountains or trees.
For many Wiccans, Samhain marks the New Year and is the most important Sabbat. It’s the time to remember the ancestors, and the time to celebrate the harvest and all that has been accomplished over the year. The word “wicca” means “witch” in Old English. People who follow Wicca are called “Wiccans“. Before the name “Wicca” was adopted, the religion was sometimes called simply “the craft”. Wicca is now used as an umbrella term for many different paths that have branched off from original practices.
Scripture does not speak at all about Halloween, but it does give us some principles on which we can make a decision. In Old Testament Israel, witchcraft was a crime punishable by death (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, 27). The New Testament teaching about the occult is clear. Acts 8:9-24, the story of Simon, shows that occultism and Christianity don’t mix. The account of Elymas the sorcerer in Acts 13:6-11 reveals that sorcery is violently opposed to Christianity. Paul called Elymas a child of the devil, an enemy of righteousness and a perverter of the ways of God. In Acts 16, at Philippi, a fortune-telling girl lost her demon powers when the evil spirit was cast out by Paul. The interesting matter here is that Paul refused to allow even good statements to come from a demon-influenced person. Acts 19 shows new converts who have abruptly broken with their former occultism by confessing, showing their evil deeds, bringing their magic paraphernalia, and burning it before everyone (Acts 19:19).
All of this is, of course, contributes to my personal choice, but as a mature believer and a ‘literalist’ when dealing with God’s Word, I have made what I consider to be an informed decision when it comes to any celebration of what the world has come to consider a “holiday.”
The will of God is not something you add to your life. It’s a course you choose. You either line yourself up with the Son of God…or you capitulate to the principle which governs the rest of the world.”Elisabeth Elliot
Christ follower 💜
Artist & Author