Celebrating Halloween is a Christian Thing?
Traditionally, it was known as All Hallow's Eve, when the dead were remembered. Over time, it became cultural. For Americans, it became commercialized. Unfortunately, the emphasis on this commercialized holiday has shifted from the little cowboys and Indians to a much more evil and pointed attraction to all things hideous and pagan. Satan has undoubtedly made this commercialized holiday into something that has subtly focused on dressing kids up as ugly demonic creatures.
Samhain. Many believe the festival of Samhain to have been the beginning of the Celtic year. At Samhain, farmers brought livestock in from summer pastures and people gathered to build shelter for winter. The festival also had religious significance and people burned fruits, vegetables, grain, and possibly animals as offerings to the gods. In ancient Celtic stories, Samhain was a magical time of transition when important battles were fought and fairies cast spells. It was a time when the barriers between the natural world and the supernatural were broken. The Celts believed that the dead could walk among the living at this time. During Samhain, the living could visit with the dead, who they believed held secrets of the future. Scholars believe that Halloween's association with ghosts, food, and fortunetelling began with these pagan customs more than 2,000 years ago.
All Saints' and All Souls' Day. Many of the customs of the pagan Celts survived even after the people became "Christianized." In the 800's A.D., the church established All Saints' Day on November 1. About two hundred years later, it added All Souls' Day on November 2. This day was set aside for people to pray for friends and family who had died. People made many of the old pagan customs part of this Christian holy day. Some people put out food for their ancestors or they left a lantern burning in the window so that ghosts could find their way home for the night. Through the years, various regions of Europe developed their own Halloween customs. In Wales, for example, each person put a white stone near the Halloween fire at night and then checked in the morning to see whether the stone was still there. If it was, the person would live another year.
Halloween in the United States. Many early American settlers came from England and they brought various beliefs about ghosts and witches with them. In the 1800's, many immigrants from Ireland and Scotland arrived in the United States and introduced their Halloween traditions. Other groups added their own cultural influences to Halloween customs. German immigrants brought a vivid witchcraft lore, and Haitian and African peoples brought their native voodoo beliefs about black cats, fire, and witchcraft.
We recognize that this can be a very controversial topic. Some Christians view Halloween simply as a day to dress up in a costume and have fun. Other Christians regard Halloween as a satanic holiday designed to worship evil spirits and promote darkness and wickedness. So, who is right? Is it possible for Christians to participate in Halloween without compromising their faith?
Halloween, no matter how commercialized, has almost completely pagan origins. As innocent as it may seem to some, it is not something to be taken lightly. Christians tend to have various ways to celebrate or not to celebrate Halloween. For some, it means having an "alternative" Harvest Party. For others, it is staying away from the ghosts, witches, goblins, etc., and wearing less evil or pagan costumes, e.g., little princesses, clowns, cowboys, super-heroes, etc. Some choose not to do anything, electing to lock themselves in the house with the lights off. With your freedom as a Christian, you are at liberty to decide how you react.
Scripture does not directly 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 him a child of the devil, an enemy of righteousness and 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).
So, should a Christian celebrate Halloween? Is there anything evil about a Christian dressing up as a princess or cowboy and going around the block asking for candy? No, there is not. Are there things about Halloween that are anti-Christian and should be avoided? Absolutely! Parents, if you are going to allow your children to participate in Halloween, make sure you keep them from getting involved in the darker aspects of the day. If Christians are going to take part in Halloween, their attitude, dress, and most importantly, their behavior, should still reflect a redeemed life (Philippians 1:27). There are many churches who hold "harvest festivals" and incorporate costumes, but in a godly environment. There are many Christians who hand out tracts that share the Gospel along with the Halloween candy. The decision is ultimately yours to make. God's view on the subject is clear: "Be Holy, as I am Holy" (1 Peter 1:16). "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5b).
God commands us to have nothing to do with anything that smacks of the occult, devil worship, or involvement with the spirit world through the use of mediums, séances, Ouija boards, horoscopes, tarot cards, channeling, etc. He considers all of these an abomination (Deuteronomy 18:9-12; Isaiah 8:19-20; Galatians 5:20; Revelation 21:8), and those who involve themselves in such things invite disaster (Acts 19:13-16).
From the source.. http://www.gotquestions.org/
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