The Bitter Taste of Halloween

It is that time of year again, when the eerie webs and spiders come out, an unusual abundance of pumpkins in supermarkets along with spooky costumes and grotesque, bloody and devilish masks, an abundance of candy, decorated homes and even a lot of stores promoting the same things. Although this can all seem really exciting and fun, it’s time to unmask the truth and address the bitter taste of Halloween. 

This evil day has been normalised and glorified. Many people put on costumes and some encourage their children to do the same and “trick or treat” without a second thought. But how could this be so evil you may ask? Well, let’s first look at the history of this pagan holiday.

The origins of Halloween dates back to over 2,000 years to the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. This day was traditionally celebrated on the 1st of November and marked the end of summer and changing of seasons. The word samhain directly translates to ‘summer’s end’. This was an autumnal festival of the dead; as nature began to die and brown, the celts believed the boundary between our world and the other world-demonic realm, was at its thinnest. It was thought that the souls of the dead were freed the night before samhain (October 31st) and crossed into our world to roam the earth again. These ‘undead’ souls were revered. People believed that they needed to be reconciled in order to survive the coming winter. This ‘reconciliation’ with the spirits took the form of lighting massive bonfires and sacrificing animals and plants to them, leaving food and drink outside homes for them to eat and surprisingly saved places at dinner tables for lost family members to dine. Along with ghosts and demons, it was thought that other ungodly creatures and monsters roamed the earth also; a particular shape shifting spirit was said to kidnap children. Sacrifices were put far out from the village to appease the demon and prevent it from coming any closer to the village. After the festival was over, leftovers would be given to the less fortunate in the village. It was said that people went door to door to ask for leftovers, which is often considered the source of the trick or treat tradition. Dressing  up was also a custom during this festival, it was a way of honouring the ‘good spirits’ and hiding from the ‘bad ones’, wearing masks was a way to hide from vengeful spirits, possibly of a past nemesis. The practice of dressing up as monsters, demons and devilish creatures was all to blend in, by wearing a costume people believed the spirits would think they were one of them and not humans, keeping them safe from harm. During this time Druid priests communicated with the dead in hopes of finding prophecies, if they were good it provided the people with comfort through the long, gloomy winter. As christianity spread, the early Church of England began to Christianise old celtic festivals and Samhain was one of them. All saints day was a day to dress up as the saints and honour them, although this didn’t erase the pagan origins at all.

Not only is this wicked  holiday not mentioned in the entire Holy Bible, it is a celebration dedicated to the dead and our God is not a God of the dead, but of the living.

Mark 12: 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly errThe dead know nothing.

Our God is not a God of death and demonic spirits, he is not the father of the dead but the God of Israel, God of our forefathers. If the Most High is not God of the dead we should have no reverence, affiliation and fear for things of that nature. In seeking our God we seek the life he wants to give to us, that we can only receive through putting away our old deeds and cleansing our garments of every blemish. We should have the utmost regard and respect for the blessed feast days God commanded us to keep. The book of Leviticus, in chapter 23, tells God people all the feast days that God wants them to celebrate. 

If it is not a Holy day that God has ordained, we should not keep it. Additionally, primarily focusing on keeping our feast days in purity, is really important, with fruits of repentance and working towards a life void of fleshly works like; envying, strife, wrath, enmity, divisions and drunkenness, and so on. It’s a beautiful thing to come together in the spirit of Christ on feast days to praise, pray and glorify our God.

Furthermore, we should not reconcile with spirits out of fear. This battle we fight is a spiritual one and our adversary, the devil seeks to destroy our souls. We must not be oblivious to the tools and weapons he uses to fight and destroy us.  We must know them well and arm ourselves with the “mighty weapons” God has equipped us with, and Halloween is definitely a tool he has used to turn our people away from our God.

2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;

The warfare is spiritual. In no case did Jesus surrender to the forces of darkness, neither should we. Some of us can relate to the pressures we feel at this time, as people wonder why you won’t be coming to Halloween parties or going trick or treating, or even the disappointment and confusion of people who may come to your doors, in hopes to collect more candy. Even this can be a spiritual fight. Stand strong and don’t succumb to the pressure and shame others may put you under.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Halloween is an evil design and tool of the devil. How can we glorify the same evil we proclaim to fight? It’s nothing but hypocrisy and a bad example!

Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

As followers of Jesus, we should surely not be affiliated with darkness. In demonstrating to others that being a servant of Christ, and having fellowship with darkness is ok, we set bad examples and defy our duty as ambassadors for Christ.

 As always we can refer to the example of Jesus, when he was tempted and the devil used all his tools against him, he never reconciled or gave in. We ought to resist evil like the Lord. Although people sacrificed to monsters and demons to keep them at bay, we will keep evil spirits away from us as we ‘put on’ Jesus Christ, whose name they tremble at and believe.

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Matthew 4:1-11 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

God never intended for us to fear evil, be at peace with it or surrender to it. He showed us how to fight it.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

We resist through prayer, fasting, studying and application.

Deuteronomy 18:9-11 When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

Necromancy, witchcraft and consulting with familiar spirits was a practice of the other nations. The children of the Most High ought not to engage in these kinds of practices. It was common for people (on samhain) to communicate, so they thought, with lost loved ones and even supposedly left places at the dinner table for them but, we know that the dead “know nothing” as said in Mark 12:27. Additionally, it’s all too common to see children dressed up as witches, wizards and spirits on Halloween- the same abominations God told us not to be into. The importance of  engaging in the practice of not assimilating evil or replicating and representing an image the Most High actually abhors, is vast on this day, and we are instructed to abstain from ALL appearance of evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil

Now, how simple is that?

Although it seems like everyone is doing it, it doesn’t give us the ok to do it too. The whole world lieth in wickedness but we are not supposed to be like the rest of the world. 

Some synonyms for abstain are: cease, quit, refrain, withhold, renounce,avoid, decline and eschew.

Although we know to judge righteous judgement, many people judge according to how things appear, or seem to be. By avoiding, refraining and declining the celebration of this pagan holiday we also avoid leading others to perceive that we glorify something that is ungodly.

There was also a cross dressing tradition rooted in samhain when men would dress up as women and women also would dress like men. This too is evil, as in society today it’s alright to wear anything you want and no one should say anything, but God never said that he wanted men and women to dress the same. He made us different and it is a beautiful thing for there to be a clear distinction between a man and a woman.

Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

God does not glorify or accept cross dressing. He hates it.

You may feel left out because your friends are celebrating Halloween, or you might feel like you’re a bad parent because you won’t let your kids have fun and go to the Halloween party. Maybe you know Halloween is pagan but you just want to have a bit of fun, or avoid being the “weird  one.” Whatever reason or excuse you may have, you need to put them aside and stand stiffly for the word of God. Spread the good news to those who don’t know, and remember it’s ok to be set apart. We are a peculiar people and God’s chosen. In this obscurely dark world, God has called us to be lights and ambassadors of Jesus Christ, so let’s walk in his footsteps and do all, say all in his name and on this dark and evil night shine like the lights we were meant to be!

Please watch the video below for further edification.

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