Christian Conviction and Halloween: Drawing the Line!

While malling, I noticed a number of young cute children running and dress-up in their own halloween costume. They were prepared to join a best costume event contest watched by hundred of mall goers at the atrium. Is this true only in the Philippines? No! There are millions of people around the world who observed this ancient holiday season called Halloween during October 31st.

Where did this practice originated?

Can we as Christian God-fearing believers along with our children dress-up like cute witches, funny vampires, comical zombies, humorous mummies, animated werewolf, and others just for fun?

Should we allow even our children to join this trick-or-treat events in many malls, villages, and communities?

Should we display paraphernalia of spider webs and scarecrow and warlocks mask head on our doors? 

What is the history behind this ancient practice?

Several centuries ago the Celts with Irish and Sottish descent are believed to have brought this Halloween practice in the 1900 to the United States. Many researchers believed that the practice is being done by Celts of Europe more than 2000 years ago to honour their dead love ones. The real motive behind the festival is to honour the dead which involved offering sacrifices and crops. They believed that this is the time where the access is more easy to communicate with their dead love ones. This practices was incorporated, eventually, in the Roman festivities with Pomona for the harvest and Feralia which is day of the dead.

In fairness with the Roman Cathollic leaders, they would like to draw the attention of their members from this pagan festivity for the dead towards a more Christian celebration. This is where Pope Boniface IV instituted All Saints Day on AD 600. Then Pope Gregory moved this date to November 1.

At least, for those Christians who doesn’t want to join the pagan festivity, they have another alternative celebration. As a result, All Saints Day became a major event in Europe that rivaled the pagan holiday. The word “halloween” came from the words “All Hallow’s Evening” or “All Hallow’s Even” where the word “hallow” referred to the “saints” or “holy” persons. Today, this term is known around the world as Halloween.

After 200 years the Roman Catholic Church introduced All Souls Day to be celebrated on November 2 to honour their dead church members. To counter this Roman Catholic practice, the Protestant believers introduced October 31 to remind them of the lives of Reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, and many more as catalyst to the spiritual Reformation. We have recently celebrated the 500th year of Protestant Reformation (1517-2017).

Unfortunately, this Roman Catholic decision paved the way for the spiritual enemy to bring in occultism into the picture. This day of honoring the dead in association with occultism is now being practiced all over the world like Japan, Vietnam, Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, United States, and many other countries. The Neopagan religion such as Wicca and Witchcraft also grab this opportunity to ride on this event on October 31st making the celebration more muddier than ever before.

If this is the case then let us refrain from participating in the deeds of darkness. Let us serve as a salt and a light. Let them see that we are followers of Christ who holds on to our conviction (belief) without compromising. There is nothing fun about the deeds of darkness by dressing in a costume of a cute witch, funny vampire, comical zombie, humorous mummy, animated werewolf, or a laughable corpse.

The fact of the matter is the spiritual enemy would like to water down the seriousness of occultism during this holiday. Let us not raise up children with shallow conviction and faith. But let us inform them to stand and be on guard. As folklorist Jack Santino explains,

“Wearing costumes and demanding treats can also be traced to the Celtic period and the first few centuries of the Christian era, when food and drink were left out to placate wandering souls, fairies, witches and demons. As the centuries wore on, people began dressing like these creatures, performing antics in exchange for food and drink. By the Middle Ages, masked solicitations were associated with All Souls’ Day and other holidays in countries influenced by Catholicism.” – See Jack Santino, “Halloween: The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows”

In the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) which sometimes fall on the months of September and October the Jewish people does not observe the day of the dead but a time of repentance and sacrificed for their sins. Let us also use this as a yearly opportunity to share what the Bible says about someone who died for us to sacrifice Himself for our sins. And that He did not remain dead but rose again from the grave. If we repent (Gk. metanoia, change our mind) that we are not saved by good works but by grace through faith in Jesus Christ then we will be saved.

Biblical References:

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. – Ephesians 5:11, ESV

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? – 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, ESV

And so the Lord says, “You must leave them and separate yourselves from them. Have nothing to do with what is unclean, and I will accept you. – 2 Corinthians 6:17, GNB

Be alert. Be firm in the Christian faith. Be courageous and strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13, GWT

We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will take back with Jesus those who have died believing in him. – 1 Thessalonians 4:14, GNB

Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, – Acts 3:19, ESV

Photo Courtesy: Newshub

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