The Hidden Dangers of Halloween
NCW 7, December 1993
Q. Why does the New Covenant Church not allow its members to celebrate Halloween? What's the harm in having a some fun about spooks which no-one believes in anyway?
Halloween is the abbreviated form of "All Hallows Day", the night before "All Saints' Day", though the original observances took place centuries before Christ and were anything but saintly. Research into the origins of Halloween have generally concluded that those who were primarily responsible for the present-day events that were pre-Christian Celtic Druids.
The Celtic year ended on 31 October, and it was Druidic practice at that time to celebrate a joint festival. On this day the Druids honoured the Sun god and the lord of the Dead. The Sun god was thanked for the harvest; the lord of the Dead was appeased with SACRIFICES of horses and HUMAN BEINGS. The sacrifices were also intended to frighten away evil spirits: the Druids believed that departed souls roamed abroad on the night of 31 October, often playing tricks and indulging in various supernatural antics in order to frighten the living.
These pagan beliefs persisted long after Pope Gregory IV made All Saints' Day and Eve part of the Catholic Church calendar in the 9th century. In Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and parts of England, country folk were attempting to frighten away evil spirits with bonfires as late as the 19th century. Various kinds of mischief were also commonly practiced in the British Isles. The Irish gave new life to the prankish side of Halloween after immigrating to the USA in the 1840's. In the 20th Century the mischievous side of Halloween began to include acts of vandalism. Parties and parades also became common. Today children don costumes and go around tricking people (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1982 Book of the Year, p.25).
As anyone who has studied the occult and the New Age knows, the (later) Druids were a witchcraft religion of Britain and Gaul. They believed in many gods. They considered the cat to be a holy, sacred animal, and believed that cats had once been humans who had been transformed into cats because of evil deeds. Stonehenge was only one of many sites where Druidic priests practiced sorcery and sacrificed human victims to their Sun god, Hu, and to their goddess of the harvest. The Druids were a supremely evil fertility cult that worshipped the egg and the serpent. On 31 October they honoured Samhain, their god of death. To celebrate, they built a fire and sacrificed plants and animals. They believed that witches met at night to worship the devil.
The celebration of Halloween in the United States has become almost a sacred custom and amongst other people; the holiday ranks along with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve. People bob for apples, tell stories about ghosts and witches, and carve jack-o'-lanterns.
They have probably never heard of the original Jack in the Irish tale. It is said that Jack could never get into heaven because he was too greedy, but he was not allowed to go into hell because he had played tricks on the devil. So he was destined to walk the earth and carry his lantern until the Judgment Day.
Halloween may have become trivialised for the majority of westerners but its roots remain satanic. How much can one play with fire without becoming burned? Costumes, decorations, and treats are increasingly involved with the occult, supernatural and even satanic themes. Even if in years past one might have participated in Halloween innocently, today we need to be aware of the dangers of the occult and Satan worship.
Halloween, past and present, nevertheless has its own spirit which is ruinous and antithetical to the Christian spirit in one form or another. Unfortunately, thought, more and more people are coming to believe in "spooks" -- more and more people (and especially youth) are becoming involved in the occult for whom Halloween, far from being a time to be mischievous, is a time for solemn, demonic activity. The same occultists who honour Halloween as a High Festival are again torturing and sexually molesting children and offering human sacrifices in scenes reminiscent of the vilest paganism that one threatened the nation of Israel.
The Bible forbids every kind of spiritualistic magic (Lev.19:26; Deut.18:9-14). God has declared quite specifically that all those who indulge in sorcery are cut off from God (Mic.5:12) and we are given numerous examples of those who forsook God and turn to witchcraft such as Saul, Jezebel and Manassah (1 Sam.28:7; 2 Ki.9:22; 2 Chron.33:1-2,6). Paul calls sorcery, and those who practice it, to be "of the devil" (Acts 13:6-11), and that such will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Gal.5:19-21) but remain outside it (Rev.18:23).
The Scriptures allow for no compromise. Certainly no good can come of observing Halloween for even in its most innocuous form it still teaches trickery, and to children who are impressionable. Paul said to Elymas: "You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?" (Acts 13:10, NIV). Elymas tried to convert a believing Consul away from the true Christ. Believers in Druidism, witchcraft and all occultic arts would all do the same given the chance.
Very early on in the Bible God said: "Do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations" (Deut.18:9). That commandment was not given to us to be compromised by saying that this or that heathen practice is harmless. Sin always begins with this form of rationalisation: first you sympathise with sin and then you end up fully embracing it.
Jesus reminds those who want to compromise with the world: "Why do you murmur amongst yourselves...and try to excuse yourselves...for the pagans run after all these things" (Matt.6:36, HO trans.).
Halloween in all its forms -- whether children playing tricks on people or teenagers and adults delving into witchcraft, which is the heart of Halloween -- is completely and utterly WRONG. It stands opposed to a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith, which should be an important yardstick in determining the way we should live, which says:
When measured against these inspired words, Halloween fails on every count.
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things" (Phil.4:8, NIV).
This page was created on 18 April 1998
Last updated on 18 April 1998
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