There are many people who celebrate Halloween. I am not writing this as a judgment. However, I am writing this to provide food for thought, before your children run out of the house on that night all dressed up so cute to collect candy.
Many times we practice traditions in our households simply because that is what our parents did or we have sentimental memories of the event when we were children. Sometimes we practice certain things in our households simply because that is what everyone else does, or we do not want to deprive our children of a special and “normal” childhood experience. Whatever your reasons are, you are not alone.
As parents we attempt, I hope, to be purposeful in all that we do. I mean we try to parent on purpose, making decisions for our families that are weighed against the Bible first and foremost. I also hope that we are taking into consideration how our decisions might influence our children, and how our core beliefs as Christians are either supported or negated by our actions.
A Little Bit On The History Of Halloween
History adapted from Wikipedia.
Halloween has both pagan and Catholic roots. The pagan history of Halloween includes festivals for the dead. Jack-‘o-lanterns were used to protect one’s home. Costumes were used to disguise oneself for protection from the dead. Children would go door to door to collect food for the festivals, and the homes that provided food considered it good fortune to do so.
The Catholic history of Halloween includes, All Saints or All Souls Day, which was dedicated to honoring the saints and praying that the souls of the recently departed would reach Heaven from purgatory. Prince Sorie Conteh, wrote when describing the costumes that people would wear for All Saints Day,
“It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints’ Day, and All Hallows’ Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognized by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities” (Wikipedia)
Jack-‘o-lanterns were used to depict those souls trapped in purgatory. Children collected what were called soul cakes while ringing bells for the souls in purgatory.
Modern Day Halloween
Today this holiday is admired by many. It can be fun with candy and cute costumes. It can also be dark and scary with skeletons, ghosts, and witches.
Witchcraft, or Wicca, is heavily practiced on Halloween and even “magical” objects and spells for good and ill are available commercially. The practice has been documented in recent years (National Geographic).
Ghost hunters go out in droves hoping to catch a glimpse of a long departed spirit.
Halloween has taken one particular divergent path from its history. Today, Halloween has become a very sexual holiday. French Maid costumes, sexy characters are very popular even to such an extent that many of these costumes are being made for little girls. Many parents think this is cute, but in my opinion it is just wrong to dress any female up, much less a baby, in a French Maid costume. What are we teaching our girls?
Not everyone by far who practices Halloween gets into all of the ghoulish side of the holiday. I understand this, but it is good to take account of the general theme of Halloween and to consider what the Bible has to say about this theme.
1.) Witchcraft, Sorcery, and Mediums
The Bible directly attacks anyone practicing witchcraft, sorcery, or attempting to contact the dead.
Deuteronomy 18:10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer.”
Leviticus 19:31 “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God”
Leviticus 20:27 “A man or a woman who is a medium or a necromancer shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones; their blood shall be upon them.”
Leviticus 20:6 “If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.”
God literally sees witches, sorcerers, and mediums as enemies. Anyone who seeks after them is literally whoring themselves out to those that they feel will give them something better than God Himself can. God will punish those, set Himself against them, who seek witches, sorcerers, or mediums.
… Just in case you were wondering this includes the daily horoscope in your local newspaper as that is fortune telling …
Halloween is a holiday meant to foster fear. However, as Christians we are not meant to be a people of fear, but as the people of God, we are to fear and be anxious for nothing. In fact the Bible says that we should not think on those things that would make us fearful, but we should think on the things of God.
Philippians 4:6-8 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Halloween is a superstitious time. Its history is rooted in superstition and our modern day superstitions of black cats and legendary omens are more exaggerated at Halloween.
Sadly, Christians even become superstitious in a way about Halloween. When Christians see evil in everything around them this is not good either. Satan is evil, yes. Sin is everywhere, but objects that might look evil, like a skeleton, is not calling down evil in and of itself. We should be careful as Christians not to become superstitious in the way we speak of evil around us. God is in control, and nothing even the hand of the devil himself, can remove us from the control of our loving Father.
1 Timothy 4:7 “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness.”
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 “There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you.”
4.) Making A Mockery
It can also be thought that we might be making a mockery of the spiritual realm at Halloween. Dressing up as the Devil, Demons, and Angels in a sense may be mocking of the Heavenly Beings that we do not fully understand.
We do not need to be superstitious, but we also need to be aware that there is spiritual warfare and spiritual beings who are very real. We ought not make a mockery of these things.
Alternatives To Halloween
1.) The Harvest Festival
There are alternatives to Halloween on the same day. Many churches hold Harvest Festivals in order to thank God for His provisions. If you do decide to participate in a Harvest Festival rather than trick-or-treating, think on one thing. Do not just let this become a facade so that your children can still dress up and trick-or-treat but it is just in a safer and more “Christian” environment. If you are truly doing it to celebrate God’s provision talk with your children about this to great length and explain why you do not celebrate Halloween.
2.) Reformation Day
CLICK HERE to see our favorite Reformation Day Crafts and Activities!
Reformation Day is what our family celebrates. On October 31, 1517, Matin Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg, Germany. This sparked the Protestant Reformation.
This is a great historical day to celebrate and very near and dear to our faith and the preservation of the Gospel. It is a day to celebrate God’s sovereignty in Christian history.
Learn more about The 5 Solas coined during The Reformation with our new The 5 Solas 7 Day Family Bible Study! CLICK HERE to learn more!
On one hand, we tell our children not to be afraid because God protects them, yet we celebrate a holiday based on fear.
We believe that God sets the days of each life of every person and that there there is a place where every soul goes, whether it be Heaven or Hell, yet we celebrate a holiday steeped in pagan tradition of the walking dead.
We believe that God is sovereign and loves and protects His people, yet we fear inanimate objects because there is an evil connotation connected to them. We have become a superstitious people, forgetting that our God controls all and we have nothing to fear.
I am not out to wreck a holiday that you might see as a fun and harmless family fun event, yet I do pray that every Christian family will weigh their decisions against the Word of God. We want to practice what we preach, and practicing Halloween might not be the best way to do so.
Halloween is just another day. The day is not evil in and of itself. Inanimate objects such as pumpkins and costumes and skeletons are not evil in and of themselves. My purpose in writing this article is that we might need to rethink the undercurrent of teaching and tradition that we are instilling in our children when we celebrate this holiday called Halloween.
What Does Your Family Do On Halloween?
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