Bulletin Article -- Sunday, October 31, 2021
We know the origin of some holidays does not necessarily continue to reflect the meaning they once had. For example, both the Bible and secularism have pulled us away from the religious beginnings of Christmas. Christians should never attach any religious significance to a manmade holiday. Whether we celebrate them or not is a personal decision (Romans 14).
Christians should be the first to promote all things biblical. God's word speaks of spirits and the afterlife. However, it conflicts with the thinking of Halloween. God's word clearly says (Luke 16:26), once a person dies, the spirit leaves the body and cannot return from the place of the dead (Hades). Each person will die once, then stand before God in judgment (Hebrews 9:27). There is no time between death and judgment when a person’s spirit can return to "haunt" people in the land of the living (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
Halloween is linked to the Gaelic festival of Samhain, the ancient god of the dead. It was celebrated from October 31 to November 1 as it marked the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. For these few hours, these superstitious people believed the boundary between this world and the place of the dead "grew thin," allowing wicked spirits, fairies, witches, and ghosts to come back into this world. Food and drink offerings were left outside to appease these spirits and ensure the people and their livestock would survive the winter.
When the Catholic Church moved into the British Isles, it tried to win over pagans by "Christianizing" some of their festivals. The church was already commemorating martyrs and saints on different days in their Feast of Saints, All Saints' Day, or All Hallows' Day. In Scotland and Ireland, the church set this holiday on November 1, the same day as the festival of Samhain. Soon after, October 31 became "All Hallows Eve" and later shortened to "Halloween."
It doesn't take much to see how the customs and beliefs of "All Hallows Eve" became our modern Halloween. On October 31, many ghosts, witches, ghouls, and other evil-looking characters roam the streets looking for appeasement, demanding treats for their sweet tooth.
Not many people today know the history of Halloween. It may seem harmless for most to allow children to go house to house searching for as much candy as they can get. Little pumpkin buckets or bags have been replaced with pillowcases these days! Evil still lurks, but at the hands of wicked people who lace candy with drugs or harmful objects.
We are not against fun and games or costumes, candy, and treats. We are opposed to false concepts of ghosts and spirits and the promotion of gruesome imaginations. However, it is not my intention to call upon everyone to stop celebrating the holiday. Suffice it to say, Christians should not be opposed to examining or re-examining anything we do. We all need to make decisions for ourselves and our families. We must consider our choices carefully, and at the same time, respect the decisions our brethren have made (Romans 14).
Children of God walk in His light (1 John 1:7). We reflect God's light by the way we live, and we live to bring honor and glory to His name (Matthew 5:14-16). So, whatever we do, may we be determined not to do anything that may cast a shadow, or leave a blemish, or in any way hinder the light from shining far and wide. —Chris