There are many controversial subjects in the church today and Halloween is no exception. The debate however appears to be more on the issues concerning the origins of Halloween, rather than the actions or methods of celebration. Halloween is an annual event in this nation where people dress up as witches, ghosts, monsters and other demonic characters, which (no pun intended) haunt the streets of our cities under cover of darkness. Halloween night is well known to all as a night of vandalism, violence and mischief. As Christians we are called to glorify God in all we do! How then as Christians do we embrace such activities?
Who receives glory and honor on Halloween? Does our Lord and savior Jesus Christ; or does Satan? The book of Isaiah, chapter 14, Verses 12 through I 5 tell of Satan’s fall from heaven and includes the (I wills.) This is a well-known section of scripture, which clearly demonstrates Satan’s desire and intent to receive the praises of men, to make himself as God. I’ll ask you again, who receives glory and honor and the praises of men on Halloween night? I think it’s no coincidence that Halloween today and its origin have the same key ingredient, that ingredient is compromise.
The history or origin of Halloween predates Christianity. It goes back to Celtic Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and their ancient pagan beliefs. The Celts Believed that as the harvest season ended and winter started that spirits of the dead left the woods and fields and came into town seeking persons to possess or places to haunt. The people would take several basic avenues of defense, they would darken their homes to make them unappealing and even put some sort of treat out on the step to appease the spirits. Or they would wear some horrifying costume and walk the streets in hopes of warding off the evil spirits. Often time’s bon fires would be set and maintained by druid priests and sacrifices, both animal and human would be offered for protection. These sacrifices are often an area of debate, however it is well documented that the druid and Celtic witchcraft often involved human and animal sacrifice.
In 43 AD the Romans conquered these Celtic lands and soon mixed and mingled their beliefs and customs with that of the Celtics. When the Romans Adopted Christianity as the state religion the Catholic Church rapidly spread throughout Europe and the British Isles. The church converted the Celts but had great difficulty bringing an end to their customs and festivals. So the Catholic Church, under the direction of Pope Boniface IV decided to make a compromise. They replaced this old harvest festival with a new one called “All Saints Day,” November 1st. The problem was the Celts continued to celebrate the Harvest festival as they always did, and by the 1500’s you could no longer distinguish between the two. All Saints Day had become All Hallows Day, and hallows eve became Halloween. Halloween was brought to America by Irish immigrants in the early to mid 1800’s. In 1921 Anoka, Minnesota celebrated the first city-wide Halloween festival. New York started celebrations in 1923 and Los Angeles in 1925. We now celebrate it as a nation, with literally millions of dollars spent annually to glorify Satan, death and hell.
The devil has done an excellent job in recent years desensitizing our culture, this nation and the church to all kinds of witchcraft and occult practices. The origins of Halloween are tied to pagan festivals at the transition of nature and seasons. Oddly enough, that’s some of the same terminology and reasoning used by modem day witches and wiccan’s. Halloween is a Holy day or actually an un-holy day for these people who practice witchcraft and sorcery. I believe it’s no coincidence that witch covens across this nation seek power from Satan on this most un-holy day. I truly believe the many and varied reports that Satan is worshiped on Halloween through rites, rituals and ceremonies with every kind of debauchery. Including animal and human sacrifices, orgies, child molestation and every other kind of despicable act.
I believe all Christians should not only refrain from involving themselves with Halloween activities but they should help educate others in doing the same! I also would encourage the church not to compromise (again) and have costume events at churches but instead, educate our young people. We can have an alternative event, but have a truly Christian event. It’s time the church “Come out from among them and be separate.”
Dr. Bill Sudduth