All Hallows Eve

Friday is October 31. All Hallows Eve. Halloween. This year, Halloween falls on Friday, so it's pretty much a certainty that people will celebrate Halloween Friday night. What are you going to do Friday evening? Will you be out having fun, enjoying the traditional holiday? After all, it's an annual thing, a regular celebration, something everyone does. In fact, in the United States, next to Christmas, more money is spent on Halloween than any other holiday. Costumes, trick or treating, candy, goblins, ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, haunted houses... fun, huh?

But wait a minute. What are we really celebrating? Let's take just a moment, and take an objective look at Halloween from the viewpoint of a Christian and from God's Word.

Okay, let's see.

When we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating the birth of Jesus. Granted, there are many traditions associated with Christmas that originated in paganism, but most of those traditions have been given Christian significance, so that the focus is on Jesus' birth. In fact, most born again believers are totally unaware of the pagan origins, and see only the symbolism that surrounds Jesus' birth.

When Christians celebrate Easter, we are celebrating Jesus' resurrection. But the very name "Easter" is pagan in origin, coming from the Babylonian goddess of fertility, love and war, whose name was Ishtar. Ishtar was above all associated with sexuality: her cult involved sacred prostitution; her holy city, Erech, was called the "town of the sacred courtesans;" and she herself was the "courtesan of the gods." The Easter bunny personifies the Ishtar's rule over fertility. However, for Christians - even those who have Easter egg hunts and give Easter baskets of candy to their children, the focus of this holiday is Jesus and His resurrection.

Thanksgiving is a traditional North American holiday, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, and on the second Monday in October in Canada. Tradition holds that the first Thanksgiving celebration was held at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621, although some scholars avow that the real first celebration of Thanksgiving was on September 8, 1565, in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida. Today, the celebration centers around family and food, giving thanks to God for this country.

Those are the "big" celebrations. but there are many others.

If we give a wedding shower, we are celebrating a friend's up-coming marriage.

If we hold a wedding "reception," we are celebrating the marriage of a couple which has just occurred.

If we give a baby shower, we are celebrating a friend's soon-to-be-born baby.

If we throw a birthday party, we are celebrating the anniversary of a person's birth.

At each of these varied celebrations, there are traditions that have their origins in paganism, although few people know why we throw rice at a newly married couple or why it's important to blow out the birthday candles with one breath.

But what are we celebrating on Halloween if we dress up as witches or ghosts or devils and beg strangers for candy?

Is it.

.Let's Eat Ourselves Sick on Free Candy Day?

.Let's Get a Big Bag of Candy, then Stand in Line at the Hospital to X-ray the Candy in Case of Razorblades Day?

.Let's Pretend to Be Something or Someone Else Day?

.The Dentist's New Car That I'm Financing Day?

In truth, the name "Halloween" comes from "All Hallows Eve" - meaning, it is the evening before "All Hallows Day" or "All Saints Day," which was a day to honor all the Saints of the Catholic Church. But that is where its association with Christianity ends. Unlike Christmas and Easter, which focus on the birth and resurrection of Jesus, Halloween's focus is on all things occult.

The Apostle Paul said, "'Everything is permissible for me' - but not everything is beneficial." (1 Corinthians 6:12 - NIV) So the question arises. is it "beneficial" for a Christian to participate in the traditional celebration of Halloween? As Christians, everything we do should be done to glorify God. Is there anything about Halloween that glorifies God? The simple answer to that question is "No."

It's certain that the origins of Halloween have nothing to do with Jesus. However, there is a problem. The history of Halloween warrants at least a cursory examination. The problem is, you can find almost as many versions of Halloween's origins as you can find blades of grass on a putting green. Whichever version of Halloween's history is correct, all of the versions have one very important thing in common. Halloween and all its traditional trappings are rooted in paganism and the occult in one way or another. And all history aside, October 31 is - in this day and time - a High Holy Day for Wicca (witches), and for Satanism. Please realize that Wicca and Satanism are two different things. at least on the surface. Witches say that they do NOT worship Satan, and that is true, sort of. While Wicca does not openly pay homage to Satan, the Father of Lies is the father of Wicca, just as he is the father of ALL things that do not involve Jesus.

Contrary to popular belief, Wiccans aren't strange looking old hags with warts on their noses. They aren't "nut cases" or any of the myriad things that most people think they are. A Wiccan might be your next-door neighbor, or one of the guys who sits on your town's City Council, or a teacher at your child's elementary or high school. In fact, you would never know they're Wiccan unless they happen to tell you. And they love Halloween, which they believe is the best time for necromancy (communication with the dead). Today, covens of Wiccans cast spells on October 31, believing that they are giving the spirits access to possess whomever they please. And, according to one former Wiccan I met (she's now a born again believer), Wiccans especially like to cast spells on the children going about "Trick or Treating." That's something you might want to keep in mind if you take your children around the neighborhood this Halloween.

So, the question remains. Is it "beneficial" for a Christian to celebrate Halloween? That's a question you must answer for yourself. Brothers and sisters, I urge you to prayerfully consider what Jesus would have you do this October 31st.

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you." James 4:7-8 NIV

"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." 2 Corinthians 6:17 NIV

"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret." Ephesians 5:11-12 NIV

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NIV

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