It’s that time of year again, and we seem to be surrounded by jack o’lanterns, witches, ghosts, demons, monsters, and various other representations of the American holiday which will happen on October 31st – Halloween.
Everywhere you look there are Halloween cereals, toaster pastries, cookies, cakes, treats, and candies at every counter or end cap at every store. You cannot avoid seeing these everywhere – even in commercials or on advertisements. When you drive to the gas station around the corner from your home, THERE IT IS! Someone’s yard filled with artificial grave markers, zombies, blow-ups, and such depicting the latest of Halloween hooplah. It might even be right at your neighbor’s house next door or across the street.
Even local churches are getting strongly involved with Halloween festivals and the well-known trunk-and-treat event where children are encouraged to dress up as families decorate the interiors of their vehicles with ghouls and goblins. Whether people are given the opportunity to dress up in what-ever-they-want costumes, or the church has decided on a policy of no “monsters, witches, or demons,” children and adults will be dressed up. Some will even make it appear to be a “holy” event by asking parents to have children only dress up as their favorite biblical character in the hopes of sterilizing the evil side of the holiday.
The big question, though, is this: What would Yahweh say?
I tell Jim all the time, “Sometimes I imagine Abba watching us, head in his hand, just shaking his head and wondering what on earth are my people thinking!”
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is not happy about believers following the pagan holiday of Halloween. And, I am sorry if it messes up someone’s plans, but let’s face it: Halloween is not a godly holiday. Period.
Halloween, All Hallows Eve, Dia de Muertos, All saints day – these are all celebrated at this time of year – the end of October. These events will be going on from October 31st to November 2 depending on which one is being celebrated. To be honest, it doesn’t matter which one you choose to honor; all are based on/come from the same historical background.
In ancient times, the Celts had a holiday at the end of their summer, celebrated at this time of year. Honored as a harvest festival, with some ghostly worship tossed in. History.com has a great article about it which goes into depth about the way it has changed over the years.
To summarize, the Celtic festival was when they believed the lines between the other world and this one were blurred, and the ghosts of the dead returned to the earth. These alleged ghosts would cause trouble all around the farms. At this time, too, their druid priests would feel it easier to predict the future because of the openness into the other realm. Many would attempt to consult the dead for information and ideas of how the future was going to play out for them, their families, farms, and friends.
They would put out the fires in their homes, light a bonfire on the hills, and participate in festive activities. These would include sacrifices of animals and harvested crops dedicated to their many gods. Also, they would wear costumes made up of animal heads and skins; some believed they did this to hide their true identities from the visiting spirits.
When the festivities ended, they would light a torch from the bonfire, and take it home to relight their hearth fires that were extinguished earlier. This relighting from the bonfire, they believed, helped them to ensure a blessed winter to come for their home and family. They believed it brought them great protection.
This holiday, over time, was combined with other pagan traditions by various religions and societies to become the different celebrations that many recognize today. It has also been expanded to include various forms of worship of the dead. All of which are spoken against in Deuteronomy 18:10-12.
These verses teach against witchcraft, divination, sorcery, conjuring, spells, fortune telling, omens, necromancy, and more. All of these mystical evils are incorporated into Halloween in some form or another. People dress as witches, warlocks, and wizards as they go about pretending to conjure up spells and charms, and even the simple phrase “trick or treat” implies a form of “charm” that unless someone grants a “wish” in the form of a treat, a trick of some sort will be played upon them or their household.
One of the biggest excuses for continuing this holiday in America is “It’s for the children.” I hear this every year from parents, grandparents, Church Sunday school leaders, pastors, and more. Don’t fool yourselves, please – it isn’t for the children.
It’s for the adults – why do I say this? Because it is easier on the grown-ups if they don’t make waves by saying no to the children. If we, as adults, as righteous parents or grandparents decided to stand against this event, we will make “waves” and likely cause conflict because it has been a part of family traditions around the globe for too long.
People will express frustration with you, and will often say, “It is JUST for the children!” Is it fun? Yes. Because we have made it fun - the kids get to choose a costume, play dress up, participate in parades and trick-or-treating, get lots of candies, and some will even have parties filled with fun activities like bobbing for apples, scavenger hunts, and contests.
Today, everything is white-washed to look safe and adorable – everything from vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and haunted houses; even Jack O’Lanterns and witches are made to look harmless and adorable. Just look around you in the stores and gift shops at the lovely decorations you can put up all around your house. Even lawn ornaments are made to look safe and silly.
It’s for the children because we have created it to be for the children. And sometimes I feel this concerns me more than the celebrations that take place. Why? Because we are to train up a child in the way they should go so that when they are old, they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
Throughout scripture, we are warned against paganism and not just paganism, but witchcraft, necromancy, and so many other demonic belief systems. We are told point blank not to partake of them. Yahweh has warned us to be so very careful to stay focused on Him and His teachings.
If we are warned so strongly, and He tries to protect us, the adults, so fervently, why would we teach the opposite of His truths to our children, our grandchildren, and those who are our charges? Why would we sterilize the holiday’s evil traditions by making them appear cutesy and harmless when they blatantly go against scripture? Do we truly want our children to dabble in the occult and open themselves up to further teachings and influences? Do we want to introduce our children and teens to a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7) through fright nights, haunted houses, ghost hunting, and haunted hayrides?
Our prayer is that what we have shared will help those who celebrate Halloween or a “cleaned up” version of Halloween to take a serious and prayerful look at avoiding this celebration in any form. If we want our children to be righteous, strong, faithful warriors in these last days, how can we expect that of them if we compromise and make evil appear good or introduce them to the occult?
We are warned in scripture that times will come when things are upside down. Isaiah 5:20 talks of woes:
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (KJV)
Those who make Halloween look like it is nothing more than a harmless holiday are at risk of being people who call evil good, put darkness for light, and bitter for sweet. It is destructive enough when dabbled in, much worse if it is done in the name of Yahweh.
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
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