Posted by: reformbama | October 18, 2010

“Halloween. How Bad Is It?”

First  this is not a judging post, just stating fact as I see it. Wish I could write where it would not sound judgmental. Nuff said on that.

Here is my stance and view on Halloween. It is slowly being  Christianized by the church. Just like two other pagan holidays that got Christianized way back in the past. Those two holidays are Christmas and Easter. Go search past post for more details on those, I would put a link here for you bit I am a bit lazy today.

What do you mean pagan holidays? Well if you do a little research about the two you will find out what I am talking about. You can even go watch an episode of “The  Big Bang Theory” and let Sheldon tell you all about Christmas. And lets keep lying to our kids about Santa and the Easter Bunny.

“Halloween is evil only bad people do that. It is worship of the devil.”

There is a problem with that. First all the little kids running around with their little costumes, the majority of which are super heroes and princesses. Second, to worship anything you have to make a conscience choice to do that. You to  get you some candles some chalk and start drawing some pentagrams and reciting spells. I really don’t see that happening with a bunch of kids running around in costumes collecting candy in their little pumpkin pails. Even the adults that get dressed up and have their parties.

As I have heard some say “Well it is not worshiping God so we should not do that!” My reply to the gal wearing her Bama jersey and hounds tooth hat “Neither is football so we shouldn’t watch football ” Bama gal goes away mad.

Am I a fan of Halloween and will defend it at all times, no. Then why did I post this. Just to point out some hypocrisy out there,

The church wants to ban going to Disney. Stand up against this store for selling borderline porn posters while you still buy gas at gas stations that sell real porn. Some of you have quirks about alcohol and want to keep a restaurants from having a liquor license and yet still shop at Wal-Mart where they sell it. People only choose their “causes” based on what is convenient for them and that will not put them out. I know people that still love to go to Disney but will not use AT&T because of their gay support. You can have fun at Disney but you don’t have to use AT&T. Know of one family that uses AT&T wireless but will not use Nike products, same reasons. Probably because AT&T is the only carrier with the Iphone and you can get good shoes else where. See what I am talking about here. How many of you know where all your 401k money is going?

So if you want me to go hell bent against Halloween the rest of you need to strip all the pagan rituals you do at Christmas and Easter. Resurrection day as I call it.

Comments and views welcomed.

BTW, will someone tell me why Santa’s magic is OK and Harry Potter’s magic is bad?

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Responses

  1. Do not think you are really off on what you said. My wife and my stance on Halloween has not been so much the idea of people “worshiping” anything but more the fact that it is just another area where we are being desensitized to spirtually dark things. I am not saying everything having to do with Halloween is dark but being scared is a big part of it for a lot of people. The other part of Halloween that I have a problem with is the “being entertained by someone elses pain, suffering, or fear.” For instance there is I cannot tell how many “horror” houses opening up in our area at old abandoned mental institutions and prisons. There are people in our church who think this is a great idea and are looking forward to going. I just cannot see anything of God in exploiting the terrible things that happened to people in those places.
    I agree it is ironic to make such a big deal out of Halloween when the things that have been done to Christmas and Easter in a lot of ways are far worse. (The urge to go off on a tangent about the role reversal between Christmas and Easter is almost unbearable so I will just close.)

    • Welcome back, hope all is well. I think I can only recall about 5 people who have mention exploiting someone else’s pain and suffering, good point.
      Good place to go and witness.
      Where I think were I can be off is on the being scared part. I don’t scare and I am very hard to startle with a loud noise. And too much of a realist and know that it is all fake, horror movies and haunted houses that is.

      We can’t get past the dark origins. I think all the trick or treaters out there are just having fun. The ones that really believe are holed up somewhere doing their rituals.
      And you also got bad people that come out a “little” more on halloween than they do other nights. There is the danger factor of tainted candy.

      This is something I forgot to put in the post, I know people that still love to go to Disney but will not use AT&T because of their gay support. You can have fun at Disney but you don’t have to use AT&T. Know of one family that uses AT&T wireless but will not use Nike, same reasons. Probably because AT&T is the only carrier with the Iphone and you can get good shoes else where. See what I am talking about here.

      • Totally see where you are coming from. It is tough trying to decide what “priorities” to make a stand on. I think a lot of those decisions also ebb and flow as you mature in Christ, which you aluded to with your response to fear. I recognize that there are obvious dangers to avoid/guard against. Where the struggle comes is even though I may be approaching an event (purchase, whatever) and conciously seperating myself from the associated “baggage” – your example of kids dressing up like princess, etc – but when another Christian or non-believer sees me participating they may assume I support the entire event, what it stands, and any other nuance they associate with it. Now none of those things may be true about me, but there is the “weaker brother” to consider.
        I have no problem with people having “principles” it is the imposition of their on others that I struggle with. I guess what I am really try to say is we need to watch out for a judmental attitude with these kinds of things. Now there are things we are to judge other brothers and sisters on as outlined in Scripture and I in no way support compromising on truth. It is the judgmental attitude that comes out when dealing with what we “consume” that I have to wrestle with. The thing is we live in a fallen world. If you take anything that physically comes from this world and trace it back far enough (its manufacture, transportation, whatever) you will find something that someone will find offensive or abhorent. So what am I am supposed to do live under the stars and walk around naked all day? Believe me a lot of people will find that offensive. The question is where to draw the line. Paul talks about recognizing your audience when doing things, and that is probably the best standard we can use. (And yes I recognize that I took that somewhat out of context.)

  2. I vowed to never read your blog again nor to post on it however after getting the email, I decided I would drop by and read what you had to say….chiming in with my two cents.
    I don’t like Halloween, plain and simple. Have I allowed my children to dress up and go trick or treating, yes, a couple of times but mainly we participate in the Fall Festival at our church.
    I HATE haunted houses, they are demonic and fake but people flock to them as if it were candy. To each his own, it may be just all in the fun of it to each individual but for me it’s a play date with the devil. Just MY opinion!
    I’m glad churches are stepping out and offering Judgment Houses and Revelation Walks, yeah they may be scary somewhat but at least it tells a message of truth….we have two choices to make in life, Heaven or Hell. Can’t get anymore judgmental than that 🙂

    • Good one Robin.

  3. I may make this another post on it’s on but for the time being I will just make it a comment. There are things I want to pull out of this message and discuss.
    Now from Pastor/Teacher John MacArthur
    Christians and Halloween

    Copyright 2006. Grace to You. All rights reserved.
    (From the Ministry of John MacArthur)

    Halloween. It’s a time of year when the air gets crisper, the day gets shorter, and for many young Americans the excitement grows in anticipation of the darkest, spookiest holiday of the year. Retailers rejoice too as they warm up their cash registers to receive an average of $41.77 per household in decorations, costumes, candy, and greeting cards. Halloween will bring in approximately 3.3 billion dollars this year.

    It’s a good bet retailers won’t entertain high expectations of getting $41.77 per household from the Christian market. Many Christians refuse to participate in Halloween. Some are wary of its pagan origins; others of its dark, ghoulish imagery; still others are concerned for the safety of their children. But other Christians choose to partake of the festivities, whether participating in school activities, neighborhood trick-or-treating, or a Halloween alternative at their church.

    The question is, How should Christians respond to Halloween? Is it irresponsible for parents to let their children trick-or-treat? What about Christians who refuse any kind of celebration during the season—are they overreacting?

    The Pagan Origin of Halloween
    The name “Halloween” comes from the All Saints Day celebration of the early Christian church, a day set aside for the solemn remembrance of the martyrs. All Hallows Eve, the evening before All Saints Day, began the time of remembrance. “All Hallows Eve” was eventually contracted to “Hallow-e’en,” which became “Halloween.”

    As Christianity moved through Europe it collided with indigenous pagan cultures and confronted established customs. Pagan holidays and festivals were so entrenched that new converts found them to be a stumbling block to their faith. To deal with the problem, the organized church would commonly move a distinctively Christian holiday to a spot on the calendar that would directly challenge a pagan holiday. The intent was to counter pagan influences and provide a Christian alternative. But most often the church only succeeded in “Christianizing” a pagan ritual—the ritual was still pagan, but mixed with Christian symbolism. That’s what happened to All Saints Eve—it was the original Halloween alternative!

    The Celtic people of Europe and Britain were pagan Druids whose major celebrations were marked by the seasons. At the end of the year in northern Europe, people made preparations to ensure winter survival by harvesting the crops and culling the herds, slaughtering animals that wouldn’t make it. Life slowed down as winter brought darkness (shortened days and longer nights), fallow ground, and death. The imagery of death, symbolized by skeletons, skulls, and the color black, remains prominent in today’s Halloween celebrations.

    The pagan Samhain festival (pronounced “sow” “en”) celebrated the final harvest, death, and the onset of winter, for three days—October 31 to November 2. The Celts believed the curtain dividing the living and the dead lifted during Samhain to allow the spirits of the dead to walk among the living—ghosts haunting the earth.

    Some embraced the season of haunting by engaging in occult practices such as divination and communication with the dead. They sought “divine” spirits (demons) and the spirits of their ancestors regarding weather forecasts for the coming year, crop expectations, and even romantic prospects. Bobbing for apples was one practice the pagans used to divine the spiritual world’s “blessings” on a couple’s romance.

    For others the focus on death, occultism, divination, and the thought of spirits returning to haunt the living, fueled ignorant superstitions and fears. They believed spirits were earthbound until they received a proper sendoff with treats—possessions, wealth, food, and drink. Spirits who were not suitably “treated” would “trick” those who had neglected them. The fear of haunting only multiplied if that spirit had been offended during its natural lifetime.

    Trick-bent spirits were believed to assume grotesque appearances. Some traditions developed, which believed wearing a costume to look like a spirit would fool the wandering spirits. Others believed the spirits could be warded off by carving a grotesque face into a gourd or root vegetable (the Scottish used turnips) and setting a candle inside it—the jack-o-lantern.

    Into that dark, superstitious, pagan world, God mercifully shined the light of the gospel. Newly converted Christians armed themselves with the truth and no longer feared a haunting from departed spirits returning to earth. In fact, they denounced their former pagan spiritism in accord with Deuteronomy 18:

    There shall not be found among you anyone…who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord (vv. 10-13).

    Nonetheless, Christian converts found family and cultural influence hard to withstand; they were tempted to rejoin the pagan festivals, especially Samhain. Pope Gregory IV reacted to the pagan challenge by moving the celebration of All Saints Day in the ninth century—he set the date at November 1, right in the middle of Samhain.

    As the centuries passed, Samhain and All Hallows Eve mixed together. On the one hand, pagan superstitions gave way to “Christianized” superstitions and provided more fodder for fear. People began to understand that the pagan ancestral spirits were demons and the diviners were practicing witchcraft and necromancy. On the other hand, the festival time provided greater opportunity for revelry. Trick-or-treat became a time when roving bands of young hooligans would go house-to-house gathering food and drink for their parties. Stingy householders ran the risk of a “trick” being played on their property from drunken young people.

    Halloween didn’t become an American holiday until the immigration of the working classes from the British Isles in the late nineteenth century. While early immigrants may have believed the superstitious traditions, it was the mischievous aspects of the holiday that attracted American young people. Younger generations borrowed or adapted many customs without reference to their pagan origins.

    Hollywood has added to the “fun” a wide assortment of fictional characters—demons, monsters, vampires, werewolves, mummies, and psychopaths. That certainly isn’t improving the American mind, but it sure is making someone a lot of money.

    The Christian Response to Halloween
    Today Halloween is almost exclusively an American secular holiday, but many who celebrate have no concept of its religious origins or pagan heritage. That’s not to say Halloween has become more wholesome. Children dress up in entertaining costumes, wander the neighborhood in search of candy, and tell each other scary ghost stories; but adults often engage in shameful acts of drunkenness and debauchery.

    So, how should Christians respond?

    First, Christians should not respond to Halloween like superstitious pagans. Pagans are superstitious; Christians are enlightened by the truth of God’s Word. Evil spirits are no more active and sinister on Halloween than they are on any other day of the year; in fact, any day is a good day for Satan to prowl about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). But “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). God has forever “disarmed principalities and powers” through the cross Christ and “made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them through [Christ]” (Colossians 2:15).

    Second, Christians should respond to Halloween with cautionary wisdom. Some people fear the activity of Satanists or pagan witches, but the actual incidents of satanic-associated crime are very low. The real threat on Halloween is from the social problems that attend sinful behavior—drunk driving, pranksters and vandals, and unsupervised children.

    Like any other day of the year, Christians should exercise caution as wise stewards of their possessions and protectors of their families. Christian young people should stay away from secular Halloween parties since those are breeding grounds for trouble. Christian parents can protect their children by keeping them well-supervised and restricting treat consumption to those goodies received from trusted sources.

    Third, Christians should respond to Halloween with gospel compassion. The unbelieving, Christ-rejecting world lives in perpetual fear of death. It isn’t just the experience of death, but rather what the Bible calls “a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume [God’s] adversaries” (Hebrews 10:27). Witches, ghosts, and evil spirits are not terrifying; God’s wrath unleashed on the unforgiven sinner—now that is truly terrifying.

    Christians should use Halloween and all that it brings to the imagination—death imagery, superstition, expressions of debauched revelry—as an opportunity to engage the unbelieving world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has given everyone a conscience that responds to His truth (Romans 2:14-16), and the conscience is the Christian’s ally in the evangelistic enterprise. Christians should take time to inform the consciences of friends and family with biblical truth regarding God, the Bible, sin, Christ, future judgment, and the hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ for the repentant sinner.

    There are several different ways Christians will engage in Halloween evangelism. Some will adopt a “No Participation” policy. As Christian parents, they don’t want their kids participating in spiritually compromising activities—listening to ghost stories and coloring pictures of witches. They don’t want their kids to dress up in costumes for trick-or-treating or even attending Halloween alternatives.

    That response naturally raises eyebrows and provides a good opportunity to share the gospel to those who ask. It’s also important that parents explain their stand to their children and prepare them to face the teasing or ridicule of their peers and the disapproval or scorn of their teachers.

    Other Christians will opt for Halloween alternatives called “Harvest Festivals” or “Reformation Festivals”—the kids dress up as farmers, Bible characters, or Reformation heroes. It’s ironic when you consider Halloween’s beginning as an alternative, but it can be an effective means of reaching out to neighborhood families with the gospel. Some churches leave the church building behind and take acts of mercy into their community, “treating” needy families with food baskets, gift cards, and the gospel message.

    Those are good alternatives; there are others that are not so good. Some churches are using “Hell House” evangelism to shock young people and scare them into becoming Christians. They walk people through rooms patterned after carnival-style haunted houses and put sin on display—women undergoing abortions, people sacrificed in a satanic ritual, consequences of premarital sex, dangers of rave parties, demon possession, and other tragedies.

    Here’s the problem with so-called Hell House evangelism: To shock an unshockable culture, you have to get pretty graphic. Graphic exhibits of sin and its consequences are unnecessary—unbelieving minds are already full of such images. What they need to see is a life truly transformed by the power of God, and what they need to hear is the truth of God in an accurate presentation of the gospel. Cheap gimmickry is unfitting for Christ’s ambassadors.

    There’s another option open to Christians: limited, non-compromising participation in Halloween. There’s nothing inherently evil about candy, costumes, or trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. In fact, all of that can provide a unique gospel opportunity with neighbors. Even handing out candy to neighborhood children—provided you’re not stingy—can improve your reputation among the kids. As long as the costumes are innocent and the behavior does not dishonor Christ, trick-or-treating can be used to further gospel interests.

    Ultimately, Christian participation in Halloween is a matter of conscience before God. Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, you must honor God by keeping yourself separate from the world and by showing mercy to those who are perishing. Halloween provides the Christian with the opportunity to accomplish both of those things in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s a message that is holy, set apart from the world; it’s a message that is the very mercy of a forgiving God. What better time of the year is there to share such a message than Halloween?

    Copyright 2006. Grace to You. All rights reserved.

  4. Ouch! This post is spot on with the hypocrisy and legalism that can infiltrate a Christian’s heart. My personal view on Halloween is I don’t like it and we don’t celebrate it. I don’t like feeding my kids candy either, so I don’t. But, if other parents feed their kids candy or celebrate Halloween, that’s their prerogative. It’s a difference between personal choices and convictions and biblical mandates. I think that’s where Christians miss sometimes. They impose their personal convictions on other Christians. What’s permissible for someone else may not be permissible for me and visa versa.

    I saw SO many people boycott Disney when all that came up about the benefits and such. But, like you, I noticed they still supported many other organizations with the same policy. Pretty soon, we won’t be able to shop somewhere or use services at a company without those things in place. It’s coming.

    • You saw the point. I know the Wolfe is lurking out there somewhere. When will he strike?


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