Halloween

[This article was written by Bryan Matthew Dockens.]

Halloween originated as “All Hallows’ Eve,” the night prior to “All Hallows’ Day,” that is “All Saints’ Day” on which Catholics honor their pantheon of so-called “saints.” Neither Halloween nor All Saints Day has any basis in scripture. Each is the invention of the Catholic Church, amounting to the traditions of men, rather than the commandments of God (Matthew 15:1-9).

The Pope designated the first of November All Saints’ Day to co-opt the existing Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”). Meaning “Summer’s End,” Samhain was a harvest festival, but more than that, it was also a festival of the dead. As summer turned to winter, the holiday represented a time of transition when spirits from beyond the grave could pass through. Deceased ancestors were honored while harmful spirits were warded off by frightening disguises.

Eventually, Halloween arrived at its current secular status as the one day a year children could dress in costume, knock on strangers’ doors, and reasonably expect to receive candy. As such, it is basically harmless, provided that it is celebrated without religious trappings, either Pagan or Catholic. Opting out altogether is certainly a respectable choice, but those wishing to participate in a secular manner are urged to select costumes and décor with caution.

Witches. Decades of inculcation by way of the television series “Bewitched” and “Sabrina The Teenage Witch,” as well as the Harry Potter books, among other sources, have numbed the public consciousness to the evil that is witchcraft. Witchcraft, also known as sorcery, is treated as a sinister practice in scripture. The Almighty commanded, “There shall not be found among you anyone who… practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). The Old Testament penalty was severe: “You shall not permit a sorceress to live” (Exodus 22:18). The New Testament likewise condemns the practice, calling “sorcery”“work of the flesh” (Galatians 5:20), the outcome of which is eternal damnation (Revelation 22:15).“Sorcerers… shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Witches are not merely fictional crones, the stuff of fairy tales and legends, riding brooms, wearing pointed hats, and accompanied by black cats. They were a genuine threat to godliness when the Old and New Testaments were penned, and remain so today. Wiccan is a growing religion worldwide, and should be regarded as the falsehood it is. Witchcraft ought not to be a source of entertainment at Halloween or otherwise.

Vampires. Fictional vampires depicted as villains in literature and cinema are hardly problematic. Stories need conflict and characters, and blood sucking monsters make excellent antagonists. Where trouble lies, however, is in vampirism’s recent transformation from villainy to heroism. From Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice to Twilight by Stephanie Meyers, the vampires of modern fiction no longer epitomize literary evildoers, but conflicted heroes. They resist the urge to consume human blood, thereby avoiding the sin of murder, by re-directing that urge through the consumption of animal blood. This is hardly a godly solution inasmuch as ingesting blood is strictly forbidden throughout scripture. Prior to the Law of Moses, when Noah and his family emerged from the ark, God informed them, “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood” (Genesis 9:3-4). Within the Law of Moses, the prohibition against blood consumption was reiterated: “And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘No one among you shall eat blood, nor shall any stranger who dwells among you eat blood’” (Leviticus 17:10-12). Partaking of blood remains just as sinful under the Law of Christ (Acts 15:20, 29). Sadly, vampiric behavior is no longer confined to the pages of fiction, having transitioned to modern occult practices, including elements of the goth subculture, beginning with the success of the Interview With The Vampire franchise. A fringe minority to be sure, but there really are people who drink blood donated by syringe from willing friends. These things considered, vampire costumes and decorations just don’t seem appropriate.

Devil. Satan’s actual appearance does not involve a pointy tail, a horned forehead, a red satin cape, or a pitchfork. Such artistic depictions are the product of imagination, not scripture. As the master of deception (John 8:44), the devil knows better than to be so obvious. In fact, he presents himself in the most wholesome fashion, as it is written, “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2nd Corinthians 11:14). Accuracy notwithstanding, there is a popular understanding of what the Tempter looks like and it is most regrettable anyone would choose to replicate that image in costume. He is the originator of all sin (John 8:44), he put it in Judas’ heart to betray Christ (John 13:27), and he turns souls away from obeying the gospel (Matthew 13:19, 39). The error of presenting oneself as the Wicked One should be obvious to anyone willing to give it a moment’s consideration.

To be clear, participation in the secular observance of Halloween is an individual choice, and is neither right nor wrong in itself; however, participants must exercise discretion in the manner in which they celebrate.


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Comments

  1. Eva Sochor says

    Thanks for posting this, Andy.

  2. Thank you sir,I’ve posted to Christian parents on the danger of Twilight and Harry Potter.I was able to reap so much from your words here.Parents are allowing kids to become involved in this new agenda of Satan to sway God’s children into his darkness.Kids are becoming fearful,changing behavior,clothing and withdrawing from family.Parents might mistake that for teen behavior.We’re christians and don’t want to “rock the boat” with friends and how they raise thier kids.But,it has to be addressed,God wants it addressed,it is against His Word and his enemy,Satan’s agenda that needs to be revealed.