Saturday, October 27, 2018

A Christian Discourse On Halloween

          Halloween is hotly debated subject matter amongst Christian circles. Some believe the festival to be harmless and entertaining. Others maintain that it is evidence of a morally bankrupt society, and that Christian who allow their children to go trick-or-treating are compromising the faith. Halloween has certainly been a source of controversy within the church. There exists a stark contrast of perspective on this issue. Therefore, a brief exercise of discernment would be wise.

          Regardless of the effort that an individual may place into commercializing this holiday, it cannot be denied that Halloween has pagan roots. It is of Celtic origin. It was observed in Ireland and Scotland, and was adopted by the Church of Rome in the fifth century. Halloween contains occult elements, from sorcery to witchcraft to demonism. Such concepts are condemned in Scripture (Leviticus 19:31; 20:6; Deuteronomy 18:9-12; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Galatians 5:19-21). Partaking in occult activities is idolatry, which can range from Ouija boards to tarot cards to fortune telling and so on.

          People cannot, however, utterly disassociate themselves from Halloween, as it is another day of the week. God is our Creator and transcends time. Everything rightly belongs to Him (Psalm 24:1; 1 Corinthians 10:26). That includes Halloween. We should be in prayer on a daily basis. We should be glorifying Him on a daily basis. There are holy ways of going about matters in this life. There are also sinful and unwise ways of addressing issues. Moreover, anything can be abused and misused.

          The act of dressing up as a cowboy and going door to door with the intention of receiving candy is not in and of itself sinful. To illustrate the point, the Apostle Paul declared that eating meats offered to idols is morally permissible, provided that fellow brethren are not offended (1 Corinthians 10:25-33). If eating causes one to "participate" in the sacrifice itself, then why would the Apostle Paul tell his audience that it is fine for them eat the meat offered to idols? In the same manner, whether or not a person goes trick-or-treating is a matter of conscience. No homage is given to false gods.

          A person whose conscience is violated by such a cultural tradition has every right to express disagreement. Yet, we should strive to not become stumbling blocks to each other. This can serve as a lesson in Christian love, fellowship, discipline, and humility. Paul said, "One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind...Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way" (Romans 14:5; 13). If a Christian does embrace the sinful themes of Halloween, then he or she is indeed guilty of worldly compromise and needs to repent.

1 comment:

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

There's a wee bit more to the history of Halloween, which I'll note in a moment. However, Jesse has it right in that it should be a matter of personal conscience. First, I've never known anyone personally who practiced any occult activities on Halloween, and dressing up like witches or goblins is no different than dressing up as fairies, etc. Too many legalistic people really get into the whole condemnation thing (I find most are KJVOs, which is a legalistic ideology to begin with.). As for the additional history--or, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story--Doug Evans had a good, short history in regards to how Halloween entered the Church:

Halloween 2018 is thankfully over, the Roman Catholic created celebration and adoration of all things evil has passed taking Christians with them on their slow spiral into hell. Did I say that the Roman church created Halloween? 
Halloween exists because of Pope #90 Gregory III. Pope Greg III is known for a few things: aggravating a feud between Italy and the Byzantine empire; the iconoclast controversy (a shining time in Catholic history where paintings and statues became more important than theology), building St. Peters Cathedral (and adorning it with religious icons just to anger the Patriarch of Constantinople the real head of the Catholic church at the time), and outlawing the consumption of horse meat. Pope Greg III moved All Saints Day from May 13 to Nov. 1. Over 100 years later in 844, Pope #101 Gregory IV ordered that it be celebrated everywhere. Because the Catholics demand that a good saint is a dead saint, All Saints Day is a solemn affair as can be seen in it's modern version. In 988 the church added All Souls Day, a day to remind God that His whole judgement idea goes against 2 Maccabees 12:41-46. Now the RCC had a holiday for dead saints and dead sinners in purgatory, how about one for the dead in hell? According to Father Augustine Thompson  it became customary to bang pots and pans on All Hallows Even to let the damned know they were not forgotten. Thus, in Ireland at least, all the dead came to be remembered–even if the clergy were not terribly sympathetic to Halloween and never allowed All Damned Day into the church calendar. As with all things that celebrate satan, it spiraled out of control until we have today's celebration of Satan's dominion over the unschooled.

See Doug's blog at: