Friday, November 2, 2007

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

There is a proverb that says "When you sup with the devil, use a long spoon."

Halloween is a pagan holiday that began in ancient times. The origins of Halloween are Celtic in and have to do with observing the end of summer sacrifices to gods in Druidic tradition. It iscelebrated and revered as a day to worship the dead by the wiccan culture.

In ancient times, the gods were worshipped on this day with human sacrifices. Celtics believed Samhain, the lord of death, sent evil spirits abroad to attack humans, who could escape only by assuming disguises and looking like evil spirits themselves. The waning of the sun and the approach of dark winter made the evil spirits rejoice and play nasty tricks. Most of our Halloween practices can be traced back to these old pagan rites and superstitions.

In the fourth century, Christians attempted to co-opt the holiday by celebrating the lives of faithful Christian saints the day before Halloween. This was a conscious attempt to provide an alternative and to re-focus the day away from ghouls, goblins, ghosts, witches and other “haunted” experiences. Since that time many Christians have decided to allow their children to dress in more “innocent” costumes of pumpkins, princesses, Superman or as a cowboy. Part of this is due to the simple reality that in today’s Western culture it is nearly impossible to “avoid” Halloween. But Paul warns in 1 Corinthians 10:20) "But I say that these things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God, and I would not that you should have fellowship with the devil.

Our children are impressionable and allowing them to celebrate Halloween can send mixed messages. Satan is cunning in the ways that he gains entry into our lives. If we are not careful, before long he can turn someting as simple as celebrating Halloween into a stronghold in our lives. You could be opening up doorways into your chidren's lives for evil by bringing them into a kind of "fellowship" with these ancient "gods."

We are commanded not to become involved with the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11).

So, should Christians celebrate Halloween and/or look for alternatives to celebrate on this day? What do you think?

5 comments:

Leeta said...

My short answer is No- I dont celebrate Holloween. Many people feel like well that's not why I personally do it- you know it's all harmless fun... but to me i feel like this- if i was walking along and saw a piece of candy in the gutter with trash and stuff stuck to it.. would i pick it up simply brush off the dirt and eat it? NO... so to me, a holiday that has an orgin with people that were against true worship, and whose custom did things that God detested- No matter how you dress it up- it's still going to be dirty.. God still sees it the same- so if i want to please him- then i avoid it..
thats just me....

Naleighna Kai said...

If people decide it's the unChristian thing to do celebrate Halloween, then they may want to take a pointed look at Christmas, too, which also has origins that are questionable before it was shifted over to the "birth of Christ" which was more likely much earlier in the year anyway. Oh, and according to Biblical references, stop bringing that beloved tree into the house and decorating it. That is strictly stated in the Bible (Old Testatment) that Christians should not do it because it is a pagan practice. But I can count on my hand and yours the number of Christian homes I walk into that would just "die" if they didn't have a tree to decorate or to put presents under. That's considered harmless too? Christians seem to have selective and deselective memories when mostly all holidays have some origins that weren't exactly Christian to begin with but incorporated the current culture into the framework so it would alienate anyone and become more palatable. Also, those same might want to stop going to work or doing any activities on a day to day basis since our calendar was based in Astrology--also supposedly the work of the Devil. My take is, if you leave one holiday off for paganistic reasons, then scrap ALL of them for the same reason.

Leeta said...

I agree with the last commenter- which is why i Personally dont celebrate ANY holidays nor birthdays. Oh and the scripture about the Christmas Tree- (Jeremiah 10:1-10) I dont put my views on anyone else- but for me- this is how i choose to worship- i agree that mostly everything we do can be probably connected to something that isnt' good- and we do have Christ Sacrifice to cover us from sin- because we would never be able to perfectly meet all of God's standards- but for me as much as i can and what ever i can mentally make a choice to do based on full knowledge- this is what i will TRY to do- and i fall short myself- but for the purpose of this blog question- i'll stick with just the topic at hand....

Anonymous said...

I've always found it interesting how Christians (specifically many pastors) pick and choose what they want to indict. I wasn't raised in the church, but I now am a Christian. As a result of my late acceptance of Christ as my savior, I find that I'm different from a lot of my fellow christians sitting next to me in church. I'm such an independent thinker that I've found it difficult to just follow the pastors every word like many people I know. Quite frankly...I don't always agree with the pastor. This topic happens to be one of those things I disagree on. I have seen pastors denounce Halloween, but blatantly ignore the "flaming" gay guy standing behind him on Sunday directing the choir. We all know that many "church folk" have no problem allowing their kids to lose site of the real meaning of Christmas and allow them to beleive that some white man in a red costume is delivering presents via the chimney. We have a lot of "real issues" to worry about in this world (e.g., poverty, racism, teenage pregnancy, etc.); therefore, it seems to me like kids dressing up as Power Rangers, Cinderella, and Spiderman and going around getting candy from the neighbors should be at the bottom of our concern list. If the real issue is some of the devil costumes, grim reeper costumes, and some of the other offensive costumes - than denounce those things specifically. Otherwise, I think we should lighten up and let the kids be kids... at least for one day out of the year.

Brian W. Smith

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the Bible never really defines what or who a Christian is. The word Christian is only mentioned 3 times, and never by Christ himself(so the man himself never even defined what or who are Christian was). In addition, the term Christian was likely simply a blanket term used by those who onlooked followers of Christ.

Personally, I think most so-called Christians would not see me as a Christian. I do not believe that Christ was God's son(the concept makes no sense to me, and if I imagine that it does, I might as well imagine any other number of thing I know to be false and live my life in fantasy.) In addition, I have a few issues with some of the things that Christ said, but generally, I choose to follow Christ.

With that said, I am beginning to see problems not only with "entertaining" fear inducement, but also other forms of entertainment that is considered "normal". Christ was a proponent of truth(as far as he could see it and understand it), what would he think of adults creating fantasy for children and expecting them to believe it(ie Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, tooth fairy,etc). I don't "lie" to my children in this way because I find it far from "innocent", and in fact damaging at times.

In addition, Christ asked is followers to be radical: not "normal". The Amish come to mind on this one. Most so-called Christians are just like none Christians. They live in the same types of homes, pollute in the same manner, own all kinds of businesses with a capitalist orientation(putting the dollar first), they divorce their spouses, hit their children,etc. My family is still trying to figure out how to give up consumerism(Christ was hardly a capitalist or consumerist)-he was almost a nomad and gave up much(including his family-and asked his followers to be as radical).

As for Halloween, it is simply another consumer holiday, which my family hasn't given up yet. If we do, it will be more about the consumerism and the celebration of violence and gore that it has become. We are non-violent, believing in empathy and understanding, violence is a complete turn off to us. In line with this, we are against punitive treatment of humans, and feel that punishment of children is anti-Christ and repulsive.

So the bottom line is, most Christians who are see little problem with war, spanking, accumulation of wealth, telling children about Santa Claus or other mythical beings in order to "make them happy" or manipulate their behavior, etc..probably will be ok with Halloween, and likely should be. If they aren't, I personally think they are focusing on an issue that is easy for them to judge in others because they refuse to change that which is more personal(like how they treat their children, or make their money).