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Truth About Halloween


Halloween

History traces Halloween back to the ancient religion of the Celtics.


The Celtic people were very conscious of the spiritual world and


had their own ideas of how they could gain access to it – such


as by helping their over 300 gods to defeat their enemies in


battle, or by imitating the gods in showing cleverness and


cunning.



Trick or TreatTheir


two main feasts were Beltane at the beginning of summer (May 1),


and Samhain at the end of summer (Nov. 1). They believed Samhain


was a time when the division between the two worlds became very


thin, when hostile supernatural forces were active and ghosts


and spirits were free to wander as they wished.


The

Celtic priests who carried out the rituals in the open air were

called Druids, members of pagan orders in Britain, Ireland and

Gaul, who generally performed their rituals by offering

sacrifices, usually of animals, but sometimes of humans, in

order to placate the gods; ensuring that the sun would return

after the winter; and frightening away evil spirits. To the

Celtics, the bonfire represented the sun and was used to aid the

Druid in his fight with dark powers. The term bonfire comes from

the words “bone fire,” literally meaning the bones of sacrificed

animals, sometimes human, were piled in a field with timber and

set ablaze. All fires except those of the Druids were

extinguished on Samhain and householders were levied a fee to

relight their holy fire which burned at their altars. During the

Festival of Samhain, fires would be lit which would burn all

through the winter and sacrifices would be offered to the gods

on the fires. This practice of burning humans was stopped around

1600, and an effigy was sometimes burned instead.



Samhain


was the supreme night of demonic jubilation. Spirits of the dead


would rise out of their graves and wander the countryside,


trying to return to the homes where they formerly lived.



Walking DeadFrightened


villagers tried to appease these wandering spirits by offering


them gifts of fruit and nuts. This is the origin of our present


day “trick-or-treat.” They began the tradition of placing plates


of the finest food and bits of treats that the household had to


offer on their doorsteps, as gifts, to appease the hunger of the


ghostly wanderers. If not placated, villagers feared that the


spirits would kill their flocks or destroy their property.


 The

problem was… if the souls of dead loved ones could return that

night, so could anything else, human or not, nice or

not-so-nice. The only thing the superstitious people knew to do

to protect themselves on such an occasion was to masquerade as

one of the demonic hoard, and hopefully blend in unnoticed among

them. Wearing masks and other disguises and blackening the face

with soot were originally ways of hiding oneself from the

spirits of the dead who might be roaming around. This is the

origin of Halloween masquerading as devils, imps, ogres, and

other demonic creatures.



Trick

or Treat has been thought to have come from a European custom

called “souling”. Beggars would go from village to village

begging for “soul cakes” made out of square pieces of bread with

currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the

more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead

relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the

dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer,

even by strangers could guarantee a soul’s passage to heaven.


In

many parts of Britain and Ireland this night used to be known as

‘Mischief Night’, which meant that people were free to go around

the village playing pranks and getting up to any kind of

mischief without fear of being punished. Many of the different

customs were taken to the United States by Irish and Scottish

immigrants in the nineteenth century, and they developed into

‘trick or treat’.


When

Christianity spread to parts of Europe, instead of trying to

abolish these pagan customs, people tried to introduce ideas

which reflected a more Christian world-view. Halloween has since

become a confusing mixture of traditions and practices from

pagan cultures and Christian tradition. The Romans observed the

holiday of Feralia, intended to give rest and peace to the

departed. Participants made sacrifices in honor of the dead,

offered up prayers for them, and made oblations to them. The

festival was celebrated on February 21, the end of the Roman

year. In the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV introduced All

Saints’ Day to replace the pagan festival of the dead. It was

observed on May 13. In 834, Gregory III moved All Saint’s Day

from May 13 to Nov. 1 and for Christians, this became an

opportunity for remembering before God all the saints who had

died and all the dead in the Christian community. Oct. 31 thus

became All Hallows’ Eve (‘hallow’ means ’saint’). Sadly, though,

many of the customs survived and were blended in with

Christianity.


Numerous

folk customs connected with the pagan observances for the dead

have survived to the present. The various activities traditional

to Halloween are mostly associated with the idea of obtaining

good fortune and foretelling the future. The idea behind

ducking, dooking or bobbing for apples seems to have been that

snatching a bite from the apple enables the person to grasp good

fortune. Samhain is a time for getting rid of weakness, as

pagans once slaughtered weak animals which were unlikely to

survive the winter. A common ritual calls for writing down

weaknesses on a piece of paper or parchment, and tossing it into

the fire. There used to be a custom of placing a stone in the

hot ashes of the bonfire. If in the morning a person found that

the stone had been removed or had cracked, it was a sign of bad

fortune. Nuts have been used for divination: whether they burned

quietly or exploded indicated good or bad luck. Peeling an apple

and throwing the peel over one’s shoulder was supposed to reveal

the initial of one’s future spouse. One way of looking for omens

of death was for peope to visit churchyards, because the spirits

of those who were going to die during the coming year were

thought to walk around the churchyard during this night.


Jack-o-lantern

The

Jack-o-lantern is the festival light for Halloween and is the

ancient symbol of a damned soul. Originally the Irish would

carve out turnips or beets as lanterns as representations of the

souls of the dead or goblins freed from the dead. When the Irish

emigrated to America they could not find many turnips to carve

into Jack O’Lanterns but they did find an abundance of pumpkins.

Pumpkins seemed to be a suitable substitute for the turnips and

pumpkins have been an essential part of Halloween celebrations

ever since. Pumpkins were cut with faces representing demons and

was originally intended to frighten away evil spirits. It was

said that if a demon or such were to encounter something as

fiendish looking as themselves that they’d run away in

terror,thus sparing the houses dwellers from the ravages of dark

entities. They would have been carried around the village

boundaries or left outside the home to burn through the night.

Kid in Witches costumeBats,

owls and other nocturanal animals, also popular symbols of

Halloween, were originally feared because people believed that

these creatures could communicate with the spirits of the dead.

Black cats has religious origins as well. During the Middle Ages

it was believed that witches could turn themselves into black

cats. Thus when such a cat was seen, it was considered to be a

witch in disguise.


 Witches

and witchcraft are dominant themes of the holiday. Witches

generally believe themselves to be followers of an ancient

religion, which goes back far beyond Christianity, and which is

properly called ‘wicca’. Witches are really just one side of a

modern revival of paganism

- the following of pre-Christian nature religions, the attempt

to return to worshipping ancient Norse, Greek or Celtic gods and

goddesses. The apostle Paul said Witchcraft is one of the acts

of the sinful nature and those who practice it will not inherit

the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:16-21; see also Revelation

22:15).

 Let

no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter

in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets

omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a

medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who

does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of

these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out

those nations before you. You must be blameless before the

LORD your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to

those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you,

the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.

[Deuteronomy 18:10-14]

 Should

Christians adopt such practices?

“Do not

conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be

transformed by the renewing of your mind.” [Romans 12:2]

Can we borrow the pagan customs and superstitions of ancient

peoples and “Christianize” them?

“Test

everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. [1

Thesalonians 5:21-22] Who can deny

that virtually all of the symbols of Halloween are evil?

Witches, monsters, ogres, vampires, ghosts, ghouls, goblins,

devils and demons all portray evil.

“And have

no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather

reprove them.” [Ephesians 5:11] The

sort of practices celebrated on Halloween are what defiled the

ancient nations [see Leviticus 18:24-30]. The Israelites were

warned against such practices when they entered the Promised

Land,

“When thou

art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou

shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.”

[Deuteronomy 18:9]


Is

Halloween just another innocent holiday that doesn’t harm

anyone? Is it really just childish fun? Should the church be

compromised by accommodating itself to the culture? Vandalism

and wanton disregard for the property of others is common on

Halloween night. Even normally well-behaved children are driven

by unseen forces to destructive behavior. Police officials

everywhere report a great increase in such activities on

Halloween. Worse yet are the horrifying accounts of poisoned

candy and fruits booby-trapped with razor blades and needles.

Such threats are so real that many hospitals offer free X-rays

of Halloween treats in order to prevent children from being

harmed. Who but Satan could inspire such monstrous actions?


As

an alternative to the celebration of evil and death, Christians

should rather do what Christians are supposed to do every day

and that is shine the light of Jesus Christ. We should emphasize

the Christian influences and strive to make Hallow’s Eve a

celebration of the acts of God through his people the saints. We

should make it a day when acts of charity instead of vandalism

and hatred abound. A day that emphasizes the light of Christ

instead of the darkness of evil. A day when people meditate on

the acts of Godly people instead of ghosts and goblins.


Jack-o-lantern

When

America and the world celebrates the Festival of Samhain and the

powers of darkness by masquerading as evil creatures or

decorating our homes, schools, businesses and churches with

occult symbols, Satanic power is glorified. While you may have

participated “all in fun,” be assured, Halloween is serious

business for Satanists and witches. Those who oppose Christ are

known to organize on Halloween to observe satanic rituals, to

cast spells, to oppose churches and families, to perform

sacrilegious acts, and to even offer blood sacrifices to Satan.


As

evil prevails, Americans have embraced an evil day of Satan,

with the pranks of ‘would be’ hoodlums, combined with ‘demon

faces’ on pumpkins, clothing of ‘death’ being worn, and calling

it fun. When Christians participate in Halloween, it sends a

message to children that witchcraft, demonism, Satanism, and the

occult are something fun, entertaining and harmless.





Witchcraft

Many

years ago, C.S. Lewis wrote that one of Satan’s most deceptive

tactics is to convince people that he doesn’t exist. Apparently

he has done a good job in his deception. Sadly, many people

think of the devil as no more than a symbol of evil: like Santa

Claus, he is just a fictional symbol. Many people today also do

not think of witches as real people who practice magic, but

simply as imaginary figures who represent the supernatural world

and everything that is ’spooky.’ Recognizing this pagan holiday

gives the false impression that what is actually lethal is

innocuous.

Smoking gunSome

children develop a fascination with the supernatural which leads

them later into more sinister occult practices. It’s the

spiritual equivalent of painting a loaded gun to look like a toy

and giving it to child to play with.


 It
is the kind of celebration that encourages kids like the

16-year-old in Pearl, Mississippi who stabbed his mother to

death in her sleep and then opened fire at his high school,

killing two students and wounding seven. Authorities found this

student along with at least six others involved in a small,

avowedly satanic clique that calls itself “Kroth.”


 How
some people can defend this kind of activity as just another

innocent holiday that doesn’t harm anyone is beyond me.


Light

has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of

light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil

hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear

that his deeds will be exposed. (John 3:19-20)



Central

to Satan’s goals is the widespread acceptance of the

supernatural, including the occult, on the part of North

Americans, accompanied by a great revival of spiritism all over

the world. Over the last 30 years, the occult has moved into the

mainstream of America – in television, movies, magazines,

business, and various aspects of daily life. Movies, books,

magazines and encyclopedias of the supernatural have abounded.

Turn on your TV and hear from the ever-present “Psychic Friends”

hotline, or see lead characters in TV shows meet their “spirit

guide.” Entire bookstores devoted to the occult have become

common. Universities regularly offer courses on witchcraft and

magic – usually the so-called “white” variety. Myriads of

mystical Eastern religions, bizarre and often demonic, have

invaded North America and found in most cases an amazing

responsiveness.


Increasingly

the curriculum in many public schools is becoming a primer in

occultism. Impressions, a curriculum used in many school

districts instructs teachers and students in how to cast spells.

One teacher’s manual reads, “Tell the children that a magician

has cast a spell on some children. Have them work in pairs to

write the magic spell the magician used. Have each pair write

another spell to reverse the first spell. Have them chant their

spells.” About 16,000 school districts use the Pumsey the Dragon

curriculum, by Jill Anderson. Many of the relaxation techniques

used are identical to those used in hypnosis. Another curriculum

called Duso the Dolphin employs relaxation techniques and sends

hypnotized youngsters off on guided fantasies to a place called

Aquatron.


Demon

Recently,

a California skateboard manufacturer used a package enclosure

similar in appearance to a gospel tract to encourage purchasers

to sell their souls to the devil. The brochure titled, “Let’s

Make a Deal” has a smiley-faced devil who explains to Flame Boy

what happened in heaven after he was banished: “First off, they

set up a bunch of dumb rules, and then they imposed a really

strict dress code. I’l wager that people must be quite bored up

there, but hey, that’s what they get for being good.” He

contrasts this with, “Flame Boy, even a dimwit like you can see

that hell is by far the best place to retire. Just look at all

the fun to be had.” Children are asked to sign and return a

contract, by which they give possession of their souls to the

devil for eternity.


Satanism

has become a phenomena that crosses the city limit into the

rural areas of our nation. It is reported there are some 6000

witches, and approximately 10 million people are involved in the

occult. However, it is very difficult to establish how many

actually participate. These individuals are involved in a wide

variety of activities from simply casting spells to human

sacrifice. The news wires carry story after story about young

children being kidnapped, only to be found later as victims of

some bizarre ritualistic crime.


Grim Reaper

As

satantic involvement among our youth increases, we begin to see

the primary goal of such activity. According to Scripture (2

Cor. 4:4; Rev. 12:9), Satan’s goal is to deceive man by blinding

him to the truth of the gospel and to receive worship for

himself (Matt. 4:9; Isa. 14:12-14). It has become clear that the

primary goal is to alter an individual’s values and turn him

against himself, his beliefs, family, God and society.

 “Be

sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a

roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1

Peter 5:8

Young

satanists believe the strong will rule with Satan. Once an

individual becomes involved, they often make a pact with Satan.

They commit themselves to a future date when they will take

their own lives by suicide. They believe if they submit

themselves to Satan in death, they will come back in another

life as a stronger being and rule with him forever. According to

recent statistics, fourteen young people a day take their own

lives.


 What’s

wrong with Halloween? It does not have even one single redeeming

virtue. It is custom born out of pagan superstition. It is a

demon-inspired, devil-glorifying, occult festival. It is an

evening holy unto evil, death, and divination. The Scriptures

tells us to

“Abstain

from all appearance of evil.” [1Thess. 5:22]

Wake up Christian! This is the night of evil and those who love

the Lord Jesus Christ should have nothing to do with it.


We

are all accountable for our choices and decisions. Ignorance is

no excuse. The choice is up to you. Have you been involved in

this satanic holiday? Do you struggle with giving it up because

“it’s just fun” and an innocent opportunity for children to

dress up and collect candy? Don’t take my word for it. Let God

show you what he would have you do. You might begin by praying

the following:


Father
in

heaven I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ to confess

that I’m a sinner. I’m sorry! Please forgive me. I believe

with all my heart that Jesus Christ is Your Son and that You

raised him from the dead. I believe that Jesus Christ died

for my sins and that I might be saved. Each and everyday

Father I turn my will and my life over to Your care, and may

Your Holy Spirit lead and guide me in all the things I think

, do and say. I’m Yours and You are mine. Father, please use

me that I might help others come to know and love Your Son

Jesus Christ. Thank you for saving me. Amen


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