Looking At Halloween From The Bible’s Perspective
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” Ephesians 5:11,12 (KJV)
The Bible says that the Christian is called to liberty, that we are under grace and not under the Law. New life in Jesus Christ has given us freedom to live as we choose to live. But with that freedom comes the awesome responsibility of living our lives in such a way that we are prepared for the Judgment Seat of Christ. Good choices, Godly choices made here on earth will reap crowns in Heaven. But using that same liberty as an occasion for our own selfish desires results in the loss of those crowns. Choose you this day whom ye shall serve, the Bible says. God allows us to make the choices.
All through the Bible we read about Satan, the Devil, whose only goal in life is to trip us up, cause us misery and sorrow. The Bible says that he only comes to seek his victims, kill his victims, and destroy as many lives of the saved and unsaved as possible. He is a constant force luring us astray, and never-ending downward pull to the dark side, and he uses any means possible to complete the mission.
Halloween in America in 2015 is one the most-celebrated “holidays” all year, and Christians participate in it nearly as much as any other group of people. Parents dress their little darlings in princess and cowboy costumes, knock on doors for candy, and decorate the inside and outside of their houses with festive jack-o-lanterns, hanging ghosts, adorable witches and warlocks. But where did this day originate? Let’s take a look.
Many Christians celebrate holidays, such as Halloween, without thinking about their origins or true meaning. It is impossible to separate Halloween from the Druids because they originated the “holiday.” For several hundred years before Christ, the Celts inhabited what is now France, Germany, England, Scotland and Ireland. Celtic priests were called Druids. These people were eventually conquered by the Romans. Information about the Celts and Druids comes from Caesar and the Roman historians, Greek writings from about 200 B.C., and very early records found in Ireland. Greek and Roman writings about the Druids dwell heavily on their frequent and barbaric human sacrifices. The ancient Irish texts say little about human sacrifices, but detail the Druids’ use of magic to raise storms, lay curses on places, kill by the use of spells, and create magical obstacles.
The cute jack-o-lanterns on your front porch were first used by the Druids in their human sacrifices. After they killed their victim, they drained the fat from their body and filled the gourd or pumpkin with it and put a candle wick inside. A sinister face was carved on the outside face of the pumpkin and the wick was lit, burning the fat as fuel. This was done to appease their gods, the dark spirits, Satan.
October 31st was celebrated by the Druids with many human sacrifices and a festival honoring their sun god and Samhain, the lord of the dead. They believed that the sinful souls of those who died during the year were in a place of torment, and would be released only if Samhain was pleased with their sacrifices.
Irish records tell of the fascination the Catholic monks had with the powerful Druids, and Druids soon became important members of their monasteries. Pope Gregory the Great decided to incorporate the Druids’ holiday into the church. He made the proclamation, “They are no longer to sacrifice beasts to the devil, but they may kill them for food to the praise of God, and give thanks to the giver of all gifts for His bounty.” Pope Gregory III moved the church festival of October 31st to November 1st and called it All Hallows or All Saints’ Day. Pope Gregory IV decreed that the day was to be a universal church observance. The term Halloween comes from All Hallows Eve.
The founding fathers of America refused to permit the holiday to be observed because they knew it was a pagan holiday. Halloween was not widely celebrated in the U.S. until about 1900. In the 1840’s there was a terrible potato famine in Ireland which sent thousands of Catholic Irish to America. They brought Halloween with them. The modern custom of going from door to door asking for food and candy goes back to the time of the Druids. They believed that sinful, lost souls were released upon the earth by Samhain for one night on October 31st while they awaited their judgment. They were thought to throng about the houses of the living and were greeted with banquet-laden tables. People greatly feared these spirits and thought that the spirits would harm and even kill them if the sacrifices they gave did not appease Samhain. They carved demonic faces into pumpkins or large turnips, placing a candle in them to keep the evil spirits away from their homes.
The modern custom of going from door to door asking for food and candy goes back to the time of the Druids. They believed that sinful, lost souls were released upon the earth by Samhain for one night on October 31st while they awaited their judgment. They were thought to throng about the houses of the living and were greeted with banquet-laden tables. People greatly feared these spirits and thought that the spirits would harm and even kill them if the sacrifices they gave did not appease Samhain. They carved demonic faces into pumpkins or large turnips, placing a candle in them to keep the evil spirits away from their homes.
The tradition of bobbing for apples and giving out nuts came from a Roman addition to the Druidic New Year’s eve. The Romans worshiped Pomona who was the goddess of the harvest. They combined their harvest festival to Pomona with Halloween. Very little archeological evidence of the Druids has been found, but there is excellent agreement between the Roman and Irish documents. Both clearly state that the knowledge of the Druids was never committed to writing but passed from generation to generation by oral teaching. This was to protect their secrets. Nothing is put into writing. The Druids continue on secretly with much the same traditions.
When we, the Christians, participate in Halloween we are continuing the Druid tradition that was begun in human sacrifices and worship of the gods of the underworld. The Bible tells us to not merely avoid evil, but to also avoid anything that might appear evil. We are called to be “salt and light” to a lost and dying world. We are called to be a “peculiar people”, visibly different from the world around us. Participating in the Devil’s holiday, at the very least, is a bad testimony and sends confusing messages to our children.
Use your liberty in Christ any way you chose this October 31st, just remember that one day Jesus will ask you about it at the Judgment Seat.
What answer will you give Him in that day?