October 27, 2008
A Halloween Perspective
In just a few days, it will be the annual “All Saints Eve” festival we have come to know as Halloween. The derivation of this holiday is contested, but apparently the Druids held the earliest Halloween celebrations in honor of Saman, a lord of the dead whose festival fell on Nov. 1st. In the 19th century this traditional time of celebration was brought to the U.S. by Irish immigrants and over the years it has become a major holiday focused on costumes, candy and revelry.
As I did some reading on the holiday, I came across a full gamut of opinions about Christians celebrating this particular holiday. One writer wrote, Halloween is “a night of inversion when social norms are turned upside down and a temporary freedom of expression reigns supreme (Nicholas Rodgers). Another Christian leader with “Spiritwatch Ministries” remarked, Halloween is “directly related to the morbidly supernatural, sufficiently sanitized for popular consumption.”
On the other end of the spectrum, I found writers who thought Christian were over reacting to a badly bungled set of historical facts, asserting the playfulness and harmless nature of the fun night.
As a child, I participated in the fun nature of the night. I “trick or treated” with all the other kids in the neighborhood. My bag was always very full of the best stuff! And as a Christian adult, I do not want to over react. Generally, I am all for special occasions that allow children to be children.
However, I did not choose to have Halloween celebrations at our Christian school and my god-daughter was not allowed to go trick or treating. I just felt that the association with pagan rituals, mediums, spiritualists and witches was just too clear and there were lots of other ways to have a “party night” filled with tooth decaying sugar.
So I am writing today to urge you to rethink your Halloween traditions. You might want to read a few scriptures that may help you to be sensitive to the whole arena of satanic activities and our injunction to avoid them. Consider:
Deut. 18:10-12 “There shall not be found among you…one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who cats a spell or a medium, or a spiritualist, or one who calls up the dead. Whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord…”
Eph. 5:11-13 “And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them, for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.”
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Eph.6:1-2).
Warmest Regards in Christ,
Sherry L. Worel
Stoneybrooke Christian Schools