25 October 2012

Why We Do Not Celebrate Halloween

Prepared for distribution at THE BIBLE Baptist Church.  Posted here for your reading enjoyment and thoughtful consideration.


1.     While there is some difference of opinion as to the specific origins of the many Halloween traditions (jack-o-lanterns; costumes; trick-or-treating; bobbing for apples; association with ghosts, spirits, witchcraft, and death), it is undeniable and universally agreed that:

A.     All of these traditions are rooted in the beliefs and practices of pagan peoples.
B.     The pagan traditions were based upon “the signs of heaven” and were connected to various types of contact with the spirits of the dead. 
C.     The evolution of the modern holiday is tied to Roman Catholic adaptions of the pagan practices.
D.    It remains an important and celebrated “holy day” for modern pagans and witches. 

Article from The History Channel

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and harvest, and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By 43 AD, the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees.

On May 13, 609 AD, Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of all Christian martyrs, and the Catholic feast of All Martyrs’ Day was established in the Western church. Pope Gregory III (731–741) later expanded the festival to include all saints as well as all martyrs, and moved the observance from May 13 to November 1. By the 9th century the influence of [Roman Catholicism] had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with and supplanted the older Celtic rites. In 1000 AD, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It is widely believed today that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. All Souls’ Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. The All Saints’ Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

Video from The Discovery Channel

2.     While there is nothing inherently wrong with eating candy or dressing up in costume (things we do on other occasions), the following scriptures leave no room for doubt as to the level of involvement that Christians should have in such a holiday.

Jeremiah 10:2-3 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.  For the customs of the people are vain…

Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

2 Corinthians 6:14-17 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 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. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.  For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee…For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.

3.     The fact that so many so-called Christians and so-called churches celebrate the holiday in spite of these truths reveals two things:

A.     Sadly, very few have sufficient knowledge of and/or interest in what the Bible says for it to have much of an impact on how they live their lives (Hosea 4:6; 2 Timothy 2:15).  

B.     Many of those who may know what the Bible says are more interested in pleasing self (Romans 15:3; 2 Timothy 3:1-5) and/or being acceptable to society (Galatians 1:10; 1 Peter 2:9) than they are with pleasing the Lord (Revelation 4:11) and doing what is acceptable to Him (Psalm 19:14).  

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