What every Christian should know about Halloween
Gal 4:8-11 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God-or rather are known by God-how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? YOU ARE OBSERVING SPECIAL DAYS AND MONTHS AND SEASONS AND YEARS! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
EZEKIEL 44:23 "And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean."
THE PAGAN YEAR. The pagan year usually has four cardinal days, or periods, for celebration; fall; midwinter; spring; and midsummer.
1) The Autumnal Equinox. This is the day (or period of days) in the Autumn when the days and nights are of approximately the same length. This is generally a time of celebrating harvest, but the main emphasis is on the dying of nature and death.
2) The Winter Solstice. This is the day (or period of days) in winter when the days are shortest and the nights longest. This is generally a time of drunkenness, revelry and debauchery. The pagan Romans called this celebration Saturnalia, in honor of their god Saturn, and the festival lasted from the 17th to the 24th of December, with gifts exchanged, especially on the last two days. Then, on the 25th, they celebrated "The Birth of the Unconquerable Sun," as the days began to lengthen and the sun began to regain its dominance (it has been generally believed among pagans that the sun dies during winter solstice, and then rises from death).
3) The Vernal Equinox. This is the day (or period of days) in spring when the days and nights are again of approximately equal length. This is a time of celebrating new life, the resurrection of nature from the dead, and it has typically featured fertility rites, merrymaking, and usually centers on orgiastic sexual activities. In ancient times there was the sacrificing of virgins, the worship of fertility gods and goddesses (Pan, Isis, Demeter, Ceres) and worship of the phallus. "May poles" almost certainly had their origin as phallic shrines, around which orgiastic celebrants danced to honor the male sex organ. Such practices are known to have been featured in spring festivals in ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece and among the Druids in Great Britain and Europe. Eggs, as symbols of fertility and new life, have always been featured in such pagan festivals, as have rabbits (symbols of vigorous sexual activity and reproduction). Many of these practices continue today.
4) The Summer Solstice. This is the day (or period of days) in midsummer when length of day is greatest and night is shortest. The shortest night (about June 21) was known in Britain as Midsummer Night, and was a time of great revelry, drunkenness and sexual abandon. This was a wild and wicked night, and is the setting in time for Shakespeare's play "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
There were (and are), of course, many other times of pagan celebration in the year; but all existed (and still do) against the backdrop if these four most-significant times. Against this same backdrop, let's examine some of the facts about our holidays and holy days. And let's begin with the one which marks the beginning of the pagan year: let's begin with HALLOWEEN.
THE FESTIVAL OF DEATH
Even as far back as 300 years before the birth of Jesus, the Celtic civilization celebrated the Festival of Samhain on October 31st. The following description of the holiday of Samhain as celebrated by folk of the Craft is from The Witches' Web
"Our modern celebration of Halloween is a descendent of the ancient Celtic festival called "Samhain;" meaning Summer's End. According to the ancient Celtic two-fold division of the year summer ran from Beltane to Samhain and winter ran from Samhain to Beltane. Samhain is pronounced (depending on where you're from) as sow-in (in Ireland), sow-een (in Wales), sav-en (in Scotland), or(inevitably) sam-hane (in the U.S., where most wouldn't know and don't speak Gaelic). The Festival is also known as Halloween, Hallowmas, All Hallow's Eve, All Saint's Eve,Festival of the Dead, and the Third Festival of Harvest. To Witches, Samhain is one of the four High Holidays, or Greater Sabbats. Because it is the most important holiday of the year, it is sometimes called 'THE' Great Sabbat. Pagans consider Samhain the most magical night of the year. It occurs exactly opposite of Beltane on the Wheel of the Year. It is a night of glowing jack-o-lanterns, tricks or treats,and dressing in costume. A night for telling chilling ghost stories by the fire. And a time for seances, tarot card readings and scrying with mirrors. It is upon this night, that the veil which seperates our world from the Otherworld is at its thinnest, making it a Night of Power.
Samhain signifies the end of autumn; more importantly, the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. This was the Celtic New Year's Eve, when the new year begins with the onset of the dark phase of the year, just as the new day begins at sundown.
Samhain is known as "The Feast of the Dead," for it was believed that at this time the dead could return to the land of the living to celebrate with their family, tribe, or clan. The great burial cairns of Ireland (sidhe mounds) were opened up with lighted torches lining the walls, so the dead could find their way. Extra places were set at the table and food set out for any who had died that year. It is still customary to set an extra place at your supper table on Samhain Eve in honor of the departed.
Many divination practices were associated with Samhain. Among the most common were divinations dealing with marriage, weather, and the coming fortunes for the year. Ducking for apples was a common marriage divination. The first person to bite an apple would be the first to marry in the coming year. In Scotland, people would place stones in the ashes of the hearth before retiring for the night. Anyone whose stone had been disturbed during the night was said to be destined to die during the coming year.
Perhaps the most famous icon of the holiday is the jack -O-lantern. Various authorities attribute it to either Scottish or Irish origin. However, it seems clear that it was used as a lantern by people who traveled the road this night, the scary face to frighten away spirits or faeries who might otherwise lead one astray. Set on porches and in windows, they cast the same spell of protection over the household.
The custom of dressing in costume and 'trick-or-treating' is of Celtic origin. There are some interesting differences from the modern version. In ancient days, the custom was not relegated to children, but was actively indulged in by adults as well. The 'treat' which was required was usually of spirits (the liquid variety). Also in ancient times, the roving bands would sing seasonal carols from house to house, making the tradition very similar to Yuletide wassailing. In fact, the custom known as 'caroling', now connected exclusively with Yule, was once practiced at all the major holidays.
As Witches,we observe this day as a religious festival. We consider it a memorial day for dead friends and family. It is still a night to practice various forms of divinitory arts such as scrying and rune casting. One could never hope for a better Tarot reading than on this night! Samhain is considered a time to wrap up old projects, take a good look at one's stock in life, and consider new projects and endeavors for the coming year.
Witches often have two celebrations at this time. One for their "non-Craft" friends, which may include children and their friends. The other, celebrated afterwards or much later (the closer to midnight or after is better), would be the traditional Sabbat circle as appropriate for your tradition." (Note: end of quote from The Witches Web)
Every year on this day, they believe, the old year dies and the new year begins. It is the Celtic New Year, as well as the Festival of Samhain, the Festival of Death. The dead are honored on this day, but more especially on this night; and the great climactic moment will come at midnight. Darkness, fear and death prevail; human sacrifices are to be presented at this time of Samhain, and midnight is the high moment of the year for divination, spiritism and sorcery of all kinds. Darkness is deepest, and death more sovereign tonight than at any other time of the year.
THE BIRTH OF HALLOWEEN
In the eighth century the Pope, in an attempt to get the people to abandon the festival of Samhain and all its occult, idolatrous practices, established All Saints Day on November 1st. This holiday honored those who had been martyrs in the terrible Roman persecutions. This attempt to end Samhain follows us and causes trouble to this day, because its location on the calender has led many people to believe that Samhain is a Christian observance. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This is how it evolved:
In the British Isles, All Saints Day came to be called "All Halloweds" since it was a day to honor all the "hallowed ones", the Christian dead. Since Samhain always occurred the evening before All halloweds, it came to be called "All Halloweds Evening" or just "Halloweds E'en." From this it evolved to "Hallows E'en" and, finally, to "Halloween" as we know it today. Because of the relationship in the names, and the adjacent dates, many today entertain the completely unfounded idea that Halloween is somehow a Christian holiday. This has made it much easier for the ungodly festival to move right into the churches each October and flourish there, spreading its occult poison.
In the Middle Ages. In the midst of the darkness that prevailed during the Middle Ages there was a mighty revival of witchcraft and Satanism. During this time there developed the belief that on October 31st witches traveled to their covens flying on brooms, guided by evil spirits in the form of black cats. There was a great outpouring of satanic power, and as all the old practices continued, some new ones developed; the Festival of Death continued without interruption as the most important day (night) of the year for witches and all Satanists, deepening the darkness that already covered the Earth, as a corrupted weakened Church was ineffective in opposing it.
In the New World. When our Puritan ancestors came to the New World in the seventeenth century, they strictly forbad all such occult practices and pagan festivals. Among the Puritans there was no Festival of Death, there was no Saturnalia, there were no May poles, no Midsummer Night, nor any such things; they were well aware of the satanic origins, nature and dangers of them. They may have been harsh, but at least they nourished no vipers in the bosom of the Church.
Then in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, there came a flood of Celtic immigrants to the New World, mostly from the British isles, and they brought with their folk beliefs and pagan superstitions; they brought with them Samhain, the Festival of Death.
The Jack-o-lantern: Hundreds of years before Christ, on Halloween night each Druid dressed in hooded robes and has slung over his shoulder on a cord, a large, hallowed-out turnip with an oil lamp burning inside. Carved into the side of the hollow turnip is as face, the likeness of the demon spirit that dwells inside. This spirit is the Druid's spirit guide, his personal little god, who directs and empowers his life.
When the Celtics immigrated to the New World they found pumpkins, much easier to hollow out and carve than turnips. Among the English-speaking Celts the hollowed turnip or pumpkin was known as "Jock (or Jack) of the Lantern." referring to the spirit guide (Jock or Jack) who lived in them. Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Utterly abhor and detest it, for it is set apart for destruction. Deu 7:26
"Trick or Treating": The Druids of old adhered to strange dietary restrictions, and on the night of the Festival of Death they go from home to home demanding these peculiar foods. If the people comply, they pass on in silence; if their demands are not met, the people and their home are cursed with trouble, sickness and death.
The wearing of masks and costumes also came from the Druids. During this night of rituals they sacrificed animals (and sometimes humans). Often they wore the skins of these animals. Dressed in this way, they would engage in fortune telling. Villagers also dressed in hideous masks and costumes in an effort to disguise themselves from the spirits.
Bobbing For Apples: Since Samhain was the beginning of the new year, much divining was done concerning the coming year, and many things were done to invoke "good luck" (which meant finding favor with the evil spirtits) for the coming year. A very popular form of this was to kneel around a tub of water with apples floating in it, and the first one who could get one out without using hands or teeth would have good favor with the spirits in the coming year. Then each woud peel his (or her) apple, trying to get the peel off in one piece (which gave the peeling particular power, and gained special favor with the spirits).
Bonfires originally came from these nights of human and animal sacrifices where they would throw the remains of the bodies into the fire. The next morning all that was left were the ashes and bones. Thus the name of these fires were called "bonefires".
The Conclusion. Halloween is and always was the devils holiday! There never was nor has there ever been anything Christian about it, but he has somehow duped many Christians into embracing it and accepting it as our own!
Remember a war is never one by compromise. The Bible says a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough. We should not even attempt to have some sort of a "substitute" that mimics what they do, by calling it a harvest party, celebrating it on or next to the actual date, dressing up and doing what the pagans do and calling it by another name. Deu 12:3 "Break down their alters, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asheral poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places. YOU MUST NOT WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD IN THEIR WAY."
We celebrate the harvest and give thanks to the Lord every November which is called "Thanksgiving". The Bible says to "deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him." If we can't deny ourselves celebrating Satan's Holiday then how can we make it through persecution and the trials that the Bible says we will have to endure. It is not "legalism" to love the Lord and not want to grieve him by going against what he says in the Scriptures. To teach our children to imitate the practices of witches and Satanists is to give glory to Satan and what he stands for by reenacting what they do.
We cannot serve two masters (Luke 16:13). Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." We have a great responsibility in raising God's children. They are His and we will be answerable to Him regarding this. Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves." Remember, though God is forgiving and loves us greatly. 2 Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Chr 7:14 says, "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will for give their sin and will heal their land." and 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. And finally, John 8:32 says, "Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free"
The scriptural denunciation of all such pagan practices is so overwhelming that I have just included a small percentage of what the Word says about it. In light of the facts and the following scriptures you need to make a decision: ". . .Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. . .But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15
Deu 18:9-13 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to IMITATE the detestable ways of the nations there. 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 your. You must be blameless before the Lord your God.
1 Cor 10:20-21 I say the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons.
Gal 4:8-11 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God-or rather are known by God-how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
1 Pet 4:1-3 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.
Eph 5:6-11 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
Rom 13:12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Joshua 7:11-13 (Amplified) Israel has sinned; they have transgressed My covenant which I commanded them; they have taken of the things devoted (for destruction); they have stolen, and lied, and put them among their own baggage. That is why the Israelites could not stand before their enemies, but fled before them; they are accursed (devoted) things among you. Up, sanctify yourselves for tomorrow; for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel. There is an accursed thing in the midst of you, O Israel; you can not stand before your enemies until you take away from among you the thing devoted (to destruction.)
Gal 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked, a man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
1 John 2:3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Titus 2:12 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. .
1 John 2:6 Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.