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HALLOWEEN: Believer, Do NOT Participate
An Admonition

by Dr. Mary Craig

The Apostle Paul admonished believers in Ephesians 5:

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all
goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases
the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness,
but rather expose them…Be very careful, then, how you live—not
as unwise, but as wise…Do not be foolish, but understand what
the Lord’s will is. (Ephesians 5.8-17)

Travel down any highway, and you can see the popularity and profitability of Halloween. It ranks second only to Christmas. Its name came from the eve of "all Saints Day" in the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches and means simply, "the eve of the holy ones." The death of so many martyrs provoked the early Church to set aside special days to honor them. In 607 A. D., Emperor Phocas of Rome presented to Pope Boniface IV the Pantheon Temple for that purpose.

This temple was originally built in 27 B. C. by Agrippa in honor of Augustus’ victory at Actium. Dedicated to Jupiter and other planetary divinities, it was rebuilt by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the second century and came to be dedicated to all gods. Removing the old statues, on May 13, 609 or 610, the temple was re-dedicated to "all saints" who had died in the Roman persecutions in the first three hundred years after Christ. Twenty-eight carriages brought the bones of the martyrs to the temple now church and a festival of All Hallows or All Saints Day was established.

Pope Gregory II moved the festival to November 1 in the eighth century to supply a substitute for the popular pagan celebration of the Celtic New Year honoring the Sun god and Samhain, Lord of the Dead. Celtic belief held that physical life was born from death. They celebrated the new year at the time when the season of cold, darkness, decay, and death began. They honored the Lord of Death, Samhain, and believed that at the New Year the dead came back to mingle among the living, causing ghosts to throng their houses. These ghosts were to be greeted with tables loaded with food. There was a feast followed by masked and costumed villagers representing the souls of the dead parading to the edge of the town or village to lead the ghosts away. Horses, sacred to the Sun god, were sacrificed, as well as humans.

Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) sought to restrict pagan practices, telling people "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." Many, however, continued the compromise as ancient gods and goddesses were transformed into Christian saints, angels, and heroes. In the tenth century, Abbot Odilo of Cluny added November 2nd to honor all Christians who had died, thus "All Souls Day." People prayed for the dead and offered food, believing that on these two festivals souls in purgatory would take the form of witches, toads, or demons and haunt those who wronged people during their lifetimes. By the eleventh century, pagan beliefs, syncretized into Christianity, were accepted by Christians. They thought nothing of believing in Fate, mixing the use of medicinal herbs with incantations, sacrificing to the spirits of springs and crossroads, or participating in the festival led by the goddess Diana called the Wild Ride of the spirits.

Reminiscent of Israel and Judah, the Church never destroyed the pagan temples or fully eradicated pagan beliefs. Instead, compromises to the people were made to keep the people happy.

Interestingly, Halloween was not observed during the first 200 years in America. Protestant settlers rejected the festival along with many others. Irish immigrants perpetuating old Celtic beliefs and practices introduced the festival to America. Today thousands participate and continue to compromise with traditions of the occult without concern for the grieving of the Holy Spirit.

The Jack o’lantern. Druid priests made sacrifices to the Lord of Death by gathering around a sacred fire from which they took fire to rekindle their own homes. A vegetable was carved out and used to carry the fire home. Irish children carved out large rutabagas, turnips, or potatoes to place candles inside. The story goes that a drunken man named Jack tricked the Devil into climbing into an apple tree to get some fruit, then carved a sign of the cross into the trunk of the tree to prevent the devil from coming down. Jack made the devil swear not to come after his soul, but it didn’t work, so Jack was left to wander about. The Devil had thrown Jack a coal, and Jack put it in a turnip he had to help light his way as he searched for a place to rest. Is this what you want?

"Trick or treat." Druids taught that souls of the dead got hungry on festival days, and the souls had to be appeased or else risk the tricks and curses of Samhain. God gives His opinion on such covenants with death in Isaiah 28. Is this an innocent practice for children?

Costumes. Samhein, Lord of the Dead, allowed the souls of the dead to return on Halloween. The living entered a ritual enactment by walking the streets in costume, especially in the costume of someone already dead or devilish.

Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the church door of Castle Church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. That church held one of the largest collections of supposed relics outside of Rome. Venerated here were pieces of bones, locks of hairs, a piece of the true cross, a twig from Moses’ burning bush, bread from the Last Supper, a veil sprinkled with the Blood of Christ, etc. These formed an exhibition on All Saints Day. By 1518, 17,443 pieces were displayed. Pay a fee and view the relics and you could shorten your stay in purgatory by 1,902,202 years and 270 days! By this and other indulgences, a person could hasten entrance into heaven. Luther challenged relics, papal pardons, and indulgences with: "The just shall live by faith."

Jim and I have abandoned all participation with Halloween. The Holy Spirit has witnessed to me that any believer who does participate will come under the chastisement of a Covenant Lord who hates spiritual adultery, idolatry, and betrayal.

If we imitate the dead by dressing up in their attire,
if we wander about in the dark,
if we beg with them with "tricks or treats,"
if we party with them,
if we submit to the dialogue and make our offering not to innocent children but to
Samhain, whom they serve as imitators of the dead, wandering in the dark of night,
if we allow our children to do so even at Christian churches and gatherings,

then we will suffer the consequences of displeasing our Lord. The battle lines have been drawn. Foundations are being tested. Choose your god and your lord. If Baal be god, serve him, but if Yahweh be God, serve Him and only Him.

© 2001 Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.


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