With the Halloween holiday just around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to take time to study the history and characters surrounding the holiday.
As Christians, we have the responsibility to…
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1Th 5:21-22)
So with this as our motive and the desire of our hearts, let’s end our 5 part series on Halloween:
- A Study of The Halloween Celebration (All Hallows Eve)
- A Study of The Death Symbols – Skeletons, Ghosts, Jack O’ Lanterns, Frankenstein, Vampires, and Bats
- A Study of The Sorcery Symbols – Witches, Black Cats, Spiders, Werewolves, and Full Moons
- A Study of The Necromancy Symbols – Séances and Ouija Boards
- A Summary of Our Study On Halloween
May the Lord be glorified in our study….
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, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2Co 6:14-18)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom 12:1-2)
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (Jas 1:27)
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1Pe 1:13-16)
Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. (1Co 8:7-13)
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (1Co 10:31-33)
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Php 4:6-9)
In our previous studies we have seen 4 basic principles concerning the Halloween festival:
- The festival of Halloween’s history is connected with the belief that the spirits of dead men walk the earth, it was observed in preparation for the worship of “the Lord of Darkness”, it was held to appease and secure peace with these spirits for the upcoming year.
- The death symbols of Ghosts, Jack O’ Lanterns, Vampires, and Bats all were connected to the spirits of the dead which did not immediately go to their eternal state, but were able to dwell on the earth, avoiding the judgment they were facing and wreaking havoc among earthly beings.
- The sorcery symbols of Witches, Black Cats, Spiders, Werewolves, and Full Moons were related to the casting of magical spells and incantations that affect mankind. Also, the worship of false gods through idols derived from God’s creation (moon, planets, etc) was associated with these symbols.
- The necromancy symbols of Séances and Ouija Boards has the purpose of communicating with the spirits of the dead.
The Halloween festival, its related characters, and their connection to the occult, are very important considerations in the examination of our level of participation in the holiday.
Some areas of our examination should include:
- Are we properly separating ourselves from the sin of this world by participating in the Halloween festival? (2Co 6:14-18)
- Is our level of involvement in Halloween considered “conforming” (molded into the shape of) or “fashioned” to this world? (Rom 12:1-2) (1Pe 1:13-16)
- Is the Halloween celebration “spotting” our testimony for the Lord? (Jas 1:27)
- Is our participation in Halloween causing our weaker brothers to “stumble” in their walk for Christ? In other words, are they encouraged to make bad life choices based on the example we are setting? (1Co 8:7-13)
- Can our participation in Halloween be done for the Lord’s glory? (1Co 10:31-33)
- When we are participating in this celebration can we be having our minds on that which is true, honest, just etc.? (Php 4:6-9)
Over the years, I have seen four basic “levels” of participation in Halloween by God’s people:
- A total participation which involved decorating and dressing up with any of the symbols our study has examined. Along with participation in trick or treating and other exclusively Halloween activities.
- A participation that involves decorating and dressing up but avoiding demonic images and using only more benign symbols like princesses, cowboys etc. while still participating in trick or treating etc.
- A participation in “Harvest” or “Fall” parties on a date other than Oct 31st that totally exclude the Halloween title and avoid all aspects of the holiday (no trick or treat, no costume wearing etc.)
- No celebration of any type. No decorating, no costumes, no parties. They treat the holiday just like any other day.
Which do I believe is the proper approach?
- First, let me emphasize that every Christian must decide for him/her self as to the level of participation in Halloween activities. There is no ‘thus saith the Lord’ on the subject.
- Remember, participation in Halloween is NOT participation in the sins it represents. In other words, you can participate in Halloween and not be guilty of the sins of necromancy, the casting of spells etc.
- The question for the believer is … by participating am I appearing to condone these activities that Halloween symbolizes? Am I placing upon myself the appearance of approval or indifference to those activities? By participating am I saying…. “Hey its no big deal” ?
- So what do I think?
- Please remember, it really doesn’t matter at all what I think, all that matters is what God’s Word says. However, for the sake of you who are reading this, I need to take the time to explain what I believe…I think a full participation in Halloween, with costumes and decorations that include the occult symbols is a very questionable stand for a Christian to take. My feeling when it comes to my service to the Lord is …”it is always better to be safe than sorry”. If you have a question about an action. Don’t do it!
- By removing the occult symbols out of the Halloween celebration is certainly a big step in the right direction. “The appearance of evil” is basically being removed from the issue. However, the activity of trick or treating and wearing of any costume does have less obvious occult implications. But certainly, this is a far better than our first option. Also, by participating in trick or treat, it opens the opportunity for witnessing by distributing tracts and pocket sized Bibles with the candy that is passed out to children who come to your door. The Christian considering this option will have to weigh the gospel going out against the indirect occult association of Halloween. For me, this is a very difficult decision to make. I can easily see both sides of this option.
- I see no problem at all with the last two options of a harvest party or no celebration at all. Both are totally benign options that have no occult connections whatsoever.
If you would like to have more information about the proper Christian role in Halloween please take a look at: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/1126. This is a link from Bro John McArthur’s website and well worth our time to read it. (A special thanks to Sharon A. for sending me this link, it’s a good one! It is much appreciated.)
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION
For the Christian….
So let me end this study as I began this study by saying can we, as Christians, say our participation in Halloween aligns itself with (1Th 5:21-22) “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
May the Lord lead each of us to an understanding of His will and an attitude of understanding and temperance towards other Christians.
For those who have never trusted in Christ…
The greatest need that we all face in our lives is the need for the forgiveness of our sins. We all have sinned and come short of our Lord’s expectations for us. If you have never been saved, Halloween should not be your main concern, but concern about your sinful condition should take priority. How do we find forgiveness of our sins and peace with our Lord?
The Lord gives us clear teaching on the way of salvation:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Joh 14:6)
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:10-12)
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (1Pe 3:18)
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Rom 5:1-2)
Turn from your sins and come before the Lord, and trust only in Him for your salvation.
If you would like further information about salvation please refer to the page on my blog entitled “How to have a relationship with God”.
To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven
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