October 31st is fast approaching and undoubtedly many parents will encourage their children to dress up in costumes, to go-about knocking on peoples doors and to shout Trick or Treat! But what does the Bible say about believers participating and supporting this practice? Can you be a true student of the Bible, a follower of Messiah and also practice this ancient pagan day? This article will examine Halloween from a Biblical perspective and will answer the question: Can you be in a good relationship with Messiah and practice Halloween?
To understand whether or not Christians should participate in Halloween we must first look into the history of Halloween. The following information was taken from Wikipedia Encyclopedia but this type of information is readily available for anybody that wants to educate themselves in these matters.
Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is sometimes regarded as the “Celtic New Year”. Traditionally, the festival was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them. Many of the traditional customs derive from ancient divination practices and ways of trying to predict the future.
The carved pumpkin, lit by a candle inside, is one of Halloween’s most prominent symbols in America, and is commonly called a jack-o-lantern. Originating in Europe, these lanterns were first carved from a turnip or rutabaga. Believing that the head was the most powerful part of the body containing the spirit and the knowledge, the Celts used the “head” of the vegetable to frighten off any superstitions.
Fire rituals were also important. Great bonfires were lit in a village, or by individual families, and when the fire died down, its ashes were used to form a circle and one stone for each member of the household was kept inside this circle near the circumference. If any stone were displaced or seemed broken by next morning, then the person to whom that stone belonged was believed to be destined to die within a year. A similar rite in north Wales includes a great bonfire called Coel Coeth being built for each family on Halloween. Later, the members of the household threw a white stone in the ashes marked in their name. Next morning, all the stones were searched for and if any stone were missing, then the person who threw that stone was believed to be destined to die before next Halloween.
Despite how much sugar we may want to sprinkle on Halloween, It is easy to see that its roots are grounded on pagan precepts and practices not on Biblical strengths. In fact the Bible warns us about adopting the ways and/or customs of nations that are not walking in truth. Notice what our Heavenly Father told the Israelites, His people, about adopting other peoples customs:
30 Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am YHWH your Elohim.'” Lev 18:30
In essence practicing things that are grounded on sorcery or other forms of witchcraft and that are contrary to the Scriptures will subject us to defilement; even if we do not believe or see the connection. The spirit world is very real and there are demons that are employed by Satan to lead any truth seeker astray. Our brother Paul in fact implored us to understand that our fight is against the evil forces of evil that exist in the spirit world.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the high places. Eph 6:12
Similarly in Romans, 1 Thessalonians and 3 John we are told to hate, to avoid and not to imitate those things that represent evil; we should cling to those things that represent goodness.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Rom 12:9
Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil. 1Thess 5:21-22
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from YHWH. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen Him. 3 John 11
Another punishment for willfully participating in sinful behavior is that even our prayers will be ignored.
For the eyes of YHWH are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of YHWH is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:12
There will be many who despite having received the knowledge that Halloween is rooted in witchcraft will continue to involve themselves in the practices of this day. The Scriptures tell us that they can expect anger and wrath from our Heavenly Father!
But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be
wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does
evil Rom 2:8-9
So in summary and to answer the question, Can you be in a good relationship with Messiah and practice Halloween? The answer is a definite No! As we have seen, the practices of Halloween are rooted on pagan and witchcrafted notions. The Scriptures teach us that we cannot have it both ways. You cannot be of the light and of the darkness. We as children of our Heavenly Father and as followers of his Son, our Savior and Messiah must follow the light. We must keep in step with customs and practices that are of the light (truth) not falsehood and evil. By dabbling in Halloween, we put ourselves under the mark of paganism. Paganism is the love of everything that stands against our Heavenly Father and his Scriptures. True believers of his Word will not only abstain from such false practices but will also teach others against them.