Shining light on the evil origins of Halloween
Every year, it is estimated that nearly 70% of Americans celebrate Halloween, a holiday where children traditionally dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating at nightfall. While many today see Halloween as a fun and harmless holiday, few are familiar with its dark origins, which can be traced back nearly 2,000 years ago to the Celtic pagan festival of Samhain. According to druidic belief, the night of November 1st marked the beginning of the dark new year—a night that drew out evil spirits who would roam the earth frightening and tricking the mortals. To ward them off, they would try to please the spirits with sweet treats or escape torment by dressing like them. This is where we get the Halloween traditions of dressing up in costumes or trick-or-treating.
Over time, Halloween has grown significantly in popularity and has been influenced by many cultural practices and holidays like All Saints’ Day or All Souls’ Day. Today it continues to be a day that honours the dead. This begs the question: should Christians be celebrating Halloween?
Despite the pagan history of Halloween, Christians remain divided on whether they should celebrate it. Some Christians choose to take no part in Halloween, viewing October 31st as an evil holiday that worships Satan. Other Christians see no harm in dressing up in costumes and giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. Then there are other Christians who use Halloween as a unique opportunity to share the Gospel and hand out Biblical material. But what does the Bible say is the best approach?
"Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them."
As a Christian, it should come as no surprise that there is nothing Godly about Halloween. The holiday glorifies death over life, darkness over light and fear over love, all of which directly oppose Jesus’ character, His power and His victory over death, hell and Satan. Scripture warns us that we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against the dark forces of evil that hold sway over our world. Therefore, we are called to be watchful, giving no opportunity to the devil and putting on the armor of light to expose the works of evil.
As God’s chosen and bearers of His light in this fallen world, Christians are called to shine the light of truth that penetrates through evil’s deception. As those who have been set apart for the Lord, our lives should be a living testimony that points others to Christ. We should be very cautious of what activities we choose to align ourselves with, lest we fall into sin. In all things, we are to seek God's will for our life by studying the truth of His Word and through guidance in prayer.
This year, Halloween falls on a Sunday—a day most Christians already dedicate to the Lord. Despite it being Halloween, let us not cower to the evil that this holiday represents but instead choose to shine the light of Jesus, that casts out all darkness. May we recognize that today—just like every other day—belongs to the Lord and spend it enforcing the victory that was won through Christ Jesus.
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