This week we are going to look at Halloween.
I will start off with a little background on how Halloween got started, but my main focus will be on how we celebrate it today as a family, and what the bible says about what we should do and teach our children in regards to Halloween.
Now don't get scared away thinking I am to legalistic or have gone off the deep end.
If you have followed my teachings, you know that I just want to reveal what the bible says.
So don't take my word for it, but rather take God's word for what it says. Search the scriptures to find out what God says, for God's word is truth.
Psalms 119:160 The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.
John 17:17 "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
So first off, lets see how Halloween got started and what was done back then.
Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic (Irish, Scottish, and Welsh) harvest festival. Samhain (pronounced se-wen), a time when people believed that the spirits of the dead roamed the earth.
They imagined that the night was haunted by ghosts and witches, and more particularly by the spirits of the dead who were revisiting their earthly homes.
Concerned for their survival, people employed every possible means to fortify the flames of the dyeing sun and to chase away, or at least pacify, the evil spirits. For this purpose they lit bonfires and sometimes offered gruesome sacrifices.
Some said that the bonfires were lit on Samhain to light the way for wandering spirits while others said the fires were lit to keep spirits away from people's homes. With the belief in the wandering spirits of the dead, came the custom of preparing offerings of special foods and dressing up as these spirits and wild animals.
I know that all sounds really bad, but this is just a little of what Halloween represented and even represents today.
But you may be thinking, "It's only harmless fun with kids getting dressed up and going out asking for candy."
1 Tim 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
I am sorry to say that the celebration of Halloween is just as bad, or even worse today as it was back then.
There are many children that are sacrificed to Satan, some are even born and bread for this particular night of sacrifice. Not to mention animals that are killed and sacrificed also.
There is so much that really goes on that it would make you sick to think of even one forth of the things that take place on Halloween night.
There is so much deception with the world influencing even Christians and their choice on what is right or wrong, instead of seeking God and His word for the truth.
"But I don't see any of it in my neighborhood. It's just fun for the kids. What's the big deal?" You may be thinking.
Having fun, eating candy, or even dressing up is not a sin.
As Christians, God doesn't want to take our fun away. In fact it's the opposite, God wants us to have fun and enjoy life.
John 10:10 The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.
"So if God wants me to have fun then celebrating Halloween is OK with God?" You may be asking.
1 Cor 8:9 (NLT) But you must be careful with this freedom of yours. Do not cause a brother or sister with a weaker conscience to stumble.
1 Thess 5:22 (KJV) Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Romans 14:21-23 (NLT) 21 Don't eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another Christian to stumble. 22 You may have the faith to believe that there is nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who do not condemn themselves by doing something they know is all right. 23 But if people have doubts about whether they should eat something, they shouldn't eat it. They would be condemned for not acting in faith before God. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.
A lot of times we ask the question, "Is it OK to do this or that?" When in our hearts we really know it's not OK. But we seem to be trying to find away to do it, or for someone else to say it's OK, so if we find out it was wrong then we could blame him or her, because they said it was OK.
If I have a question about something and whether it's OK or not, I ask God and search His word for the answer.
Notice I said, "ask God" first, then check out His word.
It's not like Jeopardy where you have the answer but then ask the question. No, you ask God, then seek His word for His answer.
So if you ask me if it's OK to celebrate Halloween or not, my answer will be, "It's between you and God." I will not say "Yes" or "No" .
Here are some common questions you may have about Halloween. Let's see how they are answered in God's word.
"I see the kids and they are so cute in their little costumes. Some are cute little witches, or monsters, devils, ghost, goblins etc. They are just so cute what's wrong with looking cute like this? Its only once a year, there's no harm in that right?"
Looking cute and dressing up is not wrong. Or is it?
The question is what are they dressing up as?
What if it's a witch or fortuneteller? This year the big thing is Harry Potter, based on a book about a young child who dabbles in sorcery.
Deut 18:10-12 (NLT) 10 For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, 11 or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the LORD. It is because the other nations have done these things that the LORD your God will drive them out ahead of you.
Also a note about witches; there is no difference between a good witch or bad witch, black or white. God speaks the same on all witches. God even includes witchcraft in this list of sins.
Gal 5:19-21 (KJV) 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
"What about a ghost (or demon as the bible describes it) or devil?"
Matt 25:41 (NLT) "Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, 'Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons!
"What about a vampire or other monster from when I was a kid?"
Rev 5:9 (NLT) And they sang a new song with these words: "You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were killed, and your blood has ransomed people for God
Vampires drink blood to live. Blood does represent life, but the only eternal life is through the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross for us. Vampires pervert God's word by drinking blood.
Prov 21:16 (NLT) The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead.
Most so-called monsters are just some sort of walking dead or demon from hell.
By dressing up as a monster, devil, ghost or witch only shows our approval of them.
Meaning you are saying to God, "I don't care if you disapprove of this witch, my daughter wants to be one for Halloween." Or "God, my son wants to be a vampire, even though it mocks your Son, I'm going to do it to make my son happy."
I know these are tough words, but if you think about it, they are true.
Deut 12:30-31 30 "take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.' 31 "You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
2 Kings 17:15 (NLT) 15 They rejected his laws and the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and they despised all his warnings. They worshiped worthless idols and became worthless themselves. They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the Lord's command not to imitate them.
Romans 12:2 (NLT) Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
Titus 2:12 (NLT) And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God,
"What if I dress up my kids like bible characters? That's, OK right?"
I like to eat chocolate covered raisins; they're good on the outside and the inside.
But I don't think I could eat chocolate covered ants (although they do have them); because even though there is that good chocolate on the outside, still the inside contains ants!
We can't mask over the things of the world with the bible.
God's word is a cleansing of our sins not a covering over.
Eph 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
"What about when the kids come to the door? Should I hand out candy?"
Matt 19:14-15 (NLT)14 But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these." 15 And he put his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.
Also in Psalms it says:
Psalms 141:4 (NLT) Don't let me lust for evil things; don't let me participate in acts of wickedness. Don't let me share in the delicacies of those who do evil.
If you really find it hard to not hand out candy, at least bless the children and share Jesus with them and their parents. Just ask God to guide you on what to say and He will do it. You could also include a Christian tract with the candy.
"OK, that's fine for the kids, but what about me, can I go to a Halloween party?"
Romans 13:13-14 (NLT) 13 We should be decent and true in everything we do, so that everyone can approve of our behavior. Don't participate in wild parties and getting drunk, or in adultery and immoral living, or in fighting and jealousy. 14 But let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of you, and don't think of ways to indulge your evil desires.
I think the last part of verse 14 answers that question.
14b and don't think of ways to indulge your evil desires.
"People at my church think it's OK, even some of the elders and/or pastor says it's OK. Who are you to tell me it's wrong?"
Eph 5:6-9 (NLT) 6 Don't be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him. 7 Don't participate in the things these people do. 8 For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.
I am not saying anything is wrong or right, I'm just giving you God's word. If you have a question about right or wrong, ask God!
"Yea but my parents let me dress up and I turned out OK"
Matt 15:3 He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?
Mark 7:8-9 8 "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men--the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do." 9 He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
Col 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
"I'm so confused. I want to do what the Lord wants, but I also want to have fun with my kids and friends."
Let me give you a few final thoughts as we close out this week's study.
Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:
You have read what God's word says and you know what the world says.
Who are you going to listen to? If your answer is God, then Pray and seek His guidance and search the scriptures for yourself.
At the church I attend we are doing what's called "Light up the night" which is an alternative to Halloween. We have joined together with other churches and rented a large hall (in fact it's the show grounds). We include about 100 booths for the kids to go to and play games and win candy. There is also much time of prayer before, and during the event. Then later at night there is a concert with Christian bands and a teaching from God's word and an invitation to accept Jesus Christ.
The churches are not taking part in Halloween but are giving the city an alternative; basically the people make a choice to choose evil over good. I am happy to say that the place was so packed last year that it stopped all traffic. You see, people want to have fun, but if you think about it, they want it to be safe and good for their kids as well as themselves.
The bible does not come out and point blank say that Halloween is wrong. In fact the word Halloween is not even mentioned in the bible, but still there are many verses speaking of the practices of Halloween, some of which we looked at in this study.
1 Cor 10:20-22 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?
James 4:17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
But maybe this has been a way of life for you and you don't know any other way.
I tell you there is a better way and that way is Jesus.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
You may be saying, "But you don't know what I've done, I just can't be forgiven. I've done all these things you mentioned and a lot more."
You are right; I don't know what you have done. But then I don't need to know because Jesus knows and loves you anyway. Jesus died for each and every one of those sins you have committed. He even knew what you were going to do, but still He died for you anyway.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
All you need to do is confess your sins to Jesus and He will forgive you.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
"That sounds to easy." You may be thinking.
It's funny because we try so hard to take the easy way by playing the Lotto, but when it comes to our salvation and eternal life, we think it has to be hard.
It's about as hard as paying a dollar for your lottery ticket, the only thing is, with Jesus you are guaranteed to win, and it wont cost you a dollar because it's free.
Romans 6:23 (NLT) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
To receive this free gift, just pray this prayer from your heart.
Jesus, I admit I'm a sinner. I don't understand how you could love me so much that you would die for me, yet I accept it as Your free gift to me. I confess to You that I am a sinner and I ask Your forgiveness. I thank You for forgiving me. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and may I tell others of Your love and free gift for them to. I pray this in Your name Jesus. AMEN!
If you just prayed that prayer from you heart then you are now a Christian. Welcome to the family of God. I urge you to tell someone what you just did and find a good church that teaches the whole bible.
One final word from Paul on this study:
Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.