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Halloween—Hallowed to Whom?

By Dianne McDonnell

Does God smile when he sees children going house to house dressed as Halloween witches and warlocks, goblins and ghouls?  Does God love to see children and adults personify Evil and Death? What is the meaning of this eerie celebration, this “Hallowed Eve” or “holy evening”?  Hallowed to whom?

Halloween reaches back into the dim reaches of prehistory to a time when days began at sunset.  It was the day we call November 1, but it started the evening before, the night of October 31.  It was then, and is today a day dedicated to the Lord of the Dead, Samhain.  Early peoples believed that this dark lord ruled over the dead that gather in the fearsome underworld.  So every year and they honored this evil one him with offerings.  Some offerings were food set on plates at their tables for those who had died in their families -- as if they were returning that night.  The ancient peoples believed that on this night of the year the spirits of the dead returned and must be given gifts, or they would harm the living. At the time of the Druids people were brutally sacrificed on this night, and later horses, or cats.  Today the “sacrifices” have become candy, but God remembers the blood of every single person that was killed and offered up on this unholy evening. He remembers the symbolism of hollowed pumpkins and death symbols decorating houses.

This is the background of why children dress as dead creatures, go to the homes of others, call out and threaten to “trick” if we do not “treat” them.  Children and now many adults as well, are blatantly acting out the old pagan beliefs.  Each generation indoctrinates the next innocent generation to carry out these ancient traditions rooted in evil, and tries to maintain that it is all harmless fun.  Yet it remains openly, for children and adults, a dark and bloody holiday dedicated to Death!

Each of us knows instinctively that death is an enemy. Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 15:26 “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” So why should we honor death, and the “Lord of the Dead” every year with a special holiday?  Does this make any sense?

In another verse, Hebrews 2:13, we find that the death of Jesus would ultimately bring about the destruction of “him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil”. Did you catch that?  The devil is referred to as “him who holds the power of death”! There is a direct link between Satan and death! Yet because of the death of Jesus, this power that Satan holds will finally be totally destroyed.  Then there will be no more death or dying.

There is a joyful prophecy recorded in Revelation that looks forward to this time:   

Revelation 21:1-5 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” (New International Version Bible quoted throughout.)

In multiple places scriptures in the Bible hold out the sure promise that belief and obedience to Jesus Christ will result in LIFE!  Jesus himself said that all of the dead will someday hear his voice and emerge from their graves:

John 5:24-29 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out-those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”

Yes, finally ALL who are in their graves will someday hear the voice of Jesus Christ.  When we stand before him, each of us will have to answer for our deeds, and our decisions.  God does not see as harmless the honor that this world bestows upon the Lord of the Dead, who really is Satan in the ultimate disguise.  God is real, and mighty, and powerful -- and He deserves our worship and our honor!  He has given us special days to celebrate.  But most of the world ignores His holy days for a day that ultimately honors Satan.  Revelation 12:9 refers to an ancient serpent called Satan, “who leads the whole world astray”!  How accurate that is.

God warned His people in Deuteronomy 12:30-31, and this warning remains for us today because God is eternal and does not change. “…be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.’ You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.”

You can choose to reject this holiday-- thousands of Christians already have made this decision and teach their children the truth about this day, and refuse to participate in any way.  There are other wholesome ways to create fun for your children. Those who continue observing Halloween will eventually have to answer the question that Jesus asked in Matthew 15:3, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?”


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