29th Oct 2012. By Rev Dr Steven Kau –
The “Feast of Halloween” which is celebrated in other parts of the world is finding its way to our shores. It is portrayed as harmless fun for children. This could not be further from the truth. Halloween is normally regarded as one more occasion for a party, one more opportunity for a good time without the least inquiry as to its meaning or origin. It is hardly surprising when we consider that the greatest feast of Christianity such as Pascha (Easter) and the Nativity of Christ, for which our ancestor prepared with fasting, prayer and tears, are now to so many simply dates for eating, drinking and the exchange of gifts.
Be warned: Halloween is not what it appears to be! It’s seemingly innocent manifestations represent a memory of an ancient celebration deeply rooted in paganism and demonology and continues to be a form of idolatry in which Satan, the angel of death is worshipped.
Known also as ‘All Hallows Eve,” the feast of Halloween began in pre-Christian times. It was originally a Celtic festival celebrated widely among the peoples of the British Isles and northern France. These pagan peoples believed that life was born from death. On this night, a certain deity whom they called Samhain, their lord of death was honored at their New Year’s festival at the end of October. On that night, Samhain was believed to lead a host of evil spirits into the world. Samhain is also identified as the Grim Reaper, the leader of the ancestral ghosts. On the evening of the festival, a huge bonfire of crops, animals and even human beings were burned as an offering, in order to appease their demon lord. It was also believed that Samhain, being pleased by their faithful offerings, allowed the souls of the death to return to their homes for a festal visit on this day. Thus they believe that cold dark creatures filled the night, wandering and begging among the living. The Celts hid themselves in ghoulish disguises at Halloween so that wandering spirits would mistake them for one of their own and pass without incident. It is from this belief that the practice of wandering about in the dark dressed up in costumes imitating ghosts, fairies, leprechauns, elves, smurfs (a German nature spirit) and other assorted demons grew up. It is important to note that the ‘souls of the dead’ or ghosts are in fact demons cunningly mimicking the attributes of departed loved ones as much as is necessary to delude the observer. Any attention paid to such illusions is destructive.
The dialogue of “trick or treat” is also an integral part of the system of beliefs and practices. It was believed that the souls of the dead who had entered into the world of darkness, decay with death and therefore enter into total communion with and submission to the demon Samhain, bore the affliction of great hunger on their festal visit. Out of this grew the practice of begging for “treats” (offerings). If these “treats” were not forthcoming, then the wrath and anger of Samhain would be unleashed through a system of “tricks” (curses.)
From an orthodox Christian viewpoint, participation in these practices at any level is idolatrous and a genuine betrayal of our God. To do so by dressing up and going out would be to willfully seek fellowship with the “dead” whose lord is also known as Satan, the evil one, who stands against God. Or to participate by submission to the dialogue of “trick or treat” is to make offering, not to innocent little children but to the lord of death, whom they unknowingly serve as proxy for the “dead.”
Why did they choose this particular day? The Encyclopedia of Religion explains, “Samhain remained a popular festival among the Celtic people throughout the Christianization of Great Britain. The British Church attempted to divert this interest in pagan customs by adding a Christian celebration to the calendar on the same date as Samhain. The Christian festival, the Feast of All Saints, commemorates the known and unknown saints of the Christian religion just as Samhain had acknowledged and paid tribute to the Celtic deities.” (Pg.177) Thus a pagan celebration was relabeled as Christian.
As Orthodox Christians, it is important to be aware of how these anti-Christian, pagan and demonic practices have crept into our society and our very lives as innocent, fun and playful diversions. We cannot find any support for Halloween in our Bible because God is adamantly opposed to it and the pagan, occult practices it revels in. God demands that we abstain from all forms of evil. God views witchcraft and all other occult activities as evil:
“You shall not permit a sorceress to live. (Exodus 22:18)
“Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:31)
“And the person who turns after mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set my face against that person and cut him off from his people.’ (Leviticus 20:6)
“……he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger.” (2 Chronicles 33:6)
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are….idolatry, sorcery, hatred….and the like….that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:20)
We can see from the above Scriptures how God detest anything that is remotely link to the occult. There is no such thing as a harmless occult activity. We cannot intrude into the realm of darkness and escape the consequences.
Can People Make Halloween Harmless?
The people who celebrate this evening today couldn’t care less about such religious notions. All they think about is instant gratification, to follow the pack with everyone else and to have some fun.
The Encyclopedia of Religion goes on to say: “Modern Halloween activities have centered on mischief making and masquerading in costumes, often resembling otherworldly characters. Folk customs, now treated as games (such as bobbing for apples), have continued from the various divination practices of the ancient celebrants of this occasion. Supernatural figures (such as the ghost, the witch, the vampire, the devil) play a key role in supplying an aura of the mysterious to the evening, whether or not they originally had an association with the festival.”
“Children are particularly susceptible to the imagery of Halloween, as can be seen in their fascination with the demonic likeness of a carved and illuminated pumpkin, known as the jack-o-lantern. In recent times, children have taken up the practice of dressing in Halloween costumes and visiting homes in search of edible and monetary treats, lightly threatening to play a trick on the owner if a treat is not produced.” (Pg. 177)
Halloween is not a harmless holiday for you and particularly your children. God warns us to avoid it and to follow His ways because He hates for us to dabble in the spirit world of Satan and his demons! We take great pains to protect our children and ourselves from disease and harm. We teach them good nutrition, hygiene and personal safety. We discourage them from engaging in fornication, substance abuse and other immoral and dangerous acts. Why then do we allow them to dabble in activities of darkness? We were instructed by our Savior to pray: “….deliver us from the evil one.” Halloween is the celebration of the evil one. It is inconceivable that anyone could enter the realm of darkness unaffected. It is not without reason that Paul warns us: “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thess. 5:22)
I would like to challenge everyone to steer clear of all the traditions of Halloween. Why would anyone who claims to be a Christian want to participate in an event such as Halloween that clearly has it’s origin in the occult? You cannot have one foot in God’s kingdom and the other in Satan’s.
Rev. Dr. Steven Kau is the pastor of Faith Covenant Church ( FCC ). The church address is at 1-1 Jalan Putra Mahkota 7/5B, 47650 Putra Heights, Subang Jaya, Selangor. Sunday service in English starts at 10 am. His email contact – email@example.com
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