What does God think about his people blending faith in God with Pagan culture, worship and tradition?
The Origins of Halloween aka All Hallows Eve
This blog today is a bird’s eye view of Halloween and some of its origins, what it means to us today and whether or not it is acceptable in God’s eyes. I will be relying on Scripture, Definitions and Web encyclopaedia for historical background.
I will be using mainly Old Testament scripture as this is what has been largely cast aside by the modern church. It is also what Jesus used as a reference for his time on earth. The Old Testament is also what Jesus came to fulfil and what the disciples would have used all throughout the creation of the early church in which we can read about the amazing work that was done through the Holy Spirit in this time. Before I talk about the Origins I want to share scriptures that will shed light on why these Pagan practices are not acceptable to God. There is next to no point me telling you something is wrong unless the Bible agrees and the Holy Spirit can convict you also.
Father God please lead me as I read this message, I ask Father that you cover and bind all other spirits coming against my mind, will and emotions. I pray the Holy Spirit would grant me wisdom and the ability to hear, read, understand and discern the truth in Jesus name. I thank you for your Sovereignty and for the absolute truth of your word.
As we read Exodus 20:1-7 we start to paint a picture just in the most basic of Gods requirements for his people that this is something that Yahweh, the true God of Israel, would not be ok with.
And God spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
“You shall have no other gods before me”.
“You shall not make for yourself an image
In the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
“You shall not bow down to them or worship them”;
For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God”,
For the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
You might be thinking “What do the first three of the 10 commandments have to do with any of this?”
SO if you’re wondering what these three basic commandments have to do with the harmless family tradition of Halloween or All Saints Day or All Hallows Eve. You are probably thinking this isn’t an idol, this isn’t another god and I’m not misusing Gods name…
So what is the Big Problem? Can we celebrate Halloween and use it to Witness?
Can we redeem it? After all it’s just a bit of Fun!
So what do we know about when and why God gave the 10 commandments. The Commandments were giving during the exodus from Egypt. They were given to the Israelites who had just been set free, delivered and called again by God to follow worship and serve him. The Commandments are the first of the Laws given to the Israelites to instruct them how to follow God and what they needed to do to honour Him and receive His blessing and protection over their nation. So what was so bad about Egypt?
God called his people out of a land of darkness and out of a land of oppression. The Egyptians worshipped their false gods through idols, they had many false gods and many idols with which to worship them. The Egyptians glorified death and built monuments to honour and revere the dead. They practised Magic, Divination, Soothsaying, and Reading of the Stars which all are things that as we read on in the bible we see are an abomination to God.
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD.” 6 So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.
In Exodus 32:5 we see that before the Israelites even receive Gods law they had already broken the first three commandments. Even after being set free from Egypt the Israelites still thought they could take something carnal; something that was Egyptian tradition, culture and worship to false gods and use it to worship Yahweh. We see this far back in history that it’s not about what something means to us or whether our intentions in doing something are good. We cannot take something worldly that’s roots are founded in something unholy and use it to worship or honour God.
These are the decrees and laws you must be careful to follow in the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you to possess—as long as you live in the land. 2 Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. 3 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.
4 You must not worship the LORD your God in their way. 5 But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; 6 there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. 7 There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you.
9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD; because of these same detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God.
What we can learn from these two passages in Deuteronomy is that God commanded them to destroy all places and things used for the worship and honouring of these false gods. “You must not worship the Lord Your God in their way.” God goes on to remind and inform the Israelites things which he views as detestable. He says do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. God tells his people that those doing these things will be detestable to him because he commands us to be blameless before him.
So what is Halloween today, is it a modern ‘Christian’ tradition or something far worse?
Wikipedia: Origins of Halloween, also spelled as Hallowe’en or Allhallowe’en, is a contraction of All Hallows’ Eve, the eve or vigil before the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or All Saints) which is observed on 1 November. This day begins the triduum of Hallowtide, which culminates with All Souls’ Day. In the middle Ages, many Christians held a folk belief that All Hallows’ Eve was the “night where the veil between the material world and the afterlife was at its most transparent
When we look into the creation of All Hallows Eve, it is a day to commemorate, honour and pray to the Saints to ask them to intercede for us or people that are in purgatory. If we pretend for just a second that praying to dead people, believing that a person could go from purgatory to everlasting life, worshipping the dead and all that; pretend that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Roman Catholic Church (even though we know the Protestant church is born out of a reformation from Catholicism to get back to the truth of the word of God); even with all this in mind the Halloween celebrated today sounds a whole lot more like the Celtic and roman festivals of Samhain, Pomona and Feralia than anything that deserves to have the stamp Christian on it.
Wikipedia: “Samhain is believed to have pagan origins and there is evidence it has been an important date since ancient times. The Mound of the Hostages, a Neolithic passage tomb at the Hill of Tara, is aligned with the Samhain sunrise. It is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. It was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. As at Beltane, special bonfires were lit. These were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers and there were rituals involving them. Like Beltane, Samhain was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could more easily be crossed. This meant the Aos Sí, the ‘spirits’ or ‘fairies’, could more easily come into our world. Most scholars see the Aos Sí as remnants of the pagan gods and nature spirits. At Samhain, it was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink were left outside for them. The souls of the dead were also thought to revisit their homes seeking hospitality. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. Mumming and guising were part of the festival, and involved people going door-to-door in costume (or in disguise), often reciting verses in exchange for food. The costumes may have been a way of imitating, and disguising oneself from, the Aos Sí. Divination rituals and games were also a big part of the festival and often involved nuts and apples.”
You see when you read the description of Samhain you see it sounds a lot more like the pop culture Halloween celebrated today around the world. A celebration with costumes, offering tributes and begging for tributes (trick or treating) and divination games. It doesn’t matter if you squint your eyes tilt your head and say that isn’t what it means to me. Halloween attempts to make light heart of a dark pagan tradition.
I’m not usually the type of person to try finding the coincidence in everything but don’t you find it odd that people are celebrating the same holiday observed by Wicca’s, Neopaganism, and other cultures all around that have a Day of the dead or festival which falls on the same day or time period all around the globe? Besides the Literal definition of All Hallows Eve would be Holy Evening, do you think Halloween is holy and Acceptable to God?
Do your own research if you need, but we are not to be gullible. If you want to be a good witness for Christ, be holy, be separate and set apart for God in the way you live. The bottom line is worship and honour of the dead goes as far back in time to the tower of babel and remains in every culture alive or extinct across the globe. It’s not a game, it’s not make believe, the spirit realm is real and it is not to be mocked or promoted in this way.
If you want to mock Satan learn to fight him. Pursue truth and Righteousness, Read the Gospel, Have Faith, and Hold Fast to your Salvation and Take up your Sword
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full Armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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 heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full Armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground!
Thanks for reading this is the first of a series I’ll be doing on exposing the Fruits and Works of the Devil. The bible calls us to resist the devil and he will flee from you. The series will hopefully give you a greater understanding of what sin is, what does not honour God and how to have a deeper relationship with God built on trust in him and understanding of His will. Psalms shows us and tells us the importance of this and says “the prayers of a righteous person will avail much”. So if you’re keen to be effective for God then follow along as we unpack some scripture and shed some light on potential things that God might be more interested in purging from your life.
For ease of Referencing all information was quoted from NIV or Wikipedia
Written by Allan Kemp