The party was about to begin, and the scariest of all the Halloween decorated houses appeared to be the one with a lifelike zombie crawling out from the ground with arms stretched out, ready to grab any passerby. The zombie, dressed in military uniform with a skull for his face, seemed like one that came out from the movie, World War Z. Among the many other houses in the area, there were also those decorated with pumpkin faces and heads, screaming ghost masks, cheese cloth ghosts, and cobwebs sprayed on gates.
I sometimes wonder how many of us really know the origin of Halloween, and whether we should be involved in such a celebration. Here's taking a look at an extract from the article 'Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?' by Elliott Watson at CBN.com.
The origins of Halloween are Celtic in tradition and have to do with observing the end of summer sacrifices to gods in Druidic tradition. In what is now Britain and France, it was the beginning of the Celtic year, and they believed Samhain, the lord of death, sent evil spirits abroad to attack humans, who could escape only by assuming disguises and looking like evil spirits themselves. The waning of the sun and the approach of dark winter made the evil spirits rejoice and play nasty tricks. Believe it or not, most of our Halloween practices can be traced back to these old pagan rites and superstitions.
But what about today? Perhaps we can still learn from history. In the fourth century, Christians attempted to co-opt the holiday by celebrating the lives of faithful Christian saints the day before Halloween. This was a conscious attempt to provide an alternative and re-focus the day away from ghouls, goblins, ghosts, witches and other “haunted” experiences. Since that time many Christians have decided to allow their children to dress in more “innocent” costumes of pumpkins, princesses, Superman or as a cowboy. Part of this is due to the simple reality that in today’s Western culture it is nearly impossible to “avoid” Halloween.
As Christians you and I are placed in this world to be a light in a world of darkness. There is no lasting benefit to ignore a holiday that exists around us, but it also does harm to celebrate Halloween as it has originated and grown over the centuries.
My suggestion? Christians should be teaching their children (age appropriately) that:
there is a spiritual world filled with goodness from God and evil from Satan (Ephesians 2:1-10);
life with Christ has power over darkness (I John 4:4); and
those who celebrate Halloween either are unaware of its roots, or are intentionally promoting a world where evil is lauded and viewed as an ultimate power.
To counter the evil influence of Halloween, we need to join together and celebrate the reality of the heroic efforts of Christian saints over the evil in their day. Many leaders in the past—and present—have fulfilled the mandate of destroying the works of the devil through their sacrificial commitment to Christ and His Kingdom.
Too, rather than “hide” in the face of evil, we should unabashedly and boldly create an alternative that is positive and uplifting; that celebrates good over evil and the triumph of God over Satan. We need to provide an environment that also makes room for heaps of fun while using the day as a “teachable moment” to celebrate God’s protection, provision and purpose for our lives.
Halloween came from the word Hallowe'en which is a contraction of "All Hallows' Eve" or the day before All Saints Day. All Saints Day is the day dedicated to the remembrance of the saints (hallows) and martyrs of the faith. So what is our family doing this Halloween?
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