Many will be observing “Halloween” the end of this month. According to page D3 of today’s Wall Street Journal, Americans are expected to spend nearly USD$7,000,000,000.
The improperly named Christianity Today (CT) continues to try to get its share of the Halloween spending by selling items such as Jack-o-Lantern car magnets, as I noticed again today.
CT itself seems to try to pretend that it is “balanced” on the subject by having some articles that question whether or not Christians should celebrate the pagan holiday as well as having others that clearly promote it.
Notice a CT article titled Trick-or-Treat? which contains various admissions and Halloween promotions as follows:
On the calendar of events for the Christian college where I teach, October 31 sits in a dark square with no acknowledgment that there is anything special about the date.
“It’s Satan’s Holiday, Dr. Rearick,” affirmed one of my students. “Didn’t you know?”
Well, no, I didn’t know…I have always considered Halloween a day to celebrate the imagination, to become for a short time something wonderful and strange, smelling of grease paint, to taste sweets that are permissible only once a year…”But look at the roots of Halloween,” some may say. “Don’t you see how evil it once was?” I do, but the operative word in that sentence is was. Samhain was once a time of fear and dread, but at one time so was Yule or Midvinterblot, as it was called in Sweden…
Christians should instead celebrate Halloween with gusto. If we follow the traditional formula of having a good time at his expense, Satan flees.
So, the writer seems to be saying that even though Halloween has pagan roots, since the Yule festival (Christmas) does as well, it does not matter how pagans worshiped their gods, it is okay to celebrate modified versions of them now.
Also notice what God inspired to be recorded in His word:
6…”God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:6-7)
Satan does not flee because people celebrate pagan holidays and God is not pleased with His people observing them either.
Let’s again let’s look at the Bible and not the opinions of men in the context of adopting pagan practices:
2 Thus says the LORD: “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
3 For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are futile (Jeremiah 10:2-3).
At the absolute best, Halloween customs are futile and detract from the emphasis to worship the true God.
24 You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their works; but you shall utterly overthrow them and completely break down their sacred pillars (Exodus 23:24).
Note that not only are God’s people not to worship other gods, they are not to “do according to their works” (of those who did)–like Halloween. This is also confirmed in the passage below:
…do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ “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 (Deuteronomy 12:30-31).
No true Christian would want to encourage their children to participate in pagan customs associated with Halloween.
Halloween is clearly pagan. Thus, it is not “balanced” to have articles that promote it nor is it balanced to sell pro-Halloween-related items. Both of which CT does–that is part of why I wish it did not have the word “Christianity” in its title. A better title would be Protestantism Today (though sometimes CT also endorses aspects of Catholicism, but in general it has a Protestant focus).
Of course, most holidays celebrated in the Western cultures are of pagan origin, but that does not make them right.
Halloween should not be celebrated by Christians.
There are biblical Holy Days (Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible?), but most people do not celebrate them.
Some articles of possibly related interest may include:
Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians? This article provides some historical and biblical insight on this question.
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity?
Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate? Historical and biblical answers to this question about the world’s New Year’s day.
Valentine’s Day: Its Real Origins Christianity Today suggests that Valentine’s Day is good for Christians to observe. Is this true?
Mardi Gras: The Devil’s Carnival? Do you know that in Bolivia the carnival/Mardi Gras time is part of a celebration known as the Devil’s Carnival? Did Jesus celebrate Carnaval? Where did it come from?
Is Lent a Christian Holiday? When did it originate? What about Ash Wednesday? If you observe them, do you know why?
Why The Living Church of God Does Not Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day Should non-Catholics observe a Catholic holiday?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Milvian Bridge Day, Constantine, and St. Jude Milvian Bridge Day and St. Jude’s day are observed by some on October 28. Yet, do these two events point to a contradiction?
Was Jesus Born in the Grotto of the Nativity? Was Jesus born in a below ground cave? Was Jesus born below the “Church of the Nativity”? Were the wise men there?
Is Keeping Christmas a Sin? Is keeping Christmas acceptable for true Christians? What are some scriptures to consider?
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.