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Tough Love - Halloween and the Modern Church
A Call for Christian Separation
And He said unto them, "Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."
- Mark 7:9, KJV
I. Why Christians must have NO PART with Halloween
A. Halloween is a holiday celebrating satanic worship. Specifically, the Druidic worship of Saman, the Lord of Death. The primary god of the Druids was Baal and included the practices of human sacrifice, cannibalism (cannibal is from Cahna-Bal "priest of Baal"), and making their children pass through the fire of Molech. These are not gods of Celtic origin, but are the very same gods and cults which fill the Old Testament, in the continual spotlight of God's wrath. Participating in Halloween is participating in a traditional celebration of worshippers of Baal.
B. Throughout the Laws of Moses are several severe commands against the various practices of witchcraft, human sacrifices, and the worship of Baal and Molech, especially in Leviticus 19-20 (also see Exodus 22:18-20). Some unusual prohibitions (tattooing, drinking blood, seething a kid in his mother's milk) are aimed against participation in the traditions of pagan worshipers.
C. The New Testament discusses Christains taking part in pagan celebrations in I Corinthians 8 in the context of Christian liberty versus causing confusion or corruption in others as we seem to condone the worship by eating the meat or going to the festival. This applies directly to Christians and Halloween celebrations - while many traditions and celebrations are (physically, morally) harmless, those around us potentially have a very different view of Halloween and the Christian community's acceptance and adaptation of it!
In terms of testimony, we have a great opportunity to specifically identify with Christianity by not participating, or else, we risk poisoning our Christian testimony by participating - without concern for those around us; non-Christians, inactive Christians, new Christians or Christians with satanic/occultic background.
D. America's pilgrim forefathers banned the celebration of Halloween and it was not allowed in this country until 1845 with massive Irish immigration from the potato famine. Americans rejected this holiday for over 200 years (from colonial times - early 1600's) but have now embraced it for over 150 years. We're going the wrong direction!
E. Current practitioners of the Druidic religion, not to mention witches, Wiccans, Satanists and other occultists still recognize Halloween as a high day, offer animal (and even human) sacrifices, and generally celebrate Halloween as their primary religious holiday. This is a large segment of the modern US population (see below), meaning that many Christians in our churches may be former members of these groups.
F. Halloween teaches children that it's acceptable to play with the dark side of the supernatural (because it's Halloween!), games including séances, tarot cards and ouiji boards come out for the Halloween parties. These "games" are serious threats to our children (and to adults!) as a dangerously real introduction into occult practices.
G. Halloween brings youth and adults into a whole different party - it is comparable to Mardi Gras in sexuality and has always been a peak time of the year for murder and violent crimes. Several cities also now have to deal annually with the Halloween tradition of Devil's Night (Oct. 30th) which is manifest by widespread arson.
II. Do we really need to make this confrontational?
III. How many Wiccans/Pagans are there in the US, and in the D/FW area? (Dallas/Ft.Worth, TX)
A. The general population of the U.S. is not ignorant of the concerns given above. This makes it imperative to the Christian that they separate themselves from this holiday. It's not "all in fun" - it is anti-Christian, and people are watching to see if we'll condone it!
B. Halloween provides an excellent, almost unique, opportunity for Christian parents to teach their children about their Christian identity and the importance of Christian separation. Halloween has easily understood reasons for separation with a sacrifical price to pay (fun and candy) that children can relate to - this is valuable opportunity to help develop their personal commitment to uncompromising Christian integrity!
On October 9, 2010, it took me less than a minute to find a listing of Wiccan/Pagan organizations in the greater Dallas/Ft Worth area.
There were 67 covens or groups listed at the first site I found, including 18 which were run by teens. Cities included Alvarado and Mansfield. Of particular note were the one was sponsored by UT Arlington and Grand Prairie’s DFW Prison Ministry, which is Pagan.
How many in the US?
The best source I found was a list of surveys by year from various groups including authors, universities, the U.S. Army, Wiccan/Pagan sources, etc. From these surveys it seems that the best answer would be 1-3 million organized adherents in the U.S., as of the year 2000. This compares to 16 million Southern Baptists and 62 million Catholics and 277.6 million Americans in 2001.
IV. Is Your "Alternative" still a Halloween Party?
A. Does the church know that Halloween is being rejected, and is UNACCEPTABLE for members to participate in?
B. Is it Obvious to the Community that the church is rejecting the holiday, vs. just being church-politically correct and calling it something else?
1. Is it a celebration on Oct 31st or the nearest preceding weekend? If so, you are celebrating ON Halloween.
2. Your Alternative must not involve costumes, candy give-aways, apple bobbing, pumpkin carving - all of which are based in Druid traditions. If so, then you are Christianizing Halloween.
3. Are you allowing visitors to come in costume? If so, you're condoning their celebration of Halloween as OK for them.
C. Does your "Alternative" emphasize SAFETY as the central theme? Many churches have altenative parties which are presented as being a "safe" place for the community to come celebrate Halloween.
This is non-confrontational and a great way to get visitors to your church, but it condones Halloween as harmless fun. Unless your "Alternative" party is advertised and orchestrated as rejecting the Halloween holiday, this is bringing celebrations based on the worship of Baal into your church, with the full approval of the church.
V. What should the church do for Halloween?
A. Educate the congregation. It becomes meaningless legalism to take any actions against a very popular holiday if people don't understand. The congregation should be brought to a full understanding of the problems of celebrating Halloween, and the importance of separating themselves for their testimony's sake.
B. The church should have no observance of the holiday if it is not on the night of regularly scheduled services. It should not be given any more significance than May Day, Winter Solace, or any other pagan traditions.
C. If the 31st falls on a regularly scheduled service night, then the church should not have a party, give out candy, or allow costumes (as discussed above). Instead, have normal services.
D. If the church wants to have a Fall Festival, have it a few weeks later as part of your celebration of Veteran's Day or of Thanksgiving! If the Fall Festival is before Halloween, it should be sepated by more than one weekend.
E. If the church decides to have an Alternative activity on Oct 29-31:
Ensure that it is advertised and promoted as an Alternative Activity opposed to Halloween
Explain at the event why Christians should not celebrate Halloween
Do not include/allow elements specifically identified with of Halloween (candy distribution, costumes, etc.). Instead, do more generic activities such as competive games, carnival booths, movie night, etc.
Still unsure? - What would Jesus do?
Or imagine getting Paul, Peter or John to buy off on your plans for this Halloween!
Primary sources for this document are "The Two Babylons" by Alexander Hislop, "The Dark Side of Halloween" by David L Brown Th.M., and the New Standard Encyclopedia by the Standard Educational Corporation.
(C) Copyright 2007-2012 Dainel Stanfield with all rights reserved. This document may be distributed freely, but may not be sold or modified.