Should Parents Protect Their Children From Halloween?

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Should Parents Protect Their Children From Halloween?

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The human mind is very precious in God's eyes, since man was created "in the image of God" (Genesis 1:27). Parents carry the awesome responsibility of bringing up children properly, using the Word of God as their moral yardstick. "Bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord," the apostle Paul admonished guardians of the young (Ephesians 6:4).

Christian parents rightly recognize their obligation to protect their children from the evil influences the world throws at them. They are eager to shield them from mind-destroying drugs, premarital sexual behavior, drunkenness and many other illicit activities.

Should the activities most kids participate in on Halloween fall into this forbidden category as well? Or is your child's participation in this custom nothing more than engaging in a bit of fun? If you think it's okay, then I would suggest finding out more about the dark origins of its observance.

Halloween is the strangest of customs prevalent in Christian-oriented societies, yet it is engaged in by an ever increasing number of children and adults. For most people, dressing up as goblins or witches may seem like harmless fun, not realizing what lurks behind the scenes on this evening and what spirit is behind it all.

Halloween's pre-Christian origin

What about the origin of Halloween and the purpose it serves? Its origin is certainly not Christian. Halloween had its beginnings in a world of sinister forces condemned in God's Word, the Bible. A Christian should have nothing to do with it. Consider the reasons.

The ultimate authority in a Christian's life is God's Word (Deuteronomy 8:3 and Matthew 4:4)—not religious traditions that come to us from sources outside the Bible. Bearing this in mind, let's take a closer look at Halloween.

What's in a name?

The word Halloween itself is an abbreviated form of All Hallow's Evening. Hallow was the old English word for "making holy." Of course there has never been anything holy about Halloween.

Alexander Macgregor, referring to the Celtic people in early Britain, states in his book Highland Superstitions: "It was the night for the universal walking about of all sorts of spirits, fairies and ghosts, all of whom had liberty on that night."That liberty was often used in pursuing destructive goals. The superstitious inhabitants in pre-Christian Britain considered it a night of freedom to do mischief, and it's all too often the case today among the young on Halloween night.

Oct. 31 was also an annual time to commemorate the dead whose spirits would wreak havoc on the living if they didn't provide them with food.

James Napier, in his book Folklore, wrote that the practice of leaving food outside was directly linked to the belief that "at death the souls of good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise, but the souls of wicked men were left to wander in the space between the earth and moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living…but there were means by which these ghosts might be exorcised" (p. 11).

To exorcise these spirits and to free yourself from their evil sway (tricks) you would have to set out food (a treat). If the spirits were satisfied with your treat, they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you.

No wonder the Bible speaks against involving oneself in observing days that have a sinister origin and are based on superstition. Notice the strong wording from God's Word: "There shall not be found among you anyone who…conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead" (Deuteronomy 18:10-11).

Decision time

What about your children? What comes to mind on the evening of Oct. 31? No doubt weird and frightening masks, youngsters dressed as witches and demons, pumpkins and turnips hollowed out in the shape of demonic faces, etc.

If you as a parent want God's Word to have the final say on how children should be brought up, why would you allow them to participate in this "strangest of all customs"? Read more about this day's origins in "Halloween: A Celebration of Evil."