Why must we avoid Halloween?
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For people who know God's Word, Halloween should be the easiest worldly holiday to avoid, it so obviously wrong. Yet many people who read the Bible and profess to love and worship God join in the festivities every year. Why?
Because Halloween is fun! Costumes, drinking, parties and candy—what’s not to like?
However, we avoid participation in Halloween because it is not of God. Admittedly there are other celebrations that are not “of God” such as Mother’s Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, etc. But Halloween is different for several reasons:
1. It violates specific commands regarding the dead and consorting with people who supposedly are in contact with the spirits of the dead.
2. Its major themes reinforce the false belief in the immortality of the soul, thus obscuring and causing confusion about the hope of the resurrection.
3. Its timing and theme serves as a counterfeit version of God’s Feast days, drawing people away from the truth of the plan of God for all of humanity and what happens after death.
1. Halloween Violates God’s Commandments
Deuteronomy 18:9-15 and Leviticus 19:26, Leviticus 19:31 should be enough to close the case. Yet as I have mentioned, many who read the Bible and profess to love and worship God will join in the Halloween festivities again this year. Is it because they believe in a “no rules” God on the assumption Jesus did away with the law? If that’s the case, can anyone honestly reason that Jesus’ sacrifice or God’s grace make Halloween OK?
2. Halloween Causes Confusion About the Truth
We know from scripture that when a human being dies the body decays and returns to dust. Also, their spirit returns to God. The spirits of dead human beings do not roam the earth or frolic in heaven. God’s word likens their state as “sleep,” having no thoughts, knowing nothing, awaiting the day when God will raise them up to a new body composed of either spirit or flesh (if you want to get some straight talk on this subject check out the Bible study aid What Happens After Death).
Certainly evil and wicked spirits are out there, but they are not former human beings. They are demonic spirits who have rebelled against God. We are not to entertain them, imitate them or seek to appease them. We are to reject, resist, repeal and rebuke them!
Ephesians 6:12, Ephesians 5:11 and 1 Peter 5:8-9 are all solid scriptures that point this out.
Question: How could such an obvious violation of God’s commands as the Halloween festivities permeate a culture that professed to believe and follow God’s word?
Answer: Halloween is part of a malicious plan of deception and lies meant to confuse, distract and otherwise hide the truth of God’s plan of salvation. It’s a plan orrchestrated by the adversary Satan (Revelation 12:9—deception is Satan's game and he plays it well).
In a very colorful and engaging way, Halloween reinforces the false idea of the immortality of the soul. If the dead are still walking around then they are not dead! Halloween is part of a veil of confusion muddling up key truths of God regarding His plan and purpose for human existence, resurrection, penalty for sin, heaven and hell, and the fairness of God’s judgment of mankind.
Some Key scriptures to ponder:
Genesis 3:19 - When a soul dies, it returns to the dust.
Malachi 4:1-3 - The fate of the incorrigibly wicked who refuse to repent is permanent death/destruction/non-being.
Romans 6:23 - Man is not an immortal soul.
3. A Counterfeit Version of the Feast of Tabernacles?
Its worth noting that the timing of the Halloween celebrations is also cleverly placed directly after God’s harvest festivals. So instead of learning the truth about the end of Satan’s rule, the resurrection of the dead, the fair and equitable way God really judges mankind, and the final fate of the unrepentant, our society is focused on disembodied spirits of the dead living forever in a dreary netherworld, witchcraft, consorting with demons, etc. In addition to promoting activities that violate God’s commands, Halloween’s timing and content contradicts and undermines the important teachings about the final destiny of mankind.
The big lie has been the same from the very beginning: You wilt not surely die (Genesis 3:4).
Additional Points to Consider...
Where Does Halloween Come From?
Maybe you have heard this before but its worth reviewing: Halloween, is the shortened form of Hallowed Eve and is the name applied to the evening of October 31, preceding the “Christian” or Catholic feast of Hallowmas—All Hallows. The Catholic celebration All Saints Day had previously been held in May since 610 A.D., but in 834 A.D. it was moved to November 1 and its name changed to All Hallows. The evening before is where get Halloween (All Hallows Eve). This was the very same day the Druids in Britain, the Norsemen in Scandinavia, and the pagan Germans among others were keeping their festival of All Souls Eve, in commemoration of Saman, lord of death, and his demons. The churches of the Roman world could not wean the people away from these pagan religious customs, nor could they stamp them out by force. So the church took it over, turning this pagan feast into a festival honoring Mary and the saints. As you can plainly see, Mary and the Saints got overwhelmed by something much stranger, darker, more exciting and also very confusing.
Origin of Halloween Customs
For the English speaking world the actual practices connected with Halloween begin with the ancient Celtic Druids. But the major themes and concepts contained within Halloween are found in the folk religion and culture of many of the peoples of the earth. The Druids believed that on that evening, Saman, the lord of the dead, called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals (Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., v. 12, pp. 857-8). The Druids customarily lit great fires on Halloween, apparently for the purpose of warding off all these spirits. “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” (“Highland Superstitions,” Alexander Macgregor, p. 44). Literal sacrifices (including humans) were offered on this night to the spirits of the dead, when they supposedly visited their earthly haunts and friends. That night the souls of the dead returned to their original homes, expecting to be entertained with food and other treats. If food and shelter were not provided, these spirits, it was believed, would cast spells and cause havoc towards those failing to fulfill their requests. This of course is where “trick or treat” comes from. Among the ancient Celts, Halloween was the last evening of the year and was regarded as a propitious time for examining the portents of the future (which is where bobbing for apples and other games come from).
A Few Examples of Similar Festivals in Other Parts of the World
In Cambodia people used to chant: “O all you our ancestors, who are departed, deign to come and eat what we have prepared for you, and to bless your posterity and to make it happy” (“Notice sur le Cambodge,” Paris 1875, E. Aymonièr, p. 59). In Mexico and other Latin American countries, the first and second of November are the Days of the Dead—El Dias de los Muertos. In some regions, the evening of October 31 is the beginning of the Day of the Dead Children, which is followed on November 1 by the Day of the Dead Adults. Skeleton figures, candy (sugar skulls), toys, statues and decorations are seen everywhere. Unlike American Halloween, in Mexico people build home altars, adorned with religious icons and special breads and other food for the dead. These customs were partly trickled down from the Aztec and Inca cultures that were in those areas before the arrival of the Catholic Spaniards. This suggests an even deeper primordial source of this deceptive practice.
Although some aspects of the Halloween festival varied with each country, the overall pattern and purpose remained the same: “There was a prevailing belief among all nations 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” (“Folklore,” James Napier, p. 11).