Daily Devotional for Saturday October 11, 2008
Halloween - Part 1 of 2
(Romans 12:1-2; Titus 2:12)
Halloween - Part 1 of 2
Should Christians celebrate Halloween? No! What the world will celebrate on October 31 is not anything that a Christian should be part of. The origin of what we know of as Halloween began in 5th century B.C., Celtic Ireland as a holiday marking the end of summer on October 31 known as Samhein (sow-en).
The pagan Celts believed on that day, the disembodied spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be their only hope for the afterlife. The Celts believed all laws of space and time were suspended during this time, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living.
Naturally, the still living did not want to be possessed. So on the night of October 31, villagers would extinguish the fires in their homes, to make them cold and undesirable. They would then dress up in all manner of ghoulish costumes and noisily paraded around the neighborhood, being as destructive as possible in order to frighten away spirits looking for bodies to possess.
The Romans adopted the Celtic practices as their own. But in the first century A.D., Samhain was assimilated into celebrations of some of the other Roman traditions that took place in October, such as their day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple, which might explain the origin of our modern tradition of bobbing for apples on Halloween. The thrust of the practices also changed over time to become more ritualized. As belief in spirit possession waned, the practice of dressing up like hobgoblins, ghosts, and witches took on a more ceremonial role.
The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840's by Irish immigrants fleeing their country's potato famine. At that time, the favorite pranks in New England included tipping over outhouses and unhinging fence gates.
Since the eighth century, the Catholic Church has celebrated All Saints' Day on November 1 to celebrate the known and unknown Saints whom the Church has canonized. The night before the celebration of All Saint's Day is known as All Hallow's Eve ("Hallows" mean "saints" both mean "holy ones" as in "Hallowed be thy name"). So, Halloween means "the evening before All Saint's Day."
You can see from the pagan roots of Halloween why this has become the most important day to those who worship satan or choose to live in rebellion to God and the TRUTH of His Word. There is NOTHING about this day that honors God, remembers God, or has anything to do at all with God. It is, quite honestly, a celebration of those who oppose God and all that He stands for. THIS is why it's a day Christians should NOT celebrate nor be part of in any way.
I love you and care about you so much. Tomorrow, Part Two of this series is titled, "A Christian's Response to Halloween." Do we hide in our homes with the lights off? Do we all go to church and hide in the basement so the devil doesn't get us? What exactly should a Christian be doing on Halloween? I will give you a hint. It will be a bold call to action. I can think of no better night to see souls won for Christ than on Halloween.
DO NOT MISS PART TWO TOMORROW AS WE CELEBRATE A NEW HOLIDAY ON OCTOBER 31ST THAT WILL HONOR JESUS CHRIST, THE KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller