Hallowe'en or Hallow God? . . .
Hallowe'en : to consecrate,to revere.
It is known as All Hallows Eve, eve of All Saints Day, Feast of the dead.
In ancient Britain and Ireland bonfires were lit to frighten away evil spirits ~ ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. Hallowe'en was thought to be the most favourable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health and death. It was the only day the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes , unlike Christmas, which pagan rituals were adapted to signify the basic beliefs of the church.
Hallowe'en continues to be exactly what it has always been ~ a consecration to satan, with nothing positive or hopeful about it, but a load of horror associated with the underworld, and certainly not of God.
If we've been made ALIVE with Christ through redemption, and all of those whose bodies have died and gone to be with Him in heaven are ALIVE with Christ, then how can we celebrate a feast which honours the dead ? Who are the dead ? They're not of the God whom we serve ! Then whose god ? We cannot seriously praise God on Sunday (and of course every other day) and then for a bit of harmless (?) fun, play spooks on Hallowe'en. But the make up and the dressing up is sooo cool ! I, and all the other makeup artists the world over would agree with you.
The Lord's prayer tells us to pray : Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be THY name . . . God has told us what is good ~ What does the Lord require of us ?
"But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God." Micah 6:8
Hallowe'en, Treat or Trick ? . . .
By David Porter
David Porter has written many other books, such as Children at Risk, The Practical Christianity of Malcolm Muggeridge, etc. He wrote in the Introduction to this 1993 book, "This is a book about Hallowe'en. It's not a book about witchcraft, satanism or black magic... It's not a theological argument (though it comes from a Christian perspective)... I have simply attempted to gather together facts about the festival of Hallowe'en in the past and in modern times... I have written in response to an increasing concern from parents, teachers, youth workers, church workers and many others... I hope that this book will help people to make up their own minds about Hallowe'en, and to discuss the subject with others in a constructive way." (Pg. 7)
He observes that Hallowe'en "is a festival whose roots are deep in pre-Christian religion and which in modern times retains much of its pagan symbolism." (Pg. 22-23) He adds, "However much the trappings of broomsticks, cauldrons, masks and other paraphernalia may be trivialised by commercial interests and the media, in this context they have a reality and an energy that is by no means trivial. For the Christian church, Hallowe'en in this sense represents spiritual warfare of the most explicit kind. Confrontation with Hallowe'en could only be a matter of time for the emerging Christian church in the early centuries of Christendom." (Pg. 25) He contrasts Hallowe'en with Christmas: "If, in celebrating Christmas, we are accidentally celebrating a pagan festival, it is a pagan festival that has long since died and has no relevance for worshippers of its own in modern times. Logically, if this is considered to be a problem, we should also find different names for the days of the week. But Hallowe'en is different. The trappings from the past that surround the modern festival belong to pagan traditions that are very much alive today." (Pg. 45)
He asserts, "it is hard to see, when the Bible is so explicit about the central supernatural focuses of Hallowe'en, how a Christian can with integrity even join in the commercialised, trivialised versions of Hallowe'en traditions; while we duck for apples, serious divination is being attempted by practicing pagans; while we light pumpkin candles, some are lighting fires for very different reasons." (Pg. 112)
Ultimately, however, he admits, "Hallowe'en is a dominating theme of our society... It is impossible to leave the house from early October onwards without being aware of the fact that Hallowe'en is almost upon us... How, then, can an alternative be put forward---one that will celebrate the good themes ... that are present in the traditional festival, but will avoid at the same time celebrating the destructive and unhelpful elements? The Association of Christian Teachers has put forward constructive, creative suggestions for alternative celebrations." (Pg. 126) He adds, "It is a very good idea to organise a church service or other activity on the night of Hallowe'en itself... which will be so attractive that it will dissuade some from attending the Hallowe'en events going on at the same time." (Pg. 130)
Porter's critique may offend some Christians, but his positive alternatives are worth considering for any Christian considering the issue of Hallowe'en.