Grace Christian Huynh
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
On October 31, every year, the United States celebrates what is called Halloween. It’s like a day dedicated to the dead and for some pranks and fun. In other countries, there are similar holidays that are reserved for honoring the dead. I used to celebrate Halloween when I was a kid. I liked getting candy and dressing up and didn’t think much about the dead. Little did I know about the origins of this holiday.
The History of Halloween
Most every holiday has a pagan root. Many of the pagan holidays were replaced by a Christianized version by the church. This same thing happened with Halloween. Halloween was not always called Halloween. The Celtic, the people that lived in what is now Ireland, first recognized it as Samhain. It was like a New Year’s celebration for them. It was celebrated on November 1, before the winter came. The Celtic actually associated the winter with death because many of their livestock and people would die from the cold, which is why it is called Samhain. Samhain is the name of the god of death.
The Romans then took over and combined their customs with those of the Celtic. The Romans had two holidays around the same time as Samhain that also had something to do with the dead. One was called Feraria, a day in late October meant to honor the dead. The second was called Pomona who was the goddess of the trees and the fruit, which was celebrated near the harvest of the Celtic. The symbol for Pomona was an apple. This may have led to the start of bobbing for apples, a Halloween tradition.
Then came Christianity a few hundred years later. The Pope along with the church frowned upon the pagan holiday, so they decided to replace it with All Hallows Day. This was a day reserved to honor the dead saints. Hallow meant saints, and from Hallows eve came the name Halloween.
Common Halloween Tradition
During the All Saints’ Day (Halloween), the poor people would beg for food. The families would give the poor people food in exchange that the poor people would fast on or pray for the souls of their dead. Some say that faeries would dress up as beggars. If you were nice to the beggars a.k.a., faeries, you would not be punished by the faeries, but if you didn’t, the faeres would cast an evil spell on you. In modern days, children or even teens and adults would knock on the doors of people wearing costumes and ask for candy. They can sometimes wear a cute costume, but most of the time the costumes can looks very scary and evil.
There is a legend where there was a man named Jack. He fooled the Devil into promising Jack that when he died, he would not go to Hell for his sins. When Jack died, God didn’t allow him into Heaven, and since the Devil promised Jack, he could not go into Hell either. The Devil put him on earth for him to roam forever with only a coal from Hell to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved out turnip. When this legend was brought into the Americas, it was changed to a pumpkin instead of a turnip. People would put their lighted up pumpkins on their proches to help light the way for spirits or to scare them away.
At first, people would wear costumes to scare away the evil spirits that lurked in their town. Then, when children started their annual Halloween pranks, they would wear masks so that they could not be recognized and get into trouble. Also, for All Saints’ Day, the townspeople would dress up as the dead saints or as the devil.
Why We Should Not Celebrate Halloween
From reading above, you can probably tell many of the customs and traditions do not agree with God’s Word. It seems rather grotesque and full of superstition. Of course, when I was younger, I did not understand these things.
One Halloween night, 12 years ago, my parents took my brother and I to our local church’s parking lot where the deacons and the church members and even my school’s teachers were giving out candy out of the trunk of their cars. It was safer than going door-to-door and there were people we could trust, so my parents took me and my brother there to do our trick-or-treating.
Looking back, I found it quite strange that the church hosted such events. After my dad renewed his faith and my mom accepted Jesus, they stopped immediately celebrating Halloween as they started reading the Bible and learned more about God.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
My parents did not know how unholy Halloween was, but God showed them that it was never okay to Him.
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:14-17)
I remember that in Sunday school and in my kindergarten year, I did many arts and crafts with my classmates and teacher. We would make little paper Jack-O’-Lanterns or make paper skeletons and through the years, we did more arts and crafts. Even for our school pictures, we had a fall theme that had pumpkins in the background. Then, after my parents told me about Halloween, I had to excuse myself from those activities.
“Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:10-11)
After researching much about the origins of many holidays we used to celebrate, I learned that God wants us to worship Him the way He wants us to. Many people may say, “I don’t go all out on Halloween,” or, “it’s not like I worship Satan or anything.” Well, guess what, no matter how you celebrate Halloween, you are still celebrating it in the customs and traditions the pagans did. No matter what, Halloween is always going to have those roots.
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” (I Peter 1:15)
Think about this:
If you are a Christian and you somehow make money to support yourself, you can say that the money came from God. When you thank God for the money, you are dedicating that money to God and so it belongs to Him. When you use God’s money to buy decorations for your Halloween party or whatever is it for, do you think God will appreciate that? In addition, if you look on what is on the shelves in stores, you would think those decorations would look extremely scary and unholy on any other regular day. Using God’s money to promote the businesses that sell the Halloween décor is unacceptable. Consider this scripture:
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)
Here is another example. Suppose that you are very thisty and need something to drink. Someone offers you a cup of water, but warns you that there is poison in it. It is a bit strange someone would offer you a poisoned cup of water, but you are really thirsty at that moment! You think, maybe a little sip wouldn’t hurt, so you take a little sip. Now, you have consumed the poison, even if you took a little drink.
“What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than He?” (I Corinthians 10:19-22)
Halloween is also an opportunity for Satan. There are people out there that use Halloween as a time to worship Satan by giving him offerings. However, one does not have to participate in cults to give Satan what he wants. Satan wants humans to be as far apart from God as possible. He wants to sever our relationship with our Father. Having anything to do with the customs and traditions of the pagans such as Halloween is making God feel… well, what do you think? He would feel that way because we are ignoring His Word.
“After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.” (Leviticus 18:3)
“Therefore shall ye keep Mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 18:30)
I, along with my parents and brother, chose not to be a part of Halloween. Every since we found out the truth, the truth set us free. Just looking at any Halloween decor gives me some of the chills. Moreover, it is not just Halloween that we should look out for; it would be any other holiday that has pagan roots. We must be careful to follow the Bible and not man.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Corinthians 6:14)
My parents used to celebrate Halloween, but after they realized it was wrong to celebrate Halloween, they confessed to God to forgive them of the sins that they did not even know about. If you read this and now understand the meaning of Halloween and why you should not participate in the celebration of this holiday, please confess to God. God will forgive you for something that you did not know about! Also, pray to that God would give you the strength to be able to stop, beause it is not easy to stop right away. Pray and read the Bible daily! Thank you for reading and may God bless you!
“Who can understand his errors? cleanse Thou me from secret faults.” (Psalms 19:12)
“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.” (John 17:17)
Grace Christian Huynh (16 years old)
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