The case of Halloween has been an elusive and confusing issue to many Christians. The Bible does not specifically mention Halloween, or how it should be celebrated, but cautions on the approach Christians should employ towards similar observances. A brief insight into the Halloween holiday reveals that this day was set aside to mark the end of summer and beginning of darkness. Its roots are dated back to the ancient Celtic festival, Samhain. This festival ushered in the New Year, beginning on the evening of October 31, with lighting of bonfires and offering of sacrifices. It was widely believed that at this time of the year, an invisible gate between the natural world and the spirit world would open, allowing free movement. To keep away the evil spirits from entering their homes, people would imitate them by displaying scary items on their doors.
How Christians approach this holiday vary widely. Can we be in the world, but not of the world? Can Christians participate in festivals or celebrations that do not signify God? or should they refrain from them? Some choose to ignore halloween, and such holidays, while others fully participate in them. Others seek alternatives to the holiday. However the book of Ephesians 5:7 – 12 says; (Therefore do not be partakers with them. Walk in Light, for you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit). II Corinthians 6:14 says, (Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness)? The scriptures discourage Christians from taking part in these festivals, for they are of the world, or they are of darkness. Instead do which is acceptable to God. For us to do that which is acceptable to God, let us look into one practice which is not acceptable. In the ancient times, a sacrifice of humans was done to appease the spirits, as burnt offerings. Although not practiced in the modern days, this practice is totally condemned in the Bible. Deuteronomy 18:10 – 12 says, (There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you).
Yes, as I had stated earlier, modern Christians do not carry out these practices. But there is one troubling issue, The media, and specifically television programs and movies feature programs that send out a message of violence and inhuman acts, in the name of entertainment, forgetting that these violent scenes get imbedded into people’s sub consciousness. The results are portrayed in the inhuman acts reported now and then in the news. Bullying in our schools, torture of children and other victims, violent murders, abuse of dead bodies are just some of the results of such exposure. The effects are far reaching and the sad part is that the society has chosen to ignore them.
Ignoring the holiday may not be the best approach, but if we can use the opportunity to share our faith, then we can touch many lives and even make more friends. Yes, we can be in the world, but not of the world. Ephesians 5:11 encourages Christians to expose these unfruitful practices of darkness, and we can do this by preaching the Good News, while we are in the world.