Should Christians join in celebrating halloween?

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October 31 is halloween and I am sure some Christians would think that there is nothing wrong in celebrating this day. "It is just a day to wear special costumes. I mean there are many celebrities celebrating this day. So there is nothing wrong with it. Or is there?"

As a Christian, it behoves on you to first dig into the history of the celebration and understand what it is all about. After the investigation, you can now ask the question again.

Some Christians think halloween is just about trick-or-treating, attending Halloween costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing and divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror films. Surely there is nothing wrong about this..

Well, let's look at some of the facts:

  1. Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic pagan festival of Samhain. The Celts used the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, and also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead.
  2. As Christianity swept through Europe, the Catholic Church sought to erase this pagan ritual by adapting the May 13 Christian Feast of All Holy Martyrs, to coincide with Samhain. Pope Gregory IV in 837AD, renamed the festival to the Fest of All Saints.
  3. Some of the Celts wore ghoulish costumes so that wandering spirits would mistake them for one of their own and leave them alone. Others offered sweets to the spirits to appease them. Hence the custom of trick or treating
  4. The Bible warns: “There must never be anyone among you who . . . consults ghosts or spirits, or calls up the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12, The Jerusalem Bible)
  5. What are we saying when we dress up like witches and scary characters? Who are we edifying?
So let's ask ourselves the question again. Should Christians join in celebrating Halloween?

What do you think?

Is it cute when we dress our kids like the devil (or witches, ghouls, scary characters, etc.)? Isn't it, well, demonic?

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