Believe it or not - Christians should celebrate Halloween?
I am writing this on October 31 the day when the world celebrates Halloween, right?
It’s a holiday that has strong ancestry in paganism and in the works of darkness, rather than the light of Jesus Christ and the truth. (Ephesians 5:11).
Every year the costumes become more and more bloody, gory and depraved. Sadly this trend appears to be glorified through-out the world, not just at Halloween, but during the rest of the year with the viewing of horror movies and similarly related TV programmes.
“It’s just a bit of fun,” is what we’re usually told by the revelers, many of which are totally unaware of the dangers they are subjecting themselves and their children to – dangers such as the acceptance of the Occult, Satan worship, demonic spirits, witches and even death. Yet we can’t ignore it, Halloween is here and once again Christian families are struggling with a perplexing question – to snub or embrace Halloween.
Certainly for Christians, Halloween is fraught with potential pitfalls, yet today’s over-emphasis on the occult and the dark side of this pagan festival hides the fact that Halloween has a rich history which allows believers in Jesus Christ everywhere to celebrate it also – and in the manner in which it was originally meant to be celebrated.
Although it may have started out as a pagan celebration to drive out evil spirits, the early church actually birthed what we know today to be Halloween - with the wonderful commemoration of the Reformation. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted 95 debate questions on the door of Wittenberg Church, which began a movement called the Reformation.
How interesting that Satan has conjured up an alternative festivity to try and blank out the true Halloween – the amazing sacrifices made by many men and women in centuries past which took their stand for the gospel, some even burning at the stake for their faith.
Summoned to stand trial in 1521 before 21-year-old Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Martin Luther was declared an outlaw and hid by Frederick of Saxony in Wartburg Castle, where he translated the New Testament into German.
Charles V later imprisoned Pope Clement VII, oversaw Spanish colonization of the Americas, began the Counter-Reformation, and defended Europe against the Muslim invasion of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. In 1529, Suleiman the Magnificent had 100,000 Muslim Turks surround Vienna, Austria.
Martin Luther wrote: “”If the Turk’s god, the devil, is not beaten first, there is no reason to fear that the Turk will not be so easy to beat. Christian weapons and power must do it, we must fight against the Turk’s by repenting, reforming our lives or we shall fight in vain.”
The devil is known as: “the god of this age” and is still very much at work today with the increase of satanic practices at Halloween; itself a pagan festival and a rejection of all things holy. Even the name Halloween has been confiscated from its original purpose.
The name refers to All Hallows Eve, which is the evening before All Saints Day and the recalling of the great martyrs. There are two good reasons why Christians can celebrate October 31 and Halloween; firstly it reminds them that there is only one God, one person to be hallowed and that is Almighty God himself. When Jesus spoke what is termed as “The Lord’s Prayer” he opened with the words, “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.”
The word Hallowed means holy, blessed, consecrated, revered and sanctified. Even the most ardent critic of Christianity would surely have to admit that there is nothing holy or sanctified about Halloween as it is currently celebrated in the world today.
Secondly, celebrating Halloween, in the right form, enables believers to recall the supreme sacrifices made by men such as Martin Luther who bravely stood up to the face of church religion and the works of darkness during his own generation in order that Christianity might flourish.
Men like Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley also spring to mind. As they were both about to be burned as heretics for their teachings and beliefs outside Balliol College, Latimer shouted “Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, that shall never be put out.”
Luther himself once wrote – “I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in our hearts.”
Halloween therefore can indeed be a positive time for Christians?
By realizing that it is an excellent time to remind our children, that as Christians, we are different and not of this world. (Hebrews 11: 13-16, 1Peter 2:11).
Halloween can be a time to express our faith; a period when Christians everywhere can remember fondly all those men and women who gave their lives for the Christian faith and remain indebted to them.
I think that’s worth celebrating, don’t you?