Tomorrow is Halloween. It’s become a huge holiday. It is the second most popular party night of the year after New Year’s Eve. But should Christ followers celebrate Halloween? Some think what is wrong with a little harmless fun. Dressing up in costumes never hurt anybody. They don’t want their kids to miss out on what they did and their friends are doing.
As a pastor of many years I have heard these and more reasons for celebrating Halloween. Before deciding about celebrating it is important to know more about the origins of Halloween.
October 31 has long been known as “The Festival of the Dead.” The Celtic tribes of Britain and Ireland along with their priests the Druids celebrated this day as the last day of summer and the eve of the Celtic New Year. It was a marker for the change from life to death. They believed the veil separating the living from the dead was at its thinnest that night and evil spirits and the souls of the dead passed through the barrier and entered the world of the living.
It was believed that spirits and ghosts left the grave this night and sought out warmth in their previous homes. Villagers were fearful of being visited where crops might be destroyed, their animals killed and even babies stolen. So, they would dress up in costumes to scare the spirits away. They would also leave food and other treats at their door to appease the spirits hoping a “treat” would prevent an evil “trick.” This is the origin of dressing up in costumes and going door to door seeking treats.
We are encouraged in Hebrews 12:1 to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…and fix our eyes on Jesus.” This one night of the year most eyes are not fixed on Jesus but on a darker image. The Christian’s earthly journey leads to eternal life, to a joy that has no shadow. Should we really be focusing on the Devil, ghosts and witches for even one night?
We need to make it clear as Christians that evil spirits and powers of darkness are not funny. Spiritual warfare is real and the Devil is at work propagating evil. It is not harmless fun even if the people wearing costumes are only play-acting. It’s best to find another way for kids to have fun, get some candy and avoid unhealthy influences.
About Rick McDaniel
Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through www.highimpactchurch.tv. McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of six books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.
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