Many parents tell their children to not accept candy from strangers, yet that is exactly what many of them will encourage this coming weekend as they send their kids out for “trick or treat” night. While some communities might move it to a non-school night, trick or treat traditionally occurs on Halloween.
We in the Church of God (COG) recognize that holidays that have roots in pagan origins are not pleasing to God.
29When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;
30Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
31Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. (Deuteronomy 12:29-31, King James Version)
God says He wants to be worshipped the way He says. Let’s be honest about it: God is God, and He gets to set the rules.
Where does Halloween come from?
Halloween (or Hallowe’en) is an annual holiday observed on October 31, primarily in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints’ Day, but is today largely a secular celebration.
Celtic Pagans consider the season a holy time of year. Celtic Reconstructionists, and others who maintain ancestral customs, make offerings to the gods and the ancestors. Some Wiccans feel that the tradition is offensive to Wiccan practitioners for promoting stereotypical caricatures of "wicked witches". Pagans most often celebrate this day as Samhain and observe the end of the harvest season.
~ Halloween. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved 26 Oct 2010 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween#Paganism
While no pagan holiday is going to honor God, Halloween is a particularly strange holiday for “Christians” to participate in. I mean, you are supposed to be representatives of light! Why then would you pay homage to darkness or evil?
5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (1 Thessalonians 5:5, King James Version)
8For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (Ephesians 5:8, King James Version)
14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14, King James Version)
Even many mainstream Christians grasp this concept, as is evident from the article “Should Christians participate in Halloween?” at ChristianAnswers.net:
The October 31st holiday that we today know as Halloween has strong roots in paganism and is closely connected with worship of the Enemy of this world, Satan. It is a holiday that generally glorifies the dark things of this world, rather than the light of Jesus Christ, The Truth.
Even as early as when I was growing up, I can remember the local Baptist church deciding to hold an alternative event rather than trick or treat.
But, I think Paul said it best. Think of the gore, references to death, blood, fear (even if in “fun”) and elevation of the darkest that is man when you read his words:
8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8, King James Version)
I got an email from a friend the other day, but I didn't have time to read it until this morning. Since the person didn't give permission to print their name, I'll leave them off. However, this was on a local blog about which night to hold trick or treat as well as whether or not to participate in it [apparently, the grammatical errors were in the original]:
"'I dont understand why people want to change the date of halloween, with it being a major holiday!! Would you change christmas if it was on a Sunday, or what about thanksgiving? What if it was on a Sunday? Ohh, no wait, people would blow off their real blood family so that they could go to church instead. One time a year of people missing church isnt going to kill them! People have really started taking this way too far! thank you. i believe in church, but not obsessed with it.'
"I guess this is the mentality of people in the world today. Apparently if you choose to go to 'church' and not trick or treat then you are 'taking this way too far'."
So, Halloween is now a "major holiday"? When I was a kid, it was considered a kid's holiday, and adults who participated in it were considered childish.
My, how things change!
WOW – that e-mail is right on the fence between hilarious and terrifying! I sometimes forget just how forgone the thinking of this world is. Seriously, what does it even mean to say "i believe in church"?!?!?
@Steven: Yeah, there is just so much wrong with that email that I wasn't even sure what item was the most ridiculous. Unfortunately, the author of it was totally serious.
>> Would you change christmas if it was on a Sunday, or what about thanksgiving? What if it was on a Sunday? <<
The last time Xmas fell on Sunday, a few megachurches called off their weekly services — or held them on Saturday the 24th. The biggest church in my city did that. And it was considered a curious news item.
Many people forget President Franklin Roosevelt tried to change Thanksgiving Day to the third Thursday of November on his own — to add a week to the Xmas shopping season during the Great Depression. It didn't get far, in part due to schedules already set by football et al.
But back on your topic: I heard somewhere that Halloween is now the #2 "holiday" in the U.S. for store sales, behind Xmas. So it's "major" for retailers, to be sure. 🙁