Written by Pastor Bruce Howell, a Powerful thought provoking and heart changing message.
One Halloween night, a little boy, dressed in a devil costume knocked on my door wanting candy. When I saw him, I thought to myself, ’how sad it is that our society encourages children to dress up as Satan and other evil personalities. Don’t parents realize that Satan is real and not some sort of Halloween character?’
Well, unfortunately, many folks don’t believe that the devil really exists. They think he’s a figment of our imagination–a character out of Dante’s Inferno.
Once there was a boxer who was being beaten up badly. Finally, he leaned over the ropes and said to his trainer, “Throw in the towel. This guy is killing me!” But the trainer replied, “Oh, no he’s not. He’s not even hitting you. He hasn’t laid a glove on you!” At that point the boxer wiped the blood away from his eye and said, “Well, then, I wish you’d watch that referee. He sure is tough!”
Some people are like that trainer. They just don’t get it. They deny the obvious.
This Halloween season, millions of Christians will encourage their children to pay respects to the devil and his gang of evil spirits. Thousands of churches will fully sanction this homage to Satan in direct violation to the explicit teaching of the Word of God! Many fellowship rooms will be decked out with all the paraphernalia and trappings of Lucifer’s kingdom.
Halloween is a celebration of darkness. I don’t like darkness. Darkness hides things. In the Bible, darkness symbolizes evil. When I was a boy I used to ask my mother to leave a light on in my room. It always made me feel better. That’s what we should be doing—lighting up our world with God’s love.
Ephesians 5:8-11 says it well: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
The whole concept behind Halloween involves death, darkness, deception, fear, and pagan rituals.
Many Christians find Halloween an uncomfortable topic. It’s a little like walking into a graveyard and seeing among the tombstones a raucous party in progress–a bizarre mixture of horrible screams and laughing–and then wondering who might have organized it.
Let me pose this question: What in the world do witches and demons and vampires and blood have in common with the people of God, who John refers to as “Children of Light?”
Is Halloween simply a child’s celebration, a night of good, innocent fun or should we think more seriously about glorifying Satan and his evil angels? Do I sound like an extremist? Consider what the World Book Encyclopaedia has to say on the subject:
Halloween’s beginnings preceded Christ’s birth when the druids, a pagan group of devil-worshipers in whatis now Britain and France, observed the end of summer by making human sacrifices to the gods. It was the beginning of the Celtic year. They believed that Samher, the lord of death, sent evil spirits abroad to attack humans, who could escape only be assuming disguises and looking like spirits themselves. The waning of the sun and the approach of dark winter made the evil spirits rejoice and play nasty tricks. Most of our Halloween practices can be traced back to the old pagan rites and superstitions.
Satanists and witches still consider Halloween to be their “high holy day”–like Easter is to us. They say it is the ideal time of year to cast spells, see into the future and communicate with the spirits of dead relatives.
Many centuries ago the Church tried to offset this seasonal emphasis by introducing “All Saints Day” on November first. It was also called “All Hallows Day.” Then it became the custom to call the evening before, “All Hallow E’n.”
Trying to Christianize a pagan calendar certainly is not working today. In fact, you might say that “All Saints Day” has been almost obliterated in favour of Halloween. In my opinion, for a Christian to celebrate Halloween makes about as much sense as the Russians celebrating the fourth of July!
The point here is not to infer that participation in Halloween makes one a witch, or a devil-worshiper, or occultist. But I do believe that it is dishonouring to the Risen Saviour whose coming was to “destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8).
Another point: The Bible clearly tells us that God hates witchcraft. Should our children, who are an “inheritance of the Lord” be dressed up like witches and goblins? Come on, Christian parents. Think!
Instead of celebrating Halloween, let me suggest some ALTERNATIVES.
1. Celebrate the Season. The end of October is a perfect time to celebrate the beauty of Autumn. Give glory to God for His genius and love in providing such a beautiful landscape for us to enjoy. Its also a wonderful time to think about harvest time and all that God so bountifully provides for His children. Psalm 65 and 104 are excellent passages to read together as a family.
2. Celebrate the Saints. Take some time to reflect on those who have influenced you greatly, such as Bible characters, reformers, missionaries, pastors, pillars in the church. Thank God for them. Honour their memories. As the writer to Hebrews said, “they being dead yet speaketh.”
3. Celebrate the Saviour. Especially as it relates to His victory over Satan. Make no mistake about it, Satan’s power is great, but he is no match for King Jesus! The devil has been allowed to afflict the righteous, according to Job 1:12. He also has authority over the world, according to Luke 4:6. Dr. James Dobson, in a letter to supporters said the following:
“There is a conspiracy being orchestrated with great care by those who hate the Christian system of values. They are dedicated to its destruction. A formidable army has been assembled on the battlefield, including the gay and lesbian movement; the Media and the street-corner pushers who are destroying our kids with drugs; the medical personnel who are slaughtering our unborn babies; the euthanasia organizations that are urging us to kill the old, sick and handicapped; the pornographers who are polluting our landscape; the media and universities who are committed to the humanistic perspective. These are the shock troops arrayed in full battle gear before us.”
There are two dangerous extremes to avoid with regard to our ancient foe.
1. Dismissing him as a myth. One Satanist who had confessed to murdering several people said he did it to gain power over 10,000 souls in hell. He said this was promised to him by the devil. See the book, “Enter at Your Own Risk” by Patty Roth.
Beware of his devious deceptions. The Phil Donahue Show once highlighted his insidious nature. There was a panel of so-called “experts” in the arena of religion, composed of and atheist, a Universalist, a Catholic priest, a New Age spokesman, and an Evangelical.
When asked about their view of hell, here were the answers:
• Atheist: no such thing as a soul, so no hell.
• Universalist: everyone goes to heaven after death.
• Catholic priest: ideal of hell is nonsense.
• New Ager: reincarnation takes place; no hell.
Questions put to the audience by Donahue:
• Is there a heaven? Vast majority said “Yes.”
• Is thee a hell? Vast majority said, “No.”
• How many expect to go to heaven? Vast majority said, “All.”
Comments from audience members:
“This life is hell enough.”
“God is love. How could He ever think of a place like hell?”
“Have all the fun you can here because this is all there is.”
“The Bible was written by men alone.”
“Preachers are trying to scare folks into following their religion.”
2. Glorifying Satan. This is the second extreme. He is not equal in power with God. In fact, he is not a god at all. He is a fallen angel. And Martin Luther was right. His “doom is sure. One little word shall fell him.”
When our Lord was with us on this planet, He demonstrates over and over again His power over the evil one. Consider the slaughter of the innocents and how He escaped. Consider the Nazarene’s attempt to throw Him off a cliff. Or what about the temptation experience in the wilderness, and the Pharisees attempt to have Him murdered. His family rejected Him; Israel rejected Him, Most of His followers left Him. And there was Gethsemane and Calvary. But through it all, He was the victor, and the Resurrection dealt the final blow.
Jesus said, “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out” (John 12:31). Again, He said, “The prince of this world has no hold on me” (John 14:30).
Sarah Winchester, widow of Oliver Winchester, who invented the famed Winchester Rifle that won the west, worried about the departed soul of her husband because of all the Indians that his rifle was responsible for sending on to the next life. She also feared for her own soul and the souls of the Indians. And she was also fretting about losing her dead husband’s fortune.
Instead of taking her worries to the Lord, she consulted with mediums and spirits. From then it was Halloween every night. These mediums told her that she needed to be fearful. And further, that if she was wise she would seek to placate the ghosts while she still had time and money. She was urged to make the spirits comfortable; providing them a place where they could dwell. She would need their friendship later.
So she hired 22 carpenters to build her a mansion–160 rooms spread out over six acres! She had 47 chimneys, secret passage-ways, stairs that led to nowhere. It was a designed home that made no sense. For 38 years she squandered her fortune on this project, holding nightly séances, from which she would receive further direction in just how to build. Work was finally stopped when she died in 1922. The mansion is near San Francisco and is referred to as the “Winchester Mystery House.”
How sad. How sad that she didn’t consult with The Carpenter, the Master Builder. He would have prepared a mansion just for her. He would have banished fear from her troubled soul. Instead, she decided to live a life of fear.
What’s the matter, don’t I believe in ghosts? Oh, yes, but I call them by their real name–demons or devils. Christians have nothing to do with them. They worked the works of darkness. We are Children of the Light. What fellowship does Light have with darkness?
There is only one ghost that I’m interested in–the Holy Ghost. When He’s in control, there will be no fear, no trifling with the images of Halloween. He comes to banish fear and glorify our wonderful Saviour.