Spirit Led Living

October 30, 2009

A Halloween Story

Filed under: Category — brucebaker111 @ 6:26 pm

Dr. James Emery White

Pastor, Ranked Adjunctive Professor of Theology and Culture Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

I grew up in a day when Halloween was little more than pumpkins, fall festivals, hayrides, and dressing up as a pirate or a farmer to go trick-or-treating.  That is what it held for my now very post-Halloween-age children as well.  As a result, I’ve had a built-in resistance to those Christians who bash October 31st as a pagan festival that followers of Christ have no business supporting, much less engaging.  Yes, I know its history, but few celebrations in our day are free of pagan roots, and the idea that donning a costume and receiving a mini-Snicker bar is an invitation to the occult is ludicrous to my thinking.

And if you want to really push me, I’ll bring up the fact that at the very least it can be celebrated as Reformation Day (when Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg church).

So I still hold to the child-like fun the night can hold, but I no longer view the day itself as innocuous.

For example, the costumes (among adults, at least) might as well be advertised as “Dress like a Slut” day.  This is not original with me.  In an article in The New York Times titled, “Good Girls Go Bad, For a Day,” Stephanie Rosenbloom writes of the changing nature of women’s Halloween costumes in the last several years.

Little Red Riding Hood, in her thigh-highs and miniskirt does not seem en route to her grandmother’s house.  Goldilocks, in a snug bodice and platform heels, gives the impression she has been sleeping in everyone’s bed.  And then there is the witch wearing little more than a Laker Girl uniform, a fairy who appears to shop at Victoria’s Secret and a cowgirl with a skirt the size of a – well, you get the point.

As Rosenbloom notes, the images “are more strip club than storybook.”  It’s a wonder, she adds, that “gyms do not have ‘get in shape for Halloween’ specials.”

(Actually, mine does.)

Of course, experts are often trotted out to speak of this as the “empowering” of women as they embrace their sexuality, and look for deep and positive meanings in the evolution of Cinderella from virgin to vixen.  But take a walk through your neighborhood mall’s costume store, as I recently did – mine featured a prominent “no one under 18 allowed without a parent” sign out front – and you can cut through the sociological analysis.

And need I even delve into the gore side of things?

Then there is the Christmas-ization of Halloween.  There are now Halloween trees decorated with ghosts and pumpkins, orange lights on houses, and even Halloween displays on lawns.  In an article in USA Today on how Halloween is getting “Christmassy,” Maria Puente writes that “Halloween…is second only to the December holiday in spending.”

Don’t believe it?  According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent $5.7 billion in 2008 on Halloween.

Yep, 5.7 billion.

But here is my biggest complaint of all:  we are giving the world of the occult what it most wants.

And what does the world of the occult most want?

To be trivialized.

C.S. Lewis, in his famed Screwtape Letters, said that what demons hate most is to be mocked.  Perhaps during Lewis’ time, that was true.  But they’ve gotten wise.  Now, I think they like it.

Why?  It is one more way to mask their reality.

I was jolted into how we have removed the reality of the occult from our American culture during a recent trip to the Philippines.  Reading the Manila Bulletin one morning (the nation’s leading newspaper, I saw the following headline:  “93 students possessed by evil spirits.”

It was striking in how “matter of fact” it was.  Just a story about what happened.

The story detailed how at least ninety-three students at a public high school in Bontoc (the Mountain Province General Comprehensive High School) were reportedly possessed by evil spirits while they were attending classes.  The event led to the suspension of regular classes for several days.

They took them to the Bontoc General Hospital for treatment.

It didn’t help.

Later, they were brought to the churches in the town where they were blessed by priests, and this reportedly brought them back to their normal condition.

Happy Halloween.

James Emery White


Stephanie Rosenbloom, “Good Girls Go Bad, For a Day,” New York Times, Thursday, October 19, 2006, p. E1 and E2.

Maria Puente, “Halloween décor is getting Christmassy,” USA Today, Friday, October 13, 2006, p. D1.

For spending in 2008 on Halloween, see http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=News&op=viewlive&sp_id=578.

“93 students possessed by evil spirits,” Manila Bulletin, Wednesday, August 5, 2009, p. 6.


A Halloween Story.


October 22, 2009

Should I Celebrate Halloween?

Filed under: Category — brucebaker111 @ 10:43 pm

Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book

“Let everyone who names the Name” Paul said, avoid iniquity. Is Halloween a celebration of iniquity? Read on and judge for yourself!

Here are some quotes from what many different people have said over the years concerning the celebration of Halloween.

Someone once said, “For a Christian to celebrate Halloween would be as proper as a Holocaust survivor trying to celebrate Hitler’s birthday.” Yet so many believers continue to do so without considering what they are doing. Excited children masquerading as witches, ghosts, goblins, skeletons, demons, and other grotesque characters skipping through the neighborhood knocking one doors changing “trick or treat” while holding out a sack in which one is to drop a piece of candy or other goodies…the party at school, or church, or Sunday School where they bob for apples, tell fortunes, or go through “haunted houses”…decorations of jack-o-lanterns, witches on brooms and black cats with arched backs…IT’S “HALLOWEEN” – one of the strangest days of the year.

The word evokes a number of responses. Every year as October rolls around, there are those that look forward to it with excitement and those that cringe and wish it weren’t there. Some argue violently against it, some yawn because they’ve heard it all before, may just look the other way and go ahead with it. Some view it as an abomination, while many others view it as a harmless tradition. What is Halloween, or Samhain? What does it represent? And, what should the Christian think about it, if anything?

Where did this fast growing American tradition come from? History provides the answers.

The pagans believed that on one night of the year the souls of the dead returned to their original homes. “There was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise, but the souls of wicked men were left to wander in the space between the earth and moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living…but there were means by which these ghosts might be exorcised.”

To exorcise these ghosts, that is, to free yourself from their supposed evil sway, you would have to set out food – give the demons a treat – and proved shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your treat, it was believed they would leave you in peace. If food and shelter were not provided, or if they were not satisfied, these spirits, it was believed, would “trick” you by casting an evil spell on you and cause havoc.

So Where Did The Elements Of Halloween Come From?

Trick Or Treat. “The modern custom of ‘Trick-or-Treat’ began in Ireland hundreds of years ago. A group of farmers went from house to house begging food for the village Halloween festivities in the name of their ancient gods. Good luck was promised to generous donors, and threats were made against those who would not give.” 3 Thus these ancient pagan traditions continue today as youngsters, masquerading as ghosts, skeletons, and demons go “trick-or-treating” – begging in a sense for food while promising to refrain from evil deeds…

October 31ST. Though it was the Roman Catholic church who designated the October 31st date as All Hallow’s Eve, or “eve of the holy one’s day,” in prelude to their November 1st All Saints’ Day, it was earlier pagan peoples who gave the annual holiday the sinister meaning and traditions it still holds.

It is obvious that the elements, symbols, and traditions of the Halloween observance with its emphasis upon goblins and demons, witches and skeletons, ghosts and apparitions rising from cemeteries constitute a dabbling with the very things, which Scripture forbids to God’s people and an open invitation to demonic activity. (Deuteronomy 18:10-13, Lev 19:31)

It is at this point that many will say, “But we don’t worship demons on Halloween. It doesn’t mean the same thing today as it did in the past. It’s now just a harmless, innocent time of fun for the children and the young people.”

Yet, history clearly shows that Halloween is unmistakably a “religious” (pagan and Roman) holiday. Religion is the adoration, obedience, and service rendered to the object of one’s worship. It presupposes profession, practice, or observance of whatever belief and practice – in this case Halloween – as required by some superior authority. It is indisputably clear that Halloween is NOT commanded or sanctioned by Jehovah God – the true Christian’s Superior, Authority – in the Scriptures.

What Should We Do?

Sadly enough, the biggest opposition to what has been said invariably comes from within professing Christendom. The witches, the occultists, and the secular sources all freely call it like it is. Note the following quotation from a contemporary witch. “Most of Christianity’s holy days have their basis in pagan ritual. I get myself into a lot of hot water when I remind American Christians of that fact. No matter, it’s true. But the level of tolerance is rising.”

If we believe God’s Word, then witchcraft is something that exists and is hated by God. It is an abomination. All occult practices are, and they are under the divine condemnation and wrath of the eternal God. Should the redeemed of God, His children, have anything to do with that which presents Satan? Should children who “are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3) be dressed up like witches and ghosts and goblins in light of God’s displeasure? 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” The Amplified Bible puts it this way, “Abstain from evil – shrink from it and keep aloof from it – in whatever form or whatever kind it may be.”

The true child of God should be identified with the pure and holy Jesus Christ. With “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” (Galatians 5:22-23), not with the powers of darkness and evil. The witch, earlier in this article, clearly states that it’s their holiday, their celebration. History bears that out. Christians, have nothing to do with this. It can only be dishonoring to the name of our Lord.

Today Halloween is the highest of all celebrations for Satan worshippers, witches and the occult. Christians need to be warned so they can take heed and obey the Word of God. The apostle Paul wrote, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph. 5:11). “Abstain from all appearances of evil” (1 Thes. 5:22). “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

For more resources, visit our website at www.discoverthebook.org.

Original publication date: October 21, 2009

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