No matter how un-Halloween Christian parents have tried to make All Hallows’ Eve for their little ones, like I did before growing in biblical discernment, sound doctrine and believing a book from called, “Redeeming Halloween ~Celebrating Without Selling Out,” by Kim Wier and Pam McCune. It just ain’t gonna happen. I had been against having anything to do with Halloween once I had become a believer. The bar was set for me. Then, I heard an interview in the early 1990′s on WFCJ Christian Radio. A former Wiccan, Satanist and Occultist that had become a Christian exposed the dangers of Halloween, especially toward animals and children, on that program. Such disclosures included animal sacrifices, praying to Satan over trick or treaters and abducting children in order to execute their wicked rituals. After hearing that information from a former member of such groups, more than ever, I did not want to introduce my kids, whenever I had kids of my own, to the scary streets of October 31st! I did not want to subject them to, or flirt with, the ramped, wicked practices and influences of Halloween night!
Surprisingly, this book lowered that bar and drove my kids and I back into the Halloween scene, trying to Christianize it, or “redeem” it as the title suggests. Like many Christian parents, I struggled with what to do with this holiday once we had children, with all the pressures of the culture, family members and such who do celebrate it. I understand that. As a Christian mother of 5, I have been there, right in the middle of all the pressures.
This book was the ironic catalyst for “selling out” to Halloween. Giving into the pressures to do so but with a ‘Christian’ angle and endorsement authored by these two women, who write with lots of Christian terminology. That is exactly what rationalized the idea for me of celebrating Halloween as “OK.” This work is endorsed by Focus on the Family and found in, none other than, a Christian bookstore, which added even more “OK’s” behind the first “OK” as far as I was concerned. Though this book does contain some truths through Scripture quotation, I will attempt to review only problems with the teachings in this book. There are many. Not all will be noted here, but enough to sound a concerning alarm along with sharing some of my thoughts about Halloween.
Wow! Right off was this. It starts off sounding biblical, then makes a small error with just one word that leads to gross error in deduction.
“It is clear from the Word of God that redemption is God’s primary work (right). Since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, every act of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (right –Triune God) has centered on the task of redeeming (still right –pointing to Christ) something (wrong-O –people not things) lost (right)… The blood of Christ has the power to redeem all worthless things (things?? –wrong again, it’s people who are eternal, fallen with a sin nature and need redemption, not things), whether that’s Halloween (What!!??)...” (pp.17-18, parentheses mine)
Let’s check in with 1 Jn 1:7, “… the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” Not cleanses things. His holy, sinless sacrifice cleanses those who repent with godly sorrow and trust Christ. Who confess their sins, turn from them and turn to Christ as Savior and Lord. Can things do that? Can Halloween? Or better yet, does Christ want to redeem Halloween? No, but this is the start of this book to get the reader to believe that Halloween can be redeemed and the Lord Jesus is going to do it and/or we are going to do it for Him because Halloween needs to be put back into Christianity.
~Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…”
As suggested in this book, tested and disagreed with here: Before one goes trick or treating, turn on lights in and outside your house to make it the brightest house on the block, lighting it up with luminaries and crosses, etc., (pp. 33-35). Or have the best candy bars in the neighborhood (p. 69). Or pray for protection before you go out to trick or treat (p. 61). Kids still see with their little eyes the horrific scenes and characters and hear with their little ears the scary sounds and scripts–”Oh, be careful little eyes what you see. Oh be careful little ears what you hear. For the Father up above is…” Or carve a pumpkin into a jack o’ lantern with a devotional (pp. 40-43) and/or use the Irish fable of Stingy Jack, which they think very highly of by claiming it as effective and equal an illustration as the parables of Christ (pp. 38-39). It doesn’t matter. We are still exposing our children to the darkness, doctrines and practices of demons, dangerously and disobediently, being contrary to the Word of God, if we take our children out to participate in Halloween night.
There is absolutely no equivocation that there are all kinds of demonic influences, techniques and characters which find themselves at home with Halloween. Americans dive into the boiling cauldron of new horror films being released. Rentals or pre-pay selections of old ones, like Halloween, The Exorcist and Frankenstein, etc., sore! Scary haunted houses are open for business. Portrayals of witches, crystal balls, spells and potions, bloodiness and zombies, ghouls and gore, Feddie Cruger, Dracula, Satan and on and on and on are everywhere.
One of these demonic-looking characters, or more like a montage, is bound to show up at your door, or brush by you and your kids on the sidewalk, before the night of trick or treating is over. All while one is attempting to provide an innocent and biblical experience, “we’re going to be different, shine our light and dress-up like Bible people” for a good time of fun and candy collection for their little ‘King David’ and ‘Esther.’ Then there’s the decorated-to-the-nines Halloween house on the next street over that your little Johnny and Susie are completely taken by. That house steals the show for them! You find yourself dreading that house of horrors. That house that you were hoping to avoid, knowing in your heart, this is wrong.
Not to expound on Halloween’s Celtic and Druid origins invoking pagan practices to protect them from anticipated evil or wandering spirits, like Stingy Jack (where jack o’ lanterns come from), reeking havoc, or looking for a dwelling place, the night before All Saints Day. That’s November first. The calendar day that the Catholic religion replaced the Celtic Day of Harvest to remember the martyrs of the Catholic church. And not to debate on where and how WICCA and Satanism fits in or its documented history of dark progression and crime over the decades, just in the States alone. But the point I wish to drive is this undeniable fact. Halloween has been and continues to be filled with and symbolized by sorcery/magic and witchcraft/divination, more than ever!
The bottom line: God calls His people to be holy like Him; set apart from the wickedness of the world (Leviticus 19:2; 1 Pt 1:16; James 4:4). Believers are not to have anything to do with sorcery (magic), witchcraft (divination) or necromancy (consulting mediums, spiritists for communicating with the dead) (Lv 19:26; Dt. 18:9-14; Isa 8:19; Gal 5:20; Rev 21:8). Such things are “detestable” to the LORD. They are ”evil” and “provoke the LORD to anger” as Manasseh did (2 Ch 33:6).
There’s just no way around it. Halloween is a dark holiday filled with fear inducers. There are many people who work hard with their time, businesses and resources to make it and keep it as such. One of the authors shard the experience of “her first werewolf” (pp.73-74). I remember my first werewolf, too. Only mine was a ‘real’ one at a haunted house, not one in a movie like hers (which is almost just as scary). I was about 4 or 5 years old. It scared the living the day lights out of me! That memory lingered, along with all the other wicked, evil experiences of Halloween for several years, triggering nightmares, contributing to fear of the dark and being home alone throughout my childhood and into early adulthood. She offers the idea of a Fear-Not Halloween Party for children on pp. 73-82. But would there really be a need for this if Christian parents kept their children out of the scary and fearful traditions of Halloween in the first place? The exact thing they are encouraging believers to do– go trick or treating!
Please, allow me to petition Christians of the faith to continue to remember and PRAY often for our brothers and sisters and their families who are, today,
being persecuted and martyred for Christ, in the world. When possible, get involved in supporting them via your church missionary efforts and/or through ministries for persecuted and martyred believers and missionaries. Not by having Halloween-based parties, trick or treating and games as this book suggests.
These authors take a strong stand for All Hallows’ Eve and the Catholic religion with its official November 1st mark on the calendar to recognize and remember the Catholic All Saints’ Day. They claim the Catholic church is “the Christian church.” Thus, Halloween was a Christian holiday and needs to be taken back as such, “redeemed.”
“…the Christian church reserved the day before the religious festival (Samhain: pagan festival of death) as a sacred time. October 31st was then set aside as an evening of preparation called, “All Hallow ‘een,” or “the eve of the holy ones” (p. 15).
“We hope to inspire you to take back the celebration that rightly belongs to the people of God and restore the purpose for which it was establish. It is actually quite simple, and as we have discovered, it is also fun and spiritually rewarding… It will be a holy day” (p 19).
“We are all part of the universal church– no matter the denominational label” (p. 15). (parenthesis mine)
It is unquestionable that compromising for Halloween and promoting the Catholic religion as “the Christian church” is exactly what this book is trying to accomplish. Is it any wonder that it is not Catholics who take issue with celebrating All Hallows Eve? That’s because it is a Catholic holiday. The eve, time of preparation, for All Saints Day. Have you ever seen a Catholic object to Halloween? Of course not. I can recall, as one who was raised in a strict Catholic upbringing, deciding the favorite between Santa and trick or treating was a tough call.
Halloween is not a traditional Christian holiday of the true church. It never was nor is intended to be. And to compare it to Christmas, or the jack o’ lantern to the Christmas tree, as this particular writer from CARM did, is way off the mark because the two intentions and meanings of these holidays’ celebrations have nothing in common for remnant believers, today. They are incomparable. They are polar opposites. Therefore, it should not be attempted by Christians to integrate, or “redeem,” it in order to participate and celebrate it somehow in a Christian way as this book wrongly teaches. That’s just simply not biblical. Further, comfortableness, as mentioned in the above link by CARM, as a way to sort through practicing Halloween or not, is not the way to measure, discern or judge. Comfortableness is a feeling and is deceiving. Better idea. Be like a good Berean, instead (Acts 17:11).
To be clear, I wish to only disagree with and discourage fellow Christians celebrating and participating in Halloween with the goal of attempting to restore it as a Christian holiday (which it never was). Even more so, taking the children we have been entrusted with out on the streets while this dark event is taking place. I do not at all mean that we should divide with those who do or disagree with churches having alternatives to offer their congregations. In fact, local churches offering alternatives for families with children is exactly what I want to encourage! And while that is going on, if there is a group of adults at one’s church who would like to minister to their community to “treat” families with the light of the True Gospel. Then by all means, a resounding, “Yes!” But keep the kiddos back at church with their wholesome activities and Christian fellowship. There is the overall issue of biblical, parental responsibilities regarding spiritual and physical protection of our children that I am hoping to bring into consideration, while we are teaching and training them in the way they should go.
Brethren, we are encouraged from 1 Jn 5:4 to be an overcomer of the world and all its temptations and distractions that wage war against us and our souls, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.” And that faith is the eternal gift of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6:23), which is joined with repentance (Acts 20:21).