Friday, October 23, 2009

Christians and Halloween

A timely piece from my files-- by Hank Hanegraaff, in the Christian Research Journal...

Should we participate? Accommodate? Or should we vigorously denounce Halloween? To answer such questions, its helpful to view Halloween from the perspective of history.

First, we should recognize that Halloween is indeed rooted in the ancient Celtic feast of Samhain (sah-ween). The Druids believed that on the eve of Samhain the veil between the present world and the world beyond was pierced, releasing demons, witches, and hobgoblins en masse to harass the living. In order to make themselves immune from attack, people disguised themselves as witches, devils, and ghouls; they attempted to ward off evil spirits by carving grotesque faces on gourds illuminated with candles; and they placated the spirits with a variety of treats.

Furthermore, we can learn a lot from how the early Christians responded to Halloween. October 31st, the eve prior to All Saints Day, was designated as a spiritually edifying holiday (holy day) on which to proclaim the supremacy of the gospel over the superstition of ghosts. Thus, all Hallows Eve, from which the word Halloween is derived, was an attempt on the part of Christianity to overwhelm the tradition of ghouls with the truth of the gospel.

Finally, although Halloween is once again predominately pagan there is a silver lining. Like our forefathers, we can choose to celebrate all Hallows Eve by focusing on heroes of the faith-- those who, like Martin Luther, were willing to stand for truth no matter what the cost. We might also use the occasion to introduce our children to such great classics as Pilgrims Progress. In the end, the trick is to treat Halloween as a strategic opportunity rather than a time of satanic oppression...


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