"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Sunday, October 31, 2010

First Thessalonians Five, verse Twenty-two (NLT)

Keep away from every kind of evil. - 1 Thes. 5:22 (NLT)

i have been previously convicted to not celebrate halloween.  i've felt lead to share my convictions with others even though time and time again they are ignored.  i won't push my convictions on others, but i will continue to speak the truth in love (eph. 4:15a).  I DO WANT TO INSERT HERE (EDITED POST) THAT I DO NOT LOOK DOWN ON CHRISTIANS THAT CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN.  GOD CONVICTS DIFFERENT PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT ISSUES... WE ARE ALL UNIQUE.  I AM NOT HOLIER THAN ANYONE ELSE JUST BECAUSE I REFRAIN AND HOLD THESE CONVICTIONS!
The Bible says to have nothing to do with witchcraft, sorcery and evil things.  Why then are we as Christians participating in the events of Halloween, carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and costumes? 
following this k-love diddy, is a longer diddy giving specific historic stems to these "harmless" and "fun" traditions.  the bottom line is there is no Christian significance in Halloween.  Please take time to print out (if you need to) and read the following scriptures in the Bible.  see where God is clear about His people having nothing to do with this purely evil holiday.

Also he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced sooth saying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. II Chronicles 33:6
The History of Halloweenby K-LOVE Pastor Mike H.
The atmosphere of Halloween celebrations is marked with fun, mischief and the evil forces of nature, but the origins of this celebration are quite solemn. Celebrated on October 31st, Halloween is one of the oldest holidays—having originated thousands of years ago!
The belief system behind Halloween came from the druids, the priests of ancient Gaul and Britain. The druids believed that witches, demons, and spirits of the dead roamed the earth on the eve of November 1. Halloween originally was a Druid holy day called "The Vigil Of Saman." In early Britain it was called the festival of Samhain, which is pronounced sow-en.  This festival would last for 3 days and many people would parade in costumes made from the skins and heads of animals.  The spread of Christianity did not make people forget their early customs.  When Roman Catholicism became a world political and religious power the pagan customs were still widely celebrated. On the eve of All Hallows, Oct. 31, people continued to celebrate the festivals of Samhain and Pomona Day.  In 800 A.D. the Roman Catholic Church moved "All Saints' Day" from May to November 1st.  All of the "saints" who did not have a special day to their honor on the Catholic calendar were to be honored on All Saints' Day—a time to pay respect to the dead by visiting their graves. The "new day" that was to replace the pagan vigil of the dead was called "All Hallow's Day".  It soon became the custom to call the evening before, "All Hallow's Eve", which was soon shortened to Halloween.
The Halloween we celebrate today includes all of these influences, Pomona Day's apples, nuts, and harvest, the Festival of Samhain's black cats, magic, evil spirits and death, and the ghosts, skeletons and skulls from All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day.
Where do Witches, Black cats and Jack-O-Lanterns fit in?
In America it's a pumpkin, but in Europe it was often a turnip, large beet, potato, rutabaga or even a skull with a candle in it. The fearsome face of the jack-o-lantern was representative of the god of the dead, Shamin, who would drive off less powerful evil spirits abroad that night. As glimmering lights flickered over an English marsh or an Irish bog, people imagined dead souls had returned to earth. They would place the jack-o-lantern on posts and in windows to ward off the spirits of the dead on Halloween.
The word jack-o-Lantern is an abbreviation of "Jack of the Lantern." Jack is another name for joker or Satan. In the Irish tale, a man named Jack was fond of playing tricks on the devil. Annoyed, the devil tossed Jack a burning coal from hell. With the coal in his "lantern" Jack was condemned to walk the earth forever searching for rest.
The jack-o-lantern is a Halloween idol that keeps alive an ancient symbol of demonic superstition.

Witches and Black Cats
A pagan practice that was not eradicated upon the coming of Christianity was witchcraft. The word "witch" comes from the Anglo-Saxon Wicca, or "wise one." Witches were thought to be possessors of magic.
Witches, who worship the deities of nature, have living talismans or symbols through which they derive their dark powers. They invoke evil spirits to enter the bodies of their talismans. Some have dogs, owls, snakes or swine for their talismans, but the most common are cats.
The broomstick is a symbol of the male organ, on which the witch mounts and leaps high around the fields to "teach" the crops how high to grow. The notion of flying witches relates to the fact that witches believed they could fly great distances to their feasts by smearing their bodies with ointments containing drugs. The drugs gave them psychedelic "trips" making them think they flew.
Witchcraft is demonic worship in diametric opposition to the worship of the Heavenly Father Yahweh. Yahweh minces no words about it. He told Israel through Moses, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Ex. 22:18). He says in Deuteronomy 18:10, "There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch."
Cats have been closely associated with mystery religion from the Egyptians to the Norse. But the Celts had a particular fear of cats, believing they were humans who had been changed into feline form by evil powers. The black cat particularly was connected to demonic powers.
Black cats are the chief idol of the goddess of Wicca, Diana. In legend, she turns into a black cat to commit incest with her brother, Lucifer. Eventually the Druids themselves came to be regarded as witches. Witch hunting during Halloween became almost a national pastime in the colonial years of our nation. But that was yesterday. Halloween is regarded as the high "Sabbath" for practicing witches today.
Orange, black, and red, the devil's colors, are the colors associated with Halloween. Black prefigures black magic and demonic influence. The black of night is when these forces of evil are busiest, using the cover of darkness for their sinister works.

Skulls and Skeletons
The skeleton is a form of the god of the dead, the witches' "horned god." The Dictionary of Satanism by Wade Baskin says this about skulls and skeletons under "skull worship": "Skulls play an important role as sacred relics and as objects of worship among primitives. Among Polynesians and Melanesians, skulls of ancestors are worshiped in order to establish connections with the spirits of the dead. Like the head of Osiris in Egypt, the skulls of ancestors may also serve as tutelar deities. The head or its parts, each of which may stand for the whole, can be used as magical food or as a means of increasing the fertility of the soil." Under "Skull," the Dictionary of Lore and Legend says, "Symbol of death, often with crossed bones beneath."

Fire Rites
Being that Halloween is a Celtic new year's festival, many of its surviving rituals trace to the Celtic feast. The fire rite was practiced in many areas around the world on the night before the new year. The old fire was allowed to go out and a new one was kindled—usually a sacred fire from which the fires of the village were relit. The fires were thought to rejuvenate the waning sun and aid in banishing evil spirits. The Druids built hilltop fires to celebrate important festivals. Ghosts and witches feared fire, it was thought, and so fire became the best weapon against evil spirits. Witchcraft was punished by burning at the stake, fire being used as a means purification. The light that fires gave off was a sign of sacredness.

Is Halloween a TRICK or TREAT?
Most absolutely a TRICK. As you can see from all the above the real meaning of Halloween has been watered down. It is Satan's objective to get all to worship him. God tells us to not have any thing to do with this.

1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour"

1Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

1Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils."

If you are a professing Christian, you have no reason to be part of this holy day of Satan. Don't use the old cop out "well every body does it". No everybody is not doing it. God will hold you responsible for what you do this Halloween. Will you go ahead and participate in it? Or will you pass along the word and let someone know what the real meaning is.
As Christians, what do we do?
Remember the name of the holiday is the only thing that has changed; Halloween still carries some of its pagan significance and there is no Christian significance to be found in Halloween.  Jesus Christ is conspicuously absent!  Wise parents are replacing Halloween with family night activities. Others are having “Hallelujah nights” or "Glory Gatherings" where all references to Halloween are removed and wholesome games are played, Christian songs are sung and Christian videos are shown. Others are using Halloween as a night to pass out Gospel literature.
Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don't understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. - 2 Cor. 4:4 (NLT)
Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. - Ephesians 5:11 (NLT)
As a Children’s Pastor for over 20 years I took this approach to this holiday: We need to beware of its origins, its history and its dangers.  From Romans 12:21 (NLT) we can be encouraged, Don't let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.  I chose to use the good things like families getting together, enjoying one another to conquer the evil in this world. We would sponsor Harvest Festival Night which provided safe candy, games and an opportunity to meet Jesus through music, puppets and a gospel message. Through the years many kids and even whole families would make decisions for the Lord. 
Selected scriptures on this subject, For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, [11] or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. - Deut. 18:10-11 (NLT)  Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship him as God or even give him thanks.  And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused. [22] Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead. [23] And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people, or birds and animals and snakes. - Romans 1:21-23 (NLT)
You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord's Table and at the table of demons, too.  - 1 Cor. 10:21 (NLT)
So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. [17] The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. [18] But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law. [19] When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, [20] idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, >[21] envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin.  Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. - Galatians 5:16-21 (NLT)
Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. - Ephes. 5:11 (NLT)
For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. - Ephes. 6:12 (NLT)
Keep away from every kind of evil. - 1 Thes. 5:22 (NLT)Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. - 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)
none of these studies gave a very good background to dressing up and trick-or-treating so i briefly did some googling.  this was a site that i found most interesting.  it is not a christian-based site so it's not condemming like all of my above literature was. 
anyway, like i said before: read, study, pray, and see if you feel a conviction as i did.  remember, the devil is a master of trickery...


Jonathan and Telcia said...

it is so funny that you got a picture of that puking pumpkin too! I sent out an e-mail at the end of last week and found that pumpkin and stuck it in my e-mail to some friends. hahaha! I agree on a level 8, with your blog, and disagree on a level 2.

love you! ~T

Trenicker said...

amen sister. we feel the same.