In the Image of Christ
Colossians 3:8-11

"The Christian and Halloween: Trick, or Treat?"

  “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.”  1 Cor. 10:21 (KJV)

        Who doesn’t remember their childhood Halloween experiences? I sure do! As a child I always looked forward to the end of October. The salmon were at the end of their run in the river, and the leaves had changed color and were dropping off,  making room in the trees for the following years buds. To me this meant that the time was fast approaching when I could dress up in my favorite costume, gather with my buddies, and go from house to house in hopes of obtaining my favorite candy. Yards were “decorated” with gravestones, and ghosts made of sheets were hanging from the trees. Some people dressed in their own costumes and answered the doors hoping to send chills up our spines.

        The approach was always the same, in unison we would cry out, “trick or treat!” and hold our bags out for the treat that awaited us. We always waited until about dark to begin our adventure so it would conceal our trickery along the way. They were harmless tricks like the smashing of eerily carved pumpkins and the ringing of doorbells and running for cover, or maybe the soaping of a few windows along the way, or toilet papering one of the houses that were not contributing to the wealth of the goody bag. As I became older, October 31 became a night out, not of dressing up and searching for candy, but a time out with my buddies to see how much trouble I could get into without being caught. Halloween for me had become a time of mischief.

        All this seems pretty harmless on the outside, like a phase kids go through, and besides, pretty much everyone does it, right? But after being born again and becoming a child of God, I began to examine this “harmless” custom in the light of the Word of God. Each one who claims to be a child of God should do this, but many people never get around to doing it. It’s easier to just “go with the flow.”  I discovered that there is no trace of this celebrated holiday in the Scriptures. So, to trace Halloween to its source I had to turn to secular, pagan sources, and there I quickly followed it to its source. Although there are conflicting views of its exact origin,  it is nonetheless clear that it is was never meant to honor God, and doesn’t do so. In fact, I learned what anyone involved in the occult already knows, that it is a time when the powers of darkness are glorified. It is a celebration of the dead, those that practice wicca (witchcraft) and those of other occult practices often view this as the best time to commune with the dead.

        The purpose of this article is not to debate the origins of this wicked holiday or to expose those that reverence this holiday trying to make ungodly spiritual implications. Rather it is to point out biblical principles to help us know how those of us who are genuine believers in Christ should deal with this “holiday”. The text at the beginning of this article offers us very clear  insight into what God would have us do regarding the observance of something that is not of God nor has anything to do with Him. Scripture is very clear that if you are not a child of God you are a child of the devil. There is no in between, no middle ground for the undecided, and every person will be judged by whether he knows God’s Son as his personal Lord and Savior, or has rejected Him and shown himself to be a child of darkness. Our text, 1 Corinthians 10:21, makes it very clear that you cannot serve both kingdoms. That little word “cannot” is powerful. It isn’t a suggestion. It’s not a piece of friendly advice or an opinion to take or leave as you please. It is a statement of fact. “You cannot” means it is impossible. You can only honor one, either God’s kingdom or the kingdom of darkness, by your choices and actions. Imagine two cups full of water and taking one in each hand, bringing them to your mouth at the same time to drink. What a mess you would have! Or imagine two tables set for two different occasions, try to sit at both of them at the same time. Impossible, yet this is the picture that we are given through God’s Word. The things we choose to do either honor God or they are in service to the devil.

    “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret."  (Eph 5:11-12  KJV)

        Every year, when this wicked holiday approaches, I am amazed at the newspaper articles I see from area churches and religious organizations, advertising their upcoming “haunted house” or saying, “come and celebrate Halloween in a safe place” or, “join us for your Halloween party.” We as Christians are called to a higher calling to live holy lives(1Peter1:16) and to be separate from the world. It is wrong to take something of the world that is a abomination to God and try to “Christianize” it (the meaning of: “Christen”). Halloween cannot be christened! Ephesians5:11 tells us to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. I fear some people use the word “fellowship” simply because it sounds friendly, and never give much thought to what it really means. The phrase “have no fellowship” here means not to partake in or be part of. “Works” refers to acts, things, or deeds done, and “darkness” refers to evil powers that dominate the world. Put it all together and God is telling us not to take part in anything that the prince of this present world has set up for his glory. We shouldn’t be participating in it, and we shouldn’t be supporting it. In fact our Bible passage goes on to give us further instruction, that is, to reprove them or expose, find fault with, denounce and correct them. Inform those with whom you come in contact concerning what is wrong with this practice. Many people find this very difficult because it causes them to be cut off from family and friends, it may cause us to question our church leaders if they are involved in these things. But God’s Word is right, even if “religiously respected” people contradict it. They did so in Israel’s day, and the prophets of the Lord decried the corrupt spiritual leadership of the nation. The key here is not what “my church” or “my pastor” does, but what the Bible says. We as Christians are to contend earnestly for the faith.(Jude 1:3) We serve a righteous and holy God and the powers of darkness are at war with Him. We are soldiers in His army, with a mission to fulfill, and we should be unswervingly loyal to Him. To take something as wicked and vile as Halloween and try to incorporate it into His church that His Son bought and paid for with His own (precious) blood is an affront and an offense to Him, and a shame to us for participating in such things. The idea of bringing pagan activities into the church and corrupting what God calls His should make us shudder, for the prophets of old denounced this very thing, as indeed they would today were they among us. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa. 5:20)

        “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you”  (2 Cor 6:14,17  KJV)

        I have heard that some Christians believe they can dress up in Halloween costumes and go out and evangelize by handing out tracts. God’s Word tells us differently, to “be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers,” and this should also apply to our deeds. It would be very difficult for someone from afar to tell the difference from one that is dressed up and seeking candy from one that is dressed up and handing out tracts. Nowhere in Scriptures do we see the Lord or the apostles taking on the way of the heathen to spread the gospel, it should be no different for us. We who are truly born again Christians, not just religious church goers, have been made righteous in Christ Jesus. We need to separate ourselves from the unrighteous works of the world,  not join them and try to mix the name of our Lord with a pagan holiday. Why would one want to enter back into or continue in the things from which we have been commanded to come out and to be separate? When you separate something from the rest of the group it means it is not allowed to be mixed with the one it has been separated from. This is the way it is for the Christian. Through the blood of Christ, true Christians have been set apart from the world. We have been saved from the judgement and wrath to come upon those who refuse to believe and obey. Halloween is a trick, not a treat. It is a dark and wicked holiday, and those that are of the light and walking in the ways of Christ Jesus should have no communion with it. Being a called out and separate people makes us a peculiar people (Titus 2:14). The world may mock and even persecute, but the Lord will glorify those that love Him and seek to do His will. Friend, if the Lord were to return on October 31st, where would He find you? Separate from the things of the world or involved right in the midst of their activities?

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