September 16, 2004

Halloween and the Christian Part 2

You think Harvest Festivals are an alternative? Here's some information for you.

Romans 14 : 5 tells us that everyone esteems *recognizes* a day differently:

5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

Now this tells me that what one day represents *Oct 31* in this scenario, is NOT going to mean the same to everyone. Just because some druids of yesteryear esteemed a certain day on their calendar with outrageous and superstitious views, doesn't mean I observe it the same way they did! Nor does it mean that I observe October 31 as the witches of today might. I observe it in my own fashion, and the BIBLE backs this view up. To some, Halloween, Christmas, and Easter are days like any other because they do NOT celebrate them for their own personal reasons. We are to be fully persuaded in our own minds according to the above scripture and if we have no doubt in our hearts as Christians that we are NOT sinning in allowing trick or treating or any other form of decorating for the Autumn Halloween season, then that is enough.

5 Should Christians allow their children to participate in trick or treating?

Everyone must make their own decision on this. I can only put out what the Bible says about the subject of attributing more or less esteem to particular days, fables, conscience, sin, and such.

Again, I would refer you to this scripture: Romans 14: 5-9 (New Testament) KJV

5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

Another Halloween Perspective

I can offer this scenario. Take a person that had been partaking in pagan beliefs in their past and had later received Christ as their Savior and rejected Satan and all his works. Now their conscience would in all likelihood NOT allow them to celebrate or partake in ANY aspect of the Halloween holiday because they denote Halloween with their previous pagan beliefs that God had brought them out of.. The reason why is because it would have held special meaning to them in their past that they no longer wish to have anything to do with now that they are saved.

Take me for example:

If Halloween had at any time in my life held personal significance to me in regards of my having celebrated it in an EVIL way, I would NOT want to even acknowledge it, nor observe it now. The fact is that it NEVER held any special meaning or was representative of anything "Evil or Sinister" to me.

This shows us that a person's past has much bearing on what he may or may not choose to do in his present.

Idol Worshiping Accusations?

As I've scoured the web looking for views and perspectives from Christians on this issue, I found this:

"As much as people say that they are not worshiping anything on it-when you strip away all the mask, all the veneer of fun, the feasting-it is really a type of idolatry. God never told us to do it. He adds right at the end-Don't do anything that I haven't told you to do. Don't add to it. Don't take away from it. I've told you the way that I want to be worshiped, and it is not the way that the heathen have chosen".7

Does this mean that our children are practicing pagans if they dress up in a clown suit and carry a bag, bumming treats door to door? NO THEY ARE NOT

Here we have someone who is calling children getting dressed up and collecting candy IDOL WORSHIPERS! He adds that God never told us to "do it". The fact is for me at least, the veneer of fun hides NOTHING! All it IS about is fun. Here is the reality of what we were told as gentiles to observe and not to observe according to the BIBLE:

Paul thought that there should be concise instructions for the Gentiles to follow simply because at that time, there was a question about whether or not the Gentile believers had to be circumcised and/or observe and do other rules and take on any burdens/yokes in order to be saved. Some Jewish believers were going around saying that the Gentiles must be circumcised among other things. Paul wanted to set it straight that this was not true and that is why the following was written...

Acts 15:19

9 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: (talking about us who come to God that are not Jews=Gentiles)

20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollution of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.

And again another scripture: Acts 21;25

As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

The above mention of keeping themselves from things offered to idols is in regard to FOOD being sacrificed to idols. See :

1 Corinthians 8;4

4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.

5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

8 But meat (food) commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.

Let's touch on the above verse 7 where the Apostle Paul says "However, there is not in EVERY man that knowledge. For some with CONSCIENCE of the idol unto THIS HOUR eat it AS a thing OFFERED unto an IDOL: And THEIR conscience being weak is defiled".

To those who EAT something that is offered to an IDOL AS A THING offered unto an idol, their conscience being weak will be defiled because*to them it is sin*

How do we view Halloween in regards to allowing our children to trick or treat? AS A THING of EVIL and to be avoided, or a THING of INNOCENCE and with a pure conscience?

Only YOU can answer this...


Take witches for example, I see Halloween differently than THEY do and I will be judged according to my CONSCIENCE and not according to another's THEIRS! I am not to be preoccupied with what they CHOOSE to do, they are responsible for their own actions, I am only responsible for mine!

I did trick or treat when I was a child. As a matter of fact, my trick or treating as a child lasted longer than usual. I think the last time I went trick or treating was at the age of 12.

I was born in the 60's. Back then, everyone including the pastor's children trick or treated and there was no sense of sinfulness involved with Halloween. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find anyone around who harbored ill feelings toward Halloween in any way. In High School we had much fun while throwing a Halloween Carnival at school.

It seemed to me that in the early 1990'S things changed though. I first noticed this as it was announced at our Church we were attending at that time that there would be a "Harvest Festival" to give the kiddies something to do on Halloween. I thought to myself, "Gee, don't they figure on us parents taking our kids out trick or treating as we always do"? I had nothing against them holding the festival, I wondered if they had something against me not going?

From there, Halloween bashing really got worse every year. To me as a child and after I was an adult, Halloween was all about trick or treating and carving a pumpkin up *although I didn't do a great job of that most times* Now my children are too old to go trick or treating, yet I remember the times that I did take them, nothing sinister involved with it.

Christian's Perspectives on Halloween

As I said before, when I was growing up there was not a stigma attached to Halloween as it is now. The holiday was not demonized whatsoever. In any church you would attend, there was nothing mentioned of Halloween except to wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween.

I truly feel as though many Christians do not mean to be as judgmental as they sound toward others concerning the holiday. I believe that some honestly DO feel threatened as if Satan will get them if they do not do as they have heard from some televangelist type who is way off base. This all springs of one not being fully persuaded in his or her own mind about their actions. When we know who we are in Christ, we have no fear of Halloween, there are no monsters, and a Satanist is only one of many who has not come to the Lord yet. What are you afraid of Christian? Are you afraid that you will be perceived as going with the world's flow or marching to their drumbeat? If you are, let me assure you that God knows your heart, just as he knows mine. I am not afraid of God in the sense that you are. I know that he is NOT displeased with me for taking my children trick or treating, or decorating on Halloween. I can assure you of that.

Harvest Festival instead of Halloween?

But what of the replacement we hear so much about? The alternative to taking the kids trick or treating or observing Halloween in any fashion? It's called the "Harvest Festival" the following excerpt is taken from:

Talk It Out: Creative Alternatives for Celebrating Halloween

"An alternative suggestion could be a harvest festival/party - but to do it

for thanksgiving instead of Halloween. This way it's not associated with

that holiday"."8

This comment got me to do a little research on "Harvest Festivals". Here is what I found out: I think you will find it quite shocking. The following was taken from:

Harvest Festivals in Ancient Cultures:

Throughout the course of mankind's history, the Earth's bountiful harvest has been celebrated with ceremonies of giving thanks. Prior to the establishment of formal religions, many ancient tillers of the ground believed that their crops contained spirits...spirits which caused the crops to grow and to die. The belief was also strong that these spirits would be released when the crops were harvested. Therefore, they had to be destroyed or they would wreak revenge upon the harvesting farmers. Some of these ancient rituals celebrated the defeat of such spirits. As time went by the perspective shifted from rituals to defeat spirits to the realization that the fall harvest must take an agricultural society through winter, and thus is vitally important for survival.9

A similar festival was held in Ancient Greece, in honor of the goddess who taught mankind to tend the soil, during a month known as Pyanopsion (Puanepsion), according to the lunisolar calendar of the Athenians. Since our calendar is solar, the month doesn't exactly match, but Pyanopsion would be, more or less, October into November. 9

The Roman celebration of Cerelia, a harvest festival, was dedicated to the honor of Ceres (Demeter). Daughter of Saturn and Ops, and the wife of Jupiter, she was their goddess of corn (from which the word cereal comes). The same Greek mythology of Proserpina (Prosphene) her daughter's abduction by Pluto (Hades) is also found in the Roman beliefs and forms the basis of Cerelia. It was also an autumnal festival held each year on October 4th but some put the date at April 12th and 14th, and hence coinciding with the arrival of spring with the return of Prosphene back to her mother Ceres. Whatever be the date offerings of the first fruits of the harvest and pigs were made to Ceres. The celebration included music, parades, games and sports and a thanksgiving feast. 9



9. Harvest Festivals in Ancient Cultures:

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