Implications for not celebrating Halloween

If celebrating Halloween is evil because of its connotations with pagan deities (i.e., demons), then I have to ask:

  1. Does that mean that demonic warfare exists today?

If it does, then what does that make of the claim that “the miraculous spiritual gifts have ceased?”  Surely we don’t want to say that the children and practitioners of Satan have more power than the children of the light?  I agree with the critic of Halloween:  we should not commune with evil.   But that begs the question: is evil really a danger today?  If it is, and we must say it is, then we need to rethink our views on warfare against the powers.

If it isn’t, then who cares?

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2 comments on “Implications for not celebrating Halloween

  1. Angela Wittman says:

    My thought is we aren’t waging spiritual warfare in our strength or power, so I have no problem with the cessation of miraculous gifts for the believer; I believe it is the Lord of Hosts who fights our battles. The means He has given us to use in this world is the Word of God and prayer, plus believing His promise that we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. For what it’s worth, I believe we are in demonic warfare, though Satan and his minions can’t touch one hair on our heads unless the good Lord permits it. Hope this makes sense. 🙂

  2. John* says:

    Halloween had it origins in the pre-Christian Irish Celtic Festival of Samhain – the “in between” day (as in “a day and a year”). Its name was a contraction of All Hallows-eve.

    The original festival of Samhain was a “thin” time – when you were able to move across the veil that separates this world from the next, and to honour your ancestors. Originally it never had any association with what the Church was to later identify as demons.

    As the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland after Strongbow in 1170 could not suppress the Old Religion day, it “appropriated” it by calling it All Saints Day (moved from the first Sunday after Pentecost). It then added purely invented “scare” elements to Samhain such as demons and hobgoblins, trope-witches (with pointy hats riding broomsticks at the full moon – never the real thing) and the like to try to ensure that the Old Religion Day was not observed – sadly without success.

    This was very much what Sprenger later did in 1444 with the “Malleus Maleficarum” which inaugurated the three and a half century “witch-craze”. His “witches” – as history now attests, had very little of the real demonic to them. In practice, they were mostly the “wise women” of the village who were more effective at healing disease through herbal-medicine that the Roman Priests were with their incantations (read prayers and annointings and Bible-quotations). Hence Rome, as before, was trying to eliminate competition, rather than be engaged in true spiritual warfare.

    In its perverted and mutated Roman form, it crossed the Atlantic, and figured prominently at Salem, Mass. with the Puritans unapologetically using Sprenger’s manual (in spite of their otherwise pathological anti-Romanism). True to the American Free Enterprise principles, some bright spark one day figured that he (it was never a she – much to the frustration of the Salem Puritans) could make money out of it: by selling paraphenalia associated therewith. As they say in the movies, the rest is history,

    Today, the American Halloween only has a connection to Samhain in that it is observed on the same evening. Otherwise, it is a different festival altogether – being a festival of lollies, jack-o-lanterns, face-painting, trope-witches, hobgoblins and so on, It incorporates some elements of the pagan Roman Saturnalia with the festivities (but neither the history nor theology) of the Jewish Purim.

    +++

    Whilst pre-Roman Catholic Celtic Christianity saw elements in Samhain it had to to “redeem”, it found much in it that was not really contaminated with the real demonic and could be continued – thus the shift of All Saints (and the invention of the following All Souls Day – Nov 2).

    If you consult the dating references made by the Saints in the pre-Roman Catholic Christianity in Ireland, they seem happy to cross-reference them to the Celtic Calendar (both monthly and annual – with the Celtic Annual Feasts such as Samhain) rather than the Roman Julian Calendar of continental Constantinian “christianity”.

    **

    The original inauguration of All Saints – the first Sunday after Pentecost was more a confession that the “communion of saints” were made Saints, not by a human process, but by the indwelling Holy Spirit whose descent they Celebrated the preceding Sunday.,

    With the First Sunday after Pentecost now a “vacuum”, the Roman Church invented Trinity Sunday and placed it in this vacuum, thus breaking the nexus between the Descent of the Holy Spirit and the pneumatic creation of Saints. We thus have a different theological “sequence” focus after Pentecost than was originally the case.

    ++

    YES! Spiritual Warfare is as essential today as it was in Yeshua’s time. I agree that there are spiritual concerns with Halloween. if I had to identify where the demonic was most likely to be found, I would choose Halloween, rather than the pure form of Samhain. Halloween, rather than Samhain, is a more fruitful “happy hunting ground” for this real spiritual warfare.

    And we *do* need spiritual gifts to wage this warfare. Not of the same order to continue the enlargement of the Canonical NT to be sure, but genuine spiritual gifts all the same which operate alongside and inspired by the Bible.

    The Calvinist/Reformed claim that “the miraculous spiritual gifts have ceased” is precisely what the evil one wants us to believe, as it vitiates our effectiveness in spiritual warfare.

    I trust that this assists and unscrambles some conflations and confusions.
    Blessings.
    J.

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