HALLOWEEN AND CHRISTIANITY-PART TWO
History of Objects and Activities
We are not saying that Jack-o-Lanterns, wearing a costume, bobbing for apples, black cats, or bon fires in themselves are evil. But we need to be aware of what they symbolize during Halloween. The activities of Halloween do not have innocent origins.
Some may argue that we can take the evil activities and make them good. In some ways, yes. But I ask you a challenging question. Are the Halloween activities and celebrations as innocent as they were just a few years ago? Take a look at the decorations, movies, haunted houses, pranks of today compared to when you were a kid. The signs of violence, grotesque imagery, satanic evidence, and evil pranks are much worse in our society today. There is a difference between Christmas (which has pagan roots and is not the date of Jesus birth) and Halloween. Christmas has turned people to be kinder and softer during the Christmas season (even though we have a real problem with the secularization and materialism of Christmas). The celebration of Halloween becomes more macabre each year. Why would a Christian want their children to participate in the deeds of darkness? We will have a nugget on alternatives to Halloween-normally called Harvest Festivals.
The Jack-o-lantern: Hundreds of years before Christ, on Halloween
night each Druid dressed in hooded robes and has slung over his shoulder on a
cord, a large, hallowed-out turnip with an oil lamp burning inside. Carved into
the side of the hollow turnip is a face, in an attempt to ward off evil
When the Celtics immigrated to the New World they found pumpkins, much easier to hollow out and carve than turnips. Among the English-speaking Celts the hollowed turnip or pumpkin was known as "Jock (or Jack) of the Lantern." referring to the spirit guide (Jock or Jack) who lived in them.
Lore has it that Jack, was too bad to get into heaven but wasn't permitted into hell because of a deal he had made with the devil, supposedly wanders the earth holding a carved turnip with a glowing coal from hell as his guide. This is "Jack's lantern."
"Trick or Treating":
The Druids of old adhered to strange dietary restrictions, and on the night of the Festival of Death they go from home to home demanding these peculiar foods. If the people comply, they pass on in silence; if their demands are not met, the people and their home are cursed with trouble, sickness and death.
The Celts and Druids believed that by wearing masks and costumes, they would confuse the spirits into thinking they were one of them. Therefore the evil spirits would leave them alone. They would usually wear these while dancing around the big Samhain "bonfires."
During this night of rituals they sacrificed animals (and sometimes humans). Often they wore the skins of these animals. Dressed in this way, they would engage in fortune telling. Villagers also dressed in hideous masks and costumes in an effort to disguise themselves from the spirits.
Bobbing For Apples:
Since Samhain was the beginning of the new year, much divining was done concerning the coming year, and many things were done to invoke "good luck" (which meant finding favor with the evil spirtits) for the coming year. A very popular form of this was to kneel around a tub of water with apples floating in it, and the first one who could get one out without using hands or teeth would have good favor with the spirits in the coming year. Then each woud peel his (or her) apple, trying to get the peel off in one piece (which gave the peeling particular power, and gained special favor with the spirits).
Bonfires originally came from the nights of human and animal sacrifices where they would throw the remains of the bodies into the fire. The next morning all that was left were the ashes and bones. Thus the name of these fires were called "bonefires". The orange flames lit up the black night.
From the 1500s through the 1700s, during the witch hunts in Europe, it was thought witches and warlocks flew threw the air to a meeting with the devil (who had by then replaced Samhain, lord of the dead) on Halloween. Some thought elves, fairies, and witches turned into black cats.
Black cats hold a high significance to witches and Satanists. The black cat, they believe has special powers. To them they believe the black cat represents incarnated humans, malevolent spirits, or the "familiars" of witches. This is why that many black cats are in danger around Halloween. Local SPCA's won't even let anyone adopt a black cat around Halloween time, in fear of the cat might be harmed.
It is well known that Halloween is one of the most active days for evil and the meeting of satanists and witches.
The next nugget will be on Scripture and Halloween.
Copyright © 2002 Richard D. Dover. All rights reserved.
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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations used are from the New American Standard Version (NASB).
Richard D’Andrea Dover
In His Steps Ministries
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