CHRIST AND THE BIBLE
by Berl Chism
WE WHO GIVE YOU THIS ARE CHRISTIANS. We have been required to honestly face the question of whether or not it is consistent with our Christian profession for us to partake in Halloween festivities. Consideration of the origin of Halloween and its practices, and of what God's word, the Bible, has to say relative thereto, has caused us to conclude that we can have no part in its celebration.
If your reaction is, "Well, I'm a Christian too, and I don't agree with that," let us remind you that belonging to a religious denomination does not make you a Christian. Neither is one a Christian who merely accepts Jesus Christ as a fire escape from hell. Christians, speaking biblically, are those who have by faith received Christ as their Savior, Lord and Head. They believe that Christ bore the penalty for our sins on the cross, was buried, and rose again. They have obeyed Romans 10:9, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thine heart that God bath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
AS OUR LORD, Christ instructs us in the Bible as to His will. We should be willing to go against all popular traditions of men, if necessary, in order to honor and obey Him. "He that is of God heareth God's Words" ( John 8:47).
THE ORIGIN OF HALLOWEEN
Halloween and its practices are Roman Catholic and pagan in origin.
FROM THE ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITTANICA: "In its strictly religious aspect, this occasion is known as the vigil of Hallowmas or All Saint's day, Nov. 1, observed by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. Pope Gregory III ( 731- 741 ) assigned this date for the celebrating of the feast when he consecrated a chapel in St. Peter's basilica to all the saints. Gregory the IV extended the feast to the entire church in 834.
"There is little doubt that the Christian (Roma') Catholic —B.C.) church sought to eliminate or supplant the Druid festival of the dead by introducing the alternative observance of All Saint's day on Nov. 1.
"AFTER THE REFORMATION, PROTESTANTS REJECTED THIS FEAST ALONG WITH OTHER IMPORTANT ONES SUCH AS CHRISTMAS AND EASTER."
FROM COLLIER'S ENCYCLOPEDIA: "Associated through its name with Allhallows Eve. Popular secular observance of Halloween, falling on the night of Oct. 31, is derived from the rites of the Druids celebrating the day of Saman, when the Lord of Death called together the souls of the wicked who had died during the past year. The theme of harvest, which runs through modern Halloween celebrations, comes from both the old Druidic celebrations and the old Roman festivals in honor of Pomona, goddess of fruit, brought to Britain during the Roman occupation.
GOD'S WORD CONDEMNS SUCH PAGAN PRACTICES
The Bible says much about the practices from which modern Halloween festivities are taken. The nation of Israel was severely condemned for taking part in those practices.
In Deuteronomy 18:9-12 we read, "When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times ( an astrologer?), or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD; and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee."
When Israel came into the land of Palestine under Joshua, they did not completely do away with the pagan worship. God commanded them, "Learn not the way of the heathen" (Jeremiah 10:2), but they did not obey. 2 Kings 17:17,18 inform us, "And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. Therefore the LORD was angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight."
COMMANDS TO CHRIST'S CHURCH
"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" ( Ephesians 5:11,12).
"Flee from idolatry" ( I Corinthians 10:14).
"What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? . . . Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness ( separation) in the fear of God" (2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1).
TRICK OR TREAT
We are not allowing our children to go door to door, saying, "trick or treat." The "trick or treat" concept implies, whether or not it is intended or realized, the threat of force and violence. To teach children such attitudes and concepts is completely contrary to Christ. See Matthew 5:39. There is no need for our children to learn coercion and violence if they are taught to live for Christ and not for self. Christ said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:24-26.
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WE ARE NOT SO-CALLED "JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES," but simply some believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who meet in His name. We are just Christians; members only of Christ's one true church to which He adds daily all who are being saved. Acts 2:47; (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13).
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