Suzi (21 Oct 2011)
"To Gerlinda re: Halloween"

Every year I end up writing a similar letter, either here or on other Christian sites.

As some of the Doves may know, I was involved with Witchcraft and the occult/pagan beliefs/worship for my entire life (as far back as at least 6 yrs old) until I came to the Lord at 26 years of age. So, I have been on 'both sides of the fence'.

First, you are mistaken to think/say that Halloween is "the Devil's Highest Holiday". That is not true. In wicca, All Hallows Eve is the night before All Souls Day, it is more akin to 'New Years' mixed with a sort of 'memorial day'...it is the night when the 'veil' between life and death is believed to be the thinnest. The idea of wearing 'scary' costumes was an attempt by superstitious people (who'd just been introduced to Christianity, yet held onto their old beliefs and traditions in many things, blending them with the new 'religion' they'd adopted), to scare AWAY the 'demons and ghouls'. They were not trying to 'celebrate them' or glorify them in any way. They lit as many lights (jack-o-lanterns) to try to protect them from what they feared in the night. They believed that the darkness was where all things evil and otherworldly dwelt, and only The Light could keep those at bay (very true when we realize Jesus is the Light!). The whole basis of Halloween, from the traditions that most Americans observe is one of PROTECTION from Evil, even though, with Jesus those precautions are unnecessary, and most people take part in them out of habit/tradition. The idea of giving 'treats' to kids in costume comes from very old beliefs of appeasing spirits w/ food/beverages for their use in the afterlife. Many modern day ethnic groups still do that...so much so, that Health Departments are called to cemeteries to do something about rat and other vermin infestations (some cultures do this food offering to their loved ones year round). The actions are not necessarily 'evil', but they are unneeded in the Truth that Jesus does not require that and the Christian knows that He covers all the 'old ways'.

Secondly, I want to address the idea that ANY day is considered 'Satan's' or 'the Devil's' day. NONE of the days are his. None. Every day is GOD'S day. This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!! When you say we should run from those things, that day...you are admitting that Satan has power over it and you. We should face those 'demons' head on. In fact, the old beliefs of dressing up were from pagan minds who had not heard the Gospel, and knew, deep down, that we needed to 'put on protection' or 'armor' to keep us safe. Jesus IS that Armor, He is our protection...we do not need to dress up as demons to scare away demons...we do not need to put out lighted lanterns (they used anything and everything to make as many lights as they could on that night), because JESUS is the Light of the World.

I think it is important to remember/know the why of things from the past, so as not to mistakenly repeat anything that could come between us and God. It is good to note that even without hearing the Good News, primitive cultures knew enough to realize they needed a 'covering' of protection, that is why they were easily accepting of the Gospel when it came to them. Of course, some habits 'die hard' and some things are so wrapped up in festivity and family togetherness that we've forgotten what the roots were.

When I was a new Christian, I was just starting my family, so I was very afraid of letting my kids be too influenced by the world and the ways that were steeped in pagan beliefs. As my kids got older, I realized I could redeem and reclaim those things that Satan TRIES to take/pervert and make his own. I refused to give to Satan what was God's. I saw a teaching moment in every thing that was from my old life that popped up in daily living. We live in a fallen world, EVERYTHING that is not 'for Christ' can be used by Satan...but we should not willingly GIVE anything to him! We are in the world, but not OF the world!, We need to shine a light in the darkness. So, I used to take 2 pumpkins, cut heart shaped holes in the back, one I left with all the goop inside, and I carved a sad face on the front, there was no room for a candle inside. The other, I cleaned out and cut a smiling, happy face and put a candle inside. I explained two things, the old tradition of how people tried to stay safe by putting out lanterns...not realizing that the Light they needed was Jesus. Then showing them the importance of having Jesus in their hearts..how without His Light, we were a dark and messing place inside, and outwardly our lives were sad. But with Jesus in our hearts, we were happy and clean and glowing with His Love, inside and out!

I used the costume idea to help them understand the importance of imagination, again, explaining why people did it in the past, and how people just do it now for fun and because they've just always done it. I also told them that sometimes, we could have an Angel come into our lives and we'd not know it because they might just look like a normal person, but when we did something good for them (like feeding them...even candy!), we could be 'entertaining Angels unaware'...it's also a good lesson on not judging people by their appearance, sharing, and giving to others. Since we love theater and movies and make believe so much in our family, we 'play dress up' at the drop of a hat. Halloween is just a time when we can have fun with others who are more willing to play with us. My grown kids have had themed parties their whole lives. For my future son-in-law's 25th birthday, they had a "Star Wars Luau"....no where near Halloween, but just because we love costumes. So, for us, dressing up wasn't anything unusual.

I understand that for too many young people who watch too many horror movies, they THINK that Halloween is some kind of big 'witch.Satantic celebration', (Hollywood pushes that), that they will be opening themselves up to all manner of dark things. But for the informed Christian, you can still redeem the day/season, use the points that society pushes as teaching times,  and show your child and community that they can serve God within their everyday lives, even/especially on a day know for it's 'evil overtones'.

Now, as for the church you posted about, I've heard of it, it's very wrapped up with the Freemasons, so that right there tells you where they are coming from. The article has been around for awhile (note the date is '09) and most of the photos listed are even older...but they are not representing what a Christian church or denomination are supporting...it's a fringe sect. Christian churches SERVE their communities by offering Christ centered alternatives to 'trick or treating' (which is much more dangerous now), and they should do studies and lessons on the origins of the practices so that parents and kids can understand what they were for, what they represented and why they are not needed for the Christ-filled believer. Since only very extreme sects are against things like movies or other worldly practices, any church who is okay with watching films or theater should not have a problem with 'dress up' and 'pretend'. If a church puts on a Christmas or Easter pageant with costumed players, why would they refrain from allowing kids/adults to 'dress up' during a fall party? I will concede that using gory, scary or evil representations should be avoided (although my kid's youth group did skits where someone *usually my gorgeous son* played Satan! *in flame printed PJ pants none-the-less!). Allowing Satan to take something from us, a day, a party, a family/church gathering should be unacceptable to any Christian. I always told my kids when we have fun on a day that Satan wants us to be scared, or sad or anything that tries to make us forget God, and we celebrate, and Praise God in all we do, it's like saying 'neener  neener neerner' to him...or when they were older and they did those skits (like the one to Carmen's song "The Champion"), we not only give Satan a 'black eye', we put him 'down for the count'!

So, in my opinion, we should take back the night that the world has mistakenly given to the enemy! Dress your kids up in some positive super hero or role model..even Biblical figures...let them pretend to be someone they look up to. Let them give out treats (even Christ centered toys or candy/treats), share with their neighbors in a block party or Church run 'trunk or treat'...have fun on a night when Satan would love nothing more than to have Christians hidden behind locked doors and shuttered windows! Shine the Light of our Lord for all to see! That's my take on this day. It may just be the beginning of the new wiccan calendar year. It might be considered a day to honor the dead (ancestor worship is still very active today), and there is nothing wrong with taking flowers to our loved one's graves..but don't make the mistake of thinking this or any day belongs to Satan...EVERYDAY belongs to God!! Glory to Him!!

Blessings~

Suzi

Carman's "Witches Invitation" video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKRV6Mpm6cw&feature=related

No Monsters In my House:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTkkUIfIZ-o&feature=related