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The following letter was written to a pastor in the USA about the
commonly accepted tradition of Halloween.
Dear Pastor X,
I have been moved to write you about your organization's yearly sale of pumpkins prior to Halloween. To be frank and honest, I find it hard to believe that a church that professes to follow Jesus Christ would do such a thing. Promoting pumpkins that will later become jack-o-lanterns is certainly not something that I would see as being approved by our Savior.
I am sure that you are already aware of the origin of both Halloween and the jack-o-lantern. If not, I will provide a brief, but accurate summation for you.
Halloween's roots are with the Celts of 2,000 years ago. It was later picked up by the Romans and then by the Catholics in about 800 AD who wanted to replace it with their own "holy day" of "All Saints Day". In about 1000 AD "All Soul’s Day" was added. All of the pagan rituals were kept, including costumes, bonfires, parties, etc. Not an uncommon thing for the Catholic Church, which has merged many pagan practices into its own.
The jack-o-lantern has its roots in Irish folklore. A man named Jack supposedly made a deal with the devil to keep himself out of hell. When he died, St. Peter would not let him into heaven, and the devil would not let him into hell, so he was doomed to wander in the darkness. The devil threw him a flaming tinder which Jack put into a turnip and used as a light. Later, on "Hallows Eve" the Irish would hollow out turnips and other vegetables and place fire in them to ward off evil spirits. When the Irish came to America they began using the pumpkin because it was so much larger.
Now I ask you, is this something that Christians should be observing, and in your case, promoting? Of course there is always the justification that it is all innocent fun because nobody actually celebrates the dead, the evil spirits, or whatever. Do really you think Christ would promote such fun if he were here? Whether one is actually giving homage to the spirits, demons, etc., like the old pagans (and later the Catholics) is not the point. The day itself is still being honored, and many of the practices and traditions associated with this pagan festival are still being performed by Christians!!
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:2).
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the traditions of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ (Col 2:8).
The making of a jack-o-lantern, as well participating in the other traditions of Halloween, is a form of idolatry which violates the second commandment.
Neglecting the commandant of God, you hold to the tradition of men (Mar 7:8).
Over the years I have heard people comment on your sale of pumpkins each year. The word "hypocritical" was often used. Some even think it is funny. So you see, even the heathen see through this thing. Why can’t you? I think that deep down you really do, but there are problems with this. The church makes money on this sale, no doubt. Also, it is popular among the brethren, and making a change in regards to Halloween might well cause some strife in your organization. It is at times like these that we look to the writings of the apostle Paul, who had no trouble correcting the brethren when they were adapting the traditions of the evil world. Numerous verses attest to this, as I am sure you know. I pray that you, just as Paul did, correct this worldly tradition that is infecting your church. You have an entire year to do it. May God lead you.
This letter comes to you not in anger or condemnation, but rather in correction and love. We are all commanded by Christ to love one another. So important was this that Christ repeated it three times (John 13:34-35, 15:12,17).
May the peace and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you and all of the brethren. [That only does, of course, where people accept and obey the truth presented to them. Those who step back, lose His grace.]
Sincerely, in Christ’s Holy Name,
Comment (By Malcolm Heap): The pastor didn't reply. It is doubtful whether he is a true Christian at all. There are many hirelings – false ones! These men are only interested in a compromised 'gospel' that perverts the truth in order to appease the majority.
These "are false 'apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as 'apostles' of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve" (2 Cor 11:13-15, NIV).
I have a personal theory as to where Halloween originated, even before the Celts. (The Celts had Israelite origins.) It is in 1 Kings 12.
Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites. He instituted a festival on the 15th day of the 8th month, like the festival [of Tabernacles] held in Judah, and offered sacrifices... on the 15th day of the 8th month, a month of his own choosing... (1 Kings 12:31-33, NIV).
That roughly coincides with the end of October. Halloween is observed on 31st October.
The festival which Jeroboam established in Israel had widespread approval amongst the populace, which is why he established it. He gave the people what they wanted – worship that was commonly accepted by all the pagan nations around them. (At that time it was worship of golden calves – see 1 Ki 12:28 – a reverence for animals that still continues in India.) He said "Here are your gods, O Israel" (1 Ki 12:28).
The Catholic Church did the same thing when it set up All Saints Day (All Hallows, Nov 1). It was a way to appease their subjects by acknowledging pluralism in worship. All it does, however, is deny the oneness of the True God (for there is no other) and give homage to demons who are behind all the gods of the nations, and behind the homage given to 'saints' – mere men, not God Almighty! Utter blasphemy!
No wonder God paints these despicable customs in lurid colours (Rev 17:4):
The mother of prostitutes... (Rev 17:5, NIV). She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit... for all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries (Rev 18:2,3, NIV).
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