October 22, 1999

Next weekend kids will take to the streets to celebrate Halloween and fill up on candy. But is this a holiday that Christians should celebrate?

The date, October 31st, has long been known as "The Festival of the Dead." The Celtic tribes and their priests, the Druids, celebrated this day as a marker for the change from life to death. Today, the modern celebration of Halloween is performed usually by adherents of witchcraft who use the date for their rituals.

Witches celebrate Halloween as the "Feast of Samhain" the first feast of the witchcraft year. Being a festival of the dead, Halloween is a time when witches attempt to communicate with the dead through various forms of divination. Contrast this with God's command against divination in Deuteronomy 18.

Witches, for example, believe that this day marks the time when the Mother Goddess (also known as Mother Nature, Goddess of the Earth) returns to the underworld to sleep under a blanket of snow. In her place comes another god the Horned God who emerges to begin his reign of death.

In later centuries, the Catholic Church attempted to redeem this pagan holiday and designated it as "All Saints Day." Protestant churches during the Reformation chose not the celebrate this day seeing, it as an attempt to Christianize a pagan holiday.

Today, we still have these two options: to ignore Halloween or to provide an alternative like a Fall Fun Festival. Frankly, I think those are about our only two choices.

By the way, if you would like more information on Halloween, please call Probe Ministries for our free Halloween packet which talks about the origin of Halloween and all of its traditions like dressing up and going trick-or-treating. Don't just go with the flow. Take time to make an informed decision about what you will do on Halloween.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.