Monday, October 12, 2020

Should Christians Observe Halloween?


Greetings once again dear friends – our friends in Detroit, Michigan, Scott Depot, West Virginia, in Cairo, Egypt and Ethiopia, around the world, and in the United States of America. Welcome to the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries. I’m your servant Leonard V. Johnson.

October 31st will soon be here again, along with a strange festival – Halloween. With demons, goblins, witches, ghosts, human skeletons – which are glorified. But, what do all these have to do with All Hallows Eve!? And why the demonic-looking masks and gaudy decorations!?

On Halloween night children dress in scary or outrageous costumes and then are turned loose to frighten or otherwise induce people into giving them candy – or else. “Trick-or-treat” they shout from house to house up and down the streets! Multiple millions are familiar with this. Houses are decorated with spooky lights and spider webs. Buildings and outhouses are desecrated or turned over, windows broken, or trees and yards teepeed.

But WHY do so many celebrate Halloween!? What purpose does such a celebration fulfill in this “enlightened” world!? And, what purpose did it ever serve – if any!?

Wouldn’t you like to know just WHERE and WHEN it truly originated and FOR WHAT PURPOSE it was established!?

Well, ancient pre-Christian Druids in Britain, along with the ancient Romans, Greeks, and Babylonians, among some others, actually kept a Hallowe’en festival.

Now, this is NOT a celebration that goes to the glory of God, this is a celebration that goes to the glory of Satan the devil, and his way of life! And yet we – as a nation – embrace it and go, “Oh, isn’t this wonderful!” And if you quiz somebody, “Why are you doing this!? Why are you teaching your child to extort, that’s what it is, ‘trick-or-treat’!?” they don’t actually know the answer.

Yes, Hallowe’en was long before Christianity! It was only introduced into this professing Christian world – centuries AFTER the death of God’s apostles.

Notice –

“Halloween had its origins in the festival of Samhain among the Celts of ancient Britain and Ireland. On the day corresponding to November 1 on contemporary calendars, the new year was believed to begin. That date was considered the beginning of the winter period, the date on which the herds were returned from pasture and land tenures were renewed. During the Samhain festival, the souls of those who had died were believed to journey to the otherworld. People set bonfires on hilltops for relighting their hearth fires for the winter and to frighten away evil spirits, and they sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts thought to be present. It was in those ways that beings such as witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and demons came to be associated with the day. The period was also thought to be favorable for divination on matters such as marriage, health, and death. When the Romans conquered the Celts in the 1st century A.D., they added their own festivals of Feralia, commemorating the passing of the dead, and of Pomona, the goddess of the harvest.”

(Halloween -

Also –

“It was a Druidical belief that on the eve of this festival Saman, lord of death, called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals.”

(Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume XII, pp. 857-858).

Oh my! It was a purely pagan belief that on one night a year the “souls” of the dead return to their original homes, and there to be entertained with food and drink. And, if food, drink, and shelter were not provided, these spirits were believed to cast a spell and cause havoc towards those failing to do so.

“It was the night, above all others, when supernatural influence prevailed. It was the night for the universal walking about of all sorts of spirits, fairies, and ghosts, all of whom had liberty on that night.”

(Highland Superstitions Connected With Druids, Alexander MacGregor, pp. 44).

Also, there was a reason why November was chosen for that particular event. The Celts along with other Northern people considered November as the beginning of their new year. The time when the leaves on the trees were falling and decaying. Thus, in their mind, it was fitting for the commemoration of the dead. And since the Northern people at that time began their day at sunset, the eve leading up to November 1st was the beginning of this festival. According to the Julian calendar – from which the nations got their Pope Gregory XIII calendar – it was the evening of October 31st – hence, Hallowe’en – the evening of All Hallows.

But how was it that this professing Christian world came to accept a festival to glorify Satan the devil!?

The Pantheon – an ancient Roman temple

Well, here is something which you probably haven’t ever heard –

In A.D. 602, the Byzantine military declared Phocas to be their new emperor. Several days later he entered Constantinople unopposed. Emperor Phocas swiftly dealt with the usurped Maurice and his sons. By A.D. 607, the Sassanids had occupied Mesopotamia, Syria, and much of Asia Minor, as far as the Bosphorus. In that same year, he defeated the Barbarians who were in control of Rome and declared Boniface III the pope, declaring Rome “the head of all churches.” Shortly afterward, Phocas had a gilded statue of himself erected on a monumental column in the Roman Forum, known as the Column of Phocas. He also, in A.D. 609, gave The Pantheon (which was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus 27 BC – 14 AD) to Pope Boniface III, who converted it into a Christian church and consecrated it to Mary and the Martyrs and placing an icon of Mary within.

The Pantheon was rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian, and most likely dedicated about A.D. 126 to Marcus Agrippa, the son of Lucius, third counsul – hence M AGRIPPA L F COS TERTIUM FECIT. There is one legend that contends that the ancient Romans dedicated the first Pantheon to Romulus (753-716 BC) their founder where the current building stands.

Though The Pantheon was not labeled in clear commemoration to any said Roman god or goddess, Agrippa supposedly placed statues of Venus, Mars, Julius Caesar, Augustus, and himself within the rotunda. 1

However, with this splendid building falling into the hands of professing Christians, the question – What should be done with it!? Emperor Hadrian had written concerning The Pantheon, “My intentions had been that this sanctuary of all gods should reproduce the likeness of the terrestrial globe and of the stellar sphere...” But now the Roman pope CONSECRATED IT TO MARY AND TO ALL THE MARTYRS. Thus this pagan building became “Christian.” It was now the Catholics who employed The Pantheon in praying for their dead. And now consecrated as a Christian shrine, an annual festival was instituted to commemorate the event – on May 13th.

This May 13th commemoration of the dead martyrs was known by the name of “All Saints’ Day.” This feast, on its current date, is traced to the foundation by Pope Gregory III, with the date moved to October 27th (O.S. November 1st) and the May 13th feast suppressed. 2 So, notice this feast (which the ancient Romans called the Festival of Lemuria) was changed to November 1st and was called also “All Hallows’ Day” – sound familiar!?

So, the November 1st All Saints’ Day (All Hallows’ Day) was made a day of obligation throughout the Frankish Kingdom in A.D. 835, by the insistence of Pope Gregory IV. And, according to some scholars – like Sir James George Frazer – November 1st was chosen because Samhain was the date of the Celtic festival of the dead. 3

But why!? Why did the Catholic Church change the date to November 1st, coinciding with the pagans’ feast of ALL SOULS!? There is certainly a reason.

It was a general practice of the “Holy” Roman Empire, now professing Christianity, to “absorb” pagans into the empire. Often changing dates of festivals to coincide with the newly conquered and subjugated peoples.

Friends, let’s come down to this twenty-first century – you’ll be surprised to learn to what extent we – the nations of the world – have inherited from pagan rites, celebrations, and even from our forefathers – to the obvious celebration called Halloween.

And, what about you and your children!? What comes to your mind when you think about Halloween!? Does God’s living word come to your mind!? No, it wouldn’t – because nowhere in His word is anything dealing with Halloween! Instead, maybe small children begging for candy in frightening masks, maybe the Halloween classic movie Halloween directed by John Carpenter in 1978 with Michael Myers!? What about Halloween parties where many overdose on alcohol!? What about classic Halloween masks such as Frankenstein’s monster, or Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula!? Or, what about the wicked witch of The Wizard of Oz, maybe the Bette Midler witch, Winifred “Winnie” Sanderson of Hocus Pocus!? These seem rather innocuous – don’t they!? Orange pumpkins carved in the likeness of SCARY LOOKING faces!? Cookies made into small figurines resembling spiders, witches, and spider webs!?

NOT ONE PLACE in all of God’s living word are we commanded to observe Halloween! This pagan festival and other common festivals (See: St. Valentine’s Day – where did it come from!?, also Should Biblical Christians Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? – a wonderful sermon “In Hope of Eternal Life” (What is a Saint?)), as well as Lent, Ash Wednesday and Easter – Did the Original Christians Observe These!?). There is NO BIBLICAL BASIS! They originated in paganism.

Friends, your Bible WARNS – “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” – 1 Corinthians 3:11 NKJV.

Which is your FOUNDATION upon which you base your beliefs!?

The LORD our God condemns us to celebrate these pagan festivals –

“’ When the LORD your God [the very same One which became Jesus Christ] cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, 30) take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I will also do likewise.’ 31) You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.’”

Verse 32 – “’ Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.’” – Deuteronomy 12:29-32 NKJV.

Let us always obey the LORD our God! □


1 Tom Marder and Wilson Jones, The Pantheon: From Antiquity to the Present, (New York: Cambridge UP, 2015), 4.
2 "All Saints' Day", The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd edition, ed. E. A. Livingstone (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 41–42.
3 Pseudo-Bede, Homiliae subdititiae; John Hennig, 'The Meaning of All the Saints', Mediaeval Studies 10 (1948), 147–61.

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