1 John 1:5
Ghosts, Goblins and Witches
Above all, we are people of Truth - we live by it and by it escape fear and death. As "mothers in Israel" we have the highest responsibility to Yahweh to pass on to His children the value of establishing Truth above all else in the minds and in the lives of His children.
"LEAD ON SOFTLY"
When Jacob and Esau reconciled in Gen. 33, Esau asked Jacob (v. 5) "Who are those with thee?" Jacob replied, "The children which God hath graciously given thy servant." Many of us have also been graciously blessed by Yahweh with children - some as mothers and some as "aunties" in the ecclesia. Esau pressed Jacob to join him and his men and ride on at a man's pace to Seir. But Jacob showed the true heart of a shepherd (Isa. 40:11) by answering (v. 13-14) "My lord knoweth that the children are tender . . . Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant; and I will lead on softly, according as . . . the children be able to endure."
We too realize that the children are tender. We realize that scary things like ghosts, goblins and witches are not good for children. Small children see reality and process information differently than adults. Witches, ghosts, goblins, skeletons, and monsters (which are promoted at Halloween) can be taken literally by small children and can be genuinely frightening. For many children it triggers deep basic fears of the unknown or of abandonment. Children are tender and fragile and many times these frightening things can bring on nightmares and terror.
We are set free from this fear by the Truth (John 8:12, 32) and we seek to eliminate this fear in our children by building their faith in God's power to protect. From God's Word we have security, light, goodness and life.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7)
Halloween has everything to do with fear, darkness, evil and death: the ghosts, goblins, witches, skulls, skeletons, tombstones and graveyards that are associated with Halloween promote false doctrines.
We should teach the children that we "that love Yahweh, hate evil" (Psa. 97:10, Rom. 12:9) and "every false way" (Psa. 119:104). If children or others ask us why we don't celebrate or participate in Halloween - the answer can be simple for young and old alike: Because we are children of light and because those that love the Lord hate evil. These are simple concepts that even young children can understand.
We love light and hate darkness.
But ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light. (Eph. 5:8)
Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (1 Thess. 5:5)
We love good and hate evil.
Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord . . . shall be with you . . . Hate the evil and love the good. (Amos 5:15)
Ye that love the LORD, hate evil . . . (Psa. 97:10)
How do we feel about the teaching of monsters, witches, and ghosts to tender children? What good is being accomplished by passing on these Halloween traditions to our children? Could they actually be harmful to our children? What if these Halloween traditions are teaching our children false doctrines?
Halloween traditions promote an acceptance of the false ways of darkness by presenting them as friendly and apparently harmless. Witches, witchcraft and the false doctrine that a man's soul lives on after death as a ghost, etc., are all abominations to God and to all those who love God and hate evil.
We are commanded (Eph. 5:11-12) to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness," (1 Cor. 10:14) to "flee from idolatry," and (2 Cor. 6:16-18) "to come out from among" those that believe falsely "and be ye separate says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters says the Lord Almighty."
Can we obey these commands while celebrating these Halloween traditions?
THE DARKNESS OF HALLOWEEN
Halloween began in the darkness of heathen paganism many years before Christ came into the world. There is a horde of information on its origin and history. Look in any encyclopedia or any library. The history of Halloween is long, dark and seeped in falsehood and evil. Halloween is full of the works of darkness - there is NO light in it - NONE. It is full of the "ways of the heathen" that Jer. 10:2 warns us NOT to learn or imitate.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (John 3:19-21)
Halloween has much to do with false ideas about death: about souls and ghosts that live on after death and are tormented and ruled over by false lords of death and evil. The popular jack-o'-lantern, that hollow pumpkin with a hideous face and a fire burning inside was created to represent the false doctrine of a damned spirit burning in the flames of "Hell." Surely those of us who are blessed to know better would not think of putting one of these on our front porch or of passing on this tradition to our children.
Halloween has much to do with witchcraft. Witchcraft is not just something that existed in the past - it has experienced a great revival in our present time, especially in the U.S. and in Germany. To those who practice witchcraft today Halloween is a high and holy night that they believe is the highest time of the year for their so-called special powers of magic spells and curses. On this special night they believe they have the strongest ability to see into the future (false prophets).
What are we told in the Scriptures about God's view of witchcraft?
God warned His people Israel against heathen practices:
When thou are 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, 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. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. (Deut. 18:9-14)
But they did not obey:
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 very angry with Israel, and removed them out of His sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. (2 Kings 17:17-18)
Witchcraft is still an abomination to God:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these . . . witchcraft . . . of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:19-21)
And witchcraft will always be an abomination to God:
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (Rev. 22:14-15, see also Rev. 21:8)
Other references to witchcraft tell the same story:
Manasseh did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, . . . he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, . . . and built altars for all the host of heaven [12 signs of zodiac] . . . and he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. (2 Chron. 33:6)
A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. (Lev. 20:27)
Many who learned the Truth in the early ecclesia repudiated the old false ways of witchcraft:
And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts [magic, witchcraft] brought their books together, and burned them before all men. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. (Acts 19:19)
Halloween has much to do with Popery and the Roman Church, which is known for adopting idolatrous practices into its own celebrations. The Pope adopted this pagan festival of death into "Christian" practices during the Dark Ages. The Pope named this celebration "All Hallows' Eve" which is where the name "Halloween" comes from. This starts a month-long time of prayer for what they falsely believe are the dead souls in purgatory. "All Hallow's Eve" also became a feast to honor all the Catholic saints.
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isa. 8:20)
Are not those who change the Truth of God into a lie enemies of God? Bro. Thomas states in Elpis Israel, pp 352-353, "The Crimes of the Papal Nations":
Does the reader suppose that the just and merciful Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of those who keep His commandments and have His testimony, hath looked on the fiendism of the sin-power with indifference; and that He will permit their wrongs to die unavenged? If he do, he has greatly mistaken God's character, and knows nothing at all of the awful judgments He has decreed against those . . .
The great national crime has been committed, and perpetuated, of converting the truth of God into a lie, of blaspheming His name . . .
God has determined "to slay the beast, and to destroy his body with the burning flame," so that nothing represented by the symbol should be left.
We cannot join in with those who celebrate or participate in Halloween. How should we feel about these Halloween Traditions?
Surely Thou wilt slay the wicked, O God . . . For they speak against thee wickedly and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee? And am I not grieved with those that rise up against Thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. (Psa. 139:19-22)
Shouldest thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord? Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord. (2 Chron. 19:2)
CHILDREN AND "FUN"
One of the main attractions that Halloween has for our children is that it looks "fun." But how far are we willing to go so that our children will not miss out on "fun"? In our desire for our children to have "fun" should we encourage them to celebrate the "powers of darkness"? For those of us who know the Truth, can we make the curse of death fun? Can we make the chill darkness of the grave fun? Can we make a witch cute and harmless? Can we cause the glorification of evil to seem fun when we are commanded to avoid all appearance of evil (1 Thess 5:22)? We should not make a mock of sin or make sin fun (Prov. 14:8-9, 15:21).
Besides the dark false doctrines Halloween celebrates, the traditions of Halloween teach lessons contrary to a child's good behavior as well as their safety. The "trick-or-treat" mentality induces a selfish aggressive attitude. Do we really want our children to learn that it is acceptable to threaten others with violence or harassment when it is for "fun"? When children go out to obtain as much booty as they can it caters to and encourages lust and greed. Do we really want to impress on the minds of our children that it is acceptable, fun behavior to impose ourselves on our neighbors or on strangers demanding (by the tradition of a pagan custom) a treat? Would we want them to learn that it is acceptable to try to control the will of others by the use of fear? These attitudes are contrary to the "gentle" and "harmless as a dove" and "love your neighbor" attitudes we are trying to develop.
It is confusing to small children when we work hard to teach them that it is not safe to roam the streets at night and that they are never to knock on strangers' doors and they are never to take candy from strangers - and then turn around and hope they can understand that on one night of the year this type of behavior is not only acceptable but also "fun."
Evil is evil and good is good.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness. (Isa. 5:20)
We must teach our children to discern the difference between the holy and the unholy, between the clean and the unclean (Ezek. 44:23). Unlike the Apostasy, we should not attempt to have some sort of a "substitute" that mimics what the heathen do by calling an activity a "harvest party," or celebrating it on or next to the actual date, dressing up and doing what the pagans do and calling it by another name. We cannot work these pagan ways and holidays into our Christadelphian lives and the lives of our children in the name of "fun".
We must be careful not to relate the attitude to our children that God is a killjoy and that He opposes having fun and having a good time. This is so unfair and untrue! Yahweh only is good and only those who keep His Truth pure with their whole heart will be truly happy (Psa. 119:2).
Surely on this dark night we can think up some good, honest, pure and wholesome activity that is worthy of praise for ourselves and our children to do. Opportunities for good works abound that do not promote idolatry, sorcery, witchcraft and other works of darkness.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matt. 5:16)
We have a great responsibility in raising God's children in this wicked and perverse generation. Our children are His and we will have to answer to Him for what we pass on to them.
Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend [cause to sin] one of these little ones. (Luke 17:1-2)
We should not pass on to our children the customs and activities of darkness, for the time of darkness is almost over and the day of light is speeding along.
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. (1 John 1:5-6)
Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light. (Rom. 13:12)
BACK TO "CHILDREN'S" PAGE
BACK TO INDEX