Halloween derives from the ancient Christian observance of All Hallows’ Eve when those loved and honored but now deceased are specially remembered. This is in keeping with the commandment to “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7). It is a blessing to remember good examples and to follow them. It is not their deaths that are remembered but their lives along with the confident expectation of their entrance into the eternal glory of Christ, now in their spirits and, at the resurrection, also in their bodies.
In contrast, ancient pagan practices associated with this day revel in the fearfulness of death and in the oppressive powers of darkness. Skeletons, graves, ghosts, goblins, demons and even Satan himself are celebrated. The horrors of spiritual assault, painful tortures and violent death are employed for seasonal entertainment. Such things trivialize the harsh realities of torture, suffering, pain and death and assume that the demonic kingdom is fiction. This character of Halloween is offensive both to those who serve darkness and those who abhor it. Many take the occasion for innocent fun with costumes and candy. Even so, the old paganism permeates the night.
Christians know from the Scriptures and from personal experience that Satan, demons and the kingdom of darkness are real. Satan labors with masterful skill and power to destroy mankind. He successfully tempted Adam in the garden but failed to ensnare Christ in the wilderness. By birth in Adam, mankind is under the power of death and darkness. But, through faith in Christ, He brings us out of this darkness into the light of truth and righteousness. Jesus Christ has destroyed all of Satan’s powers: his power of temptation by His obedience; his power of sin by His death; his power of death by His resurrection and his former universal rule by His throne at the right hand of the Father. Satan is on a short leash where he can still do much damage to those who get too close to him but he is greatly restrained from the level of devastation he once perpetrated. During His earthly ministry, Christ constantly demonstrated His power over Satan and his kingdom by casting demons out of people whom they oppressed and possessed. At His command, the most powerful demons were compelled to leave and the persons were delivered from debilitating physical, mental and spiritual suffering. Christ is the same today. If you are suffering under temptation, sin, death or the oppressive forces of darkness, cry out to Christ and He will set you free. Read the Gospel of Mark for many examples of what you can expect through faith in Christ.
Enjoy costumes and candy at Halloween. Give and receive treats without tricks. Remember the examples of good people who were significant in your life and imitate them. Don’t have fun or play games with demons. They don’t play fair; you lose the game and pay with your immortal soul. Instead, turn to Jesus Christ for deliverance and protection from the real and present danger of all the powers of darkness.
This article was published in the 30 October 2020 of The Palladium-Times in Oswego, NY.