It seems to me that Halloween gets more disturbing every year. It seems to manifest the typical degeneration of our culture which is all around us these days. When I was a kid no one’s parents dressed up for Halloween. It was something fun for kids, but then the kids grew up. Perhaps this is just a further proof of how people no longer grow up, they just get bigger. There were no yards decorated with lavish sick and twisted displays of the undead, by the brain dead. There were no office Halloween parties, nor a month of celebration. But now each of these things is common. It’s almost as big as Christmas. It’s one last excuse to dress up like a themed prostitute, before winter. It’s a big deal. And I don’t think it means nothing.
I suppose people and even Christians will say it’s all in good fun. Let’s say we ignore the police statistics and take them at their word. It is quite true that it could all be in good fun. I was reading C. S. Lewis recently and he said that given the ease with which God can turn evil into good or Satan can turn good into evil, he isn’t so sure that the origin of things means much. It should be no surprise that Christian Holidays were once pagan holidays, because most Christians were once pagans. Christians are often accused of destroying the Classical world, when in reality they are the ones who preserved the works of Plato, Aristotle, and dozens of others for us today. They took the works of those philosophers and they made it Christian, as they did with all of ancient culture. Then they out Romed Rome, they became more ideal citizens than the Romans ever imagined. They baptized the Greco-Roman world and made it Christian. They used the observed planets and their connections with the Roman Gods and created rich characters each with their own themes and motifs; Apollo, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Sol. But you probably know them better as Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Yes even the days of our week were once pagan deities, but hardly anyone even knows that anymore. And I don’t think it really matters, they have become Christian in the general sense. This is the work of the Middle Ages.
The case can be made that Christmas intentionally took over the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. But who cares? It is obviously now a Christian holiday. The pagan trees or the timing have been given Christian meaning. They were sanctified just like many non-Christians were baptized, and became Christians. Besides, where did the pagans get it in the first place? Often we give evil too much credit. Evil is not creative, it’s destructive and contrary. Most real innovations on this planet can be trace back to Israel in Egypt or Babylon or to Christianity. We must remember that we all descended from Adam and then Noah. All paganism then, is merely a corruption of the true relationship between God and men which Noah and his sons understood. There are many threads of this wisdom that we know nothing of. Methuselah could have know Noah, and he had lived almost a thousand years. The unknown wisdom they had of the workings of God and his world, was passed down through oral tradition from Adam. It includes all sorts of things we can only imagine. Many of the pagan mythologies contain seeds of truth, twisted into paganism. Christians twisted it back and added the Gospel.
Halloween is one of these holidays. Originally the last night of October was the last night of the year in the Celtic calendar. It consisted of the usual pagan rituals. But Christians baptized it into ‘All Hallows Eve’ or “Eve of All Saints”. It was a night to remember the dead, the saints who had passed along. But today it’s being twisted back. Our culture is again becoming pagan. We are forsaking the One True God, the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, the Father of Jesus the Christ, and so it shows in our worship, that is our ho—ly days. We have forsaken God’s prescription for relation between the sexes, we are obsessed with porn, so we love being any excuse to parade our women around in their underwear. Trick or treat? How about some sanctioned destruction? And what makes destruction more fun than another excuse to get plastered? About the only part we do object to is the infusion of sugar. Because like every pagan religion, the rules about food abound. When you reject the freedom of God, you are left making arbitrary rules. We call our rule ’science’ and our priests ‘scientists’ but the results are the same, superstitions about everything you eat, or don’t eat.
The connections with the occult are obvious and have almost continued unhindered from the days of full fledged paganism. We take this for granted these days because supernatural evil activity is rare. That’s because we enjoy Christendom. It’s no surprise that Jesus encountered demonic activity so often in first-century Israel. The Gospel writers were deliberately pointing out that Israel was rife with evil. Like Sodom and Gomorrah, they were ripe for destruction, because of their rampant evil. Jesus gave them one last opportunity to repent, and many did, but most did not. So, he sent the hands of the Romans to crush Israel and it’s wickedness. We in cozy American today, don’t really know what evil is like. We think it’s cute or a joke. So we play around with it more and more, as we glorify Halloween more and more. But it’s just a sign of the times. No it’s not a sign that the rapture is near and we can just escape to a fluffy cloud. It’s a sign that we are letting the pagans rule Christ’s kingdom. We should wake up and be wise. We should let Christendom direct the modes of our culture and it’s celebrations. Since we are far less wise than the men who set down much of it in the past, we should defer to them. We don’t know what the Gospel is capable of when applied to every area of life, we would do well to follow those to did, even if it doesn’t make sense to us. Don’t celebrate Halloween. Make Sunday the prominent beginning of your week, it’s a feast day a celebration, supper with the Lord, the King. Don’t be sucked into the calendar of your sport, or job or school. Remember the great events of Church history and make those the focal point. Christmas, Easter, Ascension Sunday, Reformation Sunday, Pentecost. Remember that on the 31st of October, 1546 is commemorated the day when Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg.
Halloween should be about remembering the saints of the past, many great men who fought and died for the world we enjoy today. Add a Church calendar to your smart phone. Look up the saints for each feast day. Remember. Most of the Christian parts of our culture are becoming lost. If we don’t remember them and bring them back to their vibrant life who will? Who will push the light of the gospel even into the corners of Halloween, and the rest of this world ‘as far as the curse is found’? That is our mandate, to tell the world about their new King, and that they can be his very heirs. To make every inch of this earth a place where people bow to that king. Where his will is welcome as it is in heaven. You don’t do that by signing up with the world and doing things there way. We have the truth of God people. We are the heirs of the King. Act like it.