Origins

Halloween: a celebration of darkness 🎃

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

Ephesians 5:8

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It’s close to midnight, and something evil’s lurking in the dark

Thriller by Michael Jackson

Yes, the foul stench of Halloween. 

When we look at many of the traditions, holidays, rituals, and practices today, it’s clear to see why we shouldn’t be of this world, but we still cling to worldly traditions especially where it concerns holidays: we pick which one/s we want to celebrate and try to justify it. Have we ever sat down and think for ourselves why holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Halloween get pushed on us when there is nothing of the sort in the Bible? Are they Godly-appointed festivals? And why are they always marketed as fun and harmless?

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A celebration of darkness

No matter how much this holiday is commercialized, Halloween has its roots in pagan origins. This day celebrates darkness, evil, death, and witchcraft annually on October 31st. But how did this holiday come about? The origin of Halloween dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (sow-in) when the Celts celebrated their new year on November 01st. They believed that on the night before the new year, ghosts of the dead returned to earth so on October 31st, they celebrated Samhain when the boundary between this world and the otherworld was at its thinnest. 

The Celts believed that on this night it was made easier for the Druids or Celtic priests to make predictions about the future due to the presence of the otherworldly spirits. They built bonfires and the people burned crops and offered animals and human beings (especially firstborn children) as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. It was during this event that the Celts wore costumes in an attempt to blend in with the evil spirits. They even attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. 

The Celts also celebrated many holidays including spring fertility rites (it became Easter later on) and the winter solstice (later transformed into Christmas). They worshipped Bel or Baal (sun god) and Baal is also a synonym for the devil hence why Halloween glorifies death.

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Customs and practices associated with Halloween

Trick or treating: It was believed that the wandering spirits will get hungry and so, the people set out “treats” for the spirits to appease them from playing tricks on the living.

Bobbing for apples: This was a form of divination (fortune-telling) to learn of future marriages. The first person to bite an apple was predicted to be the first to marry in the coming year. 

Jack-o’-lantern: The original Jack-o’-lantern was not a carved spooky pumpkin, but a severed human head. 

The costumes: The living feared the wandering spirits so much that they came up with a brilliant idea to dress up in ghostly or ghoulish costumes. In this way, they thought that the wandering spirits might mistake them for one of their own and leave them alone.

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Halloween has always been a celebration of death. It promotes every wicked and imaginable evil under the sun. 

Although modern celebrations of Halloween may appear to be harmless on the surface, it doesn’t change the meaning of this celebration. Ouija boards, fortune-telling, grotesque horror movies, and black magic are related to the occult that is Halloween.

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Revelation 18:4

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Should Christians celebrate the holiday of darkness?

Halloween is a culturally encouraged tradition that Christians shouldn’t even think of celebrating. You cannot have one foot in the world and the other in eternal life. Why do we know about the worldly holidays, but not God’s feast and holy days?

The devil is the father of lies (2 Corinthians 11:14) and as Christians, we can’t lead people to Christ if we look like the world for we’re not supposed to be imitating what is evil despite the attraction (3 John 1:11). However, with our freedom as Christians, we have to decide how to act. We can’t continue to provoke the Father to jealousy and to grieve the Spirit. 

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Ephesians 5:11

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Does it matter to God?

God has set us apart for Himself hence the reason why He warns us not to have nothing to do with the world (1 John 2:15). Halloween is not of God regardless of how man twists it. When it comes to this dark holiday, I think of these things:

God is a God of life, not death. Should I celebrate a holiday that glamorizes death? A holiday that emphasizes the macabre and the morbid? (Isaiah 8:19).

We’re to avoid practices that pertain to evil spirits for witchcraft is detestable to God (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). Why would I want to dress up as a witch and glorify witchcraft when it should be detestable to me as well? After all, we’re supposed to be putting away all deeds of darkness (Romans 13:12). We cannot claim to be of the light and walk in the dark at the same time for they have NOTHING in common (2 Corinthians 6:14). 

Does Halloween bring glory to God? Nothing about this dark holiday glorifies the God of Light and Truth.

What do witches, tombstones, magic, dressing up in scary or pretty costumes have to do with Jesus or Christians? Nothing. The scriptures tell us to keep the Passover and consider all of God’s feasts, but 95% of Christians today don’t have a clue about what they are and what they mean, but they’ll gladly tell you all about the man-made holiday and tradition and claim to be doing it for Christ.

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.

1 Corinthians 10:21

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Bible Activity/Discussion

Jesus and Joseph: the similarities

Genesis 37:23 New International Version (NIV)

So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing

Matthew 27:28 New International Version (NIV)

They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,

Many characters in the Old Testament foreshadowed the life of our Savior, but perhaps no one foreshadowed the life of Christ more than Joseph. His faith was remarkable and a shining example for all of us. While rereading Genesis, I enjoyed discovering the similarities between him and our Savior. Did you notice any similarities? If so, how many?

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Activity

Joseph was a type of Christ. It’s no coincidence that Jesus’s earthly father was also called Joseph. I’ll share a few similarities I discovered while studying the life of Joseph:

💙 Joseph was a shepherd; Jesus is the Good Shepherd. 

💙 Joseph was loved by his father more than his other brothers (Gen 37:3) and Jesus is the beloved of His Father (Matt. 3:17).

💙 Joseph was mocked and called a dreamer (Gen 37:19) just as Jesus was called beside Himself (Mark 3:21).

💙 Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver and stripped of his coat; Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver and stripped of his clothing. 

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💙 Both were tempted severely but did not sin.  

💙 They associated with two criminals: one is pardoned, the other is not.

💙 Both were 30 years old when they began their life’s work. 

💙 Both blessed the world with bread and became the only source of bread for the world. 

💙 Joseph recognized his brethren although they didn’t know him when they first came into Egypt to purchase provisions. After Jesus was resurrected, His brethren didn’t recognize Him, but He knew them.

💙 Joseph prepared a place for his family and received them into it; Jesus has prepared a place for us in His coming kingdom.

Joseph and Jesus were falsely accused, were great counselors, provided for all in need, and were men of strong faith.

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There are MANY other similarities! How many can you find? You can do them during your Bible Study period or you can feel free to share them below in the comment section.

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Song Sunday 🎶🎷

Songs of Peace #1: Peace

From time to time I’ll be exploring music outside of the Gospel genre as I previously stated earlier in the year. There are songs that I love and songs that I’ll like to discuss if time permits. Today, I share a song that’s very dear to me: “Peace” by Depeche Mode. I talked about this song a few times on here and how it helped me on my journey of peace last year. It’s about letting go of the past, anger, hatred, etc. in order to allow peace to manifest within your being.

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I’m leaving bitterness behind
This time I’m cleaning up my mind
There is no space for the regrets
I will remember to forget

Peace will come to me

This song has brought so much peace to me over time! What song brings YOU peace?

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Devotional Nuggets

Devotional Nugget #9: Tame the tongue 😛

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.

Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 

James 3:10-11

When words tumble from our mouths, do they edify and build up one another (Ephesians 4:29) or do they maliciously and intentionally harm (Proverbs 26:28)? If the battle over the tongue is something that we continually lose every day, then we need to examine ourselves closely.

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When you open your mouth to speak, the listener/s should benefit from the conversation. Out of the same mouth should never come both blessing and cursing (James 3:11) for when you curse someone, you’re cursing God’s creation. Get rid of all “bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:31). Before responding to someone with malice in our hearts or in anger, we should put ourselves in their place and ask, Would I want someone to respond to me in this way? Regardless of how the person is acting, we have to always behave and respond in a Christlike manner.

Never speak with the intention to hurt someone. It’s not easy taming the tongue on our own and that’s why we have the perfect Helper in the Holy Spirit so rely on Him.

Bring the chains
                                        Your lips of tragedy

                            Depeche Mode

Bind your lips with chains by meditating on these scriptures:

Job 15:3;6

Psalm 34:13; Psalm 141:3

Proverbs 10:19; 21:23

Ephesians 4:29

Colossians 4:6

James 1:26

1 Peter 3:10

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Reflection

What do you find most challenging in taming your tongue?

Call on Jesus to help you to be mindful of the words you use and meditate on scriptures concerning the tongue. 

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