Thursday, October 20, 2005

To Trick or not to Treat?! That is the Question...

This morning, in my Bible study time, I came across the following verses while doing a search on cleaving to the Lord:

Deuteronomy 4:1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.
2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
3 Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baalpeor: for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed them from among you.
4 But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day.

I was curious as to what the characteristics this false god (Baalpeor) possessed. So - I googled "Baalpeor false god". Following is the article that I found --copied from the BibleUniverse website.

Before I copy the article --let me just say this ---as a Christian, when I was a child - we celebrated Halloween. We dressed up in cute little costumes and ran door to door collecting all the scrumptious, cavity-causing, tummy-aching, sugar-high-inducing candy that we could fit into our bags. Some of us even carried pillow cases - allowing for 'Maximum' Load! (Not me - I was too 'chic' for that!).

I remember one year, I even had a Halloween party --complete with, among other things, cooked spaghetti and peeled grapes representing intestines and eyes (props for a creepy story that I shared). My parents, while Christians, obviously approved of the party - helped plan it - bought the food, etc. Mom even sewed a cute witch costume for me.

In fact, our youth group at church held Halloween parties for us - we all dressed up - bobbed for apples - played games and had a great time. Today - this same church where I grew up would not dream of having a Halloween Party. Now they have a Fall Harvest Party --kids get candy, play games, dress up (no creepy costumes allowed) and generally have a lot of fun. The church we attend now had their Harvest Party last night. (We stayed home since the party was outdoors and we have colds.)

Anyway, now that I'm married and have a daughter of my own - I am wondering how I'm going to handle the subject of Halloween. Right now, she's three. It's not an issue. But one day, when she goes to school - there will be many of her friends who will be out trick or treating - and wanting her to go along. I have come to realize that celebrating Halloween is not something in which I want Olivia to be involved.

My question for all of you is - what do you do? Do your children participate in Halloween activities? Where do you draw the line and what do you say to your children? ....just curious.

By the way: Cleave Unto the Lord Your God

Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary:
"cleave ... to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly."

Here's the article....I would appreciate your feedback:

Hallowe'en has been given an innocent face and people say it's "only fantasy" after all. However, Hallowe'en is not innocent, it is the celebration of death and the dead which is condemned by God's word.

When God, through Moses, instructed the nation of Israel regarding the practices of the nations whose land they were going to inhabit, He warned them not to learn the ways of those nations. God wanted to make sure that the occultic practices that the nations of Canaan were accustomed to would not become part of Israel's practices. Divination, witchcraft and seeking to communicate with the dead were all considered abomination by God.

"When thou art 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." Deuteronomy 18:9-12

A person who had a familiar spirit or a person who practiced necromancy were people who communicated with the dead. This practice of trying to communicate with the dead was categorically condemned and those who engaged in it were to be put to death by stoning. Leviticus 19:31; 20:27.

Hallowe'en, All Hallowed Eve and All Saints Day are names for the same day. The Catholic version, or All Hallowed Eve, christianized this Pagan holiday by stating that the dead being celebrated were the dead saints now in Heaven. Here is a Catholic perspective of Hallowe'en.
"Because October 31 lies exactly between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice, it is theorized that ancient peoples, with their reliance on astrology, thought it was a very potent time for magic and communion with spirits. The 'veil between the worlds' of the living and the dead was said to be at its thinnest on this day; so the dead were invited to return to feast with their loved ones; welcomed in from the cold, much as the animals were brought inside."

Here are details about Hallowe'en from an witches perspective.)
By comparing a few Bible verses together, it becomes evident that the feast of Hallowe'en or the feast of the dead is really feasting with demons.
On the borders of the Promised Land, Israel fell into whoredom with the daughters of Moab and Midian who came into the camp. This had been on the instruction of Baalam who found that Israel could not be cursed unless they fell into disobedience.
"And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel." Numbers 25:1-3
Israel sacrificed to the gods of the Moabites, feasted with them and bowed down to their gods. Thus they left the true God and were joined to a false one, Baalpeor. What was the feasting about? What did the worship of these false gods involve besides the licentious practices.

"They [Israel] joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead." Psalms 106:28

The book of Psalms explains that the feast being conducted (back in Numbers 25) was a feast for the dead. This is what the feast of Hallowe'en is about, a celebration and feast of the dead. When we turn to the New Testament, Paul tells us that when the Gentiles sacrifice, they are really sacrificing to demons. "But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. " I Corinthians 10:20
Celebrating Hallowe'en is a Pagan ritual that goes farther back than the Celtics of Ireland. It goes back to ancient civilizations many thousands of years ago. The celebration of the dead, the feast for the dead is really having fellowship with demons.

These practices are not innocent. They are occult practices that open up you and your family to demonic harrassment. If you have any occult paraphenalia in your home, such as Tarot cards, crystals, games, or occult books, get rid of them. They are invitations to the spirits of devils to invade your life.

When there were converts from paganism in Ephesus, these new converts who had practiced occult ceremonies, burned their books and so should you! Acts 19:17-20 Don't be trapped by the innocent face that is being put on Hallowe'en and the occult today. It is still the witchcraft that God in His word condemned as being incompatible with Christianity. God does not want his people having fellowship with demons.


John Cowart said...

When our kids were little we encouraged them to dress as robots, Snow White, etc. rather than as occult figures.

St Paul said that some people esteem certain days more than others and that we are to keep our days as unto the Lord.

Special days (except for our 38th wedding anniversary which comes up soon) mean nothing to me, but on some level I realize they have meaning for other people and I sometimes try to meet those people where they are, not where I think they should be.

I think churches have more important things that need attention than costumes, but the devil delights when we get consumed by any non-essential, no matter which one it is.

Robin said...

As a Christian and a mother I have had to wrestle with this same problem. We do not allow our children to participate in Halloween activities but Harvest parties and such are fine (as you also seem to agree). When asked, I simply tell people that it is the only holiday we don't celebrate and leave it at that. Most people are satisfied with that kind of answer. When the kids were little and asked about it, I told them that halloween celebrated things that weren't necessarily good, but we didn't make a big deal out of it. John is right to an extent that you don't want to put too much energy behind it and therefore make the curiosity factor for your kids stronger. On halloween night we try to go out but if we cannot then we keep the outside lights off and try to darken the house as much as possible so people will know that we aren't participating.

This was an issue for us because both my husband and myself were brought up celebrating halloween, he from a Christian household and me from a non-believing household. I found it really hard to make this decision because, heck, it was a lotta fun to dress up and get loads of candy! We still try to make a fun time wtihout the emphasis being on halloween by scarfing up extra candy to have in our candy dish.

Marla Bean said...

Maybe I'm simple, but if your heart is in the right place, I don't see a problem with participating in the festivities. I grew-up in a Christian home - and parochial school. I participated in Harvest parties as well as Halloween parties.

I would never suggest that people do something they are uncomfortable with.

My step-son dresses up for Halloween on the other side of the country and we have no problem with it. When we have our own children, we are planning to let them dress-up, in decent costumes and let them know what we believe in and why we don't believe in worshiping anything other than Christ. I guess I feel that you can't really keep Halloween from our kids, so you might as well give them the proper view on it. Plus, I use any chance I get to be a witness to Christ, even if it means I'm talking a Vampire's ear off.

Char said...

I heard a radio teaching just a couple days ago that said basically if you participate in Halloween, you are worshipping the devil. The other extreme would be to say there's nothing at all wrong with it, what's the problem?

My feelings lie in the middle of the continuum, leaning a little to the 'what's the problem?' side. To me, anything with ghosts goblins, witches, etc. would be OUT. But dressing up begging for candy isn't so bad if you are up front and explain to your children what your famliy believes in and was is and is not OK.

I have 4 year old. We're never been trick or treating. Last year, church had a 'Pumpkin Patch Party' [they're not having it this year], year before we went to the Mall and got candy from a couple stores [lines were too long!]. This year his school [he's in K4 at a Christian school] is having 'Jingling Brothers Carnival' on Halloween night. We're doing that. He can put on his Buzz Lightyear costume and have a ball.

We honestly don't let David have very many sweets and candies. That, coupled with our Christian beliefs and values, makes us not energetic about Halloween, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. [we'll take on the other two in separate blogs, I'm sure!] But, I don't think Halloween is totally evil if you put it in the right perspective and set your rules/limitations firmly.