Halloween is the time of year when the world holds its festival to honor the powers of darkness -- the time when stores stock up on all the goodies that children seek as they make their way from door to door with their wails of "Trick or treat." Doting parents take pictures of them in their little costumes, dressed as witches, demons, monsters, and their favorite media characters. They no doubt think of how cute their kiddies look as they waddle about the neighborhood working their peculiar brand of blackmail.
The Hallowe'en customs the world observes on October 31st had their beginnings long ago. The origins and traditions can be traced back thousands of years to the days of the ancient Celts and their priests, the Druids of ancient Gaul and Britain. We know little of the Druids, but of certain is that they had an elaborate religious and political organization. Some were soothsayers, magicians, sorcerers, and barbs (composers and reciters of heroes and their deeds). Their religion worshipped numerous gods and natural objects, such as trees, wells, etc., in which magical practices were involved.
HALLOWE'EN 1999: A Seductive Bridge Between Two Cultures by Berit Kjos
In honor of the Halloween season, the last week of October has been declared "Earth Religions Awareness Week" in Asheville, NC. The mayor’s proclamation explains that Earth-centered beliefs, are "among the oldest spiritual systems on the planet" and that pagan practitioners "have given us practical knowledge of herbal remedies, midwifery and alternative forms of healing."
HALLOWE'EN 2000: Starring Harry Potter by Berit Kjos
"Halloween, you'd not be surprised to know, is my favorite holiday," said J.K. Rowling in a recent Time magazine interview. She knows well that evil attracts children. That’s one reason why she created a fantasy world for Harry Potter that highlights some of the most popular symbols of Halloween.
There is no Biblical warrant, precedent, nor precept for remembrance of the day of Christ's birth as a day of special religious celebration. This is not to say that we shouldn't remember Christ's birth and its significance, but for religious commemorations or celebrations, we must have Biblical command or precedent! The fact of the matter is this -- the early church did not celebrate Christ's birth, but such celebration only came into the church with the "Christianization" of pagan rites as Catholicism was made the state religion by Constantine in the fourth century A.D. Since the Word of God does not support the tradition of Christmas, a Christian's conscience ought not and must not be bound.
Xmas Carols Evaluation
It is sad that perhaps otherwise discerning Bible-believing evangelicals allow sentiment and tradition to muddle their brains when it comes to Christmas. Colossians 3:16 ("Let the WORD OF CHRIST DWELL IN YOU RICHLY, in ALL WISDOM teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord") appears to get relegated to cellar storage for the season. So many accept the idea that when it comes to poetry, whatever the reader/singer understands the text to mean, that is what it means and should mean to the rest of us. What the text says by dictionary definition and rules of grammar becomes irrelevant. That certainly is very dangerous, being contrary to Scripture and common sense. It is amazing what latitude having "poetic license" allows.