For “Scripture Sunday”:
Halloween: Should Christians Celebrate It?
“Where did Halloween and its dark and demonic themes come from? What is its relationship to All Saints’ Day, and should Christians celebrate Halloween?
Should Christians celebrate Halloween?
Halloween, with its dark and demonic themes, seems an unlikely holiday for Christians to celebrate. Yet it has become increasingly popular in America and other countries, marketed as a harmless dress-up night for kids and an excuse to party for adults. Where did Halloween come from?
Origin of Halloween
“The Celtic festival of Samhain is probably the source of the present-day Halloween celebration. The Celts lived more than 2,000 years ago in what is now Great Britain, Ireland, and northern France. Their new year began on November 1. A festival that began the previous evening honored Samhain, the Celtic lord of death. The celebration marked the beginning of the season of cold, darkness, and decay. It naturally became associated with human death. The Celts believed that Samhain allowed the souls of the dead to return to their earthly homes for this evening” (The World Book Encyclopedia, 1990, article “Halloween”).
It seems costumes of animal heads and skins played a part in their celebration, as well as fortune telling using the remains of the animals that were sacrificed. So how did this gory pagan holiday become associated with Christianity?
“Many of the customs of the Celts survived even after the people became Christians. During the 800’s, the church established All Saints’ Day on November 1. … The people made the old pagan customs part of this Christian holy day” (ibid.).
Halloween: A celebration of evil
““There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.”
God outlawed witchcraft and other pagan practices that appealed to the evil spirit realm for their power. To God, it was an abomination for His people to seek help from Satan and his demons. Still, the Israelites were enticed by these practices again and again.
This was not just an Old Testament concern. The new converts to Christianity also took the subject of magic seriously (Acts 19:19). The apostle John also warns that those who practice witchcraft must repent or they will end up in the lake of fire—the second death (Revelation 9:21; 21:8).
How did Western, so-called Christian nations get caught up in a holiday like Halloween that dabbles in the darkness of evil spirits, witchcraft and the occult? See our article “Halloween: Should Christians Celebrate It?”” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/what-does-god-say-about-witches-and-the-occult/
3 Reasons to Ditch Halloween
On Oct. 31, millions will celebrate Halloween. But thousands have taken a stand against this dark holiday. Should you join the movement to ditch Halloween?
Thousands of Christians around the world voluntarily have made the choice to kick Halloween to the curb. They made that decision because there are serious problems with the celebration of this holiday.
Earlier this month, CNN Money reported that Halloween spending is expected to be down slightly this year from previous years. Americans are still uncertain about the economy, so spending hard-earned money on costumes and candy seems like an unnecessary expense to some.
Despite the expected downturn in Halloween-related spending, the amount that will be spent on Halloween by Americans is still staggering. The National Retail Federation estimates that nearly $7 billion will be spent to celebrate the holiday this year—mainly on costumes, decorations and candy. (From me: This is money that could be used better in helping homeless people and/or animals, or shelters for people or animals.)
What will you go as?
Have you decided what you will be for Halloween this year? Whether the answer is yes or no—Life, Hope & Truth has a suggestion:
Dress like a Christian for Halloween this year.
You may ask, how does someone dress up like a Christian? The answer: by not dressing up like anything at all!
In other words, ditch Halloween completely!”
4 “Christian” Excuses for Keeping Halloween
“Oct. 31, millions of Christians will celebrate Halloween. Why do people who claim Christianity continue to take part in this openly dark holiday?
Halloween is coming up; and amazingly, millions of Christians will celebrate this dark holiday—along with their children. People who should be following the teachings and example of Jesus Christ are putting up horrific images in their yards, telling ghost stories, watching horror movies and enveloping their lives in darkness.
This horror-filled holiday, with its clearly dark origins and practices, should horrify Christians, right? Unfortunately, many are neck-deep in it. According to a 2006 Gallup Poll, only 11 percent of Americans had religious objections to Halloween. A National Retail Federation survey showed that over 157 million Americans celebrated Halloween in 2015. For a country where around 70 percent of adults identify themselves as Christian, this should be the real horror!
Why do professing Christians celebrate a holiday that is so obviously dark and evil?
No matter how good you try to make poison look, it is still poison and should not be ingested.
Many Christians have already discovered that Halloween is not something Jesus Christ wants His followers to celebrate. Join us!”
Fighting the Works of the Flesh: Witchcraft
“In the sixth post in this series covering the works of the flesh, we look at what sorcery means today and several strategies for combating it.
If you ask most professing Christians if they are involved in witchcraft, sorcery or the occult, the most common answer would likely be “No, of course not!”
The word sorcery in Galatians 5:20 comes from the Greek word pharmakeia, which is derived from a word that means drug (where we get the English word pharmacy). Pharmakeia “means the occult, sorcery, witchcraft, illicit pharmaceuticals, trance, magical incantation with drugs” (Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary, New Testament, 1992).
Sorcery can have many forms. It is commonly associated with the occult, the dead and worship of the earth and elements of nature. These dark ideas seem to be gaining acceptance even in countries with a supposedly Christian majority, such as America. (We will cover the aspect of illicit pharmaceuticals and altered states of consciousness when we get to the work of the flesh listed as drunkenness.)
Even without considering the Wiccan groups springing up all over the Western world, Americans would be naïve not to recognize that their commonly accepted holiday of Halloween celebrates the occult, darkness and black magic. Halloween leads many people, often unwittingly, to involve themselves in the occult and celebration of Satan and demons.
Lies about sorcery
Lie No. 1: “Satan and demons aren’t real. They are just fun fantasies that make for good fiction.”
Satan has been using this lie for centuries, luring people into the idea that both he and his angels are figments of overactive imaginations. Pretending that there aren’t any dark forces with supernatural powers who want to draw people away from God leads people to think that black magic and the occult are just harmless fantasies.
For example, many professing Christians would flinch in horror at seeing an R-rated movie depicting elements of the occult in all its raw, dark glory. However, those same Christians don’t seem to blink when dressing their child up in a wizard’s outfit and sending him off to celebrate Halloween, a widely accepted holiday that makes no excuse for its blatant theme of darkness and the occult.” More at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/blog/fighting-the-works-of-the-flesh-witchcraft/
Well, that enough about that nasty stuff! Roy is supposed to be here on Sunday, so we wanted to have things ready for him. This week Zack and I did some more staining and polyurathane in the kitchen. We were mostly concentrating on the ‘passthru’ between the kitchen and living room as the wires are already there for Roy to install the new light. We also sanded and painted the shelves that will go in the kitchen cabinets, so that he could cut them to width on the table saw.
We spent one morning cleaning up the rest of the border of my yard where the subdivision had torn up the fence. My underground water system for my hedge and row of aloe vera had become exposed, so we had to re-bury that. Now there are little orange flags showing where the underground utilities are in the grass verge on the road all the way from one end of the subdivision to the other. So maybe they are going to put up a new fence.
One afternoon I was at a memorial for the father of my SPCA boss, Kenya. Chris, my foster mom neighbor and I went together. There was quite a decent crowd, and quite a few of the foster parents. Kenya gave a tearjerking eulogy about her Dad. Never having had the experience of a loving Dad, it was difficult for me to understand the bond that they must have had, but I could see that it was something special.
One afternoon I cooked a lot more yellow squash and zucchini in a crockpot for the church potluck, with some cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas and upland cress. Then I made a Sweet Potato and Beef Shepherd’s Pie. Those were a great hit. My next dish turned out to be too sweet for me. It was Slow-Cooker Apple Crisp. It was easy to make, but I won’t put so much sugar next time.
The Bible readings were Gen. 6:9-11;32 (with a lot of ‘begatting’ going on), Isa. 54:1-55:5 and Matt. 24:36-46.
The Teaching was about Martin Luther. Back in those days, 500 years ago it was illegal for anyone to read the Bible. Also people had to pay “indulgences” which profited the Popes immensely. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indulgence . Martin Luther was so angry about the way the Popes were handling things that he became a monk so that he could have access to a Bible, back then it was probably the Geneva Bible. And the rest is history. I wrote about this back in August:
October 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s reputed action of nailing his “95 Theses” to the church door in Wittenberg (where he was a professor of theology at Wittenberg University). This document criticized certain practices and doctrines of the Catholic Church and is considered the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Luther claimed that the Roman church under the popes had moved away from the truth of the Bible.
To Luther’s credit, his 95 Theses highlighted many legitimate issues with the Catholic Church of his time. However, if the pope had heeded Luther’s critiques, would that have returned Catholicism to the Christianity of the Bible?
The truth is, Martin Luther and the Reformation he began continued to embrace many prominent nonbiblical doctrines that the church they were protesting had adopted hundreds of years earlier.
One of the most prominent unbiblical doctrines Protestants maintained was regarding Sunday as the Christian day of worship. To learn why the biblical Sabbath isn’t Sunday, read “Was the Sabbath Changed to Sunday?” From: http://pennys-tuppence.blogspot.com/2017/08/a-labor-day-look-at-gods-sabbath-gift.html .
We had plenty of food, including chicken enchiladas and rice, a chicken and spaghetti dish, and a store-bought roasted chicken, so my beef dish was a change. Plus lots of veggies, beans and salads, and some more of my starfruit in jel dessert. (Not Jello brand) We have some new people so we are getting more variety of dishes.
Today, Sunday, Roy arrived, but couldn’t stay long, as he had his friend with the two broken legs with him. But we did get that big heavy TV 32” that my daughter brought me, on the corner cabinet in my living room. I tried to lift half of it, but I knew I couldn’t get it up on the cabinet, so Hans came to the rescue. Then Roy and I got the 27” into my bedroom, and took the 25” that was in my bedroom and stored it in the hall for now. As I have said before, I don’t have to have the newest latest things. Thank goodness that TV’s don’t have to be moved often.
Yesterday the weather was mild, and then it unexpectedly went below freezing last night. Fortunately it wasn’t cold for very long and my aloe vera didn’t suffer. Then it turned into a warm 72 deg. day.