Every year Christians debate about holidays, holy days, celebrations and symbols. Should children be encouraged to go trick or treating? Is Halloween really evil? Can it be redeemed by calling it by another name? Let’s look at both sides.
I’ve heard Halloween described as harmless, satanic, fun, evil, innocent, or demonically inspired. What spirit is behind the festivities? Obviously, Christians should not celebrate holidays the same way the world does; darkness should not entertain the church – we are called to be the light of Christ.
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).
So, what are concerned Christian parents to do when all their kids want is to have fun with their friends and eat a bunch of candy? Know the Word of God, understand the truth and history behind any holiday in question, make your own decision before God and do not judge others either way.
Some refer to Halloween as “National Evangelism Day” because people come to your door. Hand out Bible tracts with candy and you can share the gospel without leaving home. If a Christian alternative is not available, use the opportunity to tell trick or treaters about Christ. God loves them, Jesus conquered sin and death, and forgiveness can only be found in Him; Nothing scary about that.
However, casting spells, demons, fear, sex, witchcraft, familiar spirits, wizards, horror, violence, animal or child sacrifice are definitely not gray areas. Once we are informed we are without excuse. (See the links below)
In the early 1900s, the migrating Irish and Scots brought Halloween to the United States. It’s roots can be traced back about 2,000 years to the Celts of Europe, who occupied parts of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France. It was a pagan festival called “Samhain” during which the dead were honored and sacrifices of animals and crops were made.
Halloween is a combination of pagan superstition and traditions associated with witchcraft and the occult. Death is a reality for all mankind and a tragic result of sin and should not be celebrated, but has what the Bible calls “sin” become today’s entertainment?
Let’s look at ways the occult and witchcraft have gone main stream in America. The following is an excerpt from The Cost of Our Silence; chapter 13, “Witchcraft is Out of the Broom Closet.”
It is hard not to notice the rapidly growing fascination in America with zombies, vampires, death, the occult, and the supernatural. Witchcraft has gone mainstream; casting spells is cool, black magic is exciting, fortune telling is fun, and killing zombies is sport. Are these just harmless, innocent fads or is there something more – something evil – behind the fascination? We need to determine what is behind it and understand what the Bible teaches.
… Christians should strive to obey the commands and warnings throughout the Bible regarding the occult, witchcraft, and idolatry. We should avoid any form of spirituality or godliness that denies Jesus is Lord Savior.
The apostle John tells us every spirit that does not confess Jesus Christ is not from God (1 John 4:3). Must we point out the obvious? The modern spirits behind the ideas, practices, and products of Hollywood and the gaming industry certainly are not acknowledging Jesus as Lord and God. The Bible cautions us about the dangers and subtleties of sin and its practices. John also writes, Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God (1 John 4:1).
In many entertainment products from Charmed to Harry Potter to Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the heroes are typically good people – you know, the ones using witchcraft and the occult – while the average person is portrayed as ordinary, weak, or even bad, partly because they do not have any magic powers. Therefore, the occult, the satanic, and anything related to it are looked at as beneficial and desirable, which is a complete twisting of the concept of good and evil. We are to resist, expose, and stand against sin, not invite it into our homes.
The apostle Paul wrote,
But examine [test] everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).
Occult themes dominate books, movies, marketing campaigns, the Internet, and prime-time television. And children are playing right along. The darkness of the occult and witchcraft has to a great degree been accepted in our society, but the question we should ask is to what extent has it seeped into our churches? That may sound extreme to those who have bought what the world has been selling, but for Christians, we are instructed to not conform to this world (Romans 12:2).
Here’s some food for thought: Public schools do not allow Christianity to be taught or promoted. However, they accept the religions of atheism, Humanism, evolution, environmental extremism (earth worship), Buddhism, Islam, and of course the religion of Wicca – the practice of witchcraft. Kids have sat through readings of the Harry Potter books, watched the movies during class instruction times, and have even discussed the details of casting spells. Someone may argue Wicca is not a religion and Harry Potter has nothing to do with the occult.
First, on the bottom of its home page, the Church of the Wiccan Interfaith Council (aka Wiccan Interfaith Council International) describes itself as a “nonprofit religious, educational, and charitable organization” holding a 501(c)(3) status with the federal government as a “church or conventions or association of churches.” So don’t give me the separation of church and state line as the reason for banning God, Christian prayers, and the Bible. Public schools openly discriminate by allowing anything except biblical Christianity.
Second, even many well-meaning parents have said, “at least the kids are reading,” as if to imply the occult influence in Harry Potter is not as blatant and reprehensible as so much of what we see in culture today. This argument merely shifts the line of acceptance which most always leads to compromise.
In a 2008 interview with several young witches, Abel, a teenage boy, explained, “In the Craft, no matter who you are, you are divine … However you interact with the world, you are sacred.”
Pastor Joe Schimmel of Good Fight Ministries suggests the sharp increase of young people identifying themselves as neo-pagans and Wiccans is mainly due to the media’s propagandizing and the glorification of occult themes in Hollywood, which has a long history of providing fuel for the lie that there are both good and bad witches. Schimmel added, “Harry Potter is a doorway to the occult,” and “even MTV has acknowledged that such movies [including the Twilight series] have played a surprising role in making Wicca [witchcraft] one of the fastest growing religions in America.”
Christian parents, we cannot be naïve any longer about subtle satanic influences. The enemy rarely tempts us with something so obviously evil and wicked that we know immediately it is his doing…
God created mankind in His image. He rules and is sovereign over all He created. He has authority over all powers in the universe, and He is a personal Being of infinite love, wisdom, and power… Occultism, however, promotes the idea every individual can acquire supernatural powers and become his or her own god.
Many occultists also believe in a dark side and a light side of energy forces in the universe. In witchcraft, they may refer to this in terms of “black magic” or “white magic.”
They developed chants, practices, and rituals through which man-made gods might be pleased and grant them favors. Their goal is to tap into these powers in order to use them for their own benefit.
In his extremely thorough and research-packed book, Occult Invasion: The Subtle Seduction of the World and the Church, internationally-known author, Dave Hunt, explains:
It involves mystic knowledge and magic powers and revelations received from the spirit world and dispensed for the benefit of devotees or directed destructively at enemies by those who have been initiated into its secrets. The masters of occult power are known as medicine men (or women), witch doctors, witches, psychics, priests, sorcerers, astrologers, gurus, yogis, shamans, mediums, seers, or healers.
In a Newsweek article called “Hexing and Texting,” some of the young people interviewed said they “enjoy dabbling in different metaphysical practices without subscribing to one doctrine,” while others are more dedicated to a specific craft or are literally experimenting with sorcery…
One college professor admits we’re in the middle of an occult revival, and these kids are not just wearing black lipstick, nail polish, and dark clothes while watching witches hex each other on screen; they’re practicing it themselves.
Another young woman said she turned to tarot cards and astrology when things were difficult in her personal life. If only she would turn to the Maker of the stars and read the truths in the living Word instead of tarot cards! Rebecca, a twenty-five-year-old, said lesbian women are drawn to the occult because they “seek outside validation” but don’t want to answer to pastors or priests. Lynsey, twenty-two, declares she wants nothing to do with a church where a man is in a position of authority. Another young woman said when she reads ritual instructions, it makes her feel “grounded.” Isn’t it interesting many Christians say the same thing about reading the Bible regularly?
… Would millions of people have been introduced or desensitized to the occult and various forms of witchcraft had it not been for the influence of [Disney, the Wizard of Oz,] the Harry Potter and Twilight series? Would today’s shows have made it to television; would video games have taken such a dark and dangerous turn, and would countless young people be dabbling with astrology, tarot cards, Ouija boards, magic spells, séances, and fortune telling?
Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely (Malachi 3:5).
…I think the main fascination with zombies and vampires is the idea of a man-created afterlife. Though it is a counterfeit of the truth and of the biblical concept of eternity, theirs is based on life with no need for God and no accountability. Worldly religions, practices, and philosophies often lead people away from the only One who can save them, the living God and Lord of all.
…It doesn’t matter if you think your kids are not into this stuff. Many of their friends and peers are, and they spend nearly triple their waking hours with friends, media, and technology than they do with you, their parents. Witchcraft is the fastest-growing offshoot of paganism today as hundreds of thousands of children and teenagers have joined its ranks…
Author and researcher, Caryl Matrisciana, is a well-known authority on ancient and modern world religions, contemporary cults, paganism, and the occult. In a video about the repackaging of witchcraft and making evil look innocent, Caryl and Robert S. McGee point out a wide variety of witchcraft techniques offering powers of control for personal gain are readily available today through many bookstores, on the Internet (aka “the portal of transcendence”), in public schools and libraries, and throughout the media as an aggressive marketing campaign to young people.
Hollywood’s presentation of witchcraft as exciting and glamorous has further increased its appeal to young audiences. Enhanced by digital technology and revolutionary special effects, cultic spells and rituals are given visually stunning portrayals as are the depictions of supernatural beings: ghosts, demons, vampires, mythological characters, and even Satan.
A growing number of cartoons and television dramas aimed at increasing younger audiences further seduce children with the allure of sorcery and divination. Cultic themes are frequently woven into the story lines of prime time series, which has undoubtedly contributed to the practice of magic as being the fastest growing mystical attraction among teenagers.
On Amazon.com alone, kids can find nearly 2,000 books on witchcraft and hundreds of websites are dedicated to selling it specifically to children. Young people are turning away from Christianity and traditional religion and joining witches’ covens in order to learn spells to help them pass tests in school, attract boyfriends (or girlfriends), and get rich.
For adults, the practices of Wicca lure the “me” generation by promoting self-gratification, self-centeredness, and rebellion and preaching of the “do whatever you want” philosophy. There is no absolute truth, no sin, and no need for God the Creator or for Jesus Christ the Savior because the patriarchal God of the Bible has been removed.
Finally, the spirituality behind contemporary feminism often comes in the form of goddess worship. The more radical feminists seem to believe in an internal god, if they believe in any at all, and have a desire to overthrow the patriarchal structure in society. Some New Age proponents teach that Wicca, goddess worship, paganism, and witchcraft are all centered on a religion involving the mystery and sexuality of the female. The idea is for women to regain their natural power and to have authority over men. In order to accomplish this dominance, they must invoke certain spirits to help destroy the Judeo-Christian religion. God can no longer be “Father.”
When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD; because of these same detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. Deuteronomy 18: 9-12
The story of Harry Potter begins on Halloween night when his parents are murdered by the dark Lord Voldemort. Through the sacrificial goddess magic in Harry’s mother’s life, the young boy is saved, and his blood given magical powers. Because of this, Voldemort sears a death curse in the form of a lightning bolt on Harry’s forehead.
The name of the Hogwarts “School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” is telling enough, but a few red flags should fly when an eleven-year-old orphan is taught by the faculty’s wizards and witches how to properly use magic, rituals, and cast spells..
…Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, has been interviewed quite a bit since becoming famous and admits she received inspiration for the characters from spirit communication through a stream of consciousness:
Harry as a character came fully formed, as did the idea for his sidekicks, the characters of Ron and Hermione, who is the brains of the threesome; The character of Harry just strolled into my head … I really did feel he was someone who walked up and introduced himself in my mind’s eye.
You may be reading this and thinking this is quite a stretch and I am nitpicking or even going on a witch hunt – pardon the pun. J.K. Rowling has defended her books and characters as being “highly moral,” and yet from the Harry Potter series, children have learned about demons, werewolves, and other monstrous creatures along with magic, spell casting, levitation, animal sacrifices, astral projection, crystal gazing, and communing with dead souls…
Mormon author Stephanie Meyer said she heard voices in her head that would not stop until she would type what they were saying. Twilight was born. Meyer also talks about the character Edward coming to visit her in a dream after she completed Twilight, saying they had a conversation and “he was terrifying.”
Not exactly Holy Spirit inspired, some believe Meyer was chosen to be the instrument through which the concepts and dialogue were channeled. By whatever power and for whatever reason, Twilight was selected to influence millions worldwide. Was it through the process of illumination that she heard the voices?
Conversations and dream visitations by spirits are part of occult communication. Meyer’s spiritual experiences could well be influenced by her Mormon faith, which allows for communication with “the dead” of former generations, those who were baptized into Mormonism in the Mormon Temple ritual. Mormon founder Joseph Smith was “visited” by a communicating “angel” named Moroni who stands atop all Mormon Temples.
Stephenie Meyer portrays the vampires as well meaning, goodhearted, and even trustworthy. Even though Edward Cullen and his “coven” of vampires do their best to resist drinking human blood, they exist on the blood of animals, which is clearly forbidden by God in Scripture. As far as acceptable forms of entertainment, opinions vary even among Christians, so each of us must decide and discern the spirits.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life (Galatians 6:7-8).
…We’re all in need of the Savior. For those of us thankful enough to be forgiven and saved from eternal separation from God, we need to pray for the lost souls in Hollywood, the music and publishing industries. Imagine the influence if some of the top producers, authors, and executives trusted in Jesus Christ. If they don’t turn to Him soon, their rewards end in this life.
Secular entertainment can open us up to demonic spirits and move us away from the truth of Jesus Christ. Satan will take every opportunity and use other people to fill us with the things of this world…
Entertainment is not all bad or evil; it is often simply a distraction and an escape from reality. In essence, we are switching our brain off. The problem is our hearts remain open. Let’s be more discerning and guard our hearts, protect our children, and not be silent about things that matter.
(*This excerpt is approximately 40% of the chapter)
The Dark Side of Halloween -Caryl Matrisciana
Halloween History and the Bible – Answers in Genesis
Where did Halloween come from? Can a Christian celebrate it? – Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry
Halloween Explained by a Former Occultist – Johanna Michaelsen
A Christian Response to Halloween – Good Fight Ministries
1 Reason the Church Is Losing Its Power in This Dark Age – Shane Idleman
Katy Perry, Witchcraft and the Super Bowl – David Fiorazo