Each year on October 31st when the night grows dark, millions of children all over the globe head out their front door with costumes on and pillow cases in hand in search of more cavities. Halloween is a multi-billion dollar industry, only out-marketed by Christmas. The origin of Halloween goes back to the time of Christ where in ancient Scotland and Ireland the Celts would celebrate a festival known as Samhain (Sawin) on October 31st. It was on this night that they believed dead spirits would return looking to inhabit a body. In order to ward them off, people would dress up as demons, witches, ghouls, and elves hoping to introduce confusion and avoid being possessed. In direct response to this pagan festival, the early church moved one of their festivals, known as All Saints Day, from May to November first and called it All Hallows Day, the eve of this day was called All Hallows Eve, where we get the name Halloween. This was a direct attempt by the early church to penetrate a pagan culture with the truth of the gospel.
So...should Christians participate in Halloween activities?
As long as we’re not dressing up in costumes that celebrate evil. In fact, it’s a great opportunity to use the evening for good. On a night that often represents death and evil we can talk about Jesus Christ who overcomes evil and the grave. Halloween can be a strategic time that provides a night for us to turn our stranger-hoods into neighborhoods.
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