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IS THERE SOMETHING IN THE BIBLE THAT PUZZLES YOU?

If so please EMail us with your question and we will do our best to give you a satisfactory answer. FREE Scholarly verse by verse commentaries on the Bible.

THE PENTATEUCH

GENESIS ---EXODUS--- LEVITICUS 1.1-7.38 --- 8.1-11.47 --- 12.1-16.34--- 17.1-27.34--- NUMBERS 1-10--- 11-19--- 20-36--- DEUTERONOMY 1.1-4.44 --- 4.45-11.32 --- 12.1-29.1--- 29.2-34.12 --- THE BOOK OF JOSHUA --- THE BOOK OF JUDGES --- PSALMS 1-17--- ECCLESIASTES --- ISAIAH 1-5 --- 6-12 --- 13-23 --- 24-27 --- 28-35 --- 36-39 --- 40-48 --- 49-55--- 56-66--- EZEKIEL --- DANIEL 1-7 ---DANIEL 8-12 ---

NAHUM--- HABAKKUK---ZEPHANIAH ---ZECHARIAH --- THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW ---THE GOSPEL OF MARK--- THE GOSPEL OF LUKE --- THE GOSPEL OF JOHN --- THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES --- 1 CORINTHIANS 1-7 --- 8-16 --- 2 CORINTHIANS 1-7 --- 8-13 -- -GALATIANS --- EPHESIANS --- COLOSSIANS --- 1 THESSALONIANS --- 2 THESSALONIANS --- 1 TIMOTHY --- 2 TIMOTHY --- TITUS --- HEBREWS 1-6 --- 7-10 --- 11-13 --- JAMES --- JOHN'S LETTERS --- REVELATION

--- THE GOSPELS

IS THERE SOMETHING IN THE BIBLE THAT PUZZLES YOU?

If so please EMail us with your question to [removed] and we will do our best to give you a satisfactory answer.

What Should The Christian Make of Halloween?

The Basic Position.

The Bible is quite clear on what is required of those who walk with Christ. In 1 Thessalonians 5.22 we are exhorted to, 'Abstain from all appearance of evil.' (1 Thessalonians 5.22). The positive side is put in Philippians. 'Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honourable, whatsoever things are righteous, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.' (Philippians 4.8). Indeed the Christian is told to 'walk in the light' and 'walk as children of light' for they have left darkness behind (Ephesians 5.8) and they are to have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5.11). These are but a sample of similar verses.

The principle is quite clear. The Christian is to abstain from anything that comes short of Philippians 4.8. Now in the way that it is usually celebrated Halloween is a mixture of what is untrue (much of it is fantasy and some is devilish), dishonourable (it is based on dishonourable principles and behaviour as witness its source), unrighteous (it introduces witchcraft and devilry to people, as well as the occult through ouija boards, fortune telling, etc at Halloween parties and carnivals), impure (Halloween festivals were luridly sexual and some modern Halloween parties are equally so), unlovely (it celebrates the lord of darkness and encourages reaching out to the dead), of bad report (Christians have condemned it from the earliest times), lacking in virtue (it encourages 'tricks' which are harmful to people, and in its deeper manifestations sexual misbehaviour and violence), and not praiseworthy (there is really little good to be said about its principles which are even in their most inocent form based on greed and blackmail, and teach our children wrong principles).

We recognise the fun that children have on this night, and in a good number of cases that is where it stops, and perhaps the church should therefore introduce an alternative, pointing out that it is Hallow-even, and it is God's name that should be hallowed. The positive lesson could be got over that He has destroyed the works of the Devil and cast out the prince of darkness and all his witches and hobgoblins. There is no reason why children should not dress up, possibly as angels, or as good fairy tale characters, or even as good Christian knights (not the crusading type), while encouraging kindness, taking small gifts to old people, (if they are then given sweets in return then that is fine), offering to do a good deed instead of threatening a trick, carrying lights that illustrate the light of the world, even wearing clown or 'happy' masks making clear the point of promoting happiness and good clean fun, and so on, but abjuring any connection with witches, and other connections with the pagan festival. If we explain to our children, and others, why we do this they will learn an important lesson. Let us inculcate good principles and contrast the light with the darkness.

But while for a large number Halloween is only a bit of fun there are many who are entrapped by it. It feeds the minds of people with ideas which are not ony distasteful, but positively evil, and gives the impression that playing with devilry is a joke. There are good grounds for suggesting that it is a celebration which is a step too far. From those who begin to play with the occult, through those who turn its fun into nastiness (so that old people can become terrified of it), to those who become involved in the deeper things of Satan, it causes great harm. The ordinary person might say, 'Am I my brother's keeper?' The Christian must surely say, 'If by it my brother or sister is harmed, I will desist from it.'

A leak in a dam might not seem too serious. But the trickle becomes a stream, and the stream becomes a flood. And then we have disaster. Halloween has now gone beyond a joke (if it ever was). We are encouraging what is at its heart a mass of evil.Witchcraft is not funny, Satanism is not a joke, demon possession is not a fantasy. We are foolish when we suggest otherwise. Suggesting that Christianity has anything in common with such things is quite frankly blasphemy.

Some Christians support it on the basis of it being a good thing to poke fun at the Devil, and if that were all it was that might be a reasonable position to hold. But Halloween goes much deeper than that. It is becoming an official institution, and that not as a Christian festival but in all its bareness as a representative of witchcraft and superstition. For Christians to participate in it is to declare their support for that position.

Having in mind what Halloween is based on, and make no mistake about it Halloween night still involves for many people the kind of thing spoken of in the Scriptures below, by participating we are encouraging it, (unquestionably books such as the Harry Potter books are encouraging children to see these things as harmless, or even to be sought after). The following Scriptures deal with its essence.

"When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of the nations. - There shall not be found among you anyone who --- practises 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" (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).

Or consider the New Testament where it says, "And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people. Therefore Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:16-18)"

Or again, "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Corinthians 7:1). "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions," (Galatians 5:19-20). "No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons." (1 Cor.10:20, 21). "And do not give the devil an opportunity." (Ephesians 4:27). "You shall not permit a sorceress to live." (Exodus 22:18).

Further Scriptures from the Old Testament declare, "Give no regards to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God ." (Lev 19:31). "And the person who turns after mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set my face against that person, and cut him off from His people." (Lev 20:6). "....he practised soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger." (2 Chron 33:6). "Now the works of the flesh of evident, which are ......idolatry, sorcery, hatred.... and the like.......that those who practise such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal 5:20).

The Background to Halloween.

The background to modern Halloween is undoubtedly Celtic mythology and ritual simply because the idea about it came from the British Isles where the Celts abounded, but there are similar myths worldwide. Depending on its source, (whether Ireland, Scotland, Wales or old England) the ideas vary. But it is based on the feast of Samhain ('summer's end' - November 1st), the time when the summer ceased and the long night of winter came in, and the sheep and cattle had to go to their winter quarters (there were then two seasons). The old year had died and a new year came in in which darkness prevailed. The lord of death and darkness prevailed against the principle of life and light. It was believed that on the eve before that day the souls of the dead who had died during the year made their way to the underworld. Thus it was believed that they could visit the living. It was seen as a time when the barrier between the living and the dead was at its weakest. It was a time of fear, when evil spirits roamed and the dead were on the move. Bonfires (bone-fires) were built for the burning of bones. Part of the idea may have been in order to light the way for departing souls, but the burning of bones suggests that the idea was to act as a warning to the dead to keep away from the living lest they suffer the same fate. Sacrifices were offered in order to avert evil. Grotesque masks were made, with lights inside them, in order to frighten off evil spirits and ghosts. Trick or treat was originally a way of warding off evil forces and the wandering dead by offering bribes in the form of food and drink. Thus those who come as 'trick or treaters' are emulating evil spirits. Bobbing for apples had the purpose of seeking to get the right apple which on being cut open would divulge the future.

As a feast of the dead, it was believed that the dead could return to the land of the living for this one night, to celebrate with their family, tribe, or clan. And so the great burial mounds of Ireland (sidh mounds) were opened up, with lighted torches lining the walls, so the dead could find their way. Extra places were set at the table and food set out for any who had died that year. And there are many stories that tell of Irish heroes making raids on the Underworld while the gates of 'faery' (the unknown world of spirits, what was 'fanciful') stood open, though all must return to their appointed places by cock-crow. This is why Halloween is seen as a good time for fortune-telling, seeking the dead and evil spirits through ouija boards, tarot cards and other dangerous evils.

Inevitably it later became connected with witchcraft and divination. Modern Halloween lays much emphasis on both. It is thus a feast which celebrates the dark side of things, things which the Bible tells us that we should avoid. While the rise of Christianity removed much of the fear, the pagan ideas lived on in superstitious people and the beliefs in 'ghosties and ghoulies' never disappeared. People have always had a peculiar attraction to horror. The old customs were thus carried on along with the new. They were fascinating and mind bending and catered to people's lowest fears. But they deal with the darkness, not with the light. The resurrection of Christ has removed the basis on which these ideas were founded.

Today it is a gateway, along with the current glorifying of magic and witchcraft in books, by which the ancient forces of evil are seeking once again to encroach on mankind. The innocent fun of today is leading on towards a future when the dark side will again seek to prevail. Even today while children happily and innocently 'trick and treat' others do so more threateningly. It has become a way to wrest things out of people with a threat of what will happen if they do not respond. It represents greed and blackmail, and even in its most innocent form represents these two sins as justifiable. Christians should therefore stand firm against it. It is part of a trend which is seeking to oust Christian belief and return people to superstition and evil. If we partake in it we are encouraging that trend.

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Free Bible Commentaries

IS THERE SOMETHING IN THE BIBLE THAT PUZZLES YOU?

If so please EMail us with your question to [removed] and we will do our best to give you a satisfactory answer.

IS THERE SOMETHING IN THE BIBLE THAT PUZZLES YOU?

If so please EMail us with your question and we will do our best to give you a satisfactory answer. FREE Scholarly verse by verse commentaries on the Bible.

THE PENTATEUCH

GENESIS ---EXODUS--- LEVITICUS 1.1-7.38 --- 8.1-11.47 --- 12.1-16.34--- 17.1-27.34--- NUMBERS 1-10--- 11-19--- 20-36--- DEUTERONOMY 1.1-4.44 --- 4.45-11.32 --- 12.1-29.1--- 29.2-34.12 --- THE BOOK OF JOSHUA --- THE BOOK OF JUDGES --- PSALMS 1-17--- ECCLESIASTES --- ISAIAH 1-5 --- 6-12 --- 13-23 --- 24-27 --- 28-35 --- 36-39 --- 40-48 --- 49-55--- 56-66--- EZEKIEL --- DANIEL 1-7 ---DANIEL 8-12 ---

NAHUM--- HABAKKUK---ZEPHANIAH ---ZECHARIAH --- THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW ---THE GOSPEL OF MARK--- THE GOSPEL OF LUKE --- THE GOSPEL OF JOHN --- THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES --- 1 CORINTHIANS 1-7 --- 8-16 --- 2 CORINTHIANS 1-7 --- 8-13 -- -GALATIANS --- EPHESIANS --- COLOSSIANS --- 1 THESSALONIANS --- 2 THESSALONIANS --- 1 TIMOTHY --- 2 TIMOTHY --- TITUS --- HEBREWS 1-6 --- 7-10 --- 11-13 --- JAMES --- JOHN'S LETTERS --- REVELATION

--- THE GOSPELS

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