Do Halloween’s pagan roots matter?

Every year in this season there is controversy among sincere believers. How should we view Halloween? Some say there is no need to look at its past, because in the 21st century, it is simply harmless children’s entertainment. Others point to the fact that Wiccas and Satanists still consider Halloween their holy day of service, so Christians should avoid it in every way possible. How should Christian parents view the day that marketers have made a $ 6 billion holiday?

We cannot escape everything pagan

First, it is important to understand that we cannot live our lives avoiding everything that is pagan in one way or another. Many of the names of our months and days of the week are named after pagan deities. Every time we name a particular day of the week or calendar month, we cannot omit the name of an idol. Maybe it’s time to start naming days numerically? “See you on the fourth day and let us have a cup of coffee? Or on the seventh day? ” I don’t think it works, right?

Should it bother us? I don’t think so. In Babylon, Daniel was given a name that honored a pagan god. He reacted to this name for most of his long life. His position demanded that he become an expert on the false religions and beliefs that prevailed in Babylonian society. He was successful and achieved a high position in government and not only in the Babylonian Empire but also in the Assyrian and Persian Empires. Did he make any compromises in his faith while learning the path to prosperity in this pagan culture? No. At least when we believe what God wrote about his life (see Ezekiel 14:14).

The New Testament describes how the Apostle Paul faced the problem of eating flesh sacrificed to idols. He taught that it could be eaten with prayer and a clear conscience, although it had previously been used to sacrifice to a false deity.

We do not have to accept everything pagan

While we cannot avoid everything pagan in our society, this does not mean that we should accept everything and everyone for freedom. Although Paul said that a follower of Christ with a clear conscience can eat the sacrificial flesh to idols without dangerous consequences, Paul still sets limits. For example, he forbids eating during a pagan ceremony (see 1 Corinthians 10: 14–31).

Freedom is not a life without borders. It is within the right limits of life. Can anyone practice witchcraft and still be a born-again Christian? No. Not according to Scripture. God explicitly forbids sorcery (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:31, 20: 6, 27; Deuteronomy 18: 10-14; Galatians 5: 19-21). Therefore, every person who knows the Bible understands how ridiculous the idea of ​​”Christian witches” is.

What about us Christians?

However, many Christians allow their small sons and daughters to dress up as witches and wizards for Halloween. Why do we allow our children to dress up as monsters or as other friends of darkness? Why do we watch TV shows and movies where the main characters are involved in witchcraft, divination and so on? What has happened to Christians today? Why do so many come together to watch horror films, the dark sides of which are glorified as something feared and revered?

Freedom does not mean that everything that was once considered bad has now become good. Read Ephesians 5: 7-11:

“So, don’t be complicit in them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth. Try what is pleasing to God, and do not partake of the barren works of darkness. ”

When we are told to look for what is acceptable to the Lord, it obviously means that certain things are unacceptable. How do we know what is acceptable and what is not?

The roots are important

One way is to look at the roots. The root always determines the fruit. Jesus said:

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are furious wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes picked from rose hips or figs from thistle? So every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore ye shall know them by their fruits ”(Matthew 7: 15-20).

If the root is evil, then the fruit is evil. Nothing changes magically on the way from root to fruit. Much of what is considered innocent entertainment in Halloween traditions comes from the pagan rituals of the Celts in Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France. The Celts, who lived in the area 2,000 years ago, celebrated their New Year on November 1st. They believed that on the eve of the New Year, the line between the world of the living and the dead would disappear.


On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, believing that at that time the spirits of the dead would return to earth. The Celts believed that the presence of  spirits not only caused problems and spoiled the harvest, but also helped the Druids or the Celtic priests to predict the future.

In honor of this event, the Druids built huge sacred campfires where people gathered to burn prey and animals, and sometimes sacrificed human sacrifices to Celtic deities. During the celebration, they wore costumes, usually consisting of animal heads and skins, and tried to predict each other’s future.

Many traditions, such as disguise or dress, continued to develop after the Romans conquered and swallowed up the Celts’ traditions of festivals dedicated to their gods.

Trick or treat!

“Trick or treat!” tradition began when, in the beginning, they left sweets in front of the house in honor of good spirits, hoping to calm the evil spirits and not let them bring a curse on the fruit, home, and family. Later, the Catholic Church embraced these traditions, turning it into baking sweets for the souls of the dead. The church celebrated the feast of the worship of the dead and finally set this time to coincide with the Celtic feast, bringing them together. All these traditions are rooted in the misunderstanding of the spirit world and the deep fear of the future.

Almost everything related to Halloween night (or Halloween eve) is related to predicting the future. Even the seemingly harmless apple-catching game has demonic roots. As my friend Ben Godwin wrote, “Halloween is a show of witchcraft.” Ouija tables, tarot cards, D&D cards, horoscopes, divination – all this tends to look to the future from the back door. The use of potions, and spells is an attempt to manipulate people into acting in a way that violates God’s laws. Don’t be confused: witchcraft and Christianity are incompatible in any century. They draw energy from two different sources and in the end there is only one left.

Halloween is heavily diluted today and has changed a lot from what it was at the time of the Celebration of the Celtic Samhain and the unification of the Catholic Church, due to both Roman and Celtic practices. However, the roots are still important.

So what do we do?

I do not support the idea of ​​living in this world as if we were outside it. But I promote living in this world as if we were no longer in it (John 17:14). When a Christian parent allows his children to wear harmless costumes (which are not related to the dark side) and leads them to ask a friend for sweets, I will not judge them or act like I am a better Christian because I will not allow my daughter to do so. But Christians must study the roots and make decisions on an eternal basis, not a temporal one.

Yes, we want our children to enjoy life, but that doesn’t mean they should be involved in everything that’s fun. Just because everything that is fun is not right.

Parents, the decision is yours. I hope you are really praying for this and seeking the wisdom of the Lord. He will lead you on the right path. And when you need to make changes in family traditions, He will give you the grace and wisdom you need. And remember: roots are important!

Posted by Keith Nix /