When I drive by a Christian church during October and see the signs for "The Fall Festival" I have to contain my laughter. So many of today's Christians in America are so against the celebration of Halloween as a celebration of the occult that they seek to find a more creative way to celebrate the holiday or just don't celebrate it at all. These Christians lack the understanding of how the holiday actually came to be celebrated, and rely only on what they have been told by someone else; in many cases, a minister of the church seeking creative ways to increase revenue for the church. With the most popular costumes being witches, ghosts, demons, or other occult figures; it becomes an easy target for these ministers to ignore the true foundations of Halloween or simply create a general "evil" to the holiday. They fail to mention that Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, is actually rooted in a Christian celebration to offer an alternative celebration to the pagan holiday of Samhain. So to celebrate a "Fall Festival" as an alternative to Halloween, is essentially a Christian alternative of a Christian alternative to a Celtic holiday. Many of the Christian holidays are celebrated at the time of a pagan holiday; but for this post, I will deal only with Halloween. For more information on Halloween, you can visit Wikipedia at the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween
To start with, the word Halloween is derived from All Hallows Eve, which means All Saints Eve; which is based in the Catholic celebration of All Souls Day as a way of remembering the saints, both known and unknown; and sending prayers for those souls still in purgatory awaiting purification. For a more detailed understanding of this holiday you can visit Wikipedia at the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Saints. Since the Roman Catholic church has adopted Christianity; does this not make the celebration of Halloween a Christian celebration?
The holiday celebrated by the Celtics of Ireland; also referred to as pagans or the occult, based in the practices of the Druids, is called Samhain and is the celebration of the end of summer. It is known as the Celtic New Year, as it is the end of harvest and the celebration usually lasted several days. They would wear costumes to impersonate the dead as it was believed that the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead was so thin during this time that the dead could reach back into the world of the living. The celebration usually entailed building bonfires for purification and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into the fires. To say that the holiday has any relation to the worship of Satan only shows ignorance of the old religion. Even the surviving religion of Wicca does not promote Satan, for Wiccans do not believe in the existence of Satan. Wicca is a religion of nature and Karma; witches divination is an art of placing energy into the universe to create a positive outcome through visualization. To use "magic" for selfish gain or to impose evil upon another is forbidden in the practice and it is believed that what you put into the universe comes back on you tenfold. But that is off topic and should be saved for another time. To understand more about the celebration of Samhain, I would urge you to visit Wikipedia at the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain
The modern practice of Halloween in America is neither Christian, nor is it Pagan; it is simply a secular practice of blended cultures. It is neither Holy nor Unholy to practice the holiday celebration. I can understand not wanting to celebrate the holiday with the basis of having your children going door to door and begging for candy; or the trick if you don't get a treat including acts of vandalism. But to teach your children that there is some evil stigma at work on this night is just plain wrong. I believe that this stems from a fear of death in this country; a taboo subject that no one wants to deal with until they have to deal with it. There is no foundation for the "occult" within the holiday, other than the layer that Hollywood has blended with it in movies. The stories of murderers, evil spirits, and evil things happening in the movies are only stories meant to play on our imaginations, and increase revenue for the studio that produced the story. The real evils of Halloween, like people that tamper with candy to harm children is the only justifiable evil that I can perceive on Halloween. But these evils exist whether Halloween is celebrated or not; on a daily basis, it seems that mankind is never at a loss of finding ways to increase the suffering of their fellow man.
So, when you are sitting in that building that you refer to as the church, and you are listening to the minister preaching about the evil dangers of the occult practices of Halloween; remember that this building is not the church, but rather that that building has the church residing within it. Would Christ approve of the things being taught within this building in his name? Did Christ not accept everyone regardless of their sinful nature? Did Christ not stand up against the wrongful teachings of the church in his day? Would this building exist without the members that purchased it? Does the minister teach true Christian values? Do you know that the church is within you? Just some food for thought from a Christian minister at TheWalkingChurch|The Church Is Within You!