Is it okay to trick or treat? Is it okay to celebrate Halloween?
I grew up in a family that sent me mixed messages. I went trick or treating as a child. In fact my Mom tells a story about how my Dad and Mom took me trick or treating when I was little.
When I got to the door, instead of saying "Trick or treat" as my Dad coached me to, I said, "Birthday candle." Boy was my Dad mad!
Then as I grew up a little, my parents started preaching the perils of Halloween. They passed out tracts on the reasons that Halloween was wrong.
What exactly is Halloween? It is a celebration of the dead and the unknown worlds. It's a night to scare people and frighten them with ghosts, witches, goblins and zombies. It is a night that we send our children out to beg for candy from strangers.
Over the years, the churches have held parties on that night.
When I was growing up, our church called it Clown-Around Night. We wore Bible-friendly costumes to the church where we played games, ate refreshments and bobbed for apples.
Then it became a harvest festival night, which in some churches, looks more like a carnival with game booths where people win prizes. The churches hail it as an alternative to Halloween.
We still see costumes. The kids still get treats. And most of the time, we still hear scary stories. The only difference is that Jesus and the Bible are added to the mix.
Too often the churches hold a family-friendly version of a Halloween party. They are giving into the peer pressure of the world, thinking that it wouldn't be popular to just hold church that night or just have a fellowship time over a pot luck.
But we weren't called to be popular. We were called to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, to teach them about what Jesus did on the Cross for them (Mark 16:15).
Halloween is in its purest sense a devil day. It may seem fun. It may seem innocent, but it is not. It's the day that satanic cults hold their rituals, their ceremonies.
It is a night when people go to psychics to call up dead spirits through Ouija boards. They dabble in the occult. They dress up like witches, play with cauldrons and maybe even say a few spells, thinking it is innocent fun. It's not.
Witchcraft is very real, despite what scientists and intelligent minds claim.
Witchcraft is nothing to play around with. You cannot play with fire for very long and expect not to be burned. It is the same way with witchcraft.
In I Samuel 28, we see King Saul going to a woman with a familiar spirit in Endor and asking her to conjure up the spirit of Samuel, his long-time advisor, who had died (verses 7-19).
God makes it clear in Deuteronomy 18:10-12 that conjuring up dead spirits and witchcraft are an abomination to God.
Once we delve into witchcraft activities, such as reading our horoscopes, conjuring up spirits, going to psychics, playing with Ouija boards, we are allowing the devil and his demons access to our lives. We are giving them permission to torture and oppress us.
The devil is not like God who is always on the side of His children (Romans 8:31). The devil will eventually turn on his own.
The devil's job is to steal, to kill and to destroy (John 10:10). The Bible says there is no truth in him, that he is the father of all lies (John 8:44).
The devil and his demons don't want what is best for you. They only want to use you to do their dirty work. They want to destroy you, leaving you empty, lonely, tormented and without hope.
He will take your wife, your money, your family, your friends, your identity. He will leave you a desolate, hurting person, stripped of all you were. You won't be able to see the person you could become with God's help.
Playing around with the things of the devil, such as witchcraft, Ouija boards, horoscopes and conjuring up spirits, allows the devil access to your life. At first, he will seem to love you and be on your side, but he will turn on you.
God, however, will never turn on you (Hebrews 13:5, Romans 8:31). He loves you (John 3:16). He cares about you, and everything that concerns you concerns Him. He said in His Word that He will perfect that which concerns you (Psalm 138:8).
What if you have been dabbling in the occult, or in their activities, what do you do?
1. Repent. If you are a Christian, the Bible tells us in I John 1:9 that if you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
If you are not a Believer, though, become one. Jesus died for you (John 3:16). He paid the price for your sins. He rose from the dead (Mark 16:6).. He is at the right-hand of the Father, making intercession for you (Romans 8:34).
If you would like to accept Jesus now, just say out loud, "Jesus, I believe that You died to pay the price for my sins. I believe that You were raised from the dead. I repent of my sins. Please come into my heart and be my Lord and Saviour."
2. Renounce. Once you are saved, you must renounce any involvement you had in the occult. It might be helpful to make a list. Take each one and say out loud, "I renounce my involvement with _________ (fill in the blank) in the Name of Jesus." Go through every item on your list.
3. Throw out. Throw out everything associated with those activities. You must get rid of them, so you won't be tempted to fall back into those activities again.
4. Replace. Replace those activities with other, Christ-centered ones, such as reading the Word of God, listening to good teaching tapes, going to church, helping out with your church's youth group or volunteering your time at the local homeless shelter or children's hospital.
Many people believe that trick or treating, dressing like witches or chanting spells or playing with an Ouija board is harmless fun, but it is not. It is an open door for satan to walk right in and torture you.
Annagail Lynes is a published author, pharmacy technician and starting her business as a life coach.
To follow her weekly e-newsletter, go to coachannagail.com
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