I received an email this week from Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church.
“Halloween,” he said, “is a huge opportunity … to be a light for Christ on a dark night.” Indeed, he explained, “you’ll have the MOST contact with families in your community than any other day of the year.”
So Pastor Rick asked members of the Southern California megachurch to do the following for Halloween:
Buy a package of the biggest candy bars we can find and tape “Trick-or-Treat invitations” to next weekend’s services at Saddleback. And stay home on Halloween night and turn on the lights so kids know they are welcome to drop by.
Now, I appreciate that Pastor Rick is trying to reach out to the saved and un-churched in the communities in which his members reside.
But I am reminded of the words of Aldous Huxley, who famously authored “Brave New World” but who also less-famously authored a collection of essays on the religious experience:
“We know,” he wrote, “that the pursuit of good ends does not justify the employment of bad means.”
Indeed, using Halloween, a day on which the devil is exalted, to win the lost to Christ runs contrary to the word of God.
In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul warned that Christ followers must “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”
The annual observance of Halloween is an unfruitful work of darkness.
And rather than participate in such unholiness – much like the Hebrews during the time of Moses who prostrated themselves before a golden calf – the redeemed of the Lord should expose Halloween for what it is – an affront to God.
It owes its origin to the Celtic druids, who celebrated their new year (Samhain) on November 1, when the pagans believed the souls of the dead, as well as witches and demons, freely roamed the earth.
In the Eighth Century, Pope Gregory III declared November 1 All Hallows Day, an annual commemoration of saints and martyrs that effectively co-opted Samhain. October 31 came to be known as All Hallows Eve, which is celebrated today as Halloween, with the same unGodly influences as the pagan celebrations of Samhain nearly two millennia ago.
Halloween celebrates occult practices the Bible declares abominations – séances, necromancy, fortune-telling, casting of spells, wearing of charms, real magic, etc. It also is a day of adoration of the demonic – witches, vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts and the like.
Many, if not most of us who consider ourselves Christ followers think Halloween is harmless. That’s because the works of darkness associated with Halloween have been mainstreamed (like other cultural abominations).
Indeed, Walmart is selling a “Smoldering Devil Boys Halloween Costume.” Amazon is selling a “Bride of Satan Child Costume.”
That’s why, as much as I respect Pastor Rick, I will take a pass on his Halloween outreach tomorrow. This Christ follower will not be complicit in furthering the works of darkness.