USA (MNN) — An estimated 41 million U.S. kids will take to the streets tonight for Halloween. For some, October 31st is simply a night of costumes and candy. But, Set Free Ministries’ Dean Vander Mey says the holiday is about more than “playing pretend.”
“There’s a lot going on…besides just a bunch of kids trick-or-treating,” notes Vander Mey.
“We help people out of the occult, and they say this is a sacred night for them. There is a lot going on in the woods that is not make-believe.”
Blogs like this one and this one acknowledge the spirituality surrounding witchcraft and October 31st. Instead of Halloween, self-labeled pagans refer to the holiday as Samhain, a festival of the dead.
“Why would we participate in that?” asks Vander Mey, referring to the collective Church.
“Would Christ, if He were here, participate in this event?”
The spirituality of Halloween
Whether it’s called “Halloween” or “Samhain,” the annual holiday has spiritual roots. According to History.com, ancient Celtic people observed their new year on November 1, which made October 31 an important evening.
Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
Selena Fox is a well-known Wiccan priestess and psychotherapist. In this article about Samhain, she encourages communication with the spirit world:
…at Samhain, the veil is thin between the world of the living and the realm of the Dead and this facilitates contact and communication. For those who have lost loved ones in the past year, Samhain rituals can be an opportunity to bring closure to grieving and to further adjust to their being in the Otherworld by spiritually communing with them.
As described here by Infowars.com, very real acts of violence occur every year on Halloween. These offenses are often offered in allegiance to Satan or other forces of darkness.
Should Christians celebrate Halloween?
Numerous sites categorize Halloween as a non-Christian holiday. The sources noted above are but a sampling. At the same time, scores of believers firmly claim the occasion has Christian roots.
In her article, writer Holly Scheer encourages Christians to participate in Halloween festivities:
The claims of pagan roots have led many Christians to completely reject any celebration of Halloween and its traditions the night before All Saint’s Day, but it doesn’t need to be this way. Halloween is a Judeo-Christian holiday with celebrations that mock the devil and his forces of evil in the world.
So go check out that “haunted” house, if spooky frights are your thing, and carve that pumpkin. Let your kids dress up in something adorable (or freaky, whatever) and have fun. Happy Halloween!
Today, on Halloween 2018, Vander Mey encourages Christ-followers to examine Halloween from a scriptural and biblical point-of-view. As you do, pray for the protection of innocent lives.
“We play around with this stuff and we think it’s benign, but I can assure you it’s not because Scripture says it’s not,” says Vander Mey, referring to Ephesians 6.
“The Scriptures say, ‘Our battle’s not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers’.”
Vander Mey shares the account of a girl he knew several years ago. This young woman was anorexic, weighing less than 100 pounds but standing at a height of 5’10”. He says he’ll never forget what she told the church leaders who gathered to pray for her one night.
“Every time she tried to comb her hair in the mirror, three demons would manifest and tell her what she could and could not eat.”
Further conversation with the young woman revealed what Vander Mey calls the “core” of the issue.
“When she was 12 years old, she went to a woman’s house who was a practicing sorceress. Her daughter was trained in sorcery, and [the girls] played ‘Light as a Feather’, just playing around with it. That’s where those three entities were assigned to her,” he recounts.
“That woman suffered and nearly died because of that ‘playing around’…I’ll never forget that night because it gave me a paradigm shift.”
Children are especially vulnerable to experimenting with the occult, he continues, because of their God-given curiosity. Look at the Harry Potter books, he says. “It’s just fantasy literature, it’s just pretend, right? But, 10% of children who read Harry Potter will experiment with the occult. They will try to do magic and they will try to do spells.
“Because of our fallen human nature, we’re going to have a curiosity about evil. We kind of ‘play around’ with this stuff, and I just don’t think it’s very healthy spiritually.”