Halloween – From Martyrs To Materialism

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In a few days, millions of people around the world will celebrate a day which is understood to be the most evil day of the year.  I walk around my neighborhood and see all of the decorations that have been set up, the extravagant waste of money on tombstones, ghosts, witches and anything else that symbolizes evil.  I remember back when I was a little boy growing up in Southern California and how I used to look forward to being able to go out Trick-or-Treating with my friends and getting a bunch of candy.  It was a big deal back then but nothing like what it has become today.

In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic Festival of Samhain was observed on October 31, at the end of summer…. The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day and the autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, goblins, black cats, fairies and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. In addition, Halloween was thought to be the most favorable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes.

Halloween symbols, customs, and practices undoubtedly have had a variety of influences upon Western culture throughout history. However, in early American history, Halloween was not celebrated due to America’s strong Christian heritage. It was not widely observed until the twentieth century. Initially, it was practiced only in small Irish Catholic settlements, until thousands of Irish migrated to America during the great potato famine and brought their customs with them. To some degree, our modern Halloween is an Irish holiday with early origins in the Celtic winter festival. Interestingly, in American culture, the rise in popularity of Halloween also coincides roughly with the national rise in spiritism that began in 1848.

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I am really concerned, we are being lulled to sleep and we do not even realize it. The word Halloween or Hallowe’en dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin. ] The word “Hallowe’en” means “hallowed evening” or “holy evening”. This was a day set aside for the solemn remembrance of the martyrs. All Hallows Eve, the evening before All Saints Day, began the time of remembrance. “All Hallows Eve” was eventually contracted to “Hallow-e’en,” which became “Halloween.”
 
Wow, this was an evening meant to celebrate the lives of men and women of God who had counted their lives as nothing in comparison to serving and sacrificing their very lives for Jesus. These men and women were worthy of being remembered for the example that they set before us. They still deserve our respect today.
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It’s amazing how the enemy likes to twist beautiful things and turn them into dead, lifeless counterfeits of the real thing?!  What do we see now, an absolute perversion of an evening meant to celebrate life into an evening repurposed for celebrating death. How many times do we not see the devil  doing the same thing year after year, decade after decade? This is so evident in today’s day and age. You may be one of those mommies or daddies all excited to dress up your little ones and to get out there on Halloween night but do you know what you are doing? Do you realize how you are symbolically painting a picture of the face of evil itself by engaging in innocently walking out into the evening this upcoming October 31st?
 
Here are the facts, this “holiday” is the kickoff day for the celebrated season of excess and materialism.  In what we recognize as the holiday season, a time which will engulf many into wanting what they simply cannot have. Parents will be forced to get into debt trying to fulfill their “obligations” to give their kids everything that their heart desires.
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The National Retail Federation (NRF) forecasts total Halloween spending—including candy, costumes, and decorations—to come in at $7.4 billion this year.
 
And this is just for Halloween!!!

Halloween By The Numbers

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This is tiny compared to the $600 billion dollars Americans are projected to spend this holiday season!  What??? What are we doing people?  Why are we wasting good money on such needless obsessions? And then we wrap it all up in a cute packaged box with a pretty little bow on top???
 
I know, you might say, the holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate family, the joy of giving and most importantly, it’s the culmination of our Savior’s birth. Yes, I do understand, all of this is wonderful too. I mean, yeah, who doesn’t like that sense of family that many get to experience? The joy of being able to share memorable moments with loved ones is indeed quite special for sure.
 
I love being able to give during this time too. The opportunities show up in which we can fill up a shoebox at Christmastime and have some wonderful Christian relief organization go to some remote third world country and give and these shoeboxes out to needy children. (Why is it just Operation Christmas Child and not Operation Every Day Child anyway?) I mean these deeds that we do can make us feel very good about ourselves, that we are doing the work of God. And ah yes, who doesn’t like it when we can celebrate the birth of the Baby Jesus. He was born in a manger in a sleepy little town in Bethlehem and shepherds came to see Him. It was a holy moment but Jesus somehow did not really care to let us know what day His birthday was. Yet we lump His birthday in with the end of the most idolatrous and self-consuming time of the year.
 
What are we doing people? Is this what God has called us to? Celebrating and making holiday seasons out of the love of things? I am sure that Jesus would not want to have been bundled up with Santa but we did. It fits our American Christianity perfectly and it suits our purposes, certainly not His.
 
So my challenge is this, let’s stop celebrating the wrong thing. We stand on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and what He demands of us all is TOTAL submission and TOTAL surrender. We are not of this world, let’s stop acting like them, celebrating the things that they celebrate and living the way that they do. We, the called out ones, we, the children of God, are supposed to reflect the image of Almighty God on His earth. Either you encounter the God of the Universe and He transforms you and changes your very life and radicalizes every part of your life and causes you to die to yourself or He does not.  I know that Jesus changed me and if He did it for me, He can do it for anyone.
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