Should You Observe Halloween?
On Monday evening, millions of Americans—even many professing Christians—will participate in the nation’s second-most lucrative holiday of the year: Halloween. It is the occasion for parties, pranks and children requesting treats or threatening tricks. Many dress up as zombies or ghosts, or masquerade in other grotesque costumes and eerie disguises. Why? They don’t know. They just do it because that’s what others are doing. But should Christians celebrate this obviously pagan festival?
It is clear that Halloween’s symbolism is based on darkness. But how did our Western society come up with such a bizarre holiday?
History shows that ancient pagans performed mystical rites and ceremonies in honor of the dead on their “New Year’s Eve” (October 31). This celebration helped preserve the false doctrine of the “immortality of the soul”—that the dead aren’t really dead.
Years ago, Halloween was simply the evening celebration in anticipation of “All Saints’ Day”—November 1—in honor of the “lord of the dead.” This was actually in honor of the devil, not God. The Holy Bible reveals that God isn’t the God of the dead, but of the living (Matthew 22:31-32). Nevertheless, the Halloween tradition has been perpetuated to this day and further popularized through commercialization.
God and true Christianity stand for the exact opposite of death and darkness—for light and life (John 1:4-5). No matter how much of a joke we make it out to be, Halloween is simply Satan worship. It is, in actual fact, connected with rank idolatry and demonism.
The overtly heathen practices of Halloween—and even the subtly pagan customs associated with certain other supposedly “religious” holidays, such as Christmas and Easter—worked themselves into professing Christianity down through the annals of history and are still being celebrated today, with most people giving no thought whatsoever to their origin and few doing anything about it once they learn of it.
There are certain celebratory days, however, that worship the great God—days He instituted within the ancient nation of Israel that are still to be kept in our modern society. Many passages in the Holy Bible show us that Jesus and the entire New Testament Church kept the same annual feast days that the God of the Old Testament commanded His chosen people Israel to keep forever (Leviticus 23:1-36).
What could be better than restoring the observance of God’s holy days? Kept according to His instructions, God’s holy days are much more meaningful and fulfilling than all of the world’s “traditional” holidays put together.
How many so-called “Christians” today have even so much as heard of God’s feast days? Their observance is plainly commanded in the Holy Bible!
Notice God’s instructions to His people: “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts” (verses 1-2).
These instructions came directly from the living God. He, when referring to the Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, the feast of weeks or Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles, called them “the feasts of the Lord.” “Even these are my feasts,” declares God Almighty!
Why, then, do the vast majority of “Christian” ministers today preach that these God-ordained festivals are merely the “feasts of Moses,” or scoff at them as archaic “Jewish” observances?
In this 23rd chapter of Leviticus, God clearly orders His people to observe the weekly Sabbath as well as all of His commanded annual feasts. In three places, He commands that these “feasts of the Lord” be observed “for ever” (verses 21, 31, 41). The Hebrew word olam, rendered for ever in English translations, means “eternal” or “everlasting.”
Unlike the holidays commonly celebrated by this society, which picture no real purpose or plan for human existence, God’s perpetually commanded annual festivals reveal the full scope and meaning of His great purpose and plan for mankind.
Unfortunately, most professing Christians wittingly or unwittingly overlook God’s clear commands today and choose instead to cave in to the pressures put on them by society and Satan the devil, who is actually the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), holding the whole world captive to his sinful ways. Jesus said Himself: “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7).
It takes real, living faith in God Almighty to overcome the tendency to conform to society’s traditions and ways. But too many today, it seems, lack faith. Too many tend to be people-pleasers, rather than trying to please God.
The late Herbert W. Armstrong put it this way: “This world’s society and its customs are based on human nature—which is to say, on Satan’s ways—and are diametrically contrary to God’s ways! Go along with the crowd, and you are stumbling along with the other dumb sheep to the slaughter! Why be one of the crowd? Why not stand out from the crowd of ignoramuses and weaklings, as one who has knowledge, wisdom and character! Any old dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim against the current!” (The Missing Dimension in Sex).
Great question! “Why be one of the crowd?” Why succumb to peer pressure? Why not dare to be different—by ceasing to observe the traditional, man-made, Satan-inspired holidays of this world? Why try to please men? Why not strive instead to honor and respect our great God by obeying His plain instructions to keep His weekly and annual festivals? (Mark 2:27; 1 John 5:3).
For more information about how and why you ought to start observing God’s visionary Sabbaths and holy days, download our publications Which Day Is the Christian Sabbath? and Pagan Holidays—or God’s Holy Days—Which?