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Posts Tagged ‘Samhain’

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Are You Dancing with Darkness?

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  An Invitation to the Occult?

Halloween – 1997

 Author: Chuck Missler

Source: Koinonia House-Update

This is always a difficult time for Christians, especially those with children. It has been suggested that for a Christian to be asked to celebrate Halloween is like asking a Holocaust survivor to celebrate Hitler’s birthday!

It is also a dangerous time for some, since many of the seemingly “harmless” involvements associated with Halloween can also be “entries” for the occult, and can prove very tragic for the unwary.

Pagan Background
In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic festival of Samhain was observed on October 31, the end of summer. November 1 was the new year for both Celtic and Anglo-Saxon calendars and was one of the most important and yet sinister calendar festivals of the Celtic Year.

Settling in northern France and the British Isles, the Celtic people engaged in occultic arts and worshiped nature, giving it supernatural, animistic qualities. (Much like our Federal government is attempting to enforce today.)

The ancient Druids were the learned priestly class of the Celtic religion. Many of their beliefs and practices were similar to those of Hinduism, such as reincarnation and the transmigration of the soul, which teaches that people may be reborn as animals. The Druids believed that on October 31, the night before their New Year and the last day of the old year, Samhain, the Lord of Death, gathered the souls of the evil dead who had been condemned to enter the bodies of animals.

The Druids also believed that the punishment of the evil dead would be lightened by sacrifices, prayers and gifts to the Lord of Death. (This begins to reveal the strange link between this holiday and the non-Biblical concept of purgatory.)

The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired a sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, 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.

And, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther drove a stake into the heart of many of the prevailing non-Biblical concepts by nailing his famous 95 theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany, which started the movement known today as the Reformation-the single most important event in modern history.1 Appropriately, he did this on Halloween.

Modern Halloween Traditions
In early American history, Halloween was not widely practiced until the 20th century, when it was introduced by the Irish Catholic settlements. Gradually, Halloween became a secular observance, and many customs and practices developed. The carved pumpkin may have originated with the witches’ use of a skull with a candle inside to light the way to coven meetings.

Since 1965 UNICEF, an agency of the United Nations, has attempted to incorporate into the Halloween observance the collection of money for the United Nations Children’s Fund. This exploitation by the ungodly United Nations of this pagan holiday seems strangely appropriate.

The Occult is Increasingly Popular
Halloween is, for many, a “crossover” involvement in which innocent games can lead to serious entanglement with real witches, neo-pagans, New Agers, and other occultists.

2 A common pastime is the use of a Ouija board to attempt to contact ghosts or spirits that are believed to be roaming about. This can lead to serious consequences including demon possession.

3 Demons have a vested interest in Halloween because it supports the occult, and it also offers novel and unexpected opportunities to control and influence people.

Forms of the occult can include mediums, channelers, clairvoyants, psychics, spiritists, diviners, mystics, gurus, shamans, psychical researchers, Yogis, psychic and holistic healers, astral travel, astrology, mysticism, Ouija boards, Tarot cards, contact with the dead, UFOs, and thousands of other practices which almost defy cataloging.

Occultism includes Satanism, astrology, Kabbalah, Gnosticism, theosophy, witchcraft and many forms of serious magic. It includes activities seeking the acquisition of “hidden” things-which are expressly forbidden by God in the Bible.
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The Biblical View
Halloween practices can open the door to the occult and can introduce forces into people’s lives that they are not equipped to combat.

4 There is genuine power in the occult, but it is demonic power

.5Any serious study of Biblical demonology will reveal Satan as the power behind false religion, witchcraft, idolatry and the occult.

6 The Word of God makes it clear that these are all to be shunned as dangerous. There were many superstitions and false concepts in ancient Israel about which the Bible is silent. However, occultism, in any form, was punishable by death! Why?The spiritual power and reality behind idols involves demons.

7 The Bible commands us to shun occult practices. Mediums and spiritists are expressly prohibited.

8 Nowhere are such practices acceptable.

Your Protection
Intellect alone is insufficient. “If it were possible, it would deceive the very elect.” This is another example of the necessity to truly understand the Armor of God as outlined in Ephesians 6. This brief review was excerpted from our featured briefing package, Halloween: Invitation to the Occult?
[Related Article: Blending Witchcraft and Christianity]

End Notes

1. Manuscript by his son D. Paul Luther preserved in the library at Rudolstadt, quoted by F.W. Boreham in A Bunch of Everlastings or Texts That Made History, Judson Press, Philadelphia, 1920, p.20.

2. See Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House, Eugene OR, 1996.

3. The case studies underlying William Blatty’s The Exorcist indicate that the trouble all began with a child playing with a Ouija board.

4. Russ Parker, Battling the Occult, Inter-Varsity Press, Downer’s Grove IL, 1990, p.35.

5. Isa 47:9; Mt 24:24; Acts 8:7; 13:6-11; 16:16-19; 19:18-20; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 6:7-11, 22; 2 Tim 3:8.

6. Deut 32:16,17; Ps 106:35-40; Acts 16:16-19; 1 Cor 10:19-21; 2 Thess 2:9, 10; 1 Tim 4:1f.

7. 1 Cor 10:20; Ps 106:37.

8. Lev 19:31; Deut 18:10, 11, 14 2 Chr 33:6.

Sources

– Missler, Chuck, Signs in the Heavens, The Mysteries of the Planet Mars Halloween: Invitation to the Occult? (briefing packages), Koinonia House, 1991-6.

– Ankerberg, John, and Weldon, John, The Facts on Halloween, Harvest House, Eugene OR, 1996. A key reference for this article.

– Sykes, Egerton, Who’s Who in Non-Classical Mythology, J.M. Dent, London, 1993.

– Patten, Donald Wesley, Catastrophism and the Old Testament, Pacific Meridian Publishing Co., Seattle WA, 1995.

– Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House, Eugene OR, 1996.

– Also the video, Halloween: Trick or Treat, Jeremiah Films, Hemet CA

This article was originally published in the
October 1997 Personal Update NewsJournal.

10/31/2014
 
Link: about.me/gideonsword

http://pilgrimpassing.com/2014/10/31/are-you-dancing-with-darkness/

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Christianity and the Dark Side—What about Halloween?

Wednesday • October 30, 2013

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Over a hundred years ago, the great Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck predicted that the 20th century would “witness a gigantic conflict of spirits.” His prediction turned out to be an understatement, and this great conflict continues into the 21st century.

The issue of Halloween presses itself annually upon the Christian conscience. Acutely aware of dangers new and old, many Christian parents choose to withdraw their children from the holiday altogether. Others choose to follow a strategic battle plan for engagement with the holiday. Still others have gone further, seeking to convert Halloween into an evangelistic opportunity. Is Halloween really that significant?

Well, Halloween is a big deal in the marketplace. Halloween is surpassed only by Christmas in terms of economic activity. Reporting in 2007, David J. Skal estimated: “Precise figures are difficult to determine, but the annual economic impact of Halloween is now somewhere between 4 billion and 6 billion dollars depending on the number and kinds of industries one includes in the calculations.” As of 2012, that total exceeded $8 billion.

Furthermore, historian Nicholas Rogers claims:

Halloween is currently the second most important party night in North America. In terms of its retail potential, it is second only to Christmas. This commercialism fortifies its significance as a time of public license, a custom-designed opportunity to have a blast. Regardless of its spiritual complications, Halloween is big business.

Rogers and Skal have each produced books dealing with the origin and significance of Halloween. Nicholas Rogers is author of Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. Professor of History at York University in Canada, Rogers has written a celebration of Halloween as a transgressive holiday that allows the bizarre and elements from the dark side to enter the mainstream. Skal, a specialist on the culture of Hollywood, has written Death Makes a Holiday: A Cultural History of Halloween. Skal’s approach is more dispassionate and focused on entertainment, looking at the cultural impact of Halloween in the rise of horror movies and the nation’s fascination with violence.

The pagan roots of Halloween are well documented. The holiday is rooted in the Celtic festival of Samhain, which came at summer’s end. As Rogers explains, “Paired with the feast of Beltane, which celebrated the life-generating powers of the sun, Samhain beckoned to winter and the dark nights ahead.” Scholars dispute whether Samhain was celebrated as a festival of the dead, but the pagan roots of the festival are indisputable. Questions of human and animal sacrifices and various occultic sexual practices continue as issues of debate, but the reality of the celebration as an occultic festival focused on the changing of seasons undoubtedly involved practices pointing to winter as a season of death.

As Rogers comments: “In fact, the pagan origins of Halloween generally flow not from this sacrificial evidence, but from a different set of symbolic practices. These revolve around the notion of Samhain as a festival of the dead and as a time of supernatural intensity heralding the onset of winter.

How should Christians respond to this pagan background? Harold L. Myra of Christianity Today argues that these pagan roots were well known to Christians of the past:

More than a thousand years ago Christians confronted pagan rites appeasing the lord of death and evil spirits. Halloween’s unsavory beginnings preceded Christ’s birth when the druids, in what is now Britain and France, observed the end of summer with sacrifices to the gods. It was the beginning of the Celtic year and they believed Samhain, the lord of death, sent evil spirits abroad to attack humans, who could escape only by assuming disguises and looking like evil spirits themselves.

Thus, the custom of wearing costumes, especially costumes imitating evil spirits, is rooted in the Celtic pagan culture. As Myra summarizes, “Most of our Halloween practices can be traced back to the old pagan rites and superstitions.”

The complications of Halloween go far beyond its pagan roots, however. In modern culture, Halloween has become not only a commercial holiday, but a season of cultural fascination with evil and the demonic. Even as the society has pressed the limits on issues such as sexuality, the culture’s confrontation with the “dark side” has also pushed far beyond boundaries honored in the past.

As David J. Skal makes clear, the modern concept of Halloween is inseparable from the portrayal of the holiday presented by Hollywood. As Skal comments, “The Halloween machine turns the world upside down. One’s identity can be discarded with impunity. Men dress as women, and vice versa. Authority can be mocked and circumvented, and, most important, graves open and the departed return.”

This is the kind of material that keeps Hollywood in business. “Few holidays have a cinematic potential that equals Halloween’s,” comments Skal. “Visually, the subject is unparalleled, if only considered in terms of costume design and art direction. Dramatically, Halloween’s ancient roots evoke dark and melodramatic themes, ripe for transformation into film’s language of shadow and light.”

But television’s “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (which debuted in 1966) has given way to Hollywood’s “Halloween” series and the rise of violent “slasher” films. Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff have been replaced by Michael Myers and Freddy Kruger.

This fascination with the occult comes as America has been sliding into post-Christian secularism. While the courts remove all theistic references from America’s public square, the void is being filled with a pervasive fascination with evil, paganism, and new forms of occultism.

In addition to all this, Halloween has become downright dangerous in many neighborhoods. Scares about razor blades hidden in apples and poisoned candy have spread across the nation in recurring cycles. For most parents, the greater fear is the encounter with occultic symbols and the society’s fascination with moral darkness.

For this reason, many families withdraw from the holiday completely. Their children do not go trick-or-treating, they wear no costumes, and they attend no parties related to the holiday. Some churches have organized alternative festivals, capitalizing on the holiday opportunity, but turning the event away from pagan roots and the fascination with evil spirits. For others, the holiday presents no special challenges at all.

These Christians argue that the pagan roots of Halloween are no more significant than the pagan origins of Christmas and other church festivals. Without doubt, the church has progressively Christianized the calendar, seizing secular and pagan holidays as opportunities for Christian witness and celebration. Anderson M. Rearick, III argues that Christians should not surrender the holiday. As he relates, “I am reluctant to give up what was one of the highlights of my childhood calendar to the Great Imposter and Chief of Liars for no reason except that some of his servants claim it as his.”

Nevertheless, the issue is a bit more complicated than that. While affirming that make-believe and imagination are part and parcel of God’s gift of imagination, Christians should still be very concerned about the focus of that imagination and creativity. Arguing against Halloween is not equivalent to arguing against Christmas. The old church festival of “All Hallow’s Eve” is by no means as universally understood among Christians as the celebration of the incarnation at Christmas.

Christian parents should make careful decisions based on a biblically-informed Christian conscience. Some Halloween practices are clearly out of bounds. Others may be strategically transformed, but this takes hard work and may meet with mixed success.

The coming of Halloween is a good time for Christians to remember that evil spirits are real and that the Devil will seize every opportunity to trumpet his own celebrity. Perhaps the best response to the Devil at Halloween is that offered by Martin Luther, the great Reformer: “The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him for he cannot bear scorn.”

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther began the Reformation with a declaration that the church must be recalled to the authority of God’s Word and the purity of biblical doctrine. With this in mind, the best Christian response to Halloween might be to scorn the Devil and then pray for the Reformation of Christ’s church on earth. Let’s put the dark side on the defensive.

ALBERT MOHLER

http://www.albertmohler.com/2013/10/30/christianity-and-the-dark-side-what-about-halloween-5/

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Should Christians Be Celebrating Halloween?
Looking At Halloween From The Bible’s Perspective

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“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them]. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” Ephesians 5: 11,12

Click here to visit William Schnoebelen’s website…

Ancient Druids.

Many Christians celebrate holidays, such as Halloween, without thinking about their origins or true meaning. It is impossible to separate Halloween from the Druids because they originated the “holiday.” For several hundred years before Christ, the Celts inhabited what is now France, Germany, England, Scotland and Ireland. Celtic priests were called Druids. These people were eventually conquered by the Romans. Information about the Celts and Druids comes from Caesar and the Roman historians, Greek writings from about 200 B.C., and very early records found in Ireland. Greek and Roman writings about the Druids dwell heavily on their frequent and barbaric human sacrifices. The ancient Irish texts say little about human sacrifices, but detail the Druids’ use of magic to raise storms, lay curses on places, kill by the use of spells, and create magical obstacles.


Druids worshipping the Devil at Stonehenge

Human Sacrifices. Davies, however, a 16th century writer who traced his family lineage directly back to Druid priests who fought against Caesar, clearly describes the human sacrifices of his ancestors and the secret sacrifices still performed regularly by the Druids of his time. By 47 A.D., Rome finally defeated the Druids in Britain and outlawed human sacrifices. The few remaining Druids went underground. Today a growing group of people claiming to be of direct Druid descent, still practice their religion, including human sacrifice. Those in England still perform ceremonies at Stonehenge.


Druids starting bonfires to give homage and worship to their pagan gods. This included the burning of animals and crops to appease thier deities.

November 1st was the Celtic new year. October 31st was celebrated by the Druids with many human sacrifices and a festival honoring their sun god and Samhain, the lord of the dead. They believed that the sinful souls of those who died during the year were in a place of torment, and would be released only if Samhain was pleased with their sacrifices.

Monks Fascinated By Druids. rish records tell of the fascination the Catholic monks had with the powerful Druids, and Druids soon became important members of their monasteries. Pope Gregory the Great decided to incorporate the Druids’ holiday into the church. He made the proclamation, “They are no longer to sacrifice beasts to the devil, but they may kill them for food to the praise of God, and give thanks to the giver of all gifts for His bounty.” Pope Gregory III moved the church festival of October 31st to November 1st and called it All Hallows or All Saints’ Day. Pope Gregory IV decreed that the day was to be a universal church observance. The term Halloween comes from All Hallows Eve.

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Best-selling christian author William Schnoebelen, and we will be discussing the cultural phenomenom of vampires and zombies. Also talking about the occult roots of Halloween, the secret symbols of Masonry, and the King James Bible!

The founding fathers of America refused to permit the holiday to be observed because they knew it was a pagan holiday. Halloween was not widely celebrated in the U.S. until about 1900. In the 1840’s there was a terrible potato famine in Ireland which sent thousands of Catholic Irish to America. They brought Halloween with them. The modern custom of going from door to door asking for food and candy goes back to the time of the Druids. They believed that sinful, lost souls were released upon the earth by Samhain for one night on October 31st while they awaited their judgment. They were thought to throng about the houses of the living and were greeted with banquet-laden tables. People greatly feared these spirits and thought that the spirits would harm and even kill them if the sacrifices they gave did not appease Samhain. They carved demonic faces into pumpkins or large turnips, placing a candle in them to keep the evil spirits away from their homes.

The modern custom of going from door to door asking for food and candy goes back to the time of the Druids. They believed that sinful, lost souls were released upon the earth by Samhain for one night on October 31st while they awaited their judgment. They were thought to throng about the houses of the living and were greeted with banquet-laden tables. People greatly feared these spirits and thought that the spirits would harm and even kill them if the sacrifices they gave did not appease Samhain. They carved demonic faces into pumpkins or large turnips, placing a candle in them to keep the evil spirits away from their homes.

The tradition of bobbing for apples and giving out nuts came from a Roman addition to the Druidic New Year’s eve. The Romans worshiped Pomona who was the goddess of the harvest. They combined their harvest festival to Pomona with Halloween. Very little archeological evidence of the Druids has been found, but there is excellent agreement between the Roman and Irish documents. Both clearly state that the knowledge of the Druids was never committed to writing but passed from generation to generation by oral teaching. This was to protect their secrets. In his writings, Davies indicates that he came under much persecution by his family for putting in writing his information about Druids. The same is true today. Nothing is put into writing. The Druids continue on secretly with much the same traditions.
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The widespread problem of harmful substances such as razor blades, drugs, poisons, needles, etc. being placed in the Halloween treats here in America is no accident. Testimonies of several ex-Satanists show that these children killed and injured by the “treats” are sacrifices to Satan (or Samhain). Satanists throughout the world continue to perform human sacrifices on Halloween. Is this something you want YOUR child to participate in?” source – Chick Publications

Click here to visit William Schnoebelen’s website...

 

 

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