Today is Halloween.
For many, this is a night of fun and candy gathering. A secular holiday which allows people to shed their normal persona and dress-up to be whoever they want to be for one day. What had become a child's night has once more been adopted by adults. It's a time for scary movies and to "whistle" at things in the dark.
There is another side to Halloween though.
A spiritual one, which should not be ignored, with its own activities designed to engage in the supernatural realm. One which many find interesting or "fun". So they will find a way to indulge this interest through attending séances, ghost hunts, or visiting those skilled in the art of divination. Why?Perhaps it's an interest fueled by the current paranormal offerings of television programs or movies? Maybe they are a Christian but have held a secret fascination for ghosts or magick, but didn't want anyone to know about it? Maybe they just want to scare themselves a bit?
Whatever the motivation there will be those who find a way to dabble in the supernatural tonight.
What makes Halloween night so special for these activities? Well, it is believed on October 31st, the "veil between worlds" is at it's most thin. It is believed (or known) to be a prime time for spirits to communicate with the living, among other things. This is an intriguing concept for people, especially in this day and age when all things paranormal or magickal have captured the attention of so many (including many who consider themselves Christian).
Which is why you will find a myriad of offerings such as ghost tours, public ghost hunts, psychic medium readings, opportunities to have the potential future foretold through the Tarot or other forms of divination. Sure. These things are available throughout the year but Halloween finds opportunities to be booming. There will also be people who will pull out a Ouija board or play some other occult "game" because it's spooky and weird. What better night than Halloween to dabble in such things?
The problem is once a spiritual door has been opened in a person's life it can be very difficult to close it once more. There has been some argument made (recently) that ghost hunting or spirit communication can bring someone to faith in God or closer in relationship to Him. Really? There is a major fallacy with that notion. The Bible is filled with the Lord's commands to stay away from such activities or beliefs (and here is a post written last year explaining why ghost hunting is included).
Participating in such activities as ghost hunting, consulting a medium, getting advice from a psychic, having a tarot card reading, playing with a Ouija board, using a pendulum to determine the future (or find water, disease, lost objects, or to communicate with the dead, etc), reading a horoscope, or participating (actively or passively) in any of the things associated with the occult are in direct opposition to God's will:
And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?
“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.
And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.
2 Kings 21:6
And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.
“If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
There will be an abundance of activities going on tonight.From the games and costumes of children to Wiccan circles as they honor the dead and celebrate their new year. There will also be people who stick their toe into the "occult waters" just to see what happens. Those are the people whom I shall be praying for tonight.
It is more important than ever for Christians to shine the light of God's grace and mercy into this dark night.
Be a beacon to those in our neighborhood with a winsome sharing of the gospel, be loving toward all who do celebrate Halloween, offer alternatives where possible, and sound a warning for those who see no harm in dabbling on this night.