History of Halloween and the Christian Response

Here is a teaching I have done in the past on Halloween.   Unfortunately, I did not reference where I got all this information, so any plagiarism is unattended.   The outline at the end is original:

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.  The holiday is rooted in the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), which came at summer’s end.

Celts believed that on the night before the New Year (which began on November 1st), the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred.

Samhain beckoned to winter and the dark nights ahead . . . pointing to winter as a season of death.  They believed Samhain, the lord of death, sent evil spirits abroad to attack humans, who could escape only by assuming disguises and looking live evil spirits themselves.”

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes.  By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain

In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

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.  This fascination with the occult comes as America has been sliding into post-Christian secularism.

Halloween is a good time for Christians to remember  . . .

1.  The Devil and Evil spirits are real The Devil will seize every opportunity to trumpet his own celebrity.

2. Christians are not to communicate with the dead

We are not to attempt to communicate with the dead through mediums. ~ Deuteronomy 18:10-11
Lying spirits will attempt to deceive people. ~ I Timothy 4:1

3. Halloween is the same date as one of the greatest days of church history.

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.

HAT Program at Station Camp Elementary

Here’s a great report from Pastor Kim Driver about our HAT program.  The HAT program is acronym for Honor-A-Teacher.  Here’s the report from Kim:

*Greetings Everyone! It seems that time has flown by since our last update!*

*The Honor-A+-Teacher prizes awarded to Mrs.Karen Hall, 1st grade teacher at
Station Camp Elementary, went amazing! The tears flowed as we honored a
beloved teacher whose students and fellow teachers rejoiced when we
presented her with the following gifts

2- Compaq* 18.5” Widescreen *LCD Flat Monitors*
4-  Magic Treehouse
*Books*:
     Polar Bears Past BedtimeBuffalo Before BreakfastCivil War on SundayRevolutionary War on Wednesday, 2-  Junie B., First Grader *Books*,      Toothless Wonder, Cheater Pants

1  18” X 12” Teacher Tote w/ Proverbs 2:6

Time & Money BINGO classroom game for up to 36 players

Mapco *Gasoline Card* (*$100 *value)

Crystal Nails Gift certificate for

pedicure

Chocolates- Ghiradelli, Lindt, Hersheys (*her favorite*)

Donations:
2 Free Chicken Biscuits from Chick-Fil-A
$10 Demo’s gift certificate
$20 Chili’s gift certificates
Free Car Wash from Champion Car Wash
$25 Cracker Barrel gift certificate

My Short Trip to Texas

Here’s a quick overview of what is happening with me this week:

– I was happy to introduce to CIL Ronnie Meek, pastor of Springhouse Worship & Arts Center  in Smyrna, TN.   Ronnie was fun to listen to, and he did some great consulting work with the Leadership Board after church.

– Thursday morning I flew to Dallas for a 48 hour trip.  I needed to use airline miles before they expired, so this was a good opportunity to visit family & friends when it wasn’t a holiday.  

My pastor, John McKinzie of Hope Fellowship in Frisco, TX, picked me up and we enjoyed some Tex-Mex and encouraged each other in the ministry.  I’ve been friends with John for 24 years, when he was my Jr. High pastor.  I worked as his assistant nine years, and he was an incredible boss.   

In the afternoon, I spent time with John’s youth pastor, David Stocker.   David attended CIL for two years, and was a great influence on the church, and a great friend to me.   He joined Hope Fellowship’s staff fourteen months ago, and has grown the youth group to several hundred participants.

Tonight, I am watching the World Series with my Mom, Shelby (sister) and Scott (brother-in-law) and Austin and Denton (their adorable twins).   Great home cooked food.  Go Rangers!

On Friday, I’ll spend the day with my high school friends, before catching the last plane back to Nashville on Friday night.

Saturday, my eight year old Luke has his last football game at 9:oo a.m. at Drakes Creek park in Hendersonville.  It’s been his first year of football, and its been a special season for our family.   I would rather see that game than the World Series!

October 26 – A Special Day

October 26 is a very special day – its the birthday of my baby.  Lincoln is seven years old today.   It was a Sunday seven years ago when he was born with complications that were totally unexpected.  That was a dark day in my life, but now its a day to rejoice.  My healthy, beautiful, smart and spoiled little boy is a joy to so many.  He has become such a good friend to me.  I make sure that every October 26 is a good day!

Today we had a great celebration that included a McDonald’s b-day party.  At Lincoln’s request, I drove his friends in the church van from McDonald’s to the cake and presents party (At seven, it’s still cool to ride in the church van!)  We were so blessed with our friends who shared this special night with us!

Sunday Re-Cap (10.24.10)

Every Sunday we have together is so special!

I loved the song Beth introduced today – “Name of Jesus” by Chardon Lewis.    I’ve been singing this all day long!

There is power in the name
Theres healing in the name of Jesus, Jesus

I preached a message from I Kings 14:1-6, called Disguise.   In the 10:45 service, we had a unique time of prayer over some leaders in our church, then Jay Edgerton lad a prayer over me and David.  Such a sweet time for all!

Beth and I had lunch with a new couple in the church.  It’s always nice to hear a newcomers perspective.   I was encourage to hear that this family felt the activity of the Holy Spirit within our services.

I finished up the evening at a 242 Group in which we discussed our “spiritual gifts” and “call.”

I’m so glad to be part of a church family!

Ten Reasons the Ranger’s trip to the World Series is exciting:

10.   Fourty years in Texas, and they have never been.

9.    They are now owned by a true Texas hero – Nolan Ryan

8.    They are the only team whose president took a step down to be “The President”

7.    If you have ever been to a Ranger home game in August, you deserve much more than this!

6.    Ballpark Nachos originated at old Arlington Stadium (not a reason, but a neat fact.  Yea for synthetic chesse!)

5.    Fans in the Metroplex have never seen baseball in Fall weather.

4.    They beat the hated Yankees

3.     Jerry Jones is unattached to this team

2.     This was done without A-rod

1.    The Cowboys are 1-4

This Is ARE Home

My soon to be seven year old son Lincoln drew this in my office recently.   The five stick figures represent our family, and the two dogs belong to us too.  At the bottom is written “This is are home” in first grade penmanship.

I was thrilled that my boy saw our home as a happy place.

When we learn in Ezekiel 48:35 in the revelation about the new Jerusalem that God’s name is Jehovah-Shammah, which means “The Lord is There.”

And from that day the name of the city will be ‘The Lord Is There.’” – Ezekiel 48:35

John also had a vision of the new Jerusalem in Revelation 21.

When we realize that “God is there,”  then we can start experiencing God HERE.

Our home is THERE, with “God is there.”

Ezekiel 48 & Revelation 21 is our picture  that allows us to say “this is ARE (our) home.”