Before we discuss the Lord’s Feast Days, let’s take a look at the origins of some of our traditional holidays. I realize that this may really challenge some people who find significance in our traditional celebrations and don’t want their children to miss out by forbidding them to celebrate like their friends do.
To be honest, the older I get, the less interested I am in pleasing other people and the more interested I am in pleasing God. But I also don’t feel like I have to force my beliefs on others. There’s got to be a balance and some common sense (or should I call it uncommon good sense?), and most of all love has to be our motivation in everything. Jesus boiled the Ten Commandments down to two: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40).
So with love for God and for others as our motivation, let’s look at some of our celebrations, starting with Halloween. Most people already know that Halloween is a satanic/witchcraft high holy day. That statement alone should cause Christians to stop and really consider whether to celebrate Halloween. Its origins come from the pagan celebration of samhain (pronounced SAW-wen), in which a bonfire was built to scare away the evil spirits, people dressed as demons, set out lit gourds, the poor went around asking for cakes, and there was even apple bobbing—sound familiar? This day was believed to be the day when the veil between the living and the dead was thinnest.
The Catholic Church began to celebrate All Saints Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day October 31 through November 2 as a Christianization of samhain. The idea was to incorporate and take over the pagan festivals as Christian festivals so that the pagans wouldn’t feel like they’re losing something by becoming Christian. But we do lose something by becoming Christian. We lose our sin, and we lose the curse and the ties with our past life. Trying to “Christianize” pagan festivals goes against God’s admonition in Jeremiah 10:2, which says: “Do not learn the ways of the nations.”
Even the so-called Christian festivals of All Saints Day and All Souls Day are highly suspect. On All Saints Day Catholics are instructed to pray to the saints, asking them to intercede with God on their behalf. But the Bible says, “For there is one God and One Mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5, emphasis mine). The Bible also says, “The dead do not praise the Lord, nor any who go down into silence, (Psalm 115:17, NKJV). So if the dead do not praise the Lord and go down into silence, then they also can’t intercede. Of course, this is Old Testament, so perhaps the resurrection of Jesus has changed this. But still, there is no Bible instruction or encouragement to talk to the dead. In fact, just the opposite:
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, (Deuteronomy 18:10-12, emphasis mine).
All Souls Day was a day in which people were supposed to pray for their departed loved ones to be released from purgatory so that they could go on to Heaven. Purgatory is not a biblical concept. In Luke 16:19–31, Jesus mentions only two places: Abraham’s side and hades. Neither place is Heaven and neither is hell. Abraham’s side is where the pre-resurrection faithful went, and where Jesus went to preach
People justify having a “Harvest Festival” or a “Trunk or Treat” party because they don’t want their children to stand out as being different because they don’t celebrate Halloween. But we are called to be a peculiar people, set apart, holy to the Lord. If there is no difference between us and the unsaved, then why would they ever want what we have? And what do we have by our compromise? We have a watered-down, carnal kind of Christianity, and many in our churches who are not really Christian at all.
Some people want an alternative festival for the fall, not realizing that God has already given us a fall festival: Sukkot, also called the Feast of Tabernacles. And in reality, there are three fall festivals, but Sukkot is the big one. I have been celebrating Sukkot for the last four years, and each time I have had an intimately personal encounter with God—something that is far better than a pillowcase full of candy. God is good! The more I seek Him, the more I discover His immense and infinite goodness!
For more information about the pagan roots of Halloween, follow this link and watch the teaching: Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?