A Halloween Story

Image result for zombie nurse costume

Once upon a time there was a woman.  Her husband was very kind and tender to her, and she loved him very much.  One day an invitation came in the mail:

You are invited to a costume party, 8:00PM, Monday, October 31, 2016.

The invitation was sent by the brother of the woman’s ex-boyfriend.  She had seen them around town, but they hadn’t spoken since her marriage.  To be honest, she was flattered that he would invite her.  She also thought it could be a chance for her ex to see how happy she is with her husband.

She showed the invitation to her husband.  He read it and gave it back to her without a word.

“Well?” she said, “Do you want to go?”

He just looked at her for a moment, measuring his words.  “You would probably see your ex-boyfriend there.  Do you remember how cruelly he treated you?”

She laughed it off, “Forgive and forget, right?  Besides, I want him to see how happy we are together.”

“And what about the party we were planning?”

“It won’t conflict.  We were planning our party for next Saturday,” she said, ignoring the sadness in the eyes of her beloved husband. . . .

I believe that this is what it’s like when Christians celebrate halloween.  It seems harmless enough, but why on earth would we celebrate a holiday of God’s enemy?  To celebrate even a “harvest festival” or “trunk or treat” is still celebrating the defeated enemy’s holiday.

Halloween didn’t start as a Christian thing (All Hallow’s Eve) as many people think.  It started as samhain, a pagan festival celebrating the day the dead walked the earth each year.  And all the halloween traditions (costumes, jack-o-lanterns, asking for candy (or money), bobbing for apples) all have their roots in samhain.  As it did with many other pagan holidays, the Catholic Church embraced this pagan holiday and “Christianized” it.  And they did it while ignoring God’s fall feast days: Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles).

In declaring myself against the celebration of halloween, I really stirred up a hornet’s nest—among Christians.  Not one single non-Christian friend had a word to say about my stance against halloween.  And I didn’t say that they couldn’t celebrate halloween, I just asked the question: why would a Christian celebrate this pagan festival?  The response surprised me.  Some explained that they celebrate it in a Christian way (non-scary or even Bible character costumes).  Others merely asserted their freedom to celebrate halloween because they have no intention to worship the devil in their celebrations.

Whatever the reasoning and justification, I remain convinced:

  1. It doesn’t honor God,
  2. It could give the defeated enemy a foothold in my life (he’s very opportunistic), and
  3. It risks offending God.

All that adds up to good reasons for Christians not to celebrate halloween.  For more about halloween and reasons not to celebrate it, see: Why Christians Absolutely should not Celebrate Halloween.  God is good!

Hebrew Roots Christianity


Recently I was asked about my religious beliefs by a new friend, an American of Jewish roots living in Israel[1].  I want to explain the way I am best able to explain myself: in writing—especially for this sweet new friend.

There is a movement within Evangelical Christianity called Hebrew Roots.  It is not a religion because the word religion implies rules, rituals, and organization, like a sort of institution.  For many years now I haven’t felt like I was part of a religion.

Among Evangelicals we say that it’s not about religion, but rather relationship.  Because it is our relationship with God that we value.  Relationship is an organic thing that simply cannot be put in a box and categorized except in the most generic way.  For example, the relationship between husband and wife can be categorized as marriage, but the relationship within each marriage is as personal as the unique individuals who are husband and wife.  The intimacy between them is something deeply personal.  Good marriages are a beautiful thing, and somewhat rare in the world today.  My relationship with God is like a very good marriage.  But as such, it’s a little hard to put into words, and some things are too intimate to share with others.

The Hebrew Roots Movement is not organized—at least not by humans.  There are those of us among Evangelicals who came to this belief without being aware that there were others who had begun to believe the same way.  We sort of found each other in the process of researching the Hebrew roots of our faith.  The search for the Hebrew roots has been like a scavenger hunt for me, as one fact leads to the next, then on to the next, etc.

Although I still use the name Jesus, the Messiah’s true name was Yeshua.  He was never called Jesus during His lifetime.  And that makes sense, since He was a Jewish man, a rabbi (teacher) whose disciples were all Jewish men.  The more I understand about His Jewishness, the better I understand the things He taught and said.  I also better understand the interactions that He had with His disciples.

For example, when Yeshua called to the fishermen to come follow Him.  I thought it was so strange that they would just leave their boats, nets, and even their father, and follow Him.  But in those days, every Jewish father wished the best possible life for his son.  And that life was the life of a rabbi.  Rabbis were learned men, respected by all of society.  The only way to become a rabbi was to study under a rabbi.  But rabbis invested a great deal of time and energy into their students, and so were only able to disciple a dozen students at most.  Thus, only the ablest students were chosen by the rabbis as disciples.  The rest followed their father’s profession: fisherman, carpenter, etc.  So when Yeshua, in full rabbi dress, called to these young fishermen, their fathers were only too happy to release them to go learn from the rabbi, and have a better life than their own.

This is not a teaching that I’ve ever heard in any church.  I heard it on YouTube by a Hebrew Roots Teacher.  So what happened?  How did Christianity lose its Jewishness?  I believe that it happened when Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity.  I don’t believe that Constantine was a true convert to Christianity.  His motives were these:

  1. He didn’t want to have to execute his mother, who had converted to Christianity.
  2. He wanted control over this “sect” that had plagued the Roman Empire for over 300 years. Under severe persecution, Christianity had seemed only to thrive.  Since he couldn’t beat them, Constantine joined himself to Christianity and took control over it.
  3. Since Constantine was a pagan, he wanted to welcome other pagans into Christianity, making it more palatable to pagans. He did this by substituting pagan names for the Jewish high holy days that Christians had continued to celebrate.  Thus, Pesach (Passover) became Easter, a holiday to celebrate ashtar, the pagan goddess of fertility, with all of her fertility symbology: rabbits, eggs, and gifts.
  4. He wanted to push the Jews out of Christianity. This he accomplished by changing the day of worship from the Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday.  And to make sure it stuck, he outlawed worship on the Sabbath.

Then he sent his mother to the Holy Land to look for holy relics (another pagan idea) and to discover the holy places.  She built a church at every significant site, whether it was genuinely authenticated or not.  Many of these places are in the wrong part of the city or country to be the site of Yeshua’s birth or the place of His crucifixion and burial.  Nevertheless, the Holy Land got hijacked by Constantine, along with the Jewishness of the faith, and many people believe in their authenticity to this day.  Personally, it really saddens me to see the purity and beauty of the Jewish practices ignored by mainstream Christianity.

So that’s a basic how the Hebrew Roots Movement came to be.  For more details about the Hebrew Roots of Christianity, see my other blog posts about Hebrew Roots (keep in mind that I was writing as I was learning, so my understanding in some areas has changed to a more Hebrew mindset):

Hebrew Roots – Why Bother?,

Hebrew Roots – Part Two – Halloween,

Hebrew Roots – Part Three – The Sabbath,

Hebrew Roots – Part Four – Whose Feasts?,

Hebrew Roots – Part Five – Do Christians have to Eat Kosher?,

Hebrew Roots – Part Six – Must Christians Learn Hebrew?,

Hebrew Roots – Part Seven – God’s Prophetic Spring Feasts,

Hebrew Roots – Part Eight – God’s Prophetic Fall Feasts, Part One, and

Hebrew Roots – Part Nine – God’s Prophetic Fall Feasts, Part Two.

Shalom blessings!  Alisa

[1] You know who you are  😉