Halloween Insights from the Book of James

Halloween Insights from the Book of James

James 4:4 – You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  

A few days ago, Halloween fell on a weekend, and more specifically a Sunday, as I was preaching through James. Halloween is an odd, strange, bizarre holiday where we seek to terrify children and then apologize with candy. Christians all across the globe have various thoughts and feelings on to what extent they should celebrate this day, or let their kids celebrate it, but I wanted to give some background information on how the holiday came to be.

It originated from an ancient, pagan holiday called Samhain and it was the day they believed the barrier between the living and the dead was thin, so spirits of the dead could come back and visit us in this world. It was a pagan, occultic holiday and still is to this day. Those who are in the occult call it one of their eight “sabbaths”.

God created Sabbath rest and holidays for us; Satan counterfeits with the opposite of a holiday or “holy day”, which would be an unholy day. This is when witches and those really into the occult and pagan practices come out and demonstrate what the kingdom of darkness looks like.

As Christians and at Trinity Church, where I have the honor of being the senior pastor, we celebrate light when, out in the world, there’s a lot of darkness. We celebrate truth when, in the world, there’s a lot of lies. We want to be filled with the Holy Spirit and out there, there’s a lot of unholy spirits.

How many of you have wondered where some of these weird Halloween traditions come from? The jack-o-lantern with a scary face on it originated as the first version of a home security system, hoping to scare away evil spirits from someone’s home. The reason people started wearing costumes was, if they believed the demons were out and they dressed up in costume, then they wouldn’t be recognized.

Trick-or-treating came about because evildoers would go out and terrorize the neighborhood, so people would give them candy trying to appease them from doing harm and evil. The reason we have orange and black as colors of the holiday is because orange signified harvest and black denotes death. Finally, people thought the demons could transpose themselves as cats and bats, so that’s why those are two popular items in Halloween décor.

Interestingly enough, as we go through James 4, we find that God’s word is timeless so it’s always timely. As the rest of the world is celebrating Halloween and an evil “unholy day”, we’re studying a passage about living either Kingdom down or living Hell up. Culture comes from God’s Kingdom or from the kingdom of darkness. This weekend, the entire cultural landscape is celebrating “Hell up” so we instead want to determine how to live Kingdom down.

For more thoughts on whether Christians should celebrate Halloween, click here.

Read James 4:1-12 and make a list of the characteristics and traits that are both Kingdom down and Hell up.

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Mark Driscoll
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