Is Halloween evil? Should we let our children participate in it? Is Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 theses on October 31 connected?
Halloween is a contraction of “All Hallows’ Eve,” which is the day before All Saints’ Day. “Hallow” means “holy,” and “hallow” can also refer to the saints, those who have been made holy. (Even Wikipedia confirms this.)
This Christian holiday (“holy” day) arose in the 300s, and it was not associated with pagan holidays — contrary to modern myth.
Christians won the great battle over Satan definitively when Christ died on the cross, was resurrected, and ascended into heaven. However, that victory is still playing out progressively in time and on earth. Our assurance of victory is complete, but we still have work left to do — the “mopping up” operation, as James Jordan refers to it.
DRAMATIZING THE GREAT BATTLE
Therefore, as Dr. Jordan writes, “The concept, as dramatized in Christian custom, is quite simple: On October 31, the demonic realm tries one last time to achieve victory, but is banished by the joy of the Kingdom.”
What is the means by which the demonic realm is vanquished? In a word: mockery. Satan’s great sin (and our great sin) is pride. Thus, to drive Satan from us we ridicule him. This is why the custom arose of portraying Satan in a ridiculous red suit with horns and a tail. Nobody thinks the devil really looks like this; the Bible teaches that he is the fallen Arch-Cherub. Rather, the idea is to ridicule him because he has lost the battle with Jesus and he no longer has power over us.
Have you ever been curious why the great cathedrals of the past installed gargoyles onto their roofs?
Do you want to know if it’s okay for our children to dress up as witches, goblins, and spooks?
Are you curious why October 31 is also called Reformation Day?