Hyping Halloween Hysteria

Since the following email is typical of stuff I see every Halloween, I’ll share it here, along with my answer.
THE EMAIL:
Hi, I went to your site and checked out your info about Halloween. I worshiped this pagan day when I was lost and speak out against it, now saved. I am a veteran officer in specialized law enforcement. Police HATE Oct. 31st!
I went through special training on the topic of the occult and those who are serious participants in Wicca and Satanism. Pretty real stuff and no picnic. Crime rates are infused on this night of evil worship. Violence and murder are quite evident and very sadly innocent women and children are abducted and sacrificed in the name of Satan. The % of Wiccan and Satanists is very high in the area were I live and work!  I am a long time, true John 3:3 servant and I encourage you to look outside of the box of the devils deception!
Halloween is the biggest money making holiday now and it generates more income than Christmas! Take note of this company and go into one of their temporary stores,if possible!? I live in Ca. and just about every empty store location is rented out by this company! You can go to their web site and see what they are all about!

[The writer shares the name of a company and some books, which I won’t promote. For all I know, the whole letter could be an advertising gimmick.]

MY ANSWER:

Thank you for your note about your experience. It is very unusual for a person to worship a day. Interesting.

You didn’t say where or when you served in law enforcement. However, according to the Department of Justice’s database at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, as of the end of October 2010, no significant national increase in crime is reported on Halloween in the United States.

See Halloween Crime Research: Freak Fest, Fright Fest and Kids and Candy

A veteran officer should know that Wicca is a peaceful religion not even remotely related to Satanism. It does not promote criminal activity or allow for blood sacrifices.

According to The Satanic Bible, Satanists prefer to self-generate what they believe to be cosmic energy, rather than use the less reliable and socially unacceptable method of blood sacrifice.

Putting aside organized witchcraft and Satanism, it is true that some misguided or mentally unbalanced people may call themselves Satanists or witches. Some of these unbalanced people attach significance to certain dates, numbers, colors, etc.  Some criminals also blame the devil for the crimes they choose to commit (just as some criminals blame God). An experienced law enforcement officer, however,  should know that witches who fly on broomsticks and Satanists who sacrifice virgins are mostly the stuff of movies.

This tale of devil worshipers snatching women and children on Halloween night became especially popular among Christians in the 1980s. At that time, a celebrity named Mike Warnke toured the country, talking about his supposed experiences as a Satanic priest, and his conversion to Christianity. His book, The Satan Seller and his album, A Christian Perspective on Halloween, supposedly revealed an underground society which promotes ritual abuse, and commits horrific crimes on Halloween night–somehow leaving no evidence. Warnke proved to be a fraud, his stories simply an outpouring of his own twisted imagination. But his teachings regarding Halloween and Satanism persist in Christian circles.

You can read the Cornerstone Magazine series which exposed Warnke  HERE.

You said Halloween is a bigger money-maker than Christmas. For the record, that isn’t true. Highest retail sales in the US still occur in the month prior to Christmas, according to retail industry reporting. But I see no reason on earth why that matters.

2010 US Christmas Holiday Shopping Statistics, Results, and Numbers

If you choose not to celebrate Halloween, I support you 100%. I would have more respect, however, if you made a rational argument. Say it violates your beliefs. Say that you choose not to promote the violent imagery, the feel of the night, children taking candy from strangers, or the wanton disfigurement of innocent pumpkins. Anything besides trying to drum up an emotional response based on non-truths. Can’t your God stand up to reason?

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To those who forward these kinds of emails, I’m begging you: please stop it. When you forward an email full of factual errors in the name of Christianity, it promotes the belief that Christians are ignorant. For the record, not all of us are.

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* This post was edited on 10/28/2015, because it contained links to a site that I have taken down. You may find broken links like that for a while, as I work to incorporate posts from the old website and blog to this new site. Please be patient. We’re all in this together.


6 thoughts on “Hyping Halloween Hysteria

  1. Christians/Messianics would do well to remember a few basic concepts:

    1. ALL time and ALL days are YAHWEH’s days–the devil could not, and does not, “create” days or “own” days–or any other time or season! October 31 belongs to GOD, since He is the author of space and time. It is totally IRRELEVANT what any pagan did or does on ANY day. We do NOT accept the idea of pagan “soverignty” over any day or season. (Oh, by the way, October 31 is celebrated also as “Reformation Day”–the day Martin Luther nailed his “95 theses” to the Wittenberg chapel door.) We can celebrate–or not celebrate–any holiday (Jewish, Christian,
    other ethnocultural observance, secular) because we acknowlege that God is the source of all joy in any culture!

    2. The “gods” of Wicca or any other pagan system HAVE NEVER EXISTED IN REALITY, NOR DO THEY EXIST IN REALITY NOW! Therefore, it is unnecessary to worry about what pagans did or
    do–or what some ignoramus Druid, Roman, Greek or Babylonian did umpteen millenia ago. There are no other gods but the Triune Godhead, the “True and Living God” revealed in Yahweh Elohim, Yeshua/Jesus and the Holy Ghost/Ruach haKodesh–and since our God created trees, plants, seasons of planting and harvesting; animals, humans and the physical world; stars and planets and galaxies for OUR use and for HIS glory, we shouldn’t feel guilty celebrating the harvest, or decorating our homes with plants that Yahweh made, or celebrating any holidays–Jewish, Christian or secular. To act “as if” other gods exist is superstitious nonsense–there are no other gods–PERIOD!

  2. 3. The “hyper-inflation” of Hallowe’en into a month-long “season” actually reflects our culture’s
    loss of celebrating the autumnal harvest in our various communities. We know instinctively we should be celebrating the change of seasons and the end of our agricultural year. The “void” caused by the loss of our own American harvest traditions is being filled with Halloween parties, parades, fright-fests, haunted houses, spooky movie nights, “colors” (purple has been added to the black-and-orange), houses decorated with Hallowe’en regalia, media advertising campaigns, foods/candies–everything but celebrating the extravagant beauty of the autumnal season provided by our bountiful Creator and the harvest of our own farms and gardens. Americans used to celebrate the ending of the harvest at various times between the end of August through early November. We actually should be celebrating Thanksgiving in October–when our fall foliage is at peak color and the ingathering of most crops has been completed. Our Canadian neighbors celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the second Monday of October.

    4. The biblical Sukkot/The Feast of Tabernacles is a perfect biblical alternative to Halloween–and one which presents endless possibilities for creativity! I’ve done Sukkot celebrations since 1985
    and I’ve been privileged to sponsor the festival for churches and friends, throughout the fall season and on October 31. You can blend the harvest traditions of your own community or ethnocultural heritage and celebrate God’s bountiful provision for food–as well as commemorate
    Israel’s period of wilderness wandering during the autumn–including October 31, when most harvesting has ended in the United States. (Harvesting continues into November in the southern states.) There’s no reason why we believers cannot institute harvest festivals that reflect our various heritages and incorporate biblical principles. When I crafted Sukkot celebrations for churches, I combined the Harvest Week traditions of my own Black Pentecostal heritage with the Jewish Sukkot Festival. We serve a creative GOD, Who created a myriad of rainbow colors in HIs universe–our God loves variety and created humans in a full range of colors! Our various cultures reflect the multi-hued beauty of the Creator’s design–and God accepts worship in all our languages and ethnocultural traditions. We can truly “hallow the evening”–AND the autumnal
    season–by returning to celebration of the harvest in our own churches, synagogues, fellowships and communities and crafting our own godly fall festivals that thank God for ALL His abundant blessings!

      1. We already do! LOL…I am convinced that believers waste so much time condemning what they
        don’t know or understand, or have only partial knowledge of! “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing…” Everything outside my experience/knowledge/tradition/theology is automatically “pagan”, and I can invoke any number of “Guilt-Trip Ministries” messages to make you feel guilty about whatever it you’re doing that’s DIFFERENT from me. I think most of this ignorance is sincere, caused by folks trying to get super-holy and cleanse themselves of “every evil.” However, truth be told, we all need to learn about things OUTSIDE our own narrow frames of reference–and we’re all better Christians/Messianics (and more useful to God and humanity!) when we extend our mental and experiential “tents” beyond our own “Special Holy Clubs.”

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