I hope the title makes everyone think a little bit. In fact, I think Darwin and Marx would be pleased for anyone to include in a discussion “the role that racial identity and racial attitudes played.” Jim Carrey (as Ace Ventura) once said, “Fiction can be fun!” But not realistic. Because it is reality that our core presuppositions allow for the direct and indirect observations of any physical ethnic identity, including ethnic behavioral attitudes. Because we are all one human race, right? Well I guess it depends on whether or not you believe we are created by God, or come from a series of moon-dust, random planetary explosions, and fish-frogs...
I think that right there just might be the key to this whole discussion.
I have mentioned previously that the famous inventor of the cotton gin Mr. Eli Whitney made his contraption well-renowned in 1783. This machine would end up making slavery much, much, much more profitable. The resulting effects of this new profit would rise a new generation of Americans with much less conviction on the matters of slavery than their fathers. The rest of the nation, instead of dealing with the issue head-on, attempted to compromise.
In the case of the conception of citizenship, power, and authority, the American people were “tied and bound” to the political obligations and contracts set up by those in authority before them. Thus even prior to the founding of the New Nation, slavery was well entrenched in England and the rest of the world really. Indentured servitude (or “sugar-coated” slavery) was well in place too. Even those national and regional leaders who had the best of intentions were bound to their cultural limitations at the time of their passing eras. Besides this even the American Indians were practicing slavery well before Europeans arrived.
Look at Christopher Columbus for example. The rest of Spain was in the “New World” for gold. Mr. Columbus was there for God. It is those who don’t take the time to study history that Columbus irrationally becomes a predator meant to enslave and entrap the “poor and helpless” indigenous of North America.
David Barton writes: “Slavery in the America’s began well before 1619—to ignore this fact is to overlook all the enslaved people who lived in America before Columbus came. It is to dishonestly let an agenda’s narrative rewrite history.
Ironically, the man now blamed for America’s slavery was the first to shed light upon the institutions of oppression among the native Americans. In fact, the pre-existent native slave trade was so prolific that, ‘wherever European conquistadors set foot in American tropics, they found evidence of indigenous warfare, war captives, and captive slaves.’[vi] The journals, letters, and reports documents first-hand how the various tribes were already practicing slavery prior to the arrival of the Europeans.
Take briefly for instance, the Carib tribes who had widespread institutions of perpetual slavery, captive mutilation, and even villages dedicated to the sexual exploitation of captured Taino women forced to produced children which their masters then ate. Facts stand in stark contrast to the “more egalitarian” fabrication of Zinn. Such horrors do not show a “more beautifully worked out” society in the slightest—in fact, it does quite the opposite.” 
Historian Sharon Murphy writes: “Most northern states ended slavery during the late eighteenth century, while Congress legally banned the importation of new slaves in 1808. Yet with the emergence of cotton as a viable southern staple, the demand for slave labor both significantly increased and shifted geographically. The invention and rapid spread of the cotton gin after 1793 made possible the large-scale production of cotton, while increasing demand from the British textile industry rendered this production highly profitable.” 
Congress in 1787 and 1789 would pass the Northwest Ordinance, which outlawed slavery in any newly created state of the Union. The federal government would also ban the exportation of slaves from any state within the Union in 1794. All intentions show of that generation the eventual abolishment of slavery was their main intention. I think that God wanted to show the world how a Christian nation would attempt to deal with such a heavy-laden social problem.
The trend of abolition came to a screeching halt in the South. And even churches began to (for the first-time ever) justify slavery by 1810. By then however, all slave trading had been banned, yet slave owning, became much more ingrained. England outlawed slavery in 1834 (primarily due to the efforts of evangelical Christians). But the United States failed to address the issue of slavery just as God had intended. Slavery is our national sin and one reason for our enabled failure (political fracture) is material and social greed. 
In the end, it was the continued downward spiral into a materialistic and cultural American greed that enabled the traditional and (at one time) fully-intact fabric of our nation to start unraveling—thread by thread—one count at a time. It snowballed from our institutions, churches, government, and finally, inside of the family home. As time would go on, plantation-style ideology would permeate the Southern states and certain people would find themselves attaching to this method of cultural aristocracy. Much like the neo-feudalistic economic slavery we see today in our own nation that is post-modern America.
How did they (white leaders) rationalize creating and perpetuating a republic committed to democracy, with the wholesale denial of rights to non-white Americans? Simple. Our nation fractured politically, and slipped into a trifecta of extreme industrialization, poor educational leadership, and a lack of public and private morals and principles.
Daniel L. Smith,
 Fernando Santos-Granero, Vital Enemies: Slavery, Predation, and the Amerindian Political Economy of Life (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2009), 1.
 Barton, David. "Before the West Was Won: Pre-Columbian Morality." WallBuilders. Last modified June 22, 2020. https://wallbuilders.com/before-the-west-was-won-pre-columbian-morality/.
 Murphy, Sharon Ann. 2005. "Securing Human Property: Slavery, Life Insurance, and Industrialization in the Upper South." Journal of the Early Republic 25 (4) (Winter): 615-652. https://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F220935457%3Faccountid%3D3783.
 Dr. Beliles, Mark A., and Stephen K. Dr. McDowell. America's Providential History, 3rd ed., 250-251. 2010.
True American culture started where it was founded. It began in the heart of the North American colonist at the run-up to the American Revolution. Of course, over time, that changed. And as with any cultural change comes a stark political and religious divide. Historian Peter S. Field mentions:
“The advent of a democratic political culture in the early American republic entailed the occasion of the first debates on the relationship between intellectuals and democracy in the United States. Such was particularly the case in the 1830s in Brahmin Boston where, as Perry Miller once observed, "there could hardly be found a group of young Americans more numb to the notion that there were any stirring implications in the word ‘democracy.’”
Miller was right. American’s in the 1830’s was, for the most part, were generally neutral in the way that American culture was beginning to shape out. There were ups and downs. With a new nation typically comes unlimited options on which direction to face the country regarding politics and culture. Field continues:
“Transcendentalism proved to be almost a byword for an otherworldly, inchoate intellectual community that only marginally traveled beyond the parochial confines of eastern Massachusetts. Whether the logical outgrowth of Unitarian Congregationalism or its dedicated nemesis, Transcendentalism seemed altogether too intellectual, too elitist, and too apolitical to be of any great relevance to the unfolding social and political drama of the Jacksonian era.”
There was a hairline fracture that split the thinking of American traditionalists and progressive intellectuals. The Unitarian Church was the catalyst, following transcendentalism in close second. Traditionalists (such as the clergy and church) began to slowly halt providing leadership in our public schools and university’s (prior to this was a purely homeschooling education). Harvard was taken over by the Unitarian church, and as the quality of public education began to decline, Horace Mann (the "father of progressive education") would convince the state of Massachusetts that the best way for education to grow would be to have the government take control, instead of the private sector (like families and churches).
What followed was indoctrination into “self-culture,” a human thought process of “me, myself, and I” which closely follows materialism. To break open a political divide for control and power, there must be a catalyst to enable this cultural shift. Thus, secular humanism was born. Field continues:
“By self-culture, Emerson hoped to suggest something akin to the German bildung by which he meant personal striving for the intellectual and spiritual complement to material pursuits. Borrowed from von Humboldt via Goethe, the Romantics employed bildung to convey their belief in the virtually limitless human capacity for development of their spiritual faculties through the study of culture.”
“The ex-preacher's original lectures differed only marginally from his sermons, and his shift from preaching to lecturing signaled a transformation less of ambitions, which were always assortative, than of rhetorical and stylistic strategies. He endeavored to engender through his secular sermons of self-culture a highly synergistic kind of conversion experience in his audiences, a re-birth not in Christ, but as self-reliant individuals, who readily grasped the spiritual elements in their everyday lives.”
As traditional American doctrine was neglected, the competing ideology of socialism has taken off. Karl Marx’s book, which was written in 1844, never had much influence in American society. That was until we had backslid from Christian principles of economics and dabbled in greed. Thus, monopolies would form and grow. Wealth was accumulated, instead of employing the extra wealth to meet the needs of the poor and society itself. Self-culture (or individual interest), as Field would put it, began to replace the common good of the community.
Marshall Foster writes that “in the loft restaurant above Peck’s restaurant at 140 Fulton Street in lower Manhattan, a group of young men met to plan the overthrow of the predominately Christian world-view that still pervaded America. At this first meeting five men were present: Upton Sinclair, 27, a writer and a socialist; Jack London, writer; Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a Unitarian minister; J.G. Phelps Stokes, husband of a socialist leader; and Clarence Darrow, a lawyer.
Their organization was called the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. Their purpose was to ‘promote an intelligent interest in socialism among college men and women.’ These men were ready to become the exponents of an idea passed on to them by an obscure writer named Karl Marx—a man who never tried to be self-supporting but was supported by a wealthy industrialist who, inexplicably, believed in his theory of ‘the dictatorship of the proletariat.’ Although a small group in the beginning, these adherents of socialism more than succeeded in their task.”
“By using the proven method of gradualism, taken from the Roman general, Quintus Fabius Maximus, these men and others who joined with them slowly infiltrated” the public schools of our nation. By 1912 there were chapters in 44 colleges. By 1917 there were 61 chapters of student study groups of the League of Industrial Democracy. “At that time John Dewey, the godfather of progressive education, was the vice-president of the league. By 1941 Dewey had become president and Reinhold Niebuhr, the liberal socialist theologian, was the treasurer.”
The beginning of the end of traditional America had become entrenched. Dr. Stephen K. McDowell mentions that “the loss Christian tradition, character, and responsibility led to the failure of many banks in the early 1900’s. To remedy this situation, power was granted to a centralized Federal Reserve Board in 1913. But this unbiblical economic structure and lack of character produced many more problems. Within 20 years, the Stock Market had crashed, and America was in the midst of the Great Depression.” With the propagation of socialism, people were ready for Roosevelt's “New Deal,” such as Social Security and other welfare agencies, which ultimately set up the State as provider rather than God.
Daniel L. Smith
 Dr. Beliles, Mark A., and Stephen K. Dr. McDowell. America's Providential History: Including Biblical Principles of Education, Government, Politics, Economics, and Family Life, 253. 1989.
 Field, Peter S. 2001. ""the Transformation of Genius into Practical Power": Relph Waldo Emerson and the Public Lecture." Journal of the Early Republic 21 (3) (Fall): 467-493.
 Foster, Marshall, and Mary-Elaine Swanson. The American Covenant: The Untold Story, xvii. Mayflower Inst, 1983.
 Ibid., Dr. Beliles, Mark A., and Stephen K. Dr. McDowell, 250-251.
Congress in 1787 and 1789 would pass the Northwest Ordinance, which outlawed slavery in any newly created state of the Union. The federal government would also ban the exportation of slaves from any state within the Union in 1794. All intentions show of that generation that the eventual abolishment of slavery was their main intention.
God wanted to show the world how a Christian nation would attempt to deal with such a heavy-laden social problem. England outlawed slavery in 1834, and this was primarily due to the efforts of evangelical Christians. But the United States failed to address the issue of slavery just as God had intended. Slavery is a national sin, and one reason for this enabled failure is greed.
The famous inventor of the cotton gin Mr. Eli Whitney made his contraption well-renowned in 1783. This machine would end up making slavery much, much, much more profitable. The resulting effects of this new profit would rise a new generation of Americans with much less conviction on the matters of slavery than their fathers.
The rest of the nation, instead of dealing with the issue head-on, attempted to compromise. The trend of abolition came to a screeching halt in the South. And even churches began to (for the first-time ever) justify slavery by 1810. By then however, all slave trading had been banned, yet slave owning, became much more ingrained.
The church body fractured over the idea of slavery, as when “in April 1808 when John Murphy, clerk of the church, rose from his seat and ‘declared non-fellowship with the church on account of slavery.’ Following Murphy's lead, Elijah Davidson then rose and withdrew from the church because it tolerated slave-holding among its members. In the following five months, two men and four women left the church for the same reasons.
Far from a singular event, this rupture was repeated in churches across the state and was the culmination to a decades-long debate within Baptist churches in the Upper South over the issue of slave-holding. Before the crisis was settled, Baptists would be forced to rethink their doctrines, worldview, and relationship to the new republic."
"As Baptists began to evangelize the Upper South, they addressed the complicated issue of slaves and slavery. Slaves were part of the early audiences for Baptist itinerants in the 176Os and 177Os, and, after the War for Independence, slaves began to join churches in increasing numbers. This phenomenon forced Baptists into the quagmire of slavery as they constructed a coherent theology and a network of churches in a revolutionary age.
The churches they built were biracial with white and black members. White and black evangelicals together faced the contradictions between their theology, which emphasized the equality of souls, and the institution of slavery, which reified inequality. Churches became the arenas in which southerners debated what slavery meant in an evangelical society and what religion meant in a slave society.”
It was the national sin of slavery that would cause the evangelical movement to seek to reform American society in the Civil War era and well into today. A combination of dumbed-down education, misinformation, and poor leadership has sunk our nation. Today's slave owners are not "the master," however, they surely have a say on "how, when, and why," and not until all of your debts are paid off. Today? Modern slavery is just a refined version of indentured servitude, that's coated with sugar.
Daniel L. Smith,
 Dr. Beliles, Mark A., and Stephen K. Dr. McDowell. America's Providential History, 227. Charlottesville: Providence Foundation, 1989.
 Najar, Monica. 2005. ""Meddling with Emancipation": Baptists, Authority, and the Rift Over Slavery in the Upper South." Journal of the Early Republic 25 (2) (Summer): 157-186.
Today, Americans use this day as a reason to party and celebrate an evening of make-believe and fantasy. Historically there has been a shift in how this American holiday has been viewed by people across the globe. It is generally accepted that Halloween in its more popular or folk aspects represents a combination of druidic practices and classical Roman religious beliefs. So, how about a Biblical view on Halloween?
Halloween has clear ties with “the rites of the druid priests in the pre-Roman, pre-Christian Celtic communities of northern and western Europe, especially in Ireland and Scotland. The Celtic order of druids performed mystical ceremonies in honor of the great sun god at various sites. The Celtic year ended on October 31, the eve of Samhain, a festival whose name is translated as ‘summer's end.’ On this occasion, the white-robed priests celebrated a joint festival for the sun god and the lord of the dead.”[*]
When did this holiday begin and why? How should Christians view this day in general? To understand the Halloween origin further, we need to go back to the roots of Halloween. A man that I frequently reference and look to for direction when writing Christian history is Engineer and Biblical Scholar Bodie Hodge. He wrote an article not too long ago offering a clarification into how we should direct ourselves as Christians towards this great American classic holiday. I too insist that this information is exactly how we should look at Halloween today.
In the United States (and other countries), Halloween has become one of the most popular unofficial holidays. On the up side, retail sales boost the economy around this holiday.1 On the downside, the holiday has become a time of increased crime in many places (especially arson and other acts of violence) on Halloween night as well as the night before. Even the author’s house was robbed one Halloween by forced entry. So, although the retail industry loves Halloween, many police officers and insurance companies dread it! Of course, there is also a tremendous amount of occult activity associated with this holiday.
Kids and even many adults love getting dressed up for Halloween. And they love the candy, of course. It’s just innocent fun, isn’t it—or is it? But let’s think carefully and Biblically about the history, nature, and impact of the holiday. When did this holiday begin and why? Was the Halloween origin of pagan origins or is there something more behind Halloween history? How should Christians view this day in general? To understand these questions further, we need to go back to the roots of Halloween.
When Did Modern-day Halloween Get Started?
In the early 1900s, the migrating Irish and Scots brought Halloween traditions to the United States. Over time, Halloween catapulted into mainstream culture.
The holiday, though, has roots reaching much further back. On the Halloween origin, some researchers claim that the holiday can be traced back about 2,000 years to the Celts of Europe, who occupied parts of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France.2 It was a pagan festival called “Samhain” (pronounced “sow-in”) that celebrated more or less the honor of the dead and involved the offering of large sacrifices of crops and animals.3
Although no original written accounts of this festival exist today from the ancient Celts, there is some reference to it in Roman records from when the Romans conquered Celtic lands around AD 43. Under Roman rule, the day of Samhain was influenced by Roman festivals of the time. The first was called “Pomona,” which was a type of harvest festival, and the next was “Feralia,” the Roman day of the dead. Interestingly, both Feralia and Samhain were festivals of the dead and celebrated at the end of October.4
The Name “Halloween” Origin
Around AD 600, Pope Boniface IV created All Saints’ Day, and Pope Gregory III later moved this holiday to November 1 in an effort to give a Christian alternative to this pagan celebration.5 Christians who did not want to celebrate pagan festivals celebrated something of positive spiritual value—in this case honoring the saints and martyrs. With the overwhelming expansion of Christianity in Europe, All Saint’s Day became the dominant holiday.6
In fact, the current name of “Halloween” originates from the day before All Saint’s Day, which was called “All Hallow Evening”; this name was shortened to “All Hallow’s Eve” or “All Hallow’s Even.” The name changed over time and became “Hallowe’en.”
A couple hundred years later, the Roman Church made November 2 All Souls Day to honor the dead. This may well have been influenced by the continued persistence of the day of the dead by the ancient Irish, Scots, and others in Europe. Standing against this, many Protestant Christians celebrate October 31 as Reformation Day in honor of reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others who spearheaded the Reformation in the 1500s.
Other Cultures Have a “Day of the Dead”
Although many affirm that Samhain was the origin of modern-day Halloween, it is significant to note how many cultures throughout the world have celebrated a “day of the dead” (often with sacrifices), occurring at the end of summer and fall. There seem to be too many parallels to call these similar celebrations a coincidence. For example, in the Americas there is the Mexican Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos) that goes back to the ancient festival of the dead celebrated by Aztecs and the more-ancient Olmec. This was likely where the Guatemalans got their Day of the Dead. Brazilians also celebrate Finados (Day of the Dead). Bolivia has the Day of the Skulls (Día de los Natitas).7
In Asia, there are similar festivals. For example, the Chinese celebrated the Ghost Festival, which was a day to pay homage to dead ancestors. The Japanese celebrated something similar called O-bon or merely Bon. Even Vietnam has a variant of the Ghost Festival called Tet Trung Nguyen. In Korea, there is Chuseok or Hankawi, in which deceased ancestors are ritualized. In Nepal, there is the cow pilgrimage called Gia Jatra to honor the recently deceased. In the Philippines, there is the Day of the Dead (Araw ng mga Patay), where tombs are cleaned and repainted. The list goes on and on (see reference 5).
The annual Jewish holiday of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is celebrated in the fall, usually September or October.8 But it is distinctly different in purpose. It is not in honor of the dead. Rather, it deals with soul searching, repentance, and is a time of great sacrifice for the sins of the people (Leviticus 23:27–28). So, there is some cross over, but God instituted this date. Archbishop Ussher was the 17th century historian who compiled The Annals of the World, a history covering every major event from Creation to AD 70.
Though the origin of this date, specifically for the Israelites, can be traced to Moses, the day may well have been chosen by God going back to previous events, as famous Bible chronicler Archbishop Ussher pointed out (the approximate day Adam and Eve sinned, according to Ussher’s calculations, and God’s subsequent covering of their nakedness with animal skins).9
Halloween Origin: Original Source for Halloween?
It seems no coincidence that cultures all around the world in both present and ancient times have had a holiday when the dead were remembered, and animals were sacrificed. We can make a pretty strong argument that this holiday goes back to a time when all the peoples lived together—and then they took this holiday to various parts of the world.
Otherwise, it seems strange and difficult to explain how these cultures developed celebrations that are so similar. This would likely push the true origin of “Halloween” and these other “days of the dead” to the time before the dispersion at Babel (Genesis 11), over 4,200 years ago, after which different early cultures began to vary in its practice.
According to Archbishop Ussher, the time frame between these events was about 106 years, with the Flood ending in 2348 BC and the dispersion occurring about 2242 BC. In this time frame, Noah would have still been alive, and Noah’s sons, too. We are not given much information in Genesis about the wives of Noah or his three sons, but Noah’s son’s wives were busy having children after the Flood, producing a total of 16 grandsons for Noah. And then their children had children, and so on!
There have been several reasons suggested for so many cultures having a day of the dead. Consider these:
Due to the many, varied accounts of celebrations of the day of the dead around the world, I would strongly suggest that its origin was a time when people groups were still gathered together or had closer ties. Is the event of Noah’s sacrifice where the day of the dead really originates? It is possible.
It was a time when there was a sacrifice to cover sins and a reminder why death reigns in this sin-cursed world. It was a spiritual time, a time when people remembered that a sudden disaster, the global Flood, took virtually the entire population because of sin. Consider Noah for a moment: he even lost brothers and sisters in the Flood—the grief would have been overwhelming (Genesis 5:30). Halloween’s roots could easily extend this far, but there should be no dogmatism about that being the case.
Proper sacrifices in the Bible were associated with sin and death. This goes back to the first sacrifice in Genesis 3:21 when the first two humans (Adam and Eve) sinned against God. The perfect creation that God had made was now marred with sin that deserved death (Genesis 1:31; Deuteronomy 32:4; Romans 5:12).
The Bible says that the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:22). This is why we all die (return to dust)—we all sin (Genesis 3:19; Romans 3:23). Due to their sin, Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nakedness. So, God made coats of animal skins to cover their nakedness. God sacrificed animals to cover this sin.
In a fashion similar to God, Abel offered sacrifices from his flocks (Genesis 4:4), and Noah did the same after the Flood. Later, the Israelites did this as well, giving sin offerings of lambs, doves, etc. as God commanded. But the blood of animals is not enough to remove sin; it is only enough to cover it temporarily (Hebrews 10:4). Finite animals could never really take the infinite punishment from an infinite God. These instances of sacrificing animals were foreshadowing Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God—who, as the perfect infinite sacrifice on the Cross (Hebrews 9:26, 10:12), fully paid for our sins so that everyone who trusts in Him will be saved and given eternal life (John 3:16–18).
With most of the celebrations of the days of the dead, sacrifices are involved. This suggests that cultures around the world understood this concept of sacrificing to God to cover sins. A Christian should expect this, since all people groups have descended from those at Babel. So, logically, when people migrated to different parts of the world after God confused their language, they took the concept of sacrifice with them. Of course, their methods and meaning of sacrifice changed and varied over the years, and the true intent was lost.
This can be used as a tool for Christians to share the good news of Jesus Christ—by showing the true meaning of what sacrifices are and showing that Jesus was the final, perfect sacrifice, making sacrifices of animals no longer necessary. Sin and death (of which sacrifice was a continual reminder all the way back to Adam) have been conquered by the Son of God, and the free gift of salvation is now offered. If the days of the dead really have their roots in Noah’s sacrifices, then consider this: the Lord has even given the command to Christians to celebrate in remembrance of this final sacrifice—it is called the Lord’s Supper.
And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Corinthians 11:24–25)
The Evils of Modern-day Halloween and What a Christian Can Do
Psalm 24:1 points out that everything belongs to the Lord. Therefore, there is no reason to let Satan have Halloween. It should be obvious from a Christian perspective that many modern practices of Halloween and days of the dead have evil intent (e.g., 1 Corinthians 10:20). There has been considerable paganism that has been associated with Halloween over the years. Even evil acts such as vandalism, fires, destructive pranks, glorification of sensuality, death, and demons are in strong opposition to the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:19–23). So, a word of caution must be given to Evangelicals who promote some of the questionable modern practices of Halloween.
If anything, an alternative in opposition to Halloween should be offered by Christians. Psalm 24:1 points out that everything belongs to the Lord. Therefore, there is no reason to let Satan have Halloween. Despite the Halloween origin, it is not his day in the first place!
When Satan tried to tempt Jesus, he offered Jesus something that was not his to offer (Matthew 4:8—all the kingdoms of the world). Jesus obviously didn’t succumb because it wasn’t Satan’s to give, nor did Satan exercise any authority over Him. Many today believe that Halloween is Satan’s day and recommend staying away from it. But recognizing such a thing would be to disregard that Satan owns nothing and that all days belong to God. Christians can take this day and make better use of it, such as by celebrating Reformation Day, a harvest festival of praise for a God who provides, an extra day of the Lord’s Supper to remember Christ’s sacrifice to end animal sacrifices, and so on (Colossians 2:16–17).
So where do you go from here? Please encourage your pastors and elders to have some sort of church function to counter modern practices of Halloween. Of course, one of the only nice things that Halloween really has to offer could also be involved—sweet treats (in moderation of course)! If a Christian alternative is not possible in your location, then take advantage of this opportunity to share with people the message of the gospel and how Jesus Christ has conquered death and the forgiveness that can only be found in God when you greet “trick or treaters.”
Death is a terrible reality for all of us—not something to celebrate or treat as fun. Death is the punishment for sin. Since all of us are sinners (Romans 3:23), we must realize that death is coming. But God is a God of grace and mercy, and in His love He has offered a means of salvation through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who suffered and died the ultimate death in our place. All who repent and believe can receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
The Good News
We [as Christian historians] seek to give glory and honor to God as Creator, and to affirm the truth of the biblical record of the real origin and history of the world and mankind.
Part of this real history is the bad news that the rebellion of the first man, Adam, against God’s command brought death, suffering, and separation from God into this world. We see the results all around us. All of Adam’s descendants are sinful from conception (Psalm 51:5) and have themselves entered into this rebellion (sin). They therefore cannot live with a holy God but are condemned to separation from God. The Bible says that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and that all are therefore subject to “everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
But the good news is that God has done something about it. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Jesus Christ the Creator, though totally sinless, suffered, on behalf of mankind, the penalty of mankind’s sin, which is death and separation from God. He did this to satisfy the righteous demands of the holiness and justice of God, His Father. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice; He died on a cross, but on the third day, He rose again, conquering death, so that all who truly believe in Him, repent of their sin, and trust in Him (rather than their own merit), are able to come back to God and live for eternity with their Creator.
Therefore, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
What a wonderful Savior—and what a wonderful salvation in Christ our Creator!
[*] “Halloween.” 2020. Salem Press Encyclopedia.