I.          What is your reputation like?

             A.         As Christians, you are a city set on a hill, whose light cannot be hid - Mt. 5:14-16

                          1.          We are to let our lights shine as our reputation reflects the Father and brings him glory.

             B.         Phil. 2:15-16 - We hold out the light of the gospel to a lost and dieing world

             C.         Eph. 2:8 - We must walk as children of light.

             D.         This means we need to be careful in the things that we do and what we participate in.

                          1.          Others will look at it and think that this must be what God approves of

                          2.          You actions affects the reputation of every other Christian and God’s reputation.

II.         I bring this up to discuss a holiday at the end of this month called Halloween

             A.         I have been asked a few what I think about this holiday and whether we should let our children participate in it.

             B.         I’m not the final source on these matters and I don’t expect today’s discussion to settle the problem in everyone’s mind. But I would like to present information that you should consider while making a decision.

III.        The origin of Halloween

             A.         Halloween orginated as a Druid’s autumn festival.

                          1.          This holiday was celbrated to honor Samhain, lord of the dead on Oct. 31

                          2.          The Celtics believed that Samhain called all the wicked souls which had been condemned within the last year to live in bodies on Oct. 31. They were released in forms of spirits, ghosts, faries, witches and elves.

                          3.          Huge bonfires were lit to guide the way of these spirits and various sacrifices were performed to assure a good year.

             B.         The Catholic church, to counter these pagan festivals, created a holiday known as “All Saints Day” or “All Hallowed Day”. It was to be a day to venerate the good who had previously died. They placed their holiday on November 1. Soon Oct. 31 was known as “All Halllowed Day Eve” and was eventually shortened to “Halloween”

             C.         Many practices from the old Druid festival remains with us. Oct. 31 is still believed, by those who practice witchcraft, to be a special day when evil powers are greatest.

             D.         Even children today keep the memories of this feast alive. As children go from house to house, they yell “Trick or Treat”.

                          1.          It was a custom that if children did not receive a treat, they would preform unwelcomed tricks.

                          2.          They were play-acting the part of evil spirits that had to be appeased.

IV.       Is there any harm in celebrating Halloween?

             A.         Few children know the history of the holiday or what their actions represent.

             B.         Yet on the other hand, much of the association with the holiday are things that society holds as being “evil”

                          1.          Darkness, Witches, evil spirits, and death

                          2.          The question is should Christians connect themselves to this practice?

             C.         I Cor. 14:14-18 - Righteousness is not to be associated with evil

             D.         Older children have often reverted back to playing tricks on this day.

                          1.          Houses egged, lawns rolled with toilet paper, and sometimes even more serious and damaging pranks

                          2.          These are definitely things that our children should not be involved in or associated with.

March 10, 2005