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We do not celebrate Halloween. It used to be my understanding that Satanists view Halloween as a special day. I have tried to research books, periodicals, and the internet on the subject of Halloween though. I have not been able to find evidence to support this allegation. In fact, I have not been able to find definitive reliable information on the origins of Halloween at all. Because I am not certain we have not celebrated Halloween for three years (I have been a disciple for two). I do not want to have anything to do with Satanism/devil worship or witchcraft. I do not know of any other disciples who feel this way. Everyone just seems to think Halloween is fun and harmless. No one I have spoken to has researched Halloween or knows anything about its origins or significance. What is your advice on this? -- Monique Pierce

I am glad you ask the question, because a good number of churchgoers are of the opinion that Halloween is a serious compromise with the powers of darkness. Now you asked me for my advice and about my opinion. My opinion is that Halloween is for the most part harmless fun. My advice is that each disciple follow his own conscience and convictions based on scripture.

Many features of modern life have roots in paganism--for example, the names of the days of the week, or avoidance of the number 13. Should I refuse to use the word "Thursday" lest I imply that the Nordic god Thor was real? Or that I should avoid hotels which--and I think this is juvenile!--skip the 13th floor? Is such a radical position realistic, necessary, or even biblical?

When you research the origins of Halloween, you will see the connection with the ancient Irish pagan celebration of Samhain. You may read that in Catholic tradition, November 1st was designated "All Saints Day," and the devil chose the night before as his special night of mischief. Halloween as typically observed these days--apart from its crass American commercialism--is a sort of poking fun at the dark side. (At least with costumes of ghosts, witches, and skeletons--not so much when kids dress up as Pinocchio, Aladdin, or Anastasia!)

I have never met anyone who went "trick-or-treating" in honor of Satan; they all did it for the sake of sweets! I suppose it would be possible to tour the neighborhoods with some sort of diabolical understanding and that would clearly be wrong. But what's wrong with a costume party?

Your desire to avoid Satanism in any form is certainly commendable. Galatians 5:20 tells us that witchcraft is sinful. And yet I do not see how a costume party is of any harm. And once again, I freely admit that this is my opinion. I may be wrong. Christians are quite polarized on this issue, and there needs to be a great deal more grace in our disagreements, and in how we think of one another.

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