Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

Halloween and the Spirit of Evil

November 1, 2010

In this part of Ireland where I live there are numerous megalithic tombs on the landscape. Tonight my daughter and I were driving along when, out of curiosity, we stopped at one of these places where Neolithic people buried their cremated dead. I was curious to know whether some activity was going on around the place, given that it was Halloween night – a night when many animals suffer on account of satanic rituals. I was uneasy about walking up the narrow little path towards the tomb, which stands like a dome against the skyline. However, if anything was going on, I was determined that it should be interrupted. Anyway, we parked the car and by the light of a torch we made our way over to steps which we had to climb to get onto this winding path leading to the tomb. My daughter climbed up first but then she hesitated and screamed at what she saw. I joined her at the top of the steps and looked towards the dome where to my horror I saw a shadowy figure (wearing what looked like a cloak) standing right on top of it against the skyline! To be honest I didn’t feel so brave anymore and just wanted to get away from the place as soon as possible. We jumped from the steps and ran over to the car, which I started up – with difficulty. My daughter was worried that we were going to be stranded there, as the clutch seemed to be giving trouble. An isolated road in rural Ireland, close to a megalithic tomb where some shadowy figure in a cloak is standing – not an ideal place to be stranded, especially on Halloween night! Thankfully, I eventually got the car into gear and we were driving towards home. Unfortunately authorities turn a blind eye to such activities in Ireland, as elsewhere. As a child I enjoyed the normal activities which were traditionally associated with Halloween: the fireworks, the food, the pranks and knocking on doors. However, today as a Christian I feel totally estranged from this traditional festival which I feel has underlying satanic influences.

Never has Halloween been as popular and commercialised as it is today, and never have those who worship the devil had such freedom to exercise their ‘crafts.’ While the witches in bygone days were clandestine in their operations, because of the fear of being put to death, witches nowadays do television interviews and are open about their ‘craft.’ In Galatians 5v19-21, we read: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Our world, our neighbourhood, is currently full of superstitious rites, magic, spiritualist practices and ‘therapies’ of dubious origin, all of which are condemned in God’s Word. At some otherwise harmless events, such as craft fairs one will more than likely find a fortune teller, someone selling ‘Angel Cards,’ or some ‘New Age’ related articles or literature for sale. “Psychics” advertising in newspapers claim to offer “peace of mind, and assurance.” Surely we should be aware, as Christians, that there is a great turning away to the evil things of darkness, in the age in which we live? Let us therefore, as Christians, not celebrate the works of darkness – even if they are cloaked in seemingly harmless well-known traditions.

It was on 31st October, 1517, on the eve of a “traditional religious celebration,” that Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the church door. Perhaps a celebration of the great truths of the Reformation would be more appropriate on this date? The following verses are surely at variance with many of those pranks (and much more evil practices) on Halloween night… “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand:  let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”  (Romans 13v10-12) Perhaps you feel that you do abhor those “works of darkness,” but have never trusted the Living Saviour. Why not trust Him now? God forbid that you should spend eternity with those who are described in Rev. 21v8… “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” The Saviour’s will is that you would be numbered with those who have overcome the evil one “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death” (Rev. 12v11).Then with the redeemed you can say: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption, through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” (Col. 1v12-14)  Oh that all who read would claim these promises, cast off the works of darkness (in His strength) and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  (Eph.6v12) 

Reaching out with Christian Literature in Balbriggan, North County Dublin

October 24, 2010

I remember seeing this small town for the first time back in the early 1980’s when it was little more than a village with a few extra housing estates under construction. I don’t know what the population was back then, but according to the census in 2006, it had reached 15,559. Today it is estimated that more than 20,000 people live there, many of whom are of African and East European origin. Last week, armed with Christian literature and a burden for souls, I apprehensively set out to reach one estate in particular. It was a cold, dark evening as I rang the first doorbell. No one was in! I found this to be the pattern at quite a few houses, although perhaps people were reluctant to come to the door after dark – especially when they had to climb down a couple of flights of stairs, as this particular estate had narrow three-storey town houses. On these occasions, I pushed a tract into the letterbox. After a time I came to a house which was completely decked out for Halloween – although Halloween at that point was nearly three weeks away! I felt suddenly an evil presence and also very despondent and alone in my endeavours. Here I was trailing around houses where the vast majority of people probably just didn’t want to know. Recent disclosures about the clerical abuse of children in Ireland have resulted in anger, cynicism, apathy – and a reverting to old Pagan ways. Many feel justifiably hurt and furious about the horrific abuse that took place over the decades, but sometimes they look at anyone whom they would view as ‘religious’ with this same cynicism. Despite this, the human soul has a need to worship and some are turning to systems of belief other than Roman Catholicism.

This is where other cults sometimes step in. A Bible study set up by a group in this town is mysteriously unforthcoming about who is running it; I have reason to suspect that these may be ‘Cooneyites.’ My conviction is that any system of belief which has its roots in ‘salvation by works’ as opposed to faith must be termed ‘a cult.’

I thank God for His gifts of freedom and faith – something that is missing from erroneous systems of belief. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8v36) I do not have to ask permission from anyone before I embark on telling others of the wonders of His love for mankind. He sent His Son to die that people in Balbriggan, in Dublin; in every country, city, town, village, hamlet and tiny homestead in the world might have life – and life that is more abundant. And so those of us who know Him as Saviour must keep our lights burning as we witness to others until the Lord calls or comes to take us Home.

Above is a photograph of Balbriggan lighthouse which reminds me of that hymn: “Let the Lower Lights be burning!” The story behind this hymn by Philip Bliss is that many lives were lost on a ship, all because the man who was supposed to light the lower lights along the shore, failed in his duties. In this allegory, the lighthouse is that Great Light of the gospel, through the Word – while Christians are ‘the lesser lights along the shore.’

Let us never fail to serve Him on the darkest, most depressing nights; in spite of the prevailing cold winds of apathy, cynicism and the threat of ‘spiritual wickedness in high places.’ May the Lord empower all who do so with a clean heart, a bright light, courage – and a love for the souls of this world for whom He died.    

Link to this hymn: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/l/l/llowerlb.htm