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During this last week of October the Vatican hosted a conference of The International Association of Exorcists (IAE) formed in 1990 by a group of Catholic priests who specialize in exorcising (casting out) demons (fallen angels who are now evil). Reports indicate that Pope Francis praised their work in the battle against the Devil.
The Association itself also advocated replacing Halloween with “Holyween” where Catholic children dress up as saints presumably as a compliment to the existing Roman Church festival on November 1 st of All Saints Day—also called All Hallows or Hallowmas.
In the early 1500s Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation, officially rejected the traditional Catholic doctrine that the faithful go to heaven where they act on behalf of those who pray to them. Saints were and are typically canonized by the Vatican some length of time after their deaths by adding them to the official list. However, Protestantism has generally sanctioned the perpetuation of the holiday we know as Halloween—although it has much more ancient roots in many pagan and later Celtic annual celebrations. The bulk of today’s Halloween symbols devolve from its ancient roots.
Interestingly, Pope Francis and leaders of the IAE denounced the traditional Halloween festival which glorifies Satan, demonic spirits, so-called ghosts and all manner of evil—which prompted the Holyween alternative.
How does a true Bible student make sense of Halloween, Holyween or All Saints Day? What’s true? What isn’t true? And what does God expect of you?
1. Humans do not have immortal souls. “…The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel:18:4, 20). If souls were immortal, then they couldn’t die. However, since souls (meaning the person) can die, then to live forever in God’s Kingdom they must be given immortality at some future point. “So when…this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’” (1 Corinthians:15:54).
2. True saints are not in heaven, but in the grave until the first resurrection of the dead which occurs at Jesus Christ’s return to earth. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians:4:16).
3. Satan the Devil and his demonic fallen angels do exist and are evil—but we do not glorify them with a celebration or party! Laughing at or celebrating evil is the first step to accepting and embracing it. The true Christian’s reaction to the Devil is “Resist him, steadfast in the faith…” (1 Peter:5:9).
4. True Christians observe God’s Holy Days from the Bible and reject and avoid the pagan-based holidays of the world no matter what religious label of acceptance is attached to them. God’s sanctioned days are cataloged in Leviticus 23 starting with the weekly Sabbath and followed by His annual Festivals or Feasts. The reason that choosing the right days of official worship is that a true follower of Jesus Christ seeks what is true—and true only. Jesus specifically stated, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John:4:23).
If you seek to be a “true worshiper” of God the Father and Jesus Christ, then you choose to directly reject any semblance of Halloween, Holyween, All Saints Day or Hallowmas in your life’s activities and in your worship of God.
Blog posts do not undergo review by the doctrinal review team of the United Church of God. This post represents the personal opinion of the author and should not be considered the official stance of the United Church of God. If you have any questions or concerns please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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