By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
EVER wondered why many Christians refuse to participate in Halloween and its festivities? Some Bahamians say it is because of the “dark and unwelcoming” messages behind it, others say it is simply because of the pagan origins.
“I refuse to let my children dress up for Halloween because that is not how I was brought up. My mom had a strong belief in not participating in Halloween because to her, Christians should not engage in such a thing. And that is exactly how I brought up my children. They can always have candies and treats, but taking it as far as dressing up as characters, I do not agree with that,” said 30 year old Donae, a Christian.
Kristina, a 21 year old believer, has even stronger views. She understands Halloween to be a “festival of the dead”. This is one of the reasons why she would rather not partake in the popular celebrations.
“I do not believe in promoting Halloween simply because it is promoting the kingdom of darkness. Halloween does not give the glory to God as he deserves, all it does is make people more susceptible for Satan to use and abuse them. Now, I am not opposed to dressing up in costumes because I think it is fun. However, I do not promote dressing up like witches, devils, warlocks, or anything like that,” said Christina.
Creflo Dollar, international televangelist, believes Halloween is rooted in fear, death, and the occult. He said it is a time when unsuspecting children, teenagers and even adults dabble in occult practices and witchcraft through s�ances, tarot cards, and Ouija boards.
“These forbidden forms of divination are an abomination to the lord (Deuteronomy 18:9-14), and they open the door to familiar spirits and demonic activity in our lives. However, parents can safeguard their children by offering other fun and exciting alternatives,” said Mr Dollar.
Felicia, a Bahamian believer agrees: “Being a Christian believer, I do not see where it is even okay to celebrate Halloween. People should be careful what they open their spirit too. When I was a little girl, I remember my Godmother telling me to be careful what I watch on TV. For example, movies like Harry Potter and all those witchcraft movies, these things can come into your soul and you would not even know it. This goes for music, the people we meet, everything.”
A Christian radio show, “Stand Up For the Truth”, encourages their Christians listeners not to respond to Halloween like “superstitious pagans”. The website stated that pagans are superstitious and Christians are enlightened by the truth of God’s word.
“ Evil spirits are no more active and sinister on Halloween than they are on any other day of the year. In fact, any day is a good day for Satan to prowl about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). But greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4),” stated the website.
It went on to say, Christians should respond to Halloween with cautionary wisdom as the real threat on Halloween is from the social problems that attend sinful behaviour: drunk driving, pranksters, vandals and unsupervised children.
Some devout Bahamian Christians say they see no problem in “simply participating” in the festivities surrounded with Halloween.
“Come on, children want to have fun. They find joy in looking pretty and being characters they see on TV. I am not saying dress your child up as a devil or witch, but what is wrong with them mimicking their favourite superhero. This is where parents go wrong. What is going to happen when your child’s class in school holds a costume party for Halloween? You are going to deprive them from that fun? If so that is just sad because they see it as innocent.”
Another supporter said: “Stay strong to your beliefs, but do not overreact. I too grew up in a Christian family, the type that goes to church religiously every Sunday, sometimes through the week as well. But during this time, I like to attend Halloween parties hosted by my friends because wearing a costume is not who I am, it is just innocent. This is the point, people wear invisible masks every day; living a fake life, but no one is making a fuss out of that every single day. It is all about looking at the positive picture and not the negative.”