By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
EVERY year at Halloween, some Christians feel divided about whether or not to participate in the witching hour festivities? Some Bahamians say Christians should stay away because of the “dark and unwelcoming” messages behind Halloween and because of its pagan origins.
“Halloween has meaning to some, and no meaning at all to others. The church is very divided when it comes to the celebration of Halloween; however I do not necessarily believe there is something wrong with dressing up as fictional characters or in costumes.
When it comes to the actual observance of Halloween, I do not think any Christian should be involved simply because Halloween has pagan, satanic roots, and it promotes the kingdom of darkness,” said Baptist Church member, Candis Wright.
Tomicina, a Pentecostal church member, said she believes it is wrong to celebrate Halloween, and that has always been her answer from the time she was a child.
“I think it is really bad. I just do not like the idea of it because it is satanic. The whole idea of monsters and walking dead is horrible. Also, I think adults just use it as an excuse to be naked. Most of the costumes I’ve seen adults wear when celebrating Halloween are extremely vulgar and inappropriate on so many levels,” said Tomicina.
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.
Selena, a follower of the Catholic church, said she takes part in Halloween, but all in good clean fun. However, she said if children are involved, parents should stay away from the more devilish costumes.
“I don’t like to see children dressed as characters like devils, ghost, goblins, prisoners and robbers. It sends the wrong message and it is taking things too far,” said Selena.
A Christian radio show, “Stand Up For the Truth”, encourages Christian listeners not to respond to Halloween like “superstitious pagans.” The organisation believes 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),” states the radio station.
It further believes that 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 Bahamian Christians say they see no problem in “simply participating” in the festivities surrounded with Halloween.
“Halloween certainly has Gothic and horror influences in present times but there is nothing religious about it. Some Christians may argue that it has its roots in paganism, well so does Christmas and Easter. Halloween is simply just a fun holiday for children to dress up and eat candy. It has nothing to do with Satan or demons or anything like that,” said Danae.
Natari said: “I do not think it is bad for Christians. I feel like if you are doing something with the intention for it to be evil, then you will do it will evil intentions. If you are doing something with the intention for it to be good, then you will do it with good intentions. There is a bible verse that explains this quite well. If you use Halloween to celebrate something scary that doesn’t mean you are using it to celebrate the devil. Equating something that is scary with the devil is just a social construction. It does not belong to objective reality, and that is why I said I do not think it is bad for Christians to take part in it.”