The Truth About Christmas and Easter

Men are likened to sheep. And sheep have a tendency to follow the crowd without questioning. Jesus however came and taught us to examine everything by God’s word. The Pharisees exalted human traditions. Jesus exalted God’s word. Man was to live by every word that proceeded from God’s mouth (Matt. 4:4).

The battle that Jesus was constantly engaged in with the Pharisees was the age-long battle of God’s Word versus the traditions of men. In the church, we are engaged in the same battle today. God’s word is the only light that we have on earth. And when God created light initially, He immediately separated it from the darkness. The darkness is both sin as well as human traditions. We also are called to separate both these from the pure word of God so that there is no mixture in the church.

The pagan ‘winter solstice’ celebration of the sun, was renamed Christmas and has nothing to do with the Messiah Jesus Christ. This celebration was in practice way before His birth

Christmas

Consider Christmas, which is celebrated by many as the birthday of Jesus Christ. Shopkeepers of all religions look forward to Christmas, for it is a time when they can make much profit. It is a commercial festival, not a spiritual one. Millions of rupees are spent on Christmas cards and gifts. Sales of alcoholic drinks also go up at this time.

Is this really then the birthday of the Son of God, or of another ‘Jesus’?

Let us look at God’s Word first of all. The Bible tells us that there were shepherds with their sheep out in the fields of Judea, on the night that Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:7-14). The shepherds in Palestine did not keep their flocks out in the open fields at night after October and until February – the weather being both rainy and cold during those months. So the real Jesus must have been born sometime between March and September. December 25 then must be the birthday of another ‘Jesus’ that has been foisted on an unsuspecting Christendom by unconverted men!

Further, even if we did know the exact date of Jesus’ birth, the question would still be whether God intended His church to celebrate it. Mary, the mother of Jesus, would certainly have known the exact date of birth of Jesus. And she was with the apostles for many years after the day of Pentecost. Yet there is no mention anywhere of Jesus’ date of birth. What does this show? Just this – that God deliberately hid the date of Jesus’ birth, because He did not want the church to celebrate it. Jesus was not an ordinary mortal whose birthday was to be celebrated once a year. He was the Son of God “Who had no beginning of days”, unlike us (Heb.7:3). God wants us to recognize Jesus’ birth, death, resurrection and ascension every day, and not just once a year.

An understanding of the difference between the old and the new covenants will also enable us to understand why God does not want His children to celebrate any special holy days now. Under the old covenant, Israel had been commanded to celebrate certain days as specially holy days. But that was only a shadow. Now that we have Christ, the will of God is that every day of our lives be equally holy. Even the weekly sabbath has been done away with under the new covenant. This is why no holy days are mentioned anywhere in the New Testament (Col.2:16,17).

How then did Christmas and Easter make their entry into Christendom? The answer is: In the same way that infant baptism, tithing, priestcraft and many other human traditions and old covenant practices, have made their entry – by the subtle working of Satan.

When the emperor Constantine made Christianity the state religion of Rome in the 4th century, multitudes became Christian ‘in name’, without any change of heart. But they did not want to give up their two great annual festivals – both connected with their worship of the sun. One was the birthday of the sun-god on December 25, when the sun which had gone down to the southern hemisphere began its return journey (the winter solstice). The other was the spring festival in March/April, when they celebrated the death of the winter and the birth of the warm summer that their sun-god had brought. They renamed their sun-god ‘Jesus’ and continued to celebrate their two great festivals, now as Christian festivals and called them Christmas and Easter.

The Encyclopaedia Brittanica (an authority in secular history) has the following to state about the origin of Christmas:

“December 25 was the Mithraic feast of the unconquered sun of Philocalus. Christmas customs are an evolution from times that long antedated the Christian period – a descent from seasonal, pagan, religious and national practices, hedged about with legend and tradition. The exact date and year of Christ’s birth have never been satisfactorily settled, but when the fathers of the church in A.D 440 decided upon a date to celebrate the event, they wisely (?) chose the day of the winter solstice which was firmly fixed in the minds of the people and which was their most important festival. As Christianity spread among the people of pagan lands, many of the practices of the winter solstice were blended with those of Christianity” (1953 edition, Vol. 5, Pages 642A, 643).

These pagan customs originated with the Babylonian religion begun by Nimrod (Gen. 10:8-10). Tradition tells us that after he died, his wife Semiramis had an illegitimate child, which she claimed was Nimrod come back to life again. Thus began the worship of the mother and child, which centuries later was transferred by nominal Christians to ‘ Mary and Jesus‘.

The birthday of this child-god was celebrated by the ancient Babylonians on December 25. Semiramis was the queen of heaven (Jer. 44:19), worshipped centuries later in Ephesus as Diana or Artemis (Acts 19:28).

Semiramis claimed that a full grown evergreen tree grew overnight from a dead tree stump. This symbolised Nimrod’s coming back to life, and bringing heaven’s gifts to mankind. Thus began the practice of cutting down a fir tree and hanging gifts on it. That is the origin of today’s Christmas tree! (A Google search will show all the documents proving all these facts).

Thus says the Lord, “Do not learn the way of the heathen. The customs of the people are futile. One cuts a tree from the forest with the axe. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails so that it will not topple!” (Jer. 10:2-4).

Easter

The word ‘Easter’ comes from one of the titles of the queen of heaven, ‘Ishtar’ or `Astarte’ (see 1 Kin. 11:5) – one of the idols that Solomon worshipped. There were slightly different forms of that name in different countries.

The Encyclopaedia Brittanica states,

“The English word ‘Easter’ corresponding to the German ‘Oster’ reveals Christianity’s indebtedness (!) to the Teutonic tribes of central Europe. Christianity, when it reached the Teutons, incorporated in its celebration of this great Christian feast day, many of the heathen rites and customs that accompanied their observance of the ‘Spring’ festival. That the ‘festival’ of the resurrection occurred in the spring that it celebrated the triumph of life over death, made it easy for the church to identify with this occasion, the most joyous festival of the Teutons, held in honour of the death of winter, the birth of a new year and the return of the sun. Eostre (or Ostera), the goddess of the spring, gave its name to the Christian holy day. The conception of the egg as a symbol of fertility and of renewed life goes back to the ancient Egyptians and Persians who had also the custom of colouring and eating eggs during the spring festival. This ancient idea, of the significance of egg as the symbol of life, readily became the idea of the egg as a symbol of resurrection. According to old superstition, the sun rising on Easter morning dances in the heavens; this belief has been traced to the old heathen festival of spring, when the spectators danced in honour of the sun … The Protestant churches also followed the custom of holding sunrise services on Easter morning” (1959 edition, Vol. 7, pages 859, 860).

The death and resurrection of Christ are the central message of the gospel. The only way that Jesus intended us to commemorate this was through the ‘breaking of bread’, which we are to take part in together as a church.

When we break bread, we testify not only of Christ’s death, but also our death with Him. The emotionalism of Good Friday and sentimentality of Easter turns the attention of men away from the necessity of following Jesus, to empty ritualism.

God’s Word Or Man’s Tradition?

Behind the celebration of Christmas and Easter lies the far more deadly principle of following the traditions of men even when they have no foundation in God’s Word. So strong is this power of tradition that many believers who follow the Scriptures in other areas still find it difficult to give up celebrating Christmas and Easter.

It is amazing that many believers are not willing to accept what even secular writers (like the authors of Encyclopaedia Brittanica, quoted abovehave understood clearly – that Christmas and Easter are basically pagan festivals. Changing the names do not make these festivals Christian!

As we said at the beginning, Jesus was engaged in a constant battle with the Pharisees over this very issue – man’s traditions versus God’s Word. He faced more opposition for opposing the empty traditions of ‘the fathers’ than for preaching against sin. We shall find our experience to be the same, if we are just as faithful as He was.

God’s Word alone is our guide and not the example of even godly men in those areas where they do not follow the Word of God. “Let God be found true even though every man be found a liar” (Rom. 3:4). The Bereans searched the Scriptures to check up even on Paul’s teaching, and the Holy Spirit commends them for it (Acts 17:11). That is a good example for all of us to follow.

David was a man after God’s own heart. Yet, for forty years, he permitted the Israelites to worship Moses’ bronze serpent without realising that it was an abomination to God. He did not have light even on such obvious idolatry. It was a much lesser king, Hezekiah, who was given light to expose and destroy this idolatrous practice (2 Kin. 18:1-4). We can follow godly men in the saintliness of their lives, but not in their lack of light on human traditions. Our safety lies in simply following the teaching of God’s Word and not in adding to, or subtracting from it.

Do Not Judge Others

Finally : What should our attitude be towards sincere believers who celebrate Christmas and Easter?

It is important to remember that we do not become spiritual merely by not celebrating Christmas and Easter. And those who celebrate these festivals are not therefore carnal believers.

Spiritual people are those who follow Jesus along the way of daily self-denial and the daily infilling of the Holy Spirit – whether they celebrate Christmas and Easter or not.

So when we meet believers who celebrate these festivals, we must be gracious enough to consider that they may be ignorant of the pagan origin of these festivals. So theyare not sinning in any way when they celebrate them. On the other hand, we will be sinning, if we judge them.

Since December 25th is usually a holiday for everyone and the days around it are also holidays for schools, many use this period for end-of-the-year family re-unions – which is a very good thing.

And since some people attend church-services only twice a year (on December 25th and the Easter weekend) it is good for churches to have services on those dates, so that they can preach the gospel to such people and explain to them that Jesus came to earth to save us from our sins and that He conquered death and Satan for us.

True believers are thankful every day of their lives that Jesus was born and that He died for their sins and rose again – and not just at two times of the year.

In the early days of Christianity, some Christians celebrated the Sabbath – which was a non-Christian religious festival, just like Christmas and Easter. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul therefore to write Romans 14 to warn other Christians not to sin by judging them. The same warning holds good for those who judge others who celebrate Christmas and Easter.

“Accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. Who are you to judge the servant of another? One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who does not, for the Lord he does not, and gives thanks to God. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God and each one of us will give an account of himself (alone)to God” (Rom.14:12)).

And that is the best word with which to conclude this study on Christmas and Easter.

**By Zac Poonen © Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://www.cfcindia.com/ 

Saved Out of the New Age

We all have our stories to tell of how we came to know Christ, and I always love to hear them, as they’re never the same. The Lord works in miraculous ways, wooing us and convicting us via His Holy Spirit, as Titus 3:5 states ‘He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit’.

I grew up in a dysfunctional secular household in London, England. I had a warped view of spirituality from a young age and this led me to seek ‘higher truth’ in my own way. I was bit of a magpie grabbing onto whatever fit in with the way I wanted to live my life, till eventually I came across a movement called the New Age which derived from the East. A movement which heavily into improving, ‘the self’ and worshipping ‘the self’ through a wide range of spiritual beliefs and practices. I latched onto it and ran, even qualifying as a life coach in such matters. 

I was into self-help books, astrology, tarot cards, mediums; I believed in reincarnation and studied past life regression. I was into reaching higher states of consciousness through meditation, which I learned through yoga, in turn making me curious about the yogi teachers themselves. I believed there were many paths to God and it didn’t matter what religion you practiced, as it all led to the same place and that it was a personal choice on how you chose to get there. 

I was running wild, partying, clubbing, drinking, shopping, consumed by the image beast. I was careless and reckless in my behaviour, mixing with the wrong crowds. I wore a mask to the world, not wanting to be me, as deep down I was wounded, lacking self-esteem. I was in the miry clay, the pit of sin. I was on fire for the devil and running away from life.

 I got to a point that all the doors closed in on me, and everything that could go wrong, went terribly wrong. I was caught between a rock and a hard place and went through a serious bought of depression. I was broken and wounded, and felt like I had no one to turn too. In my pain suicidal thoughts wrecked havoc on my mind. When I had a realisation of the selfishness of this act, I had a feeling of remorse and that I was ‘not right’ as a person; and that I was a self-pitying evil mess and I just randomly started to repent of my sins. I didn’t realise at the time what I was doing, but I know now. And Jesus in the midst of my pain reached out to me and gave me peace. In Psalm 34:18 it says ‘The LORD is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit’ it didn’t matter that I wasn’t a Christian as the Lord is no respecter of persons. In my pain and torment, I just knew to cry out. That night the Lord took the broken pieces of my life, and mended me together again. What months of therapy couldn’t do, Jesus did overnight, He healed me. The following morning, I looked at the world with fresh eyes, I felt like a new person. 

I knew it was Jesus because of the prayers my grandmother had been giving me to read in the midst of my pain; she was always watching the religious channel and as I was staying with her at the time, something must’ve unconsciously sunk in. Because of this I wanted to know more about Him and started to read the Bible, I always thought that he was some sort of teacher, like one of the gurus from my meditative yoga practices. And as it says in Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” So, I sought Him. I’d heard about Jesus, the great teacher, the Hollywood Jesus with the blonde hair and blue eyes, the baby catholic Jesus, the Muslim Isa the prophet, but it’s not until that night in my room when I was seeking for ways to take my life that I came to know the real Jesus, the Son of God! 

Soon after I found myself working abroad, and was led to a Christian volunteer charity worker, who was a pastor. He showed me some verses in the bible, that really spoke to my heart like, Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ.” and also Deuteronomy 18:9-14, among others. I had to renounce the new age religion and repent properly of my sins. I had to personally invite Jesus into my life. So I did, as Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn the world but to save it (John 3:17). It was the goodness of God that brought me to repentance (Romans 2:4). 

 Since becoming a Christian that hole in my heart that I tried to fill with the empty things of this world started to slowly get filled with Jesus, as something in the spirit realm had taken place, the third heaven, God’s Kingdom. I started to build upon this relationship with prayer, just talking to the Lord. And I began reading and looking for guidance via His Word the Bible, His love letter to the world. The Bible is living, it’s breathing, and it’s sharp and active, like a double-edged sword. And when it goes into your soul, it cuts things, it breaks things, and it changes things. It weeds out the garden of your heart so it’s pleasant for the Lord to reside there. 

When I realised how much I’d been deceived it shook me to my core, but my journey didn’t end there, it was only the beginning… The Bible says in John 8:32, ‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ 

 Lori McPherson

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**My full testimony is called “BLINDSIDED” and is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback

**How to be saved: The Path To Salvation, please click: HERE

Why Can’t Yoga Just Be an Exercise?

“There is a way that appears to be right,
    but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12

Someone asks: “While it’s true that most yoga positions are designed to be positions of worship to Hindu gods, I find it hard to believe that there’s any danger in practicing them when it’s just being done as an exercise.” Let’s look at this from a purely logical point of view. First of all, anyone who truly understands yoga (such as a Hindu) will tell you that yoga positions were never designed to be exercises. They were designed to do one of two things – worship one of more than three million Hindu gods and/or facilitate the flow of prana (life force energy) through the body. As Fr. Pacwa states in his book, “ . . . (H)indus did not devise these exercises for athletic limbering or muscle building. All were meant to lead the practitioner to enlightenment and awareness of his or her inner divinity.”

Legendary guru B.K.S. Iyengar confirms this in his book, Light on Yoga, where he says that some yoga positions “are also called after gods of the Hindu pantheon and some recall the Avataras, or incarnation of Divine Power.” Having said all that, we come to a purely logical conclusion – it’s not possible to “just do them as an exercise” when the so-called “exercises” aren’t just exercises. That would be like saying the sign of the cross can be used as a triceps exercise. Sure, you can use it that way, but it’s not – and never will be – a triceps exercise. Like yoga positions, it can never be a mere “physical action” or “neutral” because it has a profound spiritual meaning.

Others attempt to lend Christian names to these poses while practicing them; however, none of these actions negates the intrinsic Hindu meanings in these poses, at least not according to Norberto Carerra. In his pastoral instruction on the New Age, Carerra writes: “However much proponents insist that these techniques are valuable as methods, and imply no teaching contrary to Christianity, the techniques in themselves . . . in their own context, the postures and exercises, are designed for their specific religious purpose. Even when they are carried out within a Christian atmosphere, the intrinsic meaning of these gestures remains intact.”

So even if you think you’re stretching your back, if you’re using the Sun Stretch to do so, whether you intend to or not, you’re still posing in a position of worship to the Sun god because that’s what this pose was designed to do. It was never designed as a back stretch. It works the same way with someone who uses the sign of the cross to work out their triceps. They may indeed be working out these muscles, but regardless of their intentions, they’re still working out these muscles by making a sign of profession of faith in the Triune God.

My advice is that if the idea of posing yourself in a position of worship to a Hindu god is even remotely bothersome to you, stop doing it. There are plenty of other exercises/stretches you can do that work just as well as yoga.

By Susan Brinkmann

Reprinted with the permission of  Women of Grace® www.womenofgrace.com 


**How to be saved: The Path To Salvation, please click: HERE

What You Need to Know About New Age Beliefs

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Ephesians 5:11 ESV

New Age spirituality says: God is either in all things or he is all things.

Christianity says: “For by him all things were created … all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Col. 1:16-17). We worship the Creator, not what he’s created (Rom. 1:25).

Be wary of: Panentheism, which says “God is in the tree,” or pantheism, which says “God is the tree,” as opposed to theism (Christianity), which says “God created the tree and holds it together by his power.”

New Age spirituality says: We’re on a continual journey to “know all” by achieving cosmic consciousness (also referred to as Nirvana, “going clear,” Christ-consciousness, individual divinity, or fulfilling the dharma).

Christianity says: Satan tempted Eve with knowledge he claimed would make her like God (Gen. 3:4-5), but we can never know as much as God (Isa. 55:8-9, Job 38). While the God of Christianity doesn’t require us to numb our mind, he compels us to love him with all our heart and all our mind (Matt. 22:37).

Be wary of: Ideas or belief systems that promise you can become like God through acquiring knowledge. Ultimate spiritual truth can only be found through God’s Word, the Bible, and in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the only “way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

New Age spirituality says: People work through their bad karma, or the overall effects of wrong actions, by being reincarnated, or physically reborn into a different body, until they achieve their divine destiny of becoming a god, or becoming one with the universe.

Christianity says: There’s no second chance after this life: “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Heb. 9:27). There’s only one “divine destiny”—salvation—achieved only through Jesus Christ: “For there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12), and “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8).

Be wary of: Any teaching that includes reincarnation or encourages works to reach a higher level of spirituality or to earn salvation.

New Age spirituality says: You can shape reality by the power of your thoughts, or by speaking something into existence.

Christianity says: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. … Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that'” (James 4:13-15). “Whatever is true … think about such things” (Phil. 4:8).

Be wary of: Teachings that tell you you can project your thoughts or words into existence, rather than recognizing God is the source of all power to shape reality.

New Age spirituality says: One can separate consciousness from the body, or have an out-of-body experience in order to be connected with the “Universal Soul.”

Christianity says: God didn’t create our consciousness to be separate from our body. Rather, he created us to be conscious within our body (Gen. 2:7). Only through God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in us can we be connected to the Creator (John 14:26).

Be wary of: Any teaching that includes leaving your body or allowing a “spirit guide” to enter it.

New Age spirituality says: The essential doctrines of the truth of life are within man.

Christianity says: “He who trusts in himself is a fool” (Prov. 28:26). The cause of the fall of man was our desire to become our own master, to determine for ourselves what’s good and bad instead of relying on God’s teachings found in the Bible, the only true source. Yoga and New Age teach the same lie Satan tempted Eve with in the Garden of Eden: “You will be as God” (Gen. 3:5), which was designed to keep her (and us) away from the one true God (John 17:3).

Be wary of: Basing your beliefs on what you sense is true, what you “hear” God saying in your mind, or any emotional experience without making sure your thought is in agreement with the Bible.

By Jan Brown

Copyright © 2001 by the author or Christianity Today/Today’s Christian Woman magazine.
Click here for reprint information on Today’s Christian Woman.

**You can read my personal testimony of being saved out of the New Age religion HERE

**How to be saved: The Path To Salvation: HERE

Why I Don’t Celebrate Halloween

One of my children recently came home reciting this rhyme learned while at school. “Witches, ghosts, and goblins, walking down the street Knock on every doorway, ‘Trick or treat!’”

I was shocked by how my child, in all innocence, could sing so casually and trivially about such scary things. I also noticed that this song grouped ghost and goblins which are not real, with witches. I realized that this song sought to group witches into that same silly, not-real category.

Some people think of witches as women with pointed-hats and a broom, or witch-doctors in a jungle. But there is a very active and fast-growing religion called Wicca, where its witches (and wizards) seek to cast spells. Wicca is not some ancient Gaelic religion from the middle ages. It is an active religion practiced across the world today, and very present in the areas where many of us live. Some statistics indicate that Wicca is one of the fastest-growing religions in the U.S.A.

And here is what Wikipedia says about Wicca and Halloween:

Wiccans celebrate a variation of Samhain (October 31) as one of the yearly Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year. It is deemed by most Wiccans to be the most important of the four “greater Sabbats”. Samhain is seen by some Wiccans as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have died, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. In some rituals the spirits of the dead are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the spring festival of Beltane, which Wiccans celebrate as a festival of light and fertility. Wiccans believe that at Samhain the veil between this world and the afterlife is at its thinnest point of the whole year, making it easier to communicate with those who have left this world.

As Christians, we must be careful that practices from the religious festivals of Wicca do not influence us in any way. We do not find Hindus mixing the practices of Muslims in their festivals that honor Vishnu. Neither do we find Muslims adopting the practices of Hindus in their celebration of Ramadan. Different religions believe very different things, and have different practices.

The Bible is very clear that witchcraft is real and powerful and also evil (Read Revelation 21:81 Samuel 15:23Deuteronomy 18:10-13Isaiah 8:19; and 1 Chronicles 10:13-14).

As Christians, we know that there are powers of darkness in the spirit world. So what must we do when the world trivializes what the Bible describes as evil? It should trouble us deeply. And even more so when we see the god of this world system (the devil) seeking to influence our highly-impressionable children, and to write his values into their minds.
When I later told all my children that Jesus instructed us to have nothing to do with witches, a response I got was stunning: “But there are good witches, Dad!” That was also something that had been picked up from school!! This un-Biblical point of view had slipped in. So I realized that I had to stand guard against the dangerously-deceptive logic of this world system.

There is no such thing as a “good witch” for Christians.The Bible tells us that God alone is good and that witchcraft is evil. Good and evil are polar opposites. So a “good witch” is just the devil coming as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Christians must have no contact even remotely with witchcraft in any form, because it will open them up to the god of this world (the devil) – and he is far shrewder than all men. Only the Holy Spirit can help a Christian against the tactics of Satan. All our good intentions will not help us, if we disobey the Scriptures. So no matter how good we may think we are (and no matter how sincere we may be), we can still be destroyed if we don’t hate all evil and stay far away from it (See Proverbs 14:12).

The Western world’s view of Halloween is greatly influenced by the religious values of Wicca. Halloween is a celebration of darkness in the world today. A walk down my neighborhood or a visit to the local grocery store around Halloween time readily confirms this. The world is preaching a Halloween that aligns itself with Wicca.

Western culture today seeks to make witches and witchcraft seem normal. Whether with the concept of good witches, or the wildly-popular Harry Potter novels/movies, Western culture is increasingly accepting of witchcraft. And the fun and carefree festival of Halloween acts as a perfect springboard to aid in this acceptance. I am convinced that Halloween is the “fun gateway” that Satan has opened for people to eventually dabble in the spiritually-evil practices of witchcraft.

So what must we Christians do with a holiday that another religion celebrates as the “festival of darkness”?

As Bible-believing Christians, we give freedom to other religions to do as they see fit. But we must not associate with evil, in any way. We must live with great discernment in our time – because deception is increasing everywhere (See 2 Timothy 3:13). We must nip the normalization of witchcraft early on and stand strong against every attempt of the devil to slip this religion of Wicca into our homes.

When another religion celebrates darkness and focuses on communicating with dead spirits, what does the Lord expect us to do? Can we just go along with the external fun of this holiday, when we know that at its core, this is a festival that explicitly glorifies the powers of darkness and the enemy of our souls?

The devil has masterfully sought to rebrand Halloween as harmless, so that he can encourage people into the blatant pursuit of evil. He did the same thing when he got Adam and Eve to sin (Genesis 3:1-6). October 31st is a day where darkness is openly and blatantly pursued. But many “Christians” drown themselves on that day in an ocean of candy and dress-up costumes. This is textbook-deception: Satan is saying, “I’ll numb you with candy and gifts on Halloween, so that you are distracted from fighting the spiritual havoc I am causing through the glorification and open practice of witchcraft! And eventually, I will rob you even of eternal life.” (Eternal life being the increasing knowledge of God and of Jesus – John 17:3).

I am convinced that only one group of people can fight these supernatural powers of darkness: Christians who walk in the Light of God’s Word alone are uniquely equipped to overcome these forces (1 John 1:3,7)!

So let the world call us narrow-minded or radical. We will remain alert and watchful against all deception. And we will teach our children also to be alert to these Satanic deceptions (even if their friends at school laugh at them or consider them weird). Satan seeks to work on children, slowly and craftily over the years, to the point where they will become increasingly comfortable with open darkness and evil. Our children need to learn from an early age how to combat Satan’s deceptions; and our children are watching us, their parents, to see how we do it!

What shall we say then to Christians who want to celebrate Halloween? At a minimum, I would suggest that you clearly determine why and how you celebrate it. Ask yourself whether you would do things differently if you knew that your neighbors and the folks on your street were Wiccans celebrating the spirits of darkness on Halloween. Judge yourself and ensure that you walk in the light that God gives you. That is all that you are asked to do. You will be judged based on the motives and intents of your heart, and whether you lived by your conscience.

America as a culture seems to live mostly unaware of the spirit world. I have seen that cultures that are more open to idolatry, are much more aware of the spirit world. I grew up in India, and I saw witchcraft and evil spirits several times. I even watched as a neighbor hired a witch to sit in their backyard and cast spells on us (the spells didn’t work and had an opposite effect; they served to show me the powerful protection available in Jesus Christ, who defeated Satan on the cross – Colossians 2:14-15)!

I will not be surprised if rationally-obsessed people laugh off my thoughts about the spirit world. But that world is real and more powerful than most people imagine. And I don’t base this statement on my own experience. The Bible is crystal clear about it. Our Lord Jesus drove out evil spirits from people more than anyone else did.

If I succeed in getting you to honor Jesus Christ on October 31st in a bigger way than before, then I would have achieved my primary purpose in writing this.

May God open your eyes more and more to these realities in the spirit world.

**By Sandeep Poonen © Copyright – Sandeep Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://www.cfcindia.com/ 

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A Clear Gospel Message