Gradually, there were more saints than there were individual days to honor them. The solution seemed to be to consolidate the remembrance of all of them into one special day called “All Saints Day.”

 

Remember that I said earlier that every May a celebration was held in the Pantheon in honor of the Virgin Mary? In A.D. 705, Pope Gregory III changed the celebration of All Saints Day to November 1st. In A.D. 834, Pope Gregory IV extended the celebration to the entire Roman Church. This was an apparent attempt to coincide with the ancient Druidic festival of “Samhain.” The Church wanted to accommodate itself to the recently conquered German Saxons and Norsemen of Scandinavia. So it baptized yet another pagan celebration.

 

Thus, this special Church day of remembrance was called “Allhalowmas.” It was easily shortened into “All Hallow” for the “hallowed ones” or “saints” who were being remembered. The night before, October 31st, evolved into “All Hallow Evening.” It, too gradually was shortened to “All Hallow Eve,” then came the contraction “Hallows E’en,” and finally to its current form of “Halloween.”

 

So a day that started out as simply a remembrance of the saints progressed to a reverence for the saints and finally ended in a worship of the saints.

 

There was an unholy wedding then of the “saints” and “Samhain” … a union of “light” and “darkness” … a co-mingling of the “cup of the Lord” with the “cup of demons” (I Cor. 10:16-21).

 

These three religious and historic streams, then, have converged to form the polluted river of Halloween. Again I must say that the ultimate fountainhead of Halloween is Satan.

Innocent Fun?

Just as Satan has successfully veiled the true focus of Christmas by Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas trees and presents, and the resurrection of Christ with Easter bunnies and Easter eggs, he has given the true pagan nature of Halloween a benign cultural veneer of respectability.

 

Satan is the master of deceit and disguise. His favorite deception is to convince educated people that he really does not exist. What better way for him to perpetrate the illusion that neither his person nor power exist than to make it all “innocent fun.”

 

Anyone who has spent time on the mission field, as I have, will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the whole realm of evil spirits and the demonic are not something to be played with. To put them in the same category as fairy tales, make-believe and mythology is spiritual suicide. This is the very real and active fallen realm of “principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual forces in heavenly places” that scripture tells us to stand against in the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:12).