How Former Witches Want You to Celebrate Halloween
- Friday, October 28, 2005
If you are looking for lurid tales of infant sacrifice or ritual rapes of 13-year-old virgins, you won't find them recounted here. Those horrors may have happened somewhere on October 31st, but the tragedy remembered by some former witches is that Halloween traditions and symbols often can provide too handy of a gateway to the occult. And some children are simply spiritually unprotected because no one ever prays for them.
Writes one former witch on the Exwitch Ministries website: "Many kids get their first exposure to the occult at horror movies at Halloween parties. After the initial exposure to the occult some children are attracted to the occult because of the power it offers them. Others see it as the ultimate means of rebelling against their parents."
Exwitch Ministries was founded to reach occultists, Wiccans, Witches, Pagans, and others through consistent witness, the demonstration of Christ-like character, apologetics, and genuine love and concern. They also support those who choose to embrace Jesus through discipling, networking, and fellowship.
But Halloween doesn't have to be a trapdoor to hell. And many former witches don't want to see the holiday left in Satan's hands to be used for his own purposes. They want to see the day redeemed. And if not redeemed, then they would like to see the trapdoor a lot less child-friendly.
Mark Bishop, a self-described former "eclectic witch," said in a recent interview that when he first came to faith in Christ, he really hated Halloween was because of his sensitivity to the occult symbolism associated with it. "As the costumes got more and more grotesque and more celebratory of darkness, it bothered me a lot. I knew what was on the other side and I knew it was real."
Strangely enough, his son's kindergarten teacher helped him understand that God made Halloween just like He made every other day of the year. "Satan doesn't own the day," said Bishop. "I still know what's real and what's on the other side. But God made this day just like He made all the others and we don't have to give it to Satan."
Bishop, in fact, recommends that Christian believers teach their children to reclaim the day.
"I do leave the porch light on and give out candy," said Bishop. "And if at all possible, I give out gospel tracts and pray for every child that comes to our door. After all, how often does the mission field come to the door?"
Other former witches recommend that Christians treat their children to a church harvest party while the adults take turns on their knees at the altar beseeching God for His protection over the tender souls of their children, neighborhood children, the town and rebuking Satan in Jesus' name.
"The Scripture says we are in a battle against principalities and powers of the air, wickedness in high places. If Halloween isn't a reminder of that, what is?" one former witch asked. "What better time to stand against the night?"
Over the centuries, there have been numerous attempts to redeem the holiday, most notably led by the organized church. Somewhere in the seventh century-although by some accounts attempts were made as early as the fourth century-commemoration of the Celtic new year celebration of Samhain was replaced by Pope Boniface IV AS All-hallows or Halloween. Remembering saints and martyrs, October 31 was passed in prayer and fasting with November 1 and 2 becoming All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, respectively.
Obviously, Halloween's redemption process still requires work. Perhaps, ironically, former witches will be the ones to give the rest of us an inkling of what we could be doing.
"Halloween was once a night of prayer, praise, and sacrifice," reminded one former witch. "This is one night when the world beats a path to your door. Be prepared to bless each and every precious child by praying God's protection over their souls. It may be the only time all year anyone prays for that child."
Rebekah Montgomery is the editor of Right to the Heart of Women e-zine, a publisher at Jubilant Press, and the author of numerous books on spiritual growth. She can be contacted for comments or speaking engagements at rebekahmontgomery.com.
This article orginally appeared October 28, 2005.
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