Rick Warren and Saddleback Celebrate Halloween

By Tony Palacio

On October 31, 2012 the Orange County Register’s Erika Ritchie reported:

“Saddleback Church event drew families from throughout Orange County for an evening of fun.”

The article goes on to report how “Warren sat and took photos with kids in their costumes. He said he’d thought about dressing up as Iron Man but decided kids might not want a photo with him in that disguise.”

So what is “America’s Pastor” doing celebrating a “holiday” that is so clearly at enmity with the clear teachings of scripture? Good question! Secular sources are in general agreement about the origins and practices of Halloween, which are based upon the worship of false gods, contact with the dead, foretelling the future, and communing with evil spirits.

Rowan Moonstone, a self-described witch, in his pamphlet, “The Origins of Halloween” shares the following:

1. Where does Halloween come from?

Our modern celebration of Halloween is a descendent of the ancient Celtic fire festival called “Samhain”. The word is pronounced “sow-in,” with “sow” rhyming with cow.

2. What does “Samhain” mean?

The Irish English dictionary published by the Irish Texts Society defines the word as follows: “Samhain, All Hallowtide, the feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times, signalizing the close of harvest and the initiation of the winter season, lasting till May, during which troops (esp. the Fiann) were quartered. Faeries were imagined as particularly active at this season. From it the half year is reckoned. also called Feile Moingfinne (Snow Goddess). The Scottish Gaelis Dictionary defines it as “Hallowtide. The Feast of All Soula. Sam + Fuin = end of summer.” Contrary to the information published by many organizations, there is no archaeological or literary evidence to indicate that Samhain was a deity. The Celtic Gods of the dead were Gwynn ap Nudd for the British, and Arawn for the Welsh. The Irish did not have a “lord of death” as such.

Note that he admits it was a “feast of the dead.” According to this witch, Druids and Wiccans still hold this day as religiously significant. It is a festival during which, as Moonstone puts it, “is still a night to practice various forms of divination concerning future events.”

What do the scriptures have to say?

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you’” –2 Corinthians 6:14-17

1 Thessalonians 5:22 says to “abstain from every form of evil.”

2 Chronicles 33 tells how King Manasseh “did evil in the sight of the Lord.” We read:

“…he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger.” –2 Chronicles 33:6

There will certainly be people who will choose to rationalize ways to participate, at some level, in the festivities of Halloween. To this the Lord replies in Proverbs 3:7 “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil,” and Proverbs 8:13 “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” Will we seek to push the boundaries of our faith to see just how far we can go? Or will we seek to serve the Lord with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength?

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” –Isaiah 5:20

The Lord equates Spiritual maturity with the ability to discern good and evil. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that they should:

“stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults” –1 Corinthains 14:20

The author of Hebrews makes it even more clear when he says:

“But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” –Hebrews 5:14

For those who would still insist that they can participate in such activities with a clear conscience, there is another aspect to think about: the example you are to those around you.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God–even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.” –1 Corinthians 10:31-33

Who among us is weaker than our children? Can we take the risk of them seeing us participating, however marginally, in an activity rife with occultism? Jesus had harsh words for those who would cause such little ones to stumble! (Matthew 18:6) We work so hard at protecting them from the evil world around them, will we then be guilty of corrupting them for the sake of a celebration of that very evil? “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

The best thing we can do for our relationship with Jesus is devote ourselves entirely to Him.

“…Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with endurance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” –Hebrews 12:1-2

Sadly, it seems that many of those posting comments responding to the Orange County Register’s article had more biblical sense than “America’s Pastor.” As one commenter posted, “A Protestant church promoting Halloween. Hmm…”

Read Pastor Joe Schimmel’s full article regarding Halloween called “A Christian Response to Halloween” by Clicking Here.

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