Does where it came from really matter? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
“But Halloween is from paganism and is rooted in Samhain.”
So this the kind of conversation I had yesterday. First off, I said that point is highly debatable. The reality is that there have been more scholarly works written about Buffy The Vampire Slayer than about Halloween. Unfortunately, much of what you see on the internet is just nonsense. I really recommend the book Unmasking Halloween which is the best book I have read on this topic thus far.
So the first point I made was to dispute the Samhain connection. Well, that wasn’t going well as they didn’t want to hear any of it, so I tried another technique which I still stand by, but as expected, didn’t go well. I said that for the sake of argument, I am going to grant everything said about Halloween.
Then here’s what I say even if we grant that it fully came from the pagans and they did evil practices on this day.
I mean that. Who cares?
Let’s use one example I have heard used before. Wedding rings. There have been some claims I have heard that these are pagan in origin. Now let’s suppose I was married again and you were able to convince me that the rings that we exchange at our wedding are entirely rooted in paganism.
What would I do in response?
Why? Because when I put a wedding ring on a woman’s finger, I am not doing it to honor a pagan deity. I am doing it to honor my God and my wife. I am doing it as a symbol of my love for her and as a sign to the rest of the world that we are husband and wife.
I happen to believe in a God who redeems not just people, but redeems all of reality. This God could take something that was a symbol rooted in pagan tradition and change it so it becomes a symbol of His holiness and covenant and a representation of Christian teachings. God is in the business of transforming everything.
So what about Halloween? No one is worshiping the devil when they put on a costume and go door-to-door or take their children door-to-door and ask for candy. If anything, this would be seen as a victory. We took a day allegedly intended for evil, and we turned it into a day where kids travel the streets and get candy.
Not only this, but not everything in paganism was wicked and evil. We get our intellectual ways of thinking from the Greeks. We get our legal system from the Romans. We got Algebra from the Muslims. It would be a great loss to lose everything that came to us from the pagans.
Christians. Don’t be scared when someone says something is pagan in origin. First, you can investigate and see if it’s true. Odds are, it really isn’t. Second, even if it isn’t, so what? Do you do it to honor a pagan deity? No. You do it to honor Jesus. The one who honors a day does so to the Lord as Paul says.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)