Volume. XXI, No. 20
Sunday, 12 November 2006



    It is end of October again this year and beside the all important  protestant reformation day which is to be properly remembered by God‘s people  instead, (but sadly neglected or forgotten by many today) Halloween has taken center stage and is featured in the Straits Time (Life Section front page) on 27 Oct 2006 and is celebrated by many today including Singaporeans (Christians and churches alike) as a fun time for kids (see Toy ‘R’ Us) and adults, putting on evil looking wizards or witches’ costumes, cauldrons, brooms, vampires apparel, skeletons, candles, amulets, tarot cards, voodoo dolls, charms and chants and other activities in horror parties in town. In some kindergartens, child care centres and night spots (i.e. Ministry of Sound, Devil’s bar, Sentosa, Bird Park, etc.) and even condominiums and Safra are organizing events to go door-to-door to get candy and play tricks on others. But it is also known as a time of witches, ghouls, goblins, and ghosts and spirits that will come alive and haunt the earth. Many including some Christians see Halloween as just a harmless time of fun and not a ghastly and demonically inspired night to be avoided.

     As Christians, should we allow our children and ourselves to have some fun and participate in Halloween? Is it alright to go trick-or-treating? Can we dress our homes or our kids up in diabolical costumes on that day for some malevolent fun as Christians? Let’s discuss.


Halloween's Origins

     A bit of objective history of the event or celebration of Halloween will help here. The word Halloween is derived from the term "All Hallows Eve" which occurred on Oct 31, the end of summer in Northwestern Europe. "All Saints Day" or "All Hallows Day" was the next Day, Nov 1st. Therefore, Halloween is the eve of All Saints Day.

     Apparently, the origins of Halloween can be traced back to ancient Ireland and Scotland around end Oct. On Oct. 31st, the Celts celebrated the end of summer. This was important because it was when animal herders would move their animals into barns and pens and prepare to ride out the winter. This was also the time of the crop harvests. This annual change of season and lifestyle was marked by a festival called Samhain -- pronounced 'sow-ane' and means 'end of summer.' Sow rhythms with cow.

     There was much superstition associated with this time of change including the belief in fairies, and that the spirits of the dead wandered around looking for bodies to inhabit. Since the living did not want to be possessed by spirits, they dressed up in costumes and paraded around the streets making loud noises to confuse and frighten the spirits away. In addition, the new year began for the Celts on Nov 1. So, the day of Samhain was believed to be a day that was in neither the year past or the year to come.  Since it was in between, chaos ruled on that day. Often, people would pull practical jokes on others as a result with ghostly tricks.

     Later, around the 5th century, as the Catholic Church developed and moved into the area, instead of adding a new day to celebrate, it took over the Samhain celebration. Nov. 1st became "All Hallows Eve" where all the saints of the Catholic church were honored. A later custom developed where people would go door-to-door on Nov. 2, requesting small cakes in exchange for the promise of saying prayers for some of the dead relatives of each house. This arose out of the religious belief that the dead were in a state of limbo before they went to heaven or hell and that the prayers of the living could influence the outcome. This may have been the precursor to Trick-or Treat.

     The Jack-0-Lantern apparently comes from Irish folklore about a man named Jack who tricked the devil into climbing a tree. Once the devil was in the tree, Jack carved a cross on the trunk, preventing the devil from coming down. The devil then made a deal with Jack to not allow Jack into hell after Jack died if only Jack would remove the cross from the tree. After Jack died, he couldn't go to hell, and he couldn't go to heaven. He was forced to wander around the earth with a single candle to light his way. The candle was placed in a turnip to keep it burning longer. When the Irish came to America in the 1800's, they adopted the pumpkin instead of the turnip. Along with these traditions, they brought the idea that the black cat was considered by some to be reincarnated spirits who had prophetic abilities.

     So, it appears that the origins of Halloween are a mixture of old Celtic pagan rituals superstition and early Catholic traditions. An as true believers of Christ, we have nothing to do with both of them for they are contrary to the biblical teachings of scriptures which clearly forbid the celebration of occutlic events or practices (Lev 19:27-30, Deut 18; 9-14).

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question 71: What is required in the seventh commandment? The seventh commandment requireth the preservation of our own and our neighbour’s chastity, in heart, speech, and behaviour.


Please pray for health & God’s healing: Ps Ki, Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Rev David Koo, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, & Winston Selvanayagam; Sisters Sheila George, Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Aranka Rejtoe, Chrisanthi Selvanayagam, Juanita Tong, Susan Veradi, & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction. "Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.” (Ps 124:8).


Please pray for – a) Cambodia Missions - Rev & Mrs Moses Hahn & ministry in Sihanoukville; b) Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam; c) Pastors & believers in India & Pakistan; d) Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim; e) Journey Mercies -  Sisters Sheila George & Shilsha Ninian (India), Iris Surman (Adl), Helen & Kelly Won (Korea) & others travelling this week; f) Yr 12 (Joshua Ee, Dabi Han, Daniel Ki, Michelle Lee, Emmelin Teng, Kelly Won, Jonathan Yeo) & Uni students - end of year examinations; g) Rain - to end the drought in Australia; h) Farmers - in their distress and difficulties; i) Ebenezer BPC (Melb) - buying property for worship and parsonage; j) Bible-believers to remain in the faith.


Praise and Thank God for – a) Wed Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; YAF Bible Study; b) Journey mercies - Dn David Yeo (China); Bro Leonard Teo (Adl); Sis Iris Surman (Melb); Mr Chee Chong (SE Asia), & others travelling.


Special Thanks from Sis Iris Surman to all hopefuls for their prayers & concern during her recovery from surgery.


Sunday School Teachers: 2 required. Please see Dn Edwin D’Mello or one of the teachers.


Looking Ahead: Garage Sale & Food Fair on Sat 25 Nov. Proceeds to Ebenezer BPC.


Looking Ahead: Christmas Carols Night & Special items on Sat, 9 Dec 2006, 7:30pm at Concordia College Chapel. Please invite your family & friends to join us.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041