Tomorrow is Sunday – Sunday night is also All Hallows Eve or, as the world knows this Christian festival, Halloween. Tomorrow – will you be sending your children out saying “trick or treat” (a direct reference to demons and disembodied spirits who do nasty tricks to you if you do not treat them to some goodies) or will you be doing something to help them to understand that believers must not participate with festivals of demons and devils. Will you be showing them that there are certain things we should not do as believers just because “everyone else is doing them?” Will you celebrate the evening (if you do at all) as a Christian or a pagan? Those are really the two options.
Along with the Christian festival of October 31st – All Hallows Eve – we also celebrate All Saints Day on November 1st with a similar though slightly different theme – which I won’t go into because it is not helpful to the topic of this blog.
The original October 31st – November 1st celebration was a Christian festival marking the faithfulness and witness of those who were believers in the past and “kept the faith” in spite of persecution and trials. This biblically is known as the “cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) and we own the continuation of the faith to these departed saints who proclaimed, witnessed, and shared the Gospel throughout the centuries regardless of the cost.
This “cloud of witnesses” is in Heaven and according to the direct teachings of Jesus recorded in the pages of Scripture there is a great gulf fixed between them and us and we cannot communicate with them. Communicating with the dead – Christian or non-Christian, saint or sinner – is strictly forbidden by the teachings of the Bible. If you are a believer in the “Cloud of Witnesses” doctrine currently making the rounds of Charismatic and Spirit-filled circles where you are taught that the dead – like King David – can appear and talk with you – please know that the teaching is heretical and will take you away from the heart of God and into severe and deadly doctrinal error. It matters not that some very well-known Christian leaders are teaching this heresy; heresy is heresy.
If you belong to the Roman Catholic, Anglican (Church of England), or any Orthodox branches of the “Christian” Church you pray to dead saints. In my mind there is no difference between praying to dead saints like Jude and Mary then talking to the dead like King David and Saul the apostle (The Cloud of Witnesses heresy). If they are dead and you are talking (praying) to them you are biblically in error. On this special evening you hold Mass and pray for the souls of the departed along with praying to the dead departed. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Not biblical. Very religious! Very ridiculous! Especially ridiculous if you profess to be a believer as you should know better. Duh! Trying reading your Bible and not simply believing what religious leaders teach you.
So, October 31 – All Hallows Eve (Halloween) and November 1st (All Saints Day) is when we are thankful to God for those who have run the race, fought the good fight of faith, and earnestly contended for the Gospel in their generation. A prayer of thanksgiving to Jesus for their witness would be appropriate.