Obsessed with the Dead
Trick or Truth
Who loves Halloween more than costumed children? The dentist. That’s because an estimated $2.2 billion is spent on candy for Halloween each year. The delicious treats are gathered by children dressing up in ghoulish costumes and going door-to-door asking for candy.
This has been popular in the United States and other countries for over 100 years in its current state. However its roots can be traced back to the ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain. On this night the souls of the dead would return to revisit their home. The people would leave gifts and food for the visitors.
It is said that evil, unwelcome spirits would also come out. To trick the evil spirits the people would disguise themselves with evil looking masks in order to blend in.
Eventually, this transferred into mumming and guising when people would go door-to-door in costume (disguise) often reciting poetic verses in exchange for food.
Centuries later, when Samhain had transferred into the “Christian” holiday of All Souls Day, poor people would visit houses of wealthier people and receive pastries called soul cakes on condition that the recipient would pray for the dead relatives of the home owners. This was later followed by children going door-to-door and asking for gifts like food, money, and drink.
In Scotland and Ireland people would take part in the same type of tradition, but instead of praying for the dead they would sing a song, recite a poem, tell a joke or perform some other type of “trick” before collecting their "treat".
Later, as the celebration evolved, the tricks became more devious. If a treat was not given when requested they would cause damage to the property culminating in costly damages. This celebration has become quite a contender in the commercial world of the United States, and we Americans spend $6 billion annually in candy, costumes, decorations, and parties.
All this is due to the misunderstanding of what a soul actually is. In the beginning God created Adam out of the dust of the ground. The Bible puts it this way, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7 KJV). Other translations render the prhase living soul as living being such as the New International Version. Notice, God did not put a soul into Adam, the Bible says that Adam BECAME a living soul.
A soul is not some sort of detached, ethereal, ghostly being that resides inside you and at death roams around looking for residence. The Bible tells us YOU ARE A LIVING SOUL. It takes both the element of God (the breath), and the element of the earth (the dirt) to make a living soul. At death the soul simply ceases to exist until God “puts it back together” at the resurrection. To illustrate this, imagine you have four pieces of wood and nails, put it together and you have a box. If you separate the nails and wood you have no box. Where did it go? It simply ceased to exist...until you put it back together again.
Rest at ease, there are no disembodied souls roaming the earth. In fact the book of Job tells us “As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more. He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him anymore.” (Job 7:9-10).
Praying for the dead is of no effect because they will have already made their decision for or against Christ while they were alive. Hebrews 9:27 tells us “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Thus the concept of reincarnation is foreign to the Biblical record.
Imagine if instead of going door-to-door for candy, we taught our children to go door-to-door for Jesus. Why not try, instead of Trick or Treat, Truth or Treat. Take the opportunity this Halloween to offer people a relationship with Jesus Christ, and instead of waiting until people are dead to pray for them, take the time to pray for them while they still have an opportunity to accept the gift of Salvation offered to us free with no trick, no strings attached by Jesus Christ.
Written by Brandon Senior
Edited by Preston Monterrey
Oct. 15, 2015