EARLEY: Spooky Thoughts About Halloween

Published 11:58 am Monday, October 25, 2021

By Al Earley

The County had a very strict burn ban.  At 7:00pm on Halloween two fire-fighters could see a fire raging in the back yard.  The firemen knocked on the door, and they waited each holding their helmet in their hand.  A little old woman opened the door and promptly dropped a bar of candy into each helmet. She then told them, “Aren’t you boys are a little old for trick and treat,” and closed the door. The fire-fighters left open mouthed.

Did you know that Halloween falls on a Sunday for the first time since 2004?  Have you ever wondered if the Druids of medieval Ireland may have been dealing with something very real when the practice of All Hallows Eve was very important to the culture? Could there really be evil spirits that must be dealt with?  Is it all just ancient superstition, easily explained by a scientific understanding of the world?

If it is all ancient superstition there are a lot of people in our culture who are very intrigued by angels, demons, the spirit world, the occult, and witchcraft. The problem we face when trying to decide whether it is real or not is that all of these things are not measurable. You can’t put them under a microscope or prove their existence except by personal experience.

I have learned to always be skeptical of my personal experience as conclusive proof for something because so often things are not as they seem. If my personal experience substantiates something where there is other evidence, then we can often be more certain of the truth of something.

Whenever I write about angels it always provokes a strong positive response. People love to talk about their experiences that seem touched by angels.  What about demons? They are usually thought to be fallen angels.  Does the evil side of the spiritual realm exist? I can tell you I have personally experienced encounters with satan and /or his demons. (Note: I use a small “s” to spell satan because he doesn’t deserve to be capitalized). But as I stated above, personal experience can be deceptive. My most dependable source of authority is always the Bible. What does the Bible say about satan and demons?

The interesting thing about the Bible is that it is full of lots of information about the cosmic battle, the forces of evil and the authority we have in the name of Jesus Christ to deal with them. The gospels are full of encounters Jesus had with evil spirits.

From the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he went to battle against evil demons and darkness. Mark reports that one of the first miracles Jesus did in Capernaum was cast out a demon from one of the men. (Mark 1:21-28). These encounters with evil occur so often in the gospels that we are forced to do one of two things: take them seriously or pretend they aren’t there at all. This latter option is what many people of today do. They see those stories as allegorical, with good messages to give us wisdom, but at their core they are stories of people with improperly diagnosed maladies or psychosomatic illnesses. It is reasoned that Jesus knew that most of the illnesses he healed were in their minds, participated in the deception and simply set people free from their bondage to their minds. In effect, Jesus was a really good psychotherapist before there was such a thing.

For a long time, I found that to be a reasonable explanation, but was always uncomfortable with what it implied about the character of the Son of God. Then my experiences in ministry brought me into direct contact with evil as described in the Bible. I have concluded that evil demons are very real, and a formidable force against those seeking to serve Jesus Christ and advance His kingdom.

What about you? Can your worldview handle the possibility of an evil realm bringing darkness into the world?  Do you have any experiences with evil that are best explained by the Bible? Have you ever experienced something you feel certain is real, but isn’t something you can see or measure?  How do you account for those things if they don’t fit in your world view?  Do you dabble in the occult, astrology, magic, mediums, crystal balls, Ouija boards, or any other form of manipulation of the spiritual realm?  What does the Bible say about such lifestyle choices (see Deuteronomy 18:9-12a and Ephesians 6:10-18)?  Do you need to make some changes in your worldview, the way you live, or what you believe after today’s article?  What are those changes?

To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, see www.lagrangepres.org.