The passage is from the context of when Jesus was teaching the Pharisees and the teachers of religious law about inner purity; how they ignore God's laws and substitute it for their tradition.
This month of October, a certain tradition is celebrated by the world in earnest, I am pretty sure you have seen the signs and advertisements all over the place. I am talking about the tradition of Halloween. Many adults and children perceive this to be a harmless evening of masquerading for "tricks or treats". The reality is that this is not a harmless celebration. Its roots and overtones is in satanism and devil worship.
The dictionary defines trick as: a crafty or underhanded device, manoeuvre, stratagem, or the like, intended to deceive or cheat; artifice; ruse; wile.
The sad truth is the devil is tricking - deceiving and cheating a whole lot of people, including Christians into celebrating a "seemingly" harmless day. The enemy is also encouraging those who celebrate this day to take on the persona of evil and deceptive nature.
To help you understand the roots of this celebration, I did a bit of research.
Origin of the tradition of Halloween: Halloween has strong roots in paganism an witchcraft. It began as the Druid festival of Samhain. the celts considered November 1 as the day of death. The druids also thought that on 31 October, on the eve of the feast, Samhain assembled the spirits of all who had died during the previous year to return to their former home to visit the living.
Human and animal sacrifices: For thousand of years, druid priests have conducted diabolical worship ceremonies in which cats, horses, sheep, and human beings were rounded up, stuffed with wicca cages and burned to death. These were required to appease Samhain.
Trick or Treat: To obtain the sacrifice offerings, druid priests would go from house to house asking for fatted calves, black sheep and human beings. Those who were promised prosperity, and those who refused to give were threatened and cursed. This is the origin of 'trick or treat'. You still think it's about candies?
Jack-O-Lantern: This has its origin in the candle-lit pumpkin or skull, which served as a 'signal' to mark those homes that supported the druids' religion. They were seeking the 'treat'; when the terror of halloween began. The Wikipedia describes Jack-O-Lantern as "the symbol of a damned soul" Wikipedia. Do you still think its about carving the prettiest pumpkin on the block?
House of Horrors: A popular hero of halloween is count dracula. Well, you better believe that this is based on the story and persona of a real person. His name was Vlad from Transylvania. He was a prince and during his reign it was reported that he killed many men and women. He would devise a plan to rid his country of the burden of beggars, the handicapped, the sick and the aged by inviting them to a feast at one of his palaces. He fed them well and got them drunk. then asked them " Do you want to be without cares, lacking nothing in the world?" When his guest said 'yes', he dracula, will order the palace to be boarded up and set it on fire. How about that for a hat trick?! Do you still think dracula is a cute and harmless hero?
As I mentioned earlier, some Christians feel that they and their children are missing out on some sort of 'cool' club or party celebration and feel the need to conform and join in. Have you noticed that the theme around halloween and its celebrations is of a dark nature; death, evil and fear?. As the years have progressed, the costumes have got even more grotesque - truly stuff nightmares are made of! Not exactly a beautiful nightmare is it now?
However, Solomon 2:15 warns us that "Our vineyards are in blossom; we must catch the little foxes that destroy the vineyards". You see, when little foxes are hungry and search for food, they will enter into gape orchards and eat the ground crop. Because they are very small and unable to reach the top grape bunches, they would kill the whole vine instead, thus instead of the farmer loosing a few of his crop, he would loose much more - a whole vineyard.
Compromising our believes and the light of the earth that we are, to celebrate halloween (and other evil rooted, earthly traditions) might be seen as harmless, however, it is such compromises that opens the door to a bigger evil in our lives. The fact that something has been done for centuries and it is called 'tradition', does not make it acceptable for us or our children to participate in it; hence the opening verse of this post. When we read through the bible, it is evident that the Israelites, usually fell out of step with God's will, when they reverted back to embrace and celebrate their earthly tradition, as opposed to following God's word.
1 Peter 2:9 tells us that "But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests,[a] a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light." This means we are not meant to conform to the ways of the world, even though it has been a long standing tradition, it still does not change what the bible says about the difference between light and darkness. As long as it is not of God and it is of darkness, we have no business taking part in it!.
With all things, it is either of God or of the devil, there is no middle ground. The responsibility lies with us to take everything we do with our lives, back to the Bible and confirm what God's word says about it.
Parents have the responsibility to shield their children from evil practices and celebrations such as halloween. We should not partake or let our children partake in these sort of celebrations. 1 Corinthians 10:21 categorically tells us that "You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too" Light and darkness cannot reside within the same space or body, it is impossible!.
I pray that we do not behave like the gentiles described in 2 Kings 17:17 which reads "They even sacrificed their own sons and daughters in the fire.[a] They consulted fortune-tellers and practiced sorcery and sold themselves to evil, arousing the Lord’s anger."
But obey God's word as He commands in Ephesians 5:11, which reads "Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them."
Have a great rest of the week and weekend being the light of the world and the salt of the earth of your environment; whilst making God famous along your way.
***Pictures from photobucket***
Research- google (online articles), wickipedia, dictionary.com