© 2022 United Church of God Australia
All correspondence and questions should be sent to . Send inquiries regarding the operation of this Web site to .
By mixing error with truth Satan uses syncretism effectively to deceive the world.
Last Sunday I went to the Supermarket to buy a few items of food and I was surprised by what I saw. A lady walked past me all dressed in black. Her face was painted and she was wearing a funny hat. She looked like one of those medieval witches without the broom stick. It turned out she was one of the staff at the supermarket.
As I went around the store collecting the items we wanted, I noted almost all of the female staff were wearing hats with horns, and the lady who served me on the check-out had her face painted a pale colour and she had a large red mark right across her throat. It looked like her throat had been cut and was bleeding. It was really weird.
However, I think you have guessed what this was all about. The staff at this supermarket was getting into the spirit of Halloween which occurs in a few days time -- on Tuesday evening, 31st October.
Australians are indeed embracing Halloween in greater numbers. They are spending more money on this festival. Halloween decorations are more readily available in the shops and people are embracing this festivity with greater enthusiasm.
Parents dress their children as monsters, vampires, devils, witches and ghosts and encourage them to go door knocking on Halloween eve and ask for lollies and other treats.
More homes these days are sporting Halloween decorations with all sorts of things – images of black cats, ghosts, goblins, and carved pumpkins. Some even transform their yards into make-believe graveyards.
Adults will dress in strange and outlandish costumes and go to parties decorated like dungeons with low lights and morbid surroundings.
The manufacturers are making lots of money by supplying Halloween products to the public. And the public are buying.
If you really want to get into the spirit of Halloween, all sorts of information about Halloween can be found on the Internet. On the web you can find all the Halloween information you need.
This is now a lucrative business.
There is an Australian website HALLOWEEN.com.au which provides:
Ancient Origins (from the Halloween.com.au website):
The Encyclopedia of Religion has this to say about Halloween. It is very interesting reading.
"On this occasion, it was believed that a gathering of supernatural forces occurred as during no other period of the year. The eve and day of Samhain (pronounced SOW-in) is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset.”
Please note what it says: On 31 October to 1 November it was believed that a gathering of supernatural forces occurred as during no other period of the year. It goes on to say:
“The eve and day of this Gaelic festival was characterized as a time when the barriers between the human and supernatural worlds were broken.
“Otherworldly entities, such as the souls of the dead, were able to visit earthly inhabitants, and humans could take the opportunity to penetrate the domains of the gods and supernatural creatures.
"Fiery tributes and sacrifices of animals, crops, and possibly human beings were made to appease supernatural powers who controlled the fertility of the land . . . Samhain (SOWin) acknowledged the entire spectrum of nonhuman forces that roamed the earth during the period" (pp. 176-177).
Halloween is dabbling in the occult. Most people who participate in Halloween are totally unaware of the dangers involved by their association with the unseen demonic spirit world.
Notice also what Encyclopaedia Britannica (15th edition, Micropaedia, Vol. IV, p. 862, "Halloween") says:
“On this holiday, huge bonfires were set on hilltops to frighten away evil spirits . . . .The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature.
“In addition, Halloween was thought to be the most favourable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes."
Can you imagine this? Halloween is a day on which the help of the devil is sought to guide one’s life and future.
For us as Christians, this is truly astonishing information, and totally unacceptable.
We are reminded of the Scripture in Hosea 4:6-7. Note what God said of ancient Israel, and the same indictment is true of us today.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
7 The more they increased, The more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame (emphasis added).
Our people today are being destroyed not because of the lack of physical knowledge, but because of the lack of the knowledge of God. Or perhaps, as the scripture says, it would be better stated that they are being destroyed due to the rejection of the knowledge which comes from God.
The scripture says: Because you have rejected knowledge – and because you have forgotten the law of your God – they have rejected and forgotten the knowledge provide by God – for this there is a dire consequence – destruction.
And, as the scripture says, the more they increased, the more they sinned.
This increase could have two meanings – that is, it could refer to Israel increasing in population – more people – and another point of understanding is their prosperity could be increasing – increasing in the material things of life--more spending money available.
Remember what God said to Israel: “When you have come into the land and you have prospered and eaten and are full, beware lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. You shall fear the Lord and serve Him. You shall not go after other gods...” (Deuteronomy 6:10-12).
Halloween is going after other gods. It is a pagan festival, and it is increasing in popularity. Our people are going for it. They are buying Halloween paraphernalia in stores and online. By embracing it as they are, the more they are sinning.
Actually the celebration of Halloween is a form of escapism. People know there is a void in their lives and they attempt to fill it with physical pursuits – sport, entertainment, various festivals such as Halloween and Christmas. These are things they look forward to, enjoy for a passing few hours of time, and then they are gone. But the void is still there. The void can only be filled by and through a relationship with God. It can only be filled by the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Halloween is a product of the “spirit of fear” which is not from God. As I read before regarding the origin of Halloween:
Fiery tributes and sacrifices of animals, crops, and possibly human beings were made to appease supernatural powers who controlled the fertility of the land . . . Samhain (SOWin) acknowledged the entire spectrum of nonhuman forces that roamed the earth during the period"
The people were in fear of the supernatural which they did not understand.
But, in contrast, God’s Spirit takes away fear and gives us stability, power and love to direct our lives.
But perhaps what is even more amazing is the Christian Church in general has not stood up and reminded people of the law of God and condemned these practices, but have taken a fundamentally evil celebration and worked to Christianise it.
On the Halloween.com website it has a section entitled:
A subsection is entitled: An Episcopal (e.g. Protestant) Christian's view.
This is a brilliant piece of foot work to justify the observance of Halloween.
“Since the eighth century Christians have celebrated All Saints' Day on November 1 to celebrate the known and unknown Christian Saints. Saints are not just those whom the Church has canonized, but all members of that "cloud of witnesses" who proclaim Jesus as Lord - including you and me!
“Almost as old as the celebration of All Saints' Day is the tradition associated with All Hallow's Eve. ("Hallows" mean "saints," "Eve" means the evening before.)
“So, Halloween means "the evening before All Saints Day." Today we call that festival Halloween (Hallow's Eve) and we have many fun secular ways of recognizing it in addition to religious ways.
“However, it's important to remember that its celebration has a long, positive history in the Church.
“What sort of history is that? Like many of the liturgical festivals (Christmas and Easter included), All Saints' Day and All Hallow's Eve have some connection to pagan festivals (emphasis added).
This is just amazing information. Recognition is given to Halloween, Christmas and Easter all having some connection to pagan festivals.
The Church – not the Church Jesus built – but the great false Church masquerading as being Christian -- has very effectively over the centuries used a process called syncretism.
Syncretism is not the kind of word we use in every day language, but it is one that we, as God’s people, should be aware of, and understand.
The Bible reveals syncretism as a long - standing tool of Satan to separate God from His people, or should I say separate people from God.
Syncretism strikes at the heart of the first commandment. It is used by Satan very effectively in his work of deception. Satan has used this deceptive tool in the past and he will continue to use it, because it is so successful.
Originally a political term, "syncretism" was used to describe the joining together of rival Greek forces on the Isle of Crete in opposition to a common enemy.
Another example: If you will recall that, just before Christ returns, rival armies will converge on the Middle East, especially around Jerusalem. They are coming together to fight each other. Then, low and behold, Christ returns and these rival armies join forces to fight against Christ. This joining together of these rival armies to fight a common enemy may be called syncretism.
Syncretism can also mean the process by which elements of one religion are assimilated into another religion resulting in a change in the fundamental tenets or nature of those religions.
One Dictionary defines Syncretism as:
The process in the growth of religions in which the religious doctrines, rituals, deities, etc. of one creed or belief are adopted, adapted, or identified with its own, thus gaining adherents from the other.
In other words, it is the process of merging a dominant religion with another religion, then forming one acceptable set of doctrines and becoming stronger because now the adherents are larger in number.
Let me simplify this down so we all can easily understand how Satan uses syncretism to deceive the world, and he also uses it in his efforts to deceive God’s people.
When considering how Satan uses syncretism, my definition of Syncretism, is:
It is the gradual process of making error acceptable by
mixing it with truth.
It is the gradual process of making error acceptable by
mixing it with truth.
That’s how Satan uses syncretism. It is the gradual process of making error acceptable by mixing it with truth.
It is just another name for THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.
Our human parents in the Garden of Eden were warned against eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Evil fruit and good fruit – both coming from the one tree.
God said to Adam and Eve: “In the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.”
God does not use or condone SYNCRETISM because it ends in death.
God knew that Satan would use syncretism as a very effective tool in deceiving the human race.
In contrast God calls us to take of the Tree of Life – which is completely good, and totally without evil.
God does not merge, or attempt to merge, His religion, His way of life, with other religions. For God, there is only one true religion, and that emanates from Him, and Him alone.
God does not play second fiddle to any other being. In Isaiah chapter 46 God makes this claim:
To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal And compare Me, that we should be alike? Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure.
God takes His position as the Creator of all very seriously. He is a jealous God, and a zealous God. Let me share with you just a few scriptures about God and His character.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
No variation, or shadow of turning. I like that.
John 17:17 Jesus said: Your word (God’s Word) is truth.
God is the author of truth.
Psalm 146:6 Referring to the Creator: Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever,
God keeps the truth forever
Psalm 100:5 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.
The truth does not change from generation to generation
Let’s take the Sabbath day as an example. If I were to say to God, which day is the correct day set aside for rest and to worship You. He would say, “Read and study the fourth commandment in My law.”
If my children, the next generation, were to ask the same question of God, he would say the same.
If my grandchildren were to ask the same question of God, they would receive the same answer.
And if my great grandchildren were to ask the same question of God, he would say the same to them, and so on -- from generation to generation.
Based on what I read in His Word, God would not say to me, to my children, my grandchildren, or my great grandchildren, or any generation, “Well, let’s see now. What do you think would be a good day for rest and worship? Would you prefer the seventh day (Saturday), or would you prefer the first day of the week (Sunday)? What ever you choose will be just fine.”
“Or, if you like, as time spent with me is holy time, then any day of the week is fine by me. It is up to you.”
No, God is the author of true religion. He is the author of His way of life. God’s laws originate with Him – not anyone else. And those laws extend down through all generations. And He will not compromise those laws. In Him there is no deviation, or shadow of turning.
He does not turn to the right or to the left. God is true blue, as we would say in the Australian lingo.
In Leviticus 23:2 God says, The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.
God clearly says here that the feasts listed in Leviticus 23 are His feasts, not the feasts of the people, or the angels, or any other beings – but HIS feasts.
And not only that, He says they are to be “proclaimed as holy convocations.”
These are God’s clear instructions. They are instructions stated with the authority of the One who created us.
In contrast there is a being of tremendous power and cunning who abode not in the truth.
John 8:44 Jesus said (of Satan): You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
This being has no truth in him, he is the father of lies, he is a fallen angel of darkness, yet what is so remarkable is that he is able to present himself into an angel of light.
This is syncretism in the highest degree. He has the ability to make darkness appear as light – in the analogy.
What is seen as light is really darkness.
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
How does Satan come as an angel of light?
We know his heart is filled with hatred towards God and man, his heart is filled with violence, there is no truth in him, he is the father of lies, and his heart is to destroy.
So how does he come as an angel of light?
Well, he comes as an angel of light by using syncretism – he mixes error with the truth, or disguises error in the truth, so that it becomes acceptable to human beings.
There is usually enough truth to disguise the error so the unsuspecting go along with it.
His effective tool is the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and God said to Adam and Eve, “In the day you eat of it, you shall surely die.”
And mankind since that time has eaten of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the end result has been misery, suffering, and every evil imaginable, with it all ending in death.
Satan uses SYNCRETISM effectively to deceive the masses.
Satan has used syncretism successfully for thousands of years. He is still using it effectively today.
Halloween is one example of how Satan uses syncretism as a tool to deceive people.
How innocent is the photograph of a beautiful young girl, with a lovely smile on her face, and she is looking forward with great anticipation to dressing up in Halloween costumes and going out for trick or treat.
Come on, what harm is there in that? – some will say.
Apparently the origin of “trick or treat” refers to the "trick" being some sort of threat to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no “treat” is given to them.
Let me share with you some more information from another website on the subject of Halloween.
“The festival of Halloween is based on a combination of the Christian commemoration of the departed faithful (All Saints' Day) with the pre-Christian Celtic feast associated with a celebration of the end of summer and the Celtic New Year.”
Notice it says “a combination of two things” – the Christian commemoration of the departed faithful -- and the pre-Christian Celtic feast.
The combining of the two here is syncretism.
More info from a website:
“Celts who lived in what is now known as Ireland, Scotland and parts of Great Britain celebrated their new year that began November 1.
“Celtic peoples adopted Christianity quickly, easily, and strongly. The conversion of Celtic peoples did not, however, keep them from celebrating some of their old customs. Attempts to replace the year-end custom in the old Celtic calendar were only partially successful. Some of our Halloween traditions date back to these early times.
“Part of the Celtic customs was a commemoration of their dead. The spirits of the departed were believed to visit their kinsmen in search of warmth and good cheer as winter approached. It was a time when evil, as well as good, spirits returned to the living. Fairies were believed to migrate from one home to another, and Hallowe'en was the time when humans kidnapped by elfin folk could reclaim their lost loves or relatives.
“Jack-O'-Lanterns were scooped out of turnips with skull-like faces carved into them. This may reflect the ancient custom of placing skulls around the tribal fire to keep evil demons away.”
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“A jack-o'-lantern (or jack o'lantern) is a carved pumpkin or turnip lantern, associated with the holiday of Halloween and named after the phenomenon of a strange light flickering over peat bogs, called will-o'-the-wisp or jack-o'-lantern.
“In a jack-o'-lantern, the top of the pumpkin or turnip is cut off to form a lid, the inside flesh is scooped out, and an image — usually a monstrous or comical face – is carved out of the rind to expose the hollow interior. To create the lantern effect, a light source is placed within before the lid is closed. The light source is traditionally a flame such as a candle but artificial jack-'o-lanterns with electric lights are also marketed. It is common to see jack-o'-lanterns on doorsteps and otherwise used as decorations prior to and on Halloween.”
Continuing on from the website:
“To encourage fertility, the Halloween cat, the black cat, became a familiar symbol of Halloween. Some believed that if you held a mirror and ate an apple at the same time, you would see the reflection of your future mate in the mirror.
“Witches entered Halloween in the 19th century. One of the most important witches Sabbaths was held on Halloween. Witches were alleged to fly to these meetings on broomsticks, accompanied by black cats, who were their constant companions. Magical rites and ceremonies were performed by witches from all over the region at a sacred spot.
“Today some families and even parishes hold group celebrations, often with costumes of the saints, and other elements, to reinforce the Christian side of Halloween's origins.
Did you catch that – read again – syncretism.
The gradual process of making error acceptable by mixing it with truth.
In this case the church chose to make the festival of Halloween acceptable by working to Christianize it.
This is NOT acceptable to God.
And when a particular festival becomes popular in the nation, we – as people called by God – we could begin to tolerate it. We may begin to think, well, it is not so bad. It is just harmless fun. But it is not. It involves the unseen demonic world, and that is dangerous.
Notice this principle in 2 Corinthians 11:1-4. False teachers, and false teachings, had entered the church at Corinth and Paul was meeting that head on. 1 Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly––and indeed you do bear with me.
2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted––you may well put up with it!
If you listen to this stuff long enough – if you listen to these false preachers who are preaching a false gospel, you may begin to tolerate it. You may begin to think it is not such a big deal so let’s not get upset about it.
Instead of dealing with it, you may begin to put up with it. That is not good at all.
And because we are immersed day by day in this society, we can become tolerant of these religious festivals – such as Halloween -- which actually is taken right out of paganism, whose author is Satan the Devil.
Now I am not saying we should be rude to the children who come to our door on Halloween for trick and treat. They don’t know any better. They have not been taught that this is not the way of God. They are innocent victims of a great deception.
But we should not tolerate what Halloween stands for. It has direct involvement with the occult.
Although some may dismiss the demonic symbolism and divination associated with Halloween as harmless fun, the Bible condemns the occult.
As a loving Father, God commands us to avoid things that can harm us. Concerning the fallen spirit world, notice what God says to His people:
Leviticus 19:31 Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God"
In addition to this command to avoid practices that pertain to evil spirits, God warned ancient Israel to avoid any kind of occult practices.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them [the nations] out from before you.
God has called His people to a different standard. Instead of superstitions and myths, God tells us to look to Him for our blessings, direction and future. Superstition and consorting with evil spirits was a serious matter in ancient Israel with dire consequences.
Leviticus 20:27, 27 ‘A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.’"
Saul, king of Israel, lost his life when he disregarded God's instructions.
1 Chronicles 10:13 So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance.
Modern celebrations of Halloween may appear on the surface to be quite harmless, but the spiritual implications of dabbling with the evil spirit world are extremely serious.
Fortune-telling, Ouija boards, telepathy, astrology, voodoo, clairvoyance, black magic and such can all be related to occult. Such contact or worship of these satanic forces is forbidden in Scripture.
Jesus Christ tells us that "the first and greatest commandment" is to love our Creator "with all you heart, with all you soul, and with all you mind"
God alone is the giver of life and all good things. God alone is the author of true religion. God alone is the author of festivals that lead to life, not death.
To give recognition to false gods, and to imitate practices that honored them, is unacceptable and idolatrous.
In contrast to this festival of Halloween we have just come back from observing God’s Feast of Tabernacles and the 8th Day.
No witches, no goblins, no contact with the demon world, no carved pumpkins on the stage -- just a wonderful observance celebrating the return of Jesus Christ, 1000 years of peace on this earth, and the offer of salvation to all peoples of all times and place.
God’s way is the celebration of light and life. Halloween is the celebration of death and darkness.
God says, Learn not the way of the heathen. And Halloween is just that – the way of the heathen -- which ultimately leads to death. So let’s be extra careful not to allow this annual festival to have any place in our lives -- and in the lives of our children -- whatsoever.