Devils and Demons
This page offers a brief history, from a Christian perspective, of devils and demons as Halloween symbols and images.
NOTE: This information is drawn from a Rose Publishing pamphlet, Christian Origins of Halloween. The content has a copyright © 2012.
NOTE TO PARENTS: Since the Halloween season is full of images of demons, it affords the perfect opportunity to discuss the reality of a spiritual battle. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” The good news is that “the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4)!
The Bible makes clear that demons are real, and that our “enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). But be encouraged! Their power is no match for God. In the second preface to his book, Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis addresses the question of whether he believes in a literal Devil or not:
“Now, if by ‘the Devil’ you mean a power opposite God and, like God, self-existent from all eternity, the answer is certainly No. There is no uncreated being except God. God has no opposite, No being could attain a ‘perfect badness’ opposite to the perfect goodness of God; for when you have taken away every kind of good thing (intelligence, will, memory, energy, and existence itself), there would be none of him left.
The proper question is whether I believe in devils. I do. That is to say, I believe in angels, and I believe that some of these, by the abuse of their free will, have become enemies to God and, as a corollary, to us. These we may call devils. They do not differ in nature from good angels, but their nature is depraved. Devil is the opposite of angel only as Bad Man is the opposite of Good Man. Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael [the archangel).”
Many people hold the erroneous view that Satan is somehow the opposite or counterpart of God. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Satan is a created being, arguably the most powerful of God’s creation, but he is accountable to God, and his judgment is near (Revelation 20:7-10).
As for the red suit, horns, and pitchfork – Christians have characterized demons in ridiculous costumes for many centuries as a way to demonstrate that they need not be feared. They are destined for certain defeat. In fact, as noted on our Costumes and Trick-or Treating page, it was churches throughout greater Europe that probably started the tradition of dressing up like devils. Churches used to celebrate All Saints’ Day with “processions in which parishioners dressed up as saints, angels and devils.” Church members would often act out mini-plays — the common theme being that, in the end, evil was defeated by good.
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You may freely use this content if you cite the source and/or link back to this page. This content is drawn from Christian Origins of Halloween by Angie Mosteller. It has a copyright © 2012 by Rose Publishing Inc.