My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Why Day of the Dead Beckons the Wrestling with Principalities
Day of the Dead is not worth celebrating for the Christian.
Every year on November 2, the first thing that comes to my mind is Day of the Dead. Here is what it means:
The Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and by Latin Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday occurs in connection with the Catholic holidays that fall on November 1 and 2, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. On the Day of the Dead, more accurately called the cult of the dead, friends and family members of those who have died gather together to pray for them and bring to their graves the deceased’s favorite foods, often including the traditional sugar skulls and the bread of death. Private altars honoring the deceased are created, and homage is given to them. Origins of the holiday have been traced back thousands of years to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl. (Source)
I know, I know, many would say that this is just fun, a commemoration of ancestors, of loved ones that are no longer here. How bad can that be? There is absolutely nothing wrong with sitting around a table and remembering Tias or primos who have died or to look through photos or videos of those that are no longer living. However, it is another thing altogether to build altars, bring gifts of food, place cups of water near photos of the dead (in case their ghost needs refreshment) or the like, as these practices are forbidden by God.
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
My family comes from Mexico. I have relatives, loved ones living there still, whom I’ve met at some point, or whom I haven’t yet. But as Corinthians so boldly says above, my attempts at blogging, at participating in Facebook or any other social media, is to “shine light unto them” who have been blinded by the enemy of God. We who have the gospel are responsible for sharing God’s truth with the world, even if it costs us rejection, or severs ties with those we know, who don’t know Him.
Because we know that God has given Satan power over the earth, we need to be more vigilant now more than ever before.
During this time of year especially—whether we take it lightly, or take it with great caution—the unfruitful works of darkness come out in full force to pull the wool over the eyes of all who do not believe in the Lord. The enemy is equally clever at persuading believers to compromise their faith and warm up to his deceptions. For this reason, I want to explain why I won’t be celebrating Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
Last year, I shared this warning with a homeschool group on Facebook and boy did I get slammed for doing so. It became apparent a few days later that those who opposed the truth became severely attacked spiritually. I remember at least two particular individuals who testified to some strange, supernatural things happening in their homes, describing dark incidents occurring in their families and homes. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” It was no wonder to me where the strange things were rooted in.
Suffice to say, I left that homeschool group. It was not a place for edification, iron-sharpening, or the discerning of the spirits.
Although many of those who celebrate the Day of the Dead call themselves Christians, there is nothing Christian about such practices. The celebration of the Day of the Dead by pagans is one thing, but for Christians to participate in or condone it is unbiblical, to say the least. On the Day of the Dead, each celebrant who invokes the souls of the departed engages in an abominable and utterly pointless sin (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). Only One is worthy and powerful enough to call the dead; He will call these to the resurrection of damnation (John 5: 28-29). Those who have died in Christ are not really dead, since they go immediately into the presence of the Lord; the Bible says they “sleep.” Death is certainly grievous to those who have no hope, being without Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13); however, we who know the Lord are encouraged by the knowledge that just as Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Jesus Himself “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). This is the real truth! (Source)
The Bible says in Deuteronomy 18: 10-12 that, “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.”
Simply put, as Christians, we are to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11)
What is most troubling is that many celebrate these events without ever fully understanding why. Most Mexicans practice witchcraft and consult with familiar spirits openly without realizing how serious and perilous that really is. Do we not know that we fight a daily battle?
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12
We must become fully aware of what we put into practice. It is utterly foolish to participate in what we do not understand and more foolish it is to participate in a tradition for tradition sake. Traditions don’t supersede God’s word. Traditions are what get most unbelievers in trouble because they never know why they commit themselves to rituals, why they make vain repetitions, why they touch and bless themselves with idols made of plaster, why they build altars to the dead.
And let’s not forget that people celebrate these unholy festivities because it is another excuse to break out in debauchery. How does any of this edify the Lord?
These invitations into darkness bring upon a curse to the family. Remember, we are wrestling with principalities in this life which are all around us.
What is illogical is to get upset when we are stereotyped, when our families become cursed with the sin of alcoholism, gambling, adultery, idolatry, or other strongholds.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
Let’s instead fear the Lord, for He is mighty and worthy of praise and honor and He will not share His throne with an idol. Why don’t we identify with Christ and the things that bring glory to His name and His Son instead? Why don’t we repent, lest we lament the condition of our families who perpetuate the cycle of sin that needs to be broken and cleansed by the blood of Christ?
Día de los Muertos is demonic. It matters not whether you believe it is or not, whether you justify it as a fun activity that makes you proud to be a Mexican (yeah, that explanation finds itself through the generations) because, in actuality, it is futile to put a mask on something with nefarious origins. Sin by any other name remains sin and wickedness is a force to take seriously as it is not a myth. We are accountable for all we do especially when we do it fully aware of what it is.
This post is updated from October 28, 2015
This post has been featured previously in a different form on Burning Bush Press.
Question- I never thought of things as pagan until last year. I loved Halloween I loved anything skulls/skeleton etc… I ended up throwing away EVERYTHING Halloween–buckets and buckets of decorations worth hundreds of dollars. My daughter is turning 5 she wants a “Coco” themed party. I want to give her one, but now I’m curious- I no longer have this “Halloween” spirit, is it wrong as a Christian to give her a coco /dia de los muertos party?
Hi Nicole! Thank you for stopping by to read and share your concern. Allow me to offer my response:
I would strongly advise against the theme of Dia de los Muertos for any occasion, especially a child’s birthday party. I think you read my post about the many reasons why this event is riddled with pagan teaching, indoctrination, and confusion. If you are taking a stand against Halloween, as you proclaim Christ, it would send a confusing message to condone the coco theme party. Making exceptions is a gateway to returning to what we have shut out of our lives, in this case, Halloween and the spiritual implications of it.
I’m glad you are discerning this and are provoked to do right before God. The mere question you raise already leads you to believe something is wrong with the theme as a whole for a children’s party. Thanks for your honesty!
And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? Isaiah 8:19
Hollywood will never stop marketing its pagan, annihilistic worldview on families by dressing up movies for children with subtle, and overt, anti-Christian agendas. Here’s an article for further reading:
Thank you for speaking truth.
This one seemingly should not be a hard one, but so many believers struggle to discern the spirits this time of year when the enemy is in full force. Thank you for stopping by, Jenny!
My question to you is, do you celebrate Christmas, put up a tree and partake in gift giving? I think when you take a stand like this then you must reject all other pagan associated “holidays” including Easter with the eggs and rabbits. Christianity itself took pagan traditions and twisted the meaning to be more “Christian-like” in its efforts to convert individuals. At what point do you draw the line? To be honest, it’s very tricky because, on one hand, this is part of our culture not just part of religion. And don’t get me started on “religion.” It is a beautiful festivity and instead of condemning people that have an affinity to it, it would be a much wiser thing to educate. For example, my 4-year old nephew is all about the movie Coco and Day of the Dead. He asked his mother to set up an “altar.” The mother complied. Now, this isn’t really an alter. It’s basically just photos of some family members and the characters in the movie Coco with some flowers and fake candles. There’s no ofrendas or glasses of water, etc. Indeed, the candles are used to “guide the spirits” when they return. But it is very much possible to EDUCATE about the holiday and the meaning behind some of these things while enforcing others. It may look something like this: “When people die if they accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, they go to heaven where the person’s spirit lives for eternity. There, there is no pain, no sorrow, no evil. Every year, people partake in this festival to remember their loved ones who have departed. We honor them not by celebrating this holiday, but by living out our God-given purpose on this earth until it is our time to join them.” This route teaches about the various religious traditions that exist such that we may understand and be “tolerable” and coexist. In a world full of hate, we need to teach empathy, compassion, respect, and understanding. Learn different cultures and appreciate the beauty in it.
Hi Jennifer. Thanks for stopping by to comment.
You underscore the need to go back to the Bible…and you’re right: Christianity has assimilated to pagan holidays and has tried to fit them into doctrine, tradition, or conviction. But…
That does not make them legitimate in the eyes of our Saviour.
Secondly, culture should not dictate Biblical principle and precept. Modern Christianity has done this over and over again, and as a result, it has distanced them from the Bible. That is dangerous territory because it makes truth relative, and not absolute as it is. Relativism is convenient as pragmatism is, but scripturally speaking, both run contrary to biblical truth.
Third, The Day of Dead is not a beautiful festivity for its roots are not scriptural. If there’s anything to be educated about, it would be the Bible and all its truths found therein.
Fourth, to suggest that coexisting and understanding those of other cultures and traditions is important, I can agree to the point where it doesn’t conflict with the Bible. However, such coexisting leads to compromise and Christ didn’t encourage His disciples to be compromisers of the faith. He encouraged them to pick up their cross and follow Him. Absolutely.
Fifth, I don’t need to illustrate God’s Word, or salvation, using any symbolism from the Day of the Dead or a movie such as CoCo. That is what the world would have me believe is necessary as a Latina, and frankly, truth be told as I’ve mentioned in this post, cultural traditions don’t trump fidelity in Christ. He is preeminent. That was decided upon salvation. The old passes away as we are made new.
I appreciate your passion for your traditions, but I’ve left many from my culture to pursue Christ because when a tradition contradicts the Bible, there is no longer room for it in a life that is transformed by the Spirit…hence why my family does not put up a tree at Christmas, or hunt for eggs on Resurrection Sunday. We do give gifts though, because in any time of year, in any season, that is a blessing!
Praise be to God, our Lord and Savior. Your post was spot on and thank you; truly I felt the Holy Spirit speaking through you in your post. The dark daily restleling struggles are real. I had to repent recently for inviting darkness in because I went to go see the new movie Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis. I knew I shouldn’t have gone but I’m a fan of her work. Needless to say, I had darkness hovering over me for a few days and I felt weak. Then I knew I let darkness in so I repented and put the full armor of Christ on because darkness attacks us because we are God loving God fearing followers in Christ and the devil wants to attack us Christians even more. So thank you my sister in Christ for your post. Jesus lives!