I want to address this celebrated and very popular day in the Hispanic culture. I have personally encountered this celebration amongst friends and family members that claim to be Christian.
It is a day celebrated on All Saints Day or November 1 of this year (2020). It is known to honor and commemorate deceased loved ones. An altar is set up with pictures, food and many candles.
Children dress up on Halloween, but ask for dead children to come back to visit. The celebration is for 3 days and the grown ups also dress up, in hopes of making the dead feel more welcomed, should they decide to come back to visit. The homes are decorated with sugar skulls, bread of the dead and other Day of the Dead decorations.
It is viewed as a “happy” day, a day about love and honoring the life of the deceased and loved one. As a Christian, I am forced to look at this from a spiritual perspective. It seems obvious that this is honoring death, hence the name of the celebration and all the skulls that represent death. It is a ritual that has been celebrated for 2,500 years and was an Aztec ritual.
It seems cultural, sweet and sincere, but let me say that if you identify yourself as a Born-Again Christian, you should not be celebrating this. The reason why, is because the death of Jesus was to destroy death. We now celebrate life! We worship the God of life, not the god of death. By celebrating this day, we are mocking God, if we claim to be saved. This would be one of the worldly things that we would turn away from.
I write this in love because I understand how difficult it is to be set apart for God and having to say, “ no” to cultural things that seem innocent in nature. It’s not easy being set apart because there are many times in the believer’s life where we offend family and friends, in order not to offend God.
I found myself in this exact situation with this celebration amongst co-workers, friends and family that celebrate it. By standing my ground for God, many immediately judged me as being “intolerant”. I was looked at like I was “holier than thou” and everything else you can imagine.
I’ll say this, taking a stand for God is always an honor, but never easy. It’s always the right thing, but never “socially acceptable.” We appear to be abnormal and weird to the world because our light shines bright in darkness. Well, I have realized that worrying what God thinks is a lot more important than what people think.
Walking in the Christian faith makes us stand out like a sore thumb. We are going to be irritating because we represent a Holy God whose very nature is against sin. So, if you find yourself having to point this celebration out to someone that claims they are a Christian, they will not like it. So, it is up to us to be loving and show them why.
Origins of the holiday have been traced back thousands of years to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl. We know as Christians that when a soul passes into eternity, it either comes into the presence of the Lord or goes on to await final judgment before being cast into eternal Hell. The Bible says that “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” Hebrews 9:27. This simply and clearly means that, when a person dies, the body disintegrates to dust, but the soul remains conscious in the state it will inhabit for eternity, either damnation in Hell or eternal glory with God.
When any tradition or custom is contrary to God’s will as expressed in His Word, there can be no justification for honoring and preserving it. God’s people are to separate themselves from such sinful practices as the Day of the Dead or face the wrath to come on those who do them (Revelation 18:4). God’s Word warns us not to go to spirits and soothsayers in Isaiah 18:9. “Should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” Deuteronomy 18:10-11 tells us that those who consult the dead are “detestable” to the Lord. It is a lie from Satan because only Jesus has power over the dead and the living. So, make sure to warm anyone, lest they fall under God’s wrath for seeking Satan, over seeking God.