Should Christians celebrate Halloween? Opinions differ between Christian leaders, lay people and church members.
According to a CBN News Facebook poll, 87% of believers feel that Christians should not celebrate Halloween, while 13% believe it's okay.
Former Satanist John Ramirez recently joined Charlene Aaron on CBN News' Prayer Link to talk about Christians and Halloween.
"I was a general to the kingdom of darkness in witchcraft," Ramirez said. "I would sit with the Devil and talk to him like I'm talking to you today. It was that kind of communication. It was that kind of relationship."
Ramirez warns Halloween isn't just about costumes and candy – there's a much darker reality.
"Sometimes people say, 'I celebrated Halloween 10 years ago, I did this 15 years ago, I did this 20 years ago.' But the door's still open. You just cursed your family from three to four generations," Ramirez told CBN News.
"You have to be aware it's a curse. You have to go back to the place where you started, that year that you started that Halloween thing, the celebration when you started having that encounter with the dark side. You have to go back to that same spot and renounce and renounce it in the name of Jesus Christ and ask God to forgive you for that so that God can have mercy and close that door so your whole family can move forward," he continued.
Ramirez, now a pastor, knows all about the dark reality of Halloween. He once sacrificed animals as part of satanic rituals and his friends even knew him as "Lucifer's son."
Now as a born again believer, he strongly warns Christians against celebrating Halloween and participating in harvest festivals.
"The only harvest we should celebrate is the harvest of souls," he adds.
Ramirez says that in his opinion the other events Christians hold instead of Halloween, such as "Trunk or Treat" nights, are really no different.
"Do you know any Satanists who say, 'Hey, we're going to come into Good Friday and we're going to hang out with the Christians and we're just going to call it a different name?"
However, Pastor Alan Rudnick believes that Christians should take back Halloween.
"Halloween is often associated with the pagan concept of Samhain, the festival where ancient pagans believed that the worlds of the living and dead would have been thinly divided," he writes on his blog. "But, we have seen from the other ancient pagan festivals associated with Christmas and Easter that these pagan connections do not serve as a reason why we cannot celebrate a Christian holiday."
According to the website Equipping Godly Women, Halloween can be a good opportunity for outreach and to teach about good vs. evil.
However, Anton LaVey, the late founder of the Church of Satan, once said he took joy in believers taking part in the tradition.
"I am glad that Christian parents let their children worship the devil at least one night out of the year," he said. "Welcome to Halloween."
***Originally published October 28, 2017.
You can watch the entire Prayer Link interview with Ramirez here:
Ramirez shares more about his warnings regarding Halloween here: