Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
DARK vs. LIGHT / EVIL vs. GOOD / DEATH vs. LIFE
Halloween is a good opportunity to recognize how opposite the world is compared to God—darkness vs. light, evil vs. good, death vs. life, fear vs. faith and love, sin vs. holiness, and then take a stand for righteousness and for a good Christian example. And if Halloween was once one of your favorite holidays, take an honest look at why, and then join all of us who laid it down for the Lord.
Why is it perilous? As Jesus would say, “he that has ears to hear, let him hear.”
1. Fear is an enemy to God and us. Obviously, it’s not the candy, games, and pumpkins that cause concern. It’s the other half of Halloween, of which the entire premise is fear, fright, death, and evil. Scaring people is not of God but is a tool of the devil. How many children have seen scary movies and had tormenting dreams because of them? Frightening people is never of God.
“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7). “…fear brings torment” (1 John 4:18).
The devil uses all sorts of fear tactics to stifle people’s lives. Fear is an open door for destruction and is an enemy of God. For this reason, all things that frighten, spook, and plant scary images in people’s minds are designed by the devil. We don’t go to haunted houses. We don’t watch scary movies. And we don’t get into Halloween.
Fear can also open the door for demons to afflict people, and demons certainly get involved with the evils of Halloween. For Sprit-filled people, we are not afraid of anything. But we also don’t open ourselves nor our children up to it.
2. Christians are to “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thess. 5:22). Though some of the traditions at Halloween are completely harmless, there are just too many dark, demonic, and evil symbols for us to remain completely indifferent toward them. Halloween is a Wiccan holiday birthed from a demonic culture (the Druids), and most of the symbols of witches and skeletons and ghosts and zombies and mummies and gargoyles and blood and vampires, etc. are of satanic origin.
Once people are born again and filled with the Holy Spirit, their heart changes, and they recognize things that are abominations to God, “those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all” (Acts 19:19, ESV).
Even if it’s all “just for fun” to many people, we’re still having to deal with the contradiction in our hearts. So, we should go the extra mile for the Lord. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers…what communion hath light with darkness…wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord…” (2 Cor 6:14-17).
3. If the root is evil, then the tree is evil. Luke 6:43 “…a good tree cannot bring forth corrupt fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit…” Since the tree of Halloween is rooted as a pagan evil day, the fruit is always corrupted.
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness.” –Ephesians 5:11
What should we do instead?
4. Don’t hide from it completely. Rather, use it! For trick-or-treaters, turn on your porch light, get your candy ready for all the little kids that come by your house. And bless them with good candy and a GOSPEL TRACT! Recognize that finally, people are coming to your house and knocking on your door, so offer Jesus Christ to everyone that comes by.
Even go so far as to tell each group before you give the candy, “Hello everyone, I just want you all to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and died for your sins, and if you want to be saved and forgiven, pray this with me, “God…I believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior…save me! Thank you, God”. And then say goodbye. We’ve seen children and their parents get saved just that easy!
5. And for kids at school or parents at work, we should be wise in our response to those who are celebrating it. Just ignore the decorations and don’t react to all the silliness. And if anyone asks, just convey that you’re not interested in it (except for the food and candy!). We’re not worried nor afraid about anything regarding Halloween. We’re not trying to make some public display of our disapproval, but only avoid being “a friend to the world” (James 4:4). We’re just staying disconnected from it in order to honor God. But we don’t have to make others feel bad nor try and command everyone to stop. Once a person is saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, they can more easily respond to the call for Godliness.
INSTRUCTING OUR CHILDREN
- Pray. Ask God to help you explain things to your child. Trust that the Holy Spirit will guide and comfort your child, and that they will have a desire to do what is right. For younger children, the answer can be “just because I said so.” But for older children and teenagers, they’ll need some explanation. Be strong, yet be gentle. Realize that because of their naivety, children don’t quite recognize the negative side of this holiday. What they hear is only that we won’t let them have candy, a costume, and fun with their friends.
- Try to reveal to them that our love for Jesus is the reason we won’t let ourselves be found in questionable activities. When their friends ask them why they won’t participate or if they make fun of them, our children can say, “Well, I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, who is loving and only good. And Halloween represents too many things that are bad and evil. My Lord doesn’t approve of it, and neither do I.”
- Eliminate the issue before it begins by helping your children form relationships with other Christian children. If your child has more interaction and influence from ungodly children than with children from Spirit-filled Christian families, you will find yourself in a constant battle that will intensify as they get older.
- Halloween at the public schools: pray and determine God’s will in the matter. You can’t always just yank your child out of school for the day. But, it is between you and God. If you allow your children to put a costume on, at least set limits on which costumes and activities are acceptable.
- CANDY! Consider showering your child with candy anyway, and make sure they get equal (or more) amounts of candy as the other kids!
- Possibly consider if you may want to offer your child an alternative to the Halloween parties either before or the day of. Provide them with some sort of substitute and reward them for their obedience.
- Remember that your child is counting on you to make right choices for them now. The day will come when they will be happy and thankful that you trained them in the ways of righteousness and helped them walk uprightly before the Lord Jesus Christ and “shine as lights in the world” (Phil 2:14).
- And finally, if, for some reason, you feel unable to get your child out of some Halloween function and choose to allow them to participate in something, or if you have disagreement between parents for a season, have faith in God that He will protect, and pray for grace and wisdom for your child. And don’t feel guilty or condemn yourself. God will keep everything alright.
Phil 2:14-16 Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.