Much like politics, Halloween causes passionate responses. There are those who feel complete freedom to partake in Halloween festivities along with the pagan symbolism of witches, ghosts, goblins, and black cats. Then there are those who regard the day as evil and want nothing to do with it. While others boycott and ignore it completely. Some folks find a happy medium by choosing to take advantage of the evangelistic opportunities in sharing about Jesus to those who come to their door seeking candy. Personally, my family has flipped flopped over the past 25 years concerning our observation of Halloween for various reasons. This year we plan to enjoy a funny movie and family meal to find a happy medium for our daughters who are 25 and 13.
My goal in writing this post is to share information helping those who may be hung up on what to do.
1Peter 3:15 “Worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.” So why do you choose to celebrate or not celebrate Halloween? The very next verse 1Peter 3:16 tell us to explain our reasons with gentleness and respect.
Below are some of my frustrations regarding Halloween these days.
- According to Forbes, the total for Halloween expenditures is expected to be around $11.3 billion this year. That’s insane!
- Seriously, do children need a bag of miscellaneous candy, AKA sugar? There is no perceived value in giving children sugar, just saying. Americans will spend $2.2 billion on candy this year according the NRF (National Retail Federation). Considering how much sugar the average American eats daily, is it fair to describe candy as a treat anymore? Did you know that the average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar daily which is 75 pounds of sugar yearly, three times more than we need, this according to MSNBC? Unbelievable, right?
- According to Tsh Oxenreider at the Art of Simple, the majority of the chocolate candy that will end up in your kid’s Halloween goodie bag will be because of child labor, and often child slavery. To learn more, watch the documentary, The Dark Side of Chocolate.
However, the common disagreement regarding the observation of Halloween for many Christians revolves around whether it is a celebration of evil thereby having no place in the life of a believer. Again my goal is not to advocate how your family should observe Halloween, however DO educate yourself and participate accordingly.
Let’s begin with the origins of Halloween and below are several helpful articles when
- Halloween History and the Bible by Answers in Genesis
- Christians and Halloween Grace to You
- Halloween What You Need to Know by Ron Rhodes
- The Facts on Halloween by John Ankerberg, John Weldon, and Dillon Burrough
- CBN article by John Ankerberg, John Weldon, and Dillon Burrough
- Christian Origins of Halloween by Rose Staff
- Halloween A Covenant With Death and Hell
- The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows
There is a lot of fear surrounding Halloween, but consider 1 John 4:18, “perfect love casts out all fear.” On the other hand, perfect fear cast out all love.
Christ followers have nothing to fear as we are living in complete victory since Jesus is seated at the right hand of God in Heaven while ruling His kingdom on earth. Jesus took away the sting of death when He defeated death on the cross, so we have no reason to fear death as His followers. Look at 1 John 4:4 We belong to God. The Spirit, who lives in you, is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Nothing can separate us from God’s love and presence!!! This is the good news of God’s love.
However, the bible is very clear in regards to believers having NOTHING to do with the occult, that which is hidden. Christians should avoid any practice used in an attempt to gain supernatural power or knowledge apart for God’s word.
Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry defines occult as, “that which covers practices that are not approved by God such as:
- Astrology – Isaiah 47:13
- Casting spells – Deut. 18:10-11
- Consulting with spirits – Deut. 18:10-11
- Magic – Genesis 41:8
- Sorcery – Exodus 22:18
- Witchcraft – Deut. 18:10-11
- Spiritism Deut 18:11
Occult practices that should be avoided: Ouija boards, tarot cards, Wicca, astrology charts, contacting the dead, séances, etc.,
Therefore, is dressing up like beloved characters, animals, or icons and going door to door collecting candy partaking in evil? Of course not. Those walking in freedom have the power of the Holy Spirit to guide them like King David, who prayed, “Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe your commandments.” (Psalm 119:66) We will not be tempted beyond what you can bear. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Could our antagonism toward Halloween alienate those we desire to reach? Is it possible to be in the world, but nor of the world? Christ followers have a unique opportunity if they choose to use Halloween as an outreach. What other single event brings kids and families to your front door? Be neighborly, Love your neighbor; turn on the front porch light, to be a light Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
I understand and respect the viewpoint of believers choosing to avoid Halloween. They feel they as Christians are different from the world and are obeying God’s Word. See Ephesians 5:11, “Have nothing to do with the evil deeds of darkness, but rather expose them;” and 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
My daughter’s believing English teacher was a former witch, so I sought her perspective. She was very adamant that she no longer has anything to do with Halloween and suggested that it would be best for believers to meet and pray together on Halloween. Perhaps refraining from Halloween and its activities is the safest and most appropriate response for her and those who have past associations with the occult, witchcraft, and sorcery. 1 Corinthians 8:9-11, Romans 14:1-3
Let’s not get hung up judging one another. Isn’t that what we are doing? How can we accurately judge the motives or intentions of another person’s’ heart? Bottom line, God’s word tells us, do not judge.
With no direct references to Halloween in the Bible, resolving this debate can be a challenge. Romans 14 address what to do when the Bible lacks clear and specific direction. Romans 14:1 in The Message says, “Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions, but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their history. Treat them gently.”
Let’s use Halloween along with all it’s imagery—death, darkness, superstition, expressions of debauched revelry to understand truth for ourselves and equip those we love. Ephesians 5:8 “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”
- Light and Darkness
- God’s Love
- God’s Power
- God’s Protection
- God’s Presence
- Spiritual Warfare
Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, I pray you will walk in love having a safe and family fun filled evening.