A Christian Perspective on Halloween
Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
When I think of this question, I can almost smell the candy being poured out of my pillowcase onto the living room floor, waiting to be sorted. With parts of our costumes scattered all around us, my siblings and I would get to choose all of the candy we wanted to eat that night.
That’s what Halloween was to me as a kid: a fun costume and overwhelming amounts of candy.
My family started going to a new church when I was in elementary school, but until then we always went trick or treating. I didn’t know that my parents chose something different, I just thought that there was something more fun to do on October 31st.
We started going to a “harvest carnival.” It was an exciting time of dressing up like bible characters and getting loads of candy for playing carnival-type games. One year I even got to wear my mom’s wedding dress. I creatively called my costume, the “Bride of Christ.”
My parents’ choice to take us to a Halloween-alternative was because they wanted to raise their kids in the church, going whenever those doors were open. I also feel the same about having my kids at church as often as possible (partly because my hubby is a pastor and we like to visit him there too).
Should we celebrate?
The question of celebrating Halloween as a Christian seems like a pretty simple one, but it doesn’t really have a simple answer.
There are so many viewpoints on the topic and we each need to search scripture and process our own convictions with God in order to come to a conclusion.
Even my husband and I can differ on how we feel about “celebrating” on Halloween. This is a question that we each need to think and pray about.
I don’t want to over-spiritualize or take something seriously that isn’t really a big deal. However, when I started researching Halloween’s roots, it really got me thinking about how we are living in this day and what this looks like to celebrate Halloween as a Christian… or not.
Maybe you’re wondering how Halloween started and how it got to be the holiday that it is today. According to Celtic tradition, there was a “lord of death” named Samhain. He was in charge of sending spirits to play tricks on people, so they disguised themselves to look like the evil spirits in order to be left alone.
Also, a little bit of time searching witchcraft, paganism, and Wicca, one will find that Halloween is an important day on their calendars. It is a day to remember death and the start of the season of the winter months.
That’s not what it looks like for most people I know.
Both Sides of the Chocolate Coin
I have friends with varying viewpoints. Some say that not participating is legalistic, and there is freedom in Christ. Others say anything even remotely evil will not be anywhere near me.
I’m sure we all know people who entertain every thought in between.
No judgement, but I do want to urge us to think about why we’ve decided what we’ve decided. Also, to encourage us as Christian parents to be a light right where we are.
Halloween has been known as a day for evil, but in my neighborhood it is the night that I see people that I haven’t seen since last Halloween. We don’t necessarily live in a culture that promotes spending time with our neighbors.
How you feel about Halloween is subjective, but the Bible is very clear that we are to love our neighbor.
The one night a year that the whole neighborhood is out is a great time to visit with people, create connections, and maybe even set up a time to have coffee, dinner, or dessert together.
Scripture to Consider
These scriptures are great foundations to start discussing how we live out our faith at Halloween and all through the year:
- To “celebrate” a holiday that represents evil and death isn’t what we are called to do as Christians. 1 John 2:15 reminds us not to love the world, or the things of this world. This doesn’t just begin and end with Halloween, but I think it is a good starting point as we figure out how we are going to live out our faith and beliefs personally, as well as in our parenting.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.1 John 2:15
- Also, Romans 12:2 encourages us not to be conformed to the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. As Christians, we are called to look at everything through the lens of the Holy Word of God. Paul discussed several times throughout the New Testament about freedom in Christ. He also warns us to look different (set apart) than the culture we live in.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans 12:2
- “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24), also includes a day commonly called Halloween.
The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.Psalm 118:24
- John 10:10 reminds us that the thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy. However, Jesus came to give us an abundant life. Practically, life in Jesus is lived in Him, where there is fullness of Joy.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10:10
We live in this world, and as a by-product of the fall of man, we have evil around us.
We have to pray about our specific role in being a light in the darkness, specifically on Halloween. Something that we can focus on is turning evil on its head.
What does this look like for you as you are trying to decide how to live on your block this October 31st?
The Bible doesn’t specifically state you should or shouldn’t celebrate Halloween as a Christian. Like all things, that decision should be made by you and your spouse on behalf of your family, after careful prayer and consideration.
Wherever we land on the Halloween debate, we can always work on “shining our light.” Here are a few practical tips on being a light during Halloween:
- Pray about your response to culture and what Halloween looks like in your home
- Serve at a local church outreach (harvest party, trunk or treat, or any day of the year)
- Leave your light on and give out candy/treats with a bible verse or words of encouragement posted on them
- Teach your children that evil is real, and that because of Jesus we have the light that overpowers the darkness
- Talk to your neighbors and really try to find a connection with them.
- Teach your kids about who they are in Christ every season of the year
- Rejoice in this day that the Lord has made
This year as you are praying about what is best for your family, remember you are a light. Every day we have an opportunity to shine for Jesus. I’m encouraging each one of us to shine brighter than evil October 31st, and every day of the year.
I’ll leave you with this awesome poem written by one of our contributors, Savanah:
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