YES YOU CAN!
Well that was easy, except that it’s NOT at all that easy. This is a complicated subject that requires background, scripture, and of course prayer to understand what is right for your family. Ultimately, my personal advice is that Christians can carefully participate, but shouldn’t celebrate Halloween.
Here’s some food (or at least some candy corn) for thought.
History: The history of this holiday is more complicated than that of our own county. Today, 73% of the US population will participate in Halloween, which equals to spending more than $12 billion dollars on candy, costumes and decorations. It has pagan festival origins dating back to the Iron Age when Celts in Northern Europe would celebrate the conclusion of summer and the beginning of a new season.
In 609 AD, Pope Boniface IV established “All-Saints Day” or “All-Hallows Day” to celebrate all Martyrs of the Christian faith in early summer. It was later moved to November 1st where most Christian denominations celebrate it today. Many early churches would celebrate, pray and light vigils for Martyrs and deceased Saints on the Eve before “All-Hallows Day” and thus where we now get the name “Halloween”.These celebrations often had small fires going through the night as a way to bring light into darkness and ward off the evil they feared wanted to attack them before All-saints Day.
This, of course, is a very abbreviated history of Halloween and I encourage you to do your own research. It has a complicated blend of Christian and pagan traditions, denominational and national differences.
Community: Only a handful of times a year do people gather together like they do on Halloween. And arguably, it may be the single best day to have a connection with your neighbors. I’ve seen cook-outs, bonfires, games, and lots of smiles trick-or-treating with my kids. One of my favorite memories was trick-or-treating at a local campground where campsites handed out candy, dressed silly, and cooked great food over the fire.
Halloween is arguably, may be the single best day to have a connection with your neighbors.
As a Christian, Halloween can be a great opportunity to connect with people and display a Christ centered behavior towards non-believers. Just make sure that you are influencing the community with your Christian beliefs and not being influenced by the worldly beliefs around you.
The Bible and Halloween:The Bible does not discuss Halloween, but it does describe moments of Christians interacting with witchcraft and magic. In Acts 8, we see an interaction between Phillip and Simon, the magician. After preaching to the townspeople, dozens were baptized including Simon. Later Peter rebukes him after he offers money for the secret to his “trick”. Peter sternly tells Simon to repent of his wickedness and seek forgiveness.
This and many other scriptures point to the seriousness we need to have when dealing with things of spiritual darkness. In Ephesians 5:7-15, Paul talks about the dangers of living in darkness and we also see him lead a burning of supernatural books in Acts 19:18-21.
The Bible is clear. We must be diligent in protecting ourselves from spiritual darkness.
The Bible’s point is clear. We need to be very careful as Christians when in the presence of spiritual darkness and make sure our faith is strong enough to avoid the temptations it brings.
Participation: I think that HOW you participate in Halloween is a more important question than IF you participate in Halloween. God is in the redeeming business and when I see 73% of our community gather for a couple of hours on the same night, that is an incredible opportunity to model a Christ centered behavior to an audience who is in need of a Savior. What if Christians unite and participate in Halloween in a way that glorifies God and builds bridges to a spiritually curious community? It requires prayerful Christians, with faithfulness and wise decision-making to bring light into an evening that increasingly celebrates darkness. But it can be done. Ultimately, I would encourage you to pray about how God would want you to participate, and then do that. Whether you choose to or not, make sure that you are doing it in a God honoring way and seeking opportunities to share His truth in this world.
The HOW you participate in Halloween is a more important question than IF you participate in Halloween.
Check out our website for more information. We always welcome new friends to worship with us. Find a location that’s close to you! You can learn more about our beliefs and visit our video library to explore more topics like this one. You can also check out our events page to find out what fun new things we’re doing this season.