Should Christians celebrate Halloween? This is a very common and highly debated topic in Christian circles. Many Christians struggle with whether to celebrate, particularly because of its pagan origins. They see it as a satanic holiday established to worship evil spirits and promote darkness and wickedness. While some see it as a day filled with dark influence, others see it is a harmless day for candy and fun costumes. So who is right and is it possible to celebrate Halloween without compromising your faith?
The first place we should turn to is Scripture. While the Bible doesn’t speak at all about Halloween, it does give us some principles on which we should turn to. In the Old Testament, witchcraft was a crime punishable by death. The Bible tells us, “You should not permit a sorceress to live” (Exodus 22:18). The Bible also tells us, “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 19:31). We can also find examples throughout the New Testament. One can be found in Acts 8:9-24. The story of Simon shows that occultism and Christianity don’t go together. The account of Elymas the sorcerer in Acts 13:6-11 reveals that sorcery is violently opposed by Christianity. We know that Halloween, no matter how commercialized it is has almost completely Pagan origins. While the day may seem innocent for many, it is not something to be taken so lightly.
So should Christians celebrate Halloween? While there is nothing evil about a Christian dressing up as a princess or a superhero and going around the block for candy, there are things about Halloween that should be avoided. If you choose to allow your child to participate in Halloween, be sure to keep them away from the darker aspects of the day. If your child is going to take part in Halloween, their attitude, dress and most importantly, their behavior should still reflect Christ. How can the Church take advantage of the opportunities Halloween provides? Here are a few things that you can do at Halloween that still reflect Christ:
Many churches around the country host alternative “family fun” events on or near Halloween. These festivals or events incorporate costumes, but in a godly environment. They are promoted as “safe” options for families, ideal for those concerned about their children wandering dark neighborhoods at night. Some provide a clear faith focus for their events, while others take the opportunity simply to connect with their communities in a positive way. Some churches go all out featuring Christian concerts, food vendor booths and carnival rides. Regardless of the size of your church, you can easily host a harvest event. It is a great alternative for your community.
If you’re looking for a more family-centered Christian alternative to Halloween, you might consider planning a pumpkin carving project. This would be a more personal time of fellowship with the members of your family. The festivities can conclude by partaking in a slice of homemade pumpkin pie.
Some churches will also hold youth fundraisers around Halloween. These can be organized pumpkin patches that create an exciting Christian alternative to Halloween. The church youth can sell the pumpkins and the profit can go towards funding youth events.
Hand Out Candy and Tracts With Gospel Messaging
Halloween is a great opportunity to reach children who don’t know Jesus. That’s why some Christians use this opportunity to share the Gospel by handing out candy with Gospel-messaging. The kids will be super excited receiving candy and cartoons with the message of Christ. You can simply drop a tract or two and some candy into their bags and you’ll be giving the gospel to kids and their families without leaving home. Many Christians see this as a once a year opportunity to reach kids and their parents with the gospel. When handing out tracts on Halloween, consider the ages of the trick-or-treaters when deciding which tracts to drop in their bags. While some tracts are designed for young children, others are better suited for older kids and teens.
Have a Community Party
Some church communities have redefined how they interact with Halloween. Instead of retreating to the shelter of their building or their homes, they engage with their neighborhoods. Their children get dressed up and go door to door in the neighborhood asking for candy, and people in the community sit on their front lawns talking with their neighbors. For these people, Halloween isn’t just another day; rather it is the one day of year when all the neighbors are out in the streets practicing community with one another. This provides a unique opportunity for interacting with everyone.
Have a Reformation Day Party
October 31st is not only Halloween. It is also Reformation Day, the anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses on the door of All Saints’ Church – an event that sparked the Protestant Reformation. For many Christians, this time of year can be a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the Reformation. This can include books, interactive activities including plays, crafts, treats and costumes for the occasion.
It’s totally fine to choose to not celebrate Halloween. It’s also ok to consider alternative approaches to Halloween. You can use the day as an opportunity to engage your community and reach those who may not know Christ.