I’m not going to tell you if you should or shouldn’t do something. I will, however, share my convictions with you.
It’s been seven years since I wrote publicly on this topic. You can read here Why Our Family Doesn’t Celebrate Halloween.
How Halloween Began
Halloween originated as a Celtic celebration in Britain and Ireland. It is a celebration which originated from the festival of Samhain, a festival where people believed dead souls came back to visit. Bonfires were used to ward off evil spirits. Masks and costumes were worn to attempt to hide from ghosts and spirits. This festival was also a heightened time for divination, seeking information on the future using supernatural means such as contacting the dead.
After Rome conquered the Celts, they added to the festival with their own god/goddess worshiping. Six centuries later the Pope established All Saints Day, moving it to November 1, in an effort to remove the paganism and replace it with some christianity. This began christians starting the evening before All Saints Day with All Hallows Eve, which became Halloween.
Time passed and the christian and the pagan celebrations simply merged. More time passed and Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses, which birthed Reformation Day. More time passed, and here we are today. It is projected that we will spend over $12 billion on Halloween this year.
What Halloween Celebrates
Halloween is a celebration of darkness, fear, and death. Christianity is salvation, love, joy, peace, goodness. Jesus is the light of the world. I know the arguments, “But we don’t celebrate those things. We dress up in innocent costumes. We aren’t celebrating death and darkness.” Regardless what we are doing, we are participating with a world system that IS celebrating those themes.
What the Bible says about Halloween
Well, obviously the Bible doesn’t address Halloween exactly, which is why it’s considered a gray area. However, I feel the Bible addresses the themes of Halloween very clearly.
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Ephesians 5:11
While many celebrate in lighthearted ways, Halloween is still a day of darkness. Just walk in any Halloween costume store. Drive through your neighborhood and take note of the graveyards, ghosts, spiders, and skeletons adorning porches and yards. Haunted houses and spooky destinations have waiting times in the hours. The draw of fear and the supernatural is strong.
Fear and death are unfruitful works of darkness. We are to take no part in them.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20
How quick the christian community is to call evil good as it relates to our desire to celebrate Halloween. We attempt to make light of the day because as christians we aren’t out casting spells and worshiping satan. But others are. It is a very real day rooted in evil.
“Test all things; hold fast to that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” 1 Thes 5:21-22
“There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God,” Deut 18:10-13
Yes, I know we as christians aren’t telling fortunes, interpreting omens, or inquiring of the dead. But we are told these things are an abomination to the Lord. We are told to be blameless of these things. When we participate in a holiday where these are celebrated and even joked about, we are aligning ourselves against God and His holy ways.
God despises witchcraft in every form.
2 Corinthians 11:14 tells us “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” It’s no wonder we are so confused and have bought into the lie that enjoying Halloween is no big deal. Satan himself dresses like an angel of light. Of course he has made us believe his lie that it’s not a big deal.
Satan also told Eve the bite of apple wouldn’t make her die (Gen 3:1). Satan is a liar.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matt 7:13-14
It’s a small gate and narrow road if you decide to disregard Halloween.
Will Your Kids Be Left Out? What if you are wrong?
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
Halloween is the way of the world. We stand out when we tell people we don’t celebrate.
I’m not ashamed of the gospel. I’m not ashamed that I want nothing to do with a holiday rooted in death, darkness, and opposition to God.
When God convicted our family, we decided we’d buy our kids candy – lots of it. We ordered dinner in. We watched a family movie. Our kids missed out on nothing. We modeled to them that it takes courage to not conform to the world, and it’s ok to take the narrow path.
Shouldn’t we share the gospel on Halloween?
A common argument is that christians should take the opportunity to share the gospel while you have people knocking on your doors. Do I share the gospel with every person who knocks on my door the other 364 days of the year? Nope. I should, but I don’t. So why would I do any differently on the day where kids want candy and are there for a split second. Most parents aren’t even at the door with the kids anymore.
We don’t have to celebrate Halloween in order to reach people for the gospel.
My oldest son was four years old when we stopped celebrating Halloween. I don’t regret for one second keeping my kids out of that holiday. They don’t feel they missed out on anything. At the same time, the christian life is being ok standing on your convictions and looking different than the rest of the world.
I’m here to encourage the believer who has not felt peace about this holiday to follow your instinct. Or rather, follow the Holy Spirit’s leading.
I recently found this video you may enjoy.