Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
Let me start by saying I love sweets. Ice cream in a waffle cone with toppings, after dinner desserts, and candy of all shapes and sizes. I’m especially fond of candy apples and candy corn. While these treats are tasty, they have also created the natural consequence of needing to visit a dentist.
Apparently, I am not alone in my desire for sweets during this season. A study by History.com recently revealed that one quarter of all candy sold each year in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween.
Another thing to know about me is I am very personable. Getting together with friends, family, and acquaintances brings so much joy it increases my desire to celebrate anything...well, almost anything. There are many, widely celebrated, cultural traditions which, as a Christian, I am required to pause and think before I jump in to join the crowd.
Halloween is a worldwide cultural celebration. Recently, it has grown to include concerns about everything from the safety of a dog in a costume to the best pumpkin preparation tips. But do not let these trivial concerns distract you from a very dark and chilling fact. This year, over 507,000 people traveled to Salem, Massachusetts during the first 16 days of October. Why? To join the festivities of Salem’s other name, “witch city”.
Throughout the years, I’ve heard people ask “Should Christians celebrate Halloween?”
Many Christians and non-Christians alike are familiar with the concept of Christian liberty. Meaning Jesus Christ has set His followers free so they can make good choices. However, Jesus does not give His children free reign to choose what, when, and how we satisfy all of our natural cravings. Let’s not forget the Bible is God’s authoritative Word. By it we discover who God is, who we are, and what it means to make decisions that align with the Christian faith.
As you look to practice activities during Halloween, let me encourage you to proceed with caution. Here are 5 considerations of a Christian that should discourage you fro joining the world in celebrating Halloween.
One: The History of Halloween
Halloween is celebrated each year on October 31. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic New Year’s festival of Samhain which marked the end of harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter – a time associated with human death. The Celts were entirely dependent on the volatile, natural world. And they believed spirits, who returned to the earth during this season, could help them make predictions about the future.
After being conquered by the Roman Empire in 43 A.D. Roman festivals were combined with Celtic festivals to commemorate the passing of the dead. Over time the festivals began to include activities like:
- Carving jack-o-lanterns
- Festive gatherings
- Haunted houses
- Wearing costumes
- And eating treats
So, Halloween is rooted in the dead and dying. To find out more about the history of Halloween go here: https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween
Two: Jesus is the Master of the natural and the spiritual
Living dependently in a volatile, natural world is part of what it means to be human. Still, we must realize that celebrations which rely, even in part, on connections with dead spirits will not satisfy our natural nor our spiritual longings. A Christian knows there is always something more going on behind all that is natural. We know spirits and demons are real, primarily because they are clearly revealed in the Bible. But we must not put any of our trust in dead spirits, because the Ruler and Master of both the spiritual and natural is Jesus. Yes, a proper, biblical way of thinking will cause us to go to work.
If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
Our natural work will include planting and watering all kinds of activities we could call crops. But true flourishing comes by trusting the only One who can bring the rain and increase the fruit of our labor. (1 Corinthians 3:6-8)
Three: Love and self-restraint come from God
When God tells the church to “not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14), He is not just talking about what it takes to have a healthy and loving marriage. No, the following contrasting statements are best understood when they extend beyond the covenant relationship between a man and woman.
- There is no fellowship between righteousness and lawlessness
- There is no communion between light and darkness
- There is no accord between Christ and Belial
- A believer has no participation with an unbeliever, and
- There is no agreement between the temple of God and idols
Christian brother and sister, dId you know God wants His Spirit to live inside of you? For Him to do that we need to understand our bodies are temples. And we must love Him so much that we separate ourselves from the world and restrain ourselves from certain practices. We are even told to not touch what He considers unclean. (2 Corinthians 6:17) A complete love for God will lead to self-restraint when it comes to cultural and familial celebrations.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength (Mark 12:30).
Four: Christian children need a bigger vision
October 31st is a significant date on the Christian calendar. On that date, in 1517, a German priest named Martin Luther took a definitive stance against the culture, practices, and traditions of his day. His goal was to point out ways the Roman Catholic faith did not align itself with biblical truth. He went as far as nailing his ninety-five theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg. What resulted was the start of worldwide Church reform relating to its practices and politics. Therefore, October 31, 1517 is known as the start of the Protestant Reformation. A movement which helped the Church recover certain truths about God’s Word and the Christian life.
It is good to educate our children on the historical practice of protest. Martin Luther’s example of courage to stand alone against the prevailing culture should be an encouragement for our children. Let them know that protesting against the culture of the season is possible, even when they are the only one in a classroom without a costume.
Five: Christian’s Celebrate the Resurrection
Death is a natural reality for all of humanity. It results from our desire to live outside of God’s influence. Because God gave us our life, He is justified in taking away the very breath He has given to us. But there is hope in being a Christian. If you and I believe that Jesus lived a perfect life, that He died for your sins by being crucified on a cross. If we believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and gave Him power over the grave and dying. If we confess sins, turn away from our rebellious attitudes against God and turn, in reliance, to the only Savior for our sins, Jesus Christ, the Bible says we will be saved!
Therefore, the good news of Christianity is wrapped up in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That makes Easter, the major and only righteous holiday on the Christian calendar. We celebrate Jesus who got up from the grave, revealing His mission of resurrection and life not the dead nor the dying. On the cross Jesus took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses. This is why Jesus spoke these words to give us absolute clarity…
“Concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live (Deuteronomy 30:6).
Halloween entertains the frightening world of demonic powers through dolls, clowns, and people who occupy our dreams. But we do not have to be afraid. God will protect us, if we reverently and lovingly give our lives to Him.
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
(2 Corinthians 7:1)
History.com Edition, (2022, October 28), Halloween 2022. A&E Television Network. https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween.