How Are Christians to Respond to Halloween?
Days are growing shorter and nights longer. Trees are changing colors. The air is turning cooler, crisper. Brown, orange, and gold decorations adorn porches and front lawns. It’s Halloween time.
Basically an American holiday, Halloween has become many things to many people. But what—if anything—should it represent for Christians? For some, its pagan origins disqualify it from their calendars.
- Which begs the question: How, then, can Christians call the days of the week after Anglo-Saxon, German, Norse, and Roman deities? How can Christians meet on Sunday to honor the Lord Jesus when Sunday in its original context was “Sun’s Day” – in honor of the Roman Sun God?
Shall we observe Halloween or any special day in its pagan context of centuries past—with symbols of what Christ suffered and died to obliterate: Evil. Death. Darkness. Cruelty. Fear. Pain. Witches. Sorcery. Spells. Occultism. And every other work of Satan? Many Christians refuse to observe Halloween because of these dark, ghoulish connotations.
- Deuteronomy 18:10-13 NIV – There shall not be found among you anyone who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord.
Other Christians “redeem” Halloween through the blood of Christ by shining the light of the gospel around their neighborhoods. They celebrate God’s goodness as seen in the harvest, abundance, and “treating” their neighbors.
- Matter of fact, Pope Gregory IV reacted to the pagan challenge by moving the celebration of All Saints Day in the ninth century. He set the date at November 1, right in the middle of the pagan festival, Samhain. ~ Travis Allen, https://bit.ly/3lsCnhC
Without question, observing Halloween—or not—remains a matter of conscience before God for Christians.
- Romans 14:6 NIV—Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
But for me …
When the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween appear in our neighborhood each year, my thoughts race to the one and only “ghost” Christians can turn to, the only “spirit” we can worship—the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity.
The idea of a triune God … of the One-and-Only God’s 3-in-1-ness … How mysterious is that? Wrapping my head around how this could be possible always left me bumfuzzled. Until I became a grandmother.
Let me explain …
One day I said, “I love you with all my heart,” to each of six grandchildren in a single day. And a question raised its worrisome head: Can I really love six grandchildren with all of my heart?
How in the world does that work?
Does each child get a sixth of my affection all the time, as if I were doling out perpetual slices of pizza?
“Oh dear, what’s one-sixth of a 20-inch love pizza? Anybody got a calculator?”
Do my grandchildren receive all of my love one at a time, as at a drinking fountain?
“Whose turn is it for a drink of love?”
Perhaps it’s more like serving punch: all of them get all of my love, but it’s mixed with everyone else’s in something akin to pond water?
“I have Daniel grape/Braden apple/Davis chocolate milk/Ella plain milk/Ethan water/McKenna tutty-fruity love today! Come and get it!”
By God’s miraculous design, my affection for one child isn’t diminished because it’s extended to five others. It’s not exclusive to one child at a time. Nor is it a conglomeration of six loves that satisfies no one–not because love is unique to me but because God IS love, and His unity in plurality nature is present in the love in every beating heart … for all time.
Such a love is impossible to divide. It is undiminished when shared, and it is distinct though the same.
Sounds like the Trinity.
Which brings me back to Halloween …
As Christians, let’s not allow pagan superstitions to invade Halloween.
- Evil spirits are no more active and sinister on Halloween than they are on any other day of the year; in fact, any day is a good day for Satan to prowl about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). But “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). God has forever “disarmed principalities and powers” through the cross of Christ and “made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them through [Christ]” (Colossians 2:15). ~ Travis Allen, https://bit.ly/3lsCnhC
If we participate in Halloween activities, let’s use them as opportunities to shine the light of the gospel into an unbelieving, Christ-rejecting world. How about taking the time to communicate with friends and family about God, the Bible, sin, Christ, future judgment, and the hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ?
And—perhaps—about the Trinity.
What better time of the year to share such a message?
Click here for some yummy/easy Holy Halloween recipes.
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Dear Lord, use us, your children, to shine the light of the gospel into this Christ-rejecting world at Halloween and all the time.
For Jesus’ sake