Halloween is almost here. And like many Christians I’ve got some mixed feelings about the whole thing.
– Most of these social times include ungodly things (witchcraft, demonic ideas, overt sexuality and immodesty, mockery of others, etc)
+ Halloween is named after All Hallow’s Eve, which the Catholic Church set up to remember those who’ve gone before us.
– It was meant to replace a celebration with very pagan origins (see here for more info about both)
+ Costumes are fun to dress up in and pretend
– Many commercial costumes glorify ungodly things, mock Christianity, or are overly sensual – even kid costumes. And even if you don’t go with these, you are going to see them, and have to explain them to your kids.
+ It’s an opportunity to witness
– Our kids and family’s witness a lot of unGodly things
I trick-or-treated as a kid and always had a blast. We never did scary/demonic costumes, or glorified these things in anyway. We made treat bags and passed them out. Halloween was a non-issue for our family – just a fun time.
My concerns started in college as I started really noticing the demonic nature of Halloween. The glorification of all things that the Bible says aren’t good (Deuteronomy 18:9-12 for one reference out of many) really bothered me. I also learned that many of the “fictional” characters of Halloween are real (witches, vampires, etc.) and that people actually do practice these activities.
I’ve had the above internal conflict over the last several years, but it’s really been a non-issue for us as we didn’t have kids and were rarely home for Trick-or-Treat night anyhow. I did take the kids I nannied to the mall for Trick-or-Treat, and we always had a good time. As questions arose about the “scary” costumes we had a discussion about them and moved on.
But this year we’ve had to make a decision – and as such needed to ask for wisdom for dealing with Halloween.
As I’ve prayed for wisdom on this topic, as with many others, I’ve utilized the A.S.K. principle – Ask, Seek, Knock.
Here’s how this process has gone for me and my family. God may lead you and your family in different direction than He has for us at this time in our lives. My goal in sharing this is to help you in finding God’s wisdom for dealing with Halloween.
In seeking wisdom for your family – please take the time to go through each of these parts. I don’t think on issues like these there is one right answer for everyone – if so it’d be spelled out clear as day in the Word. However, God does promise us guidance and direction in these matters – unique and personal to our distinct situations. We’ll be going through this process every year as we continually seek Him.
Prayer has to be the foundation for finding wisdom. The Bible tells us that He will write the law upon our hearts and minds (Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 10:16), and that if we need wisdom we should ask God (James 1:5). So I’ve been praying a lot about this issue.
Second we have to seek – starting in His Word. Here are some Scriptures that apply (hover over the reference to see the actual Scripture, you can also change the version if desired or click it to read the Scripture in context (highly recommended!) by clicking more in the bottom left). There are many more Scriptures that could apply to this issue I’m sure, but here are some of the main ones that get references frequently.
- Think about good, pure, true and noble things (Philippians 4:8-9)
- “Turn from evil and do good” (1 Peter 3:11)
- Don’t be yoked together with unbelievers, what fellowship do light and darkness have? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? Touch no unlcean thing. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)
- Ephesians 5 makes the following points:
- Follow God’s example (Eph 5:1)
- There must not be a hint of sexual immorality, impurity, or greed (Eph 5:3)
- There should be no obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking – but thanksgiving (Eph 5:4)
- Live as children of light for we were called out of darkness (Eph 5:8-9)
- It’s shameful to mention what is done in darkness (Eph 5:12)
- Be careful how you live – as wise not unwise, make the most of every opportunity, be thankful, filled with the Spirit, and encourage one another with psalms and songs. (Eph 5:15-20)
- 1 Corinthians 10 also makes many points:
- flee from idolatry (1 Cor 10:14)
- Food sacrificed to idols and idols are nothing, but they are sacrificed to demons. Don’t participate with demons (1 Cor 10:19-20)
- You cannot take part in both the Lord’s table and demons (1 Cor 10:21)
- We have freedom in Christ-but not everything is beneficial (1 Cor 10:23)
- If an unbeliever asks you to a meal go, thanking God for the food, without worry about if the food was sacrificed to idols, but if told the food is sacrificed don’t eat it for the sake of the unbeliever (1 Cor 10:27-30)
- Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31)
- Don’t be a stumbling block to others, but seek the good of others that they may be saved (1 Cor 10:32-33)
The main principle that I see when looking at these verses, and others like them, is about idolatry – and the heart of those participating in such events. God warns us time and time again to not be idolaters – for He wants us to worship Him and Him alone (Matthew 4:10).
Ultimately where the question of Halloween lies is in your heart and the heart of your family, is it idolatry? <<<— Click to Tweet
Are you worshiping the idols and evil that are presented on Halloween? Are you participating in the evil practices? Are you greedy for fun, fitting in with the Joneses, and candy? What exactly is Halloween to you?
Once God has given you wisdom on this issue for your family then you must act upon it – and yearly keep seeking Him on this issue. Time and circumstances change – as do our hearts – and we must continually be evaluating what God would have us do now.
For my family this year knocking on the Halloween issue means we will be taking this time to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) and to bless others for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31).
As I prayed and sought through the issue of Trick-or-Treat God reminded me that most people in my area pass out candy in order to bless their neighbors and enjoy the children. Their purpose isn’t to glorify demonic idols, or practice witchcraft. The Holy Spirit also prompted me that this is a great time for my family to bless others around us.
For us as a Paleo family, the candy is a null-point, so I was thinking it’d be easy to skip out on Trick-or-Treat, and probably the most practical thing to do. But the more I prayed about how to handle this issue, the more I felt God leading us to bring some light to this dark time by blessing others around us in our community. So instead of Trick-or-Treating we will Bless-and-Treat.
I haven’t fully decided what that is going to look like yet (I’ve still got a couple of days). However, my small group has decided to Bless-and-Treat some residents at a local Nursing Home this week.
God also prompted me to change my thinking about Halloween.
I’ve been viewing it as a dark and “bad” time. A time of “evilness” in the air with all the gory-ness and haunted things everywhere. It’s really been down right depressing and I’ve strongly disliked this time of year.
However, Ecclesiastes 7:2 says “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.” Maybe as Christians we need to take each October to be reminded that all of the horrible things we see around us at this time of year are no longer our destiny. It’s good to be reminded of the evil that is very real and present in this world and eternity – and to be able to praise God that this is NOT our destiny!
Praying for you & your families as you seek God’s wisdom on this issue and others!
What verses have you found that really speak to you on the issue of Halloween? What are some ways that you can think of to Bless-and-Treat others in your community??
If you are looking for some more thoughts and insight into this issue Answers in Genesis has a great little booklet called A Biblical and Historical Look at Halloween by Bodie Hodge. It’s short and offers some interesting food for thought about the origins of Halloween and other worldwide festivals celebrating the dead that occur around this time of the year.