Question: What should Christians should do about Halloween?
Answer: Those of us who are Christian parents struggle with whether to allow our children to take part in the observance of Halloween. It is alright for children to trick or treat? Should we allow children to attend the school Halloween parties? These are among the many difficult choices that we must make as representatives of Jesus Christ in the world.
The best place to look for guidance is always the Bible. Of course, since Halloween is a newer “holiday”, it’s not specifically mentioned in the scriptures, although the Bible admonishes us to avoid any appearances of participation in demonic activities. Some parents say they will not allow the darkness of Halloween to be part of their family celebrations. It is wise for parents to learn more about what is really being celebrated on this day. On the surface, its symbols are reflective of its pagan origins in the occult, witchcraft, and death. Halloween decorations can cause fear by their morbid images. It is not surprising to see such evidences of evil in our fallen world over which the devil, or Satan, has huge influence. After all, according to the Bible, He is described as the prince of darkness or the “prince of the power of the air”, who has been given limited power by God to spread his destruction and even death (Ephesians 2:2, 6:12). Our heavenly Father expects us to steer our loved ones away from any darkness and toward the light of God.
“For at one time, you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light. For the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth, and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:8-11
“This is the message we have heard of Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” I John 1:5
The Bible never gives permission for believers to be a part of any observances that glorify darkness and evil in any form; in fact, we are warned to reject and stay away from anything that does not bring honor to God and His Son Jesus Christ. As Christians, or followers of Jesus Christ, the Bible says to be good ambassadors for Him. The first Christians, the Jewish people, were urged to strive to represent Jesus well:
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light.” I Peter 2:9
“In the same way, let you light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
The opposite of darkness is light! Light dispels the darkness. Only because of the good examples of followers of Jesus Christ will more of the culture around us will become “lighter” and exposed to the love and goodness Jesus offers freely.
“Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
How we handle the choices between good and evil – and our compromises – is being watched by our friends, neighbors, and importantly – our own children. What would God have us to show them during this opportunity? Will Jesus commend us for our parenting and the lessons we are teaching?
“We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” I John 5:19
Allow your children to join the discussion about Halloween. Read the Bible and pray as a family as you talk about how to handle these challenges for Christians. It is hard at times like this to live “in the world and not be of the world.” (John 17:15-21) We were born to be physically present here on earth but called by God to live a life that is set apart, or holy. Christians must not immerse themselves in what unbelievers value, which is usually wrong, because it is not God, His attributes, and His mission for believers to carry out.
Talk with others in your church and community about offering alternatives to traditional Halloween practices, such as fall festivals or school carnivals which could be held on October 31. Volunteer in your child’s classroom to make the class party focused on the blessings of the fall season rather than on Halloween. Think about how to use this as an opportunity to reach others with God’s love. If you plan to give candy to children who come by to trick-or-treat, give notes with Bible verses, as well. Some kids may not be part of a church family and never have heard the verses about how very much God loves them. If you allow your children to collect candy from neighbors, you could have them, in advance, to write a sentence expressing thanks, along with a scripture verse about Jesus and an invitation to visit your church, to gift to the homes they visit on that night. Your children may think of other ways to reach out to neighbors in friendship.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
Finally, we must keep in mind that each Christian will meet with Jesus after we die to “give an accounting of the deeds we did in this life, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 12:17) This judgment of the life we led after we decided to follow Jesus will not be to determine our destination of heaven or hell because believers will already be in heaven. It will be a time of rewards and a review of our Christian life, how we faithfully represented and served Jesus. We long for Jesus to say to us: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:23)