Christians and Halloween
Christians have a confusing relationship with Halloween. My daughter’s classmates said Halloween was “the devil’s birthday.” Some people turn off their lights, turn up VeggieTales, ignore their doorbells, and pretend Halloween doesn’t exist. Others decorate, dress up (avoiding devil, ghost, vampire, and witch costumes), and trick-or-treat just like everyone else. And many of us have seen churches try to redeem Halloween with fall festivals, trunk-or-treats, gospel-themed haunted houses, Hallelujah Nights, and Holy Ghost Hayrides.
With so many approaches, you may wonder who’s right and wrong. You wouldn’t celebrate the devil’s birthday, but is it that bad to let your kid dress up as Spiderman and get candy from the neighbors?
The Bible doesn’t say “thou shall not dress up as a Power Ranger” or “thou shall not receive a Butterfinger from thy neighbor.” However, it can help us decide about Halloween. Here are a few things to consider before you carve that pumpkin, put on your Red Riding Hood costume, frolic about hoping for chocolate, or eat your kids’ candy while they’re asleep.
1. It’s okay to be different.
Scripture makes it clear that we are different from the world (1 Peter 2:9) and should not feel pressured to conform (Romans 12:2). We’re chosen, holy, special, peculiar, set apart, and in the world, but not of it. Just because your family, friends, or neighbors are doing something doesn’t mean you have to. It’s okay to be different.
2. Protect your heart.
That doesn’t mean you have to do everything differently. Christians do some things the world does. They go out to eat, and so do we. They celebrate Thanksgiving, and we do too.
Where should we draw the line? Proverbs 4:23 says to “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Essentially, protect your heart. Think about what you’re celebrating and how it affects you.
At Thanksgiving, I celebrate God’s provision. At Christmas, I celebrate Jesus’ love for me. On Memorial Day, I’m sad for the families of those who never came home. And on Independence Day, I thank God for freedom and the United States.
What do you celebrate on Halloween? Candy? Fall? Fear? Wickedness? And is it true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8)? What happens to your heart when you celebrate Halloween? Do you feel joyful? Guilty? Evil? Anything? Are you emotionally numb on Halloween?
3. Let God lead you.
Ultimately, God should lead you regarding whether to celebrate Halloween. Don’t let people bully you either way. And don’t let condemnation, guilt, and shame influence you. Those aren’t from God (Romans 8:1). Let the Bible and the Holy Spirit lead you. Consider what you’re celebrating, why you’re celebrating, how it affects your heart, and how it affects your kids’ hearts. No matter your decision, remember Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”