Halloween has become one of the most popular “holidays” on the calendar. It is second only to Christmas in commercial value, and it has become one of the premier party dates of the year. it’s easy to understand why. Dressing up in costumes can be fun, and who doesn’t like going from house to house and getting free candy?!
As I child I had great fun watching The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (the one with Jeff Goldblum), dressing up as a cowboy, and walking with my parents up and down my street – Dutch Hollow – getting candy from all my neighbors. I don’t ever remember being scared. We never celebrated the occult. It all seemed so innocent.
I still believe, however, that this question must be asked and answered: Should Christians be involved with a “holiday” that celebrates death, witches, ghouls, and other aspects of the occult?
As with anything, Christians – especially Christian parents – should exercise discernment. I do not think it is necessary to retreat from Halloween. I do not believe that parents are failing to lead their families if they allow their kids to go trick-or-treating. I do believe, however, that parents should not celebrate the occultic roots of this day. Therefore, costumes of evil characters are not a good idea. Why would a Christian want to dress himself as an agent of the Adversary? Why would a Christian want to celebrate death?
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY makes this comment:
Christian parents should make careful decisions based on a biblically informed Christian conscience. Some Halloween practices are clearly out of bounds, others may be strategically transformed, but this takes hard work and may meet with mixed success. The coming of Halloween is a good time for Christians to remember that evil spirits are real and that the Devil will seize every opportunity to trumpet his own celebrity.
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther began the Reformation with a declaration that the church must be recalled to the authority of God’s Word and the purity of biblical doctrine. With this in mind, the best Christian response to Halloween, might be to scorn the Devil and then pray for the Reformation of Christ’s church on earth. Let’s put the dark side on the defensive.
John MacArthur has also written a fantastic article on this subject. I highly recommend that you read Christians and Halloween. It will be time well spent. The article is so good because it provides the history of Halloween, and a suggested Christian response; which I have excerpted here.
First, Christians should not respond to Halloween like superstitious pagans. Pagans are superstitious; Christians are enlightened by the truth of God’s Word. Evil spirits are no more active and sinister on Halloween than they are on any other day of the year
Second, Christians should respond to Halloween with cautionary wisdom. The real threat on Halloween is from the social problems that attend sinful behavior- drunk driving, pranksters and vandals, and unsupervised children.
Third, Christians should respond to Halloween with gospel compassion. The unbelieving, Christ-rejecting world lives in perpetual fear of death. Witches, ghosts, and evil spirits are not terrifying; God’s wrath unleashed on the unforgiven sinner–now that is truly terrifying.
As with all things, a Christian’s life is to bring glory to God. Think about how you can make God look good as you make decisions, not only regarding Halloween, but every aspect of your life.