Celebrating Halloween as a Christian

Now that we are safely past Halloween 2018, I have a true confession.

I struggled this year with what it means to celebrate Halloween as a Christian.

This is in part because of my own history with having celebrated Halloween as a Wiccan sabbath.  It’s also in part to articles, such as the one written by a former Satan worshipper, who contends that Christians should consider the spiritual implications of what Halloween represents.  I acknowledge this is a holiday that is celebrated by non-Christians as a holy day. Specifically, Satanists and Pagans, such as Wiccans, Druids, or Voodoo practitioners all believe that Halloween is a day where the veil is thinnest between the living and the dead. They believe it’s an opportunity to communicate with the dead, as well as become more in tune with nature and energy.

For the Christian, that is dangerous territory.  It is counter to how the Bible instructs us to live as followers of Christ.  Halloween provides the enemy an opportunity to tempt the Christian into thoughts and deeds that are not congruent with a Christian walk.

On the other hand, I recognize that the harvest festivals sponsored by churches and the trunk or treat events sponsored by small towns are an effort to keep kids safe and make this an enjoyable fun time for families.   I recognize that we could be celebrating the arrival of autumn and that our children don’t have to dress up as scary characters.  I recognize that one’s belief in the event is partially what drives the motives and intent behind the event.

However, I also take it very seriously that there is an expectation that the followers of Christ will give glory to the true living God.  Our words and deeds reflect that we are representing Jesus to the world.  We must be careful to not give any satisfaction to the devil.  And please believe, the devil is garnering satisfaction when the children of God are disobedient or tempted into sinful behavior.

All that to say, I struggled this year with what it means to be a Christian celebrating Halloween. I didn’t come up with any answers. I bought candy, I dressed up, and I took my child to Halloween and Harvest Festival events.

But I’m still thinking about it…and I’m still praying about it…and I’m still talking to God about it.  I’m grateful I have a relationship with God where I can question these types of scenarios and know that He is listening.

What thoughts do you have on Halloween as a Christian?

~Emily

5 thoughts on “Celebrating Halloween as a Christian

  1. I don’t celebrate that day at all. I don’t buy candy and I don’t answer my door. When I was a sinner I celebrated it. For I didn’t know it was evil.

    I do wonder about how churches have these celebrations but call it fall festival and kids dress up in biblical costumes. Part of me believes that even that is wrong. Dressing children in biblical clothes doesn’t make it right.

    I wonder what God says about that.

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    1. Emily Shade

      I’m curious what God has to say about it as well. When I was a small girl and I was asking hard God-related questions, my mom always said, “add that to the list of things you want to ask God when you get to heaven.” I supposed the Halloween/Harvest Fest debate will be added to my list…

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  2. Well, I share your concerns. I also recognize that any more attention to the negative side just does exactly that – gives attention; as well as invites naysayers to efforts at pleasing God. This year, for the first time ever, I attended our congregation’s “Family Fun Night” which included Trunk-or-Treat, costumes as long as not evil or scary in nature, but also a great time of fellowship, pumpkin decorating and chili cook-off. (I decided the chili gave me a reason to go) A great meal and fall festival activities gave families of young children a good time. My former congregations gave no mention whatsoever to “halloween” but had a fall evening of chili supper only. Now, the difference? The former way left kids to do halloween individually, however mom and dad allowed. And we all did. Candy, costumes, scary ghost stories and all. I never once considered it a lifestyle; but neither did I learn to see it as a “church activity”, which I still think was good. On the other hand, as I’ve pondered it all (all holiday activity) in the realm of ‘church activity’, I’ve come to realize that as a member of the body of Christ, what I do outside ‘church activity’ is still representing the church. Is it after all, not the people instead of the building and grounds that make up the church. So, if you enjoy celebrating fellowship, fun, and food in the spirit of harvest time, I think the better option is as a group, where supervision and leadership prevail and keep it in perspective for the kiddos. Being sure to teach them the difference between make believe, and our real risen savior and His love, is the important thing! Thanks for your post, and making me put into words what I’d been rolling around in my heart! Trisha

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    1. Emily Shade

      I’m finding it interesting that many of us have all the sides to the story rolling around in our hearts. More and more, I’m hearing that there is understanding/acknowledgement​ of the fun and fellowship, as well as the scary, evil portions. I think it’s incredible that while we are all thinking about the implications, many of us are struggling with chatting about it. I appreciate that you took the time to write what was on your heart and join in the conversation! ~Emily

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