Posted by: Nathan | October 31, 2006

Christianity and Halloween

Today is All Hallows’ Eve–the day people dress up in costumes and come around in search for candy (you know peanut butter cups are the best!), and it’s also a controversial day for the Church. I’ve noticed a lot of churches lately are having their own festivals on Halloween where candy is given out, games are played, etc. These are usually called “Harvest Festivals” or “Fall Celebrations,” but is this the only or best way for Christians to handle Halloween?

The issue at the heart of the Halloween controversy is the holiday’s association with things evil, Satanic, and dark. It’s different for believers to see someone dressed up in red with horns and a pitchfork–that trick-or-treater is in the guise of our sworn enemy. It’s the same with folks dressing like devils, ghouls, witches, etc. Though we rarely think our vestigial reaction over, our dislike of these costumes is due to our affiliation with the God of Love; these people are dressing the part of the Enemy.

But they don’t think they are. It’s not due to devotion or allegiance that our unbelieving friends are donning these outfits; it’s because of ignorance. People who dress like Satan (like he really has hooves and horns) have no idea of the power they’re invoking. It would be like me dressing up as a unicorn: I don’t believe unicorns exist*, so where’s the harm?

There is nothing wrong with having alternative Halloween activities at your place of worship; it certainly is a great opportunity to bring kids and families who don’t know the Lord into His house for the evening. What irks me a bit is when I see such Church parties advertised as a “safe place for children.” Trick-or-treating is not dangerous. Sure, there’s a chance of getting arsenic candy, or a better chance of getting egged or robbed of sweets, but there’s also a chance that the church holding the party will burn down or you’ll break you leg doing the cakewalk.

You won’t win pagans over to the Lord by being afraid of them. There’s nothing to fear: “‘For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’ Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened'” (1 Peter 3:12-14).

Don’t feel ashamed if you’re a Christian and would rather take your kid trick-or-treating on Halloween than attend the Harvest Festival. It’s fun to go trick-or-treating, and there’s a lot of great candy to be had! Also, if you want to stay in and pass out sweets (or even toothbrushes if you must), you’re ministering to those who come to your door–you’re showing love to your neighbors.

So if you’re at home and you open the door to find a demon with a candy bag, smile and and give him or her some candy; there’s nothing a real demon fears more than the Church of God armed with love and eager to disseminate it to anyone who comes our way. But if you’d rather go to church tonight, enjoy! Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord. Happy Halloween!

*I haven’t actually decided if unicorns exist. I’d like to think there are a few somewhere out there.

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Responses

  1. Great post. You really should be careful about invoking the power of unicorns though.

  2. pagans? seriously?


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