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Friday, October 31, 2008

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

My mom, being the festive being she is, made sure we celebrated EVERY holiday to its fullest extent! Yes, we were Catholic at the time and attended mass every Sunday; however, we participated fully in Halloween (and had alot of fun doing so, I might add:) It wasn't until I became a born again Chrisitian as an adult, that I thought about whether or not celebrating Halloween was conducive to "virtuous living."

Now that I know more and am trying to raise my own children to know what is acceptable to God and what is not, I've had to put alot more thought into the moral implications of what seemed to be innocent times of fun, such as Halloween.

The article below is an interesting one, and suggests that while Christians should stay away from the aspects of Halloween that have their roots in paganism and the occult (ie."ghost, witches, goblins") we still have the freedom to make of it what we want. For example, he explains that some families dress their children up in more wholesome costumes (ie. "princesses, cowboys, clowns, etc") and have a "Harvest Party" instead. You can read the original article here.

Do you agree with the author? What does your family do around Halloween, if anything?

"Should Christians celebrate Halloween?"

Answer: Whether or not Christians should celebrate Halloween can be a very controversial topic. Some Christians celebrate Halloween simply by dressing up in a costume and having fun, seeing it as innocent and harmless. Other Christians are equally convinced that Halloween is a satanic holiday established to worship evil spirits and promote darkness and wickedness. So, who is right? Is it possible for Christians to celebrate Halloween without compromising their faith?

Halloween, no matter how commercialized, has almost completely pagan origins. As innocent as it may seem to some, it is not something to be taken lightly. Christians tend to have various ways to celebrate or not to celebrate Halloween. For some, it means having an “alternative” Harvest Party. For others, it is staying away from the ghosts, witches, goblins, etc., and wearing innocuous costumes, e.g., little princesses, clowns, cowboys, super-heroes, etc. Some choose not to do anything, electing to lock themselves in the house with the lights off. With our freedom as Christians, we are at liberty to decide how to act.

Scripture does not speak at all about Halloween, but it does give us some principles on which we can make a decision. In Old Testament Israel, witchcraft was a crime punishable by death (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, 27). The New Testament teaching about the occult is clear. Acts 8:9-24, the story of Simon, shows that occultism and Christianity don't mix. The account of Elymas the sorcerer in Acts 13:6-11 reveals that sorcery is violently opposed to Christianity. Paul called Elymas a child of the devil, an enemy of righteousness and a perverter of the ways of God. In Acts 16, at Philippi, a fortune-telling girl lost her demon powers when the evil spirit was cast out by Paul. The interesting matter here is that Paul refused to allow even good statements to come from a demon-influenced person. Acts 19 shows new converts who have abruptly broken with their former occultism by confessing, showing their evil deeds, bringing their magic paraphernalia, and burning it before everyone (Acts 19:19).

So, should a Christian celebrate Halloween? Is there anything evil about a Christian dressing up as a princess or cowboy and going around the block asking for candy? No, there is not. Are there things about Halloween that are anti-Christian and should be avoided? Absolutely! If parents are going to allow their children to participate in Halloween, they should make sure to keep them from getting involved in the darker aspects of the day. If Christians are going to take part in Halloween, their attitude, dress, and most importantly, their behavior should still reflect a redeemed life (Philippians 1:27). There are many churches that hold "harvest festivals" and incorporate costumes, but in a godly environment. There are many Christians who hand out tracts that share the Gospel along with the Halloween candy. The decision is ultimately ours to make. But as with all things, we are to incorporate the principles of Romans 14. We can’t allow our own convictions about a holiday to cause division in the body of Christ, nor can we use our freedom to cause others to stumble in their faith. We are to do all things as to the Lord.


  1. B has to be "nice" things for Halloween. This year is a firefighter. I don't feel there is anything wrong w/ him playing "dress up" and asking for some candy! I do agree that we should let our kids dress up as "evil" things.

  2. We were never allowed to celebrate Halloween when we were younger, my parents being strictly against it. Now we have a little more freedom in getting to pass out candy to those that come to our house (and my dad has fun screaming and slamming the door when someone in a scary outfit comes up- but then opens it again to offer them candy).


Your ideas, questions, and comments are welcome!