Of all the holidays celebrated in America, none is so controversial or hotly debated as Halloween! Should a Christian participate in Halloween? For many Christians Halloween is seen as Satan’s holiday – something every Christian should stay far away from. This opinion is certainly understandable. After all, Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan said, “I’m glad that Christian parents let their children worship the devil at least one night out of the year.”
Other Christians see Halloween as an opportunity to play innocent dress up and share candy and laughs with their kids and community friends. There are no séance or Satanic rituals – just a night of making memories and gleaning enough candy to last until Christmas!
So which of these two perspectives is the proper one?
Since there is no Bible verse that specifically states, “Thou shalt / shalt not celebrate Halloween”, we must fall back on Bible principles – the eternal truths that help us navigate life’s challenging decisions.
Principle #1 – Worshipping Satan is wrong!
A Christian is a worshipper of Jesus Christ – not Satan (see Matthew 4:10). If Christians accept LaVey’s premise – that Halloween belongs to Satan – and we know that we should not worship the wicked one, then the appropriate response would be to distance ourselves from a Satanic holiday
(2 Corinthians 6:17).
Principle #2 – Every day belongs to the Lord.
But what if Christians don’t accept LaVey’s premise? What if his claim that Christians are supporting Satan on Halloween is unfounded? Does Halloween belong to Satan? Says who? Satan? Anton LaVey? God is the Creator of every day (Psalm 118:24). God did not create a holiday for Satan. To say that people playing dress up and having fun is somehow Satanic because it happens on a certain day is ridiculous. Satan’s claim on Halloween is the equivalent of someone claiming they own the planet Mars!
Principle #3 – History is important.
In the book of Judges the children of Israel made the same mistakes over and over as a nation because they refused to learn from their past. History is important. With regards to Halloween, there is a significant amount of historical information that would connect mysticism, idolatry, and Satanic rituals to this holiday. Unfortunately, Christians have taken little initiative to change the culture of this holiday. History tells us that cultural impact on Halloween will not come through the “separate and berate” or “embrace the disgrace” philosophies. Rather, Christians must resist the evil and engage Gospel opportunities. This will require creativity and carefulness.
Principle #4 – Unity trumps total agreement.
Ephesians chapter 4 discusses unity in detail and unity cannot happen without many things – humbleness, meekness, patience, peace, hope, doctrinal maturity, honesty, and love. However, total agreement is not part of the list in Ephesians chapter 4 – or any other list in the Bible! Why? Because total agreement is impossible! We all have differing opinions, different contexts, different life levels, and different rates of maturity. All of these hinder 100% agreement 100% of the time. The fact that we are all sinners doesn’t help, either!
Here is the point. We can be in 100% unity even if we disagree on how we apply Bible principles in our day-to-day lives. There will be plenty of Christians who will turn off all the lights in their home & have as little to do with Halloween as possible. There are other Christians who will dress up and endeavor to have a positive impact on their spheres of influence. And even with these opposite approaches, we can “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Should a Christian participate in Halloween?
For those who cannot in good conscience celebrate Halloween, I encourage you to spend extra time in Bible reading and prayer that night. Pray for the safety of children. Pray for God’s love to be communicated. Pray for souls to be saved. Pray humbly & pray specifically.
For those who are planning some Halloween fun this year, I encourage you to dress up in something you would not be embarrassed to be raptured in. Allow the love and joy of Christ to shine through you as you have fun with your family & friends. Ask God to give you the courage and opportunity to share your salvation testimony with someone who is ready to hear the Gospel!