“We don’t celebrate Halloween.”
I have this conversation with my daughter every year. When you’re over inundated with Halloween images, cute costumes, and mountains of candy, I certainly understand the allure. When I was a child, my family didn’t celebrate Halloween either. I didn’t understand why not. I thought it was just a religious thing and that Christians were being stuffy. When I had my daughter, I wasn’t a practicing Christian so we began to celebrate Halloween. Honestly, I wanted to experience everything that I thought I had missed. I would dress up as whatever floated my boat and get drunk and party. Then I’d take my daughter out and we’d dress in cute costumes and get candy. The “normal” stuff.
Once I began to live this life completely sold out to Jesus Christ, I began to question the reason behind certain things that I would do. I believe that my eyes were opened to many things in my life that were not Christlike. I began to teach my daughter that as Christians, we don’t celebrate halloween because of the history behind it and what it stands for. As she gets older and older, I’ve learned to be able to teach her in different ways why we don’t celebrate. She doesn’t always understand it, but my prayer is that one day she will.
As a Christian, I don’t celebrate Halloween and here’s why you shouldn’t either.
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8
When the Apostle Paul was writing to the people at the church of Colossae, he wanted the people to understand the heart of God. The city of Colossae was a melting pot, much like America. There were people from all sorts of cultural and religious backgrounds. And much like today, the people were wanting to assimilate and mix in elements of everyone’s backgrounds in a manner that would be all inclusive. Paul understood that this was dangerous. The church there was called to be set apart and to be God’s people. That required them to divorce and to set aside all traditions, religions, and cultural expectations that were not representative of Christ. As Christians, Christ and His ways must have preeminence in our lives. Nothing should supersede the Word of God.
Paul wrote to the Colossian church, warning them that the traditions that they were used to ought not to have authority over the word of God. These traditions were so dangerous because they seemed harmless, but in reality, they were not. They were expressions of human thinking that exalted themselves above the reality of Christ. They were traditions that were steeped in human logic and reasoning, in pagan culture and worship of false gods and demonic practices.
Looking at the history of Halloween, you’ll see many of the same elements. Halloween is a Celtic tradition. The Celtic people observed the end of summer by sacrificing to gods. The Celtics believed that beginning of the Celtic New Year was November 1st. According to History.com, these Celts believed that on October 31st, the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead became blurred and Samhain, the lord of death, would send evil spirits to attack living humans. The only way to keep from being attacked was to dress up in disguises so the evil spirits couldn’t tell who was living and who was not. The Roman Catholic church attempted to incorporate protestant traditions by celebrating the lives of fallen saints instead of honoring the ancient Celtic traditions of ghosts and it became All Hallows Eve, shortened to Halloween.
Because the Christian/Roman Catholic (which are two different things by the way!) attempt to alter the meaning of the day, many Christians stop here and are comfortable with allowing their children to dress up in costumes that are not ghoulish or represent anything evil. But the reality is that there is still more underlying this annual tradition. For Wiccans and Satanists, Halloween is a sacred day. Halloween is considered one of two high and holy days for them. The original Celtic beliefs of spirits being released is still something they ascribe to. They also continue to worship Samhain. Although the church attempted to make something good out of evil, they did not adhere to the word of God.
When we consider whether or not to celebrate Halloween, we have to take all of these facts into account. As the Apostle Paul taught the Colossian church, human traditions leave us empty. Moreso, they leave us as a target for the enemy. I read an article that I really enjoyed that I wanted to post some of it here. When it comes to Halloween, these are some important questions to consider as a Christian.
The Scriptures tell us to put away deeds of darkness (Rom.13:12) and that light has nothing in common with darkness (2 Cor. 6:14). Is celebrating a dark holiday something a child of the light should be doing?
Witchcraft is clearly detestable to the Lord (Deut 18:10-13). Shouldn’t something that glorifies witchcraft (just take a walk through the Halloween store) be detestable to me as well?
Halloween is a sacred, high holiday for Wiccans (the official religion of witchcraft). Is this a holiday Christians should celebrate alongside Wiccans?
Is it cute when we dress like the devil (or witches, ghouls, scary characters, etc.)? Isn’t it, well, demonic?
What if we dress in wholesome costumes? Romans 16:19 says that we need to be wise to what is good and innocent of evil. If I participate in Halloween, even while dressed as a wholesome costume, aren’t I sending a mixed message by participating in a celebration of evil?
The Lord said in 2 Cor. 6:17, “Come out from them and be separate … Touch no unclean thing …” Doesn’t God want His children to be set apart from the world and from sin and evil? Aren’t we supposed to be peculiar people?
My extended family thinks it’s ridiculous that we don’t celebrate Halloween. Should their opinions matter to me more than God’s? Shouldn’t pleasing God be my utmost concern?
If there is even a question in my heart and mind that it might be wrong, shouldn’t that be my first clue? Why would I continue to do so with even a lingering thought that it is wrong?
Does Halloween bring glory to God? No! It glorifies the devil!
Hosea 4:6 says My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. We are held accountable for what we know. And because I know that as a Christian, I ought not be celebrating Halloween because it doesn’t glorify God. I refuse to put my child’s spiritual well-being at risk for some candy. The harm in indulging is too great. And if for some reason I’m being too deep, I’d prefer to be overly cautious than to risk it.
I encourage you to pray and allow the scriptures to take root in your heart. Are there some areas that I can pray for you? Have you been able to see God nudging you to wholeheartedly follow Him? Comment below- I want to hear from you.