Halloween is a fun holiday, but it is also a trivial one for many Christians. Some Christians choose not to celebrate Halloween due to the fact that it originated from a Pagan holiday. Others celebrate by having a harvest festival, and then there are those who choose to go all out and celebrate the day by passing out candy, trick-or-treating, and watching a scary movie.
How a Christian celebrates is completely their choice, but it is important to understand the origins of Halloween and why it is celebrated. Once they understand the history, the individual can make an educated decision as to if and how they’ll celebrate.
A Brief History of Halloween
Most everyone knows Halloween came from the Gaelic festival of “Samhain” (sah-win). It is by all means a Pagan holiday celebrating the changing of seasons, and considered a “time of transition between life and death.”
People have used Halloween to communicate with the dead, and the practice of bonfires and costumes were meant to ward off the evil spirits. Faces were carved into items to frighten evil spirits, thus enters the creation of the Jack-o-lantern. There was also eating of the fruit (now-a-days “bobbing for apples”), which symbolizes divination and fertility. Everything to do with Halloween has a meaning orginating from a Pagan religion.
Unfortunately, due to the fact the church did not want to totally abolish the holiday (in fear of losing converts), they chose to rename the holiday. Which by then had been combined with the Roman “holiday of Ferelia.” The two days were instead called, “All Souls Day” and “All Saints Day.”
If one studies the Bible, it warns of mixing Pagan practices with Christianity. Christians believe that anything that sets itself apart from God, is not Godly. A few Bible verses to look at and consider if one is in doubt of practicing the “innocent rituals” of Halloween are:
- 1 Thessalonians 5: 21-22 says, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
- Romans 12:9 says, “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”
There are numerous verses about staying away from evil practices. Even The Book of Revelation tells of several churches who mixed Pagan religions into Christianity, causing many (including children) to stumble. Overall, the origins of Halloween are Pagan, and some Christians believe that they need to steer clear, lest they stumble or cause a fellow believer or potential believer to stumble and fall.
Fortunately, Christians are free to choose whether or not to practice many things that may seem controversial to some. Christians are not bound by law to follow every single commandment perfectly. The only thing one has to do to become a Christian is truly trust the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and repent (recognize and truly ask forgiveness) of one’s sins (John 3:1-21, Romans 3:10, 23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-13). Once one accepts Christ as their Savior, the struggle’s of the world do not disappear, and they have what is called “Christian Liberty.”
Romans 14 describes Christian Liberty and goes on to explain that Christians are still held accountable as to whether or not they lived for God or for self. It is also a reminder that one who has truly accepted Christ is not condemned.
If a Christian wants to celebrate Halloween, that is completely their choice. If they have no problems participating in some practices such as carving pumpkins, passing out candy, dressing up, or going trick-or-treating, then they should be able to participate.
On the other hand, if a Christian truly believes Halloween is a holiday that’s promoting evil, they can choose to not celebrate. Some Christians do not want to get involved in things that may cause them or their family to be hurt spiritually, and if Halloween gives them a bad vibe they do not need to celebrate.
However, Christians do not need to judge one another’s choice. They both need to realize celebrating Halloween is a personal decision. No matter whether the reason is good or bad, it is a personal decision, and everyone has the freedom to choose their course of action.
For those who may have mixed feelings about celebrating Halloween, they should ask questions such as: will this cause them to fall back into bad habits? Could it cause someone else to go backwards or not to be a Christian at all? Christians do have to consider how their actions reflect their belief.
If a Christian was a Wicca before becoming a Christian, Halloween might not be the holiday to celebrate. If the Christian use to study the paranormal or tends to get caught up in paranormal studies rather than the word of God, then maybe they should rethink Halloween.
Christians should not celebrate just because they have the liberty to celebrate. They need to think about why they choose to celebrate, and be sure they do not get caught up in practices that may contradict their believes.
How can a Christian Celebrate Halloween
There is much more to do than celebrate Halloween during the fall. Many churches hold harvest parties or fall festivals. Some churches gather together to explore the changing of the leaves by taking day or weekend trips to well-known spots. Some may even organize a fall homecoming or picnic underneath the trees, and enjoy good fall food and fellowship.
A great idea for any church who wants to have a fall party might be to have a harvest/tract party. Going door-to-door and passing out Halloween tracts with verses of salvation on them is a great way to invite people to church. Map out a specific area, partner up, and set aside a day when the church can have a harvest/tract party.
In fact, when passing out the tracts offer an invitation to the church party. Let people know they are welcome and that there will be plenty of food and good fun. Include some friendly games of football, horseshoes, or a pumpkin pie eating contest.
If a Christian decides to celebrate Halloween, they could pass out candy with church tracts. If they go trick-or-treating, they could take tracts with them and hand them out to the community. Just because a Christian is trick-or-treating does not mean they cannot hand out the gospel. It is a great time to hand out tracts and invite others to church, take advantage of it.
Christians could get together with other families and have a small prayer meeting on Halloween, and a Bible study on the subject; be sure to include prayer about those participating and for protection and understanding.
Perhaps the best thing to do, is not celebrate at all. It is hard to not celebrate, it seems like such a innocent holiday (in some ways). The sad truth is, it is not. All Christians need to realize that they should avoid arguing with others about Halloween; it is about taking a stand against wickedness and evil practices (Ephesians 6:12) in a manner that the individual views as appropriate. No matter what a Christian decides, just be sure it will not be a stumbling block and not cause one to loose their testimony.