As a new believer, I remember thinking when the topic of Halloween was broached, “Why wouldn’t we celebrate it?” It seemed to be harmless, just about dressing up in costumes and getting a lot of candy. I did set some limits; I didn’t allow my children to dress up as witches, ghosts, bloody vampires, or other similar things because I knew that scripture tells us to ‘avoid even the appearance of evil’ (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
As I grew in my faith, prayed, and listened to God, my views changed. I learned that Halloween has pagan origins.
While many of my loving, God-fearing friends would say, “Yeah, but we don’t do any of the things associated with its origins; we’re just going around the block asking for candy,” still, others would say, “The very fact that so much of the origins of this event involve the occult, we will have nothing to do with it.” The church for a long time has battled with the question of, “Should Christians celebrate Halloween?”
What Does the Bible Say About Halloween?
Have you ever studied what the Bible has to say about witchcraft and the occult? In the Old Testament, the punishment for witchcraft was death (Exodus 22:18, Leviticus 19:31, 20:6, 27). In the New Testament, we are shown multiple times in the book of Acts that the occult, sorcery, demon-influenced people, and magic are all in direct opposition to God. I suggest you read the scriptures for yourself and pray about them.
As I read the verses above and prayed about what to do, the Lord also brought to my mind the following verses below:
“Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17 AMP).
“Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9 AMP).
I added the bold type to the above verses because God used those words in particular to help me decide that ‘for me and my house,’ we would serve and honor the Lord by choosing not to participate in Halloween activities. I felt convicted that we could not celebrate a pagan, occultist holiday and be true to God’s command to ‘do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus’ and for His glory. I could see nothing ‘pure, wholesome, lovely, or worthy of praise’ in the celebration of Halloween.
Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
Recently, as I was driving through my neighborhood and city streets, I was reminded of those same scriptures as I saw a myriad of Halloween decorations — giant inflatable ghosts, witches with their cauldrons, large cobwebs and huge black spiders, black cats, skeletons, vampires, coffins, tombstones, and so much more that represented and ‘celebrated’ death. It has become impossible for me to see anything that ‘is pure and wholesome’ or ‘lovely’ in any of the common decor items that surround this holiday. What is clear to me is that the decorations are designed to elicit fear, and often to glorify death—the very thing Jesus came to earth to destroy. Why would I want my children to participate in a holiday that glorifies the very thing that Jesus sacrificed His life to defeat?
So, after indulging in the culture of Halloween for the years when my children were very young, I had a change of heart when my children were 7, 9, and 11 years old. We no longer celebrated Halloween by trick or treating or the usual Halloween activities. We did sometimes go bowling or do other fun activities so they wouldn’t feel deprived, and I allowed them to have some candy — though not much because I’m very strict on their sugar intake no matter the occasion. My children are now in college, and I’ve allowed them to use their own discernment whether they will participate in Halloween activities. They have, on occasion, chosen to attend a Halloween party or gone bowling in costume.
The Bible does not specifically say anything about celebrating Halloween, and I realize this is a controversial topic. This can make it difficult to answer the question of, “Should Christians celebrate Halloween?” The decision is ultimately up to each of us to make. If Christians do celebrate Halloween, they should be intentional about their dress, attitude, and other choices on this day, ensuring that those choices still reflect a redeemed life (Philippians 1:27).
Some Christians use this as an opportunity to share a Gospel tract or something similar along with handing out candy, they have a harvest party with friends, or they have a ‘Trunk and Treat’ party. It is important to consider Romans 14 when we answer the question of, “Should Christians celebrate Halloween?” We should not use our views on Halloween to divide the body of Christ, and we shouldn’t use our freedom to cause others to stumble. We should keep in mind at all times that we exist for God’s pleasure and glory. My prayer is that you would seek God’s will regarding your and your family’s involvement in Halloween activities, as well as every other decision of your life.