We used to celebrate Halloween. I’ve dressed up as everything from a doctor to a ballerina to Snow White. One year my sister wanted to dress up as a pink popsicle. My mom made her a costume out of felt, and she was adorable. But now…
We’ve rethought Halloween.
I figured Halloween would be on everybody’s minds, since it’s late October and that dark “holiday” is sneaking up on us all. So I’ve decided to write this post to make us all think a little deeper on the subject. Halloween is one of those things that comes with the culture, one of those things we don’t think twice about… even though we really should.
The problem with Halloween for us Christians is the question of what in the world we are to do with it. It’s roots lie in evil practices and pagan traditions—and, to this day, Satan is exalted by many on this day. Even for those unaware of or not involved in the most overtly evil forms of celebrating this “holiday”, I believe Halloween is a means of desensitizing people—especially kids— to things God hates. That said, Halloween appears to go against everything we, as Christians, believe in and live for… everything Jesus conquered on the cross. The truth is that death, darkness, sin, demons, Satan, witches, evil spirits, all of which are exalted on Halloween, have been defeated by our Savior.
Evil has already lost this war. And Jesus has already won. And who do we choose to celebrate?
As a follower of Jesus, I want to glorify God as much as I possibly can. (I say I want to… that doesn’t mean that I always do. Trust me, I’m preaching as much to myself as to anyone.) Is Halloween just a lost cause, a day when Christians should shrink back into their cozy and homes and wait out the storm?
I think not.
Like I said before, our family used to celebrate Halloween every year. Somewhat blindly, I think. It was kind of handed to us. My parents had always celebrated it as kids, and they never thought twice about passing on the tradition to their own family.
I have some fond memories of October thirty-firsts past. My sister and I looked forward to sorting and trading candy almost more than trick-or-treating. Halloween was always something to eagerly await, and our candy always lasted us months (since we had to ask our parents before eating any 🙂 ).
For a long time, our family had no problem whatsoever with Halloween. It was a fun event, and that was all. Gradually, we started trying to find a balance between still participating in the activities of the night yet honoring God through the whole thing. Years ago, I took up a collection at my Christian homeschool co-op—a collection of Halloween candy. You see, our Bible-memory teacher (we were currently memorizing the Sermon on the Mount and Romans 8) liked to pass out candy… lots of candy. So I circulated a homemade brochure to the whole class, and several people donated candy to our little fund. Our teacher was blessed, and we learned a bit about it being more blessed to give than to receive.
One year my family got big candy bars and attached gospel tracts to them. Every time unsuspecting ghosts and witches (and princesses and Darth Vaders) came to our door, we handed them that giant chocolate bar with the message of salvation taped to it. Who knows if God used that to do something more than satisfy someone’s sweet-tooth?
So yes, Halloween can be used for good, because our God works all things—even the bad things—together for good. God can, and He will, glorify Himself through any circumstance. Even so, we’ve rethought Halloween.
These past few years, we haven’t dressed up on October 31st at all. We haven’t celebrated Halloween. And you know what? We haven’t missed it one little bit. To be honest, we very nearly forgot about what the rest of the world did on that night.
A few years ago, a friend from church invited us to a birthday party on October 31st. We’ve gone every year since. No one dresses up… we just play games. And there’s always lots of candy on hand. But the best part of all is that it’s just a handful of friends, gathering together with the greater purpose of glorifying God.
And that’s what’s really important. Are you spending October 31st to the glory of God? Are you being obedient to where God has asked you to be? Are you reclaiming the day to the glory of God?
The question to ask is how can I glorify God today, the same as any day? Think about Ephesians 5:15-16—
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
The days are evil. Make the most of every opportunity. Doesn’t this apply to Halloween? And what about 1 Corinthians 10:31?
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
If everything we do is to glorify God, why not Halloween? We get to redeem the day! You could do this ten thousand ways. Many Christians celebrate Reformation Day on October 31st. Many go to events at their church. Many use this as an opportunity to witness to neighborhood kids. The question is not so much about what you will do, but Who you will do it for.
Please know that I’m not asking you to throw away your costume and boycott candy. I’m certainly not asking you to be legalistic about this. I’m just asking you to rethink Halloween. It’s up to you.
So pray about it. Look it up in the Bible. Think about how you can glorify God this coming Halloween. As Christians, we don’t have to blindly go along with the world’s traditions— we can choose to be different. But let’s not let this day go to waste.
Any thoughts? Please feel free to comment below. 🙂