Every October the world gets ugly, loony and dangerous, and Christians wring their hands about how to handle Halloween. It’s a tiresome cycle that can be broken with some clear thinking and firm decisions.
Let me encourage you to step back and put the un-holy-day in perspective. We live on this planet for seventy or eighty years. We’ll live in God’s house forever. The reason we live here is to prepare to live there. All decisions about what to do with our time and resources need to be made with that in mind. Whatever moves us toward being ready for Heaven gets a yes. Whatever might be a hindrance in any way (to us or those around us), gets a no. It’s only for a little while, and then we get YES for all eternity.
So, does celebrating Halloween fit us for Heaven? Everyone must answer that question for themselves, of course, and while you’re thinking about it, here are some ideas to consider.
But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:15-16 This rules out some of the more common Halloween excesses, such as getting drunk, vandalizing property or dressing in immodest costumes. But, I don’t think many Christians are tempted to such obvious disobedience.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 We can agree that Halloween celebrates darkness, can we not? Aside from teddy bear toddlers, the usual costumes depict witches, vampires, mummies, skeletons, etc. ad nauseum. Anything ugly, evil, fear-inspiring, witchy or simulating death is popular. We’ve been called into God’s marvelous light. Let’s not step back into darkness even for one evening.
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14 What might pagans think of Christians participating in Halloween? If I were a pagan I might think that they were hypocrites, or ignorant of spiritual realities. Pagans know the roots, symbolism, and god of Halloween and take it seriously, even if we don’t. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. Ephesians 5:11
It’s okay not to blend. We’re not supposed to blend, and even if it’s really hard to get past the junior high mentality of “I have to be unique in the exact same way as the popular kids”, we have to grow up and be okay with being “a peculiar people” (see Titus 2:14). Analyze your reasons for wanting to participate in Halloween activities, or for letting your kids do so. Be honest with yourself. If you can’t think of anything stronger than “there’s no harm in it”, or “she’ll be the only one not getting candy/dressing up/going to the party”…consider that we live in a pagan culture. No blending.
What can you do to redeem the day for your family? If you live in the middle of a housing area and will get lots of trick-or-treaters no matter what, you might consider passing out tracts taped to some really good quality candy. Evangelize your heart out.
Remember that October 31 is also Reformation Day, marking the day in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed to a door his 95 theses challenging the corrupt practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Have a Reformation Day party, lights blazing, everyone learning about sola scriptura and indulgences.
Hold a prayer meeting during the trick-or-treat hours. Pray for the safety of our children, for the salvation of the lost, for Jesus’ soon return…you get the idea. What better strategy than heartfelt and serious prayer to combat (ready?) the forces of darkness. It’s a real battle, sisters. Let’s fight with our best weapons.