"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil."
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
Costumes and candy, yes; but let's not forget about...
Witches and warlocks, sorcery and magic, ghosts and goblins, blood and gore, skeletons and mummies, vampires and werewolves, Dracula and Frankenstein, horror and fright, and so on...
[Special note: In keeping with the purpose of my personal blog and Twitter account, I would like to express my desire that this article not be the catalyst for debate, argument, or strife. Christians have the God-given freedom and responsibility to live according to the dictates of their conscience, as led by the principles of God's Word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I would therefore ask that all negative feedback and/or opposing viewpoints not be posted as comments on Facebook. If you would like to contact me privately, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
When we celebrate a holiday, such as Christmas or Valentine's Day, there are several ways in which we do so. For Christmas, we exchange gifts, decorate with Christmas trees and wreaths, sing Christmas carols, and go to Christmas parties. For Valentine's Day, our traditions for celebration are similar: we exchange love notes and chocolates, decorate with red and pink and lots of hearts, and go to Valentine's parties.
How do we celebrate Halloween? We put up Halloween decorations in our homes, watch traditional "Halloween" movies, attend Halloween parties, and of course, go trick-or-treating!
In this article I wish to answer two questions that pertain to a Christian's celebration of Halloween. The first question was asked to my wife recently:
"What reason should I give my daughter (4 years old) as to why we don't go trick-or-treating?"
I truly believe the answer to this question is quite simple. A parent should always tell his children the truth. Therefore, the answer to the above question is: "Because we don't celebrate Halloween."
The second question, however, is a bit more thought-provoking, and will naturally stem from the first question's answer:
"Why don't we celebrate Halloween?"
There are many Christians who have chosen not to celebrate Halloween. However, truth be told, there are many Christians who see Halloween merely as a fun holiday for children to dress up in costumes and receive candy--thus these Christians see no objection in participating in the festivities of Halloween.
I personally have decided, on behalf of my family and myself, that we will not celebrate Halloween. And the reason is as follows: God doesn't celebrate Halloween.
Think about it:
God is against: Satan, the occult, human sacrifice, idol worship, murder, gore, spiritism, horror, fright, witchcraft, violence, and all other evil. These are the very things that form the origin of Halloween, and that are so prevalent in the representations and celebrations of Halloween.
These wicked things are what Halloween stands for!
Do you think God is happy when we celebrate the birth and resurrection of His Son on Christmas and Easter? Do you think He's happy when we set aside a day of the year to celebrate love, which is His chief attribute, on Valentine's Day? Do you think He's pleased when we honor men and women who sacrifice for others on Veteran's Day? Or how about taking a day of the year and giving public and collective thanks to Him for all of His provision on Thanksgiving Day?
But when we think of Halloween, not merely in its origin, but also in its current representations...does this holiday stand for anything that is remotely virtuous, honorable, or acceptable to God?
According to thefreedictionary.com the word celebrate means "to observe (a day or event) with ceremonies of respect, festivity, or rejoicing."
Do you think God celebrates this holiday of which the founder of the Church of Satan said, "After one's own birthday, the two major Satanic holidays are Walpurgisnacht (May 1st) and Halloween" (LaVey, Anton Szandor. The Satanic Bible, p. 96)?
1. Pumpkins, candy, and costume parties are not inherently evil.
2. Celebrating Halloween is not the same thing as worshiping the devil.
3. Some Christians who genuinely love God see no problem with trick-or-treating and Halloween celebrations.
Would you, however, consider the following Biblical principles?
1. We are not to fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but reprove them (Eph. 5:11).
2. We are to keep a clear distinction between that which is good and evil. (Isa. 5:20).
3. Fools make a mock at sin (Prov. 14:9).
4. We are to hate evil (Psalm 97:10).
5. We are to walk as children of light (Eph. 5:8).
6. We are not to take pleasure in the sins of others (Rom. 1:32).
Finally, God instructs us to "prove all things". Furthermore, upon Biblical examination, we are to "hold fast that which is good" and "abstain from all appearance of evil" (I Thess. 5:21-22).
In all honesty, does Halloween give off an appearance of evil? And if it does, then shouldn't we be "avoiding" such a holiday?
So what should a Christian do if he feels convicted against celebrating Halloween?
Consider these suggestions:
1. Don't decorate for Halloween. Decorating for Autumn is fine, but don't deck your halls with jack-o-lanterns, witches, skeletons, cob webs, and a black & orange color scheme. Try autumnal wreaths, corn stalks, pumpkins, and a horn of plenty.
2. Don't go to Halloween parties. You should express thanks for the invitation but courteously decline.
Think about it: You wouldn't expect a Muslim or Jew to attend a Christmas party, would you? And you wouldn't expect Christian parents to encourage their children to join in the celebrations of Hanukkah and Ramadan, would you?
3. Don't watch horror movies.
4. Don't send your children out trick-or-treating.
5. Do spend the evening of October 31st with your family and friends in the Lord.
Your church might have a special gathering or a Family Fun Night. Or, mom and dad might choose to take the kids out for a fun night of Chucky Cheese's and bowling. Rather than participating in the customary Halloween traditions, decide upon something that is clearly distinct.
6. If you would like to host a costume party for your children, do it at a different time of year.
If your child's birthday happens to fall upon the Halloween season, perhaps have a "family" party on his actual birthday, and plan for a costume party with friends at a later date, perhaps after Thanksgiving. This would be a great teaching opportunity, as well as something to which your child can anticipate with eagerness.
The world is getting worse. The church is traveling down the road of compromise faster now than ever before. And confusion plagues the youth of today's generation. Young people lack the discernment to know right from wrong, truth from error, and good from evil.
Let's help our children and the next generation to understand God, His character, and His Word.
Let's be sure to "come out from among them and be separate" (II Cor. 6:17).
And let's be sure to "prove all things, hold fast that which is good, and abstain from all appearance of evil" (I Thess. 5:21-22).