Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
Every October, as the fall leaves begin to change there is a certain tension in Christian communities throughout the West and increasingly throughout the world.
There are many that struggle with the questions of whether to celebrate Halloween, to have alternative celebrations, or to turn off the porch light and ignore the holiday altogether.
For many people, Halloween is simply a holiday to dress up in costumes and have candy, its an opportunity for fun parties. Others look at the holiday's origins in the occult and believe it should not be celebrated at all. Still, other's see the holiday of All Hallows Eve (the day before All Saint's Day - Nov. 1), and lament that a holy day has been taken over by the celebration of all that is wicked.
A growing number have traded Halloween for Reformation Day, a Christian holiday that celebrates religious freedoms, and is often associated with Martin Luther, recalling October 31, 1517 as the day when the German Monk nailed his Ninety-five Thesis on the door of the All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Germany.
Some families adapt traditional Halloween practices and focus on Christ overcoming evil and the defeat of Satan, while dressing up as well-known Biblical heroes such as King David, Esther, the Disciples, etc. In this way, Halloween becomes a teaching opportunity to share how we need Christ and how only through Him is evil overcome.
Some communities hold Autumn Harvest festivals or carnivals as a wholesome, family-friendly alternative to Halloween, citing that the holiday has become increasingly adult-oriented and ghoulish.
There many different thoughts and feelings when it comes to Halloween and how or if we should or shouldn't celebrate, but we must be careful not to let this divide the Church. Romans 14 speaks extensively about Christian unity, and I believe this can be applied directly when considering the differing opinions on Halloween. For me, Romans 14:1-5, and 8, are of particular note, but I encourage reading the whole passage for a full understanding.
Paul here is speaking about differing practices, beliefs and traditions within the Christian community in Rome and that we should not judge each other harshly over such issues. There is room for differing opinions on non-salvation issues. However, that isn't to say that there aren't serious concerns when it comes to certain practices that are associated with Halloween. We must be discerning in our judgment of others' ideas and practices.
Paul writes in Romans 14:1-4, "As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own Lord that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand."
He continues, "One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." -Romans 14:5
In Romans 14: 8, he says, "For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's."
We encourage each family to come up with their own approach to Halloween based on their own convictions and the options available to them.
Whether we celebrate Halloween, celebrate it in an alternative way, or abstain from it altogether, we should do it with a clear conscience in a way that honors God. Halloween, like every day, is an opportunity to share the Good News in the love of Christ Jesus.
If you're looking to share the Good News in a fun and unique way, we have a few collections that might help you start conversations about Jesus and sow the seeds of salvation.
Take a look at our Autumn-themed collections below!