Should Christians Participate in Halloween?

Let’s be clear from the start. I’m not a killjoy who wags his finger at people having fun and dressing up in costumes. I see nothing wrong with celebrating harvest. I won’t even comment on children who gorge themselves on chocolate. Pumpkins, and especially pumpkin spiced lattes, are good things. But like a grafted tree, Halloween has some harmless modern practices growing on a sinister ancient trunk. That trunk still produces vigorous evil branches. Let’s face it, Halloween would not be Halloween without its fundamental focus on evil spirits and death. Halloween needs uprooting and replacing.

Some churches have the right idea; they throw a harvest party for children, with fun games and plenty of candy, but without the evil themes. Greeting the masked trick-or-treat ghost at the front door with a quick word about the Savior who defeated hell and rose from the dead is admirable. But shouldn’t Christians go further? As citizens of the kingdom of God, can’t we do better than to drift along in the current of our world culture?

Jesus came to earth to announce a new kingdom. He taught the kingdom of God in parables and demonstrated the kingdom through miracles. When He cast demons out, it sent a shockwave all the way to hell—Satan no longer has free reign on earth. Jesus gave the same authority to His followers. Christians should be extending the kingdom throughout the earth. We should be proclaiming the spiritual freedom that comes with life in the kingdom, and exercising our delegated authority as we set Satan’s captives free. When Jesus conquered sin and death, it was as though a suspension of oil in water separated. The kingdom of God is distinct from the domain of the devil. Life in the kingdom should reflect that separation.

He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col. 1:13-14)

There is no need to slam doors in the face of trick-or-treaters, or to shoot unpleasant criticism at random targets. A silent boycott of the whole affair by one hundred million Christians would speak volumes. A jubilant celebration of Jesus’ victory over darkness would be even better.

Surely God’s children can replace the dubious hotchpotch of Halloween practices with a healthy festival that only promotes God’s values. Let’s renounce the dark side of Halloween: the sinister costumes and garden “decorations,” the ghost stories, the horror movies, and other evil obsessions. There’s room for more days like Easter and Christmas. Let’s celebrate life, spiritual freedom, and healthy relationships. Children can have fun, costume creators can express their talents, and everyone can still get fat on candy and pumpkin spiced lattes.

Are you ready to live a kingdom lifestyle?

12 thoughts on “Should Christians Participate in Halloween?

  1. Sam Hall

    Right on, John! The critical factor, tho, is that most people do not realize there’s a cosmic battle underway betw. the forces of the Righteous One and the forces of darkness. They are a defeated foe but we need to exercise faith to claim the victory.

  2. Carol Heine/Just-Ducky

    I agree with what you had to say about halloween let us start rejoicing in the fact that Jesus has set us free from the evil of darkness and provides us with many blessings. Let us Praise His Holy Name . Thank you God

  3. seanmom

    All we need to do is find an interesting way to celebrate the OTHER meaning of 10/31–the Protestant Reformation. Arguably, this should be a more important commemoration than a Druidic/Wiccan/pagan festival.

  4. Oisin

    Do some research, please. Wikipedia concisely explains the origins of Halloween. There was never anything sinister or evil about the celebration, no devil worshiping, nor any kind of worshiping for that matter, just a remembrance and praying for lost souls.

    It was seen as a day when the veil of the spirit world was thin. People remembered their dead loved ones by setting an extra place out for dinner, and the reason people dressed up was to “hide” from any evil spirits that might be floating around.

    Superstitions: yes.
    Sinister or evil: not even a little.

    1. John Avery Post author

      Unfortunatley, I don’t hear of anyone remembering their deceased loved ones or avoiding evil spirits. These days, Halloween puts death and evil spirits in the spotlight and sweetens the day with kids in costumes, and candy.

      1. Oisin

        That may be so, but the holiday does not have the “evil” roots to which you pertained, which is the whole crux of your argument. And, as you said, there’s nothing wrong with kids dressing up and having fun, even if the true meaning of the holiday is lost.
        So I would put to you there is absolutely no reason to either shun or lecture children on the “evils” of Halloween. If anything explain to them the true meaning as I have done with you.

        1. John Avery Post author

          The center point of my piece is that Christians are part of the kingdom of God. Without getting into a debate about the details of the history of Halloween, it is a festival that focuses on things that are clearly spoken against in the Bible. Should Christians participate in Halloween? If participation means embracing aspects of it that are contrary to biblical teaching (not just the innocent innocuous costumes, candy and family fun) then the answer has to be no. Christianity is not a “build-your-own” religion; it is a relationship with Jesus our Savior and a new kingdom lifestyle (that we are growing into but haven’t arrived at yet) described in the Bible.

          1. Oisin

            But my point is there is nothing inherently anti-Christian about Halloween. In fact it is the MOST Christian holiday after Christmas and Easter, being “all hallows eve” before “all saints day”, where Christian saints and all good souls are remembered.

            The only problem therefore is that in the U.S. the people have forgotten the true meaning of the day. Ignorance is the problem, not the traditions of the day itself.

          2. John Avery Post author

            It sounds like we are talking about different things. I’m talking about current practices and associations; you are talking of traditions and roots.

  5. Oisin

    I can’t believe you would delete my comment proving you wrong (in a polite manner) all just so you can save face. I have been a long time reader and have respected your views thus far, but how can i continue to respect a preacher so caught up on pride he can’t admit his own mistakes? Bible “maturity” indeed.

    1. John Avery Post author

      Sorry Oisin, No offense intended by not posting your last comment nor by my original piece on Halloween. I just don’t want to prolong an argument that has no conclusion.


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