Can Christians participate in Halloween?

Is Halloween the devil's holiday? Are Christians sinning if they dress in costumes for a party or trick-or-treating?

The History of Halloween

What began as a holiday to mark the harvest time and the changing of seasons, ancient Celtic traditions used to emphasize the spiritual. The night between Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 was seen as a window of chaos when the spiritual world was especially accessible to the physical world. Masks, costumes, and bonfires were adopted to keep away evil powers and spirits of the dead.

Catholic influence led to the creation of All Saints’ Day around AD 600 to honor dead Christians and church leaders from the past. All Saints’ Day was Nov. 1, making the night of Oct. 31 All Hallows Eve, which is where we get the name for Halloween (via BBC).

What God Calls Evil

Evil spirits, mythical creatures, and demonic activity get a lot of attention around Halloween. It’s essential to use God’s perspective in the Bible to draw a distinction between what’s merely a cultural tradition and what’s destructive.

Witchcraft, sorcery, and other practices are wrong because they’re harmful for people and elevate connection with spiritual forces instead of connection with God (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

It’s essential to use God’s perspective in the Bible to draw distinction between what’s merely a cultural tradition and what’s destructive.

Getting involved in and obsessed with the spiritual world apart from Jesus often leads to a dangerous place of openness with demonic powers. God warns against trying to speak with spirits and the dead because He’s got a better life in store for us (Leviticus 20:6-7).

Trick or Treat or Not?

What about candy, costumes, parties, and trick-or-treating?

The Bible doesn’t directly say not to participate in Halloween. What the Bible doesn’t explicitly prohibit, we have the freedom to make decisions about using wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit to lead us. If we listen to Jesus and do what He says, He will never lead us away from Himself.

If dressing in costumes and going door to door offends your conscience, don’t do it.

If it doesn’t bother you, celebrate Halloween.

But we must not impose our personal conscience issues on others. We have the freedom to navigate these decisions because God gave us this freedom (1 Corinthians 10:23-30).

How Christians Can Celebrate Holidays

Holidays aren’t inherently good or bad. They’re simply specific days different people celebrate for different reasons, and that’s OK (Romans 14:5-6). A person is not more or less godly for celebrating (or not celebrating) a certain day of the year.

The most important question is not whether you will observe Halloween, but how and why you celebrate it.

The most important question is not whether you will observe Halloween, but how and why you celebrate it. For some, Halloween is an opportunity to make memories doing something fun with their children. For others, it’s a great chance to meet their neighbors, grow a relationship with them, and eventually invite them to church and to meet Jesus.

Faith in Jesus doesn’t restrict our options; it allows us to use God’s wisdom in choosing the best option in every situation (1 Corinthians 10:31-33).

October 27, 2017

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