The Theology of Halloween

What do you think about Halloween?

Is it O.K. for Christians to participate in “trick-or-treating”?

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Christian Halloween?

I’ve talked to a lot of Christians what have told me that they have no problems participating in Halloween festivities.  They say there’s nothing wrong with it.  They just change the name from Halloween to Harvest Festival or something like  that.  They also say it’s completely acceptable to be involved in any or all Halloween activities, besides, we should “become all things to all men so that by all possible means” we might save some (1 Cor. 9:22).

Yet there are many Christians who do not believe it’s acceptable to participate in Halloween.  They ask the question, “why would a Christian want to associate or celebrate on the devil’s day?”  Those who argue against taking part in Halloween say that it is not a good thing and that Christians should “avoid every appearance of evil” (I Thess. 5:22).

What do you believe?

As you can tell this is a sensitive subject.  I believe that most people just don’t know much about Halloween.  Most people do not know its history, whether it’s good or evil, or whether or not to participate in Halloween.  What about you?  Do you know why you are in favor or against participating in Halloween?

Growing up as a child I remember the fun I had dressing up as Satan with my brothers and sister and going out trick-or-treating (with my parents)  We had a blast!   Today, I’m a licensed minister.  I think I turned out alright.   So what’s the big deal?  Am I just lucky not to have been sucked into the dark world of evil and demonic activity?

If you ask me today, would I dress up any of my children as a devil for Halloween?  The answer is a definite NEVER!  I’ve often wondered, what were my parents thinking?  I even asked my mom about this but she doesn’t even remember me dressing up a devil.  Maybe the costume was on-sale?  Oh well.

Did you know that October 31st. is an important date for Protestants, and that it has nothing do with Halloween?  October 31st is known as Reformation Day.  It was this day in 1517 that Martin Luther, a Catholic monk, nailed his 95 Theses for discussion to the church door in Wittenberg.  What resulted over the course of many years was a massive reformation of the Christian church.  O.K. enough church history.


Is Halloween OK?
I recently read two good arguments for participating in Halloween. The first is that historically, “festivities on “All Hallows Eve” were the Christian’s way of laughing at death and evil, something that can be done in certain hope of Christ’s victory over the powers of darkness.  The Church for centuries, however, has seen All Hallows Eve not as a glorification of evil, but as a chance to affirm eternal life in the face of the death of our mortal bodies. Just as Easter is a celebration of Jesus’ victory over death and evil, so is Halloween!”

The second reason in favor of participating in Halloween is that “besides serving as the only time many people bother to go up to their neighbors’ houses and actually interact with them, it holds deeper meaning.  It is not about being afraid, believe it or not. It is rather about laughing in the face of fear and the things we fear: darkness, death, superstition, and monsters of every kind.  It’s about mocking the god of fear while meeting our neighbors face-to-face.”

Halloween
Although both reasons above sound good to me, not everyone agrees.  The arguments go back and forth and have been for years. Here’s a short list of pro’s and con’s on this ongoing dialogue.


Below are several articles that present reasons why Christians SHOULD NOT participate in Halloween.

  1. Why NOT TO participate in Halloween.
  2. Don’t Sup with the Devil
  3. It’s wrong but use Halloween to evangelize.
  4. Ten Reasons Christians Should Not Celebrate Halloween


Below are several articles that present reasons why IT’S OK for Christians to participate in Halloween.

  1. Halloween as an opportunity to win people to Christ.
  2. Christian Halloween
  3. Halloween Alternatives.
  4. Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
  5. 7 Great Ideas for Halloween


Here’s the best answer I have found, so far, as to whether or not a Christian should participate in Halloween.

Is there a correct answer to the question as to whether or not a believer in Jesus Christ should participate in Halloween?  If there is, I think I found it right here. In a nutshell, the article says that since the debate about Halloween has been an ongoing question it falls under the category of “Romans 14”, a disputable matter.

happy halloween
The article goes on to say that participating in Halloween should be a personal conviction.  If a person does not agree with it, he/she should not judge someone else who does.  Finally, the article concludes by saying that maybe there is no real right or wrong answer to this question.

I believe Christians can and should use the occasion of Halloween to be a light to the world, (why not, we live here).  Whether you’re doing a “trunk of treats”, a Halloween skating party or a drama depicting the power of Christ over evil, teach people about the supreme power of Christ over darkness, (1 John 3:8).  Let people know that Christ can take away all fear (1 John 4:18).  Tell people that if and when they walk through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4) they do not have to fear evil when Jesus is Lord of their lives, just lean toward the Light,  (John 3:16).  Tell people that God loves them, and that He can make a difference in their lives. (Matt 4:17).  Tell people they do not have to fear but that they too can be safe and secure in the hands of a living God.

So I ask again, what do you believe about Halloween?  How does your church respond on this day?  Does your church hide out or reach out?  Has this post changed your view?  Agree? Disagree? Agree to Disagree?  I welcome all feedback, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Saw 1

B.T.W. I haven’t even started to address the issue watching gory, scary and horror films.   Is it wrong or just “entertainment”?   Isn’t it probably worse than participating in Halloween? (which is only one night a year for just a few hours)

Should a person who practices Christianity not watch horror movies like, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Blair Witch Project, The Exorcist, Saw 6 and Paranormal Activities?  What about you?   Don’t you like a good horror flick every now and then?  Would you let you children watch scary movies?   If so, at what age would you allow them to start watching them?  If you don’t participate in Halloween but do habitually watch horror films, what’s the difference? Talk to me.

As you are probably thinking this conversation can lead us to ask many other questions about the life of a believer in Jesus Christ.  I’m talking about the basic characteristics of a Christian; living in holiness & righteousness, being a light to the world, being honest, having integrity, honoring God on a daily basis, being careful to the things you listen to, people you hang around with, being faithful to church, not living a life of sin, etc.   We can also talk on the subject of spiritual warfare, spiritual darkness and evil spirits but we’ll get to that later.

This conversation all started with one simple question, “What do you think about Halloween?”  It seems that there are so many other questions that must be asked along with it.  Maybe the title of this post shouldn’t be, “The Theology of Halloween”, perhaps a more appropriate tile would be, “The Theology of a Christian”.  If that’s the case, maybe just maybe, I’m asking the wrong question.  What do you say?

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P.S.  I welcome all comments.
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4 Responses

  1. Great article, Nick. Alot of good questions posed and demanding some healthy introspection.

  2. Yes, I thought the comments of theology of Halloween was interesting. If you haven’t already seen the video called ‘Pagan Invasion” Vol #1 Halloween: Trick or Treat, you may find it informative. It exposes the origins of Halloween and real ceremonies and rituals that occur every single year! I’m not sure how you can get another copy of it but its “Jeremiah Films, Inc. -1991 Titled “Pagan Invasion” theres several volumesl
    Try at the local or County library. Possibly a Christian book store may give you leads.
    May the Lord richly bless you. Julianne Quintana

  3. This is Hannah Bevills, Editor for Christian.com which is a social network made specifically for Christians, by Christians, to directly fulfill Christian’s needs. We embarked on this endeavor to offer the ENTIRE christian community an outlet to join together as one (no matter denomination) and better spread the good word of Christianity. Christian.com has many great features aside from the obvious like christian TV, prayer request or even find a church/receive advice. We have emailed you because we have interest in collaborating with you and your blog to help us spread the good word. I look forward to an email regarding the matter, Thanks!

    God Bless
    |Hannah Bevills|Christian.com|
    hannah.bevills@gmail.com

  4. As a Christian, I have been torn between allowing my children to participate in Halloween or not. The oldest is 13 and the youngest is 3 (4 alltogether). Up to this point, we have allowed some activities, but have felt guilty for doing so. The information you have provided has shone light on this holliday and I feel we have done good up till now in our decisions. Thank you.

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