Let me start by saying a few things. First, I hate Halloween. It actually makes me angry. Having said that I do allow my children to dress up and go to the houses of family so that grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles can see the kiddos in costumes. In addition, at our house we fully anticipate that neighborhood kids will knock on our door for candy and we will have some available. Our Church will also have a Fall Festival and kids are encouraged to dress up in appropriate costumes.
Next let me remind everyone what Halloween is. It is a commercialized holiday with a general focus on darkness and death. At this point, some of you may object and say it is about cute kids in costumes, but we need to be intellectually honest. Halloween is generally about darkness and death, you know it, I know it, even curious George knows it (See Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest).
With that said, how are Christians to approach a holiday that seems to be growing within our culture? Do we completely ignore it? Do we totally embrace it? Do we settle somewhere in between? In answering this question, as always we should look to the Bible.
- Leviticus 19:31 – “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God.”
- Ephesians 5:11 – “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
- 2 Corinthians 6:14 – “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
- Romans 13:12 – “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.“
- James 4:7 – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
I believe these verses make it clear. If you are a Christian you do not embrace Halloween. We should not be cavalier about mystics, fortunetellers, mediums, darkness, and Satan. We need to recognize the dangers of meddling in darkness and resist it.
So does that settle it? No. God does not call us into isolationism. We are left here on this planet, not to complain about the darkness but to push back against it with the light of the Gospel.
- Matthew 5:16 - "let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
- John 17:16 - “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”
- Matthew 1016 - “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
As disciples of Christ we are commissioned to make disciples. At no time are we to take a break from this commission. We are to look at all aspects of life through a disciple making lens. This includes Halloween. Is the holiday one to be avoided? Yes, in once sense. Can we as Christians leverage it to make disciples? Yes, in another sense. In doing so, we must use the wisdom of God and the protection of God. So how does this look practically? Here are a couple practical tips:
- Pray! Pray for God’s protection from the evil one. Pray that God would have his name hallowed on All Hallows Eve. Pray for an opportunity for the word of God to go forth on that day. Pray for courage and boldness to proclaim the Gospel and to stand out as salt and light in your neighborhood.
- Beware of the influence of darkness in your home. Do not watch scary movies (Curious George included). Do not allow anyone in your home to go to haunted houses. Pay attention to what your kids are doing with their friends the week of Halloween. Pay attention to what your School is doing. Voice your opposition to ghosts, witches, or ghouls that may find their way into the secular classroom.
- Hand out Christians Tracts along with your candy. Here is one that you could use: https://www.crossway.org/tracts/the-perfect-pumpkin-3497. In giving out candy, be known as the generous house. Give out full size candy bars!
- Open up your garage and provide hot chocolate and soup to anyone who wants to take a break. Take the time to explain to them why you are doing it and your concerns about Halloween and your attempt to be the light of Christ on that night.
- Be intentionally opposite. Have a Light Fest for your children and their friends instead of a scary movie night. Talk about how God is light and in him there is no darkness.
- Go around and hand out harvests baskets to all your neighbors. In the basket provide fall items, an invitation to dinner, and also a nice Bible. Teach your kids that it is more blessed to give then to receive.
These are just a few ideas. I am sure there are many more. Above all, however, make sure that God is glorified in whatever you do. Do not spend the day complaining, instead take action in a way that pushes back the gates of Hell.