Depending on how you view it, Halloween is either a fun dress-up opportunity with candy and play, or Halloween is a celebration of evil and darkness.
As Christian parents, we are tasked with making decisions that will bring the members of our family closer to Jesus.
It is for this reason many Christian parents question whether or not they should allow their children to celebrate or participate in Halloween.
Will Halloween bring our little ones closer to Jesus or push them away? As you wrestle with this question, we hope this blog will help.
Christians Should Know Halloween’s Origin
First, it is important to acknowledge the massive amount of misinformation about Halloween’s origins.
If you ask a stranger, you will hear anything from it being a holiday created by candy companies to increase profits to being the modern Samhain festival, a pagan festival focused on the mingling of the living and dead.
Neither is true.
According to Grace to You, “The name ‘Halloween’ comes from the All Saints Day celebration of the early Christian church, a day set aside for the solemn remembrance of the martyrs. All Hallows Eve, the evening before All Saints Day, began the time of remembrance.”
The Samhain confusion surrounds the pagan festival celebrated from October 31st to November 2nd. As Christianity moved through Europe, Christians combated Samhain by creating their own holiday – All Saints Day. To counter Samhain, Pope Gregory IV moved All Saints Day to November 1st; hence All Hallows Eve (Halloween) is October 31st.
We encourage you to read the full article at Grace to You. It explains the history of Halloween in detail. John MacArthur is one of my favorite authors.
Christians Should Think Differently
Christians should think differently! We should not be superstitious because of our hope in Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life.
For example, if you are tempted to believe more evil happens on Halloween than any other day just because of the holiday, you are misled.
Halloween, like every other day of our 365-calendar day is “a day the Lord has made (Psalm 118:24)!”
Likewise, Christians should recognize that spiritual warfare takes place every day – not just on Halloween (Ephesians 6:12).
In addition, if the fears of Halloween’s evil trouble you, remember the Bible says “fear not” 365 times.
We should not fear a secular holiday because we serve the God who overcame the darkness.
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves”
– Colossians 1:13
Christians Should Use Wisdom
Don’t fall down a slippery slope of fear.
There are greater threats than satanic rituals on Halloween.
We should use wisdom to evaluate the risks associated with walking the streets at night with our children.
Similarly, like every other festivity your family takes part in, use wisdom to guide your decisions. Is it safe? Will your children be supervised? Will there be immoral activities?
Christians Should Share the Gospel
Whether you think your family should or should not celebrate Halloween, consider the secular holiday as an opportunity to share the gospel.
Christians do not fear death like non-Christians do because Jesus paid for our sin by dying on the cross and giving us eternal life.
Look for opportunities to explain this to your children and others who are curious about your decision.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
– 1 Peter 3:15-16
If You Choose Not to Participate …
Many Christian families opt to sit Halloween out because they do not believe it brings their families closer to Christ.
If that sounds like your family, be prepared to share your reasoning with your little ones, as well as your neighbors.
This is a wonderful opportunity for you to teach your children and to share the Good News of Jesus with those outside your home.
With that being said, do not talk negatively or sit in judgment of those who choose to participate.
Do not be arrogant or treat them as if you are better or more spiritual, especially in front of your children.
Every word you speak should come from a place of love and grace. Plus, the right, God-honoring attitude will protect your family from unnecessary ridicule.
Ways Christians Can Participate
If your family chooses to celebrate Halloween, there are many ways you can do so without celebrating the wickedness associated with the secular holiday.
You can even find ways to share the gospel while your kids are dressed in costumes and you give out candy! Here are a few examples:
Read the Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs
If you want your little ones to play dress-up and participate in Halloween festivities, a good way to infuse the occasion is to read The Pumpkin Patch Parable.
From the back cover:
“This charming story for children illustrates how a loving farmer can turn a simple pumpkin into a simply glorious sight. Liz Curtis Higgs weaves a beautiful parable as the farmer picks out a special pumpkin from his garden, and scoops out all the messy "goo" to make room for his light to shine from inside. In the same way, God's transforming love can fill each of our hearts with joy and light. Liz Cutis Higgs originally created this parable as a way to share the Good News with her own precious children each harvest season. After 10 years, she has touched children everywhere! Recommended for ages 3 to 7.”
Along with the story, families can turn pumpkin carving into a way to teach children how God makes us “new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17).”
As you make the light shining inside the pumpkin, teach them what Jesus said in Matthew 5:16. Click here for a detailed lesson plan.
Some families choose to forgo the traditional Halloween trick-or-treating by attending church-friendly alternatives such as “Fall Festivals” or “Trunk or Treat” events.
These events are wonderful outreach opportunities for the surrounding areas.
Plus, they are safe and generally without the presence of scary costumes and inappropriate messages.
Family Participation Without a Focus on Darkness
Other families choose to participate in traditional Halloween events minus the focus on darkness.
As Grace to You explains, “There's nothing inherently evil about candy, costumes, or trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.”
Families can find joy in dressing up innocently and collecting candy from their neighbors.
Halloween Evangelism Opportunities
Families get the opportunity to give to their neighbors on Halloween!
Think about it like Christians. We are always looking for opportunities to serve others, and on October 31st “others” come right up and knock on our doors! What a delightful change.
When you look at it that way, Halloween is one of the easiest days of the year to be a missionary in your neighborhood.
Give out lots of candy.
Pass out glow sticks.
Serve hot chocolate.
Greet your neighbors with a smile.
Give a tract with a treat.
Open your door.
Let your light shine bright.
Be full of love, patience, kindness, and hospitality!