This is a sticky topic for a lot of Christians. I am aware that this post will ruffle some feathers out there. So, I’ll start out with this: this is my family’s opinion, one which we have developed through much prayer and biblical study. Chances are, for a lot of you, this is not your opinion. That’s okay. I don’t think that how anyone feels about Halloween is an essential belief to securing salvation. So, while I feel strongly about what I’m writing here, please know you are welcome at Sisters Raising Sisters if your beliefs are (even vastly) different from my own. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments that follow this post.
All that being said, I am going to put this to you straight: Christians celebrating Halloween flabergasts me. I just do not get it.
So that no one can claim ignorance (and I know too many who have tried that with this holiday) here’s a quick history of Halloween:
“It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts … Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future …
In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating.” - History.com
You got that, right? Halloween began as a pagan holiday, a night when “ghosts of the dead returned to earth” to wreck havoc. Later, the Catholic church tried to adapt the holiday, and now it has become an event celebrated by some in the church, almost everyone outside the church, and it is of highest importance to those participating in occultic activities. Above all, Halloween is a ”true time for witches, Witchcraft itself, and Wiccans alike who feel that on this night the separation between the physical and spiritual realities is its least guarded and its veil the thinnest” (quote from an occult site). The activities that take place on this one night each year are unimaginable and too terrible to mention here (you’ll have to do your own research).
So, what are we doing celebrating Halloween as Christians?
Two Common Lies Christians Tell Themselves About Halloween
- We don’t participate in any of the “bad stuff” about Halloween, just the fun aspects. Sure, you don’t let your kids dress up as witches or ghosts, but what do you tell them when they ask why their friends are in costumes that are mimicking the underworld? Or how do you answer their questions about the house across the street that is decorated like a graveyard? Do you tell them that’s okay for them, just not us? If you do, you are telling your kids that it is okay to emulate evil. I’m not taking this to an extreme folks. Kids are literal. How is a young child pretending to be a scary monster with a hatchet stuck in his head acceptable for Halloween? Or maybe you tell them it’s not okay, but we should just ignore it. Now you are teaching them to not care about the lost. It is a slippery slope, parents, very slippery.
- We only participate in our church’s Fall Festival (which, ahem, just happens to fall on October 31st, and we just happen to dress up for it, and we just happen to pass out candy to kids there). Seriously? Honestly, this practice gets me more upset than any other part of a Christian participating in this holiday. What about 1 John 2:15 or Romans 12:2? I see no reason to conform ourselves to this world just so our children don’t feel “left out” on October 31st. Guess what? God calls us specifically to be left out, to be set apart (holy) for Him, every day of the year. I’m pretty sure Jesus and His disciples were the odd ducks in the neighborhood. I can not justify celebrating a pagan holiday with my pagan neighbors as being set apart, and I certainly can not justify a pretend, watered-down, Christian-ified (yes, I made that word up) version. Come on, Christians, be different and feel honored that you are! Use this night to teach your children why we are different, why we are not participating in Halloween, and how freeing that can be.
How We Address Halloween
In our house, as you can probably imagine, we do not celebrate any part, derivation or pretend version of Halloween. We see no greater reason to particiate in Halloween than we do Ramadan, Kwanza, or Festivus. It’s a holiday from a faith of which we do not believe, so it’s an easy answer.
That being said, Halloween goes on all around us whether we particate or not. Our kids ask questions about it, too.
Colossians 2:8 says “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”
I will not let them be taken captive by it.
Here are a few things I DO NOT want to teach my kids:
- Asking for handouts is acceptable. All faith issues aside, I am seriously not okay with letting them knock on people’s doors and ask for payment (candy – which is only making them less healthy) without even offering to do something to earn it. We’ve got enough of those type of people in our socitey as it is. And do you know why it’s called trick or treat? Those are not priciples I want to teach my children either.
- Emulating things that are evil, downplaying the powerful nature of the Devil, and glorifying death, occultic practices, and horrible acts of violence are acceptable (even if it is just this one month a year). If you’re scoffing or groaning right now, I just want you to take a minute and think about how the Devil works. If he came out and showed your children (or you) the heinous things that happen in the occult every day (let alone on Halloween), he would never be able to lure you in. But if he starts when children are young, teaching them that dressing up as witches, and playing with ouija boards, and seeing horror movies is just all in fun, it’s one small step into his world. One small step makes the next step easier. This is a great article by a woman who was lured in to the occult in this vary way.
- Christians can celebrate Halloween and still remain a shining light on a hill. Yep, that’s harsh, I know. But what witness are you being if you are out there being “of the world” with everyone else?
Here are a few things I DO want to teach my kids:
- God is enough. He’s way more than enough. We have no need to add anything worldly to our lives to enhance them, make them more fun or fit in.
- Dress up is fun, and you can do it any day. God gave us imaginations and the ability to enjoy pretend play. If my kids want to pretend to be a veterinarian, ballerina, or racecar driver, they’ve got my blessing to do that any day of the year. Costumes aren’t just for October 31st around here.
- You are a child of the Most High God. You are different. You are special. I want my kids to be honored that they are part of the children of God. I want them to feel proud that our family acts differently than that family across the street. I want them to be a shining light on a hill, all year long. And yes, I want them to know that it will not always be easy to be the (possibly only) one standing up for your principles.
It is never too late to choose a different course for your family. Your honest searching for God’s will in this matter might lead you to a new understanding. While I will not be making any judgments about your personal decisions, I encourage you to diligently study the issue for yourself and follow the convictions of your heart.
As I said at the beginning, this post is my opinion, based on prayer and searching for God’s best for our family. I believe it is truth, but I also respect your opinion. I thank you for letting me share mine.
As seen on: Babies and Beyond @ My Joy-Filled Life , Mommy Moments @ The Life of Faith , Busy Monday @ A Pinch of Joy, Better Mom Mondays @ The Better Mom, Making Your Home Sing Monday @Moms the Word, Mama Moments Mondays @ A Mama’s Story, Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy, Modest Monday @ The Modest Mom, Titus 2sday @ Time Warp Wife, Gratituesday @ Heavenly Homemakers, Teach Me Tuesdays @ Growing Home, Encourage One Another @ Deep Roots at Home, Wednesday Link Party @ Walking Redeemed, Proverbs 31 Thursday @ Raising Mighty Arrows, Hearts for Home @ Graced Simplicity, Homemaking Party @ Hope In Every Season, Natural Living Link Up @ Little Natural Cottage, Faithful Friday @ Simply Helping Him, Family Fun Friday @ My Life as Robin’s Wife, Friendship Friday @ Create With Joy, Friday! Friday! @ Womanhood With Purpose, Raising Imperfection @ Raising Reagan, Friday Fellowship @ Christian Mommy Blogger, Essential Fridays @ Essential Things Devotions, Pin It Party @ Beauty Through Imperfection
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