With this time of year comes crisp weather, colorful leaves, pumpkin spice-flavored everything, and Christian arguments about Halloween. If you are like me, you’re tired of one of those things on that list (and no, it’s not the pumpkin spice).
Christians have been fighting about what to do with Halloween for generations. Should we ignore it altogether? Should we hand out Scripture verses with our candy? Should our churches host a “Hallelujah Night” or harvest festival instead?
It seems that we can’t seem to agree on the proper procedure for Christians, but Desiring God Executive Editor David Mathis says that it is time to put the Halloween hysteria to rest.
In a blog titled Christians, This Is Our Night, Mathis writes, “This is no night for God’s ‘holy ones’ to run and hide, but rise up and revel in the power of our sovereign Christ. This is not the devil’s day, but ours. No concessions, no treaties, no retreat. No call to fear, but an invitation to feast.”
For those who fear that embracing Halloween will bring us down to celebrations of death and evil, Mathis says that death is actually a major part of our Christian faith:
“Claiming All Hallows’ Eve truly belongs to believers does not mean we celebrate death or darkness. Far from it. We celebrate our Savior’s victory over death and over everything demonic. We mark Christ’s triumph, through death, over sin and Satan.”
Mathis’ message is to stop worrying. After all, “with open Bibles, we have a theology tall enough and thick enough for every ounce of Halloween.”
Instead see Halloween for what it is: an opportunity for Christians to spread the Good News of Christ with a backdrop of the darkness Jesus overcame.
Mathis argues five reasons why Christians are strong enough to stand the test of Halloween:
1. We are a victorious people.
“Jesus reigns supreme over Satan and every demon, both by creation and by the cross.” With God as our divine Ruler, Satan cannot ruin us.
Mathis explains, “To be a Christian emphatically does not mean that we don’t suffer, face persecution, or even find ourselves to be the objects of demonic attack in this life. But it does mean we will win (Revelation 3:21), not in our own strength, but in the power of God’s Spirit.”
2. We are a courageous people.
Our courage comes from Christ. We will never be left to fight evil alone, because God is on our side. This truth from Matthew 18:20 does not dissolve one night of the year. It is true always.
Mathis writes, “Because Jesus has won, and is with us, we don’t flee from the devil, but take Christ up on his promise. ‘Resist the devil, and he will flee from you’ (
3. We are people on a mission.
“Jesus gives us a mission: ‘Make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew 28:19). We are no longer of this world, but sent into this world, with the backing of the King’s boundless authority (Matthew 28:18), on history’s great offensive, thrashing joyfully against the darkness.”
Halloween gives us an opportunity to reach out into the world and rescue our fellow sinners, as we are called to do in Matthew 28:19. It is the one night of the year when people come knocking on our doors. We can cower in fear or we can answer those knocks with the joy we have found in Christ.
4. We are intentional people.
Mathis reminds us that it does us no good to get sucked into the holiday. Instead, we remember to be vigilant on Halloween night. But our faith is strong enough to withstand Halloween.
“The commission calls us to intentionality and vigilance for the sake of the cause. ‘Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour’ (1 Peter 5:8). God has given us a manual for war, ‘so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs’ (2 Corinthians 2:11),” he writes.
5. We are a generous people.
When those trick-or-treaters come to our doors, we should give with generous hearts. And I’m not only talking about candy. Give of your kindness. Give of your compassion. Extend love to those children as Jesus would do.
“We look upon the nastiest costumes and vilest of revelers with the mind and heart of Christ. ‘When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd’ (Matthew 9:36). And we chase away the darkness by turning on our porch lights and giving out the best of treats, not the stingiest.”
Crosswalk.com editor Ryan Duncan writes, “The Bible states that Jesus’ sacrifice has freed us from sin (Acts 13:38-39), that we are new creations built with a spirit of love and power (2 Timothy 1:7), and that our God is greater than anything Satan can throw at us (Psalm 27). So why do we keep tip-toeing around the orange-and-black holiday as if it were a sleeping dog? Halloween, like all holidays, has its dark side, but we cannot allow these aspects to control our hearts. If we do, we only legitimize their authority, and show the world we have more faith in the power of our enemy than we do in the grace of God.”
Carrie Dedrick is an editor of Crosswalk.com. When she is not writing or editing, she can usually be found teaching dance classes, running marathons, or reading with at least one adopted dog on her lap.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: October 28, 2016