Why I Celebrate Halloween
- Ryan Duncan
- 2013 30 Oct
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18
Typically, I don’t enjoy watching scary movies. I’m not good at handling suspense and most horror films just seem like an exercise in gore anyway. Worst of all are movies with any kind of spiritual theme, films like The Exorcist or The Grudge. These bring my fear factor up to a whole new level because as a Christian, I can see kernels of truth hidden in those stories. I believe Satan and demons are very real, and still seek to work their influence on the world today.
I guess that’s why I love Halloween so much. This may sound like an odd statement coming from a Christian, but hear me out. Growing up as a child, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. Each year my family would get together and carve pumpkins in our basement. My dad and I would scoop orange goop from the center of the pumpkins then cut out funny faces on them.
Meanwhile, my mother would collect the seeds and roast them for my sisters to take as a healthy snack. After that came trick-or-treating. All the kids on our cul-de-sac would get together with the parents and we’d go door to door, showing off our costumes and collecting candy from friendly neighbors. A lot has changed as I’ve grown older, but whether it’s reminiscing with college friends around a bonfire, or watching two co-workers (dressed as Cruella Deville and Chuck Norris respectively) battle it out in a game of Just Dance, Halloween has always been a time of laughter for me.
And that’s what I believe so many Christians are missing. We often hear that Halloween celebrates the devil and glorifies his strength, but I don’t think that’s true. I think Halloween demeans the devil. C.S. Lewis once wrote that “Above all else, the Devil cannot stand to be mocked.”, and what is Halloween but our chance to laugh in his face? Our God is stronger, the war is won.
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-toing 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. The way I see it, we as Christians have two choices.
We can cower in fear each Halloween and give the devil exactly what he wants, or we can celebrate, and tweak his nose in the process. I know this opinion won’t be shared by everyone. Some Christians will still prefer to cut Halloween out of their lives entirely, and that’s ok. Myself, I plan to have some fun and spend the time with my friends. Because when you can laugh in the face of fear, even the night doesn’t seem so dark.
*This article first published 10/30/2013