How Should Christians Handle Halloween?
- 2022 10 Oct
The following is a transcribed Video Q&A, so the text may not read like an edited article would. Scroll to the bottom to view this video in its entirety.
Halloween. I’ve spanned the gamut on what we should do with Halloween. For a while, I didn’t really think about it as a Christian, until we had children. Once my little daughter, my first of four, was able to look out the door and see all these kids dressed up as princesses, or pilgrims, or zombies. My daughter was like, “I want to get out there.” Then my wife and I had to deal with it.
To be honest, I was really sensitive to the issue because of my background. Coming out of the occult and Satanism, I was really sensitive to the idea and I wasn’t really sure. My gut reaction was just to say no, and shut this down. But as we saw how things unfolded, at least in our neighborhood, we really started to challenge ourselves on what we thought we should do.
What helped us think through this is that the pagan origin of something does not determine its cultural current value. Bobbing for apples has an old Greek pagan origin. Bonfires have an old pagan origin. So do many of the things that happen on Halloween. Their origin does not determine their current value in a particular context but you have to look at what is going on and how they are used. So, when we looked at kids getting out in the neighborhood and dressing up as whatever and getting candy. For us, it looked to like a very fun costume party that all our neighbors came out for.
None of the neighbors really hang out together except on Halloween. The adults are out there putting fires into these big cans, they stand out and pass out Coke’s to the parents that are walking through with their kids, and all the kids are having a good time. So, it is really an opportunity for our family to get to know other people in the neighborhood.
When it comes to how they should dress, I do think we need to be cautious and careful about how we engage in anything like this. Especially when there are elements of death and darkness involved. From our perspective, our kids can dress up as any classic or well-known figure. Whether that’s a literary figure, a pop-culture figure, or an iconic figure. Things like a princess, or even Count Dracula, is fine for us we don’t really have a problem with that.
And really, even as we see a lot of the death that is in a sense made light of in the culture. I do not think we should make light of death—it is the curse of God. But I would say that death has lost its sting and as our enemy it has been put to death in Jesus Christ. So, when it comes to evil in its presence in the world it is real. But like Luther I don’t mind mocking it.
For us, Halloween is an opportunity to engage in the culture with a clear conscience and participate in our community in a way that is helpful and not harmful, especially as we build relationships and ultimately share the gospel.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/evgenyatamanenko