A Christian’s Response to Halloween

A Christian’s Response to Halloween October 24, 2018

One Halloween night many years ago, instead of staying at home waiting for cute children in costumes to ring my doorbell, I attended a meeting with several other Christian women. In an effort to liven things up, I picked up some small festive bags and tucked a few pieces of candy in each one. I carried them along to the meeting, thinking the all female group would appreciate some chocolate that they didn’t have to sneak from their kids’ trick or treat buckets. I was passing them around and receiving gleeful thanks when I came to one woman, stoic with her arms crossed, who responded in a surprising manner:

I am NOT taking that bag of candy. Do you have any idea the horrible things that happen on Halloween night? No Christian should celebrate Halloween!

After getting over my initial shock out the outburst, I simply replied that I wasn’t “celebrating” Halloween (whatever that means)…I was just handing out some candy.

Halloween in its various forms has been around for centuries. (Learn more HERE.) For the most part, in America, it is family friendly fun that consists of decorating, dressing up, and getting together with family and friends. I do not like or support the scary movies or the sexy costumes. But, I also do not think there is anything wrong with getting decked out in non-threatening outfits and collecting candy from houses in your neighborhood or trunks at your church.

I also fully recognize that evil does take place on Halloween night. Sadly, evil happens every night (and day). Does this mean we can’t take a break from it all…for. just. one. night…to play pretend? To visit the widow that lives on the corner for snickers or twizzlers? To eat hot dogs or pizza in the cul-de-sac with other pirates and princesses? To carve goofy looking jack-o-lanterns or paint pumpkins? We all deal with so much stress on a daily basis. We are bombarded with the news of traumatic events day in and day out. Can’t we just enjoy a night of community and candy without the condemnation? Christians included.

Perhaps, it should be “Christians especially.” After all, we have an opportunity to be salt in our communities. We can share with kiddos and their parents about the love of Jesus. At the very least, we can begin to establish relationships that may lead to those critical conversations in the future. We get the privilege of being light bearers and seed planters. I’ll take that – even if others disagree with me.

For sure, we should put away the gore and guts. And we should certainly not use this night as an excuse for inappropriate partying or pranks. But, like many things, Halloween is what we make of it. For me, it’s really just an excuse for free candy. And, really, what’s wrong with that?*

*Please do not comment about all the dangers of sugar. I am well aware, and choose to eat candy anyway. At least on October 31st and until the candy runs out.

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  • John Gills

    I like the Wikipedia explanation, “Halloween or Hallowe’en, also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day.”

  • Cyndra Kent

    I still don’t get it. Samhain or Halloween or All Hallows Eve is a Pagan holiday. Yes it precedes All Souls and All Saints days, but I don’t understand how Christian communities justify celebrating Halloween. You preach about not being unequally yoked together. You can’t celebrate or practice half a religion. By celebrating Halloween you are practicing half Paganism and half christianity.

  • Cyndra Kent

    Prior to all those names it was and still is, Samhain or Sowen a pagan festival.

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  • Barros Serrano

    Hallowe’en as practiced in the mainstream society has virtually no paganism left in it.

    The word is a corruption of “All Hallow’s Eve”, which is a Christian holiday. It was scheduled to fall on Samhain precisely to efface and replace the pagan holiday which was anathema to the very authoritarian Church. Pagans were routinely killed all over Europe for even the slightest indication of a pagan habit or practice. Christmas also is a usurpation of a pagan holiday, as of course Jesus was not born in December but in the Spring.

    Given the extensive violence which accompanied the replacement of pagan practices in Europe, I find it objectionable that anyone today would still engage in these attacks on pagans and their practices. I for one have about had enough of Christian authoritarianism persecuting those of us who do not conform.

    Me, I celebrate Samhain and Los Días de los Muertos. I will do so openly, and y’all will not stop me.

  • Barros Serrano

    And quite a nice festival it was, too!

  • clanhamilton

    Halloween is about candy and costumes.
    It’s not about the devil.
    It’s not about paganism.
    It’s not about evil.
    Anyone who says different, is MAKING it about something else.

  • MurphsLaw

    With regard to Christmas “usurping” a pagan holiday, your understanding of the early Church fathers establishing the date of Christ’s birth on December 25th is misguided. While it is celebrated around a similar time as one of many pagan holidays is only a fact of coincidence. The myth that there is some relationship between a Christmas and pagan holiday is a necessity for those who need to be opposed to Christianity.
    There is plenty of documentation with regard to Christmas chronology found in the writings of Irenaeus and Origen.

  • Barros Serrano

    Oh sure it’s just coincidence. No, the fact is that Jesus was not born in December! His parents were allegedly in Jerusalem (or nearby, in Bethlehem) to pay taxes. Tax time then as now was in the Spring.

    Dec 25 is an attempt to efface the Bacchanalia, a popular Roman holiday known for debauchery. Yes, Nicaean Christianity adopted a lot of pagan elements to increase its appeal to the Europeans. The Trinity itself in fact does not come from Judaism at all, but from the pagan religions of Europe and the Mideast. It is seen in the Celtic triskel, in the tripartite godheads of Hinduism, etc.

    Hallowe’en, All Saints Day, an invented holiday, as it is not the day of any particular saint, but designed to focus on DEAD saints rather than the spirits of the dead, as per Samhain.

    Are you aware that Christian Rome tortured and massacred huge numbers of pagans, FAR more than Pagan Rome had killed Christians. Are you aware of the centuries of torment and misery visited upon the people of Europe by the Christians intent on converting them? Read up on how Charlemagne accomplished the conversion of the Saxons, for example.

    Christianity is neck deep in pagan blood.

  • Pennybird

    As an atheist who celebrates Christmas, all I can say is that like Christmas, Halloween is a whole lot of fun, and its spiritual nature largely meaningless to most who celebrate. As state above, Halloween is costumes and candy, and for the little ones, it’s the cheap thrill of walking around the neighborhood after dark. Don’t overthink it or you’ll take the fun out of it.

  • soter phile

    always thought Halloween rather directly fits Paul’s point about food sacrificed to idols in 1 Cor.8:
    we don’t believe that stuff; and the food is cheap/free; why wouldn’t we take it?
    only if we’re with someone who has a weak conscience about it…

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  • TinnyWhistler

    Honestly, it’s like what Paul says about eating meat offered to idols. It doesn’t mean anything unless you believe it does. The more you believe Halloween is evil, the more likely it is that celebrating is going to come in between you and God.

  • TinnyWhistler

    Just like Christmas was Yule once upon a time!

  • TinnyWhistler

    Just like Christmas.

    I know some Christians don’t celebrate Christmas because of its pagan origins, I’m curious if you’re one of them.