[This article was originally written for TheDirtyChristian.com]
The topic of Christians celebrating Halloween has been long debated. There are those who feel like Halloween is a demonic holiday meant to celebrate the dead and spirits that are ungodly. There is good reason for this thinking as the Bible gives us clear guidance that there is a spiritual side of life that we don’t always see or consider.
There is no question from a biblical standpoint that we as Christians should be on guard against things we allow into our homes, our lives and our media. We can get complacent at times when it comes to the spirit realm and recognizing the powers at work around us. The endless attacks of the Enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy any Godly thing. The Devil doesn’t want us to be successful and he certainly doesn’t want us to be Christlike. The bible even tells us that the demons believe in God, and tremble at His name. God is real, and there is a real enemy, he just isn’t God nor is he on God’s level.
Many holidays we celebrate today can be traced back to traditional holidays of many non-Christian or pagan groups. Christmas, Easter and others all share roots in paganism. However, as the church began to grow in many areas, they began to “Christianize” various holidays and celebrations. Convincing people that instead of giving up their old traditions which were rooted in worship of the dead or fending off ghostly spirits, they convinced them to embrace the idea of celebrating the life of loved-ones-past. The modern celebration of Halloween was crafted with community in mind, bringing people together to celebrate the harvest, remember the dead and come to know each other.
As with most Holidays, Christians are faced with a choice based on the convictions they feel regarding what they celebrate. It’s foolish to deny that there are those of other religions that do practice the demonic side of holidays, even Christmas and Easter. They give no recognition to Jesus on these days as we as Christians do. This is where we have to decide for ourselves what it is we celebrate. Just as a pagan could take a birthday celebration and use that time to invoke spirits, tell fortunes or create mischief, we can choose to celebrate the passing of a year of someone’s life.
To me, this is a heart matter. No matter what we do, we do it for the glory of God. That means in celebration, in employment and in day to day activities we are to do things to glorify God. If Christmas means that we celebrate Jesus’ birth, it makes no difference to us if a pagan celebrates Yule. Their celebration has no effect on us because it’s their celebration, we however find ways to glorify Christ.
I am not going to say that all Christians have this figured out, nor is one answer the specific right answer for you and your family. Some churches put on harvest festivals to replace the trick-or-treating of the people around them, in essence they do the same thing as the secular world, just in a Christ-themed environment. Some feel free to go out with the rest of society and trick-or-treat, dressing as superheroes and princesses to make believe for a few hours that they are someone else.
I look at this as no different from those who enjoy costume play or cosplay at geeky conventions. They dress as their favorite characters to show off their talents in costume crafting. There is nothing innately evil in this actions, simply put, it’s how you perceive things. Where we go wrong is forcing our own convictions on those around us. As Paul is clear that if your “brother” doesn’t eat meat, or doesn’t think it’s right to eat the meat sacrificed to idols, then by all means don’t force them to do it. In the same regard don’t berate and belittle someone who is able to live in a liberty you don’t feel that you have.
We as Christians are told “if at all possible, try to get along with one another”. Some people don’t have the same convictions that others do, and it’s not our place to force our liberties on someone else.
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