Posted October 30, 2011
Halloween is a major holiday in the Western world for people of various backgrounds. Can Halloween celebrations be reconciled with a Christian worldview and lifestyle? The Bible holds the answer.
Jack-O'-LanternSource: Wikimedia Commons
Monday night millions of children around the nation will be donning costumes, ringing doorbells and uttering the traditional "trick or treat" Halloween greeting. Most people consider this a harmless, fun activity for children. Others condemn the entire occasion because of the pagan origin of the day and connect it with demonism and the occult.
An article from a prominent Christian magazine suggested that "Christians should embrace the 'devilish' holiday with gusto—and laughter." The author suggests that Halloween presents us with an opportunity to "mock" and "laugh at" Satan and "the forces of evil."
A local pastor, writing wistfully of his past childhood Halloween celebration, said, "I enjoyed being a devil." He asserted that "a child doesn’t think of a red devil as an enemy of God or the apostle of hate and destruction." He went on to defend wearing costumes as merely superficial, and suggested that opposition to celebrating Halloween stems from lack of confidence in Christian beliefs.
Really only harmless fun?
Wait a minute! Is it unchristian for parents not to want their children to dress up as the Devil? Or does Satan theDevil even exist? According to a recent Barna survey, nearly 50 percent of professing Christians do not believe that Satan is a living being. For these folks, the whole question must be a moot point. But perhaps the rest of us ought to reconsider our perspective regarding Halloween.
Would anyone dare to suggest applying this reasoning to Hitler? Would wearing Hitler masks and swastikas and dressing like the skeletal remains of his victims be an appropriate way to "laugh at" Hitler and "mock" the diabolical evils of Nazism?
Is Satan a laughing matter? Does God want our children to associate fun and treats with the forces of evil?
I am not implying that a child who puts on a Halloween mask is dabbling in the occult or is in danger of demon possession. I am simply questioning the suggestion that Halloween serves a positive Christian purpose.
According to Deuteronomy:12:31-32 God does not approve of recycling, reconstituting and relabeling pagan customs to celebrate Christian events.
Carnal holidays trumped by God's Holy Days
My wife and I just finished celebrating eight fun-filled days of the Feast of Tabernacles with more than 700 men, women and children here in Central Oregon. I so much wish all of Christianity could share the joy of this meaningfuloccasion. Here is a God-ordained festival that was observed by Jesus, Paul and the apostolic Church and is still celebrated today by many Christians. It is one of seven annual Holy Days that foreshadow future events in God's plan (Colossians:2:16-17) rather than focusing on the powers of darkness that form the legacy of Halloween.
Anyone who dares express objections to Halloween has two strikes against him: 1. It is fun for the kids, and 2. It is a long-standing, firmly entrenched custom in our culture.
But the Feast of Tabernacles has Halloween beat in both categories: 1. It is fun for kids and the whole family and is eight days long, and 2. It was established thousands of years ago by God Himself. And most importantly, it and all of Holy Days of the Bible teach valuable lessons about the plan of God.
For more information, I invite you to read our free booklets, Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Observe? and Is There Really a Devil?