Halloween – Should Christians Participate?

Should Christians celebrate Halloween? As the spiritual leader of a Christian home, I am finding that many dads are faced with this particular question at some point and to some degree.

A few days ago I was involved in a conversation where someone said that “everyone needs a spooky computer background for Halloween.” I simply said, “I don’t do Halloween”. The response of another person was, “to each his own” in a gruff and grumpy sort of way. The amount of truth from that comment is staggering even though it was delivered to me with a very disapproving tone. For the purposes of this article I will define this phrase “to each his own” as a person’s right to choose.

I have already made the choice for my family based on prayer, research, and discussions with my best friend (my wife). We no longer buy or make costumes, attend festivals, go trick or treating, and we do not give out candy. We just plain avoid the whole thing all together. It has actually been a pretty simple deal once we committed to the decision.

What will our family miss out on as a result of my decision? Nothing but a few dirty tricks and some suspect candy from people that we have never even met. I also don’t have to explain to my 4 year-old why the nice neighbor man has turned his front lawn into a graveyard scene littered with fake corpses, and this grown man is lying in one of the fake graves waiting on passers who he can jump up and scare to the point of wetting their pants. I do not have a current neighbor doing this that I am aware of, but I did have a neighbor perform this stunt one year for Halloween.

Now, I have told you where I landed when ponder this question. I lean to the side of caution in these types of things. That decision certainly does not fall in line with everyone. I am not trying to force my opinion on you. I am merely giving you something to think about if you are pondering the question. My personal feelings are that it all comes down to whether you choose to be obedient to God’s Word.

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

The Answer:

“To each his own!” Right?

I welcome you to share your answer in the comments, but before you do I want you to read an article titled

Halloween and Halloween Alternatives

The article is by Steve Maxwell and can be found in this month’s Dad’s and Mom’s Corners.

You can do a Google Search on “Should Christians Celebrate Halloween” to find plenty of other opinions on this subject. Be careful with the results of a search on this subject, there are some great resources, but there’s also some lies and fiction on the subject. The lists of resources (good and bad) are way too long to include. While the article by Steve Maxwell did not factor into my personal decision on Halloween, I believe it would have helped me come to the same decision sooner if I had read it first. Steve’s wife Teri also offers a note to mom’s in the Dad’s and Mom’s Corners simply titled Halloween.

UPDATE: I have posted a followup to this titled Halloween II – Why Christians should not celebrate

21 Responses to “Halloween – Should Christians Participate?”

  1. Danny Kaye Says:

    This is interesting, Ozz.
    I was going to engage this topic on my site. But since you did it here, I think I will just link to it and let everyone join in on the fun over here.

    I really appreciate the way you presented this. It sets a good standard of civility for the discussion.

    I have friends who “do” trick or treating. And I have friends who don’t.

    I am one who “does” the day.

    This is mostly because I don’t view trick or treating as a pagan holiday. Yeah, it may have had its origin there as all hallows eve. But I would be hardpressed to make a good comparison between the activity today and what used to take place centuries ago. Today, it’s a neighborhood blockparty.

    Having said that…

    I do not approve of kids dressing up in “evil” costumes. I am seriously shocked at how many parents allow their kids to dress up like Satan, and think it’s cute. But I do not attribute this to “trick or treating”, but instead to really bad parental direction!

    Anyway, for what it’s worth, that is where I stand.

  2. Gordon Cloud Says:

    This is a good post. I am one who does not “do” Halloween. Everything about it is rooted in traditions that are Satanic. There are better and more spiritually benign ways to entertain the kiddies.

  3. TheOzz Says:

    Danny Kaye,

    Thanks for the linkage. I welcome you and your readers. I will try to approve comments as quick as I can.

    Gordon,

    Thanks for stopping by!!!

  4. Chic Says:

    I actually had to go to History.com to get the origin of Halloween, as I believed it originated in Mexico, although, once again, proven incorrect. Ugh. I gotta learn to get used to this ‘being wrong’ thingie. When I read the Ancient Origin of Halloween, I didn’t see anything that would cause people today to NOT celebrate. For 2000 years ago, it all seemed very sensible. Although I have to admit, the offering of animals as a sacrifice to the spirits kinda grossed me out. But that’s what they believed in……
    Yes, the celebration has been modified over the years, and even the Christian church had something to do with it. Quote: ‘In A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls Day, a day to honor the dead.’ Bonfires, parades, dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, devils. The only issue I have with Halloween is the really scary\gross costumes that the kids dress up in. They give me and the little Chic the willies! Other than that, give me the MaryJanes and Snickers!! (Please & Thank you)

  5. Chic Says:

    Ozz, not too much discussion going on here on the Halloween topic. I’m actually surprised about that. Let me introduce myself. My name is Chic, and I am Danny Kaye’s sister. Nice to e-meet you. :)

  6. Kansas Bob Says:

    One of my first steps out of fundamentalism was the one when I let my kids trick or treat.

  7. TheOzz Says:

    Kansas Bob,

    I did not understand the context of your comment until I went over to your blog and read Confessions of a Charismatic.

    I appreciate your input. I hope you will visit again soon.

  8. TheOzz Says:

    Chic,

    Welcome! I was hoping this would stir up a little more discussion too. I have only moderated out one comment for being completely off topic. They person wanted to debate Bible versions and translations.

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by. If I had a list of top (pick a number) bloggers that I would like to meet, your brother would be at the top. I have enjoyed getting to know him as we pass on the information super highway. He is one of the few people who I allow to comment on my blog without moderation.

  9. Danny Kaye Says:

    Wow, Ozz.

    That is one (or two or three) really great compliment(s). I appreciate your saying it. Perhaps now my big sister will respect her little brother! (just kidding.)

    I was hoping this would stir up some great discussion, as well. But sometimes you never know what posts are going to be comment gatherers. Take my “coffee color” post. Who in their right mind would have thought that it would get so popular? At the same time, I have posted some (in my opinion) pretty poignant stuff and only drew one or two comments.

    Bloggin’…ya’ just never know.

  10. Chic Says:

    I RESPECT YOU! Tsk tsk for thinking I don’t. I even told Ozz how great you are. Right Ozz?? Back me up on this!

  11. TheOzz Says:

    DK,

    Your big sister has you all figured out without any help from me. You should have no worries about how she feels about you.

    Well, there was this one thing that she mentioned about your childhood…awe it probably didn’t mean as much as I made it out to be. JUST Kidding. ;-)

  12. Danny Kaye Says:

    It wasn’t that thumb-tacks in my brothers shoes thing was it? Cuz I wasn’t alone on that caper.

  13. Chic Says:

    Thanks for the back up Ozz.
    Man, again and again, I do not remember these things you speak of !!
    Below is what I wrote about you, my lil bro. SO THERE! Take a gander at this everyone!

    Hi there Hank~
    Thank you for the email. That was a nice surprise. I would have just deleted it had I not recognized your name! Nice things to say about my brother. He is a great guy, one of those guys everyone loves, even as a kid he had that sort of charisma that just attracted people to him. Plus, he’s quite humorous, and who doesn’t like funny?!
    Thanks again & have a good weekend~~
    Chic

  14. TheOzz Says:

    I do have a copy of that email to prove it. DK’s sister actually had nice things to say about him.

  15. Chic Says:

    I CAN be sweet sometimes. I try to keep track of those moments though. I don’t want to overload peeps with all my sugary sweetness. :)

  16. Missy Says:

    Hi, Ozz! I am an occasional eavesdropper on Danny’s blog and was curious. I have been considering this question and thought I would get back on topic!

    I have always told my kids that Halloween is a celebration of the imagination – a day to pretend to be whatever they want. This spin helps with the school parties, too. Most of my neighbors in the past have held the same values, but on the rare occasion that we see very frightening costumes, I have told my kids the truth – not all people want to be good.

    I hold no stock in any religious beliefs that may have surrounded the holiday hundreds of years ago and have never met anyone that has. I also celebrate Easter and Christmas, which were also originally pagan celebrations before the Church eveolved them. I have had a history of this holiday being a great tool to reach out to the lost and build relationships with my neighbors. I feel that I am being like Jesus, as giving to and loving the children is such a big part of it. So is this “feeling” about it being okay, really okay?

    Regardless of my spin, I want to be in line with God’s word. Thanks for the links, Ozz. I will be reading God’s word and praying about the subject.

  17. Renee Says:

    The year before I got saved, I dressed up as a vampire. The next year I had to explain to my children why I did not want to participate in Halloween. My children understood totally; unfortunately, my husband did not. We are still divided over the subject 5 years later.

    I have a proposal for anyone who says they don’t associate Halloween with the origins. Let’s have a Nazi day. We can all dress up like Nazis, decorate with swastikas, have the best Hitler look a like contest. Then we can lure children into it with enticements of candy and the lure of fun. Why not, we were never Nazis, we never killed Jews. So what if there are people who are still Nazis today and do horrible things because of it. What if this holiday was their ‘holy’ Nazi day. But we don’t associate it with them or with what Nazis did.

    How can we participate in a day that was and is a day set apart to glorify evil, the very evil that we have been set free from. We are children of light and not darkness. It is so absurd to me. It’s a slap in the face to our Lord.
    That’s just my opinion. To me it’s very black and white. And yes I do have fond memories of dressing up and trick or treating as a child, but my parents were not Christians and did not know any better. I don’t think any child is robbed of fun by not participating in halloween. Last year I went with my children and my husband trick or treating. I told them they did not have to go to any scary looking houses. They avoided them all. THen my 4 year old walked up to a very benign looking house and came back screaming down the walkway. There was a fake severed hand on the porch which was wiggling. Wow, what fun.

  18. John Says:

    Thankyou Renee,

    Thats the best illustration & reason I have ever heard conscerning why we should not support Halloween. I think we should start a nation wide petition to do away with Halloween and replace it with a christian celebration day, honoring our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

  19. Kristin Says:

    Ozz – I found your blog from a link at Spunky Homeschool. I am glad to see a father stand up for this issue and make the decision early enough to be prepared for the future. Your 4-year-old may not ask questions now, but he will. Our oldest is 8 (we have four children.) They didn’t ask questions for the longest time, but now they do. One great thing about the Lord is, it’s not hard to explain our faith to children. When our children ask why we don’t do Halloween we simply say, “Because it does not make Jesus happy.” When they ask why it doesn’t make Jesus happy, we say, “This holiday began by celebrating evil, and Jesus hates evil; and we are not going to participate in anything that makes Jesus unhappy.”

    have a fun autumn!

  20. Mrs. Ozz Says:

    Missy,
    I wanted to say that you are going to the right place to seek the answer to your question– God’s Word and prayer! One thing that I have learned is that “feelings” or emotions often lie to us. The fact that you are uneasy and wondering is probably God ‘working’ on you like he does all of us. I know the process we went through in our family took time until we ran out of all possible justifications for the holiday.
    You said, “I feel that I am being like Jesus, as giving to and loving the children is such a big part of it. So is this “feeling” about it being okay, really okay? Regardless of my spin, I want to be in line with God’s word.” I truly believe that we can and should be witnessing to the world through our daily actions and attitudes. Participating in the worldly does not set us apart as a witness, after all, we are doing the same things they are even if we ‘celebrate’ without all the gory stuff.

    Renee,
    Your comparing of Halloween to a Nazis celebration was a really good analogy. I often hear, “Why not participate? It’s just fun. We’re not witches nor do we practice black magic!” I see your analogy, “Why not, we were never Nazis, we never killed Jews” and “But we don’t associate it with them or with what Nazis did” as being the same thing with Halloween.

    The truth is that the holiday WAS rooted in evil ritual and symbols and we still have those same symbols today. I watched a pastor do a sermon on the origins and symbols of Halloween and he use this scripture. Hosea 4:6
    “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you [the priestly nation] have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you shall be no priest to Me; seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.”

    Some of the symbols he gave of Halloween were: Bonfires were “bone fires” where they would use the bones from sacrifices and build fires to call spirits back. Black cats were particularly used for the spirits to come back in. Costumes were used so people could disguise themselves so they could walk among the spirits. Jack-O-lanterns came from one of the demons “Jauc.” Witches and brooms were for levitation. Skulls, tombstones, etc was because the dead (spirits) rise from the grave and roam. Trick or treat resembled the Druids asking for a treat and if they weren’t given one then a “trick” or “curse” was put on the house.

    As you can see these symbols are anything but funny. I actually know someone who has broken free from the satanic mindset. It IS alive and STILL practiced even today! What good is light mixing with darkness?

    I encourage everyone to commit this decision to the Lord. You have the knowledge… now what are you going to do with it?

  21. renee Says:

    Mrs. Ozz, not only do we have the same symbols today, the day and holiday itself is fully celebrated today as a high holy day of evil. Children are still slain today for satan on halloween. I’ve heard of women who are lured into these cults and are ritually pregnated to have babies for sacrifice. And here we send our little kids out having fun to celebrate it.

    As far as I see it now, halloween is just so bizzare. People celebrating horror and evil. There is such an element of evil in it all. Even the innocent costumes for kids are not innocent anymore, they look promiscuous at best. This is a time for sin-lovers to dress up as raunchy and revealing as they would like. Women dress as hookers and men dress as women. I mean if this is not the ultimate glorifying of evil I don’t know what is. It’s not even the bloody gory stuff or symbolisms of evil but so much sexual sin which is glorified on this day. And the biggest sin is luring the children into it. Yuk!

    If someone makes a remark about halloween, I kindly tell them why I don’t do it. THEN I may have an opportunity to witness. Not dressed up in costume. How do you witness then? It doesn’t make sense.

    GOD BLESS YOU!

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