Should Christians and their children participate in Halloween activities? To answer this question, we should first distinguish the secular observance of Halloween from such important Christian festival days as Christmas and Easter. Christmas celebrates the birth of our Savior and Easter commemorates his resurrection. Both these Christian holidays memorialize profound aspects of the life of Jesus.
The celebration of Halloween has no such Christian spiritual features. True, this holiday falls on October 31st, which is the eve of All Saints Day, which is a festival day celebrated by some Christian churches. However, the modern celebration of Halloween is not generally thought of as a Christian time of worship.
The day does have religious significance for some people, particularly wiccans and druids. For some people and in some regions, Halloween or some of its elements may have a non-Christian religious meaning. Some Halloween activities could be considered anti-Christian, and would, therefore, be avoided. Christians would want to avoid demonic associations, for example. With these things in mind, it would be appropriate for Christians to consider carefully their activities on this holiday.
For most children, however, there is no religious significance involved in either the day itself or in such elements as pumpkins or costumes. It’s true that such things as jack-o’-lanterns, bonfires and black cats, which are part of the Halloween tradition, may have roots in pre-Christian activities. But when children go trick-or-treating or visit “haunted houses” at the local shopping center, they are not thinking about participating in any religious festivities at all. They are just trying to “have fun” as they would at a movie or amusement park.
Most Christians believe they can celebrate Halloween (in some respects) as a purely secular day of fun. We should remember that much of the television we watch and many movies we see are what we often call “mindless entertainment.” Many other things we do for fun, we do precisely for entertainment and for no other reason. That’s the way entertainment is. Playing checkers or a video game, for example, has no redeeming features of a cosmic nature except that it’s fun, and sometimes relaxing. Many classic children’s stories include magic or other elements that children know are make-believe.
Many people see trick-or-treating or visiting a haunted house as being in the same category. It’s just plain fun, and has no spiritual, religious or enduring significance. Viewed on that basis, participating in various Halloween fun activities wouldn’t be any different than going to Disneyland’s “haunted house” or enjoying similar entertainment.
The issue of whether to celebrate Halloween in any way is usually only a question for parents who have small children. Retailers advertise Halloween as a time of great fun for kids, so they naturally want to participate in trick-or-treat walkabouts, don spooky clothing and visit local “haunted house” stations provided by some merchants or involve themselves in other related activities.
For parents who don’t want their children involved in such things, they might consider having a home party with other parents and children that don’t involve Halloween-type festivities. Some churches offer an evening get-together for children and parents, with fun Bible-centered games and party snacks.
Should Christians and their children participate in Halloween activities if they are unsure whether it is the right thing to do or are convinced it is wrong? The Bible teaches us that we should be fully persuaded in our own minds about these things-either pro or con. But we should not judge or condemn others who are of a different persuasion. The apostle Paul’s advice in Romans 14 can be applied to the question of Halloween activities.
If some people feel uncomfortable participating in Halloween activities, perhaps due to problems in their region, then they should not do so. The day has religious significance only to those who give it religious significance. (Of course, as mentioned earlier, we would do well to avoid those activities that still do have an unChristian flavor.) It is the responsibility of each Christian to decide, based on biblical and Christian principles, whether to participate in Halloween activities, and to avoid judging other Christians who have different circumstances and make different decisions.
Hear what William J. Schnoebelen, a former witch high priest now saved by Jesus, has to say on this matter :-
“An old proverb says, “When you sup with the devil, use a long spoon.” Presumably, NO genuine Christian would want to sup with the devil at all and yet many may be doing so in ignorance.
As a former witch high priest now saved by Jesus, I was astonished by how many Christians let their kids celebrate Halloween. Some churches even sponsor “haunted houses” and similar events on what is the Number One satanic “helliday” of the year. Halloween used to be called Samhain, and is still celebrated as an ancient pagan festival of the dead by witches all over the world. Unfortunately, just giving the date a “holy” name like All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve cannot change its grisly character. Halloween is an occasion when the ancient gods (actually demons) are worshiped with human sacrifice. The apostle Paul warns us: “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils” (1 Cor. 10:20).
If you are a Christian parent, God has given you a precious responsibility in your children. Remember, their ability to resist spiritual wickedness is much less than yours. If you allow your children to participate in Halloween (Trick or Treating, costume parties, etc.) you are allowing them to play on “the devil’s turf,” and Satan will definitely press his home court advantage. You are opening up doorways into their young lives for evil by bringing them into a kind of “fellowship” with these ancient “gods.”
We are commanded not to become involved with the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11). Both from my experience as a witch, and since getting saved, as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I have seen far too many examples of how breaking this command works out in lives. Remember, while we have God’s promise of protection for ourselves and our children, that promise may not hold if we allow our children to celebrate this dark holiday. Case after case has come to us of children in rebellion. In many of these families, the problem can be traced back to the children being exposed to Halloween at a young age. It is hard enough to raise children these days in a Godly way without exposing them to Satan’s realm.”
Relevant scripture on the issue of Halloween and Christians:
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 (“Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”)
James 1:27 (“keep oneself from being polluted by the world”)
3 John 1:11 (“do not imitate what is evil”)
Romans 12:9 (“abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”)
Deuteronomy 18:9-14 (do not learn to imitate detestable ways, including spiritists, sorcerers and witchcraft)
Ephesians 5:11-12 (“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness” / “live as children of light”)
1 Timothy 4:1 (don’t “follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons”)
1 Corinthians 10:21, 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 (“what fellowship can light have with darkness?”)
Philippians 4:8 (think about pure, lovely, noble things)
1 Corinthians 11:1 (“follow the example of Christ”)
1 Corinthians 10:31 (“whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God”)
James 4:7-8 (submit yourselves to God / resist the devil / purify your hearts)
Ezekiel 44:23 (“…teach my people… to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.”)
Proverbs 22:6 (“train a child in the way he should go”)
Matthew 18:6 (“if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin…”)
Hosea 4:6 (“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”)
John 3:19-20 (people love darkness instead of light)
Romans 13:12 (“put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”)
Ephesians 6:11-18 (“take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”)
1 John 5:19, 2 Chronicles 7:14
How do we teach our children to wrestle spiritually?
* Discourage them from participating in traditional Halloween activities (2 Timothy 2:4). Then tell them why.
* Encourage them to pray on a regular, daily basis (Ephesians 6:18). Let them know first hand the power that we have in prayer. All Christians should know how to fight on their knees.
* Remind them to be alert and self-controlled (1 Corinthians 16:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:6). Give them the discipline of knowing it is their responsibility to keep watch. They, themselves, might also become casualties in the war.
* Make certain they are prepared for battle (Ephesians 6:11). Do they know the truth? Stand on the Word of God? Have faith? Know the gospel? Are they righteous? Are they saved?…