Should Christians Observe Halloween?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Should believers observe or participate in Halloween?  Is there a biblical guideline we can use as to whether Christians should observe Halloween or not?  What are the origins of Halloween?

Origins of Halloween

The word Halloween is actually a shortened version of All Hallows Eve, a yearly holiday observation that precedes All Saints Day on November 1st.  The All Hallows Eve is a Scottish variant of All-Hallows Evening.  All Hallows is an old English phrase meaning “mass day of all saints.”  Some historians suggest the origins of this holiday go back to the Roman Feast of Pomona while many others see the beginnings with the Druids and Celtic Reconstructionists 2,000 years ago which celebrates Samhain as a feast for the dead.  Today, most non-believers do not celebrate Halloween with evil intentions necessarily, even though they may have a good idea that it is pagan in origin.  Most people that I talked too have no clue as to the origin of Halloween although a few believed it was connected to All Hallows Eve which precedes All Saints Day which is the following day.

Should Christians Observe Halloween

I can see no connection of Halloween to the Christian faith or any biblical precedent to observing it.

Is it Christian or Not?

I can see no connection of Halloween to the Christian faith or any biblical precedent to observing it.  The church that I attended before entering into the pastorate used this night as a “Truth or Treat” night where the public was welcome to come and see biblical costumed men and women representing Bible characters.  They presented Bible stories with the characters and handed out candy, fruit, or prizes for those who, after the presentation, could answer simple questions about the Bible or the presentation that they had just watched.  The Truth or Treat night had several different activities like bean bag tosses and different games for both children and adults.  They included Bible Scriptures for the general public in the prizes that they handed out.  The church used this night as a safe alternative to trick or treating in the neighborhoods.  Some Christians dress up in biblical characters at home while passing out candy, prizes, and Bible tracts.

Should A Christian Observe Halloween or Not?

We do not participate in Halloween but I think the important thing is that if a family does participate, the emphasis should never involve demons, devils, spirits, evil beasts or beings, bloodied costumes or masks, or anything that reflected something ungodly.  We did pass out candy (including for diabetics) and little prizes but we also included miniature New Testaments, Bible Scriptures, or Bible tracts.  We did not attempt to make it look like a haunted house but simply left the porch light on and passed things out to children and to parents who were accompanying them.

Just because we at our house do not observe Halloween doesn’t mean that we are going to judge other Christians who do.  I do not know their intent.  They may be in a different season or might be a newer Christian who will one day decide not to observe it.  I do not know where they are at in their walk with Christ.  Many Christian families bring their children out to trick or treat but they are dressed in little princess dresses or super-hero costumes.  These families are not going to hear a lecture from me about the pagan origins or evil influences of Halloween because I am not their judge and many would not listen to me anyway.  They will hear from me in the form of Bible Scriptures and verses that present the gospel of Jesus Christ and how they can place their trust in Him to be saved.

A wedding ring is of pagan origin but the couples I marry certainly don’t need me to tell them that these are of pagan origin with because they are not using them with the intent of celebrating a pagan festival.  Even the wheel, invented thousands of years ago was once a pagan symbol…just as cats were, snakes, and a great number of things that we commonly know about, use, or have today.  Intent is everything I believe.  Now I did tell the church that I pastor at about the origins of Halloween so that they will know about it, but I can not even consider dis-fellowshipping them or bring up church discipline for something like this.  I would certainly tell them to abstain from any appearance of evil, but beyond that, there is little I can do for what they and their family do at home…as long as it doesn’t adversely affect the church or hurt the fellowship of the Body of Christ.  I can say that Jesus said, This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil (John 3:19)

Conclusion

I certainly do not like the evil looking costumes, monsters, and the haunted houses that display gory images and bloodied, dismembered body parts that try to frighten people.  The same thing goes with all the horrible movies that come on during this time of the year.  I think that they are absolutely detestable.  This is definitely not Christian and I do not believe that Christ-followers have any business in participating in such activities.  What does light have to do with darkness?  It exposes the darkness but it never participates in the darkness.  I agree with Paul who wrote that we are to Abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thess 5:22).  First John 1:5-7 says, This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 

No true disciple of Christ portrays evil, darkness or wickedness, even in jest.  Let us walk as Jesus said;I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (John 8:12). If we are in Christ then we must remember that In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4).  So we ought to be lights to a dark, lost, and dying world because Jesus plainly said that “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matt 5:14-16).

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Martel August 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hello again Jack,

As usual a spot on analysis of how a Christian should observe certain holidays and occasions. I agree that the blood and guts need to go, let’s face it, our children are getting a pretty hefty diet of this stuff as it is. I remember as a kid that halloween costumes used to consist of pirates, cowboys, princesses and other light hearted costumes. Our parents would never let us out of the house dressed like a mass murderer!
With the excessive use of cgi graphics, buckets of stage blood and more advanced make up techniques we have been treated to some of the most gruesome images ever imagined. There is no doubt that these movies are having a detrimental effect on children today, especially since children tend to be the target audience. I think it would be great if families got together and either had a FUN party or at the very least insist that children wear more whimsical costumes, anything but the blood and guts that we are all subjected to on an almost daily basis. We can all make this a joyful time for our children, we should be able to, after all, we are the grown ups.

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Jack Wellman August 1, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Amen brother….I agree. It is all about the intent of the heart and I love the idea of making it a fun night, without all of the blood and gore as you mentioned. Yes, I remember the cowboys and superman costumes but not its Freddy Kruger and Friday the 13th to the max.

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MetaKnight May 11, 2015 at 1:15 am

Halloween allows to indulge our dark side without hurting anyone. And it’s not gonna go away no matter how much you want it to.

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MetaKnight May 11, 2015 at 1:12 am

It’s the parents fault for letting their kids watch such movies. Also not very many people take people like you seriously. You should also know there are already clean and pure holidays like Easter and Christmas.

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Robert August 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Great take on Halloween, Jack. As a kid, my focus was on the free candy, ‘free’ candy that I paid for with a stomach ache the next day, that is. I remember Halloween being fun, but then again, it seems to me (maybe I’m just getting older) that a lot of the things that used to be fun have taken on a darkness about them. An example would be the movies coming out now. Many seem to have a darkness, or a hopelessness, that I don’t remember seeing when I was younger. Oh well, maybe it’s just me. I also think it’s a good idea to be safe and careful on Halloween if you do trick or treat…it seems like Halloween is a day when crazies are permitted to roam the streets. Thanks again Jack…well done.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Chris Martel August 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Robert,
It is definitely not “just you”, anyone with a few years under their belt see just what you see. I forgot all about the tummy aches!

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Jack Wellman August 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Amen Robert. I see this “holiday” now has shifted in the last few decades as a night of the Devil and it has decidedly shifted in a more evil, dark way. Well said brother and thank you.

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phishing4men August 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm

true

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MetaKnight May 11, 2015 at 1:24 am

Halloween has little to do with the devil, and from what I’ve seen when the devil is involved it’s to scare people.

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Michael August 15, 2012 at 8:45 am

Im a very faithful chrisitan and I am 13. I still go out on halloween and decorate and stuff. Of course im not serious about any of it it is all for fun. So I dont see why it would be bad.

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Trevor M May 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm

I definitely agree with your perspective on intent. My family and I do dress up, although my wife occasionally dresses as a witch or some such on Halloween, I am completely against the gore and gruesomeness that engulfs the world. I allow my children to be the princess, or faerie, star wars jedi knight, etc…I myself do not carry the plastic knives and nasty masks anymore that I did as a younger less devout Christian. As Robert said, things have definitely taken a darker turn only since I was a child in the mid 80’s. It is sad, but we must persevere, even unto those who would criticize us for “pushing” our Lord onto others. I believe if we have to “push” Him, then there is not much hope for those individuals until they come to realize their mistake in denying the sweet love that our God and His Son have to offer.

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MetaKnight May 11, 2015 at 1:27 am

Halloween isn’t about denying God. And blood and gore doesn’t engulf the world, don’t make stuff up.

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Tanya March 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm

AMEN! Growing up I was not a believer so I participated as a child(never really liked going out that night) 12 yrs ago I found out the reasons that pagans came up with the idea, Christians would probably stop participated if they knew all the details from the jack-o-latern, to people proclaiming they are witches and anything in between.The BIBLE is very clear NOT to associate with any of the darkness of this world or imitate it. We are to be the reflections of the light who is JESUS. I do understand some Christians want to be light on the 31st by passing out candy w/scripture or just simply loving on them on behalf of Christ. (totally agree they should do what God places on their hearts)Our family has gotten together w/ other believers to have pizza at Chucky Cheese(which it is not busy on this night :)) This year we want to serve as a Body of Christ at Feed my Starving Children. It also says in the bible our life is not our own. We are not to seek pleasure for ourselves all the time, but to serve onto Christ.
I have a passion to spread God’s truth with other believers or anyone who asks about why our family doesn’t take part. It’s not because we have things figured out it’s because our hearts are sensitive on this subject & I have my own booklet of bible verses as well as not so good articles about the dark side of this night to pass to anyone. I have done much research! Mainly my research comes from GOD’S WORD, which is the BEST research you can get, right?
I was soooooo delighted to find your article!
God’s blessings to you & others who read this!!!!
your sister in Christ, Tanya 🙂

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Jack Wellman March 13, 2014 at 6:44 pm

Thank you so much Tanya for a wonderfully encouraging post and you are spot on. I believe that this night can be used for good and to even evangelize the lost. I so agree with you and you made my day for your edifying words.

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MetaKnight May 11, 2015 at 1:31 am

Christians aren’t gonna stop celebrating halloween just because some things associated with it have a dark past. And dressing up as something and acting it out like it isn’t imitating it like the Bible says, what it means is we shouldn’t imitate exactly what bad people do.

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Hervin May 31, 2014 at 8:04 pm

I personally don’t think Christians should celebrate it in any way shape, form or fashion.

Two weeks ago I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I came from an African religion. The Orisa religion of Nigeria. I was intiated as a priest 11 years ago to the dissapointment of my family. So I can speak on these demons and how they operate.

Demons influence humans. These costume designers are being creatively inspired by these agents of satan don’t be fooled.

Demons have the ability to manifest through conduits such as masks, skirts, statues, card games, dice, dolls and pretty much any inanimate objects.

By influencing men to create these mask and costumes they are able to channel into these objects through the people that buy them. Even the “nice” one’s. If you sin heavily or don’t do frequent prayers of deliverance they can enter.

I recently watched a deliverance on TB Joshua and many think people are faking on their. But as someone who was in the occult those people are not faking. I recognize some of those demons from when I was a priest.

One of the demons on video said that they are able to enter people through tattoos, alcohol/drugs, ritual objects, sex/porn and images people view on the internet!

From someone who was once involved in the worship of the dead and worshipped these demons (believing they were Gods holy spirits) I refuse to participate in anything ritualistic and satanic. This is not a game brothers and sistersd

I feel so ashamed that for 16 years I let such unclean spirits enter me at ceremonies. When the Holy Spirit came down on me it was the most holy thing I’ve ever felt in my life. You all have no clue how deep and truly evil the occult demonology is. It is an illusion.

Praise Jesus for taking me out of the kingdom of darkness and letting me see satan for what he truly is!!! I thank him everyday, every hour and if I could every second. I can’t wait for the day when he and all his agents are cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity. I’m tired of him torturing humanity.

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MetaKnight May 11, 2015 at 1:38 am

What you think doesn’t matter. And stop being paranoid, it’s not like celebrating halloween encourages people to worship satan or turn away from God. There’s also no evidence of demonic activity being tied to costumes and masks.

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phishing4men May 11, 2015 at 3:31 pm

“What you think doesn’t matter” are you referring to yourself here metaknight? It would appear by the “many” rebuttals to your rants, you are not making much of an impact on the conversation.

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MetaKnight May 23, 2015 at 9:32 pm

Don’t ask me stupid questions. And your opinions don’t matter. Also don’t make stuff up about me.

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MetaKnight May 11, 2015 at 1:07 am

I see nothing wrong with celebrating Halloween, neither does my Christian dad or Methodist mom.

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