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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