Here is my answer when asked if our family celebrates Halloween:
The Bible doesn’t directly command us not to celebrate Halloween, and you’re not evil if you celebrate Halloween. A lot of mature Christians make great use of this holiday. That is fine. However, our conscience won’t let us celebrate Halloween. There are several reasons for this, but we don’t do it mainly because we don’t want to go back any where near the foes that Christ defeated on the cross–the evil spirits & death. As Christians we know the spirit world is real and shouldn’t be trifled with & death is the greatest enemy and shouldn’t be celebrated. That being said, we bought lots of candy so the neighborhood kids won’t egg our house.
As a side note, almost every time I give this answer the response is “you are missing an evangelistic opportunity; the world comes right to your door.” To be honest, I think this is a lame response. If you want to celebrate Halloween that is fine, but this response is not persuasive to me for a few reasons:
- I think there are better evangelistic opportunities. I actually know all of my neighbors by name. In the Fall my girls and I rake up their leaves (at least the ones who need help), in the Winter we shovel their snow, in the Spring our kids play with their kids, and in the Summer we go to the pool together. No one ever says, “Who’s the weird family that doesn’t dress up their kids on Halloween?” At least not to our face. People know us and they know we are Christians because we talk to them about Jesus… all year. I don’t think we are less of an influence to our community because we watch a movie on Oct 31.
- If I celebrate Halloween with my kids and take them to trick-or-treat, how can I be at home to cash in on this amazing evangelistic opportunity? I’ve always been confused on that one. We stay home & we have candy for kids. What am I missing? I’ve never gone out to trick-or-tree. Are there really that many deep spiritual conversations that happen while the kids are going to the door? I am just asking.
- I’ve had a lot of opportunities to explains to unbelievers why we don’t celebrate Halloween. I’ve never told anyone they were sinning by celebrating Halloween, because I don’t believe they are. But I’ve tried to explain why I think our way is better, which always includes the Gospel. This has been far more evangelistically opportunistic than preaching from my front door to masked children who just want to get to the next candy distribution center (i.e. next door).
- Here is the big one, you don’t go against conscience for pragmatics. A lot of really bad ministry is done under the guise of “it will help us reach the community.” I am not saying that Christians using Halloween for evangelistic purposes is really bad, at least not necessarily. I am just saying that it is not enough to persuade me to violate my conscience on this issue. The way the world celebrates Halloween, demonic beings are glorified and death is trivialized. I don’t want anything to do with that. Christ conquered demons and death. I trust that Christians celebrating Halloween do so in a way that glorifies God and celebrates spiritual life.
Here’s the bottom line, we don’t celebrate Halloween because we think there are wiser ways to honor the Lord on the 31st. However, there are people in my community and my church who do celebrate it. Here’s what I say to them, “whether you trick-or-treat, or not, whatever you do, do all to the Glory of God.”
In fact, here is my advice for all Christians on the issue of Halloween:
- For Christians to fight over this issue on either side is silly.
- Think through your position on the issue biblically.
- Develop your own convictions.
- Hold to them graciously.