Halloween. It’s a time of year when the air gets crisper, the days get shorter, and for many young Americans, the excitement grows in anticipation of shouting, “Trick or Treat?” So, can Christians celebrate Halloween? It’s a question that comes up every year.
Many Christians refuse to participate in Halloween. Some are wary of its pagan origins; others of its dark, ghoulish imagery; still others are concerned for the safety of their children. But other Christians choose to partake of the festivities, whether participating in school activities, neighborhood trick-or-treating, or a Halloween alternative at their church.
The name “Halloween” comes from the All Saints Day celebration of the early Christian church, a day set aside for the solemn remembrance of the martyrs. “All Hallows Eve,” the evening before All Saints Day, began the time of remembrance. “All Hallows Eve” was eventually contracted to “Hallow-e’en,” which became “Halloween.”
Some questions we hear are:
1. “How should Christians respond to Halloween?”
2. “Is it irresponsible for parents to let their children trick-or-treat?”
3. “What about Christians who refuse any kind of participation during the season–are they overreacting?”
Since the Bible doesn’t specifically speak to these questions, you and your family must decide what’s best for you. Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, you must honor God by keeping yourself separate from the world and by showing mercy to those who are perishing. Halloween provides the Christian with the opportunity to accomplish both of those things in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s a message that is holy, set apart from the world; it’s a message that is the very mercy of a forgiving God. What better time of the year is there to share such a message than Halloween?