What is Often Left-Behind in the Halloween Debates

Should Christians celebrate Halloween? In the past, such a question would have been met with a quick and emphatic no! However, times have changed, and so has the way we deal with contemporary concerns. Halloween, as is seen by many today, is a time of the year when children and adults take up costumes that represent people or beings that suit their fancies. Though it is not recognized as a holiday, the arrival of the day if often marked by parties, spooky decorations, and candy collecting outings—which are not necessarily good for your teeth. .

Christians who oppose the celebration of Halloween do so base on their conviction that the spirit of the day isn’t in line with a Christian lifestyle. Their knowledge of the pagan origin of the day, they believe, gives credence to their abstinence. They are advocators of a separatist approach to all things of questionable and of ungodly origins. They can’t fathom why a Christian would want to engage themselves in such festivities. Most of them honestly believe that the day reeks of demonic overtures.

On the other hand, Christians who are in favor of participating in the Halloween festivities see it simply as a fun thing to do with their co-workers, friends, or family. They are not concerned with the origin of Halloween. They are advocators of a more relaxed approach to anything that the Bible doesn’t condemn. If the words “Halloween” are not in the Bible, then they see no reason why so much fuss is being made over the putting on of costumes in order to have a good time. They don’t feel that their part in this day injures or hamper their spiritual journey.

The issue that usually arises when attempts to address such contemporary questions are made is the quick dismissal of one viewpoint over another without showing any indication that the viewpoints that are being assessed are presented fairly. Hopefully, this is not the case.

Those who are in opposition to Christian participation in such a day, perhaps, unwittingly, bring up a question that merits an answer: should Christians participate, read, or listen to anything that is of ungodly origin? Such a question prompts other questions. Do we always equate pagan with un-godly? If pagan (or secular) things are of un-godly origins, does their modern usage always retain their original sense? If so, then must the whole be rejected or are their some things of value that can be derived from them?

Those who are in favor of Christian participation in Halloween must be respected when they ask for convincing points concerning why Halloween may be destructive to their Christianity. They also have to wrestle with questions pertaining to their willingness to accept a tradition that originates back to those who did those things because it related to the beings that they were worshipping. In other words, they have to answer the same type of questions that those who are opposed to Halloween are dealing with.

There are many things that we do, or participate in, that may be of ungodly origins. We may not know which things are. We do not do these things how the ancient peoples, from which they originated, did them. Neither do we do them for the same reasons. This argument should not prompt any to say this is the reason why we should or should not do it. Rather, it should call for reflection on how much the origin of anything matters in whether we do it or not. That is what is at the heart of the debate (at least from my perspective).

These questions may frustrate some Christians. They may find it unnecessary to venture into such lengthy contemplations. However, in the discussions of these issues it is important to consider why there are disagreements. It is not always that the one who disagrees is prompted by the Devil—a popular argument these days. It may be that what is being used to argue a particular position is not substantial enough. Will substantial arguments bring all to one side? No. However, it may bring some.

If Halloween originated from practices not in line with the Bible, should that affect our participation? Indeed, is Halloween not in line with the Bible? Logic dictates that the first question should be second, but we must be aware of our natural instinct to stand against anything that may demand that we fall in line. Thus, the first question had to be about what we deem authoritative. What are your answers?


One comment on “What is Often Left-Behind in the Halloween Debates

  1. Any Christian who says that other Christians should not participate in any kind of observance of Halloween because of its origins should also have some issues with Christmas Day itself for the exact same reason.

    Christmas Day was adopted by Christians who shifted the original focus of that day, from ancient Babylon’s feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature), complete with raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift-giving; to a celebration of the birth of the Savior.

    If the origin is the only thing we’re going to look at, Christmas must likewise fall under scrutiny.

    I think what is missed here is the fact that for many people, NO consideration whatsoever is placed on how the day began. They celebrate it now simply as a day to dress up in fun or amusing costumes for candy. It isn’t necessarily a Godly celebration, but it certainly isn’t an unGodly one.

    What’s more, you are not going to stop people from participating in Halloween no matter how many Christians make some sort of stand against it. However, if Christians would put as much effort into working in elements of Christianity into the day, as early Christians did with the Pagan version of December 25th, it could become a much more Godly celebration.

    As with every other day on the calendar, it’s only “unGodly” because today’s Christians don’t make a bigger effort to see to it that the day is viewed as “Godly.” God made October 31st. Can’t we use Halloween as an opportunity to teach people why Halloween SHOULDN’T be scary? Can’t we encourage our kids to join other kids in the community and dress as Bible characters, and tell their friends about the characters they’re dressed as, to further spread God’s message?

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