I was in the grocery story at the checkout buying some grocery items and a Halloween bag. The guy at the register asked if the bag was for groceries or for trick-or-treating. I said it was for trick-or-treating, but he could load the groceries in it for now. He said, "Good! My aunt tries to say Halloween is a pagan holiday, but it's not! It gets on my nerves when people get all religious about stuff."
I said, "Well, I think she's right, It is a pagan holiday! But if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right! All of my trick-or-treaters will get a scripture as a part of their treat." I think he regretted starting that conversation.
When my boys were first old enough to trick-or-treat, my mom asked me why I would let them celebrate a Satanic holiday. I didn't have a good response. I can only remember one Halloween costume from my childhood--a witch. I only recall trick-or-treating once or twice, but I do recall giving out candy at the front door. I've never had a full understanding of Halloween, but I'm pretty sure there is no mention of it in the Bible. From what I understand, it's the day before All Saints Day or All Souls Day, which is Nov. 1, and it's actually called All Hallows Eve. On Nov. 1 the dead supposedly are free to roam. The day before, Oct. 31, their awakening begins. These dead souls are hungry and if you don't feed them a treat they will scare you with a trick. People dress up as dead people so they can blend in and not get scared by the souls. Yeah. Stupid. Yet, quite widespread!
1 John 2:15 tells us, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them." Halloween is definitely something "the world" has decided to call a holiday--it has no Biblical basis that I can find. With it being so widespread, what's a Christian to do? Churches hold Trunk-or-Treat, Fall Festivals, and Carnivals. Last year, I decided to tape a scripture to the treats we shared. Some of the trick-or-treaters will be believers who just want to dress up and get some candy, but many others, likely the majority, will be lost people. A quick Word from the Lord might be helpful to let them know there is hope in Jesus Christ. This year my husband bought labels, so now we're high-tech!
I get so tickled looking at the boys dressed in their costumes from the past. A few are shared below. They still dress for Halloween, but the rule is no scary costumes. They can be a cartoon character, or something like "Jake from State Farm," as Zach was last year, but that's about the extent of it. They LOVE walking the neighborhood on Oct. 31 with their friends (and me) going door to door. It made me smile that when we arrived back at home last year, my husband had come home from work and had set up a lawn chair in the driveway to start the treat distribution.
While we know that Halloween is not a Christian event, I think Christians can participate provided we don't get too carried away. For what its worth...Happy Halloween! Be safe out there!
If you would like to read more on this topic:
Halloween History and the Bible
What is Halloween and Should Christians Celebrate it?
If you like this style of writing, you will enjoy Turn North: A 30-Day Devotional and Journal written by the author of this blog.