Whether you are preparing for it, or preparing to protest it, I think it’s safe to say that the majority of us know that Halloween is only a few days away. Upon reading various sources telling of Halloween’s origins, I realized that there are many differing opinions as well as many similarities. Without going into detail, we can simply say that the day known as Halloween has its roots in paganism. There is no denying it. It is not a day that was instituted by God.
As mentioned earlier, there are definitely those that protest it. Some will say that October 31 is a day that Christians ought to remember the Reformation and not a day to dress up and get candy, etc. Now, I’m not knocking Reformation day, and I acknowledge it. But, Reformation day is not a biblical holiday either. Just sayin’. But this isn’t my argument, because certainly what the reformers did was awesome and amazing, though no different than the thousands of other Christians who spread the gospel. Let me get back on track here, because I don’t want to chase this rabbit too far. Plain and simple: Reformation day is cool. But what about Halloween?
Those who protest it bring up verses from Deuteronomy, for instance, that condemn those who practice divination and the like. They assert that those who would dress up in a costume, trick or treat, or carve a pumpkin are practicing witchcraft. Is this the case? Perhaps you, the reader, take your kids out (if you have any) and do these things. Have you ever started Halloween day (or ended it) by recognizing its pagan origins? Do you even know what its origins are? Is it really fair to accuse people of practicing divination if they don’t have the slightest clue and/or could care less about any religious aspect of it? Granted, I’m sure some 15 year old out there will be dancing through a grave yard wearing a Type O Negative shirt holding a spell book in one hand and a candle in the other along with friends who are struggling through chanting ancient Latin incantations in unison or something. But that’s them, and that’s not everyone.
There is nothing inherently wicked about dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating, or handing out candy. It’s actually fun and silly. There would be something wrong if you did so religiously like the pagans who instituted it. It boils down to a matter of the conscience. The apostle Paul had said that eating meat sacrificed to idols wasn’t evil [1 Corinthians 10], but that in all things we do, we ought to do all to the glory of God. Certainly, the act of eating meat sacrificed to idols is comparably as pagan as Halloween ever was. But to the Christian, it is valueless. So, if you want to go out on Halloween and trick-or-treat, hand out candy, or even dress up like Krang, then you may. You are certainly free to do that in Jesus Christ. The only thing I’d encourage you NOT to do is something illegal, or something that would compromise your belief in the gospel. Not being a friend of the world does not mean that we lock ourselves in our houses and scream at unregenerate people as they pass by. It means that we believe the gospel. And we do so while living amongst wicked people who are just as dead as we were at one point until the Spirit made us live. Our minds are renewed by the Spirit and the Word of God. And our minds go with us wherever we go.
If you have children, let them know the origins of it, and that you think the origins are stupid. Use it as an opportunity to talk about what people do apart from Christ. Use it as an opportunity to remind them that we are created in the image of God, and that it is horribly marred by sin and as a result even pagans try to worship something. Most of all, remind them of the gospel, and how unless they were made alive with Christ, they’d be just as pagan. And then go have fun with them. Don’t place burdens on other Christians, trying to bind their consciences. For instance, there are even those Christians that think Halloween is evil, but still follow Christmas and Easter although Christmas and Easter are pagan in origin too. In fact, some treat Christmas and Easter like Christian high holy days. The truth is, they aren’t. Making any day an obligation is breaching the regulative principle of worship – that is, the way worship is instituted in the Scriptures by God.
Want to do the Reformation day thing? Fine. Want to have some sort of festival for new crops? Fine. Want to do the Halloween thing? Fine. Just don’t be a pagan about it. Handle it like you would… you know… any other day when you are out in the world, like when you go to work for your company that is most likely not a “Christian” company. Anyhow, if Halloween upsets you, it’s more than likely because someone toilet papered your house one year, and now you think everyone else does the same thing. I have to admit, though – that’s kind of funny.