In case you do not get to read through this entire article, here’s the “bottom line” concern –
When will those who profess to be Christians stop accommodating paganism and worldliness?
The Apostle Paul begs us in Romans 12:2 - "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
To speak against Christian participation in Halloween activities brings the usual accusations of being “legalistic”, of being a “stick-in-the-mud” (i.e. no room for “fun”), etc. , all of which we refute, but….
Do we REALLY care what GOD thinks? Has God said anything relevant to this subject? If so, would we not be wise to consider and to obey God?
Prevailing thoughts among many church-goers include:
We are under grace, so all is okay - "it's all good".
Because we have no pagan intentions, we can celebrate the pagan holiday with a clear conscience.
If we give Halloween a different association or context, or better yet, give it a “Christian” association or context (all-saints day, etc.), then certainly it is okay to participate in the celebrations, and to encourage others to do so.
If we are especially spiritual, we can even "use" such a celebration as a tool to "reach others for Christ".
May we suggest a few thoughts from God’s word for your consideration?
In 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 the Apostle Paul pens these words about being holy:
"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “ I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” Therefore, “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.”
We have somehow concluded that these verses refer entirely to idol worship, or perhaps to the avoidance of some horrible sin (which WE want to name, rather than allowing God to name the sins). But we do not want to let the Scriptures be applied to the things WE want to do! And so it is with the concept of “Christian separation”. WE want to define it, and we generally want to apply it to things other people are doing and not to things that WE are doing. “He that has ears, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”. We read about separation in Leviticus 20:24 “I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples.” Also in verse 26: “And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.” Thus the principle of separation is established.
In Deuteronomy 18:9-14, God warns the people through Moses to avoid wicked customs:
“When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.”
In Ezra and Nehemiah we read about cleansing from Pagan things. In Nehemiah 13:30, as Nehemiah is speaking to God, he says: “Thus I cleansed them of everything pagan.” In Nehemiah 13:3, after the word of God to Moses had been read aloud to the people, it says: “So it was, when they had heard the Law, that they separated all the mixed multitude from Israel.”
In Ephesians 5:8-14, Paul writes: "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “ Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
Much more could be said, but once again the question, and challenge, is: when will “Christians” earnestly contend for THE faith, and stand their ground (“Quit you like men: be strong”) and simply choose to not participate in something which has totally pagan roots and simply not have anything to do with it, rather than needing to find some way to fit in, or to have a “Christian equivalent” to what the pagans and/or the world has? This really is a spiritual question!
Elliot Watson writes the following at
“The origins of Halloween are Celtic in tradition and have to do with observing the end of summer sacrifices to gods in Druidic tradition. In what is now Britain and France, it was the beginning of the Celtic year, and they believed Samhain, the lord of death, sent evil spirits abroad to attack humans, who could escape only by assuming disguises and looking like evil spirits themselves. The waning of the sun and the approach of dark winter made the evil spirits rejoice and play nasty tricks. Believe it or not, most of our Halloween practices can be traced back to these old pagan rites and superstitions.
But what about today? Perhaps we can still learn from history. In the fourth century, Christians attempted to co-opt the holiday by celebrating the lives of faithful Christian saints the day before Halloween. This was a conscious attempt to provide an alternative and re-focus the day away from ghouls, goblins, ghosts, witches and other “haunted” experiences. Since that time many Christians have decided to allow their children to dress in more “innocent” costumes of pumpkins, princesses, Superman or as a cowboy. Part of this is due to the simple reality that in today’s Western culture it is nearly impossible to “avoid” Halloween.
Just before reaching a conclusion on the subject, I was struck with the thought that I ought to further my search and find out what Wicca, the official religion of witchcraft, has to say about Halloween. Perhaps they viewed the day as a simple fun and innocent neighborhood activity?
“Shock” is the only word to describe what I found. Halloween is a real, sacred day for those who follow Wicca. In fact, it is one of two high and holy days for them. The Celtic belief of spirits being released is current, along with the worship of Samhain (the lord of death) – both are promoted as something to embrace on that day. There is no question in my mind that to those who believe and follow the practices of witchcraft, Halloween represents an opportunity to embrace the evil, devilish, dark side of the spiritual world.”
Relevant scripture on the issue of Halloween and Christians:
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 ("Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.")
James 1:27 ("keep oneself from being polluted by the world")
3 John 1:11 ("do not imitate what is evil")
Romans 12:9 ("abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.")
Deuteronomy 18:9-14 (do not learn to imitate detestable ways, including spiritists, sorcerers and witchcraft)
Ephesians 5:11-12 ("Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness" / "live as children of light")
1 Timothy 4:1 (don't "follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons")
1 Corinthians 10:21
2 Corinthians 6:14-17 ("what fellowship can light have with darkness?")
Philippians 4:8 (think about pure, lovely, noble things)
1 Corinthians 11:1 ("follow the example of Christ")
1 Corinthians 10:31 ("whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God")
James 4:7-8 (submit yourselves to God / resist the devil / purify your hearts)
Ezekiel 44:23 ("…teach my people… to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.")
Proverbs 22:6 ("train a child in the way he should go")
Matthew 18:6 ("if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin…")
Hosea 4:6 ("My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.")
John 3:19-20 (people love darkness instead of light)
Romans 13:12 ("put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.")
Ephesians 6:11-18 ("take your stand against the devil's schemes.")
1 John 5:19
2 Chronicles 7:14
Here are some links to information regarding the origins and customs of Halloween.