Candy, masks, and pumpkins. It’s that time of year again: Halloween.
Halloween can be a really controversial topic for Christians. Some Christians think that it’s no big deal to have your kids dress up as the Avengers and come home with their weight in candy. Other Christians think that Halloween is from Satan and should be avoided at all costs.
Where did Halloween come from?
Halloween gets some of its origins from the ancient Christian holiday, All Saints Day. This holiday was intended to remember those who were martyred for their faith. “All Hallows Eve” was the evening before All Saints Day. Over time “All Hallows Eve” was contracted to Halloween.
Halloween was eventually celebrated at the same time as a Celtic festival that celebrated the end of harvest, the coming of winter and death. This focus on death led to other occult practices being brought into the celebration of Halloween. Eventually, all the stuff about trick or treating began to be incorporated as well.
What does the Bible say about Halloween?
The Bible says nothing about the holiday itself since it wasn’t invented until after the time of the Bible. In the OT, we find that sorcery and witchcraft were totally condemned (Exodus 22:18 and Lev. 19:31).
Leviticus 19:31 Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the LORD your God.
The book of Acts in 8:9-24 condemns sorcery and occult practices, many of which have a demonic origin.
What are Christians to do with Halloween?
The truth is that when it comes to Halloween, we as Christians can decide how to respond because of our freedom in Christ. The Bible makes it clear that Christians shouldn’t be involved with practices of Satan. So that’s out of bounds. Is it wrong for Christian kids to dress up as cowboys, princesses, or astronauts and ask for candy? Of course not. But it’s also well within your right as a Christian to not practice Halloween.
Whatever your decision, use your liberty to honor God. If you aren’t going to participate in Halloween, lovingly explain to people why you have decided not to. But if you do choose to participate in Halloween, redeem the holiday. Throw a fall festival or harvest party at your church, or hand out candy as a positive influence in your community.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Did you celebrate Halloween as a kid? Why or why not?
- Where have you learned your information about Halloween? Are you surprised by the origins of the holiday?
- Read Leviticus 19:31. What is God telling the people not to do? How is this different from the modern cultural celebration of Halloween?
- Read Acts 8:9-24. How did Peter respond to Simon? Why is desiring the power of Christ different from true faith in Jesus?
- Will you choose to celebrate Halloween? If so, how will you celebrate? If not, how can you lovingly describe to someone why not?
- What are some seasonal alternatives to celebrating Halloween? How can these activities be used as a positive influence in your community?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.