Halloween: Should Christians participate?

Halloween_MDIn our family, we disputed whether or not to participate in Halloween.  For most people, Halloween is just plain ol’ harmless.  But for those of us Christians who know about its origins, it does not sit well for us to take part in Halloween celebrations.  Some might think we’re party-poopers.  Most don’t know the origins of Halloween (read more here) but even then, it’s mostly ancient history.  But that’s the same attitude some have about Christmas too–ancient history so who cares?!

Given that it has pagan roots, should we as Christians encourage our children by participating?  What did your household do this past Halloween?  We did not participate.  I was shocked that our daughter understood the perspective of why some of us Christians do not participate without us even having to explain it to her.  She just blurted it out last night.  Some Christians think it’s harmless fun and an opportunity for kids to grab some candy.  But if we participate, do we contribute to the paganism and it’s historical significance for today?

Here’s a blurb from a Christian website:

“Halloween was thought to be a night when mischievous and evil spirits roamed freely. As in modern poltergeist lore, mischievous spirits could play tricks on the living—so it was advantageous to “hide” from them by wearing costumes. Masks and costumes were worn to either scare away the ghosts or to keep from being recognized by them:

In Ireland especially, people thought that ghosts and spirits roamed after dark on Halloween. They lit candles or lanterns to keep the spirits away, and if they had to go outside, they wore costumes and masks to frighten the spirits or to keep from being recognized by these unearthly beings.”

What’s your opinion?

 

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Author: Kevin S.

A follower of Jesus, a husband and a father. Hobbies include biking, keeping fish if they don't die on me, blogging when I can, theologizing and ministry, and pondering about world affairs.

2 thoughts on “Halloween: Should Christians participate?”

  1. This one is difficult. As a Catholic growing up we celebrated both Halloween and All Souls Day-both celebrate spirits-one for evil/mischievous and one for souls that did not quite make it to heaven and therefore are in purgatory. As a kid, I never connected the activity to evil spirits, it was just a holiday with fun. Once I became a non denominational believer in Christ, I understood that getting candy was just Satan’s way of making his day attractive and All Souls Day was moot because now that Christ has done His redeeming work, there is not a purgatory.
    For my sons, it was a little difficult to transfer the festivities of Halloween into a different avenue. Not wearing a costume to school when everyone else did made it difficult for them.We have been told that we should be ashamed of ourselves for taking away our children’s fun.
    I understand that churches want to have an attractive substitute for kids so that they won’t feel left out, but isn’t that the true life of a Christian-to choose to be left out of the worlds activities? This is not easy for a kid to understand. If one home educates it is much easier to just not participate because there are not other kids to ridicule you, etc.

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  2. Marie, thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience. My struggle is similar because I felt my daughter was left out. But surprisingly, she might be okay with it. Our children will grow up feeling different. Maybe it’s a good thing because we called out from the world. We ended up staying at home on Halloween.

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