Grace For The Journey
Halloween is rooted in and remains a pagan holiday. The ancient Catholic holiday of “All Saints Day” was November 1st, a day designated for the dead saints of the Catholic Church to be recognized, praised, and venerated. And if the religious crowd was going to have a day for their dead saints, the pagans were going to have a special day, a holiday for “all things dead.” The night before “All Saints Day,” “All Hallows Eve” (Halloween) would be the time for goblins, ghouls, ghosts, and gore to be recognized, praised, and venerated.
Today, Halloween has become a multi-billion dollar industry. I read one estimate that total spending on Halloween could reach $8 billion! Television networks feature horror movies throughout the month leading up to the “big” day. Entertainment opportunities are endless, from haunted houses to elaborate Halloween parties in homes and businesses.
So how should Christian believers respond to Halloween?
First, we should recognize that the Gospel has set us free from superstition so that we can rest on revelation. We are enlightened by the truths of the Gospel and empowered to live in their light. One of these truths is that the principalities and powers of darkness are no more active on Halloween than any other day of the year. Every day is a day that evil seeks to invade.
The Bible says in Genesis 4:7, “Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
The Bible also says in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Scripture makes it clear that we Christians have a target on our backs that the devil is aiming at us every day of the year. We need not be any more concerned on Halloween than we are on any other day of the year; we should be sober-minded and watchful 365 days a year!
Second, we need to remember that God has overcome the attempts and activities of the devil. The Bible clearly teaches that God is the Sovereign One and that He uses the devil to accomplish His purposes in this world and in the lives of His people.
The Bible says in Colossians 2:15, “Having disarmed the powers and authorities, [God] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
The devil is disarmed and defeated, but He is still doing everything He can to disrupt, defeat, and destroy God’s plan and His people. But remember, the Bible teaches that God is actually using Satan’s evil to advance the cause of the Kingdom of God. This keeps us from locking ourselves behind our doors on Halloween for fear of the devil and his minions. Police statistics make it clear that incidents of satanic-associated crime remain about the same throughout the year.
Third, the real danger on Halloween is from the spiritual and social problems that attend sinful behavior . . .
- Parties with inappropriate behavior.
- Pranksters and vandalism.
- Drinking and drugs
- Openness to the occult and Satanic influence.
- Focusing on death rather than life and on horror rather than holiness.
And this is where the Gospel comes in. The Christian community is to respond to Halloween with Gospel-saturated compassion and concern for the unbelieving, Christ-rejecting world. Opportunities for evangelism are endless!
- Some churches hold “Harvest Festivals” as alternatives to the traditional Halloween activities.
- Members can invite neighborhood families into their homes and share the love of Christ.
- Over the past 14 years our church family has presented the Judgement House drama in October as a way to share the truths of the Gospel.
- Add an evangelistic tract to each goodie bag, or piece of candy, you give out.
Christians should focus on what is wholesome and holy rather what is frightening and horrifying. Here is my bottom line: there is nothing inherently evil about wearing wholesome costumes, giving out candy, or even trick-or-treating. Handing out candy to neighborhood children is another opportunity to share the truths of the Gospel and further the purposes of God’s Kingdom.
Whatever each Christian family decides about their level of participation in Halloween should be a matter of conviction and conscience before God. One thing is certain – We are called to make a difference in this world by being different from this world, and one great vehicle for showcasing our love for Christ is how we choose to engage with the world during Halloween.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”