Not Sure What I think of Halloween

When I became a Christian in 1974, no one told me about Halloween, but I had an uneasy feeling about it. I believe it was the Holy Spirit giving me discernment.

For a few years, I wasn't sure how to handle my uneasy feelings:
I steered away from the demonic elements of the holiday and tried to celebrate it low key. 

When my kids reached early grade school, I wanted them to stop the tradition, but our daughter resisted. Then one afternoon on the playground, one of her little friends asked her if she was going trick or treating and when our daughter said “yes” the little girl asked why she would participate in the “devil’s holiday”? That’s all she needed, so we stopped the tradition at our house.

But we still struggled with whether to hand out candy:
  • We tried leaving the house during Trick or Treat time, but we wondered if the neighbors thought we were just plain stingy.
  • We tried explaining our beliefs, but pagan holidays and the occult are not really the best "entry-level" subjects if you want to witness to your unsaved neighbors.
So I began giving out candy again, neither comfortable ignoring it or celebrating it.

Before long churches starting having "Harvest Festivals" to avoid Halloween observance, but in some ways they mimicked the Halloween traditions—at least as far as the costumes and candy. I've wondered what message church celebrations send to our children and our unsaved friends--Do they make us look:
  • Godly? 
  • Exclusive?
  • Compromising? 
  • Confused?
  • Oddball?
I continue to have questions:
  • Are these alternative Harvest festivals the best way to handle Halloween? Some people say that all of our Christian holidays have pagan roots, to include Christmas. I've studied that claim enough to know that's not altogether true, but Halloween is unique. While other holidays may have pagan roots, those roots are forgotten. But Halloween still has an occult theme with witches and scary things being a main feature.
  • Or should we just go ahead and celebrate Halloween along with our non-Christian neighbors as long as we make sure our children know that there is a real occult where witches are real people who worship Satan and hate God?
  • Or should we never celebrate the holiday in any form even if it embarrasses us, disappoints our children and confuses our neighbors.
Hungary has never had a Halloween tradition, but it's something they're adopting from American influence. We're in Budapest now, and while there's no "trick or treating" going on, lots of restaurants and bars are having Halloween parties. I'm not real happy about this...wish they were adopting Thanksgiving instead.

Both of my children are parents now, and they also celebrate Halloween. I want to believe it's just harmless fun, but then I think back to that uneasy feeling I got as a new Christian at a time when I hadn't yet heard the pros and cons on the holiday.


Still not sure how I feel about Halloween.
What do you think about Halloween?
Please leave your comments on the October 31st Bible Love Note because my comments don't work on this page. But please be kind, and concise in your response. Thanks!

2 comments:

  1. I had difficulty with my comments when this was posted in 2011, so I'm including the 2011 comments here:

    • FredaOctober 31, 2011 8:53 AM
    I appreciated your Halloween post, and I completely agree. I appreciate your stand, and I'm sorry your children aren't continuing to teach their children the way they were taught. God bless you for your courage to speak out so publicly against this Satanic holiday.


    • Carol--October 31, 2011 12:20 PM
    I have had the same feeling, in fact, my dad forbid us to "trick or treat" because in his childhood, it was called "beggar's night". My dad said his children were not beggars. We were allowed to dress in costume and hand out treats at our home. Then, as a new Christian, I began to look at the roots of the holiday, as you have alluded to and tried to discourage the practice in our home, but didn't think our children understood my objection. I do appreciate church's trying to offer an alternative. It's so interesting that this has become the premier holiday in the US. I wonder what that says about us as a nation???


    * Anonymous--October 31, 2011 12:47 PM
    As a child, teen and young adult, I loved halloween. In 1995 as a new foster parent to two young children and one teen I gave them a huge halloween party with full basement decorations, all the fixings, costumes, you name it. That following Sunday, the Pastor gave a sermon about halloween making it clear that it is a pagan celebration. After considerable thought and Bible study throughout the next year, I decided that I fully agreed and would not host or participate in the event again. Of course the children were very annoyed. I could not prevent their exposure since most of the world around them; school, relatives, etc continued the celebration.

    I think halloween is a pagan celebration and choose not to participate. I also have some reservations about the Christmas and Easter celebrations although I still participate with unease.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And Here's some more 2011 Comments:

    * Marie--November 2, 2011 11:00 AM
    I've had the same issues with this day. As my relationship with the Lord has grown and changed over the years, my conviction tells me to have nothing to do with it. Read Deuteronomy 18:9-13, to me this sends a clear picture of how we are not to participate in anything related to evil or demonic practices. This year I chose to pass out candy only because with it, I gave the kids the Book of Hope in cartoon form. I prayed before I handed out the books that it would touch the children's lives and even the parents. I believe we are to use any opportunity to share the Gospel. My children and I had a discussion Monday night as all of my daughter's friends from her class had a party. She has never been invited because she herself told them that we don't celebrate Halloween. That night they saw me hand out the books and candy, we laughed and played and did not miss out on anything the world had to offer. I also explained to them that as Christians, we need ask God for discernment and learn to look at things not only with our physical eyes but also with our spiritual eyes.
    Blessings in Christ,~Marie

    * DavetteB--November 2, 2011 4:59 PM
    I think your gut was your conscience telling you to listen to God. "What sharing does light have with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14-17) You can't pretty it up by calling it a harvest festival and keeping the same underpinnings; that is just a "white-washed grave". That goes for the previous post about Xmas and Easter.

    There are plenty of celebrations mentioned in the Bible and God made sure that His people had all of the details of the events they were commanded to participate in. If God wanted us to celebrate His Son's birth, we would know when and how to do it - not just take some pagan ritual day and try to sanitize it. The only Biblical command from Jesus was to commemorate his death (Luke 22:19-20) Obedience is more important than how it may look to others.

    *Hands to Work, Hearts to God--November 3, 2011 9:23 AM
    When we were younger, Halloween was not popular in the Philippines, and my whole family would dress up in costumes and go out to the amusement of other people who saw us. Then my soon to be brother in law told us that it was not Christian and we stopped altogether. Now it is very popular here, and some subdivisions put really horrible decor out front! I'm glad to say none of my sisters' children nor my son have gone trick or treating or dressed up for Halloween. But sometimes they ask why they can't, that they're not going to dress up in scary costumes! Patsy from
    HeARTworks

    ReplyDelete

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