Halloween: Christians Taking Advantage of a Pagan Holiday
As Autumn approaches every year, many people have one thing on their mind: What am I going to be for Halloween this year? The stores are flooded with decorations, costumes, and candy. On the other hand, many do not participate in the pagan holiday. With a divided line between two groups, many Christians can be judgmental during this time. This topic brings up three questions: How did Halloween originate? Why did it become so popular? How can we as Christians take advantage of this pagan holiday?
Halloween and Its Origin
The name for the pagan holiday Halloween was created with the term “All Hallows Eve” in mind. Some say that Halloween goes all the way back to ancient Ireland and Scotland around the time of Christ. They had a festival called Samhain, which means ‘end of summer’, to mark the time of the crop harvest and the day to prepare the animals for winter. During this time, there were many tales and superstitions. Some believed that spirits of the dead wandered around to take possession of a living person. Not wanting to be inhabited by a spirit, the living would dress up in costumes in order to ‘confuse’ the spirits. The pagan holiday was taken over by the Catholic Church in the 5th century. November 1st became “All Hallows Day” where all the saints of the Catholic church were honored. So, the origin of the pagan holiday Halloween is a mix between Celtic rituals and early Catholic traditions.
What does the Bible say about Halloween?
The Bible does not specifically mention Halloween, but it does speak about demonic spirits, occult, and paganism. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Satan has an army that tries to sway our views about life and about our walk with Christ. The Bible tells us to put on the Armor of God to fight off evil and to stand in the light. In Leviticus, the Bible discusses the use of mediums or necromancers and how we should not seek them out. As Christians, we are to have nothing to do with the evil world. Of course, we are all sinners and fall short of the Glory of God, but we should strive to sharpen our minds using The Word to fight against the enemy. So, the question arises: Can Christians celebrate the pagan holiday, and if so, how do we do it to the glory of God?
Taking Advantage of the Situation
Growing up, my hometown church had what we called a “Harvest Festival”. This was an outreach program used to reach people who did not have a church family. We could have games set up for kids and candy as a prize. We also allowed kids to dress up in costumes that were appropriate. Christ has torn the veil and has saved us from our sins if we trust in Him, so wearing a harmless costume is not going to keep you from the love of Christ. The pagan holiday Halloween should be used by Christians as an avenue to bring people to Christ. Of course, we do not do the saving, but we should be the hands and feet of Christ and then let him do the rest. If you want, have salvation tracts to hand out to kids, if it is okay with their parents. If you are going trick-or-treating with your kids, pray for each house that you come to. There are so many ways to utilize this night for good. There is nothing wrong with having fun with family by dressing up and carving pumpkins. Satan and spiritual warfare are not escalated just because it is Halloween. They are trying to devour us every day. At the same time of having fun, we should be warriors for Christ and try to shine His light whenever an opportunity arises.
Christians should not take this pagan holiday to judge others. We are called to love people as Christ has loved us. Take time this Halloween to spend time with family and in fellowship with neighbors. I, personally, am going to make it a goal to be a light during this time and to just be nice to others. If you want your child to learn about how to be a light to the world on days other than Halloween, check out Enlightium Academy for their educational needs. The affordable tuition, individualized curriculum, and simple admissions process maintains the advantages of a home school education while also preparing students for whatever the future holds.