Hello, Through the Word Family! I hope you are doing well, especially those already getting snow! Sorry, you guys seem to have skipped straight from Summer to Winter, missing the most incredible season of all – Fall!
Can a Christian Celebrate Halloween?
We’re just a week away from Halloween, the official start of the holiday season. After Halloween, we only have 24 days until Thanksgiving and 55 days until Christmas!
But before we get into those holidays, let’s talk about Halloween a little. I know that Halloween can be controversial with Christians. After all, isn’t it just a celebration of evil and darkness? Well, Halloween’s origins might surprise you.
Many Christians celebrate All Saint’s Day on November 1, also called All Hallows Day. It’s a day to thank God for his faithfulness to all believers that have died. It’s a celebration that our loved ones who have died in the faith are resting in the presence of God!
The day before (October 31) was called All Hallow’s Eve, which was later shortened–to Halloween. Unfortunately, the day’s original meaning has been lost, and many in the world have focused not on celebrating the faithfulness of God to the dead but instead on death itself. So, how should a Christian view Halloween? Is it a day to celebrate or ignore completely?
I think we can find an answer to this in 1 Corinthians 8. The church in Corinth was a pretty messy place. One of the issues dividing the church was eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols in the pagan temples. Some Christians were perfectly fine eating this meat because they knew the pagan gods weren’t real. They would get their meat, usually at a lower price, and thank God for their food.
Other Christians, however, saw this as an absolute sin. Pauls says, “But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled” (1 Corinthians 8:7). Having come out of idolatry, every time they saw that meat it was a reminder of their old sinful lives.
So how does this relate to Halloween? Well, if you feel the candy your neighbor is handing out is unclean because of the skeleton decorations hanging outside, then for you, it is! Don’t participate! Paul writes in Romans 14:23, “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”
But if you feel it’s okay for your kids to dress up as Captain America or a bowl of ramen (one of the best costumes I ever saw), then go for it! And make sure you collect the candy tax from your kid’s goodie bags. And feel free to send me any of the Reese’s you get.
But here is the vital thing to remember–your righteousness is not determined by whether you participate in Halloween or not. We are saved by the work of Christ alone (Acts 4:12), not by observing or abstaining from holidays (Colossians 2:16). Christians that take their kids trick-or-treating are still Christians. And Christians that stay home and ignore the doorbell are also Christians. So don’t look down at each other. We are going to spend a long time together in Heaven, where we will forever be celebrating God’s faithfulness to us all.