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Mary Fairchild

What Does the Bible Say About Halloween?

By October 27, 2009

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Christian perspectives on Halloween are strongly divided. Here are three differing views to consider:
  • "... Halloween is anything but harmless. It focuses one's attention on witchcraft and demonism, which flies in the face of the holy God Almighty! When parents not only allow but also encourage their children to celebrate witches and goblins, they are teaching them that it's acceptable to deal in demonism." -- Jerold Aust from "Halloween: Behind the Mask"
  • "... Rather than 'hide' in the face of evil, we should unabashedly and boldly create an alternative that is positive and uplifting; that celebrates good over evil and the triumph of God over Satan. We need to provide an environment that also makes room for heaps of fun while using the day as a 'teachable moment' to celebrate God's protection, provision and purpose for our lives." -- Elliott Watson from "Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?"
  • "Not all believers should celebrate Halloween. For those who have been redeemed from the occult, Halloween in its foolishness may contain what was for them deadly seriousness ... It is understandable that they look with horror upon what once enslaved them. Such sensitivity may be appropriate for them, but it is not appropriate for the majority of Christians. Holding their opinions as appropriate for most believers is like having a former bulimic dictate how Christians should regard church hot-plate socials ... Christians should instead celebrate Halloween with gusto. If we follow the traditional formula of having a good time at his expense, Satan flees." -- Anderson M. Rearick III from "Matters of Opinion: Hallowing Halloween"
This article attempts to tackle the controversial question, "Should Christians Observe Halloween?" With no direct references to Halloween in the Bible, resolving the debate can be a challenge. How should Christians approach Halloween and is there a biblical way to observe this secular holiday?

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Comments
September 12, 2006 at 7:55 pm
(1) Zec says:

Mary,

I celebrate Halloween and I love it! It’s my favorite holiday after Christmas. I’ve never understood the big deal Christians made about this supposedly satanic holidy. But alot of people just freak out this time of year.

So in typical Christian fashion, they offer an alternative known as a Harvest Festival which is what Halloween was traditionally called.

Below is an excerpt from:

http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Halloween/id/21629

that explains it really well.

“The roots of Halloween are unearthed in the rituals of Druids and Celtic priests of pre-Christian Ireland and Scotland. November 1 was the beginning of the new year, so Halloween, or “Samhain,” (pronounced “sow’an”) was like New Year’s Eve. It was both a time of death and new beginnings, of harvest feasting and magic. Crops were harvested and animals who were not expected to survive the winter were slaughtered. Celtics believed that any food left on the vine after October 31 was tainted by the fairies and hence inedible.

Young people would roam the ountryside and villages disguised in scary masks, carrying lanterns carved from turnips. The veil between the living and the dead was believed to be the thinnest at this time, and therefore one could most readily communicate with loved ones in spirit. Of course, other spirits also had access to the physical, hence the custom of carving scary jack-o’-lanterns to frighten off wicked or mischievous ghosts and goblins. People were intensely gearing up to survive winter, and it was feared that malevolent spirits would destroy the crops and kill farm animals. Bonfires were lighted to drive spirits away or to help to light their way back to their proper place in the spirit world.

Now if the truth is too “satanic” for some Christians, don’t go the Harvest Festival route, which is just Halloween sacntioned by the church.

Celebrate another day that should be familiar to Protestants and Catholics the world over. Reformation Day! The day Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany. This is a day to be celebrated indeed! The birth of the reformation. So stop celebrating death everybody and celebrate the rebirth of Christianity!

September 13, 2006 at 8:23 am
(2) Mary says:

Zec –

As Christians, sometimes I think we get bogged down in the details and technicalities and forget the “main things.” In my article “What Does the Bible Say About Halloween?” I wrote:

“As Christians, why are we here in this world? Are we here to live in a safe and protected environment, guarded against the evils in the world, or are we called to reach out into a world filled with dangers and be the light of Christ. Halloween brings people of the world to our door step. Halloween brings our neighbors out into the streets. I can think of various creative ways to seize this opportunity for developing new relationships and sharing my faith.

“Is it possible that our negativity toward Halloween only alienates the people we seek to reach? Can we be in the world, but not of the world?”

I think we celebrate Christianity when we indentify with non-believers as Christ has called us to do.

October 7, 2011 at 10:55 am
(3) Pastor C says:

So as Christians? Is there no other way to reach out to these lives that need to be saved? Is Halloween to you the only way you feel its easy for you to reach out to them because they are coming to your “door step”? As we walk with Christ each and every day God allows someone to come to our “door step”. This happens on a consistent bases, could be your Co-workers, a teller at a bank, your neighbor, the waiter you had at lunch time when you went to your fav rest, at a gasoline station the guy next to you that was pumping gas as well etc. (are you reaching out to them in creative ways?) I think as so called “Christians” we find ways to compromise our beliefs, we find reasons or excuses to make it seem like its ok. You make it seem like thats the only time of the year that you can reach out to lives. As a fellow Brother in Christ myself, I don’t celebrate halloween, Samhain, Feralia or Pomona, like it was said before we are in this world we are not from it.

October 17, 2011 at 8:53 pm
(4) Pastor Bob says:

I agree Pastor. Also we have to remember Job. Look at what Satan did to him, The people think it can’t happen today???? Think again. Don’t open the dor to satan and his demons claim God and spread his word.

September 13, 2006 at 10:17 am
(5) Zec says:

Mary,

I actually didn’t read the article, my bad! LOL I had a typical knee jerk reaction to another post about Halloween by a Christian site.

One thing Ray Comfort from the Way of the Master television show does, is when kids come to the door on Halloween, he gives them a small bag of candy with a tract inside telling of how Jesus loves them and the plan of salvation.

He participates and does the Lord’s work at the same time. What a briliant concept! He admonishes those Christians who stay in their homes with the lights off at this time of year. They are not welcoming of those who believe differently and are not serving Christ on a night when “evil” is supposedly so rampant. Are we not called to do the Lord’s work 24/7? Or do we just do it when it’s convenient? I promise I will read the article you have posted. :-)

September 28, 2006 at 12:04 am
(6) Dan says:

The celebration of Halloween has evolved a great deal throughout the centuries. Halloween, as we know it today, is a 20th century AMERICAN creation. Certain aspects of our modern Halloween can be traced back to earlier practices from a variety of cultures. However, these connections exist in bits and pieces and are too loosely based to claim that Halloween as it is today bares that great of a resemblance to its predecessors (Samhain, All Hallows Eve, etc). For example, it is believed that the tradition of “trick-or-treating” PROBABLY dates back to the early All Souls’ Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called “soul cakes” in return for their promise to pray for the family’s dead relatives. However this does not explain where the “trick” aspect factors in.

The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as “going a-souling” was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money…which was, by the way, a year round practice not specific to October 31st. Another, unrelated practice that existed in an entirely different time and place involved Celtic cultures where people would wear masks on Halloween to confuse ghosts, who were believed to roam the earth on that day.

Trick-or-treating as it exists today (going door to door in costumes and collecting candy) is a modern American creation. By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague Halloween celebrations in many communities during this time. By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated. Between 1920 and 1950, the modern form of trick-or-treating came about. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks from being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Themes for the Halloween costumes worn by trick-or-treaters mostly (if not entirely)have their roots in the American cinema. Frankenstein, Dracula, the wolfman, mummies, zombies, ghouls, goblins, trolls, and even witches were made popular by their portrayals in movies, and not from any earlier beliefs or practices. Our classical representation of a “witch” (green face, long nose, black dress, and pointy hat) didn’t even exist until “The Wizard of Oz” was released in 1930.

Even the practice of decorating for Halloween was not widespread until the 1950′s. American business hoped to commercialize the holiday by offering all of the Halloween paraphernalia that we now have available today. Much like Valentines Day and Christmas, Halloween (as it exists today) is more the result of commercial influences and endeavors than it is the accumulation of centuries old traditions. So the next time someone claims Halloween is a Pagan holiday and shouldn’t be celebrated due to its loose (and false) connections to the occult, tell them that modern Halloween is an American creation and tradition. It is just as American (and therefore no less Christian) than Thanksgiving or the 4th of July.

October 7, 2010 at 11:14 am
(7) mAster Blaster says:

posting the truth is what Jesus would like you to do ! ! and not just a half truth either !
there is NO saying in the bible what so ever about halloween, as it wasnt even around till hundreds of years later than christ ! !
i find this another way of a control freak trying to take over , just like getting rid if the jews back a few years ago! !
it was ok when we were kids , now all of a sudden its not ok so says the bible thumpers of today ! !
i think its a good read for the poster of this and follow your own links will ya ! ! and read away , maybe you will change your narrow mind!

January 12, 2011 at 11:28 pm
(8) niles says:

ok as far as halloween pagans are not devil worshipers you can tell if they were a pentagram a inverted pentagram is a satanist and a non inverted pentagram is a pagan ad far as the devil he dosent have a pitch fork or a tail the devil isnt like most pepole thinks he looks like me and you no diffrent

October 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm
(9) rashad says:

control freaks??? nobody is trying to control anybody…stop looking at other christians and thinking thats how we all are suppose to be and look at jesus..thats the model type we all strive to be like…what you do isnt going to effect us we dont even know you..we are trying to help you out not put limitations on your life…there is a way to have fun on halloween other than celebrating it…they have church functions where im at where they teach em about jesus and give them candy…same result different concept..but when in doubt ask this…wwjd (what would jesus do) would jesus threaten to play a trick on you if you didnt give him a treat or celebrate halloween at all??? no..he wouldnt..and the bible does talk about halloween…but it just doesnt say halloween because it wasnt around at that time…but if you want to argue with the bible thats on you..i feel that if you want to do something bad enough you will find an excuse to justify it no matter how right or wrong it is or what ppl say about it…they crucified jesus so finding an excuse for halloween shouldnt be that hard either…pastor c I TOTALLY AGREE…

October 28, 2011 at 3:45 pm
(10) Len says:

How can I know what is right and wrong?

What is God’s will for your life? Many desire to do God’s will, but struggle because they don’t know what God’s will is. The following are some principles from God’s Word that will help you to discern what God’s will is for you.

1.Is it helpful?
The first part of 1 Corinthians 6:12 (NASV) tells us “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable (helpful)…” Is it helpful to me? Will this help me to become a better Christian, a better friend, a better brother or sister?

The second guideline for knowing right from wrong also comes from this passage.

2.Will I be mastered by this?
1 Corinthians 6:12 goes to say, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable (helpful). All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” Will I be enslaved by this? Think of some things that are addicting; for example… cigarettes, alcohol, TV, pornography, and so on.

3.Will it cause someone else to stumble?
1 Corinthians 8:7-13 gives the third guideline for knowing right form wrong. In this passage, the principle is not to do things that will cause someone else to stumble. The apostle Paul had a strong faith; he knew there was only one God. He knew God had given him freedom to eat certain meats, but if it made others fall, he would not eat the meat.

I heard a friend once tell this amazing story:

“I remember so clearly the first time I had a drink of beer after being a Christian. I was 25 years old and working with high schools. I had not had a drink for four years and late one afternoon my roommate, who was also my director with the church group I was working with, had a quart of beer and offered me some. I had just come in from a four mile run and was very thirsty. I took a drink from the bottle of beer and it tasted terrible. I quickly got some water and tried to get the taste our of my mouth. On Monday I was at the high school for lunch. A couple of students who were in my group came up and told me of one of our friends who had gotten really drunk the past weekend. They went on to tell me that this guy came to my house on Thursday and was about to knock on my door when he looked in and saw me with a bottle of beer in my hand.

The first time I had one small drink (that tasted icky) in four years and I made this student stumble. What a good lesson for me! Even though the government says I am old enough to drink in moderation, I will not, because it can and has caused my brother to stumble.”

As a student, you are probably not even old enough to drink legally, but can you think of any other situations where you could make someone stumble spiritually?

4.Does it glorify God?
1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Can this activity glorify God in some way?

October 30, 2011 at 8:00 am
(11) jen says:

It is entertaining the devil. because we go out to haunted houses and hayrides , dress up like dead people and witches and that is wrong according to God And Jesus. Nobody is trying to control anybody…as far as Halloween coming out like this centuries later…it is still wrong no matter how much you sugar coat it. Sin is Sin. Look how much goes wrong around halloween like more house fires and people pulling more pranks on people. why do you think they had to come up with Angels night? to overcome devils night. also if it was just an old safe tradition then why does it involve magical fairies and such…another false no no paganistic nonsense that is the devils own idea. so what more needs to be said that halloween and fairies, witches ouija boards, dracula, harry potter, twilight series, sorcery and cutsie disney shows that portray this kind of thing are not one and the same coming from the same very real source… The Father of Lies. Jesus disagrees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 7, 2013 at 9:32 pm
(12) JJimenez says:

Personally, the only crime i see on Halloween is seeing kids dressed as french maids or in skimpy outfits. other tun that, i enjoy the day. It is my favorite holiday after the Christian Christmas. It’s fun planning and decorating an area that brings out the fears of the people. Why? Well in my hopes, maybe it’ll turn the people to God. Plus it is exhilarating, like a roller coaster ride. When you pull back and think about, there is mockery of such ghouls and monsters is show through us dressing up as them. The catholic schools I come from observe it but of course have strict rules. So as long as you don’t idolize evil, then i don’t see the harm.

October 28, 2013 at 8:07 pm
(13) Briana says:

Ephesians 5: 11

And have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them…
We Have to ask ourselves does Halloween represent Christ And pray pray pray God will show the way
God bless you all

October 30, 2013 at 10:30 pm
(14) Brett Amedee says:

I see many comments about the bible doesn’t talk about Halloween…well here you go:

Mark 7:13

Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

1 Peter 2:9

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

Song of Solomon 2:15

Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Foxes sometime in search of food would enter into the grape orchards and devour the grapes and spoil the crop. However, the little foxes were too small to reach the grape bunches so they would chew on the vines and it would kill the whole vine. Instead of the farmer just losing his crop, he would lose his vine which was more disastrous. Spiritually some things we do or allow, that we might think is little or insignificant, can also be disastrous for us.

Ephesians 5:6-12

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. Ephesians 5:6-12

With all said, whether we feel that we have been really hurt by celebrating Halloween or not, is only part of the issue. How does God feel to see His people making light of demons and witchcraft? Shouldn’t we be thinking about how to honor Him and show our love to Him? Where do our loyalties lie?

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