Monday, October 31, 2011

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

This is such a huge debate among Christians and wherever I see it talked about, it can get explosive.  I've mostly seen Christians talk against but rarely hear from Christians like me that do go out and dress up.  Here is how I've done it:

Halloween 2010
All growing up the rule was we could dress up in costume, anything we wanted as long as it was clean and was not demonic.  We didn't dress up as witches, goblins, ghosts, demons.  Nothing of that sort.  It was the one day of the year I could dress up as any character I admired and have fun getting candy.  It was no more than that.  We had to stay in a group and usually we went for hours.  I have so many fun memories of it growing up.  

Here is my solid belief on the matter and I found the perfect way to explain it from this link HERE but I'll copy a certain portion of it for my blog for an easy read.  

Can the Christian celebrate Halloween?

The answer is simple: Yes and No. Let’s look at the negative first.
The Christian is not to be involved with or support the occult, witchcraft, demonism, or any other thing that uplifts the occult. To do so is to contradict God’s word, dabble in demonic spirits, and invite judgment from God. If a Halloween celebration is centered on demons, devils, spirits, etc., I would say don't have anything to do with it.
On the other hand, it isn't wrong to dress up in a costume and go door-to-door saying "Trick or Treat." Provided that the costume isn't demonic, I can't see anything wrong with this.  It's just fun for the kids.
Take a look at the Christmas tree.  It was originally an ancient fertility symbol. Yet, it has become a representation of Christmas and the place where gifts are placed. Are the Christians, then, paying homage to an ancient pagan fertility god? No. Not at all. They do not consider it pagan at all and are simply joining in on a cultural event and giving no honor to anything unbiblical.
In the Bible in 1 Cor. 10:23-33, Paul speaks about meat sacrificed to idols. This meat was often sold in the meat market and the question arose, "Should a Christian each such meat?"
Paul said in verse 25, "Eat anything that is sold in the meat market, without asking questions for conscience' sake." This is most interesting. He says it is okay to eat the meat bought in the market place even though that meat may have been sacrificed to idols.
Then in verses 28-29 he says, "But if anyone should say to you, 'This is meat sacrificed to idols,' do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience' sake; 29 I mean not your own conscience, but the other man's; for why is my freedom judged by another's conscience?" (NASB). Paul is saying that if you find out the meat was sacrificed to idols, don't eat it -- not because of you, but because of the other person. In other words, eating that meat won't affect you. But, it may affect the attitude of another who does not understand the freedom the Christian has in Christ.
Is it any different with Halloween (or Christmas)? No. Even though Halloween has pagan origins, because of your freedom in Christ, you and/or your kids can dress up in costumes and go door-to-door and just have fun. However, if you are not comfortable with doing this, then you should not.

Pastor Sawyer sharing gospel message after Halloween Play

Another side of this I would love to share with you is something my church does.  Growing up my church would put on haunted houses but not the kind you might think of. We'd cover real nightmares.  Abortion, drunk driving, suicide, gangs, murder, hollywood, drugs, etc.  It always was covered in the news because it drew a lot of attention. Often you'd hear crying during the abortion scenes because it touched a raw nerve in the crowd.  Why do ghost and goblins when sin itself is a nightmare?  In the end, the very last scene, would be a bloody Jesus on the cross and a minister giving a gospel message.  Hundreds of people would get saved through that.  What if we shunned that time of the year and as Christian hid away?  The opportunity to bring Christ to a lost people would be missed.  
This year my church did a Halloween play.  Of course the purpose was to bring a gospel message.  Not glorify evil.  It was powerful and amazing to see so many people respond to Christ.  I took my older boys with me knowing it was about the right age.  My boys had a really long discussion afterwards about sin, the effects of sin, and how we never know how long our time is here on earth.

Tomorrow, yes, I'll be dressing up my kids.  I'll be letting the kids play out their favorite character and get candy.  No, we won't be participating in sacrifices or praying to demons.  After trick or treating we'll be attending the Halloween play again to support it and pray with people.  We're really looking forward to a fun night.  I really think this is a personal conviction.  If God spoke to my heart on he matter, of course I will obey Him.  Just as we still put presents around our Christmas tree.  We are not worshipping the fertility God. We are just having fun exchanging gifts and celebrating Jesus' birth.  Of course we know that was not His actual birth date but it's pretty darn awesome that we set that one day out of the year to celebrate.  

Does your family stay home during Halloween or do you dress your kids up?


Unknown said...

I can certainly see the fun in the day, however, I cannot justify having fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness. We have Bible verses displayed in our windows, on our cars and even on some of our clothes and to me, celebrating Halloween is a negative testimony for our family. Just my opinion, for what it's worth. :)

Patti said...

Virginia: AMEN.

If you throw out trick or treating, you better not celebrate birthdays (the shape of the cake and the name "birth day" is rooted in paganism, celebrating the Goddess of fertility.) Or Easter- named after Eostr, another Goddess, and loaded with pagan traditions. Or as you said, put a Christmas tree up (rooted in Druid worship). Each one of these holidays (and others!) has roots in paganism just as deep and mystical as Halloween.

As a side note- even wedding rings were considered by early Puritans (and Quakers today!) to be pagan, because of their origin in Egyptian culture, and thus forbidden.

Of course the reason we don't toss every holiday aside is because we are clearly not "celebrating" those false gods.

And as a mam of ten kids, three of whom are now adults devoting their lives to serving Jesus and bringing others to Him- who all went trick or treating as kids- I don't have a problem with taking back what the devil tried to steal. Every day is God's day, including Halloween.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Hey, Virginia! Welp, I would tend to be the one who would pitch the Christmas tree and not celebrate Easter. Our neighbours gave us a tree... I guess they thought we were too poor to afford our own?... and so I have a tree. The children want to decorate it and do all that, and my husband wants it so there ya go.

I do see both sides of this issue. I don't celebrate Halloween and don't trick-or-treat, but I think this is one of those areas we can have genuine and good Christians have varying opinions about. I think it can be a good thing to discuss our convictions and why we feel the way we do, but NEVER to bully others into adopting our own point of view.

Love to you and your family as always, Virginia. Happy Reformation Day. :)

Jessi said...

I did a post about this on my blog too. I also just can't justify it. Dressing up on Halloween came from people dressing up acting possessed so daemons wouldn't possess them. I just would never want my kids to have anything to do with that. I wont debate anyone about this, It is flat out wrong, and evil. Here are some KJ verses I think would apply.
2Cr 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].
Pro 24:1 Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.
Psa 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; [it] shall not cleave to me.
We don't plan on doing santa, the Easter bunny, or the tooth fairy either. Filling kids minds with make believe people you tell them is real is not good. Why is santa held up to be like God? He knows everything when your good or bad? He can go to every house in the same night? Santa and the Easter bunny have taken glory away from Jesus, that is what those holidays are really about. Halloween is the devils holiday, it has always had demonic origins. It's not just a cute tradition.
If you want you can read my post on it. I don't like to make people mad but you asked what people thought, so I put my thoughts in there.

Jessi said...

5. Occultists also taught that spirits and ghosts left the grave during this night and would seek out warmth in their previous homes. Villagers, fearful of the possibility of being visited by the ghosts of past occupants, would dress up in costumes to scare the spirits on their way. They would also leave food and other treats at their door to appease the spirits so they would not destroy their homes or crops but instead move on down the road. That is the real reason why kids dress up in costumes today and go door-to-door seeking treats.

Avital said...

We put a table out with coffee and baked goods for the adults, light a bonfire in the front yard and chat with all the families that come to our door. I'm very anti-candy, so we give out small containers of play-doh, or small bottles of bubbles. This is a great way to meet and greet our neighbours. We live in a fairly small community, and since we've moved here, Halloween has been one of the greatest ways to meet lots of new people at the same time.

We all dress up in costumes and have a great time blessing and meeting all our neighbours.

Virginia Revoir said...

So true, Patti! Every day is the Lord's day. I never thought of it that way. By the way, someone was asking if you were pregnant again and I said I didn't think you were. There are 9 women pregnant in church right now! :D

Virginia Revoir said...

Avital, that is such a neat idea!

We make it a big family get together and meet at my mother-in-law's house. That way we are a big group and we mostly just have fun chatting with each other and spending time together. We never get very much candy as not many home seem to participate as much. I've never got to be the one that sits and meets the family. It would be really neat.

Happy Elf Mom, you are so right. Sometimes things are a personal conviction. No one should be bullied into it.

Thanks for your input everyone! :D

Sherri said...

Jenny, I loved this post and totally agree with you! Thanks for being willing to present your view on it... as so many that are totally against it are presenting theirs. ;-)

Another verse that often comes to mind for me is the one where Paul said that he would be "all things to all men in order than he might save some." A friend of mine once told me of a house in her neighborhood that they went up to to trick or treat & the lady opened the door, said "We do NOT acknowledge Halloween!" and shut the door in their faces... She asked me HOW that portrayed Christ??? I was honestly speechless to answer her question.....

Thanks again!

Avital said...

So how did your halloween go? You'll have to blog about it! I'm sitting here eating my way through my son's HALF A PILLOW CASE OF CANDY. crazy too much candy. He won't even notice that I've eaten all the caramilk bars!

Virginia Revoir said...

That's so funny you wrote that because as I read your comment I was eating my kids candy and looking through the pictures to post! haha. It went great! How did yours go?

Avital said...

We had almost 100 kids, and lots of nice visits with neighbours.

We have an american student living with us, and she told us that you folks don't do fireworks for halloween? Fireworks are a HUGE thing at Halloween here, and there has been basically non-stop fireworks since 6 pm. They are just slowing down now - it's 11 pm. Fortunately my kids can sleep right through them!

It was a super fun night. I dressed up as Elasti-girl from Incredibles, and my oldest was as super-hero of his own invention called "Yucky Man" and I dressed the baby up as his dad - I put him in matching clothes to his dad and painted a beard on his face - it was the most hilarious thing!

looking forward to reading about your night while I drink my coffee in the morning!

Virginia Revoir said...

Oh man, what a cool costume idea you had! I've never seen fireworks here but maybe in a different state?

Will you be posting pics? I'd love to see the "yucky man". Haha

Anonymous said...

We do not do anything for halloween. Yes it is the lords day, so we shouldn't do evil on it, or go against his word. all things to all men in order than he might save some.- So does this mean we should get drunk and hang out in bars to save the drunks and do drugs to try and save the junkies? There are many many ways to try and get people saved without going against the Bible. We can't act just like the world to try to get them saved. We are Christians, we are to be different, and not have anything to do with unfruitful works of darkness but rather REPROVE them. And I don't mean to be rude and mean about it. I think I will follow the Bible and what it clearly says, not just someones opinion.

Patti said...

not pg again...yet;)

This is completely hypothetical, of course...but I have a very hard time picturing standing before the Lord and hearing Him say "You allowed your child to dress up as Winnie the Pooh on October 31st," and casting us into utter darkness.

Just doesn't jibe with my theology.

I'd also be interested to know how many people who shun dressing up... allow a tv in their home. I've met some Christians who were as die-hard as it gets about shunning holidays...and yet they allowed prostitutes and fornicators to dwell right in their living room.

Just a thought.

I hope as Christians we call sin evil and leave the rest to God.

Virginia Revoir said...

That was really powerful, Patti and so true.

Anonymous said...

It's not the fact that you are dressing your child up in a non demonic costume. That would be fine any day of the year. Participating in a holiday that has demonic origins, and going to demonic and scary decorated houses. People justify what they want, so they live how they want I guess. For the record I do not have TV. Also I read you said your girls had long skirts and no belly showing,I just wondered why that would be important to them, because on your blog there are pictures all the time of them in shorts, even one where they are hanging on a playground with their belly showing. That's not modest. The Bible says when we uncover our thigh it is nakedness and a shame. I also find it funny you don't answer the comments that don't agree with you. You don't have too, but you asked what people did for halloween, and they commented about it. Just wondered what your thoughts are on the comments so far.

Virginia Revoir said...


The reason I have not answered some of the comments on here is because I think they have the right to their opinion even if I disagree with them. The only people I answer to are God, my husband, and my pastor. I welcome anyone that wants to comment on here but I will not go into debates that are not worth the battle.

What is the real battle we should be fighting? Should we be picking on things such as clothing, makeup, holidays, and such? My focus is on salvation and reaching the lost. If I were an unbeliever looking at this kind of debate over smaller issues, it would scare me away. I think as a whole if we spend more time living our lives as an example, sharing the gospel with unbelievers, and less time policing each other's blogs, God would be pleased in that.

I do not feel that Halloween and whether or not my 6 year old daughter hanging upside down on the monkey bars showed her tummy is a big enough issue to debate on. I do let my daughter wear shorts, not hoochie shorts, and do let my girls wear pants. That is not a salvation issue to me as long as they are modest. Take it from someone who used to have a legalistic mindset, it's a highway to failure and self condemnation.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Ok, I love how blessedwife is trolling other people's blogs and telling them how to raise their children, dispensing the standard for what is and is not modest dress and how they are in collusion with darkness for wearing a costume on the 'wrong' day.

Yet I don't see an answer ANYWHERE from anyone who doesn't celebrate Halloween to Virginia's question: why is everyone freaking out about Halloween and its demonic origins and NOT Christmas? Many of our forefathers DID NOT CELEBRATE Christmas; did you know that? And they had good reason not to do so that is rooted in scripture.

By all means, be convicted not to celebrate this holiday. I do not participate in any way myself, but I can allow that other people have their own relationship with God without my interference. I can also allow that there are other cultures out there. What is "modest" here is positively disgusting in other parts of the world, and in some places, it is absolutely respectable and proper for a lady to not wear a shirt.

Virginia, bless her, left herself open to this discussion by asking what everyone thinks, what their convictions are. It's my opinion that we can all share our convictions (and the reasons for them) without getting all snippy and judgmental.

I daresay that Christ is not honoured by this crap. And Jesus called it out when He was in this world; His most scathing words were reserved for those who were Pharisees, the most respected - and might I add most theologically CORRECT - group of Jews during that time period. Jesus seemed to appreciate their following the rules and their diligence to studying scripture but their lack of mercy? Not so much.

Avital said...

Wow. Who needs Free Jinger to snark on you when Christians can do it to other Christians just as well?

I personally find it really funny that you're being taken to task for not being "christian" enough because I enjoy your blog a lot, but sometimes find your views and opinions too conservative/religious for me! But that's okay because there is space enough in this world for us to all love Jesus and have it look a bit different in each of our lives.

blessedwife would surely think I am going to hell in a hand basket for how I practice my faith!

Virginia Revoir said...

Thank you Happy Elf Mom and Avital. Both were well said and encouraging.

The scary thing is that holding other Christians to my own standards and weighing their salvation according to my own terms could get me in a lot of hot water. The bible sets the standard, not me. If I feel like someone is off in their belief and they come to me about it, I will share the scriptures with them. I don't want to be that person though that goes up to ladies in the church and tells them what I think about them negatively. If I am truly concerned for someone's soul, as a friend I would talk with them in private and share scripture with them. But if it's not a salvation issue, I leave that to God to deal with their hearts and hopefully they'll learn from some decent preaching (if a pastor is faithful to preach straight from the Word of God).

The Pharisees in the bible would walk around looking for infractions but it wasn't done in love. It was all about the law.

Anonymous said...

Wow everyone took what I said WAY out of context. When did I say anyone was going to hell for anything? legalistic means that someone teaches you have to do something to be saved. I think no such thing. Salvation is not of works but a gift from God. Salvation it on faith alone. Things like dress and living right are principals in the Bible. I never said anything about make-up, where did that come from? Also I am not "trolling" peoples blogs telling them what to do. Jenny brought up the issue of halloween. I stated my opinion just like everyone else, but mine was not liked, so you all jump on me. I know this is a much more liberal blog so that is what I expect. It's funny when someone brings up a principal in the Bible they don't like they call them a pharisee HA! There is more to being a christian than just being saved, he does want us to live right. I believe in doing it in love also. Jesus did get harsh with people in the Bible when he needed to. He would not be for everyone do whatever just as long as it has nothing to do with salvation. Again I only stated my opinion on things she brought up not me. I am not going around telling people what to do. I simply asked what she thought. But you people don't seem to like my opinion so it is looked at different. Sorry I guess everyone could have a opinion, guess not. I guess it has to agree with yours or I am being snarky?. I have nothing to do with FJ. I don't see how my comments were less rude or different from any of yours. Jenny seemed like she is ok with other opinion, thanks for answering why you didn't respond Jenny, like I said you certainly don't have too.

Avital said...

I didn't think you were associated with FJ Blessedwife, I was just commenting on the fact that usually it's readers from FJ bringing the criticism to blogs like Virginia's - but this time it was from a fellow Christian. You weren't just stating your opinion, your remarks came off as chastising regarding Virginia dressing her daughters in a way that wasn't modest.

I am laughing at Virginia being called a "more liberal blog" because as I am a pro-choice, feminist, gay-rights supporting, egalitarian marriage type of woman, I find Virgina's blog FAR from being liberal! All those things where what I had in mind when I said if you thought Halloween was bad you would think I was going to hell in a hand basket.

Anyways, I don't actually have a stake in this. I could care less if people eschew Halloween or not. As I said, there is space for all of us to follow Jesus differently. I didn't mean to offend you Blessedwife, i'm certainly not offended by your opinions. take care.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Blessedwife, if you seriously don't see how you could possibly come off as rude and judgmental, I'd suggest some social skills or etiquette classes. I am dead serious. I know I was snarky to you before, but I'm being serious now. The "offense" you are causing others is not anyone being offended by Jesus and the cross; it is your impoliteness, your haughty attitude and your unkind words.

Again, I'm being serious with you. Both Sally and I (and maybe others?) have expressed that we do not celebrate Halloween and why. Please note that no one "jumped" on us.

It really is all in the presentation. Yours sucked.

Virginia Revoir said...

Avital, I'm not a cheater pants but you won the $25 gift certificate to put towards that nursing top you wanted! picked comment number 8 and yours was it. Hugs! Please leave me your email in the contest comments section and if you want I can delete it once I get it.

Virginia Revoir said...


You are right that I opened it up for discussion. When I say that I usually mean "Let's talk about it in hopes we can all be nice." I'm really not attacking you. I just feel maybe it's easier for someone to think about what you have to say if you say it out of love rather than in a condescending tone. You are always welcome to comment on my blog.

Anonymous said...

I was not attacking anyone either, when we are typing and not talking in person it is hard to know how people are coming across sometimes. If I ever share these things with people, It is only if they ask. I am also very kind, I do think we should share it in love. We have people in our church that do halloween, and dress differently outside of church, than when they come. I am not mean to them, I never say anything to them. You all seem to assume too much about me from my comments. I don't see how yours were much nicer or different.
Thanks elf mom for the lesson in edict, I loved the part where you told me my presentation sucked. Very Christian. If I told Jenny her post sucked, you would have told me I was being rude, which that would have been. This is what I posted about the clothing to Jenny- Also I read you said your girls had long skirts and no belly showing,I just wondered why that would be important to them, because on your blog there are pictures all the time of them in shorts, even one where they are hanging on a playground with their belly showing. That's not modest. The Bible says when we uncover our thigh it is nakedness and a shame.- I was just asking her a question and stating my opinion. I really just didn't understand. I wanted to see what she thought about what the Bible said about it. Like I said I was just asking, she doesn't have to answer and I respect that. If someone made the same statement to me I would simply explain to them why I dress like I do, and my opinion on the matter, no big deal. Everyone has a right to their opinion, even if it is different from what you like. Jenny I never thought you were attacking me, I think we shouldn't be unkind, again sometime when typing it is harder to express how we are saying it. I guess I will have to be more careful about that. :)

Anonymous said...

Also I care very much about the unsaved, I spend hours a week out soul wining. I am very involved in our church. We welcome everyone, and try to get as many saved as we can. Just because I have some standards you don't like , don't assume I am someone who thinks I'm better than everyone. I am not at all. There are two kinds of sinners, lost sinners and saved sinners. I am just blessed to be a saved sinner. I do however think we should follow the Bible and how it says to live. I would never go up to someone and just start telling them they are dressing wrong ect. Like I said, I only said what I thought here about things she brought up, not me. I know what I believe and am not bothered when people disagree. I just hate it when people assume so much just because my standards are different.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Blessedwife, does your husband know that you used the word "sucked" in your last post? Because I'm shocked at you, stooping to my carnal level like that. OK, this post? I am teasing you. Just in case you missed it.

Virginia, seriously, why has everyone popped over to THIS post but NO ONE else has commented on your super-cute Halloween outfits?? I have to say something though, kidding aside... I didn't recognize what your girls were dressed as until you SAID they were cheerleaders. It's a shame that the cheerleader outfits out there (generally) are so immodest that I didn't recognize your sweet girls' costume. Didn't anyone else laugh out loud about the razor? I did!!

Peace and hugs.

Anonymous said...

Sorry elf mom that just didn't make sense. If it was funny I missed it. Next time I will just come out and say her post sucked and then I guess that won't be considered rude. Why do we need FJ to say that, when other Christians do right?

Avital said...

wow, it's just like mean girls over here. I'm unsubbing from this thread!

Anonymous said...

Yes we are being so mean!! lol. Just like I said, everyone can have a opinion, but when someone doesn't like what you have to say, then it's mean! Not sure how anyone was mean to you Avital?

Kerrie McLoughlin said...

wow, this thing went in about 100 different directions! i'm the pagan catholic who wrote the article How to Handle Halloween Hecklers and got one "fan" telling me I'm a bad catholic and one "fan" telling me i should not have made fun of atheists!!!!! you can't make everyone happy ... we love halloween over here ... it's a fun way to do family stuff together in a different way. however, when our homeschool group wanted a HARVEST party instead, i was fine with that. i can respect both sides but certainly don't want to hear what a heathen i am for doing halloween when i'm old enough to have weighed all the consequences.