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Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? Your Questions Answered

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? Your Questions Answered

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? Your Questions Answered

Candies, costumes, and celebrations – For years, Halloween is a known celebration for people all around the globe. Despite how different cultures see and commemorate this annual event, the real question lies within its history, intent, and culture. As Christians, we are highly responsible for the things we celebrate. We know that everything worthy of celebration comes from the Hands of God. So, should Christians celebrate Halloween? Isn’t Halloween a pagan celebration? To answer these questions, let’s dive into what the Bible and its history have to say.

Why Does Halloween Even Exist?

Before we can understand the answer to should Christians celebrate Halloween, it is important to understand why it is a celebration in the first place. And at that, a big and annual one. For the Celts where Halloween was born, this event was a commemoration of evil spirits. They believed that the line between the living and the dead are blurred out. So, they wore costumes out of animal heads and skins, lit bonfires, and offered sacrifices to the Celtic gods.

If we base this tradition in the Bible, this is an act of pure paganism. Revelation 20:10 is clear about the consequences of worshipping false prophets. However, Halloween isn’t seen like this today. When people wear costumes of their favorite fictional characters, they don’t think about offering to evil spirits as the Celts did. So, we can say that today’s version of Halloween is more on dressing up and receiving candies. It is no longer a ritual but a pop culture-centered tradition. Still, if we consider its original roots, there are factors we have to keep an eye out for as Christians.

Celebrating Halloween In the Bible

Is there a time when Halloween was directly or indirectly stated in the Bible? Yes and no. Directly speaking, no, there was never a celebration for creatures that aren’t humans. It is not a commandment by the Lord; we are not told to celebrate Halloween. However, it is also a “yes” in a way that other people indirectly engaged in acts relating to Halloween culture. But take note that this isn’t a good thing. In the bible, these people are referred to as “idolaters”. Here are some of the contexts we can find in the Bible relating the celebration and tradition of Halloween:

The Presence of Necromancers

“Necromancy” is a form of black magic that communicates with the dead to predict the future. This word, alongside “necromancers” is mentioned multiple times in the Bible. For example, Leviticus 20:6 warns us that God is against those who turn to mediums and become necromancers. A similar message is also in Leviticus 19:3 where we are responsible for eliminating or turning away from these unclean mediums. So, what does this have to do with Halloween?

Going back to its origin, Halloween is an event made to communicate with the dead. As stated before, this was a time to connect with the dead to predict one’s future. This act of black magic goes against Christianity’s core teaching to trust and wait for God‘s Plan. Also, Isaiah 38:18 makes it clear that the dead cannot praise nor even raise their voices. As for its history, Halloween culture involves plenty of human and animal sacrifice in an attempt to communicate with the dead back then. Definitely, this is a dark side of the event we Christians should not associate with.

Sorcery

Sorcery is an act of using spells, chants, and even human-to-spirit communication. As Christians, we should be very keen on this subject because the Lord dislikes sorcerers. Associating ourselves with this act is a big offense in the eyes of God. In the 2 Chronicles 33:6, a man sacrificed his children, did acts of witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spirits. At the end of the Bible verse, there is an emphasis that these acts arouse the Lord’s anger.

Not only that, Deuteronomy 18:9 tells us that coming to the land (or inheritance) the Lord plans on giving us means we should not follow “abominable practices”. Over the entire Bible, God has always been vocal about not interacting with evil spirits or even people that are against His teachings. The idea behind this is that we can only choose to follow something that is from God or something that isn’t. This choice will also determine what consequence we are going to face.

In connection with Halloween, sorcery is a big part of its origins and tradition. The Celts believed that during “Samhain” (the origin of Halloween), their priests can fortune-tell. Halloween owes its history to associating with spirits and chants. Again, it was more of a ritual than a celebration. Revelation 22:15 tells us that those who practice falsehood (in reference to sorcery) are left “outside”.  If we choose to celebrate something, it should never have elements of sorcery or anything similar. Celebration or not, it should always align with God’s core teachings.

Sacrifices

“Trick or treat” is an inseparable practice when we’re talking about Halloween. Basically, children dress up in costumes and go house-to-house for candies. This is harmless today. But, the history behind this practice is something Christians should know. Trick or treat is an act of sacrificing to evil spirits. The concept revolves around giving “treats” (sacrifices) to evil spirits to avoid being “tricked” or harmed by them. During Samhain, pagans would play and dance to music while sacrificing crops, animals, and even humans to share a communion with the said spirits.

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 opposes this practice. The Bible verse clearly announces that none of us should participate in “burning sons or daughters as an offering”. The practice of sacrificing to other spirits is an “abomination” to God. If we compare sin and abomination, all abominations are sins. However, for sin to reach a level of being an “abomination”, this much have a higher degree in wickedness. Since pagan sacrifices are abominations, Christians should avoid this as much as possible.

Speaking of sacrifices, God’s take on offerings is different from pagan culture. The Lord identifies sacrifices as doing good and sharing what we have (Hebrews 13:16). So, events that involve offering anything to a different entity opposes the teachings of the Lord. Hosea 6:6 is also a reference depicting how we should search for God’s knowledge and not dwell on “burnt sacrifices”.

Violence

During the eve of Samhain (October 31st), it was part of the Druidic tradition to take large wicker baskets and put humans inside. To clarify, they made use of living human bodies. They would set these baskets on fire and listen to the screeches of humans. This was an act of showing their allegiance to evil spirits. To prove that they were on the side of the spirits, they dressed like them; and of course, offered human sacrifices by burning live bodies. Druidic tradition is known to also introduce the addition of decorative fruits and vegetables. This is to prepare for the arrival of the said spirits. As Christians, we don’t need to take time to know that this act is extremely sinful, flawed, and wicked in the eyes of God.

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween

Now that we know the immense opposition between the Bible’s teachings and Halloween’s history. Should Christians celebrate Halloween? The answer cannot be just a “yes” or “no”. Since intent and action is what differentiates a pagan holiday from a regular annual celebration, here are some guidelines on what and what not to do about Halloween as Christians:

Don’t Deny Halloween’s Origins

No one can take the pagan roots of Halloween out of the context. We have to understand that from whatever angle we see it from, Halloween has and will always be born from a pagan background. Instead of telling yourself or your kids that Halloween does not have a rather evil background, remember Ephesians 2:1-10 instead. In this verse, we are told that there is a beautiful spiritual world with God’s love and one that’s filled with wickedness. Instead of celebrating and glorifying the world of evil, we can shift our focus on the world with God.

Know Your Intention

The intent is very important. Think about it. Birthdays are special because we have an intent to celebrate a person’s existence. If we didn’t associate a date on the calendar with someone else’s birthday, it would just be another day. Taking this example, Halloween is wrong if our intent is wrong. Halloween is evil if our intent is evil. So, in answering should Christians celebrate Halloween, it is important to clarify what we and who we are celebrating for.

For parents, children are usually attracted to wearing costumes and participating in the neighborhood “trick- or- treat” events. These practices are no longer seen as it was before. Children are enticed only because it is a big event made by pop culture, and seeing other kids do the same might be a factor too. Educating children regarding Halloween’s intention in an age-appropriate yet meaningful approach can really help them understand the boundaries of what not to do.

As for costumes, let’s take Japanese cosplay for example. Cosplaying is a practice where people dress up as their favorite characters in Japanese culture. This does not need Halloween to dress up as a fictional character. In fact, cosplaying can be a profession for some people. Cosplaying is harmless because it is simply recreating a look from a movie or a Japanese manga. Unlike Halloween’s original intent, this harmless act is just for fun. And it can be like that, we don’t really need the presence of glorifying evil spirits to dress up.

Set the Boundaries

The answer to should Christians celebrate Halloween is also seen in what boundaries we set. Because Halloween is an annual event heavily inspired by dressing up as haunted or demonic creatures, it is crucial to weigh what to incorporate and what not to incorporate if you choose to participate in Halloween. For example, other Christian households celebrate Halloween by dressing up as Biblical figures or symbols. Remember, the Bible is beautiful and rich in so many great inspirations from kings to warriors to leaders!

See, the problem with dressing up as a haunted or wicked being isn’t about the “look” but about what it celebrates. Until today. modern Wiccan practices see Halloween as an annual tradition. They still keep the tradition of wearing or mimicking wicked beings as part of their practice. We, as Christians, need to set the boundaries between what we can and we cannot participate in.

Think of Philippians 1:27 in this context; the Bible began with the words “above all”. So, “above all”, we must observe and incorporate righteousness and God-centered actions in all our activities. Halloween may be a tradition people enjoy. But the Word of God is something we should not jeopardize nor oppose for anything. If a Halloween tradition celebrates or glorifies evil, why should we celebrate it knowing that we are against it?

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween

Twist Halloween’s Meaning

Halloween’s history is pagan along with its original traditions. But, we can twist it and celebrate it for something God-centered and Christian-friendly. There are multiple types of events in the world that also fall on the 31st of October. We don’t have to celebrate evil spirits when we have other occasions worthy of remembering:

Reformation Day

October 31st is a very special day for Protestantism. This day became the basis of founding one of Christianity’s three major branches. It is a great moment to thank God for the leaders and the believers who paved the way for the wonderful Christian community we have today. October 31st doesn’t have to be the day of the devil when it can be a meaningful celebration for Reformation Day!

All Hallows’ Day

For other cultures, especially in Asian countries, Halloween isn’t really much of a big event. Instead, they celebrate All Hallows’ Day. Unlike Halloween, this does not revolve around evil spirits. It is also called “Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed” or “All Souls’ Day”. This day is when people remember their departed loved ones. One of the differences lies in how people celebrate All Hallows’ Day without “communicating” with the dead. Instead, they remember and thank God for the lives of their departed beloved ones and usually pray for their souls to be at rest. It is about remembering and not “communicating”. Also, people don’t wear Halloween costumes. They simply visit their loved ones in cemeteries and take time to cherish life.

God’s Triumph Over Evil

There are numerous Christian households that celebrate Halloween as the day where God claimed His Victory over the forces of evil. Instead of celebrating the enemy, some Christians celebrate the day of their defeat. These Christians choose to praise God versus glorifying the enemy which is sowed in the very core of our beliefs. No matter what the situation is, we can always turn it towards God’s favor with a little hint of creativity and perseverance!

Know Who You Serve

Halloween is the time for us to reflect on 1 Corinthians 10:21 which states “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.”. The issue about answering as to whether should Christians celebrate Halloween or not lies in where and what they choose to celebrate about. Put simply, we cannot serve God while celebrating evil. This is why we have restrictions to put so that we are still in perfect alignment with what’s correct.

The Boiling Point

Should Christians celebrate Halloween? Yes, we “can” in a way that still strictly observes the teachings of God while canceling any hints of pagan practices. But, if the question is “should” Christians celebrate Halloween? Then, no. Halloween is not a Christian holiday, to begin with. It is not a celebration for us. But, if we want to participate in it- Again, we have to make sure that what we are doing isn’t offensive to the Eyes of God. While this is a controversial topic with many differentiating opinions, we as believers of God should remember that Halloween is only for one day but, the Lord Almighty we serve is for eternity.

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