Trick or Treat: A Right Response to Halloween

In a day when good is called evil and evil is called good, it is very difficult to establish boundaries, especially involving questionable issues.  Churches seem to accept more and more worldliness, while some Christians are getting less and less tolerant of anything except their version of the truth.  Gray areas are widening by the minute.  Choices aren’t as simple as they used to be.

This article seeks a balanced response to deal with the many areas where the Bible is silent by using Halloween as its primary example.  I choose not to give a simple ‘Yes/No’ answer lest I offend some disagreeing soul without good reason, nor do I wish to lead any agreeable souls to a decision without conviction.  Here are four guiding principles from the Scriptures:

#1 – Whatever I do should glorify God.

In I Corinthians 10:31, the Apostle  commands that everything we do, including even eating and drinking, should be according to this rule.  This is the greatest of principles.  Many times, the first question a person asks about a ‘gray area’ issue is: “What’s wrong with it?”  This is really the wrong place to start.  The Christian perspective dictates we ask: “What’s right with it?”  Eph. 5:10 puts the responsibility on the individual to “Prove what is acceptable unto the Lord.”  The ultimate right is God’s glory.

In the context of Halloween, for example, pumpkin carving is neither moral or immoral.  What you carve can glorify God and ‘give light’ or not.  Dressing up in costumes is not, in itself, bad, yet the outfit may be God-honoring, flesh-appealing, or flat out Satanic.  God must be glorified in our actions, as well as our motivations.  One does not nullify or justify the lack of the other.

#2 – Everything I do should benefit the gospel.

I must consider whether what I do helps (or hinders) the salvation of lost souls (I Corinthians 10:33).  If I participate in the questionable issue, will it spread the gospel by adding to the mission or hurt Christ’s cause by distracting from the message?

Halloween turns out to be one of the greatest annual opportunities to share your faith.  People will actually come to my door, my church, my booth asking for a treat… If you miss this open door, well, here’s your sign!  Light shines bright when the world is so dark; yet at the same time, worldliness can dim your ability to share your testimony (Matthew 5:15-16).  Separation from sin should be practiced, but not to the point of isolation from sinners.

#3 – What I do has an end.

Everything has consequences. Have I considered where the gray area in question will lead?  According to I Corinthians 10:23, some things are allowed (lawful), but not everything is beneficial to me (expedient).  Although this is not an end-all, I must give proper consideration for where my actions will lead myself and others in the future.

Halloween often affects families with young children.  And children often practice in excess what their parents did in moderation.  As a general rule, each generation gets further and further from purity and piety.  For example, Halloween was outlawed in America until 1845, and now it is very odd when families, even churches, do not celebrate this ‘holiday’ (holiday used to mean holy-day).  It doesn’t take very long to observe the fairly-steady progression of wickedness in ones’ own lifetime, but you should take time to look far into your grandchild’s lifetime, too.

#4 – What I do affects my Christian family.

Does it bless my brothers and sisters (I Corinthians 10:32)?  Will it edify (build up) or will it offend (tear down) their spirit?  I must consider other Christians, especially those with weak(er) consciences (I Corinthians 8:9,13).  Even if I do not necessarily have a conviction about it, I should seek not to offend someone else who might.  If I have a conviction about it, must be careful not to offend someone who doesn’t.  Romans 14:1-5 is clear that I have no right or basis to judge (condemn) another Christian and his views.  I stand in danger of God’s judgment when I do so.  I must be fully persuaded in my own mind, not in everyone else’s!

Halloween is a simple example of how well-meaning Christians can differ in opinion/conviction with regard to an issue where the Bible is silent.  The best practice is liberty.  Live by the ancient wisdom: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”  When a Christian jumps to a judgmental conclusion against another Christian, he only reveals that he indeed is the weaker of the two.  He is the immature, self-righteous ‘babe in Christ’ given to conflict (I Corinthians 3:1,3).  Take the high road: determine not to offend nor to be so easily offended (I Corinthians 8:13).

Footnote: As to the question: Do I (Patrick Nix) celebrate Halloween?  My personal response is simply, No.  We enjoy it. We enjoy the imagination, the fun, and the laughter.  This might seem like a cop-out justification to some, but consider this… Halloween is not evil because of pumpkins, costumes, and candy – but because of the culture of violence, fear, death, and especially the demonic occult. Read about the Dangers of Halloween here.

Yes, our children carve pumpkins.  The year that I wrote this, one carved ‘Jesus is Alive,’ one ‘God Hearts U,’ and the other, a cross.  My boys even put their pumpkins out on the street to witness to the drive-bys.  They have one heartbeat – that the light of God shine in the darkness.  We usually don’t dress up – but we never dress up in fear-mongering, violent, bloody, sexual, humanistic, faddish outfits.  We usually use a little creativity and share the common grace of simple, innocent, childish imagination and pretend.  But we don’t limit this to one time of the year – we do it throughout the year.  And just because the world is doing something doesn’t make it wrong, nor does it mean we cannot.  For nearly two decades our family has participated in the biggest outreach opportunity of our church – where we capitalize on this time to share the gospel with children & families.  We have averaged giving out thousands of gospel tracts, candy, and toys to families.  We participate, but only for the glory of God and the salvation of lost souls.

Where do you stand and why? Do you stand upon the Word of God or upon your feelings?  I’m only a student of the Bible and don’t pretend to be an expert… I only hope this makes you think.  Take time to look up a reference above, research God’s intent, and take your stand.  I welcome your comments – both of disagreement or of affirmation.

19 thoughts on “Trick or Treat: A Right Response to Halloween

    1. just because you change a name of something evil doesnt make it not evil anymore. if you changed your name from todd would you still be todd? yes you are still the same person just a different name. the same with this holiday. harvest fest well its still satins b-day. his event not ours. when you celebrate it you are celebrating his day. no matter what you changed the name to its still his day. go ahead make sure your kids have rotten teeth and don’t get left out we would not want are kids knowing the truth and feeling left out now would we. do you have any idea what they do on that day??? they sacrifice people to the devil. wake up christians

  1. Really enjoy reading your articles about sensitive issues like this one. I think I would agree with everything you said.

    Personally, Item number 4 seems the hardest to deal with. Fellow Christians will ALWAYS find something that they find offensive. Does this mean I should not do it. Paul said in 1 Cor 8:13 that he would not eat meat if it offended a fellow christian. If a fellow Christian finds drinking Mt Dew offensive (heaven help us) then should I not drink Mt Dew or as some would say should i just not drink it around them? I find the 2nd option teaches children it is okay to do things as long as no one really knows about it. I think it is a difficult balance to find. One that I work on daily.

    Again, Bro Nix keep writing articles like this one. As Christians we should never be afraid to express our views when it comes to matters like this. 🙂

  2. Great article. My birthday is October 31st, and I just found out in the comment section that I was born on Satan’s “birthday”. Interesting

  3. Was led hear by a fellow Pastor-Friend and I would love to share this on me and my husbands blog!! It is what we have been talking about recently and worded just perfectly! God bless you!

  4. My family does not celebrate this “holiday”. While I would not call it “satans birthday” It is a pagan holiday and it’s celebrations of costumes and going door to door if you research, are part of the pagan rituals with this day. Yes, adapted to better “fit” our culture, yet none the less pagan. This day is called “The day of the Dead”….I truly believe that everyday is the Lords….and for that reason we do not observe this day another culture dedicated to evil. With that being said, I also don’t go shaking my hands at my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that do observe this day. This is a conviction that my family has been given, and we are all convicted of different things at different times on different levels…..

  5. Very well said! I’m thinking I may have missed out on some good opportunities through the years to share Christ with my community by my not participating in passing out candy at our home. It’s not often we have people lining up at our doors waiting for us to hand them something. What a great opportunity to share a tract or new testament along with their candy. I guess I’ve been afraid of supporting something ungodly instead of looking for ways to use the day for God’s glory. Thanks for the idea! By the way, you are spot on with the rest of the article as well.

  6. Loved this!!! Thank you for sharing as well we be reporting. Out family has never celebrated this holiday either even growing up we can have fun and play dress up all year but we still keep God the foucis of out lives thank you brother Patrick

  7. I will never deny a child that comes to my door asking for candy. But I won’t celebrate Halloween. When she’s old enough, I won’t refuse our daughter the opportunity to dress up and do the same, but she won’t ever dress as a witch, devil, ghost, etc., and we as a family will talk about why. As her understanding grows, we’ll teach her more about the history of the day, and I feel confident that when she’s mature enough, she’ll understand the conundrum Halloween presents for Christians. No matter it’s roots, todays culture for the most part doesn’t see Halloween as satanic and most people aren’t deliberately honoring the forces of evil. If I wanted to get literal on the histories of holidays, I’d never put up a Christmas tree because of its pagan roots. I think Halloween can be a great teaching opportunity for our daughter.
    Thanks my friend, for posting this.😊

    1. Love your heart for people and passion for the truth!
      Good article, brother.

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