Reflections on Halloween
What should be the Christian’s observance of Halloween? I would like to offer a few reflections. Personally, I feel about this as I do most other holidays—Christians are to use discretion.
Knowledge of the background of this holiday is indeed helpful and eye-opening. As are most holidays, its roots are in paganism—“Hallow’s Eve” is the day before “All Saint’s Day” (November 1). In 608 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine appeased the majority of the heathen people he conquered by combining their pagan ritual of Samhain Day with All Saint’s Day. Thus, on this particular evening (October 31), Samhain would return with the spirits of the dead to abuse (trick) them unless they were appeased (or treated).
Now, one could go to one extreme and say that because of such, one should not observe such at all, which would be fine by me, as long as he or she did not try to bind that on others. Yet, I do not believe that a six-year-old girl, dressed as a princess, knocking on doors and saying, “Trick or Treat!” is participating in that which the Bible forbids—witchcraft and idolatry (cf. Gal. 5:19-21). In fact, I believe this may be an innocent means of the observance of this holiday without participating in its pagan roots.
Nevertheless, the other extreme would be allowing our children (and adults for that matter) to participate in such by sinful ways—destructive vandalism, violent acts of bullying and dabbling in Satanism and occultism on their most holy day.
Therefore, the Christian’s observance of Halloween can be as a Christian observes other holidays, such as Christmas and Easter—exchanging gifts or hiding eggs are not sinful observances of these holidays either, although one may abuse such observances by taking extremes or binding their opinion upon others. Therefore, we need to balance ourselves in the way we live and the positions we take.
Allow me to make several more points in this article. Parents ought to be careful in the costume they allow their children to wear. A Christian family ought not to have a desire to wear any costume that celebrates Satanism, because other costumes are just as fun while not leaning in this direction that leads to occultism.
In First Corinthians 8-10, the apostle Paul regulates such things as freedom, responsibility and purity, especially with the illustration of eating meats that the citizens of Corinth had sacrificed to idols prior to selling them in the market. He states that knowledgeable Christians who know that idols are not really gods would not sin by so eating, but warns not to offend the weak faith of the newly converted. Therefore, this example may be profitable by application to the observance of this holiday that has roots in paganism. The knowledgeable one may observe such with a clear conscience, but one whose faith is weaker might not want to do so if such would bother his or her conscience (cf. Rom. 14:23).