Annual Halloween Thoughts

How should a Christian respond to Halloween? Let’s dive into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’ll start this by saying that I am offering this advice as a non-parent. What I am offering this advice as is someone highly familiar with Christianity and Christian doctrines, being a Christian most of my life and being an apologist for nearly the past fifteen years. I do write something like this most every year, but some matters are worth repeating.

So with Halloween coming up a lot of people wonder about how they should observe the day. I recently interviewed Marcia Montenegro who runs Christian Answers For The New Age. I agree with much of what she said about Halloween, but I would like to add in my own two bits.

First off, with the claim that Halloween is a pagan holiday, I am highly suspicious of that. I also think it sets up a dangerous precedent. If we say that something is pagan repeatedly, we will end up having people be suspicious that Christians stole everything from the pagans and then what happens when someone says “Hey. Ever heard of Mithras?” When I have seen claims of stealing form pagans, I have for the most part found them incredibly lacking.

Second, even if it was pagan, so what? Seriously. So what? Today we acknowledge this day by dressing up in costumes, pulling pranks on one another, and asking for candy. Do we really think pagan gods would think we are honoring them by doing this? Most likely, this would instead be seen as an insult. (An interesting discussion on this with a Wiccan and a Christian can be found on the Unbelievable? episode from October 25th, 2014.

The analogy I use is wedding rings. Let’s suppose you came to me and convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that wedding rings were pagan in origin. Will that change anything that I do? No. Not a bit. Why? Because I know why I wear my wedding ring. I did not wear it in honor of Zeus or Odin. I do not make a promise before Baal or Molech that I would love my wife and honor her. I made that covenant before God and man. That is what matters.

So thus, we need to look at our intentions. Why are we celebrating the day?

Since most of us are just celebrating it as a chance to dress up in costumes and get candy, I have no objection to it whatsoever. If you want to go to your church for a trunk or treat party, go right ahead. If you want to stay home, then this is my advice. Make sure that you get the best candy on the block. Let people know your house is the one to go to. Don’t just give out tracts. Kids won’t read them likely and will mark you down as a house to avoid.

Instead, let your house be the house everyone wants to go to and when they find out you’re a Christian, that will make them more likely to listen to what you have to say. Note that this is one day that children are coming to your house. Not only are children coming, many children are coming with their parents. This is a chance for you to let your light shine for them. Do you really want to have your lights out on your house when children and parents who need to hear the Gospel are coming right to your door?

Of course, if you think your community isn’t a safe one, a church outing could be a better idea and naturally, you will want to be with your children wherever they go and I have no problem with that. I also think Marcia’s advice on my show was excellent. Try to spend some time that day praying for people who are caught in the occult.

We are meant to go out and claim this world for Christ. That includes every day of the year. Halloween is a day God owns just like every other day and we need not be running in retreat. We have too often practiced a fear of anything that might have a whiff of pagan to it. We should consider that if historically Christians had avoided all contact with the pagans, then Christianity would have never got off the ground. The reason Christianity survived was it had no fear of engaging the pagans. Let us not have that same fear. Halloween belongs to God. Let’s celebrate it to His glory.

In Christ,

Nick Peters

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3 Responses to “Annual Halloween Thoughts”

  1. Joe Foster Says:

    Thanks, Nick. This stuff comes up every year, and every year we get lectures on “pagan, satanic Halloween.” None of it is rooted in historic reality. When someone starts in on me about the pagan history of Halloween, I respond with two words – “Document that.” Now by that I mean, produce documentation dating back to the Irish Celts that will show that these claims are true. That’s a little hard to do, considering the Celts were an oral tradition, and there is none. It’s all modern mythology, dating back maybe 300 years, even though the Celts faded into history over 1000 years before that. Yes, the Celts celebrated their new year on that date, but so what? And by the way, have you ever heard a sermon denouncing Groundhog Day? Yep, that one dates back to the Celtic festival of Imbolc. According to tradition, the Celts would cast sticks on the ground to determine how many days of winter were left. I guess that makes Punxsutawney Phil, America’s favorite groundhog, a four-footed satanist. That makes about as much sense as calling trick-or-treat pagan. Thanks for tackling this. People need to be steered away from the bondage of such claims.

  2. williamfrancisbrown Says:

    All the above is well said and I agree overall. However, I also have seen the celebration of Halloween just get bigger and bigger as well as darker over the years. Now, it really does seem to revel in the Satanic and to glorify all things evil. For many it just seems to be the high point of the year.
    I tend to have negative feelings about the holiday, and think it can be spiritually destructive overall.

  3. Tony Jiang Says:

    i am a bit late to the party (you are talking to someone who plays “the monster mash” on valentine’s day and easter) but are the sentiments found on this interview http://standupforthetruth.com/2012/10/halloween-what-are-we-celebrating/ the kind you are speaking against?

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