Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?Jan 23, 2024
I have heard many opinions through the years on whether or not Christians should celebrate or participate in Halloween. Many of you who read the title of this blog might have cringed at the subject matter, “Here we go again, another Christian bashing Halloween!” You may have the belief that there is no harm in Christians participating in Halloween festivities - it’s an innocent holiday to dress up and eat a lot of candy! Yet, others of you may have a bold conviction to stay far away from anything remotely affiliated with Halloween. I’m not here to pick a side to this debate, but rather to give an insight into what the Bible says about it.
When I was young, I enjoyed dressing up for Halloween and going Trick-or-Treating. I’m going to age myself, but does anyone remember those plastic costumes with the mask that had two little holes for the eyes and a little slit for your mouth (which you couldn’t breathe out of)? Anyone? Anyway, I had fun going door to door with my plastic pumpkin, collecting all kinds of goodies, and then dumping it out on our living room floor to admire my loot of sugar. I enjoyed the same tradition with my children - dressing them up in cute costumes and, yes, stealing their candy when they went to bed. (Don’t judge me!). Now that my kids are grown, I love having kiddos dressed in cute little costumes come to my house to trick-or-treat. Carving pumpkins, dressing up, and getting candy were and are great fun!
So, should Christians celebrate Halloween? Well, the Bible doesn’t talk about “Halloween,” but it has a lot to say about entertaining fear. It is reported that the phrase “fear not” appears 365 times in the Bible. I have not counted them myself, but I do know that it is in there A LOT! Fear is not fun or innocent. I remember seeing my first and second horror movies at Halloween parties as a kid. I had never experienced a scary movie before since I was raised watching Disney. I didn’t think it was fun at all. I remember feeling scared, panicked, and very uncomfortable seeing, listening, and experiencing fear like that as the images I saw were etched in my mind forever.
I have studied what the Bible says about fear extensively since it relates to the subject matter of my book, Planted. Many people struggle with anxiety and panic attacks, as I once did. Experiencing my heart feeling like it was beating out of my chest or feeling like I couldn’t breathe from a panic attack are things I don’t want anyone to experience. What I want you to know about fear is it is very real. It is not just a passing feeling of excitement or adrenaline. It is not fun or entertaining, and certainly not innocent. It causes real pain and suffering. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” The Bible calls fear a spirit. That means that it is not just an innocent feeling, but it repeatedly attacks your mind.
According to the Word of God, we shouldn’t be entertained by fear or play around with it. We often treat fear as an innocent treat when, in actuality, it is a wicked trick from the evil one - the devil to get access to a little part of your mind. Jesus was and is very serious about people not giving a place to fear because He knows WHO the author of it is. The Bible says that God is the author and finisher of your faith, which means that Satan is the author and finisher of your fear (fear and faith are opposites). Isn’t that what much of Halloween is about - giving a place, even a whole day, dedicated to fear? If God has commanded us in His Word not to fear (at least 365 times), I think it might be necessary to consider.
My advice for Christian parents: Have fun carving pumpkins, dressing up, and getting candy, but PLEASE protect yourself and your little ones when it comes to playing with fear.