Fall, October, leaves, apple cider, pumpkins… oh yeah, and Halloween. Around the last few weeks of October, just like clockwork, Christians start posting on social media about Halloween. So here I am, giving my two cents on this slightly controversial holiday.
I believe as Christians we should educate ourselves on the topic in a responsible way and be ready to explain what we believe and why to our children, other Christians, and non-Christians – if they ask. But do so with gentleness, respect, love, confidence and conviction.
I believe that ultimately, Christian participation or non-participation in Halloween is a matter of conscience before God, and up to individual families to decide.
If you are a Christian, especially in the Slavic community, you have probably seen some videos and articles floating around about Halloween – you may have even shared some yourself.
I have clicked on some of these articles and watched some videos out of curiosity and I’m usually bothered by how fear based, one sided and lacking in facts many of them are.
Many have no real facts (historical or biblical), use bible verses out of context, and use fear mongering tactics. Fear mongering is when you exaggerate and arouse public fear or alarm about a particular issue so that others would agree with you, or in this case, to get clicks.
I want to believe that for the most part these are shared from a place of love and good intentions, and it’s something they truly believe and feel strongly about, but please, be careful with what you share, and before sharing something, ask yourself:
- Who made this video or wrote this article?
- Are they a trustworthy source?
- What is their reputation?
- Is what they are saying solely their own opinion, or is it rooted in some historical or Biblical truths that can be tested and verified?
Whatever your position is on Halloween as a Christian, I believe there is a way to share your point of view with your children and other Christians and non-Christians while staying faithful to God and your convictions and loving towards others.
There is a way to share your beliefs without condemnation, hate, name calling or spreading fear to try to scare someone into agreeing with you. But it will take a bit more searching, prayer and effort than just clicking the share button on a “scary and shocking” video or article.
This is something that has been on my heart and mind for a few years now. My purpose in sharing this is threefold:
To bring awareness to the click-bait and fear-mongering videos and articles that I’ve seen people share and the fact that a lot of times these are made to be shocking and scary just to get clicks with very little or no actual substance/facts.
I know these easily grab people’s attention, because that is what they are meant to do, but I believe that this is not a good way to educate yourself on this topic. That is why I’m sharing some resources below that I believe are more balanced and reasonable. I also believe that you should look to the Bible, pray about it, talk to your Pastor, etc.
To show that we can share what we believe about this with our children and Christians/non-Christians with gentleness and respect (as I believe we are called to do) and without name-calling, put downs, and fear mongering. I personally have seen a lot of the latter and very little, to none of the former. From what I’ve seen there are Christians who:
- Completely reject Halloween
- Fully embrace it, or
- Engage in some parts of or alternatives to Halloween.
Maybe some arrive at their convictions just because of tradition, or without really looking into the holiday- in which case I believe they should question why they do, and educate themselves responsibly-including prayer, Bible, talking to Pastor, etc. before really making their decision.
And some arrive at their convictions after doing these things- in which case they will share strong arguments and Biblical backup to their approach. And the thing is that, just like for a lot of other controversial Christian topics, you can find strong arguments and Biblical backup for all 3 of these approaches.
To show that, as Christians, we don’t need to be afraid of or have a fear-based approach to Halloween. I believe that our God is greater, bigger, and more powerful than any scary thing we see in this world. We should not be afraid of Satan, demons, or in this case, scary Halloween decorations- this is clearly defined in the Bible, in my opinion.
We should acknowledge that there are ungodly, and evil things in this world, and explain this to our children, but do it in a way that does not frighten them. “God tells us that with Him we should not fear the enemy or evil. We should not teach our children that these earthly evils have power over us.”-Erin James, CBN parenting blog.
“..greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1-John 4:4
On that note, here are some resources that I’d like to share on the topic of Christianity and Halloween. I personally believe that for the most part they are well balanced, filled with facts, and not fear mongering.
Some of them are short, some of them are long, but overall I think these are good places to start if you want to do some (mostly) unbiased digging into the holiday, and into yourself and what you believe about it and why.
I know, I know, most people don’t like to ‘read’ things anymore, (especially long things) but give it a try- maybe you will learn something new.
- Christians and Halloween By: Pastor Travis Allen, Grace Church (This is slightly long, but a good place to start- it’s a pretty balanced post about the origins of Halloween and ways Christians can respond).
- The Gospel and Fearmongering By: Pastor Dave Dunham, Cornerstone Baptist Church (This does not directly mention Halloween, but is more about spreading fear and sometimes misinformation as a Christian, in part due to not checking sources and due to our own fears).
- Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? By: Pastor Mark Driscoll, The Trinity Church (This is a well balanced YouTube video that explains how Christians can choose to receive, reject, or redeem Halloween)
- Halloween, Fear, and a Christian Mom’s Perspective By: Erin James, CBN parenting blog (This is about how to explain Halloween or scary decorations to a small child without instilling fear in them or frightening them).
- Should My Family Celebrate Halloween? By: Kim Wier, Focus on the Family (This focuses on ways families can make different decisions about Halloween, the importance of explaining “why” to your kids and give kids peace of mind if they have friends whose families approach Halloween differently).
- Trick or Treat? God-Centered Resources for Halloween. By: multiple authors, DesiringGod (These posts are definitely biased towards participating in Halloween as a Christian, but I would say still worth a read, especially if you are interested in seeing a different Christian perspective.)
Well, there you have it. Please read these resources first and then let me know what your thoughts are on this perspective.