Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Halloween Dilemma

My least favorite "holiday" will be here, once again, in one week. As I have shared in the past, Halloween is not a day that I care to celebrate.

Today, I was drawn to a post written over at entitled, "Halloween - Trick or Retreat?"

I shared my post from last year over there in the comment section. There are over 45 comments with differing opinions being shared on this issue. One commenter named "Joshi" wrote:

43. Joshi
October 25, 2007
5:28 PM
After reading all the posts for those who are for participating in Halloween, I still don’t get the point. I mean, what is the intent of using Halloween as an evangelistic day? What is our end result of evangelizing (presenting the gospel) people during Halloween? Is it to make them leave the kingdom of darkness and come into the kingdom of light? So for the sake of argument, if a neighborhood as been fully converted to Christ would they celebrate Halloween as it’s traditionally done? They will not, and it won’t be Halloween anymore. You would have to call it something else. So why participate in the questionable event in order to change it? Why not preach against in all our churches, do an active evangelism of your neighborhood before Halloween, etc.

Like I said, I don’t get the point in participating in questionable event. Even Tim has his doubts. I think once Christians are successful in turning Halloween around, they would be the saddest of people come October 31st, because they don’t get to dress up and have fun.

My reply:


I can certainly understand your frustration about Halloween. I have experienced the same (see my comment above) thing over the course of my Christian life.

My Christian brothers and sisters can (and, some most likely will) disagree with my conclusions. It’s O.K., though. Christians have had differing opinions about many social issues. The core belief of the gospel and Jesus’ commandment to go and teach the gospel message to the whole world is still intact; no matter what one believes about Halloween.

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

Jesus is still with every single believer; even when they enter into “enemy territory” in an effort to evangelize the lost.

As Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 2:2 -

1Cr 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Jesus told us that we must be born again. If we do not engage the world, then how will we reach the lost?

I do not see it as “celebrating Halloween,” or “active evangelism” because of participation in it. I see it as a unique opportunity to reach out to the lost with the world’s only hope for salvation…Jesus Christ.

As with any endeavor that borders upon (or, endeavors in) evil, those who were once in bondage to the occult (and, have been released from it through faith in Christ) may have bad memories about it and wish to avoid any participation in it altogether. Not all Christians are called into the same types of ministry as others. However, those who know that they would not succomb to the deception involved in the paganistic roots or current rituals that Halloween, unfortunately, can bring about in some individuals lives, would be equipped spiritually to lead others towards redemption in Jesus Christ.

Your idea to do an “active evangelism” in the neighborhood before Halloween sounds good on the surface, but may, in fact, backfire. People don’t like to be told what they can’t do. They would probably be more receptive to the positive message of redemption through Christ, rather than immediately displaying objection of their pagan practices. This is something that I am continually learning in my own witnessing efforts.

It may be more difficult and time consuming, but I have found that when people discover for themselves that they have the need to repent (of sinful Halloween practices or any other sin for that matter) and turn to Jesus Christ at the cross of Calvary for forgiveness of their sins; it is then that a genuine conversion can happen. All we can do is plant the seeds of faith and share one’s need for redemption. The rest is up to God.


What are your thoughts about the Halloween dilemma?

Do you view participation as a compromise to your faith in Jesus Christ?

Or, do you see it as an opportunity to share the gospel in the midst of a pagan ritual?

Do you see Halloween as promotion of deception and/or evil?

Or, do you think that depending upon how we handle it, such engagement can lead to an evangelism opportunity designed to "reclaim Halloween for the Lord?"

Please feel free to share your thoughts.


A good article to read by Al Mohler.

HT: Commenter named David at


Jaded said...

First, you've been in my prayers, as have all of the people affected by the fires as well as those brave men and women who are battling them.

Second, Happy Anniversary!

Third, I don't see any problem with participating in Halloween, as long as you don't incorporate some of the more sinister things into it. For instance, we don't do any sort of "scary" stuff, only happy stuff. And before we take Jadette out for trick or treat, we say a prayer for saftey, and when we get back, we say prayers of thanks. I really think it's how you view it and prepare your children for the day. Even Christmas isn't a holy day unless you view it as such. I think Halloween can be fun for children as long as it's presented in a positive manner, along with prayer and such. Jadette is very excited about dressing up as a Barbie Princess and has no idea that anything negative is associated with the day. For her, it will be about having fun and giving thanks to God for her treats.

Christinewjc said...

Thanks so much Jaded. We are safe (thank God!) as are all of our friends and co-workers. It is wonderful to report that none had lost their homes. However, one couple had a lot of outside property damage. This was just after they had completed re-landscaping the outside. My friend is so upset! But thank God they didn't suffer having their entire house burned to the ground like 1,800 other home owners did.

How awful that arson has been found responsible for several of the fires. How evil and without conscience a person has to be to do such a thing. Oftentimes, they have no remorse either. They enjoy watching the suffering of others. Sick and evil!!

On to the Halloween post.

I learned through experience that it was easier to keep my kids from the evil and dangers associated with Halloween when they were younger. When they were old enough to trick or treat on their own, that is when two minor incidents occurred for both that could have been disasterous. Fortunately, both were resolved without any further danger or harm.

The next year, we all worked at the Autumnfest. Needed a breather from the usual festivities of the night. It was so much better (IMO) to be with other Christians in the safety of the church parking lot than out on the streets.

I'm so glad to read that Jadette will be dressed up in a cute costume that isn't offensive. I am always sad when I see young children at my door in devil, witch, grim reaper, or any other kind of evil and ugly costume. I always wonder what are these parents thinking!!!


P.S. Thanks for the anniversary wishes!