Halloween is one of the most popular festivals that is widely celebrated around the world today. Marked on the 31st of October every year, the primarily non-religious festival entails wearing masks and costumes, having pranks, and generally having fun. Despite having fun not being prohibited in Christianity, some Christians have reservations about participating in the Halloween festival. This raises the question, why do some Christians not celebrate Halloween?
Some Christians do not celebrate Halloween due to its link to paganism. Since the festival is linked to Samhain, an ancient celebration of the dead, the group of Christians have found it hard to associate themselves with it. Some have even branded it a “devil-worshipping” festival. Despite this, some Christians religiously take part in the festival, claiming to only focus on it as a festival of having fun.
However, some Christians are still on the fence about Halloween matters. They are still determining whether celebrating the holiday is okay per Christian doctrines. Read this article to the end to find out the origin of Halloween, the Christian take on Halloween, and what a Christian can do during Halloween.
Does Halloween have a pagan origin?
Halloween originated from the Samhain festival, a pagan festival observed on the 31st of October by the ancient Celts of England and Ireland. This pagan festival takes place a day before All Saints Day, which is celebrated on the 1st of November. This was when they believed the New Year was beginning and the beginning of the winter period. It was also the day that initiated the season of Allhallowtide.
This was also when it was believed that the souls of the dead would return and visit their homes. It was also believed that the souls of those who had died during that year would journey to the underworld. Lighting bonfires celebrated the festival on hilltops to scare away evil spirits. Sometimes, the participants wore masks and costumes and believed that this way, demons, witches, and other mysterious creatures would not recognize them. In this way, witches and goblins came to be associated with the day.
The holiday was not quite popular initially, especially in the United States of America. European immigrants who went there continued commemorating the holiday and popularized it. It finally became one of the popular candy-selling holidays in the United States of America. With its evolution, black cats, skeletons, vampires, and other scary beings symbols have been incorporated into this holiday. The jack-o-lantern, a demon carved out of a pumpkin mask, is also one of their most famous symbols.
Why shouldn’t you celebrate Halloween as a Christian?
As a Christian, the Bible has always been straightforward on what is expected of you. For a Christian to decide to participate in the Halloween festival, the crucial question they should ask is whether the festival glorifies or diminishes the image of Jesus Christ. For starters, Halloween is a secular holiday and in no way associated with Christianity. It does not entail the Christian practices of singing, worshipping, and preaching for the glory of God. Therefore, it is not a holiday used to push the main agenda of Christians, proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ.
1st Corinthians 10:21 says, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cups of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.”
The holiday only focuses on satisfying the fleshy wants of the Christians and not the spiritual desires. As a Christian, you are advised to feed yourself on content that will help you grow spiritually. The Halloween content has not proven to be a source of spiritual nourishment for any Christian. The Bible advises that
anything that does not build you or your faith as a Christian should be shunned. Like Ephesians 5:11, it says, “Have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
Some symbols, like the demonic and vampire masks, do not glorify Christ in any way. These symbols are seemingly glorifiers of the creatures associated with the underworld. Since these symbols and masks are in no way glorifying Christ, a Christian should not associate with them.
Despite Halloween seeming like a fun holiday where people dress in costumes and share candy, it also carries some symbols that in no way glorify Christ. A Cristian should therefore be careful when they have the urge to participate in such a holiday and try as much as possible to avoid the dark side of such festivals.
The decision to participate in Halloween solely lies with the Christian. If the holiday glorifies Christ and helps preach the gospel, then participate. However, if it glorifies the world and the underworld, it could be better to avoid it altogether.
Does God condemn the celebration of Halloween?
In the book of Deuteronomy, we see the Bible condemning pagan practices and God planning to drive out nations that engage in these practices. Consequently, He is known to be a jealous God, so allowing a pagan holiday cannot be possible. Anything that is not done to glorify his name is considered destructive to the faith of the Christians. Halloween is a festival that has got nothing to do with glorifying God in any way. Exodus 20:3 says, “You shall have no other gods before me.”
In the Old Testament, God was always furious with pagans and their holidays and meted out punishment on those who participated in such festivals on several occasions. Anything that does not glorify the name of God is unwanted in his kingdom and should therefore be shunned. Deuteronomy 18:10-12 says, “Let not one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices, the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.”
As a holiday that emanates from pagan practices, it is implied that God disapproves of it and therefore condemns it. When the Israelites participated in the festival of worshipping the golden calf while still in the wilderness, God punished them by opening the ground and swallowing some of them alive. Since the wrath of God is known to be very severe, a Christian is advised to avoid festivities that seem condemnable in the eyes of God due to their nature.
Does the Bible teach about Christians celebrating Halloween?
The Bible does not give specific insights on the Halloween festival, but as a pagan festival, some insights have been put forward by several bible verses. As seen in the Acts of the Apostles, occultism and their practices, such as magic and sorcery, do not mix with Christianity. As Simon the sorcerer was admonished for promoting his magic, God put forward a crucial message: He does not support non-glorifying deeds. Acts 8:9-16 and Exodus 22:18-31 “Do not allow a Sorceress to live. Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal must be put to death. Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed.”
In Act 16, a demon-possessed girl loses her demonic powers after Paul casts the evil spirit possessing her out. Paul did not even give the demon-possessed girl a chance to utter good statements.
Acts 19. The Bible talks about new converts destroying their magical paraphernalia after quitting the occults they had been a part of.
The Bible is trying to give insights into the relationship between God and secular practices that do not glorify him. The Bible implies that God does not allow mixing secularism and his doctrines.
He also warns against making images and idols or worshipping them. Exodus 20 “And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” Idols and images are, unfortunately, a big part of Halloween despite being on the prohibited side of God. A Christian is therefore required to choose whether they are standing on the side of God or secularism since both don’t mix. Exodus 23:24 says, “Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces.”
What can Christians do on Halloween?
Christians can do quite a good number of activities that glorify God during Halloween. While distributing the candies, a Christian can also distribute pamphlets with the Word of God written in them. Christians can also distribute gifts and share meals with the needy and underprivileged while preaching God’s word to them. Some Christians have even been holding harvest parties on such days.
If you decide to participate in Halloween as a Christian, your dress, attitude, and actions should reflect that you are a believer in Christ. You are advised not to participate in one if it diminishes the name of Christ.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.