What’s Wrong with Halloween? Addressing the Halloween Hysteria
What’s Wrong with Halloween? Addressing the Halloween Hysteria
Ah, Halloween— a time of costumes, candy, and, most terrifying of all, Christian disputes. The question of whether believers should engage in Halloween festivities has been a religious tug-of-war for years. But recently, the debate has escalated to a fevered pitch. As usual, Christians are running to their perspective corners and talking past one another. Let’s take a nuanced look at this subject and have a little fun while we’re doing it. We’re going to answer questions regarding;
– The real origins of Halloween
– The “Trunk or Treat” conundrum
– The alleged demonic doorways of costumes and pumpkins
– The so-called “expertise” of ex-witches
– The genuine spiritual pitfalls of Halloween
The Million-Dollar Question: To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate?
This perennial inquiry haunts the minister every October. My go-to response is, “I celebrate every day!” But alas, that’s not enough for most inquisitive souls. The question is ambiguous. For some, it implies satanic rituals; for others, it’s an innocent church gathering with biblical costumes and gospel tracts. The vagueness of the question leaves us lost in a labyrinth of misunderstanding.
THE RED LINES: WHAT TO STEER CLEAR OF
Let’s get one thing straight: Halloween can be a playground for the devil. Scripture warns us that “the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10), and we should have no fellowship with darkness (2 Cor. 6:14). During this season, the enemy employs fear and lust as his primary weapons. Any activities that glorify death, fear, or lust are unequivocal red lines for Christians.
THE GRAY AREAS
While we can agree on the red lines, the church is divided over whether any Halloween-related activities are permissible. The enemy capitalizes on this confusion, sowing discord among believers. It’s ironic that some Christians are more concerned about a child dressed as Superman than the division and gossip they perpetuate. The devil must chuckle at this foolishness.
There are many things about Halloween that every Christian should detest and stay far away from. Make no mistake, the devil is trying to get access into your life and he does want to use Halloween to do it. How does he do this? Again, fear and lust are the two primary weapons in his arsenal this season. Christians should NOT celebrate death, allow their kids to dress up like demons or allow fear to be injected into their family culture. These things clearly constitute a red line.
DOES HALLOWEEN HAVE PAGAN ROOTS?
No. Contrary to popular folklore, Halloween is not a pagan festival. It originated as All Saints’ Day, a Christian observance. The holiday evolved over time, influenced by European traditions and commercial interests, not pagan rituals. So, before you label Halloween as “Satan’s holiday,” perhaps a history lesson is in order.
The harvest season is a time when every culture and tradition have celebrations. This is why you can find many different pagan celebrations around this time as well. All Saints Day was a time when people dressed up like their faith heroes and told stories of how they glorified Christ in their lives and in their deaths. It was much later that people began to inject folklore about souls from hell. French immigrants to early America began to mingle in their “dance of the dead” (a day to remember our own mortality) and, with a dash of the trickery of the English Guy Fox Day, all began to mix together.
In the 1930s, the capitalist engine saw how it could make money off of these traditions, then commercialized them, and this is when they began to turn spooky for dollars. The focus on witches, ghosts, etc. was the result of commercialization, not some pagan origin. Trick-or-treating started less than 100 years ago when candy companies saw a way to make money.
You can learn more about the actual origins of Halloween here: Halloween Is NOT the Devil’s Day: The Shocking Origins of All Hallows Eve
DON’T PAGAN ORIGINS MATTER?
Many people object to Halloween because of it’s supposed pagan origins. Generally, people are misled and base their convictions on misinformation but what if it were true? Shouldn’t we avoid anything with pagan worship at its roots? Paul addressed this in 1 Cor. 8 when he addressed eating meat that was offered to idols. These food items were directly involved in satanic worship and Christians were asking if they should eat them. Would they be contributing to the worship of satan… or worse, opening the door to the devil in their own lives? No. Paul makes this very clear. It’s okay to eat the candy… I mean, meat offered to idols.
The reason is because it does not matter what “they” meant to use it for. It only matters what YOU use it for. You will not be judged by other people’s motivations. The insanity bubble that many Christians live in must be intolerable as they incessantly play Six Degrees of Pagan worship. “If something was once connected to a pagan’s cousin’s former roommate, then we must stay away from it!” Not only is this insufferable but it’s impossible to live by. If you have a problem with Halloween’s origins, do you have the same conviction about birthdays? Birthdays are completely pagan. What about wedding rings or even Thursdays? All of these things are rooted in paganism. I haven’t found too many who are consistent in their convictions on this point. Those who shun Halloween candy while buying chocolates for their sweetheart on Valentine’s Day give themselves away. They’re passionate and good intentioned but, in many cases, they’ve been captivated by a religious spirit.
WHAT ABOUT EPHESIANS 5:11?
This verse always gets thrown into the conversation so let’s look at it. The Bible says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” This is not really helpful in the debate because EVERYONE agrees with this verse. Where we disagree is on what constitutes the “works of darkness.” If you think Paul is talking about kids dressing up like Superman and getting candy, then you’ve missed it.
This verse is actually about getting in the flesh. If you read the comments from many of those who have bought into the Halloween hysteria, you will see that they are “all in” on the works of the flesh. They yell, accuse, slander, unfollow, and gossip about you and see no contradiction. Some will whine about pumpkins inviting evil spirits into homes while casually sipping their own spirits.
SHOULD WE DRESS UP ON HALLOWEEN?
Let’s not turn our sanctuaries into modern-day Salem witch trials. The insanity surrounding the witch trails of the 1600’s is alive and well today. There are many well-meaning and good-hearted Christians who have personal convictions about Halloween (in many cases, based on misinformation). Did you know that personal convictions can be sincere AND wrong?
It is never fruitful to attempt to make one’s own personal convictions a dogma by which you judge other Christians. The truth is that there is nothing inherently evil about dressing up like a superhero or a biblical character. Relax. There’s a great deal of hysteria around this and THAT is how the devil wins. His goal is FEAR. If he can’t get you to celebrate fear with horror movies and scary costumes, then he’ll make you fearful of church “trunk or treats”.
I want to be clear and this should be freeing for many of you: A church giving out candy and gospel tracts on Halloween is NOT inviting witchcraft or opening the door to curses. Neither is dressing up. I’ve seen many church plays and I can assure you, everyone survived.
WHAT ABOUT THE TESTIMONIES OF EX-WITCHES?
I hear this all the time: “So and so is an ex-witch and they say that the devil will get access to our kids if we dress them up and give them candy.”
Here’s the truth… Being an ex-witch doesn’t make one a Halloween historian.. It makes them someone with an interesting testimony who was deceived by the lies of the enemy. I’m sure the devil lied to them about a lot of things. We don’t determine our actions by Satan’s lies or by the practices of his followers. We fearlessly follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and His Word. Honestly, it seems like many of the testimonies coming from ex-satanists and their best-selling books are stirring up a great deal of FEAR among believers.
FEAR OF WITCHCRAFT IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN THE WITCHCRAFT ITSELF.
People say, “It’s the devil’s high holy day,” not realizing that Good Friday is as well. Shall we surrender that day to him too? Satan has also claimed the rainbow as his symbol. Shall we abandon it as well? Here’s a shocking revelation… are you ready? Just because the devil says something doesn’t mean it’s true. He’s a liar!
CAN YOU ACCIDENTALLY WORSHIP SATAN?
It is impossible for a Spirit-filled, Word-loving disciple of Christ to accidentally worship the devil. If you believe that a Christian can accidentally worship evil, then you should be all for putting grape juice and crackers in your neighbors trick or treat bags because, by your own logic, when they’re drinking that juice and eating those crackers, you’ve tricked them into accidentally worshiping Christ in communion.
These things merely distract us from the real warfare. 1 Sam. 15:23 says, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” Real witchcraft and pagan worship has to do with rebellion and stubbornness. Your battle is not with some fictional character in a Harry Potter movie. Your battle with your own carnality and your own religious spirit. It wasn’t the pagans who crucified Jesus. If you allow the fruit of the Spirit to dominate your life, you won’t have to worry about any other kind of curse or witchcraft.
REMEMBER THAT SATAN’S GOAL IS FEAR AND DIVISION.
Many ministers who are hyper-focused on these issues are stirring up more fear than they’re conquering. That being said, I respect them and would never divide with them, even though I feel they are siding with the enemy on this issue. See how that works? It’s called maturity.
When two ministers who both love the Lord and are filled with the Spirit have earnestly sought God and come to two different conclusions on issues such as these, then we must lean on personal conviction and respect the other’s position. We’ve got too many people trying to be someone else’s Holy Spirit. Allow the Spirit of God to minister to them on His time and stop trying to make your convictions theirs.
If you’re willing to divide over Halloween, then you, my friend, are the real problem. You’ve been ensnared by a spirit far more dangerous than any Halloween ghoul—a spirit of division and fear. You have been bewitched and you have opened the door for real demonic activity. Thankfully, there’s deliverance for those who repent. Call out to Jesus, receive power over all the works of darkness, and get baptized in the love of God, which casts out all fear.
Happy Reformation Day!
Thank you for your support.
If you appreciate the work we do to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, please consider giving a gift to help us continue this work. Maranatha!