This has been a question on my mind for many years. Since I was a young child, I have always considered Halloween as my favorite holiday. I have always enjoyed scary movies, carving pumpkins, haunted houses, dressing up and, most importantly, eating candy. Parents have always preached that scary movies rot your mind, and candy rots your teeth, but the question that haunts me is more of the spiritual orientation than the physical. Is it okay, for a Christian as myself, to enjoy Halloween, and even call it my favorite holiday?
This question was brought to my thoughts as a young child when a friend's mother told me it was wrong to love Halloween. As a young person, of course, my first response is "Why?" accompanied by a puzzled expression. Her answer was "because it is not Christian-like." As someone who grew up in a Southern Baptist church, went to bible school every year and said the ABCs of becoming a Christian many years ago, this response hit home. Was I disappointing God by loving Halloween?
So, I have decided this year that I am going to attempt to find the answer to that question. After countless readings of articles across the internet, and my own readings of The Bible, I believe I have found my "side" of the argument. However, I am not saying that my point of view is correct because I am not the One to make the final judgments of things, but this is just how I feel about the matter.
According to an article on bibleinfo.com, the origins of Halloween began many years ago in Europe. "It was a Celtic celebration of the new year, called Samhain which occurred on November 1." The Celts believed this was the one day of the year when the souls of the dead could mingle with the living. However, when the various Saints arrived in the area and began to turn the area towards Christianity, this holiday was given a Christian twist and used to help the pagans convert to Christianity. There also is a negative piece of history regarding Halloween. It is the druidic belief that on the night of November 1, evil spirits came out to play. Demons roamed the streets and tortured mortals, The only way to stay safe was to dress like one of them (hence the idea of costumes), or make them sweet treats (hence the idea of candy).
Today, Halloween is known more as a night where children dress as various fictional characters, not all spooky, and go door-to-door collecting candy. Sure, the negative connotation still exists in spooky horror films on television and haunted houses where people dress up in terrifying guises in order to scare others — but is it really wrong of me to love Halloween?
The Bible does not actually refer to Halloween at any point, but there are some verses that can help. Also found in an article on bibleinfo.com, Ephesians 5:11 states “and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” So, since in some circles Halloween would fall into the category of "unfruitful works of darkness" because of its involvement of witches, evil spirits, demons, other unearthly creatures, and the blood, gore, and murder in horror movies, should we stop celebrating Halloween altogether? Refuse to watch scary movies, go to haunted houses, pass out candy, take our children trick or treating, dress up in costumes, or detest anything to do with the holiday? Or should we "expose them" by celebrating this holiday, acknowledging that there truly is evil in this world, not just brought out on this day, but we are strong enough in our faith to stand against it?
It's an argument that can be disputed by many for endless days. Who's to say what is really right or wrong? Personally, my decision on the matter is balance. Sure, I will watch some spooky movies, carve a pumpkin, pass out candy, and dress up in a costume, but I will still talk to God in the car on the way to school as usual, still do my devotional everyday, and not let the goblins and gore distract me from the daily responsibilities I have as a Christian.
So, whatever your opinion may be on the subject, enjoy your candy and the re-runs of Hocus Pocus, carve a pumpkin, and dress in your costume, but don't let the madness and mayhem of this spooky night distract you from your relationship with God.