Halloween holds lots of good memories for me—including deciding on a costume to wear, walking around the neighborhood with my family, and swapping candy with my cousins. I remember looking at the fun Halloween decorations, carving pumpkins with my family, and watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on our VCR player. You can still find the cardboard cookie costume that I wore when I was six years old and the pictures of me in a ballerina princess outfit. To this day, I still enjoy eating candy on Halloween and seeing the pumpkin-themed décor in my home.
In Christian circles, Halloween can feel like a controversial subject. Sadly, we don’t often talk about it. Some believers seem to want to avoid it and its implications. They simply slap a label on it as either “acceptable” or “unacceptable.”
But there is more to Halloween than gooey candy and cute costumes. There is also more to Halloween than evil witches and creepy goblins.
To me, Halloween is really about convictions. Yes, I let the secret out: this post isn’t really about Halloween. Rather, it’s about respecting other Christians’ convictions, as long as they’re in line with the Bible. This post is about being willing to disagree with other Christians, as long as we’re in agreement about the major issues (like Christ’s death on the cross to pay for our sins, the inerrancy of Scripture, etc.).
At the Heart of Halloween
When I was growing up, many of my friends didn’t celebrate Halloween. They didn’t go trick-or-treating, wear costumes, or have Halloween parties. Not celebrating Halloween was normal among my Christian friends.
Celebrating or not celebrating Halloween is a choice that each Christian must make for himself or herself. If you’re convicted that Halloween is evil, don’t celebrate it. If you’re not convicted that Halloween is evil, feel free to celebrate it. Both choices require that you avoid certain aspects of Halloween that the Bible commands against, like witchcraft, sorcery, etc.
But it’s okay to trick-or-treat, and it’s okay to not trick-or-treat. It’s okay to wear a fun costume, and it’s okay to not wear a fun costume. It’s okay to carve pumpkins, and it’s okay to not carve pumpkins. The list goes on and on.
Your convictions are between you and the Holy Spirit. Convictions shouldn’t be based on trends in Christian circles or based on what your friends do. Convictions should always come from the Holy Spirit, whether it involves Halloween, sexual purity, or service in the church.
Eating, Drinking, and Halloween-ing
Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. (Romans 14:20-23 ESV)
Though this passage is about convictions regarding eating and drinking, I think it can apply to our other convictions, too. Paul was saying that the Romans should stick to their convictions and not cause other believers to abandon their convictions. We need to live by faith and the convictions that stem from our faith. In applying this to Halloween, Christians should hold firm to their convictions and not cause others to neglect their convictions.
Let’s not make this Halloween something to argue about—or keep silent about. We can talk about the sticky issues in Christianity if we follow the Word of God. This Halloween, let’s stick to our convictions and not cause our Christian brothers and sisters to waver in their convictions. Whether you decide to trick-or-treat, hand out candy, or simply stay home, I hope you have a wonderful time!