Is Halloween Heresy, Holy or Hazardous?

Most Jesus loving Christians have a strong opinion about Halloween. Some have already printed a sign to post on their front door that will read “We Do Not Celebrate Halloween.” Others have already bought a Spider man suit, anxiously awaiting the dawn to turn into dusk. Some vehemently argue that celebrating Halloween is like having a date with the devil. Others are more relaxed in their approach.

Some have adjusted the terminology to steer clear of any ghostly connotation. “Trick or Treat” has been supplanted with “Trunk or Treat.” “Halloween” has been replaced with “Fall Fest” or “Harvest Festival.” Regardless of the moniker, we can clearly see that the culture we live in is creeping in steadily and influencing the way in which we are leading our lives. It pains me to say this but I think that next year, Halloween will eclipse Christmas in terms of the amount of money being pumped into this holiday.

Here is the thing though: You can’t just say “I do not celebrate Halloween and I do not need to explain to anyone why I don’t.” Well, you do need to know why you do what you do and your answer should be rooted in Scripture. Of course, there are bible verses you can take, twist them and make them work in your favor. I strongly oppose this approach. Our approach and stance to various cultural holidays needs to come from an informed biblical perspective. You must be able to explain your reasoning behind it. Cliché answers wont work because people can and will call your bluff right away.

So tomorrow, the country we live in will celebrate Halloween. Whatever your stance on it is, here is what I urge you to do before making any rash decisions and defaming the name of Christ before the watching world:

  1. The bible teaches us that we must be well thought of and have a good reputation with outsiders (1 Tim. 3:7).
  2. The bible teaches us to behave as the wise before those who do not belong to the household of the faith (Col. 4:5).
  3. The bible teaches us to always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet we must do this with gentleness and respect (1 Pet. 3:15).

So in an effort to be distinctly gospel-governed during this eve upon which ghost and goblins will gravitate towards you, here are few links to posts that are well worth your time. This will help us assume the right attitude and glorify God while being in this world:

1. Sent Into The Harvest: Halloween On Mission

What if a crisp October wind blew through “the way we’ve always done things” at Halloween? What if the Spirit stirred in us a new perspective on October 31? What if dads led their households in a fresh approach to Halloween as Christians on mission?

What if spreading a passion for God’s supremacy in all things included Halloween—that amalgamation of wickedness now the second-largest commercial holiday in the West?

2. On Mission This Halloween

This coming Monday offers a great opportunity for many to engage in new relationships with those around us or to revisit some old relationships with new missional intentionality. Regardless of what you think of the holiday and it’s roots, the culture we have been sent by Jesus to reach is going to celebrate Halloween this Monday. We all have in front of us a wide open door for missionary engagement in our neighborhoods. I want to encourage you not to miss out on the opportunity.

If you are looking to be more intentionally engaged this year, I want to present you with a few ideas for how you can more effectively walk through the open door that Halloween presents to us as Jesus’ missionaries.

 3. My Halloween Theory

I’ve often wondered why it is that Halloween has transformed from what it was to what it is today. Along the way I’ve developed a theory. It may seem a little far-fetched, but hear me out and let me know what you think.

There is no doubt that, culturally, we are in a time of immaturity. There is little expectation of maturity for children and adults alike. As I’ve written in books and often shared at conferences, many people seem trapped in perpetual adolescence.

4. Should Christians Participate In Halloween? 

In this video @RevMarkB tackles the tough topic of Halloween, what should Christians do?

5. Five Hilarious Things Russians Do On Halloween. (written by my friend and uber-blogger Yuriy)

 When we first came to America we were told it was a nation of Christians. Within days, the differences between immigrant Christians and some of these American Christians began to be very apparent. Later, we found out it was worse. Not only are these so called Christians far more worldly than us, but they celebrated a holiday we feared.

I hope you enjoy looking at the above posts that come from a distinctly gospel-centered perspective. I believe by reading this counsel, we can function this day and eve in a way that will bring glory to Christ.

Question: Do you celebrate Halloween? If you do, in what way do you justify celebrating it? If you do not celebrate Halloween, how come? Do you see the potential to be missional through this event in your community? I would love to hear your feed back in the comments’ section! 


20 responses to “Is Halloween Heresy, Holy or Hazardous?”

  1. Ryan Pickell Avatar
    Ryan Pickell

    I would say for the majority of people, Halloween is not something that is celebrated as a day of awakening the spirits and performing witchcraft. It has been completely “Americanized” so to speak. It essentially comes down to what you make of it. I grew up trick or treating and putting on costumes, walking around the neighborhood with friends and such. As long as it is done in a respectful and uplifting manner, I see nothing wrong with going out, having a time of fellowship with friends and family, and dressing up as your favorite super-hero. Its become a cultural tradition, not a spiritual experience.

    We are called to be in the world, but not of the world. What better way to exemplify this than by proving an example of how to celebrate a cultural day of fun than doing it in a Godly manner? I think abstaining from Halloween creates an air of religious elitism, saying that we want nothing to do with people who are involved with such things.

    1. Ryan — wow — what a strong statement! Thank you for being so bold! I just want to push back a bit and ask you about something you said: “Its become a cultural tradition, not a spiritual experience.” Do you see this certain line disappearing more and more as time progresses? Does not the medium become the message? Do not the costumes and all things haunted become eventually something taken seriously — not as simple farce and fanfare?

      1.  Avatar

        I don’t think its a line that is pushed. I mean sure, Halloween has been taken to the extreme, but then again what holiday isn’t? Easter has the Easter bunny and plastic eggs. Christmas has Norman Rockwell and Santa Clause. Its no different with Halloween. Lines have always been pushed by consumerism. Its up to us as believers though to ensure we don’t cross that line, while still being able to have a good time, which I think is entirely feasible.

        1. Ryan Pickell Avatar
          Ryan Pickell

          That was me up there by the way, forgot to add the name haha

        2. Ryan — I agree — although I will have to Google and Wikipedia Norman Rockwell — does this make me less American than you are ??? 🙂 I love your last line and completely agree. Some people celebrate Christmas with the spirit of Halloween — and do not think twice about it — the decor changes a bit — but the hearts are still in the same place.

  2. I agree. I don’t see anything special about Halloween, and to the questions from the article name, my answer is: none of the above. No matter whether I celebrate it or not, I always have the bowl of candies for the children who might come, and I’d love to share them. For me, that’s the true spiritual meaning of the Halloween 🙂

    1. Gene — cool — thank you for stopping by the blog and commenting, I really appreciate it — thank you for sharing — but even regarding the candy — I know many people who simply do not set out any candy or hand out any sweets because doing so would mean that there is mutual celebration of this holiday.

  3. I always hated Halloween since we came to America. I know that with years of being in this culture even the most disgusting thing starts to look not so bad. However, I still can’t comprehend why people are attracted to the things that are nasty in their nature? Really, human being should be attracted to beautiful things, not scary and disgusting. I believe that there are some spiritual reasons not to celebrate this holiday. However, even if it was totally OK from the spiritual side, just the physical side of it is not fitting in my understanding. I don’t even want to list all the nasty things people put on themselves and in their houses. Seriously… You may call me “intolerant” for my opinion, but I’m sure a lot of people would support it, and very sadly not all Christians.

    1. Mariana — what do you think about what Ryan said regarding Halloween? I think he is making some good points and partly addressing the questions you pose.

      1. Honestly, I don’t know how you can celebrate Halloween in the “Godly” way, even if it’s just getting together for fun and having “friendly” costume on. If it’s not scary and nasty, it doesn’t mean it’s Godly. Also, I don’t agree that it’s bad not to celebrate Halloween, even if its against my belief and understanding, in fear of being viewed as “religious.”

    2.  Avatar

      If Christians should only be interested in/attracted to “beautiful things”, where do you draw the line with that? There are many things in life that are not “beautiful” and for that matter many things in the Bible, right down to Jesus’ crucifixion. Should we just avoid those things and leave them out too? I’m not trying to say Halloween is Biblical or anything, but I disagree with your statement about Halloween being evil and wrong because it’s not beautiful.

  4.  Avatar

    Totally agree w Mariana, we always try to sugar coat things or put a bow when just open ur eyes people, if u cant c satanic influence behind such a holiday i dont know how u will be able to discern him when he disguises himself as angel of light, things are just so twisted in this world, ppl need discernment from God big time. so many excuses, ppl are really being destroyed for lack of knowledge.

    1.  Avatar

      Totally. Agree

  5. This CAN be transformed into a mission field. For example, making a party for kids, (maybe even with costumes, with restrictions of course! For example, “bible creations/characters” or other, or no costumes at all) And naming it “FEAR NOT” Thats the coolest command ever that God repeats so often from Old Testament to New. But instead, we fear! 🙁 So teaching kids that they can no longer live in fear of Zombies and Ghosts, because GOD is with them and is a stronger Spirit! Overcame death! So many kids are suffering from different problems because their parents encourage spiritual world, mediators, ghosts, zombies.. 🙁 [I work with kids daily and seeing that breaks my heart].

    Problem with projects like this, our slavic people easily shoot it down and see it as evil. Mainly because they hold no love for American people – our neighbors. And Jesus calls us to love our neighbors! Bring them LIGHT!

    1. Amen, Yuliya. Last year we handed out candy and Gospel tracts. This year we are just going to go elsewhere. We don’t want to condemn our unsaved neighbors. We want to love them to Jesus.

  6.  Avatar

    I don’t celebrate Halloween, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love my neighbors! I have respect for their choices and decisions, even if I don’t agree with it. I will not call them names, what I will do is be kind to them and pray that God opens their eyes. I do understand for those who were born here (Americans), most of them are brought up with different understanding and Halloween is something that they celebrate since childhood, so it is normal and a tradition and because of that it is hard to change someones mind about it.

    I grew up in America in a Slavic family and was taught that it’s not something that Christians should be celebrating because of the original roots of Halloween. I don’t see how people can even compare Christmas and Easter to Halloween!

    If it’s ok for people to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, just so that they don;t offend anyone (for example tellers, cashiers…), I don’t see why it’s a big deal not to celebrate Halloween if we choose not to.

  7. Ну вот! Отличная беседа!
    Bogdan, would you please voice your sound, Bible based opinion about celebration of Halloween.

  8. […] Is Halloween Heresy, Holy, or Hazardous? by Bogdan Kipko […]

  9. […] Is Halloween Heresy, Holy or Hazardous? By Bogdan Kipko, a Russian friend, blogger, and pastor. […]

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