Several years ago, after October 31 had come and gone, I remember talking to one Christian friend who said, “I’m so glad the bad holiday is over.”
Here we are, with Halloween 2021 upon us. Some Christians I know love this time of year, while others fear or dread it. This leads me to the question: should Christians embrace or reject this holiday?
Now I’m not a historian who can tell you how Halloween came to be in its present form. What I can tell you is that, in recent years, I have observed three general approaches, or reactions, toward Halloween among believers.
1) Go all in. I know some Christian parents who see no harm whatsoever in Halloween. Sure, they don’t want their kids or others to dress as ghouls or creepy clowns. But beyond that, you will find these people fully embracing any fun Halloween has to offer, with their costumes ready, houses decorated and trick-or-treat bags in hand.
2) Go an alternate route. I know some families who go through the Halloween season, trying to find a golden mean, a healthy alternative. These folks even try to attract others from scarier associations of the holiday that so many in the world revel in, toward much more wholesome alternatives. They tend to participate in pumpkin patch events or trunk-or-treat Halloween alternatives. They may even hand out a Gospel tract along with that bag of M&Ms.
3) Don’t go there. I know some great families who are adamantly opposed to Halloween. They will not dress up. They will not give out candy, not have their porch light on. They will not trick-or-treat. In fact, they will have nothing to do with this often-frightening holiday, in any way, shape or form; they simply bide their time until Thanksgiving gets here.
Now I know and respect people from all three of these camps. Each of these approaches has its strengths and weaknesses.
For group one, a weakness could be that in your participation, you could expose children or other impressionable people to something so scary it scars them. You also could risk treating elements that are evil as merely something to treat lightly, instead of a healthy dread.
For group two, which I tend to think has a lot of wisdom to it, you could become in such an isolated bubble that you are not really impacting any lost people.
For group three, the weakness here tends to be judgmentalism that looks down on the other two approaches and a sense of moral superiority.
Whatever route you choose to go for your family, I would encourage a patient and understanding attitude toward this time of year. Finally, I will leave you with words from one Christian writer, who said this:
“Halloween may be a time when the barrier between the spiritual and earthly are thin. However, Christians know that there is one who has crossed that plane from the glories of heaven to the earthly reality of a stable in Bethlehem. For this reason, we do not shrink away from the evil around us, but instead face it with the assurance that there is a warrior king who has already conquered sin and death on our behalf.”
Because of Jesus, we should have no fear, either on October 31 or any other day of the year.