6 Reasons Not to Hate Halloween

photo credit: m@teo via photopin cc

The melodramatic anti-Halloween posts from Christians are surfacing again. Somebody please pass me a barf bag.

While I understand the passions of my fellow Christians and respect their pursuit of holiness, I’m not joining in this awkward crusade. There’s no need for any more detailed historical research or dramatic Biblical analysis. I’m simply calling for a healthy dose of common sense. Please.

With that said, here’s 6 reasons Christians need to stop hating Halloween:

    • What’s wrong with free candy? As a guy supporting a family on a tight budget, I love free stuff. I also love making my kids happy whenever possible. Since they love candy, and my neighbors are passing it out for free, why in the world would I refuse to take it? That’s just weird. It also happens to look strange to non-believers when we deny free candy to kids. Don’t we look odd enough to them already?
      • Halloween has pagan roots. So what? Lots of people have researched the roots of Halloween. I’ve never bothered to learn that information, because I simply don’t care. In fact, I’d guess that most people in America have no idea where Halloween comes from, and don’t care either. Have you ever met anyone who whimsically performs satanic rituals on October 31st? Me neither. In the end, it doesn’t matter what Halloween used to be. All that matters is what it is today. Basically, it’s “Free Candy For My Kids Day”. I’m going to celebrate that holiday enthusiastically. 
      • Since when is connecting with your neighbors a bad thing? We’ve grown really close to a few of our neighbors. One of them is single, in her 60’s and doesn’t have any children. She often tells me how much she loves my kids, and finds great joy in giving them gifts. Recently, she called me to say she wants my kids to go to her house last on Halloween. Why? Because she bought them so much candy they’ll need help “dragging it home”. Now, imagine if I told her, “I’m sorry. I can’t accept your gifts for my children. It’s Halloween, and we don’t believe in that evil holiday.” Rude? Yes. Confusing message to send my neighbor? Absolutely. That’s why I’d never do something so ridiculous. My kids will accept her generous gifts in their cute costumes with joy and gratitude. We’ll also visit our other neighbors and gladly take normal levels of free candy from them.
      • My kids play dress-up all year long. What’s so bad about wearing those costumes outside on October 31st? My son has a box full of costumes. He absolutely loves dressing-up as a ninja and a wide variety of other characters. He does this pretty much every day. My daughters do the same thing. They also love showing other people their costumes. Therefore, it would make absolutely no sense for me to tell them that they can’t dress-up in those same costumes just because it’s October 31st. I’d rather not confuse them by squelching their joy just because it’s “pagan” Halloween. Whatever that means.
      • Stop kidding yourself. “Trunk-or-Treat” isn’t any different. From an efficiency standpoint, “Trunk-or-Treat” is a great idea. Rather than having to walk the distance between houses, you only have to walk the distance between cars to get free candy. Other than that, it’s really no different than “Trick-or-Treating”. For both activities, you wear a costume and collect free candy from people. One is certainly no more holy than the other (unless of course you think that a church parking lot is somehow more sanctified than other walking surfaces). Ultimately, “Trunk-or-Treat” actually prevents you from interacting with your neighbors. Isn’t that a bad thing for Christians?
      • Passing out Gospel tracts without candy is rude, annoying and embarrassing. Some Christians protest Halloween by passing out Gospel tracts instead of candy. While intentions may be good, you’re not sending a helpful message. Kids don’t want to read on Halloween. They want free candy. More than likely, your tract will end-up in the garbage. And they’ll whisper about how weird you are as they walk away from your door. So, if you’re going to pass out Gospel tracts on Halloween, you’d better give out candy along with the Gospel tract. Even better – pass out really good candy with it. There’s no reason to create the perception that Christians are weird and cheap.

      It’s time for Christians to dial back the intensity against Halloween, and apply a little common sense. Let your kids dress-up in fun costumes. Visit your neighbors. Accept free candy. Have fun. And stop making such a big deal out of something that just doesn’t matter.

        10 thoughts on “6 Reasons Not to Hate Halloween

        1. Yes great points. Don’t you think Trunk or Treat is teaching kids to be unsafe? I’ve never been to one but the whole idea creeps me out. “Here kids take some candy out of this persons trunk but don’t ever take candy out of anyone trunk when I’m not around . . .” Jeff Vanderstelt of Soma/Doxa churches encourages us to give out the best candy (bc Jesus served the best wine!) and hang out with neighbors with apple cider or something! So you’re not alone. 🙂

        2. Brian, it would be interesting to revisit your opinions about Halloween in a few years, to see if time and life experiences will alter your strongly-felt views in any way! One point on which we can agree to very slightly disagree: no tracts and no bundling of tracts even *with* the primo candy. I think that offering a tract is something to gradually work up to, rather than foisting on a strange child who comes knocking at the door and is there for just a moment. Otherwise, it just feels too manipulative; and I think we as adults need to use discernment in this area, to gauge when the time is right to offer a tract.

          My take-away from your message is that we Christians can still be *in it and not of it* without coming off as sanctimonious and, therefore, unapproachable.

          1. Great points! You summed up my thoughts well. I also think your point about building up to tract distribution can work. As you said, foisting one on a strange child who knocks on the door and is there for a moment likely doesn’t make much sense. Thanks for reading and commenting!

        3. Vey much agree with your article …..As a 68 year old grandmother of 10……I have never outgrown Trick or Treat….. One of my favorite childhood memories ……and now one of my favorite activites with my grandchildren ……

              1. Kim – I’ve got a spam filter on my blog comments. After multiple attempts to post a comment in a short period of time, the filter inadvertently flagged your comment as spam. I apologize! I’ve now approved your comments.

        4. I was listening to your conversation on the radio about Halloween this morning and I went on to find this blog post. I have to say I was disappointed with the attitude that is conveyed in the post. Here’s a few of my thoughts on your post, I have included your quotes in bold:
          -By asking for a “barf bag” at the beginning suggests your unwillingness to “understand the passions of fellow Christians and respect their pursuit of holiness.” You’re written words in black and white have made it clear that that you DON’T respect nor understand.
          -You say you have no desire to “join in this awkward crusade” and go on to infer that Christians that aren’t on your bandwagon need to use “a healthy dose of common sense…and to stop making a big deal about something that doesn’t matter.” Just so you know…YOU HAVE JOINED THE CRUSADE, my friend. You just happen to be on the opposing side of this “crusade.” How did you join the “crusade?” By putting your words in black and white, posting it on social media, and spending air time on this issue. You have made your stance clear and not in a loving, Christ-like way. Two words that jump out at me as I spent my precious time reading the post: arrogance and ignorance. An “AWKWARD CRUSADE” is what I think you’ve made it. How? You have not shared your thoughts in a loving manner and you have made a “big deal” about those that have different beliefs than you. Also, I don’t know you, but I am compelled to address the “awkward”ness of your post, because there is SO much error.
          -You wrote that this is “something that doesn’t matter.”
          -IF this topic doesn’t matter, please share why you dedicated air time to this topic this morning?
          -You were compelled to share through this blog post what YOU think about Halloween. That says to me YOU took the time to formulate YOUR thoughts and YOUR reasoning behind them. YOU typed them out for your radio/Facebook contingency to see. Isn’t that “making a big deal out of something that doesn’t really matter?”
          -JUST SO YOU KNOW…You believe it matters!! Whether for a topic of debate or a sincere look into why people believe differently than you, that’s the question you need to ask yourself. The words written in this post, gives the appearance that it’s a topic of debate for you, not for the “edification of believers.”
          -Just so you know…this discussion does matter. That’s why I have spent my precious time, as a busy mother of two middle school students, to confront this post. If Halloween-do we celebrate it or not-didn’t matter it wouldn’t come up year after year in our Christian circles. It comes up EVERY year. I have to ask is it because believers spend their time sharing what THEY think about it that we fail to spur each other on to pursuing God and look for the answers in His Word.
          -You proceed to tell believers they “NEED to stop hating Halloween.” Who in this world gives YOU the authority to tell me (because I’m a believer) that I need to stop hating Halloween? The Authority in my life is the Creator of the universe, you are not an authority in my life, nor any other believer’s life. God and God alone is, and you should direct people to Him and His Word, not your words. I shared I’d address arrogance, this is one comment by you bleeds arrogance.
          -“What’s wrong with free candy?” Nothing is wrong with free candy!! My kids LOVED going to the bank when they were little because they knew one dum-dum sucker for each of them would accompany my receipt, and I was happy to let them enjoy it. Here’s where I struggle. I have seen so many Facebook posts and have had conversations with other moms about how much candy is collected over the Halloween weekend. SO much that it ends up getting thrown away, or moms that get off track with their diet because there is SO much candy in the house. To me the issue is stewardship, greed and gluttony in regards to this argument. The attitude portrayed here is get as much free stuff as you can get, because we can’t afford it. “I love free stuff” I don’t know about you, but I love God, my husband, kids and family. I enjoy finding a deal. “Why would I refuse to take it?” Yes, if you are walking door to door or car to car in order to receive candy, then yes, refusing it would be rude. “It also happens to look strange to non-believers when we deny free candy to kids. This statement makes no sense in regards to Halloween and I don’t find a valid reason for this argument, besides the fact, I don’t go get all I can for free because I can, that is where greed and gluttony rears its ugly head. Don’t we look odd enough to them already?” In Matthew 10:22 Jesus tells his disciples, “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” The gospels and New Testament have many verses that repeat this message. My understanding of scripture is that we are TO look odd. I could spend hours typing up each verse, but will mention a few Romans, “be not conformed to this world… 1 Peter…but ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…Deuteronomy…You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God.” 2 Corinthians 6:17 “Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord…”
          -We don’t celebrate Halloween, and never have with our children. Here’s what I’m trying to suggest by these points. I have had the opportunity MANY times to have conversations about what we believe about God/Christ with strangers, neighbors, fellow believers BECAUSE we have chosen to be “odd” and not celebrate Halloween. They listen when I share our personal convictions and verses that lay the foundation for what we believe as a family. Why must we (believers today) become more like the world or think we must become more like the world in order to have a conversation that points to Christ? We have been set apart, thus we must act accordingly, and for our family that includes not participating in Halloween, and speaking to strangers, neighbors with love about why we don’t celebrate.
          -“Halloween has pagan roots. So what?” Here’s the problem with the celebration of this holiday, it’s because “I’ve never bothered to learn that information, because I don’t care.” This statement in and of itself shows the ignorance behind the premise of this blog post. This is the posture we’ve taken in our Christian circles. It’s too hard to study God’s Word to see what He says, it’s easier to just go along, because other believers are doing it. Shame on you for not taking the time to research history and above all God’s Word on this area in your life. If everyone took the approach of “never bothered to learn that information, because I don’t care” attitude about all areas of our lives…wow…you are missing out on some great growing opportunities in your walk with Christ and life in general and I feel sorry for you. When you had kids did you read books and learn about being a parent? Here’s the most important point, though, what does God’s word say about these things? I can’t believe you “whimsically” mention you have not met people who participate in Satanic rituals on October 31st. I haven’t either, but to have the attitude that this stuff isn’t real is a dangerous posture to take. The Bible is clear on witchcraft among other things. Satan has you where he wants you, you are blind, and your comments in black and white show your lack of understanding. Again, it DOES matter about the origins, it IS a pagan holiday. All the other holidays our nation celebrates have a national or religious significance. Halloween IS pagan, a holiday that the world portrays as fearful, ugly and dark. Why do we NEED an alternative? If I understand the definition of alternative it means different, other, another, possible, substitute, replacement. Why in the world do we as believers need a replacement for Halloween? Is it because we know it has a pagan background, but we are looking for ways to make an excuse to celebrate and be like the world? Your list of reasons for “Christians to stop hating Halloween” is a list of excuses to do the easy thing. It’s hard to be separate. It’s hard to stand out and be “odd” but if Jesus was able to do it, we certainly have the power of the Holy Spirit living in us believers, and that same power raised Jesus from the dead!! We have the power to stand up and say “NO!! This is wrong!!”
          -Your call for believers to “stop hating Halloween” is a dangerous statement. Why? Because you are a believer (I’m assuming this) along with the PRIVELEGE of a platform to discuss what you believe on the radio. You are not an elder/deacon in the body in this capacity, but I believe because of your role (on the radio) you are called to a higher level of responsibility. You are in Christian ministry. Therefore, what you say, write and do puts you at a higher level of scrutiny. Your post and stating YOUR “arguments” like you did, is not turning people to God’s Word for finding the answers to these areas our Christian culture has made “gray.” The battle with our flesh in wanting to look the same as the world is very real, and I believe that is why there are “gray” issues. You don’t want to look “odd or weird” as you say in your first point.
          -Since when is connecting with your neighbors a bad thing? In regards to your sweet neighbor that loves your kids…I will use the same argument I used above. What testimony could you possibly have with her if you took the not celebrating viewpoint? “I am thankful that you enjoy my kids and want to shower them with candy, but we don’t celebrate Halloween for these reasons….. If you’d like to give them candy please let me know when you are available and I would be happy to bring them to your house another day this week.” This excites me thinking about the conversation that could come of this one bold moment of living with conviction and love! Actually this WOULD BE connecting with your neighbor, in a unique way. Instead of “going along” with it, you are living with conviction. How is this rude? Is that not loving her and her gesture? “Confusing message to send my neighbor? Absolutely.” I agree with this point, but not the way you meant it. That’s why I think the world has a hard time with how we as believers live today. We are not clear, we blur the lines for the sake of being comfortable in the world. So, confusing message, YES, when we don’t live with conviction and boldness in ALL areas of our lives.
          -My kids play dress-up all year long. What’s so bad about wearing those costumes outside on October 31st? No one person ever said it was wrong to wear costumes outside on October 31st. Again, this is an excuse, and might I add, pretty sad excuse. Again, it’s the premise of having backbone and conviction for what you believe, if you don’t celebrate. If you “never bothered to learn that information, because I don’t care.” Then you have nothing to stand on in regards to this argument. By the way, October 31st is Halloween, so it IS a different day than any other day during the year. “pagan Halloween. Whatever that is.” This statement all by itself shows the ignorance of this excuse. You don’t know, you don’t care to know, therefore you are ok with living status quo as a believer. That is a shame.
          – Stop kidding yourself. “Trunk-or-Treat” isn’t any different. This statement: “One is certainly no more holy than the other (unless of course you think that a church parking lot is somehow more sanctified than other walking surfaces).” Shows the arrogance of your post. You are attacking those that have tried to make an alternative to the pagan holiday, and again, I personally believe it is compromising what God has called us to as believers. “Ultimately, “Trunk-or-Treat” actually prevents you from interacting with your neighbors. Isn’t that a bad thing for Christians?” Again, arrogance, your way is better because you are at least interacting with your neighbors…at least going and getting the boatload of free candy for your kids. What we don’t know is what significant conversation about Christ you may have blending in with the world.
          – “Passing out Gospel tracts without candy is rude, annoying and embarrassing” “There’s no reason to create the perception that Christians are weird and cheap” I am worn out by responding to your previous comments that I am not going to even dignify this “reason” with a statement. All I can say is that I am thankful beyond measure that God doesn’t see me as rude, annoying, embarrassing, weird and cheap for sharing the gospel with others!! Maybe being a Christian is too much work for you, it appears from this statement that you have an image to maintain. These two comments along with many others DO NOT display brotherly love as described in the New Testament. The New Testament is clear that we are to love in action truth…not with word or tongue. 1 John. I am SO thankful that God didn’t have an image to maintain, even though we spit in his face and turn away from Him, HE selflessly gave His one and only Son so that YOU and I could have relationship with HIM. Jesus bound Himself to the human frame, put on our flesh and lived a simple, humble life to die. He is King…but came as a servant. SHAME ON YOU for being worried about your image to the world. Jesus’ image to the world? They hated Him. Brutal beatings, blood spilled, taking on the wrath of God for ALL the sins of the world!!! Oh the agony, that’s why he was sweating blood in the garden. ALL of God’s wrath for sins past, present and future on Jesus. Your sin of arrogance, your sin of pride…all the things displayed in this one blog post, He died for. I certainly hope and pray you know Him as your Lord and Savior. If you don’t I pray you do, because once you are saved you are to die to YOURSELF, take up your cross and follow HIM!!!
          -“It’s time for Christians to dial back the intensity against Halloween, and apply a little common sense.” Your call, which you have no authority, to Christians is to dial back the intensity against Halloween and to apply common sense is not worthy of the calling we have as believers to live “as light in a dark world.” This blog post has me as a believer in Jesus Christ so upset. Why? Because that’s the reason we are in the predicament we are in this world today. We continue to “dial back” and have become so comfortable in our radio studio and sanctuaries that we are not bold in our faith. Apathy. That’s one word that comes to mind. Matthew 25, parable of the 10 virgins, is clear, and you should read it.
          As I read this post many verses came to mind, but I will close with this verse. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” It appears to me that you are tickling your own ears, and then tickling other’s ears with what you THINK. Please, I urge you in the name of Jesus and all He’s done for you to research, use scripture to back up your beliefs instead of just posting what YOU think to be the best. See, you have become a teacher through your blog and it’s according to your own desires. You are walking a dangerous path. There is NO scripture in your blog post. NO biblical foundation. You did not thoroughly equip other believers through this post. Use the sound teaching of Paul to Timothy…2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

          1. Thanks for taking the time to share your passionate and detailed thoughts regarding this post. I appreciate it. If you send me a message through my contact form, we can exchange thoughts there. That’s likely a better place for a conversation involving this much detail. Thanks!

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