Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mommy, why don't we celebrate Halloween?

A mom from Fayetteville, GA, emailed me a few Octobers ago who had been reading my webpage on Halloween. She asked how to explain to their 5-year old why they would not celebrate it.

There is a book on that subject called
Mommy, why don't we celebrate Halloween? by Linda Hacon Winwood. A review of the book here. A preview of the book here.

For some reason, Halloween is a touchy subject with Christians. When you start talking about Halloween negatively, some people get agitated and upset, really offended. As parents, all we want to do is protect our children from unnecessary harm and honor Christ, but in spite of that often accusations fly. Some think we are being too uptight and self-righteous. Actually, because we know how prone to sin we are, we do not want to participate in open celebrations of darkness.

Some people think we are trying to keep children from having fun. Not at all. Kids and candy naturally go together. Hay rides are great. It is fun for them to dress up and wear costumes. We do those things all year. We enjoy fall festivals which focus on the Lord, celebrating and thanking the Him for all He has done to provide his blessings for us for another year.

We are not all that happy about carelessly exposing our children to darkness without any Christian explanation or providing them with any biblically-informed worldview understanding, and we are not interested in blindly encouraging our children to participate in rituals or celebrations directly related to pagan false deities. And of all groups, churches should not be hosting celebrations of a pagan holiday -- not even for evangelism. I will deal with that issue in a later post.

Our children do not celebrate or participate in Halloween because:

  • We are Christians and worship Jesus alone.
  • We want them to prefer the light of the Gospel to the darkness of the occult.
  • We want them to know that it is OK to stand apart from the world on these issues.
  • We want them to recognize what is evil and stand against it in the name of Jesus.
  • We don’t want them to underestimate the works of darkness.
  • We don’t want them to open up to demonic influence.
  • We don’t want them to stumble into an area of the occult unaware.
  • We don't want them to participate in honoring darkness or deeds of darkness.
  • We do not think we are holier than anyone who disagrees with our view.
  • We do not think it is our job to shove our convictions on anyone else.
  • We expect the courtesy to hold Biblical convictions freely on this issue and to agree to disagree if appropriate.
  • Our conviction is that Christians should not participate in Halloween/Samhain activities because they are celebrating a day that is pagan and foreign to Christianity, and biblically there is nothing redeemable in Halloween. We believe that participating in Halloween activities is sinful for a Christian.

  • Why shouldn't a church provide an alternative to the dangerous things for kids during Halloween? Wait a minute. Why should your children be participating in something harmful for them in the first place? And why should churches encourage that participation? They are not just having fun and participating in a family outing together. Halloween is a day to celebrate the beginning of the days of darkness in the calendar cycle. During this time pagans believe there is a thinning of the veil between the living and the dead so that communication and fellowship with the dead can be done. There are significant spiritual defilements connected with Halloween.
  • By similar logic, why shouldn't churches open safe bars, safe sex parlors, or safe crack houses for our kids since we assume they will be into drinking, sex, and drugs anyway? That way, they will be at the church so we will know where they are. Does that make sense to you? Does it sound like condoning sinful behavior? Hmmm.

If you are not sure that participating in Halloween is wrong or at least problematic for a Christian, consider these verses of Scripture. 

Deuteronomy 18:9-13 “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults with the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.” 

Leviticus 19:26, 31; 20:6: "Do not practice divination or sorcery. Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God. I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people." 

Jeremiah 7:17-19: "Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven. They pour drink offerings to other gods to provoke me to anger. But am I the one they are provoking? declares the Lord. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?" 

1 Corinthians 10:20-21 “I say the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink of the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in the Lord’s table and the table of demons.”

Galatians 4:8-10 “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God - or rather are known by God - how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.”

Romans 13:12a “Let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light!”