What About Halloween?
by Jack Cottrell (Notes) on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 12:35pm
A RECENT QUESTION: What are your views on Christians and Halloween? I know most Christians are fine with it, but I am not sure if it is a day Christians should take part in. Please let me know what you think.
MY REPLY: I have several objections to Christians participating in anything overtly related to Halloween. First, Halloween is literally a witchcraft holiday. I never thought much about it until I did a lot of research on witchcraft for a course on the occult. When you look into it in some depth, you find that witchcraft, or wicca, is a very serious ancient and modern religion. It has four main holidays, Halloween being the most significant. Its roots lie in a pre-Christian pagan celebration known as Samhain, in which a main point was to seek protection from the spirits of the dead who roamed about on that night to cause trouble. The connection of Halloween with witchcraft and Samhain is clear enough; I want no part of anything that celebrates witchcraft ideas. (One could learn a lot by googling these words.)
Second, probably because of the above background, everything about Halloween calls attention to and glorifies DEATH: ghosts, tombstones, skeletons, etc. In Scripture death is an enemy, not something to celebrate or treat as a joke. The gospel is about life.
Third, on an ethical basis, I object to the whole idea of “trick or treat.” I know it is sort of a game, one that is understood even by those who hand out the candy and stuff. But the very concept of “trick or treat” is a form of extortion: “Give me a treat, or I will play a trick or prank on you.” (This also has roots in the Samhain practices.) When my own kids were young, I did not allow them to go trick-or-treating. This did not make me popular. I am glad for all the alternatives that churches provide today, such as the “Trunk ’n Treat” programs.