There’s hardly a more divisive issue in the fall among theologically conservative evangelical churches than what to do at Halloween. I wanted to share my personal journey and provide some guidelines.
On the one side of the argument are those who rightfully report the holiday’s occult underpinnings. It has almost no connection to anything Christian (aside from the day it precedes, All Saints Day) and thus those on this end of the spectrum abstain from any association with Halloween, as a principle of conscience.
On the other side of the conservative evangelical fence are those who rightfully report that Halloween is, in American culture, the only time their non-Christian neighbors willingly knock on their door, and thus a spectacular time to build relationships that might lead to people coming to know Christ. This group of folks participates carefully in Halloween with an aye toward the Kingdom of God. (spoiler alert, this is the group I’m currently in)
I see this as an area governed by freedom in Christ and subject to the leading of the Holy Spirit. In light of that, here are some questions to ask of yourself as you approach Halloween:
Am I mindful of my motives regarding Halloween?
This is a tough one for me. Often I am just seeking to be theologically correct, or to be culturally relevant. My motive should be to glorify God.
Is my participation or abstention from Halloween led by the Spirit, or by the flesh?
My flesh wants to be right, applauded, noticed, rewarded, and (in the end) worshiped. The Spirit wants all of those things for Christ. In my stance on Halloween, often I don’t take into account how my public stance on it can tend toward publicly stroking my own ego, not pointing people to Christ.
How does my reaction to brothers and sisters on the other side of the Halloween discussion shed light on my motives?
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. I tend to be a bit of a debater naturally (for the Meyers-Brigs folks out there, I am an ENTJ). So, for me, one of the best indicators of true motive is when I come across people who disagree with me on the whole Halloween thing. Back when I lived in Asheville I even wrote a blog post chastising folks for picketing Halloween. I have to be very careful to obey the command of Jesus to love my brothers and sisters.
In the end, let your participation or abstention from Halloween be governed by the freedom you have in Christ, and do it to His glory.