Celebrating Halloween: Mistake or Mission?

It’s that time of year again, a time that can be brutal for seers. See this post last year about what a seer noted in the Halloween costume aisle at a Walmart. As for the rest of this post, I encourage you to read with grace and love.

A Time of Celebration?

Frankly, I love October. Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s the season my final girlfriend and I fell in love, and a subsequent October, she said yes (tearfully!) to my proposal of marriage.

The night I proposed, we went to get lost in a hay maze at a nearby pumpkin patch. That was more than 20 years ago, but every October I’m filled with romantic thoughts.

The smell of falling leaves and drying hay, the cool Midwest air, the feel of squishy pumpkin pulp, and the crunch of roasted pumpkin seeds: I love it all.

I love snuggling with my kids while we watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, multiple times each October and I love watching them Trick or Treat.

Our first few years together, my wife and I avoided celebrating Halloween. We saw it as a celebration of evil and the occult. A few years, we gave out candy with Bible verses attached.

But eventually we came to learn about the Kingdom of God and discovered that Jesus really had overturned the Kingdom of Darkness and was continuing to overturn the Kingdom of Darkness.

As I learned more of medieval history, I discovered that Halloween and All Saint’s Day were actually celebrations of Jesus’ victory. For a summary rooted in history, see here.

These days my family enjoys the cultural fun surrounding Halloween, although we do so with a guarded attitude and make a point to emphasize the good news of the Kingdom.

IMG_0222 These are wonderful community-enriching activities and in our increasingly fragmented society, we should engage in activities that encourage us to hang out with our neighbors to create community.

Christians should be in the vanguard demonstrating appropriate Kingdom-ways to enrich the community, especially on Halloween.

However, we have a guarded attitude: we don’t watch horror movies, go through “haunted houses” that involve occult figures scaring us – actually we don’t go to any haunted houses at all, and we don’t decorate with ghosts or skeletons or anything the promotes death, fear or evil.

Our culture’s fascination with death, vampires, ghosts, demons, zombies, witches, and fear is unhealthy. Watch Derek Gilbert’s cautionary video on these ideas.

Listen to the recent discussion I was a part of on Vampires and haunted houses on Peeranormal here:

http://www.peeranormal.com/podcast/peeranormal-05-vampires-and-ghosts/

Christians should have appropriate knowledge in these things. .

“But You are Celebrating Satan’s Day!”

Unfortunately, too many Christians, who are supposed to be the Light of the world, will have their lights off on Halloween night, allowing the forces of darkness and their tyrants of trepidation unfettered sway over their communities.

Some of our Christian friends look at us askance, and wonder how we can engage in anything that “promotes the occult.” They send us YouTube videos and podcasts saying we are celebrating Satan by dressing our kids up and visiting the neighbors.

Nonsense. Actual history demonstrates something else, but who cares about actual history, when you can find a thousand YouTube videos, or better yet, just go with your feelings, because Lord knows, your feelings are always right and they never lie.

Plus, when you call your feelings “the Holy Spirit told me so,” then you’ll be unassailable.

I address this Faith by Feelings nonsense in my book, Peace in Your House, so I won’t digress further here.

Kingdom Conflict Summary ImageHalloween, the Forces of Darkness, and the Cross

Halloween represents the overthrow of the Kingdom of Darkness, something that began with Jesus on the Cross and is continuing today.

Yes, some enslaved to darkness use this day for evil purposes. There will be seances and covens and witchcraft and actual magic spells cast.

All the more reason for Christians to demonstrate that Light drives back the Dark.

Christians accepting a narrative that Halloween is an occult holiday and then hiding from Halloween basically allow the enemy free reign on the field of battle.

I’m frankly tired of Christians running from the enemy, hiding out, in hopes that someday fire will destroy the world (when God promised to never again destroy the world – not just with a flood, but never destroy it at all! Read the account after Noah’s Flood for yourself).

I’m tired of hearing just how powerful Satan and his minions are and when they are going to do to us. I want to hear more about what we’re going to do to them.

And better yet, I want to be a part of doing it, beginning with bringing Peace in Your House and celebrating Halloween under the rule and reign of Jesus Christ.

Darkness has lost, and is losing, and will utterly lose sometime in the future. Prove it by celebrating Halloween as it should be celebrated: a celebration of joy, peace, love, and self-control.

Halloween Represents the Defeat of Evil

Halloween represents the defeated Domain of Darkness. Evil things like ghosts and goblins and demons used to have free reign to prey on people, but no longer.

Jesus has come. These evil things can roam and may do us no harm (unless you let them).

Too many Christians and others have let demonic influence run rampant in their lives. If that’s you, then get my book, Peace in Your House: Spiritual Cleansing of Life and Land, because God didn’t send Jesus so that you should live in fear and under the power of the evil one.

Halloween represents the defeated Domain of Darkness, and the next day, “All Saints Day” represents the Kingdom of Light, which empowers us to check the forces of darkness and submit to the rule and reign of God.

This year, when we carved our pumpkins, I explained to my children that the Holy Spirit is Light (because the Holy Spirit is God, and God is Light), and he lives in us. God is sovereign, and this Light is the power that drives fear in demons and makes them flee. In the pre-modern world, jack-o-lanterns were thought to drive away demons in the night. Somewhere along the lines, the symbolic representation of the Light became wrapped up in silly superstitions. Today, we can reclaim the truth and power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I just don’t have a problem celebrating the defeat of demons and forces of darkness. It’s sweet (i.e., the candy)

Use Discernment

But for many, Halloween can be an open doorway to fear and oppression. For many years, my wife and I were there, and were content to avoid celebrating Halloween. Thus, I don’t have a problem with Christians who feel similarly.

The problem with taking a stand against the occult on just that day is simply that my culture promotes the occult in most everything every day of the year.

“But It USED to be Evil, therefore it IS Evil.”

I’m not impressed with the argument that Halloween used to be some kind of evil day to celebrate demonic rituals, or that it’s a night of covens and other occult occurrences.

The same can be said for sporting events.  In fact, many sporting competitions (like the Olympics) were “originally” occult celebrations to certain demons.  Does that mean football or basketball or baseball or, egad, tennis players are performing occult rituals by playing their sports?

Just because certain demonic practices of Ancient Rome involved running across the country feverishly doesn’t mean cross country or 5k or even Marathon runners have anything to do with those rituals.

In other words, the purpose of certain activities centuries or millennia ago don’t matter a whit in current usage.

Faith Matters. Loyalty Matters.

Current usage matters! Your heart position matters.

So if someone uses Halloween as a time to gather with friends and hold a seance or cast magical spells, then that’s bad,  just like it’d be bad if they did that on any other day. 

But if Halloween has evolved into a community event set aside for neighbors to go door to door in a family-friendly activity, then that’s good. And if churches host these events, so much the better.

And again, I’m perfectly fine with people who disagree and don’t want to participate because of their religious convictions. I just hope they don’t picket the local high school track and field meet.

Frankly, my wife and I enjoy that Halloween, which brings the Kingdom conflict into stark relief, can be celebrated in a redemptive way.

Comments

  1. Great post, Doug! Especially loved this line, “Unfortunately, too many Christians, who are supposed to be the Light of the world, will have their lights off on Halloween night…” I love how you look at Halloween and other things from a Kingdom perspective; it really changes everything when you do! Keep up the good work my friend!

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