Halloween: Is it a pagan day of death and occult that Christians should avoid? Or, is it an opportunity to reach non-Christians and to enjoy our communities? Christians are divided on how to approach this controversial holiday. Last year I discussed the controversy on Up For Debate with two pastors with divergent views. I also surveyed several moms who are Christian leaders to see how their families celebrate – or don’t celebrate – Halloween. I’d love to hear what your family does, as well!
“Our kids have never celebrated Halloween. It’s a holiday that glorifies death, pain, witches, ghosts, and evil – all of which are anti-God. We always keep a bowl of candy by the door and will pass out children’s Bible lessons or tracts with the candy to children who come by our house. Sometimes we have to take a stand simply because it’s the right thing to do. Children need to know that regardless of what everyone else is doing, if God is not honored, we won’t be participating. Period.”
Leslie Leyland Fields
“My family has a relationship of excess with Halloween. We do it all! We celebrate a harvest party with our church, we celebrate an International Day with our Christian school, and my kids have always gone to our community’s downtown trick-or-treat event. Every one of these events is an opportunity for holy community fun. (And the candy’s a bonus!)
“As Christians, we often react to culture negatively and with fear, retreating to our own corners. And we have a tendency sometimes to give way too much recognition to Satan. For those bent that way, they see Halloween and everyone who participates as glorifying death and evil. I see Halloween as another opportunity to be who we’re supposed to be: that salty neighbor-loving light in our own towns and cities. And honestly, who doesn’t love to dress up in a costume and get candy from your neighbors??”
Leslie Leyland Fields is a mother of six, author, blogger and contributing editor for Christianity Today
“We enjoy trunk or treat events very much and have always attended or volunteered because they are such powerful community outreaches. This year, our church is having a “Buck Denver Asks… What’s in The Bible” space party. It’s an outreach inviting kids and parents to dress like space travelers and watch on the big screen the Buck Denver space movie about taking the gospel to the far reaches of the galaxy. . . . My kids are very familiar with spiritual warfare, demonic activity and the dangers of the occult. My 18-year-old has even taught his age-group at church about the dangers. But, we have always participated in some sort of church-related outreach event with our boys. I feel like October 31 is a great opportunity to be bold with our faith.”
June Felix is a mother of two, speaker and co-host of Karl and June Mornings
“We used to dress the kids up when they were toddlers and go to the doors of our neighbors nearby. It was a good way to talk with people we otherwise didn’t spend time with. But as the costumes got scarier and sexier —and our kids got old enough to notice and be troubled by them — we decided to opt out of the celebration that seems to be growing darker by the year.
“For several years, we hosted friends for dinner or went to our church’s harvest party. But now we’re doing my favorite thing of all: celebrating Reformation Day. I got saved as a child, but until I was in my mid-30s, I didn’t even know there was another holiday on October 31. And this one is vastly more important to believers, and especially to children of believers, than Halloween.
“The Reformers gave us a Bible we can read in our own language — a legacy that cost many their lives. The Reformation was central to God’s plan for building his church, and to preserving it in faithfulness in every generation. This is our history. By celebrating it with our children, we hope it will become their history, too.”
Candice Watters is mother of four, speaker, author and blogger