Christians on HALLOWEEN and other Disputable Matters

Is it wrong for Christians to celebrate Halloween? There seems to be many different ways that Christians approach the subject.

  • Some will participate fully and say they are just having fun dressing up, using their imagination, and eating candy. What could be wrong with that? Some (like this person) would even say they are dressing up to make a statement that they do not fear death and other scary things associated with Halloween (but not that they are embracing these things), because death has lost its sting (1 Cor 15:55).
  • Others participate (like these people), but won’t dress up in anything that seems to be associated with evil (like vampires) because they believe they should “not imitate what is evil” (3 John 11).
  • Some (like these people) won’t participate in festivities called “Halloween” (sometimes because the history of Halloween is associated with ghosts and such things) but are happy to participate in a “Christian alternative,” like a “fall party” at their church.
  • Others (like these people) think that it is wrong to have anything to do with Halloween whatsoever (including any “Christian alternative” which, they say, is just a disguised Halloween party), since the overall focus of Halloween is fear, darkness, and “evil” things like witches, ghosts, and vampires (would it really be Halloween without these things?), and since Christians are to “avoid every kind of evil” (1 Thess 5:22) rather than glorify it.

As for myself, I’m not even sure what to think! It depends on the day. But all of this seems to show that Halloween is a “disputable matter.” Other disputable matters among Christians today would probably include things like what tv shows, movies, or even sporting events (like UFC fighting) are okay to watch, if tattoos are okay, or whether we can drink alcohol.

Paul offers important advice regarding “disputable matters” in Romans 14:

  • Verse 1- We can expect “disputable matters” in the church.
  • Verse 6- We should recognize that the person we disagree with is honestly trying to live for God.
  • Verse 22- If it is going to cause disunity, we should keep our beliefs on the matter to ourselves (and God). This isn’t to say we can’t discuss the issue, but we should not cause a ruckus over the issue.
  • Verse 23- If we think it is wrong, we should not do it. After all, if we did something we honestly thought was wrong, that would be like saying we don’t care that we are doing something wrong (and that is a real heart problem).
  • Most importantly, verse 3- Those who disagree with one another should not “look down on” or “condemn” the person whom they disagree with (regardless of which position they take). This is REALLY important because it is repeated in verse 4, 10, AND again in verse 13.

So, my conclusion regarding the whole issue of whether or not it is okay for Christians to celebrate Halloween is that we should “stop passing judgment on one another” regardless of what position we take. And this includes you.

4 Comments

  1. One might argue that we should not participate in something if it is going to offend another Christian (based on verse 20-21); however, this text is not speaking about offending someone (because they don’t like what you are doing or even if they think it is wrong). Rather this text is about being careful that we don’t make someone else “fall” (v. 21, similarly 1 Cor 8:13). In my experience the Christians who are most likely to be offended are the least likely to fall (they are “set in their Christian ways”).

  2. This is well stated and I love your scripture references. However there are a few points I think would be beneficial to add.

    There are also those people who recognize that not only does Halloween have pegan origins, but also that it continues to be the primary Evil-day (reffering to the likeness of a holiday), where human sacrifies are made, babies are abducted from hospitals, along with other evil things. So to people as these it would seem wrong to celebrate a day as this, while knowing such is happening. Sources for such beliefs can be found in our local libraries under the headings of the O’Cult or Satanism.

    It should also be noted that while people as I have just stated may follow such conviction, others will not have this conviction believing that such evil pratices may happen any day of the year, or that they don’t really happen and that they are like wives tales, but told by overly parinoid or gulible Christians with good intentions. While at the same time opposite view would believe this view to be the result of blatent ignorance in either sence of the word: Unlearnedness or to know but to ignore.

    In either case I agree with your conclution:

    •Most importantly, verse 3- Those who disagree with one another should not “look down on” or “condemn” the person whom they disagree with (regardless of which position they take). This is REALLY important because it is repeated in verse 4, 10, AND again in verse 13.

    On another note there are a few more verses in Romans 14 that I thought could be brought to light.

    Not only does Rom 14:23 say that it would be sin to do what we know is wrong. But infact it states that even if what we do is not a sin, if we have doubt, and think that it might be a sin, it is indeed a sin if it cannot be done in faith. One of the examples they use through out Rom 14 is that of eating meat. Paul says that he knows that it is ok to eat meat but if a person does not know for certain that this is true, it is wrong for him to eat it in uncertainty.

    23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

    This brings us to another type of person with a possible view that Halloween is likely rather harmless but as they have heard the opposing views and had not looked into the evidence fully on both sides for themselves, they feel bound to reject Halloween entirely until they know for certain that it is not sinful.

    Yet another point to be thought of is Rom 14:16. Although the verse right before it warns us seriously about such disagreements saying,

    15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.

    We are not to ignore that it commands us to let our convictions be known:

    16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.

    So we are not to fight, hate, or condemn eachother over our differences in covictions. It must be stated that discussions on such topics be made while differences in convictions be graciously recieved. We are not commanded to accept what we see as sin. Nor are we commanded to speak evil of what we belive to be good. But the point is to accept our brothers and sisters in the family and body of Christ regardless of their faults as long as they are being true to their convictions by the bible. As they accept us and our short comings.Rather than the old John Wayne, “Shoot ’em all and let God sort ’em out later”, we aught to love ’em all and let God sort it out with us in his time.

  3. As I handed out candy last night, I got to see kids in my community that would never have come to my house otherwise. It is the ONE time of the year when kids feel free to come to your door and find out that there is a friendly, caring person who lives at this house. I know there are many other ways to bless and reach out to kids/parents but many of them don’t allow them to see that you live in their community, on their street.
    There was a young girl who came last night who used to come over a lot to play with my kids and hasn’t been to my house in months. I got to see her and ask her how she has been and that she is welcome to come back if she wants. It was more than worth the cost of the candy to have that conversation. As a Christian, I don’t want to live in fear, I want to live in love. This is how I feel anyway….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s