Is Celebrating Halloween a Sin?
The Autumn of 2016, before I started Crack Your Bible, I was attending a local mega-church in Las Vegas. Like so many churches today, they had what amounts to simply a church-sponsored Halloween celebration with a non-Halloween name. Wanting to get involved more deeply with the church, I decided to volunteer for the event.
My Experience With Halloween
Growing up, my family didn’t celebrate Halloween. As an adult, I’ve attended two costume parties for Halloween, one being a house party during university and my husband’s work event. While my participation in these two parties was me sitting on a couch in a historical costume (Marie Antoinette & Cleopatra) eating chips and making small talk with the other sober people, I still felt convicted. After volunteering at this church event – I felt terribly convicted in my spirit. When the event coordinator asked for feedback about the event from volunteers, I sent him this email and cc’d the pastor.
What Should I Do If My Church Celebrates Halloween?
Before deciding to stop going to your church, contact your pastor first. If you’re not sure exactly what to say, I suggest writing a letter to the head pastor.
Keep as much of your emotion out of the letter as possible. I know it’s not easy, but feel free to use the letter I wrote to the pastor as a template. Be forewarned, the pastor did NOT take kindly to my email. so don’t expect fantastic results.
Names and identifying information about this church have been redacted.
Send Your Pastor This Letter!
I’m Rachel, and I was one of the three people running the cookie decorating station. I’d think the biggest take away was that we needed a fourth person just to help turn over place settings. I had one person in charge of stamping and cutting the tips off of icing bags, and I, along with the other woman helping, directed kids to their seats and reset each place setting after each child decorated and then we cleaned up. I also did some crowd control because originally there was no line.
Test The Scripture
There’s something that’s been on my mind though about (event) and listening to the sermon last week at the main campus (I usually attend —— location) I knew I needed to write this email.
Before I begin, I want to let you know that my opinions are irrelevant, and whatever I say, I want you to put it to the test of the Scripture. (Acts 17:11, 1 John 4:1) If what I say doesn’t match up to the Word of God, please disregard this message.
Halloween By Any Other Name Is Still Halloween
I am not writing this to chastise you for your outreach efforts. Merely, I’m asking you to reconsider the theme of this outreach event for next year. I noticed that this outreach event was definitely Halloween themed. From the pumpkin cookies with black and orange sprinkles, to the cobweb covered cars and kids in costume “trunk or treating” there was no mistaking that this was a Halloween festival. People were even asked to buy kits from the church, to host get-togethers with their neighbors, where they would watch Halloween themed movies as a way to witness to their neighbors.
Always Be Prepared To Give A Response
Now, I know that in this country, Halloween is considered a cultural event and people partake in the holiday even though they’re unaware of the history of this holiday. At the cookie decorating booth, a little girl asked her dad, “Dad, why do we celebrate Halloween?” He responded “Because it’s good to celebrate everything. I actually don’t know why we celebrate it though.” Yikes! We definitely shouldn’t, as Christians, “celebrate everything.” (1 Peter 4:3-4) Not only should we not partake in pagan practices, we should not do anything because it’s tradition (Mark 7:8-9.) We should know why we do what we do (1 Peter 3:15, Proverbs 25:2.)
I Am Guilty of Celebrating Halloween
Not only did I volunteer at this Halloween event, I made costumes for myself and my husband for his company’s party – as a costume was required for entry. I don’t celebrate Halloween, I don’t agree with the demonic history of the holiday, and yet here I was this year, celebrating it. In my heart, knowing God’s commands, I was convicted that what I was doing was not only hypocritical, but wrong – because I know better. I came into agreement with God and repented. Why was it wrong? Well, we’re absolutely not supposed to partake in pagan practices (Deuteronomy 18:9, Ephesians 5:1-13), and we’re not to sacrifice (1 Corinthians 10:20), or mimic sacrificing to demons (1 Thessalonians 5:22, Ephesians 5:12)
The Pagan Origins of Halloween
But what’s wrong with Halloween?
“The origins of Halloween are Celtic in tradition and have to do with observing the end of summer sacrifices to gods in Druidic tradition. In what is now Britain and France, it was the beginning of the Celtic year, and they believed Samhain, the lord of death, sent evil spirits abroad to attack humans, who could escape only by assuming disguises and looking like evil spirits themselves. The waning of the sun and the approach of dark winter made the evil spirits rejoice and play nasty tricks.” – http://www1.cbn.com/questions/should-christians-celebrate-halloween
Cultural Traditions Don’t Supersede Scripture
Our brothers and sisters in Christ in South Korea currently have to deal with the cultural traditions from the country’s pagan past, of ancestor worship, infiltrating the Church. In Christian Filipino homes, people are still venerating the dead. (Leviticus 19: 26, 28, 31, Deuteronomy 18:11) As Western Christians, we can clearly see that ancestor worship is incompatible with Biblical teaching and is a sure fire way to open yourself up to the demonic realm. Yet, somehow, in Western churches, we ourselves are blind to the fact that we have one foot in the church and another in the occult by celebrating Halloween (and Christmas, and Easter – Passion for Truth Ministries on Christmas and Easter:
Why Christians Can’t Celebrate Halloween
God never wants us to repurpose the things used for Satan to worship Him. God wants the tools of the Devil destroyed –not used to appeal to those who are still of this world.
“Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles.” – Exodus 34:13
“Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.” – Deuteronomy 12:3
Not only during the reign of the judges, but the story in 1 Samuel 15:17-25 shows us that what God tells us to destroy, He wants destroyed – not used in service for Him. Israel ignored God’s command and Israel was torn in two. Saul was rejected as king. If God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) why would celebrating and using the things used by the occult today, in our church, be less offensive to God now?
Repurposing Paganism Can’t Bring People to Jesus
We do not need to, nor should we, use the occult and its holy days as a way to outreach for Jesus. The disciples didn’t go to temple prostitutes or attend services for Molech as an outreach to non-Christians. We are set apart (Leviticus 20:26), we’re holy (1 Peter 2:9, Hebrews 10:10), we witness to others when we stand in opposition to, and refuse to participate in Satanic worship (Daniel 3, Daniel 6:10-23, Acts 14.)
Just as we usher in the Holy Spirit through our praises, our worship and our offerings, the occult uses their holy days to bring about the demonic into our midst. God does not want people to come to Him because of the testimony of demons (Mark 1:34, Acts 16:16-18) but because of His testimony (1 John 5:10) and the light that we shine (Matthew 5:16.)
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” – Ephesians 5:11
We Serve A Living God
In closing, I just want to say, we serve a living God (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, Hebrews 9:14.) My God is not dead. We as a church are here to proclaim life. We’re to celebrate that we’re no longer dead (Ephesians 5:8, Romans 6:11) Jesus conquered the grave and Hell (Hebrews 2:14-18, Revelation 1:18.) Jesus is alive! (Mark 16:6) Let us not celebrate the demonic and death. Let us worship and praise our living God.
I humbly ask that for next year, the theme for the autumn outreach event isn’t Halloween themed. Let us reach the world through light, not darkness.