Every year as Halloween approaches, a familiar controversy resurfaces. Should Christians celebrate the holiday, or not? Is Halloween a trick—a subtle doorway into the dark world of the occult; or a treat—a good time with family and friends and the neighbors we otherwise seldom see?
My blog spotting this week consists of posts (both old and new) written by Christians with widely divergent views on the origin, customs, and advisability of celebrating Halloween.
There are those who believe everything about Halloween is demonic and irredeemably evil. I consider that an extreme position. I thought about linking to a recent article as an example, but decided I didn’t want to take a chance on somehow dignifying it in the process. (I’m still shaking my head over some of the mind-boggling statements in it.)
But setting aside bizarre and extreme views, I think there’s real value in hearing what godly men have to say about whether or how a particular holiday should be celebrated. I think it’s a legitimate question: Should Christians celebrate Halloween?
Some say NO, some say YES, some say…MAYBE
Dan Edelen doesn’t like Halloween, as he made clear a couple of years ago with The Obligatory “Halloween Is Bad” Post …he also doesn’t see much point in Halloween alternatives. He tells why in this post: The Church and the Halloween Alternative Party
Al Mohler also urges caution, reminding readers “that evil spirits are real”: Christianity and the Dark Side–What About Halloween?
For three consecutive years, 2005, 2006, and 2007, Tim Challies took a different approach, expressing his conviction in no uncertain terms “that it is a very poor witness to have the house of believers blacked out on Halloween.”
Michael Patton got a little fired up in his post a few days ago, chiding those who consider Halloween irredeemably evil. Lots of comments on this one: Jesus with His Lights Turned off on Halloween
Pete Wilson says he enjoys Halloween: Can Christians Celebrate Halloween?
Randy Alcorn offers a little food for thought in A Perspective on Halloween
Greg Koukl (unlike Dan) thinks alternative celebrations are probably a good idea: Christians and Halloween (video)
Finally, in the interest of lightening up just a little, Ben Witherington thought if would be fun to re-post an article from The Onion (yes, that Onion) for Halloween a couple of years ago: Just in Time for All Hallow’s Eve– Ezekiel’s Skeleton People Show Up
You might hate Halloween, or you might love it. I think you have every right (and maybe even a responsibility) to argue your point, and argue it passionately. But for those of us who are Christians, we need to be careful not to pass judgment on those brothers and sisters who might beg to differ with us.
One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.”
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God (Rom. 14:5-12).
What about me? I guess I’m somewhere in the middle. I think Halloween can be harmless fun. And I think Halloween can be full of occultic darkness and godless debauchery. In one sense, Halloween is what it is; but in another, perhaps, it is what we make it.