Halloween Dilemma

(Gordon Mc Eachin ) #1

My wife recently viewed an interview with John Martinez who is a former Satanist turned Christian about how Satanist’s view Halloween and Christians who participate in the activities associated with it. He was explaining what various decorations and such signified to them and how they allowed evil spirits to attached themselves or invite themselves into your homes. It was presented on CBN and I have seen him on a few YouTube video’s as well. My wife also brought up Evangelist Mike Warnke as well.

Being fresh in our minds my wife and I were alarmed when our new church leadership decided to openly encourage participating in Halloween.

I have thought on and continue to pray about what Paul meant in 1 Cor 8:1-13. This is where my wrestling match begins.
I can see the position of those who have more mature principles, but what about those who don’t? What are we showing them? It’s okay to celebrate Halloween because we don’t let our kids dress up as zombies, witches, and vampires?
Do we discredit or marginalize the warnings of someone who is regarded as having full knowledge of the occult?
Are we so desensitized to schemes of Satan that we rationalize cultural rituals that have “grown up with” to be okay?
As my wife and I do our best to listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we have been coming to the conclusion that Halloween celebrations aren’t harmless fun for everyone.

(Kathleen) #2

Hello, @GordonSC! Thank you for your thoughtfulness in approaching this question and for recognising the dilemma that it does present for the Christian. There have been several threads on this topic in just this last week, but I don’t think we’ve approached it from your angle, so let’s dive in. :grin:

First off, in my mind, it’s always about WHAT we are celebrating. Maybe we should start off by defining what we mean by celebrating Halloween. If what it means to celebrate (or even participate in) Halloween is to honour the dark spirits and evil forces in this world or to glorify in any way murder, terror, violence, sadism, etc. then I imagine many (if not all) Christians would absolutely condemn an activity of this nature. I know I would…and do.

However, I would imagine that most (if not all) Christians who choose to participate in the more ‘harmless’ aspects of the day - dressing up in a costume and treat-or-treating (or ‘guising’ as it’s called here in Britain) - do not have this in mind at all. This, I suppose, leads us more to the question: are those folks actually celebrating/participating in Halloween at all? Or, are they literally just putting on costumes and getting candy? Is it possible to ‘just’ go trick-or-treating and not attach any meaning or connection to the actual celebration of darkness? I realise that’s more of a discussion about semantics, but I think we Christians tend to yell past one another in debates like rather than trying to actually unify around what we all condemn.

I, for one (and I know you and your wife do too), do see the dark side of Halloween and pray that on that day (and, indeed, every day) there will be people present to shine the Light of Christ into that darkness and speak against the glorification of things that are evil. Indeed, the question of yours that stood out the most to me was, what are we showing those around us? I think this is the question to ask ourselves every day! And not just showing but saying as well. If we find ourselves at either extreme end of the celebration spectrum (where one end says NONE of this matters and the other end says ALL of this matters), then I do think we run the risk of being a poor witness of the life, light, and freedom found in Christ.

With that said, I do believe that one can go to a costume party held either on or around the day and not necessarily be condoning Satanic worship, but I am also aware that others’ consciences may be more sensitive.

I hear you here! I think we discredit and marginalise people with this experience to our own peril, and pray that we would not be desensitised where we need to be sharp! :slight_smile:

(Tabitha Gallman) #3

I just wanted to add what my family and church are doing this year for Halloween. My pastor has such a passion for our community and is very gifted with working with both adults and children. This year we are not having our usual Bible study on Wednesday because we see the opportunity to witness to our neighbors. Our pastor and his wife said they plan on sitting at the end of their drive with their fire pit and greeting kids and families, and handing out treats.

My husband and I bought two large bags of candy and are waiting for our nieces and nephews to come by (since our kids are grown now). We are new to our neighborhood, so hopefully we will meet some new people and just share some kindness.

(C Rhodes) #4

@KMac and @GordonSC. I admit that I do not celebrate the holiday either. But I love the notion of buying tons of half-priced candies afterward. :smile:

Though my upbringing was very strict regarding social holidays, I don’t fault other Christians who do celebrate them. But, I agree, what we expose our minds, the minds of our children, and others too, has a price tag of which we are not always aware. In this manner, Satan is definitely wiser than the children of mankind.

I learned early in my life how like a computer my mind was. Once it was exposed to something it was there. I recall after going to see The Exorcist. More than half a year later while strolling past a bedroom; there sat the demon-possessed girl on one of the beds. Straight-jacketed and grinning. I stopped leaned back until I could see the empty bed, then slammed the door, flew down the stairs and out the door of our house. That was the last horror movie I ever went to see. Stephen King was the last horror story writer I ever read. And I think Poltergeist was my last cable tv offering.

I don’t watch much on television and little people who visit me are not exposed to those things either. For very selfish reasons I avoid many things because I just grew weary of the Lord having to rescue me from those influences.

In talks like these, Christians are not given to holistic views of holidays, so, the mandates against Halloween are never fully extended to the secularization of Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. If we can maintain the true meanings of those holidays, can’t we find any positivity in the All Saints holiday?

Many things are lawful in life. Meats for the belly not the belly for meat. Still, if meat offends my brother, then I will eat meat no more. If I should do so for my brother, you can bet I’m doing it for myself.