Jesus Pumpkin

Celebrating Halloween as a Christian can be complicated – there are so many different viewpoints, so many people telling you what you should or shouldn’t do. I don’t want to delve too far into the theology and history behind Halloween today; instead, I want to offer a few of my own reflections and a number of alternative, fun ways for you to celebrate Halloween as a Christian!

Personally, I have never been trick-or-treating. I grew up in a tiny, tiny village in the middle of nowhere with very few children so it wasn’t exactly a big thing. Most years, no-one came trick-or-treating at our house, so we barely even noticed Halloween. I also have no great desire to get involved. I have always hated scary movies, vampires, monsters, ghosts etc. The idea of celebrating any of this, just seems bizarre.

Why I don’t celebrate Halloween as a Christian

 

“So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

– 1 Corinthians 10:31

This verse in 1 Corinthians tells us that whatever we choose to do, we should do everything for the glory of God. Every day, we should be focusing upon ensuring that everything we do is for the glory of God. So, when it comes to Halloween, this continues to be true. We need to reflect upon whether our actions and choices do indeed bring glory to God: does trick or treating bring glory to God? Does dressing up as a ghost bring glory to God?

Don’t put yourself in a situation where you are more likely to commit a sin. Nowhere in the Bible does it suggest that there is anything inherently evil about dressing up as, let’s say a cowboy or a superhero, and visiting your neighbour’s houses. Just as in the same way there is nothing inherently evil or sinful about simply going to a nightclub. But visiting such a place does increase the likelihood of you committing a sin such as becoming drunk, saying things you shouldn’t or becoming violent. In the same way going out trick-or-treating, no matter how innocent your intentions, increases your likelihood of falling into sins such as celebrating witchcraft. Therefore, is it not wiser to avoid such circumstances that could lead you towards sin?

Do everything in faith. Romans 14 talks about ensuring that all we do is done in faith. It says that we should not argue over disputable matters, but should respect the different beliefs and traditions that we hold. It ends by saying:

“But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin”

– Romans 14:23

If you are in doubt as to whether celebrating Halloween is right or wrong, then you cannot be doing it in faith. If you have doubts, you need to study scripture and find out more about what you are participating in.

Finally, Romans 14 also tells us not to judge others you take a different viewpoint to us. It says:

“Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”

– Romans 14:13

Rather than judging those who differ from us, we should ensure that we do not cause them to sin. If you do choose to go trick-or-treating, don’t push those who don’t into joining you if they believe that they should not. If you choose not to participate, do not judge those who do get involved.

Alternative ways to celebrate Halloween as a Christian

 

Go to a light party

Loads of churches run fun alternatives to trick or treating, usually called Light Parties as they choose to turn away from the darkness celebrated by Halloween and celebrate the light of Jesus. These often involve games, food and crafts but could be as simple as just watching a movie together. They can be a great way for families to have fun, not feel like they’re missing out on anything, whilst also avoiding the scariness of trick or treating out on the streets.

Light Beacons

This year, the church we’re now attending are running Light Beacons. They set up stations in local parks and provide hot dogs, fun light-based activities and opportunities for prayer to those who are out and about trick or treating. This sounds like a great way to meet our community and engage those who do choose to go trick or treating. I’m looking forward to seeing how this works in practice!

Family Light Activities

If there are no organised light parties or light beacons near you, you could also choose to have your own “light activities” at home with your family, spouse or with friends. These could include pumpkin carving to make lanterns (these don’t need to be scary), baking and decorating cakes (because who doesn’t love cake?), creative prayer ideas such as glow stick chain prayers (check this out in my recent blog post) or you could even try making your own candles!

Get to know your neighbours

If you choose to stay at home for Halloween, the likelihood is that you will get at least a few visitors asking for sweets or chocolate. Why not take this opportunity to chat to them? Prepare yourself with a few questions to ask the families who visit you so that you can intentionally get to know your community. Ask their names, how they are, how long they’ve been out this evening. Be friendly, be hospitable and be a part of your community. If you have kids, you can also be prepared to explain (nicely) why you have chosen not to go trick or treating.

What are your plans this Halloween?

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1 Comment

  1. Love the ideas, thank you Arnold …. last year we had loads of trick or treaters and although we don’t celebrate Halloween, we did carve pumpkins like in your photo and hand out sweets, we did find it a great opportunity to talk to people 🙂 x

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