As Halloween approaches one will usually hear from those condemning the day for its pagan origins, and urging that Christians boycott it altogether. There is no question that Halloween is rooted in paganism along with connections to early Catholicism. Christmas and Easter share similar associations. The same voices, however, are not always heard against the latter two, proving once again that the “legs of the lame are not always equal.”
Halloween is rooted in occult practices and the superstitions of ancient pagans of Celtic origin. We must ask ourselves, however, whether our current cultural traditions are related to the long forgotten origins of a particular practice. If one is into Halloween for occultic reasons, that is a different ballgame. Some enjoy going through haunted houses and watching very gory movies. Not me! What does Halloween mean to us today? When we have our Halloween parties are we paying homage to false gods, witchcraft, spirits of the dead and Satan? Of course not! Trick-or-treating does not translate into occult practices.
Leslie G. Thomas addressed a couple of questions about Halloween in his book, What the Bible Teaches – The Answers to Your Questions, Vol. 1 (1961). He said, “Since Christians do not regard this as a religious ceremony I do not see anything wrong with young people participating in such celebrations, provided, of course, that they do not trespass upon the rights of others. It would be wrong for them to do anything that would result in personal or property damage to others. The observance of Halloween, like many other such practices, has not been kept on the plane of its original intention.” Brother Thomas’s answer brings back some memories of my childhood when Halloween involved rolling trees or soaping (with a bar of paraffin) windows or screens (wow!). I was never guilty of the former, but plead the fifth on the latter two!
What does Halloween mean to you? I’m like the football commentator Al Michaels. On a recent NFL broadcast he asked, “You know what Halloween means to me? Candy corn!” I’m with Al Michaels on that! Regular or fall mix! Halloween is exciting to me for “pumpkin parties,” and an annual viewing of It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. It’s fun to see kids enjoy dressing up in costumes, pumpkin carving contests, games and bringing home lots of candy.
In 1 Corinthians 8 Paul addressed the problem of eating meats offered to idols. Some saw it as giving allegiance to false gods. Paul said, “we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one” (Vs. 4). But, if one views a practice as unclean to him it is unclean (Rom. 14:14). If one has a conscience against Halloween as “unclean,” to him it is “unclean.”