May a Christian family take their children trick or treating at Halloween?

Reasons for saying “No” are:

  • Too much sugar is bad for them.
  • Some children are terrified by masks – don’t subject them to terror.

These reasons have nothing to do with being Christian.

If Christians were serious about avoiding any celebration with pagan roots then they would have to stop giving gifts at Christmas and avoid anything to do with bunnies or eggs at Easter.

The same branch of Christianity that tries to terrify its adherents with talk of demon forces will also speak of the Triune God as the only Almighty. If this Almighty God is in you, whether you speak of this indwelling as the Holy Spirit or as Jesus in your heart, then it makes no sense to be terrified of demons who are lesser beings according to those who believe in evil spirits. In John’s Epistles we read “Greater is the One who is in you than the one who is in the [evil] world.”

Creating horror stories can be lucrative. Just ask Stephen King. Scaring your listeners with predictions of doom and gloom can make them easier to manipulate. However, there is enough in this world to fear from nature and human society without creating unnecessary terror from folklore. Scary stories were meant to warn children about certain things in the natural environment or the society at the time they originated. They may be legitimate teaching methodology but they should not be used to feed one’s greed or lust for power.

Some speak against Halloween with a genuine motive of purifying Christianity from all pagan influences. They should know that trying to trace the historical roots of social customs is always going to be sketchy. We don’t know why someone started to do something different on a given day, but that is all it takes to develop a custom or tradition. Better than trying to “purify” is simply putting new meaning on what is done. So enjoy costume parties and trick or treating without worrying about awakening some demon or incurring God’s wrath.

Pastor Phil