Before I even start, let me say up front that if you celebrate Halloween, I have nothing against you, and I don’t judge you.
A few days ago a friend asked me how I explained to my children why we don’t go out for Halloween. Since my kids hadn’t really asked about it (at least, they hadn’t asked me) I hadn’t really thought about it. My friend and I talked a bit about the topic, then I mentioned it to Louis the next day.
I know a lot of people think that kids who don’t “get” to celebrate Halloween are missing out on innocent fun, and are being over protected and sheltered. And I can see where they’re coming from. After all, I grew up celebrating Halloween and it was totally innocent fun. Dress up, get free candy. Awesome! Right?
I hadn’t even heard of Christians not going out for Halloween until one of my friends in high school mentioned that her family didn’t. I didn’t really think much of it then. I still wanted that free candy for as long as I could get away with trick or treating.
It all changed when I became a mom though (funny how parenthood does that to you.) That’s when I started to look into the history of Halloween.
Halloween is believed to have originated from the Gaelic Samhain festival. Ancient Gaels used to believe that on that night, the boundary between living and dead overlapped and the dead could rise. They would put on scary masks to either scare away the dead, or to trick the evil spirits into thinking they were one of them (depending on which source you read.)
Trick or treating? Notice it’s not “trick and treat”, which could imply that “I will do a trick to entertain you and you will reward me with a treat.”
Trick or treating started out as a threat that, “if you don’t give me a treat, I’m going to play a trick on your property.” Maybe it all started out in fun, but we all know that there are lots of smashed pumpkins, egged windows, and toilet-papered trees to be cleaned up on November 1st. I also don’t want my children to be a part of the greed involved. I remember that it was always a contest as to who got the most and best candy among my friends and my brother. Never gratitude; just envy and disappointment that we didn’t get enough.
Now add in the tradition of scaring everyone.
1 Timothy 1:7 tells us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear…”
If God is telling us that he does not want us to be afraid, I think we shouldn’t be trying to scare people.
There is also a lot of divination involved with Halloween. Yes, I know, most people don’t do that. But it’s there. Satan is having a field day on Halloween. A little Ouija board here, a short seance there. Add in costumes portraying death (always in a negative way) and the devil. All in good fun, right? All the devil needs is a tiny foothold to make us think “hey, nothing happened..this is safe, innocent fun.” He is a liar and a deceiver. Nothing to do with the devil is safe.
Halloween involves a lot of trickery, scaring, confusion, greed, celebration of evil and the occult (even if it’s just intended for fun).
All of these are things that God hates.
Which is why we don’t do Halloween.