Halloween is a very diverse tradition (see the previous article on what is Halloween all about) with elements that are clearly non-Christian or anti-Christian. However, there are also many ways Christians can celebrate Halloween in a good way.
What should we avoid?
First of all, what should we avoid? It is clear from the Bible that Christians should not think of evil as entertainment. We are told not to interact with evil spirits or trying to tell the future. Only God holds our future and He will reveal what He thinks we need to know. The rest is off-limits, “There shall not be found among you anyone who (….) practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:10-13, Isaiah 8:19). We are not to believe in imaginary characters, like zombies or bogies, or be frightened by them. Our God is stronger than anything in the created world. Visible and invisible, real or imagined. “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” and “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, (…) nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (1 John 4:4 Romans 8: 38-39).
The dead roaming around
It is not according to the Bible to believe the spirits of the dead are roaming around. They leave the physical world, and face God’s righteous judgement. He will assign them a place, with Him or without Him (Luke 16:19-31). Spirits of the dead cannot bother us. They do not need our catering, our prayers or our guidance in any way, and we are never to fear them. The Holy Spirit living in us is strong and alive. “… giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Colossians 1:12-14).
Thank God for the examples of faithful believers
But there are good ways we can celebrate this season. First of all, there was the original Christian festival of remembering the saints and martyrs. We can take Halloween as a time to thank God for the examples of faithful believers who have gone before us and to learn from them. For example, read Hebrews 11. It has plenty of gruesome details too!
Season of generosity and prayer
Also, an old tradition was that poor people would go to the homes of richer people to receive ‘soul cakes’ and in exchange offer prayers for their souls. There are two beautiful things here. One, that it was a chance for the poor to get a good meal. Two, that people recognized that everybody’s earthly life would end at some point, and we needed to pray for each other’s souls. We can turn Halloween in a season of generosity and prayer for our neighbors.
One way to do this, if you live in a country where children come to the doors for candy, is to make sure you have something really nice to give out and perhaps add a little gospel booklet. After all, it is the time of the year when people think about supernatural things and death, and this can open people’s hearts to hear about Jesus, who conquered death for us all.
Some churches organize ‘light parties’ as a Halloween alternative. Children can come, dress up, enjoy games and candy and be in a safe place where they hear about the Light of the World. Maybe you could help organize one?
Don’t be afraid of bad influence
Lastly, don’t be afraid of bad influence. For example, I don’t think making chocolate in the shape of skulls is a very Christian thing to do. But if you are offered one, it won’t harm you spiritually, just say thank you and enjoy. Pumpkins likewise are God’s creation. We are to live free and unafraid as children of light (1 Corinthians 10:25-30, 1 John 2:14).