Can Halloween Be an Entirely Innocent Practice?/Part 2
|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2002|
|How does God view Christian parents participating in, or allowing their children to participate in an holiday that is so honored by occultists and the devil? Is abstinence a far better option for Christians? What Scriptures can be applied to this question?|
How does God, as He looks down on Halloween night, in full awareness of the events that have happened on this night historically and today, view little children, especially Christian children, dressed up as ghosts, devils, witches, and goblins? Or even dressed up as innocent characters but going out on that very night so dedicated by occultists to their own activities?
How does God view Christian parents, His own spiritual children, participating in an event that, on that very day, is so honored by occultists and the devil—the day on which so much evil has been committed historically, and is actually being committed on that very night?
The larger question this raises—that of Christians innocently participating in Halloween—is whether it involves a deliberate mockery of God on the part of the devil; i.e., to have God’s own children participate symbolically in celebrations that are tributes to Satan, pagan gods, and all kinds of evil?
Is it possible that we can see Satan deliberately mocking God by having children, and especially Christian children, actively participating in the symbolic activities on the very day which he, Satan, is most honored? Satan, of course, knows the meanings of these symbols—and so does God. If we think of who Satan is, what he does, and how he views Halloween, then how must God view little children being out on Halloween, Satan’s special day—even being sent out by Christian parents? Perhaps then it doesn’t look quite so innocent anymore.
The history of the occult makes it clear that Satan hates children and we know he hates Christians. Jesus Himself loved the children and said of them that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. What do you think Jesus thinks of Halloween? If Jesus were sitting in your living room on October 31, would He encourage your children to go out trick-or-treating? Remember Halloween has sparked the interest of untold numbers of kids in the world of the occult. In light of this, Jesus also said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck and he be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).
Albert James Dager presents the following argument against any participation in Halloween. Although we do not necessarily agree with everything stated, we think he makes some good points:
- To engage in revelry associated with such an anti-Christ festivity as Halloween is a slap in our Lord’s face…. As pastors and teachers have the responsibility of educating parents, the responsibility of educating children in the commandments of God weighs heavily upon the shoulders of parents. But no more so in this age or society than in ages past. The difference is that today children rule many homes, Christian and non-Christian alike. For that reason, compromise is the easy way out for parents who, thinking they are showing love by acquiescence, are really destroying their children’s spiritual life.
- No matter what the evil, parents are forever searching for alternatives in order that their children not feel deprived of the world’s fun. When it comes to Halloween, Christians decide to substitute their own parties for the worlds. Instead of calling their festivities “Halloween parties,” they call them “Harvest Festivals” and dress them in biblical costumes. But that’s what Halloween is: a harvest festival. And many children wear biblical costumes for Halloween anyway, so what’s the difference except in the compromise of their minds? You can be sure that to most children it’s still Halloween that they’re celebrating….
- It isn’t going to traumatize children if they aren’t allowed to join in some things just because “everyone else is doing it.” It’s the responsibility of Christian parents to teach their children the truth from the beginning; not to wait until they’ve been sufficiently infected by the world that they must be deprogrammed at a later date. Children who are taught to love Jesus will understand that, because of that love, they shouldn’t have anything to do with the celebration that glorifies the power of God’s enemies.
Unfortunately, the Christian church never truly Christianized Halloween—the Roman church merely baptized it with its own unique, if unbiblical, beliefs concerning sin, the saints, and purgatory. We think the solution is for the Christian church to follow the lead of the great Reformer, Martin Luther. Let’s make Halloween a universal day to joyfully celebrate and teach the Reformation and all it implies to us and our children, especially the doctrines of Scripture alone (Scripture, not the church, as the final authority), faith alone (justification by grace through faith alone), and glory to God alone—not glory to the church. And certainly not glory to the devil.
But, some parents will argue, “My kids do not care about the Reformation—they want to go out trick-or-treating. The last thing in the world they want to do is stay home and hear stories about Jesus or learn Bible doctrine.” Of course, maybe that’s the problem. Have we been educating our children properly and Scripturally as God has commanded us to?
God commands that we are to teach our children doctrine. Consider Deuteronomy 4:5-10, especially in light of the testimony we give on Halloween, either one way or another. Moses writes,
- See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horab, when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.”
In other words, just as the ancient Israelites could offer a testimony of God before the surrounding nations by obeying and teaching the commandments and statutes of God—and by this glorify God before the nations—so Christians can do something similar on Halloween. By obeying and teaching the doctrines relating to the Reformation on the day of Halloween, Christians can become a testimony to their neighbors around them concerning the greatness and power of these teachings to change lives and glorify the one true God.
In fact, hardly any endeavor in life is more rewarding or exciting than learning Bible doctrine. We only wish we had the space to go into this. Of course, if parents have never learned the joy and adventure of studying theology; then obviously their kids never have. But, for those who know the rewards of learning doctrine for themselves and their children, not to mention its impact in society through the church, what better night to do this on?
In conclusion, here are some things to consider concerning whether or not your children should participate in Halloween:
- It is the most sacred day of witchcraft and other occultism.
- It was and is believed to be the only day of the year in which the devil’s help could especially be invoked for a variety of things; it remains a special day to Satanists.
- Human sacrifice was and is offered (perhaps most commonly) on this day.
- It has and will continue to encourage occult activity on the part of both children and adults.
- It is a special day to call on spirits via the Ouija board and other forms of spiritism.
- It is a day noted historically for divination.
- It helps support pagan philosophies and practices such as reincarnation, animism, Shamanism and Druidism.
- It is of help to the practices and beliefs of mediums and psychical researchers by encouraging people’s interest in things like ghosts and poltergeists.
- Occultists use this day especially for proselytization concerning their professions and activities.
- It can unequally yoke Christians and pagans.
- Probably no Halloween activity or symbol can be found that does not go back to pagan occultism.
- Christian participation in Halloween may, in fact, be a ploy of the devil to mock God.
- “Whatever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).
Of course, when Halloween activities actually involve genuine occult practices, the Scripture is clear that these are to be avoided. Both the Old and New Testaments have many references condemning the practice of witchcraft, sorcery, spiritism, contacting the dead, divination, and so forth—all things potentially associated with Halloween.
- Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God (Leviticus 19:31).
- Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead…. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so (Deuteronomy 18:10, 11, 14).
- [King Manasseh of Judah] practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger (2 Chronicles 33:6).
Nowhere are we told such activities are acceptable before God. In light of these scriptures, no one can logically argue that the Bible is accepting of such practices.
- Albert James Dager, “Halloween: Should Christians Be Apart?”, Media Spotlight, 1986, P. O. Box 1288, Costa Mesa, CA 92628-1288.)
- See our The Facts on Halloween (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1996).
- See our The Coming Darkness, Appendix A.