How Should Christians Handle Halloween?
By: Dr. Dillon Burroughs | ©2019
The Bible clearly addresses Christians should avoid any evil or sinful practices, including any type of witchcraft of Spiritism. But what about other aspects of the tradition? While each believer must choose wisely, here are four suggestions for handling Halloween this year.
Suggestion #1: Provide a Church-Based Alternative
Many churches address the negatives of Halloween by offering a positive alternative. Some of these traditions include:
- harvest parties
- fall hay ride
- costume party
- trunk-or-treat celebration
- kids’ event or concert
The goal with each of these alternatives is to enjoy time with those in a local church and community without embracing or accepting the questionable or negative aspects of Halloween. One church event I attended offered a children’s concert that led many children to faith in Christ, making the night a wonderful time to remember.
While some children may not notice the difference between a church party offering candy and trick-or-treating door to door, parents often appreciate the opportunity to enjoy a safe venue along with people offering a celebration without ghosts, witches, or other scary aspects of the night.
Suggestion #2: Offer Candy Plus Good News
If you live in a location where many children visit your home for candy, how can you use the opportunity for good? Some have chosen to offer a gospel booklet or activity to children along with candy.
I’ve had friends who live in a neighborhood where over 300 children stopped by their home on Halloween night. There is no better time to share Jesus with kids! Find an appropriate resource, grab some (good) treats, and see what God does as you offer hope along with a kind smile to each child visiting your home.
Suggestion #3: Share Your Faith with Your Costume
Another creative alternative is to dress as a Bible character to share your faith. Whether as a kid or as an adult, some have taken on themes like David and Goliath (with the child as David and the parent as Goliath), Jonah wrapped in seaweed from being spewed from the mouth of a fish, or Moses with a walking stick and Ten Commandments.
This is a great option for outgoing personalities! If you like talking with others about your faith, whether from door-to-door or combined with another event, a biblical costume opens some fun opportunities, including pictures and social media tie-ins to bring your message to an even larger audience.
Suggestion #4: Choose Another Alternative
Be creative! Those who do not prefer the above options have offered a variety of other alternatives. In college, I served with a group that offered a night of prayer and worship for those who were out on Halloween night. Since October 31 also marks Reformation Day, some churches offer activities related to this event.
People are going to be out on this evening whether you offer an option for them or not. Why not offer something positive to build and share faith?
While Halloween includes some elements inconsistent with our Christian faith, we can make the most of every opportunity, knowing the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). Whether a church-based alternative, sharing the gospel with those who visit your home, sharing your faith through a costume with a Bible theme, or choosing another alternative, we can shine a light on a dark night to help others see Christ in us.
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Dr. Dillon Burroughs
Dillon Burroughs serves as senior writer at The John Ankerberg Show and has written nearly 40 books on issues of faith and culture. He is also an associate editor for The Apologetics Bible for Students and has contributed to many works on apologetics and Christian worldview. Dillon is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and holds a PhD in Leadership from Piedmont International University. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his wife, Deborah, and their three children.