LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Can a Christian Celebrate Halloween?

I used to hear this question more several years ago--but it still comes up now and then. Today I was a spectator to a couple friends having this conversation...

What's your take on celebrating Halloween, going trick or treating, etc? Good, bad? Taking into consideration the history (although there are different versions) behind the holiday, interested in knowing what you think..

I loved Ted Bryant's answer. He's a guy in the church who is a professor at a local college, loves Jesus, and I really respect him as a parent. Here is what Ted had to say:

Great question - we do allow our children to dress up for Halloween; however, no witches, ghosts, bloody skulls, etc... - really nothing that celebrates death, violence, or darkness. In coordination with this, our Fall decorations around the house are pumpkins, corn stalks, cute scarecrows - no black cats, ghosts, witches, mummies, etc...We have a great family time trick or treating around our neighborhood, and is honestly, one of the biggest ways we meet many of our neighbors (kids and adults), since they are rarely just "out and about" during other times of the year. In the past few years, this whole experience has led to many conversations about witches, mummies, ghosts, violent characters (you the kids with an axe stuck in their head and "blood" that is all over their head), and other things that we believe have made them aware of how our beliefs/behaviors are different from the world's. Other "teaching moments" that come up during this time include greediness and even lust with candy, as well as nutritional things about candy and certain ingredients that we find in the candy themselves (because we rarely have candy or a lot of sweets in our house). This participation without celebration of darkness is how Ang and I have decided to walk the line of "in the world, but not of the world". I would love to hear from others on this as well.

Summary: Look at this holiday as an opportunity for two things: 1) build relationships with your neighbors, and 2) build values into your children. What are your thoughts about this holiday?