I am asked often if it is okay for Christians to celebrate Halloween. Some ask that question having already made up their mind that there is nothing wrong with the celebration, and it doesn’t matter what they do on that night, it’s all okay. And nothing I say can change their minds. Others ask that question having already made up their mind that the whole thing is satanic worship, and that “good” Christians should take no part in any of the activities, not even going trick-or-treat. And nothing I say can change their minds either.
So, what is the answer to the controversial question, “Should Christians observe Halloween?” With no direct references to Halloween in the Bible, resolving the debate can be a challenge. How should Christians approach Halloween and is there a Biblical way to observe this secular holiday?
The dilemma over Halloween may fall under the category of a Romans 14 issue, or a “disputable matter.” These are matters that lack clear and specific direction from the Bible. Ultimately, Christians must decide for themselves and follow their own convictions regarding the observance of Halloween.
Romans 14:5-6 says, “One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.”
In scripture, there is nothing that specifically warns against observing Halloween. So rather than providing an answer, ask yourself about your own convictions on this issue. As Christians, why are we here in this world? Are we here to live in a safe and protected environment, guarded against the evils in the world, or are we called to reach out into a world filled with dangers and be the light of Christ? Halloween brings people of the world to our door step. Halloween brings our neighbors out into the streets. I can think of various creative ways to seize this opportunity for developing new relationships and sharing my faith.
But, is it possible that our negativity toward Halloween only alienates the people we seek to reach? Can we be in the world, but not of the world? Perhaps the answer to the Halloween dilemma is…, there is no right or wrong answer!
The Purpose Driven Church
What Drives Your Church?
Special Guest Speaker – Art Marcum
Matthew 7:22 says, “On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me…””
Just one week into October 2012, sports fans across the United States were howling foul. Officiating calls in the final week of replacement referees in an NFL game and in Major League baseball’s National League Wildcard game had turned the sports world upside down.
In September 24th’s Monday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers, as the clock wound down, two players, Green Bay’s M. D. Jennings and Seattle’s Golden Tate, went up for a hail Mary pass. Although Jennings had the ball secured in his chest as the two fell to the ground, Tate was ruled to have “dual possession,” having his hands around the ball at the same time.
The NFL rule states that if two players of opposite teams have simultaneous dual possession, the catch will be given to the offensive player. The officials said that Tate’s possession, according to the rules, gave Seattle the winning touchdown and set off such a fan uproar. NFL officials hurriedly completed the negotiation with the regular refs, hoping to move on.
And then, on October 5th, in the first Wild Card Playoff game in Major League History, a pop up to shallow left field became the talk of injustice. The Atlanta Braves were trailing by 3 with runners at first and second base with Simmons at the plate. Simmons hits the infamous popup, and Saint Louis Cardinal short stop Pete Kozma apparently drifts under the ball with little effort, waving his arms to call off left fielder Matt Holiday. The officials called the “infield fly rule,” which states that if an infielder can easily play a pop up with runners at first and second base, with less than two outs in the inning, the batter will be out and the base runners can advance at their own risk. However, as the call is signaled by official Sam Holbrook, Kozma runs away from the ball and it lands on the ground without being caught. The results? The call had already been made, and the Cardinals go on to win the game.
In both situations, the fan debate has drifted from whether the rule should have been applied, and if it should, is the rule flawed? Someday, we will all stand before the Head Referee, the Eternal Judge. He will rule according to His word. Yet many will say, “That rule doesn’t apply here.” Others will protest, “That rule was never fair.”
But the rule for eternity is clear, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” The key to victory in this life and in the life to come is simple, having a personal relationship with Christ. Being baptized into Him. And striving to live a steadfast life.
Many will bring up other rules they had been taught by religion, list the reasons why they should be exceptions to the rules, and even claim that it is ridiculous to put so much importance on one issue or rule anyway. But to them, the Ref will say, “I am sorry. I never knew you.”