Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

It’s late October again, which means another Christian debate over whether it is appropriate to celebrate Halloween.

The tradition has roots in pagan rituals and ancient practices of sacrifice and evil spirits. Many Christians equate Halloween with a satanic holiday. One Christian site summarizes the issue here.

But what does it mean for today? More importantly, what does it mean for Christians?

My first thought is we are certainly far enough removed from those origins of Halloween to co-opt those ghouls, goblins, ghosts, witches and other frights to make them part of a modern experience, regardless of your religion.

One Christian group is attempting to do just that by turning Halloween into Jesus Ween, a faith-based alternative to Halloween. Instead of candy, supporters hand out Bibles and other Christian gifts. Now that’s what I call making lemonade!

What do you think? Should Christians still be uncomfortable about Halloween?

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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One Response to Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

  1. Leah says:

    While I think that Christians (and anyone else) have the absolute right to abstain from celebrating Halloween, or whatever activity they’ve concluded does not edify their faith or further their walk with God, I think there is danger in judging or requiring other people (even fellow believers) to live according to one’s own convictions.

    At the end of the day most of our celebrations and traditions have roots in some sort of past pagan ritual—including Christmas trees, the money in our pocket, and the name for God’s holy day, “Sunday.”

    The point is the source of something doesn’t necessarily make it inherently evil.

    So while the connections made between Halloween and evil may be seemly obvious, we need to be aware that invisible evils, like judgementalism and a legalistic spirit are perhaps more dangerous to our spiritual walk, or the spiritual walk of others.

    May we all strive for the same end (to be like Jesus), but have the grace to understand that everyone begins that journey from a different starting point. Jesus did not come to condemn but to save, even those who like to dress up and get a little free candy.

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