This is a topic I have wanted to write about for some time, because it is something we get asked about a lot. It can be a bit of a controversial issue, so I have prayed about it, and am STILL praying about it because I don’t want it to come across in the wrong way. Hopefully, I can convey my stance and my convictions without seeming judgmental or arrogant, because I definitely don’t intend to be that way. Our decision not to celebrate Halloween is just that—OUR decision, based upon OUR convictions, and we don’t try to push those on anyone else. So please don’t feel like I am out to bash anyone who does or believes differently than we do. There are a lot of blog posts and articles out there that do come across as very judgmental, and while I may agree with some of the content in them, I definitely don’t agree with their delivery methods.
When I was growing up, my very Christian family celebrated Halloween. We went all out every year, with a ton of decorations that we hung up all over our house, pumpkin carving, and pretty elaborate costumes that often won us prizes at events. I loved to dress up, really enjoyed trick-or-treating (and of course, all the candy), helped out with my share of some haunted houses, and generally had a great time on All Hallows Eve. I enjoyed the day, even up through my early adult years. The churches where I attended always had Halloween parties and activities, and I never even thought twice about it. Every one I knew celebrated Halloween. I never heard anyone speak out about it, and really had no clue that there might be people out there who were against celebrating it.
So what changed?
Well, first of all, my husband grew up in a Christian family that didn’t celebrate Halloween. I thought it was silly, and when we got married, he conceded to do the Halloween thing for the first few years of our marriage. He was a full time youth minister, and our first year in ministry, we organized a fun youth Halloween party, complete with all the usual Halloween festivities. We had some Christian friends in that church who didn’t celebrate Halloween, and while at first, I thought they were ridiculous and a little fanatical, seeds were planted that later formed some definite roots.
Then one night, after we had already gone to bed, we got a phone call summoning my husband to the home of one of the families in our church. It was there that he came face to face with a demon, looking back at him through the eyes of a 16-year-old boy in our youth group. To say that he had no experience with something like that would be an understatement. He ended up calling a friend, a Seminary professor, who he knew did have experience with demons, and requested his help.
After it was confirmed that there was definitely a demonic presence with this boy, we embarked on a journey to help him and his family, and to become better equipped to deal with things of that nature. That journey took us down a path that opened our eyes and gave us a heightened sensitivity to the reality of the spiritual realm. We watched this family deal with something strong and evil in their son. We prayed a LOT and dove deep into the Scriptures. We spoke with people who had dealt with situations of the demonic, and we studied in-depth about spiritual warfare. God used everything we learned to hone our spiritual sensitivities and make us aware of things that we were not before. And one of those things was the intense spiritual darkness of Halloween.
Now, I’m not going to go all into the origins of Halloween. They stem from both pagan and Catholic superstitions and observances, and people will argue the intentions of the originators until they are blue in the face. I’m not interested in getting into all that. I’m not even really interested in trying to sway people one way or the other about Halloween, at least not that way. Basically, what it boils down to is that the Lord completely changed my heart with regard to my feelings about the observance of Halloween. I had been a full-out Halloween partier. I saw no issue with what I considered to be a fun and innocent holiday to celebrate, and I thought those who didn’t participate were party poopers and over-the-top when it came to their religious feelings about it.
But the Holy Spirit showed me some things that challenged my way of thinking, and convinced me to change my mind. And when He does that, there is usually a really good reason for it. That kind of thing makes me stand up and take notice and to really listen to what He wants to teach me or show me. I believe, as the Bible teaches, that the Holy Spirit is the One who leads us into all truth. And I feel like the Holy Spirit spoke very clearly to my heart about some truths regarding Halloween that I simply had not seen or understood before. He spoke to my husband also, and we both have agreed strongly and unequivocally, together, that it is not something the Lord wants our family to participate in. At all. And that is the real reason we don’t celebrate Halloween.
I could quote verses and talk specifics, but I don’t really feel as though that is necessary. The bottom line is that the Lord told us not to do something, and so we are responding in obedience. I don’t think that every person, and every Christian who celebrates Halloween is worshiping the devil or doing evil. That’s preposterous. But I know for a fact that there are people and forces out there that are celebrating and reveling in evil on October 31st. And my husband and I feel convicted by the Holy Spirit to the point that we don’t want to have any part in glorifying anything about that day, even if it’s going to a church’s “fall festival,” or dressing up as an angel, a princess, Captain America, or even Moses. We believe that we are to have nothing to do with any of the traditions or festivities that in any way hint to a celebration of that “holiday.” That is what the Lord has laid very heavily on our hearts, and therefore, we are going to honor that.
We choose to be different on Halloween, even if it means being different from many of our Christian friends. Does that mean we judge them or look down on them for their choice? Absolutely not. Each of us has to live according to the convictions that God has placed on our hearts. And this is simply one of ours.
And those friends I mentioned earlier? They turned out to be not so ridiculous or fanatical after all 😉 Eighteen years of friendship have proven God’s grace and blessing to us (and their willingness to put up with us!) In fact, our families will be spending October 31st together this year, and I couldn’t be more grateful.