Celebrating a Christian-style Halloween: Is it possible?
As a Christian, especially on the Pentecostal/Charismatic side of the church, celebrating Halloween was not only frowned upon, it was recommended that Christians not recognize it at all. Most of this taboo arose from the secular world adopting the holiday or ‘Holy Day’ and turning it into something that it was never intended to represent. If we look at the word Halloween, and break the word apart, it is really two words compacted together to form one word. The first word of course is ‘Hallow’ which means ‘Holy’ and then we have the ending of ‘een’ which is the poetical abbreviation of ‘even’ or ‘evening.’
Prior to the Reformation, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ was Roman Catholic and one of the church’s holidays is ‘All Saints’ Day’ and so of course, the evening before would be ‘Holy Evening.’ This was supposed to be set aside as a time for prayer and meditation. However, the secular world eventually adopted it and began to utilize the peasant customs that had been in use by the Celtic Peoples. There was a time when it was believed that if you hung up certain types of talismans it would ward off the evil spirits that were believed to be roaming on that particular night, looking to snatch up lost souls. This is where the custom of carving Jack-O-Lanterns came to be, as it was believed that evil spirits would lead lost or wandering souls that happened to be returning home late on that night by shining ‘lanterns’ as if they were leading the traveler home. However, if the traveler continued to follow these eerie lanterns they usually led them off a steep cliff to their death.
So can Christians on the Pentecostal or Evangelical side of the church celebrate Hallowed Evening? While the determination rests with each parent, Christians can teach their children that there is still a spiritual warfare that satan wages against all Christians, not just on one day of the year but on every day. But as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, He has given us the victory over satan and every evil spirit and they must bow at the mention of His Glorious Name.
Some suggestions for Christian families if they choose to celebrate this day:
- Teach the family about our victory in the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Teach the children how to share their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Purchase Bible tracts that are geared to a younger reader.
- Hand out the tracts along with assorted goodies to the children who come to your door.
- As the young children hold out their ‘goodie bags’ make sure to say “God Bless you” as you give them treats and a tract. So instead of “Trick or Treat,” you can say “Tract or Treat.”
- If you have young children who want to dress up, let them choose Biblical characters.
- Pray before taking your children out door to door and pray when you return so that the focus remains primarily on the Lord Jesus Christ and not the candy.
So can Christians celebrate ‘Hallowed Evening?” Yes, we can. However, as Christians we should keep our focus on the Lord Jesus Christ.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.