Christians and Concerns About Halloween

Should Christians participate in Halloween by allowing their kids to attend costume parties and go trick-or-treating? We have serious problems with this, but all the other families in our neighborhood go all out in celebrating the holiday. Our kids feel left out if we don't allow them to join in. What do you think we should do?

To be honest with you, we have mixed feelings about Halloween. On the one hand, we find many aspects of this holiday deeply disturbing, including its traditional emphasis upon ghosts, witches, devils, evil, and the occult. Like you, we’re uncomfortable with the “darker side” of Halloween.

On the other hand, certain features of the modern observance of Halloween strike us as being nothing but harmless fun. Children love dressing up, and we see no reason to stop them as long as their costumes are tasteful and non-occultic in theme. They also enjoy getting candy and goodies from the neighbors (who wouldn’t?) and showing off their outfits from door to door. From our perspective, there’s nothing objectionable about this part of Halloween. It’s hard to imagine a more innocent or childlike activity than trick-or-treating. This assumes, of course, that parents take precautions to provide for safe and reliable supervision before allowing their children to participate.

This is not to say that we don’t understand your feelings. On the contrary, we sympathize with your concerns and respect your commitment to biblical standards of holiness. We’re also aware that this topic is highly controversial among Christian parents. For this reason, we won’t presume to tell you how to handle the problem of Halloween in your home. The thoughts expressed here represent our opinion and we offer them to you purely as another perspective that you may want to take into consideration. Ultimately, we believe that you should stay faithful to your own convictions and do what you think best.

If you need help sorting out your feelings about this issue, call us. We have a staff of professional counselors who would be more than happy to come to your assistance.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in exploring this issue further, you may wish to listen to an episode of our children’s radio drama, Adventures in Odyssey, called
What Are We Gonna Do About Halloween? It’s available singly or on the Odyssey album
The Lost Episodes. You can purchase them by calling 800-A-FAMILY (800-232-6459) or through our online
Family Store.

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