Is Halloween evil? Is it wrong for someone who holds the Christian worldview to celebrate Halloween?
Your question is one that many sincere Christians wonder. One of the components of the Christian worldview is the desire to honor God with your life. That being said, I will reframe the question to say, “Can you honor God with your life by choosing to celebrate a secular holiday?” There are multiple options for answering this question, but I believe that it comes down to heart intentions and affections for God.
Let’s look at a few different holidays as an example:
Fourth of July
You can celebrate the independence of the United States of America while eating some great food and enjoying fireworks in the sky. On the other hand, you can idolize country and nationalism by giving the US of A more affection than she is due, and prioritizing your identity as an American citizen above your identity as a child of God.
You can celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ by contemplating the transcendent God of the universe, who became immanent through the incarnation and sit in awe of this incredible act initiated to save humanity. On the other side of this spectrum, many people who celebrate Christmas treat it like a secular holiday. You can get so caught up in the parties, gift-giving, gift-receiving and overall stress of the holidays that you neglect to have any affection for God incarnate−Jesus Christ−that the holiday is named after.
You can celebrate Halloween by enjoying some free candy, exercising God-given creativity by coming up with the best (appropriate) costume and build community within a neighborhood or church fellowship. On the flip side of this you can also drink in excess at a party (drunkenness), binge on candy in excess (gluttony), come up with a costume that is not honoring to God or yourself since you are made in God’s image or participate in something even more sinister and dark−tying closely to some pagan practices.
As you can see, there are ways that God can be honored or dishonored through your actions and affections.
Is it possible for someone to love God and still celebrate a holiday? Certainly! You can engage your life and the culture around you by living in ways that represent the goodness, truth and justice, therefore, honoring God. You can choose to honor God through your actions and put Him first in all life scenarios−including holidays.
Is it possible for someone to distort their heart's intentions and affections by celebrating a holiday in a way that is dishonoring to God? Certainly! You can engage your life and culture by distorting goodness, truth and justice, therefore, dishonoring God. You can choose to idolize things like country (Fourth of July), materialism (Christmas) or self/evil (Halloween). What you are choosing to prioritize in actions and affections shows what you truly worship.
In John 14:15 Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” Jesus does not specifically mention holidays that we celebrate in our modern culture, but he does mention that he desires for us to love God and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Not to reduce the issue too much, but I feed myself candy−it makes sense to me that I would also be willing to pass some out to my neighbors.
Want more? Check out all the articles from Theology Thursday and return each week for a new post. Learn more about the College of Theology by checking out our website or requesting more information with the button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.