True History of Halloween: Should Christians Celebrate?

I thought this was a very helpful article sent by a church friend of mine.

Each year at this time questions arise regarding the celebration of Halloween and if Christians should participate in it. Many Christians view Halloween as an expression of Satan-worship (with all its pagan roots and fruits). I’m sympathetic and certainly agree that not every practice connected with Halloween should be tolerated or imitated. Christians clearly, must be careful and thoughtful here and guard against the spirit of the world which does in fact worship Satan (though often unawares). But that’s only half the work. The other half involves refusing to allow Satan to get credit for things that don’t belong to him.

It is interesting how Satan works. He is not creative. He does not invent things. But he is expert in twisting good things into instruments of evil. He is a genius when it comes to perversion — turning things upside down. He loves to take the things of God and twist them into instruments of ungodliness.

The Church’s job in many ways comes down to turning everything that has been turned upside down by sin and Satan, rightside up again. Reconciliation means upturning those things that have been overturned by sin and twisted into instruments of unrighteousness, so that they bring glory to God again. This is precisely what the Church has done in regard to sensuality and sexuality. Over the years the Church has performed the service of re-instructing the world regarding the truth and proper place of the family, the arts, entertainment, business and labor, and many other fields of human endeavor.

But we must not forget that the Church has had to do this because it has itself been deceived and misled by Satan concerning these things. And such is the case, at least in part, with the celebration of Halloween.

It was no accident that Luther did what he did on “Halloween” — “all saints eve.” The word “Halloween” is of course simply a contraction for “All Hallow’s Eve.” The word “hallow” means “sanctify” or “saint.” It is simply synonym for the word “holy” (thus we pray “hallowed be Thy name” when we desire God to glorify and exalt His name in the earth). The church, following the pattern of beginning the celebration of feasts the evening before the actual feast day, began the celebration of All Saints Day the evening before (All Saints Eve, “Halloween”).

All Saints Day is the celebration of the victory of the all saints who, because of their union with Christ have triumphed over the world, the flesh, and the devil. The observance of various celebrations of All Saints arose in the late 300s, and in the late 700s these various celebrations were united and fixed on November 1.

Contrary to modern legend, the origin of All Saints Day and All Saints Eve in European Christianity had nothing to do with Celtic paganism or the Church’s fight against the pagan Druids (and serious questions are being raised now by scholars about what we have been told regarding the Druids. Many are coming to believe that much of what we have been told is actually a myth concocted in the 19th century by neo-pagans)…

The Christian calendar turns the entire year into a drama. Beginning with the Feast of the Incarnation, the world moves progressively from darkness to light. The death of Winter is turned into the resurrection of Spring which corresponds to the Feast of the Resurrection (Easter). Then comes Pentecost and the time of growth and maturity. We do battle with the effects of sin and the curse upon the ground — we fight the weeds and the bugs to protect the seed until the harvest. When the harvest comes in, Satan, seeing the defeat of his efforts to destroy us again, seeks one last time to achieve victory before the year’s end. October 31 came to signify that day. Satan seeks to destroy the saints, but he is banished again by the victory of Christ and the joy and gladness that now has filled the earth through the Church….

The Church vanquishes the demonic realm by its joyful worship of the risen and conquering Savior. Because Jesus has overcome, we are able to laugh and make merry in the face of evil. Indeed, this is the place for holy mockery. Satan’s great sin (and our great sin) is pride. He has been brought down by the Son of God and has endured a spectacular fall. Thus, we read that Jesus make a public spectacle of him by his work on the cross (Col 2:15). Satan has been exposed as a ridiculous pretender and impostor and has been publicly humiliated.

To drive Satan from us, we ridicule him. This is why the custom arose of portraying Satan as being dressed in a red suit with horns and a tail. No one actually thought that he really looked like this (the Bible teaches that he appears as “an angel of light”) but the idea was to make fun of him because he has been defeated by the victorious Son and he no longer has power over us. He is not to be feared any longer but resisted steadfast and mocked.

So, October 31, the eve of All Saints, came to be associated with the defeat of evil and of all demonic powers by Christ and through Christ, by all His people. And it was for this reason, that Martin Luther chose October 31 to post his 95 theses against indulgences and the wicked practices of the Church on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. He chose this day intentionally, to connect it with the defeat of all things that exalted themselves against Christ and His glorious saving work. And ever since, Halloween has also been the day we mark as the beginning of the Reformation….

Now it is true that the world has lost the original intent of Halloween and they now think of it as a time of mischief and fear of the unknown. But this is not the first time the world has gotten our symbolism wrong is it? Satan still enjoys perverting holy customs and traditions and he has been particularly successful in twisting the meaning of Halloween. So that now this night has in fact become a night of fear and wickedness and debauchery for many as men take advantage of the time to destroy and injure others and carry on perversion. But this only serves as another reason for us to reclaim this day and put it back in its proper place….

Reformation Day or Halloween is not a time to look back wistfully at the past. We are not called to pine away for the past or to engage in sentimental dreaming about the “good ole days” (even if they actually were “good ole days”!).

The purpose of commemorative celebrations is to encourage us to move forward — armed not only with the knowledge of the past but with the confidence that history gives us because of what Jesus has done. We do not worship the past, but we do learn from it. One of the great lessons we can learn from the past is that the Church has never surrendered the past to Satan. The church has never retreated from reclaiming the world for King Jesus.

It is certainly understandable that Christians are uneasy and cautious about Halloween (and it seems to me that this is not at all unwise). But our uneasiness and caution must not move us to surrender truth. Originally Halloween was a Christian celebration and that is why we need to celebrate it today. We need to again refocus the world upon the victory of the saints. And thus, All Saints Eve is an important opportunity to demonstrate the victory of Christ over all evil. And it is a victory not just for Protestants, but for the whole world.

This celebration gives us another opportunity to imitate God. The psalmist says that when God observed all the conspiracies and perverse efforts of men to oppose and destroy His purposes, He laughed (Psa. 2). Halloween, All Saints Eve, gives us an opportunity to join in God’s holy laughter and mock the enemies of our Savior — from the least to the greatest. No matter what the world says or does, He is the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God — Lord over all Lords, king over all the kings of the earth. The world may revel in death, but we will celebrate life — life abundant, eternal, and triumphant.

Special credit for this article goes to James Jordan’s article “Concerning Halloween” in the Biblical Horizons newsletter.

62 Responses to “True History of Halloween: Should Christians Celebrate?”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Great information. I am going to have an All Saints Day Feast on Sunday!
    All things for His glory!
    Jen

  2. That’s a very interesting article! Thanks for sharing it! We never “did” Halloween when I was a child, but my husband always did and insists that our children will. It hasn’t happened up to this point due to other things we had to do the past couple of Halloweens, but this year he’ll be taking the kids out (while I’m at a standing comittment).

    I think my primary reticence has to do with the phrase “trick or treat” and the use of jack-o-lanterns, but both of those objections are due to the Druidic tradition that I’ve been taught about all my life.

    My question is, how exactly do we reclaim this holiday? It’s not like Christmas or Easter where there are obvious “Christian” things to celebrate. Do we spend the day teaching our kids about the reformation? Martin Luther? Remembering various saints we know who have gone before us?

    I guess I’m looking for practical tips…

  3. Jill says:

    I’m letting mine go trick or treating. There is such a thing as getting too riled up about nothing but possible cavities!

  4. When my older girls were little, we made a huge colorful paper banner for the outside of our garage door that said, “Death? Darkness? Destruction? Jesus is Life, Light, and Love!” One year we had a “Light the Night” evangelistic party for our neighbors. We are not really a trick-or-treat family, though. We sometimes go to a fall festival at one of the churches.

    We’re having a birthday party tonight for my 15 year old daughter, and they are all in the dining room carving jack-o-lanterns.

  5. P.S. On All Saints Day I always take time to think about all of the wonderful Christians who have poured their lives into mine over the decades. It’s a sweet time for me. I also sing the old hymn “For All the Saints.” I wrote a blog post about this last year, which you can find at http://virginiaknowles.blogspot.com/2008/11/happy-all-saints-day.html

  6. That was a refreshing article. Good to see where some of this stuff came from. I had heard, long ago when I was a kid, that the origins of this holiday were to mock Satan and death.

    We always did the trick-or-treat thing with our children and it was a fun family thing. We always avoided anything that smacked of the demonic. We shouldn’t allow the fear of Satan to rule.

    I don’t like the gruesome decorations that are out now. The world always tries to pervert everything.

    Thanks for posting that.

  7. We always call it “Halloweening”, not trick or treating – small thing, but part of our educating our little girl about the difference between having fun dressing up and collecting candy vs. glamourizing Satanic images.

    We have to go Halloweening – I need my candy supply for the year!

  8. Denise says:

    This article is weakened by its lack of footnotes. Several critical assertions are made that have no visible basis in fact.

    If you want to state “facts” that are new to the reader and then you use them to bolster your logic, please provide documentation.

  9. Becky says:

    Well,You could tell yourself that, but halloween does not glorify Jesus-it glorifies evil. Compromisers who don’t mind holding hands with the devil, if just for a night. Surely the Lord won’t mind. He’ll understand. It’s compromise. Where’s your courage! Afraid people will scoff at you? Afraid your children will be made fun of if you take a stand against this demonic day? If you say you’d die for HIM then why can’t you give up just one day FOR HIM? Wake up people and quit being foolish.

  10. Ann says:

    I am still trying to fathom the American fascination with this holiday, which as Becky rightly points out glorifies evil. It is now so entwined in evil, selfishness and mischief it is very difficult to redeem – even just collecting candy, your children go out with the expectation that they will receive something, to the houses you visit you are ‘trick or treaters’ who arrive on doorsteps with the understanding that if they don’t receive any, the ‘candy collectors’ somehow have the right to ‘curse’ those people, or throw eggs at windows or worse. You may tell your children not to retaliate or bear grudges but even the sheer act of visiting houses with the expectation of receiving something from those who reside there, to me, just does not sit right. When I send my children to the neighbour’s house at Christmas – they go bearing gifts, perhaps taking a cake they have made, an act of reaching out. Unfortunately, Halloween is becoming more popular in Australia. I have never allowed my children to take part in any celebration of Halloween and this is the reason – When I was a young person living in the UK, I attended a church meeting where the speaker was a woman who had converted from witchcraft to Christianity. She had been ‘high up’, a member or even the leader of a powerful witches coven in Europe. Her story was traumatic and chilling and I have never forgotten the moment when she addressed the parents in the room and pleaded with them – Her words were ‘Parents -if you knew what actually went on during Halloween you would never allow your children to celebrate this festival.’ She was speaking from experience. Praise God that she was dramatically converted and came to know Jesus – the author and giver of life who can rescue people from the darkest of places.

  11. Karen says:

    Thanks for this post Kelly. Growing up in an Italian Catholic family we celebrated the day before All Saints Day by dressing up as a favorite saint or bible character and acting out or sharing stories of their lives. We have encouraged our children to do the same. They really don’t miss what they see the others doing because it seems strange and creepy to them. I completely agree with you that in reference to Halloween we should “refocus the world upon the victory of the saints”. There are more Halloween alternatives being offered by churches and youth groups in our area that are refocusing the attention from evil images to celebrating Christian role models.

    Thanks for addressing this issue.

  12. Andrea says:

    I usually agree with ya Kelly, but I’ll have to take issue with this.
    The Movie “Halloween, Trick or Treat” might be something you would want to peruse. It was made by known Christian movie makers and has Chuck Smith (Calvary Chapel) and Hal Lindsay (famous Christian journalist) in it. It is not for children to watch due to some of the content, but well worth watching. Here is the link to the movie on Christian Cinema.
    http://www.christiancinema.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1143
    I certainly don’t take issue with someone wanting to have a Reformatio Day celebration, but Ann is right, there are unspeakable things that go on during Halloween that make it worth distancing ourselves from.

  13. Mrs W says:

    I think it’s interesting how Christians make up “new research” so that they can celebrate something very wicked. Halloween has been around much longer than Luther. It’s a celebration of all that is evil. Little children go missing and are offered up as human sacrifices in this day, and some Christian wants to make up “new research” to make it all ok?

    Some of us have things in our past that we know the true reason for Halloween, and it is scary and evil. I don’t know why anyone who hasn’t been there done that wants to try and pretend it’s all ok and make it into a Christian holiday.

  14. Diane says:

    I just loved this article- I especially loved finding out about the true origins of some of our traditions. I was fascinated that so many of them do not spring from the unGodly as we have been led to believe. The very things that I’ve been told were intended to glorify evil and death were instead originated to ridicule them. This just makes so much sense to me, and sheds a whole new light upon the day and the celebrations of it.

    I have always been torn about our family’s celebration of Halloween. As a child it was always one of my favorite holidays… what kid doesn’t love dressing up and getting candy? And as a young mother I greatly enjoyed crafting costumes for my little ones and taking them out to show them off and enjoy themselves. The whole anti-Halloween awareness started (as far as I know) in the early 90’s. And some families in our church began to be very vehement in their opposition to the traditional celebrations, so we moved towards a “Harvest Celebration” approach. I clearly remember one of the women wanting to bolt the doors of the church so that none of the unGodly folks out Trick or Treating would be able to come in and take part. On the one hand it is impossible for a believer not to hate the macabre that takes place on this night, but this kind of isolationism never set well with me either. I have often thought also of the many children and parents that come right up to my door on Halloween… how many other times do we have the unredeemed approaching us? Literally coming right to our very doorstep? Is the right response to hide away in the back of our darkened homes or cloister ourselves away with other believers in some exclusive believers only “celebration?” Is that truly what the Lord Jesus would be doing on this unusual night? After much careful thought and prayer our family does take part in Halloween… my children dress up for a Harvest Celebration at our church and I welcome the Trick or Treaters that come to my door. In my long dresses and headcovering, I am unmistakable to them as a “religious” person;) I put on my biggest smile and warmest manner and offer the best candy I can afford. I try to make a positive comment to each child and parent. I mention our church’s party and hand out fliers with driving directions (always a big hit with the parents on our frequently cold and rainy NY Halloween nights.) I also talk about our church’s various activities for families, and invite folks to services. I have even prayed for folks on my front porch with several little “witches” and “ghouls” hovering around.

    I respect the experience of former satan-followers but I also respectfully disagree with their conclusions. Obviously many horrid and unGodly things happen on Halloween, but satan does not own this day. He would like us to retreat from it in fear and dread that our children will be somehow damaged. But I don’t choose my actions based on fear. We could retreat on this day, and give it over, so to speak, to the evil one… or we can confidently reach right into the middle of it with both hands and seize it for our Lord and Saviour! This is the day that the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

  15. Kelly says:

    Becky,

    “Well,You could tell yourself that,”…

    Do you mind referencing to whom you are speaking? Is this directed at the article, or at commenters?

    Denise,

    You’re right. But since it’s not my article, sent to me this way, I posted as is. Actually, I didn’t think about this being “new information” really. I guess it shows how little we study our Protestant heritage (not speaking to you, myself included).

    It would be good if this article spurred some private research though, I think.

  16. Kelly says:

    Mrs. W.,

    Would you mind mentioning what “new research” you’re talking about? I find the information in this article to bear witness of the many documented facts of history and our Protestant heritage. We don’t celebrate Halloween in any form…occasionally our church has a Reformation Party, if weather permits, and I find that completely acceptable from every anlge (we’re not trying to “redo” Halloween, we’re celebrating an original celebration, independent on its own.)

    I’ve never agreed with or cared for the typical church’s “trunk or treat” or what have you as an attempt to share Halloween with our culture.

    So this article is not about that. It’s about real, valid history and I thought it was a very thought-provoking look at something few of us ever consider–the “taking back” of our own history.

  17. Amy Jo says:

    This time of year always sparks such controversy! I am due with my 3rd child any minute — and I have had well-meaning Christians actually question if I would allow myself to deliver on Halloween! (As if I had a choice). Apparently, a baby born on this day is doomed from the beginning…..NOT! I’ll take this baby any day that I can get her:-) And she will be God’s child! Because THIS IS GOD’S DAY! He made it! He who creates it, owns it!

    A few thoughts:
    1. The Druid (Celt/Pagan) celebration of this festival (they don’t call it Halloween), began right about 2000 years ago. Depending on how old you believe the earth is (I contend with 6-10,000 based on good Creation Science and Bible geneology), that means that there were at least 4000 years prior to the pagan celebration that this was just one more day that God created, called “Holy” and called His people to rejoice in and worship Him. So, historically speaking, the day has more years of “holy” than “evil.”
    2. ALL that God creates is Holy. From days to vegetables (pumpkins here people). So just becuase someone chooses to “vilify” a pumpkin, doesn’t make that pumpkin evil. It’s an inanimate object. Don’t give Satan more glory and power than He has. I have news for those who think that this day is more evil than the other 364 days a year — you’re wrong. I, too, have experience with the folks who “claim” this day for “their master.” And trust me, Satan is just as alive and well every other day of the year — actually probably more…becuase it is more subtle.
    3. Regarding traditions and participating in traditions rooted in evil: One should never mix holy with evil. Ever. Not on this day — nor any other. Prayerful discernment is very important here. A carved pumpkin, in and of itself, is not evil if it is not portraying an evil image. A costume is not evil — unless it portrays an evil image. Etc, etc. Be very careful about assigning evil to days or objects simply becuase Satan has tried to corrupt God’s glorious creation. You’ll find yourself living in a cave, a hermit, with no joy, and unable to relate to anyone or anything in the culture around you. Don’t believe me, Google the origins of the Christmas tree, Easter Eggs, Salem Witch Trials, the origins of Sunday School, etc, etc, etc.
    4. And finally, I am not suggesting at all that we, as Christians, embrace the evil celebrations of this day — anymore than we do any other day. I’m simply suggesting that maybe we get a little too over-the-top about this ONE day than we should. As Diane very Biblically put it: This is the day that the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it! Don’t trick or treat, don’t dress up, don’t carve pumkins, don’t decorate your house. That is all personal choice, BUT for goodness sake, DON’T give the Enemy more than his due either. And those folks participating in these activities, for crying out loud — PRAY for THEM! If you really hate the evil traditions of this day….storm the gates of hell and reclaim it!!!! That’s what Jesus did! But, shutting yourself up in your house and scarying your children to death with stories of Druids and Satan worship and child-sacrifice isn’t doing anyone any good — the saved or the lost.

  18. Kelly says:

    Andrea,

    I’d certainly be open to looking at the DVD you mentioned–this is definitely not a topic I feel “heated” about, but like all other issues, want to think clearly and be accurate in my response (and encourage others to do so). The question is, what IS the true origin, who do we believe, and how does that affect our response to this holiday?

    I have read that the supposed “pagan” origins are, in deed, myths. I have read others who hold this proposal to be true. I suppose more in-depth study is prudent.

    Again, not a Halloween fan–never have been since I was young. Anything that smacks of demonic influence (even in jest) is not becoming of “the children of light”.

    But I am fully open to the idea that we can (and should?) celebrate a “Saint’s Day”, unrelated to Halloween at all (it just happens to fall on October 31??) Thanks for the info.

  19. Mrs W says:

    Protestant heritage? I know Catholics that celebrate all saints day as being a Catholic day. You guys need to make up your minds.

    However, Halloween has been around longer than either of those, so the points about it having “good” don’t mean much.

    Kelly, the “new research” is all this junk the article mentions about Druids probably not being true etc. What hogwash. Why pretend just so you can “celebrate” all saints day or “reformation day”?

  20. Mrs W says:

    By the way, why do we as Christians search so hard to try to find something “good” about the day so that we have something to celebrate so that instead of being separate, we can be just like the world?

  21. Amy Jo says:

    Kelly,
    Could you check spam folder for my comment — posted about an hour ago?

  22. Jen in al says:

    this is really good to think about. Thank you so much Kelly for posting this. i do think that it is “tricky” to try to participate in the common Halloween traditions and glorify God in the process. LIke a Fall Festival or Halloween Festival which are typically open to the public as an outreach. i agree we absolutely should not fear death or Satan but actively participating in an activity where there are people dressed inappropriately(ever seen the “sexy vixen costume” or for young girls–goth bride or goth cheerleader”?) or ungodly–picture all the horror movie stuff, trick/ trunk or treating, jack o’ laterns, just doesn’t seem like anything we are supposed to embrace or associate with. same with trick or treating in neighborhoods. the mainstream Christian culture rarely looks that much different than the world just take a look at our divorce rates. I think it is a great witness to truly be separate in our celebrations. For us this means that we celebrate Reformation Day. we do different things each year. We try to go to a pumpkin patch each year some time during the Fall, learning about harvest and giving thanks for God’s provision, one time we had a family over and made a German meal and learned about Martin Luther, had a scavenger hunt with CANDY:) and had a fun dessert. this year we are focussing on learning about Bible translation, games, candy, pizza and bowling tonight with some friends so we don’t have the incessant door bell ringing:) oh, speaking of that, what ever happened to not going up to anyone’s door that did not have their light on? when i was a child we were never allowed to do that but now it doesn’t seem to matter. Last year i even put up a very happy looking sign that said “Happy Reformation Day Please No trick or treating” and it didn’t make a bit of difference! all during our celebration the doorbell kept ringing. go figure. Anyway, i think dressing up in historical characters or bible characters is great. if we chose to dress up like that it would still matter what we did while we were dressed up. just some of my thoughts. i am little skeptical that all the traditions that were listed as being part of our Christian heritage really were or should be. it is unfortunately common when trying to convert a particular community or area to Christ for some of the pagan customs to somehow be ingrafted into the denominations practices. By no means do i feel like we have arrived in this area and this article is definitely a great reminder to not be like the Pharisees but to take every thought captive to Christ not to traditions of men. There is so much we(Christians) can celebrate without trying to dip into (at best) the questionable traditions pool. Happy Reformation Day!:) blessings, jen in al

  23. Julie says:

    I agree with Ann — I, too, have heard from those formerly involved in witchcraft and they warned me of the same thing.

  24. Erica says:

    Wow, after reading that article, I didn’t expect to read such heated comments. Amazing.

  25. Jen in al says:

    I love Diane’s heart! I definitely think it is our honor,privilege and duty to reach out to the lost i am just not sure that i agree with the method in this case. my concern would be thinking the end justifies the means. I respect your convictions and it is a great reminder to me that everything we do should not be “under a bushel” but where the world can see. Thank you for sharing your heart and how your family handles this day.

  26. Jen in al says:

    i had a comment right before this the one 12:20 did it come through?

  27. Jess in Peru says:

    I still think Halloween is evil and disagree with some of the research that was shown in this article. We stay far away from the festivities as much as possible (even the ones at church). I saw a little girl dressed up like a devil yesterday and her mom was saying “Que Linda” or “how sweet.” If they only knew the damage that Satan wreaks daily and the power that he has. Immitating him is very scary and serious. Anyway, I don’t judge Christians who celebrate this day, but I personally detest it and stay far, far away. I don’t choose this day to reach out to the lost. Sorry! We do that all year long. Anyway, I guess I am the grinch that stole Halloween and I am quite happy with it that way. 😉

    Jess

  28. Word Warrior says:

    Amy Jo and Jen,

    Sorry I didn’t get to your comments quicker…we’re catering a wedding today 😉 It’s a VERY nice celebration for the 31st of October. Just had to wipe my eyes watching the Daddy/daughter dance…what a blessing.

    By the way, my kids don’t know today is any kind of holiday, in case you’re wondering 😉

  29. Word Warrior says:

    Erica,

    It surprised me too 😉 But it’s not the first time.

  30. Margaret says:

    We too despise the evil and gore that is celebrated by American Halloween. I was so disappointed when we went to a “Harvest Party” alternative thing, and ran into little skeletons, demons, vampires, witches, and a grown woman dressed as a female pimp…*at a church*. 🙁 I don’t think we’ll be doing that again. My poor oldest son is *so* horrified by all this. When he was 4, he refused to go into Walgreens unless I physically dragged him, because the ghouls they hung really freaked him out. I didn’t know whether just to avoid the store, or teach him not to be a fearful person because honestly that kind of garbage is all over the place in our area. You just can’t avoid it.

    I do, however, think that celebrating Reformation day or All Saints day is a wonderful alternative. We don’t celebrate either one just because we really haven’t gotten into it, but I have absolutely no problem with Christians choosing to “redeem” a day that Satan uses for evil.

  31. Word Warrior says:

    I think my final thought is simply that celebrating All Saints Day is not, to me, “finding something good” about the culture’s distorted holiday. I see celebrating All Saints as simply a celebration that happens to also fall on October 31. Just like if my birthday were on the same day as Hitler’s, I would still be celebrating my birthday and not his 😉

    No need for the caustic remarks.

  32. Word Warrior says:

    I’ve also enjoyed the many thoughtful comments about this topic. Thank you ladies. (Though I’m not trying to close the comment section, just saying 😉

  33. Jen in al says:

    oh, Kelly i am so sorry! i was wondering if it went through or got lost in cyber space!:) you are kind and selfless to go through all these comments in the midst of what i am sure is a busy day! Thank you! blessings, jen in al

  34. Beth says:

    Oh Kelly, I am sorry for all the mean comments!
    I thought it was a great article. I don’t see anything about trick or treating mentioned in the article. People that are not Reformed Christians do not understand what you are talking about and all types of Christians read your blog it seems.
    You have a great rest of the day catering the wedding and an even better Lord’s Day. Beth

  35. Sara says:

    In years past we have passed out tracts (along with candy) or verses on pieces of paper taped to the candy. Hey, if someone’s going to come to my house expecting me to give them something, why not give them some candy and include a gospel message?

  36. Brenda D. says:

    I’m just glad to see their are still some christians who find this macabre holiday offensive. IF we would celebrate it in the style of Luther it would be wonderful. But the truth is that the church has had every opportunity to do right by this day and they (excluding the Reformation bunch) have chosen the worldly route again and again. Instead of observing Reformation Day as some do, they have instead mingled the worldly traditions of Halloween in the “safe” setting of the church. Why? Because people do not want to give up for Christ the things that they like. Let’s face it, Halloween is fun. The parties, dressing your kids up, eating too much candy, scaring people… I’ve been looking at photos my christian friends have posted of themselves in costume on Facebook today. My own christian sister has dressed up as a vampire with blood dripping from her lips! That anyone, christian or not, finds this acceptable proves the total depravity of man. What kind of person thinks that it’s all in fun to dress up like a creature who feasts on human blood? (I bet we’re seeing a majority of vampires out tonight thanks to Twilight.) If people can take a sin and dress it up by doing it within the church walls, then they go for it. If they can make it more palatable to the general majority then they can continue to partake without guilt. Isn’t it synonymous with the “Original Sin”. Remember the serpent’s words: “Did God Really Say?….” Halloween is just another thing that even God’s children have been desensitized to. Man has proven again and again that he will put his toe over the line as absolutely far as he is allowed. I HATE this celebration of gruesome death, perversion, and darkness. And as some mentioned, I reiterate- to pagan religions Halloween (Samhain to them) is a holy night…the holiest in fact. All across the globe people are invoking demons and engaging in evil rituals…what part of this do we as christians rightly share? Ok, rant over…I have to do this somewhere online every Halloween. :o)

    ps. Everyone should really know a little on the occult/paganism. It is sooo prevalent in our society today that you cannot afford to be ignorant of the devices that may be used against you. You have to know the enemy to defeat him.

  37. Jessica in Peru says:

    Brenda: You expressed perfectly how I see it as well. Thank you! I hate the holiday more than my words can even express.

    Jessica

  38. Debbie Rhoades says:

    I enjoy your website and am usually in total agreement but this time I must disagree with the article about Halloween. God’s Word is very clear on the subject of the occult. Thank the Lord that He has given us His wisdom in His Word that we can rely on when we come up against these things! I also wanted to share a link to an article to give another view on the origins of Halloween.
    http://www.ankerberg.org/Articles/Halloween/halloween-origin.htm
    May you all have a blessed Lord’s Day tomorrow.

    Debbie

  39. Beth says:

    The victory is Christ over all evil. Do not live in fear.

  40. Lisa says:

    You all really need to lighten up a little. What a mountain you are building over a molehill! If you worried more about being the kindest and most loving person you could be, that would be a much better expenditure of your time!

  41. Mrs. Taft says:

    Good for you, Kelly, I’ve felt this way for years. I’m kind of appalled, though, that some of the commenters here have basically said that it is impossible to redeem the day. I’m surprised there are Christians who believe that God is not capable of turning darkness into light, no matter how deep the dark. The blood of Jesus is more than sufficient, and I caution those who insist that this day is irredeemable wickedness to take heed of this heresy. Nothing is impossible for God. God created the earth and all that is in it, and to let Satan have a day and for those who do evil to have their way with it is foolhardy.

    Some of the practicing pagans/witches I know of do not celebrate Halloween, but they DO perform their rituals on Christmas, Easter, Passover, and other such days.

    I also find it to be quite silly when Christians take issue with this holiday but not with Christmas or Easter, which also have pagan origins. Or read Harry Potter, or anything else that glorifies witchcraft. It’s a silly inconsistency.

  42. Rachel says:

    Thing is though – should people ever have spent a day mocking the devil? In scripture, Michael’s response to Satan is “The Lord rebuke you”. I don’t think the idea of mocking evil and Satan is any better in some ways than celebrating it. When we mock something, we tend to belittle it. Belittling evil and the the power of Satan is not a good thing.

    I know some churches who do “Hallelujah parties” or “Light parties” for Halloween, where they celebrate good, wholesome things, specifically to counteract the idea of celebrating evil – and also of mocking evil. Why do people in the modern era have no fear of hell or Satan? Because their image of Satan and hell is a lighthearted one. Personally, I think mockery of evil can be very dangerous.

  43. Rachel says:

    I’m not saying of course, that we should fear Satan, if we’re christians. But I think he is to be feared in terms of our non-christians neighbours, friends etc, and so to condone a festival that contributes to taking these things lightly is really unhelpful.

  44. Word Warrior says:

    Debbie,

    “God’s Word is very clear on the subject of the occult.”

    Just to be clear…yes, I agree, and so does the author of the article. The provocation of thought here is, depending on which source you believe about the origin of the day, that we should not acknowledge Halloween at all, for what it is currently. But if in fact, the holiday was originally a Christian one, then regardless of what it has turned into, we have the liberty (and some suggest obligation) to “reclaim” it.

    I think it’s hard for us to separate what it is now from anything else; we personally just treat it like another day. But I can see the value in setting aside a day to celebrate the saints of our Christian past; and since it has formerly been celebrated on Oct. 31, it continues to be by some.

    The best way I can explain the way reformers look at it, is as if we didn’t even know Oct. 31 was anything else except a time to reflect and honor the godly saints of the past.

    Does that make sense?

  45. Rachel, I get your point about mocking the devil. We don’t need to fear him, however, we’re supposed to resist him (by drawing near unto God), not mock him, which can be dangerous. Thanks for bringing up that point.

  46. Leslie Viles says:

    Hmm. Much to consider. We have always “done halloween”. I don’t let my kids dress up as evil or scary things. This year the 6 year old was a sumo wrestler in a blow-up suit and the 3 year old was captain America. We did 2 fall festivals at churches and trick or treating. We never dress scary or evil. I don’t think we are doing anything wrong. At least I don’t feel guilty. But there is much to think about before next year.

  47. We thought a lot about this before we decided that yes, we will participate in Halloween, as Christians, meeting our neighbors and celebrating another opportunity to be together as a family. Our children dress up – let’s see, I had a St George, an Angel, and a 50’s girl in a poodle skirt, who had some fun visiting neighbors and even more fun handing out candy and greeting the neighbors who visited us. Pure evil.

    It’s funny how fixated we’ve become on October 31st – I’d be just as worried about the false idols of turkey and dressing and television football about a month from now.

  48. Mrs. Taft says:

    Cottage Child, that sounds so cute! 😀 This year we were Sacajawea and Tinkerbell. It was fun! My kids are wearing their dress up costumes today…I wonder that we aren’t continuing the evilness of Halloween by playing dress up ;)…haha.

  49. Word Warrior says:

    cottage child,

    I love your point, and if I weren’t tired 😉 I’d open a whole new topic on the irony of what we get upset about when it’s blaring, and what we gleefully accept when it’s not.

  50. Jennifer says:

    Kelly, I love your take on this day! I never thought of it before as mocking Satan; I always thought of it as a fun way to celebrate pretend creepiness (NOT Satanic works). The pagans, after all, dressed up to protect themselves from evil; I always saw it as a much lighter version of that, somewhere between fun pretense and what you described.

    I don’t disrespect people who don’t celebrate it, but good grief; the uber-religiousness of some and the labeling of it as generally “evil” I find to be incredibly silly. Last night my mother and I delighted in the sight of trick-or-treaters, awesome yard decorations and, while driving over a high bridge on the bay, we witnessed an INCREDIBLE sunset: a long, vivid streak of orange clear across the horizon with deep purple cloud matter over and under it. It was as though God had decorated the sky with orange and purple crepe, a Halloween treat just for us. As of now, I’m still finishing some Halloween reading and poetry I bought for the occasion and again, I love it. You’ve added a brand new dimension to this time, Kelly. Thanks!

  51. authenticallyme says:

    Someone said you have to know the enemy to defeat him. This is not true. You have to know GOD, to defeat the enemy, None of us is so perfect or wise to presume to know all the enemies tricks. “angel of light” is his name. There are children stolen daily, and horrors done daily, on Hallow’s Eve, Saints Day, and every day in between. The day in and of itself is not eveil; God created every day and everything he did was GOOD. The fact that some disotrt it or use it for their evil pleasure does not denounce the fact that every day is a gift from God, and it is good! name it and celebrate it how you want and feel in your conscience, but October 31st is all about how you can , in strength and purity, live for God in the moments that make up that day. IMO.

    I too, appreciated this article. I do know much of the history, and agree that any day can be focused on in a new way, adn that doesnt make us wimpy or blending in with the world…..its all in our intent and motive, just not what the outisde is doing! Intent and motive soudned good here!

  52. authenticallyme says:

    This is the day, that the Lord hath made! We wil, rejoice and be glad in it!

    No one, no evil, and no celebration or lack thereof can take that away from us!:)

  53. Abby says:

    I know I’m late in talking about this, but I wanted to say that in spite of the lack of footnotes (which could be a real help), I agree with the spirit of this article, and I think it’s something that we ought to consider. Christmas and Easter are both amalgamations of pagan and Christian traditions, and Halloween/All Saints day is nothing different. I was taught about All Saints day in Spanish class in high school, and it is Nov. 1, just to clarify, All Hallows EVE is the night before, just like Christmas EVE. So it’s like Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday if you’re going to look at it that way.

    The problem I see is that yes, there is a lot of occult activity going on today, but there has always been such, and whether or not there’s a specific holiday to “celebrate,” that activity will continue, maybe even on Christmas and Easter… So we don’t deny that it goes on, but maybe we talk about the things that WE believe, and honor the saints of the past who did many brave deeds in the name of Christ. I think that’s a fine way to spend this season, and it’s a great opportunity to show our children Christian history after the Canon was completed.

    I personally have been in a Christian home my entire life and have never had any problems with Halloween, nor have other Christian members of my family. We recognize the demonic for what it is, and it does not come out more on one night of the year, it is active all the time. We choose to leave that part out of our “celebration” and even though I will continue to allow my children to dress in costumes, receive candy and enjoy the day with pumpkins and other harmless things, they will not dress as anything that I would find inappropriate as long as they are under my roof, including the devil.

  54. jen says:

    hmm still dont get it.. hallowen is not said to be celebrated in the Bible.. not even christmas eve or any festival which this generation love to spend time merrying and celebrating.. but what those the Bible said to be celebrate at? those celebration are forgotten and ignored.. hmm what would God say about this?? celebrate human festival and forget His own celebration.. as the Bible said you shall not follow other God.. so those God smile at this??

  55. Sue M. says:

    Since someone also commented recently, I’ll throw in my .02 in. In church this morning, our (Anglican) priest had both a children’s message and an adult sermon about the origins of All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween) and All Saints’ Day. It was generally similar to the article that Kelly posted. Our children are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes to Sunday school and they leave Sunday school early to hear the children’s message from the priest. It’s a very sweet and innocent thing, and the kids learn about how Christians took back Halloween for God’s purposes (and get candy, too).

    Most of our families do usually celebrate Halloween, but our parish also had a Harvest Festival with fun activities for children, like a petting zoo, pumpkin carving, face painting, etc., along with things suitable for teens and adults, too in mid-October. It wasn’t just for our church family, but also an outreach to our community.

    BTW, because we are Anglicans we put more emphasis on All Saints’ Day than on Reformation Day. One way we mark All Saints’ Day is to publish a list of all church members and close family members who have died since the last All Saints’ Day.

    Unrelated to the post, but if you don’t know this, Anglicans are neither Protestant nor Roman Catholic. We are considered the Via Media (middle path) between these two branches of Christianity.

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  57. Carolina G.C. says:

    Even if this article is some years old, I would like to comment on it. i hope it is ok.
    Yes, Halloween literally means “all saints eve”, but that is not the way the western world is celebrating it.
    I grew up Catholic, and I know of the beautiful idea of visiting cemmenteries on November 1st and honoring the memory of our dead. BUT that has nothing to do with Halloween, just the name.
    Halloween is a celebration that exalts the world of evil, death, darkness and witchcraft. I do not think we Christians should get involved on it at all!
    If we ALL, in block, stop celebrating it, it would be a great testimony to the world. If it is just one family here, one family there, there is no impact.
    This year, for the first time, my family has been invited to a reformation night party. we will learn about schottish reformers, eat food related to the topic, wear period customs, play games and have fellowship with other believers. And, as Kelly say, we will not be trying to adapt Halloween to our christian believes: reformation day is a day in itself, the same day. I also wish that evangelical christians all over would celebrate the light of the reformation instead of the darkness of Halloween.

    BTW, druids did exist! In fact, there is a come back of them in Ireland now.

    http://www.druidry.org/druid-way/what-druidry/brief-history-druidry/history-modern-druidism

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Druidism

    sorry for my broken English. No time to fix it now.

  58. Candy says:

    Hello All!!! Seven years layer….
    Thanks everyone for all the comments. That’s what makes the world so wonderful, our different opinions and thoughts enrich our daily life.
    I personally believe we as christians are more busy today, in searching for evil than searching for God. I’ve seen how as christians we sometimes pervert things, that do not have anything to do with evil. Halloween suffered the same destiny as pokemon. Kids were so fanatic about it (because parents couldn’t control them), and church started to say it was evil. Halloween was a good tradition-no evil at all at the beginning, (but not christian by origin, by the way, just as easter and Christmas); and because some stupid people started killing, abducting children, and putting knives on candies on that date, it became a day of Satan.
    This was not the original celebration! It was something completely different. Some brainless satanics just thought “Hey let’s just start doing our satanic ritual on this day”, “yeah, that sounds cool, I like autumn for killing”. And now, we have scared people and scared children about a tradition that was beautiful and fun. So I completely agree that halloween has to be and must be rescued. It doesn’t matter if it has a christian origin or not, it is part of human culture, and it creates family bonds.
    This topic has a lot of juice to squeeze, so please keep your replies.
    Thanks, good day to all! 🙂

  59. Jill says:

    I don’t care how you try to sugar-coat it Halloween is a pagan holiday. It’s customs are of pagan origin. The costumes that they wear are of the walking dead, witches, ghosts, werewolves, vampires, the paranormal, etc. How can you not look at this holiday and see anything that brings honor to God? There is not one thing that brings honor to God. Deut. 18:10 tells us to stay away from anyone practicing divination, magic, spirit mediums, foretellers of events, etc. Are these not the very ones that they are trying to dress like so that they can communicate with the dead or pretend to be like them? I’m sorry, but I cannot see God allowing them to be a part of His worship. He says that you must not touch the unclean things. To me, these things are unclean.

    • Kelly says:

      Although I’ve never been a fan of the ghoulishness of halloween, and we haven’t celebrated the typical way (only reformation day), you are incorrect about halloween being pagan. It is all saints eve, a Christian holiday that celebrates the victory of Christ. And even the ghoulish costumes have christian meaning–they originally served as a mockery of Satan and the demonic realm, because pride hates to be mocked. So we may choose not to celebrate, but we need to have right and accurate reasons, or we become the cause for mockery.

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