Family / Home: Is it wrong to celebrate Halloween?

First of all, understand that this is an American custom and there is no direct reference in the Bible about it. However, there are Biblical principles that bear directly upon it. Perhaps the best way that one can be informed about how Halloween relates to Bible teachings is to relate the history of it and then point to the end-time prophecies and what this celebration is leading up to.

Unlike the familiar observance of All Souls, Halloween traditions have never been connected with Christian religious celebrations of any kind. Although the name is taken from a great Christian feast (All Hallows' Eve), it has nothing in common with the Feast of All Saints, and is instead, a tradition of pre-Christian times that has retained its original character in form and meaning.

Halloween customs are traced back to the ancient Druids. Halloween fires are kindled in many places even now, especially in Wales and Scotland.

Another, and more important, tradition is the Druidic belief that during the night of November 1, demons, witches, and evil spirits roamed the earth in wild and furious romping of joy to greet the arrival of "their season" - the long nights and early dark of the winter months. They had their fun with poor mortals that night, frightening, harming them, and playing all kinds of mean tricks. The only way, it seemed, for scared humans to escape the persecution of the demons was to offer them things they liked, especially dainty food and sweets. Or, in order to escape the fury of these horrible creatures, a human could disguise himself as one of them and join in their roaming. In this way they would take him for one of their own and he would not be bothered. That is what people did in ancient times, and it is in this very form the custom has come down to us, practically unaltered, as our familiar Halloween celebration.

During the Roman empire there was the custom of eating or giving away fruit, especially apples, on Halloween. It spread to neighboring countries; to Ireland and Scotland from Britain, and to the Slavic countries from Austria. It is probably based upon a celebration of the Roman goddess Pomona, to whom gardens and orchards were dedicated. Since the annual Feast of Pomona was held on November 1, the relics of that observance became part of our Halloween celebration, for instance the familiar tradition of "dunking" for apples.

In the book of Revelation you will find some prophecies relating to end-time events. They depict that Satan and his angels are going to lead out in a massive master delusion of people shortly before probation closes. It is based on the original lie that Satan told Adam and Eve when they sinned - "you will not die." With many church denominations believing and teaching the non-Biblical idea that as soon as a person dies they go to heaven, this too fits right into the ghosts and goblins idea so prevalent at Halloween. For those who have lived a few decades, it is not difficult to think back some years and observe how rapidly Halloween is escalating in the public attention. This all fits into Satan's end-time masterful deception and to the teachings of spiritism. Ephesians 5:11 says, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." It is basically for these reasons that thinking Christians who are intent on functioning as Christ would, shy away from any involvement regarding Halloween. They go a step farther even, they also try to shield their children from involvement.

In case you are a parent, here is something to think about also. It is best if parents do not pass by the holidays without notice so far as their children are concerned. On these days when there is danger that children may be exposed to various evil influences and get excited about wrong things, parents should plan alternative fun activities for the children and youth. Let them know that you are seeking to bring happiness through other activities. And this is for good reason.

Children become dissatisfied if everyone about them is celebrating a special event and they are not permitted to have any part in it. This gang spirit manifests itself in various ways. They want to do what others are doing. Just let a few of the neighboring children talk about, plan for, and engage in Halloween stunts, then the rest will feel that they too must have a part in the "fun". Now days, with the commercialism of everything connected with Halloween, all children know about it weeks in advance.

Halloween is a western hemisphere celebration. In foreign countries, the things that are tolerated here would be unwelcome.

In communities where the young folk are celebrating the scary ideas and costuming up with masks and weird attire, some parents keep their children at home. Some will plan a party for a group of children. Others plan a special trip taking the family away from the home surroundings. And then there are those who attempt to conceal the fact that they are home and sit in darkness watching those who pass by.

A diversion from the usual is to organize the children to collect food for Thanksgiving baskets to be distributed a few weeks in the future. When this is done, they often play some games and have light refreshments before returning to their homes. Such evenings are remembered as joyous occasions and not shameful.

But what about those who come to your door? To give them apples at today's prices is probably not wise. Some find no problem in dispersing candy, while others would not think of it.

Probably the best course of action is to plan for the evening long in advance. Make plans for the family to meet Bible standards and principles that will prove to be a blessing and that will help each member, while insuring that tricks and pranks will not produce regrets for either the present or the future.