The 4 Things Halloween Teaches Our Children

Traditions

There are many people who celebrate Halloween. I am not writing this as a judgment. However, I am writing this to provide food for thought, before your children run out of the house on that night all dressed up so cute to collect candy.

Many times we practice traditions in our households simply because that is what our parents did or we have sentimental memories of the event when we were children. Sometimes we practice certain things in our households simply because that is what everyone else does, or we do not want to deprive our children of a special and “normal” childhood experience. Whatever your reasons are, you are not alone.

As parents we attempt, I hope, to be purposeful in all that we do. I mean we try to parent on purpose, making decisions for our families that are weighed against the Bible first and foremost. I also hope that we are taking into consideration how our decisions might influence our children, and how our core beliefs as Christians are either supported or negated by our actions.

The 4 Things Halloween Teaches our Children

A Little Bit On The History Of Halloween

History adapted from Wikipedia.

Halloween has both pagan and Catholic roots. The pagan history of Halloween includes festivals for the dead. Jack-‘o-lanterns were used to protect one’s home. Costumes were used to disguise oneself for protection from the dead. Children would go door to door to collect food for the festivals, and the homes that provided food considered it good fortune to do so.

The Catholic history of Halloween includes, All Saints or All Souls Day, which was dedicated to honoring the saints and praying that the souls of the recently departed would reach Heaven from purgatory. Prince Sorie Conteh, wrote when describing the costumes that people would wear for All Saints Day,

“It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints’ Day, and All Hallows’ Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognized by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities” (Wikipedia)

Jack-‘o-lanterns were used to depict those souls trapped in purgatory. Children collected what were called soul cakes while ringing bells for the souls in purgatory.

Modern Day Halloween

Today this holiday is admired by many. It can be fun with candy and cute costumes. It can also be dark and scary with skeletons, ghosts, and witches.

Witchcraft, or Wicca, is heavily practiced on Halloween and even “magical” objects and spells for good and ill are available commercially. The practice has been documented in recent years (National Geographic).

Ghost hunters go out in droves hoping to catch a glimpse of a long departed spirit.

Halloween has taken one particular divergent path from its history. Today, Halloween has become a very sexual holiday. French Maid costumes, sexy characters are very popular even to such an extent that many of these costumes are being made for little girls. Many parents think this is cute, but in my opinion it is just wrong to dress any female up, much less a baby, in a French Maid costume. What are we teaching our girls?

The Bible

Not everyone by far who practices Halloween gets into all of the ghoulish side of the holiday. I understand this, but it is good to take account of the general theme of Halloween and to consider what the Bible has to say about this theme.

1.) Witchcraft, Sorcery, and Mediums

The Bible directly attacks anyone practicing witchcraft, sorcery, or attempting to contact the dead.

Deuteronomy 18:10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer.”

Leviticus 19:31 “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God”

Leviticus 20:27 “A man or a woman who is a medium or a necromancer shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones; their blood shall be upon them.”

Leviticus 20:6 “If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.”

God literally sees witches, sorcerers, and mediums as enemies. Anyone who seeks after them is literally whoring themselves out to those that they feel will give them something better than God Himself can. God will punish those, set Himself against them, who seek witches, sorcerers, or mediums.

… Just in case you were wondering this includes the daily horoscope in your local newspaper as that is fortune telling …

2.) Fear

Halloween is a holiday meant to foster fear. However, as Christians we are not meant to be a people of fear, but as the people of God, we are to fear and be anxious for nothing. In fact the Bible says that we should not think on those things that would make us fearful, but we should think on the things of God.

Philippians 4:6-8 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

3.) Superstitions

Halloween is a superstitious time. Its history is rooted in superstition and our modern day superstitions of black cats and legendary omens are more exaggerated at Halloween.

Sadly, Christians even become superstitious in a way about Halloween. When Christians see evil in everything around them this is not good either. Satan is evil, yes.  Sin is everywhere, but objects that might look evil, like a skeleton, is not calling down evil in and of itself. We should be careful as Christians not to become superstitious in the way we speak of evil around us. God is in control, and nothing even the hand of the devil himself, can remove us from the control of our loving Father.

1 Timothy 4:7 “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness.”

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 “There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you.”

4.) Making A Mockery

It can also be thought that we might be making a mockery of the spiritual realm at Halloween. Dressing up as the Devil, Demons, and Angels in a sense may be mocking of the Heavenly Beings that we do not fully understand.

We do not need to be superstitious, but we also need to be aware that there is spiritual warfare and spiritual beings who are very real. We ought not make a mockery of these things.

Alternatives To Halloween

1.) The Harvest Festival

There are alternatives to Halloween on the same day. Many churches hold Harvest Festivals in order to thank God for His provisions. If you do decide to participate in a Harvest Festival rather than trick-or-treating, think on one thing. Do not just let this become a facade so that your children can still dress up and trick-or-treat but it is just in a safer and more “Christian” environment. If you are truly doing it to celebrate God’s provision talk with your children about this to great length and explain why you do not celebrate Halloween.

2.) Reformation Day

CLICK HERE to see our favorite Reformation Day Crafts and Activities!

Reformation Day is what our family celebrates. On October 31, 1517, Matin Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg, Germany. This sparked the Protestant Reformation.

This is a great historical day to celebrate and very near and dear to our faith and the preservation of the Gospel. It is a day to celebrate God’s sovereignty in Christian history.

Learn more about The 5 Solas coined during The Reformation with our new The 5 Solas 7 Day Family Bible Study! CLICK HERE to learn more!

The Five Solas: Signs to Follow on the Narrow Path Family Bible Study

Conclusion

On one hand, we tell our children not to be afraid because God protects them, yet we celebrate a holiday based on fear.

We believe that God sets the days of each life of every person and that there there is a place where every soul goes, whether it be Heaven or Hell, yet we celebrate a holiday steeped in pagan tradition of the walking dead.

We believe that God is sovereign and loves and protects His people, yet we fear inanimate objects because there is an evil connotation connected to them. We have become a superstitious people, forgetting that our God controls all and we have nothing to fear.

I am not out to wreck a holiday that you might see as a fun and harmless family fun event, yet I do pray that every Christian family will weigh their decisions against the Word of God. We want to practice what we preach, and practicing Halloween might not be the best way to do so.

Halloween is just another day. The day is not evil in and of itself. Inanimate objects such as pumpkins and costumes and skeletons are not evil in and of themselves. My purpose in writing this article is that we might need to rethink the undercurrent of teaching and tradition that we are instilling in our children when we celebrate this holiday called Halloween.

What Does Your Family Do On Halloween?

Lindsey S

Lindsey is a stay at home, work from home mom to six children eight years and younger. She homeschools and enjoys large family living. When Lindsey is not changing diapers, cleaning, and cooking meals in her awesome Instant Pot, she is DIY-ing her way around the house. Where she loves learning new skills, her heart is in sharing with other women the message of the Gospel and showing them how to instill those truths in the hearts of their children.

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47 thoughts on “The 4 Things Halloween Teaches Our Children

      • I agree. Thank you for this information. My daughter-in-law never knew about all of this because of her upbringing and the Christian church she went to did not preach according to the Bible…it was what the preacher said and that was it. She learned something new today and I am thankful that we were all apart of that and God was right in the middle. Again thank you for all that you do and for the information that you provide.

  1. I don’t understand the concept of celebrating ”Reformation Day.” This was the day that Christians split from each other & have continued to splinter into so many different denominations that we can’t even count or list them all….I pray for Christian unity more so than ever on that day, but I couldn’t see celebrating so many years of division.
    Also, many people do evil things on Easter, Christmas, and dozens of other days of the year, why should that dictate what we as Christians do on those days? We can all choose to celebrate the the holidays we would like in the way we’d like, without worrying about what others are doing. I live my life for God, not them after all. I’m not going to go looking for evil under every rock, but trust in God to help me know what is a true threat. If we spend our while lives looking for evil, it will only steal the joy from our lives…..

    • We celebrate Reformation Day because it represents the reclaiming of the one true gospel that had been lost in the Catholic church and replaced with the traditions and teachings of men. We celebrate that there were men who were willing to face the wrath and judgment of man rather than violate conscience according to the Holy Spirit and Scripture. We celebrate the boldness to proclaim the truth of God in the face of very real and present danger. We celebrate the movement that placed the Word of God in the hands of believers, to study for themselves so they could be taught by God Himself, rather than having to take the priests word as gospel. We celebrate Reformation Day because it is yet one more testament to the faithfulness of God.

      Yes, the Reformation did bring division. Separating, even through pain and loss, from a false church with a false gospel and reclaiming the true gospel is a reason to celebrate. Yes, there have been countless splits and denominations flowing from the Reformation, and while we long for unity in the body of Christ, we celebrate the freedom to follow Christ according to Scripture informed conscience and are not forced to do so according to the design and tradition of men who themselves deny the true gospel.

      The division and war that came from the Reformation was not the desire of the reformers, but of a Church that refused to be informed by Scripture and would not tolerate a question of its legitimacy and power. The reformers were called reformers because they sought reformation in the Catholic church; they did not begin with intention of splitting, but in refining and reviving the Church that was there. The Catholic response was to condemn any questioning of canon law and tradition, refusing to even debate the weight of Scriptural arguments, and declaring everyone who refused to toe the line damned to hell. We celebrate that God raised up such men for such a time as the Reformation; we praise God that He made them faithful at any cost to the gospel that is the power of God for salvation.

    • Hmmm. Texas Momma, You had no problem finding the negative aspects or “evil” that came from the Reformation and yet you defended celebrating Halloween, saying that you don’t go around looking for evil in everything. Here are a couple verses that come to mind….

      Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thesalonians 5:22

      Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Ephesians 5:11

      If you want to celebrate Halloween, do it, if your conscience is clear. But please don’t try to call good, that which is evil.

      Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

      • I would assume you’d have the same opinion of celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25th, which is only Christmas because of the pagan festival of Saturnalia. Many of Saturnalia’s customs bled over into Christmas, which we now ascribe to being warm, wholesome, family traditions. But when you go back to the very early roots, they were invented by some truly terrible, demented people. Is it REALLY important who invented All Hallows’ Eve and what it was used for in the 1500s, when the vast, vast majority of people are either utterly ignorant of it, or know about it only because of quasi-hysterical blog posts and the “debate” that happens like clockwork every single October? October 31st is a day like any other. Like any day, it belongs to God if you give Him the glory for it, and the Devil cannot claim it. There happens to be a fall festival that week based largely on costumes, candy, and hot cider. Scary movies are the modern day version of ghost stories around the campfire, and there’s a difference between celebrating genuine fear, and the adrenaline rush of synthetic fear produced by scary stories. In short, the only people keeping the “Evil of Halloween” alive are the people who constantly talk about it.

        • Thank you, Kent, for pointing out that Christmas (as well as Easter) have pagan roots, yet are our most-celebrated “Christian” holidays. You cannot condemn the one without condemning the others! It’s really a heart issue. Halloween is exactly what you make of it.

  2. Halloween is a holiday we’ve struggled with for a long time. Growing up, my family did not celebrate Halloween in any way, but my husband’s family did. Over the years, as I’ve grown in grace, I’ve changed some of my opinions about Halloween. For example, you state very clearly near the end that Halloween is just a day. That’s the way I now choose to see it. I can fully celebrate the day the way the world does, I can avoid it altogether, or I can use it as an opportunity to teach my children about good vs. evil (not in a way to induce fear). I can also use the day to talk about what we, as a Christian family, have to celebrate in this Fall Season. Our church does a Halloween Trunk-r-treat event that we participate in as an outreach to our community. We decorate our trunks, line them up, give out candy, coffee, hot cocoa and cookies for the grown-ups. We hand out information about our church programs as well as gospel tracts. We attempt to engage seekers in meaningful conversation. What better way to celebrate any day than to tell people about Jesus?! 🙂 So, this is how we “celebrate” Halloween, by trying to shine a light in the midst of the darkness. I’m still have my doubts on occasion about the “best” way, but I know God sees the motivation of my heart. And that’s really what it comes down to – what is your motivation for doing whatever it is you do (or don’t do) on Halloween? 🙂

    • You are right that God does know our hearts. It is important that we seek him and all we can do is follow where we feel Him leading. Sometimes that might be in a different direction than others, but it is good to struggle regularly over those things to search out our hearts and make sure that we are on the right path. Thank you for sharing!

  3. We give out candy with gospel tracts to kids who are trick or treating. My son and his friend (with an adult) usually go out “tract or treating” – where they go to visit homes in our neighborhood and give the adults gospel tracts. We have a time of prayer before we start the evening. We look forward to it every year!

  4. I struggle with Halloween every year. I grew up going to “Fall Festival” at church. We dressed in a fun costume and went an played games. I LOVED it. It was fun and safe and as always at my church, Spirit filled.

    Through sin on my part I’m not married to a non-believer with three little kids (5 and under). He wants to dress up, trick or treat, scary stuff, the whole gamete. I have found that I pray a lot the weeks before Halloween and give grace as I stand firm. We’ve Trick or Treated the last few years, but we always dress in fun costumes and stay away from any houses decorated in “scary” stuff. And I have a couple books for the kids that talk about God’s light (one about the pumpkin becoming a jack-a-lantern and then having God’s light in us).

    As I pray every day that God will draw my husband into the light and truth, this is another example of a struggle that I engage with.

    • Jenn, sometimes it is hard when we do not agree with our husbands. I am so sorry, as I can tell you are truly struggling. I believe in this instance you are called to honor him by following his lead even if it by doing Halloween, BUT like you said there are other things you can do to help train your children up in the Lord and use those things you do on Halloween to bring up thoughtful conversation with the kids about what the Bible has to say. Next week I will be sharing some printables and such for celebrating Reformation Day. I pray you might find those useful in helping you. Thank you for being so open and honest.

  5. Great post, when my kids were younger we celebrated hallows eve ( with homeschooling family’s) and their costume had to be of a saint and tell us about that person. Now that they are older, they can pick any costume they want as long as it’s not rude or gross. My daughter will be Lucy Ricardo, from I Love Lucy. Oh and they have to make it also.
    The next day its of to church, to celebrate all Saints Day:)

    • We do something similar. Growing up All Saint’s Day was a day off of school and a day to attend to church. My children and I actually looked forward to the Holy Day because EVERY year from their infancy we went to church, put the pumpkin in to cook and then went to the zoo. My 21 year old called to tell me that even though she is far away at college she will be continuing the tradition (without pumpkin) of church and zoo. Traditions are what you make of them. They are what give your children a solid foundation on which to build their adult lives. Yes we “celebrate” Halloween, but the tradition the kids remember and cling to is what happens the next day. It s all in what you emphasize.

  6. This is probably one of the best posts I’ve read on this topic. I groan whenever I see the topic get “hot” on blogs in October because it can be so divisive. But this is really level-headed, informed, and thought-provoking.

    We haven’t landed on what we will do each year for Halloween. I never feel quite comfortable with any of the options. We’re interested in the Reformation Day thing, but I’m not sure how to make that awesome for little kids. Your comments above are giving me some hints though. So far, we’d be more inclined to do a harvest party, just have a fun family day at home and find a creative way to witness to people who knock on the door, or just turn the lights off. We’re still thinking and praying on all the implications of how we choose to observe this one day of the year.

    Here’s something new that’s come into our family conversation this year: We’ve been talking with the kids a lot about keeping our minds on what is good and holy. We read books about harvest time and God’s provision. I even overheard my son (6) telling a friend that we don’t “do” Halloween. He knows our stand on avoiding scary things and focusing on Christ. He is quick to point out something scary in a store and direct his siblings in another direction.

    This year we carved pumpkins and read The Pumpkin Patch Parable, which they all loved. When I asked my son why we were carving pumpkins, he answered immediately with “because it reminds us that we want to shine for Jesus!” I’ve been thinking that this is a really good way to redeem something for Christ that had pagan roots. Sometimes I still do. And yet, he still wanted a scary face on the pumpkin. Even now, he sometimes playfully acts like the pumpkin is scary. Why? Probably because that is the message most of the world around us sends about the “real” purpose of jack-o-lanterns. Even at 6, he picks up on that as a mixed message and is confused about it.

    My point is, we’re still conflicted on it and haven’t landed on something that seems to completely fit. Guess we have more talking and praying to do! Thanks for the helpful post.

  7. Excellent points…When My Three Sons were in elementary school I would tell their teachers ahead of time that I would be taking them out of class when the Halloween party took place. I told them we didn’t celebrate Halloween but I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I explained I always took the boys and did something special that day: the zoo, park, etc. Never one time did a teacher give me a hard time. Most commended me!

    But where I received the most condemnation? Sadly from my church family. The majority participated in the holiday and even though I didn’t condemn them I was made to feel very uncomfortable that I chose to take the scripture to heart and stand against something that God would surely not be pleased with. Even our pastor at the time would not take issue with Halloween and we were the youth pastor and were discouraged from teaching against it after we brought it up the first time.

    The TV shows that push so much death, vampires, The Walking Dead, all of that stuff, I just cannot understand Christians being so “into” all of that. I do not mean that in a judgmental way at all! I just see it so plain in the scripture but the enemy has us so blinded into thinking that there is no harm in it all. He is a great deceiver 🙁

    • It is sad when the Church itself is the biggest critic. I think what it comes down to is conscience. My conscience will not allow me to celebrate Halloween. I also see some very valid points Biblically as to why we should not celebrate. We need to be able to have healthy conversations about these things as Christians, but also not stand in judgement over those who choose not to do things the way we do. We won’t get anywhere by shoving things down others throats.

  8. I will be celebrating Reformation Day with my church, this will be my second year at the church and second year to celebrate Reformation Day. Growing up we avoided Halloween because of it’s pagan roots, no decorations, costumes or giving (or receiving) candy. I have friends who dress their children up to go trick-or-treating or to attend the school Halloween party and that is their choice. I do not get on anyone’s case but I will tell them why I do not celebrate. As to pushing all holidays with pagan roots into the same pile I understand where you could come from but what I do is choose the redeemable out of the mess. For Valentines I grew up writing cards not to my crushes but to my siblings and parents, we celebrated it as a holiday of love from one to another not about sex. For Easter we celebrated Resurrection Sunday and it was about Christ rising from the dead, no egg hunts or photos with a giant bunny. For Christmas which is my favorite holiday of all we choose to recognize and dwell on the biblical and true historical facts. We read of Jesus’s birth, we do Advent, we learn about the real Saint Nicholas and how we give gifts to celebrate and honor the greatest gift of all. I was raised then helped teach my young siblings about the truth in the holidays, we never celebrate Santa and we know the pagan roots of the date. We celebrate on the 25th not because on purpose because of a pagan holidays but because as Tevye would say it’s tradition. I’ve had Christmases where I get very little in the way of physical gifts and it’s still an amazing holiday of love, giving, togetherness and most importantly recognizing our LORD. It’s why I never agreed with cancelling church because Christmas falls on a Sunday or Wednesday, isn’t celebrating Jesus the whole point of the day? Halloween as I understand it has no Christ in it, not only no biblical reasons behind, but none of the good things we are supposed to live by and think of either. If you take away the spirits and magic you are left in a costume going door to door either begging or threatening for candy. I’m not condemning anyone who does this, as I said I have friends who do I’m just explaining why I don’t. In short that is why I will celebrate other holidays even though I don’t celebrate Halloween.

    • Other things that have no Christ in them: The Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Equinox, MLB Opening Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Solstice, Independence Day, Labor Day, Autumnal Equinox, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. Not to mention your own birthday. There is ONE reason why people have any knowledge whatsoever about the origin of All Hallow’s Eve, and that’s because every October, Christians get all angsty about celebrating it and go on this deep dig for its “true” meaning. It’s true meaning is candy. Candy, Disney Princess/Transformer costumes, cider, fallen leaves, cobwebs, bats, spooky sounds. If you are genuinely, sincerely convicted about it, so be it…but every second we spend talking about it keeps the old meaning alive, rather just reclaiming it as just a day.

      • Kent, you can do what you choose to with the day. We choose to do otherwise. As I said in my post I do not believe that October 31st is an evil day or anything like that. I choose not to celebrate Halloween because I do not see anything redeeming about it for myself and my family. I made a case, I didn’t shove it down anyone’s throat. If you decide you do not agree then that is your prerogative.

    • Thank you for your comment Sara Elizabeth! I truly appreciate it. I agree with you on every point. We also do the same as you on the other holidays – except for Valentines day. We just don’t care about it, not so much a conviction about it. My husband and I aren’t lovey-dovey in that way 😉

      I also take the same route. I don’t tell people they should or shouldn’t. I didn’t really in the post. If people ask I make a case and it is between them and God what they choose to do.

      Thank you for sharing!

  9. People get drunk on football days, Shakespeare has premarital sex in some of his plays, kids go to school EVERY DAY with kids who have different values and upbringing. Every pro has a con, but it boils down to this :
    1) I can raise my child to not only avoid DOING evil things, but to avoid everyone and everything that doesn’t fit in perfectly with the morals they hold.
    2) I can teach my child that yes, there are evil things, and yes, we have to avoid them. BUT GOD IS MORE POWERFUL THAN EVIL. Jesus didn’t avoid tax collectors and sinners, and he doesn’t want us to either. He gave us a beautiful world to live in, full of mountains, sunsets, people and fun holidays.
    I am more afraid that by keeping our children locked away from fun things just because we might not completely agree with their origins, or the way other people do it, we’re basically telling them “I don’t trust that God is bigger than the evil around us, so I’m not going to let you Trick-or-Treat, or send you to school or …”
    Raising children to recognize real world for what it is- A beautiful, but fallen gift from God- and how to live in it and enjoy it fully, will benefit them more than teaching them to fear and avoid.

    • I’m afraid that I am not seeing your point as it relates to this post. This is not about always abstaining from everything that has to do with our culture and with the world. We are called to be in the world but not of the world. That means that there will be certain things that we will do right alongside with everyone else as we live life and then there will be those things that we choose either not to do completely or to do in a different way that either keeps us in line with Biblical Law OR appeases our conscience.

      In this instance, not practicing Halloween appeases my conscience, and I believe that there is a case to be made for why Christians should not participate. If you choose not to agree that is your choice. Thank you for your comments.

      • I agree that we are called to be in the world, but not of the world. But every decision we will ever make as children or adults has an element of risk.
        I suppose my point is that we have to choose our battles. I do not believe that by letting our kids Trick-Or-Treat we are teaching them to fear.
        There are things in the world that really are scary and really do teach people to turn from God. Halloween is a silly thing that people do for fun. If i want my children to understand the gravity of evil, I don’t believe it wise to use Halloween as an example.

        • My parents had similar views to your own concerning Halloween. And I would like to share the four things that attending the Fall Fest instead taught me:
          First, to resent my peers. They were allowed to dress like rock stars and aliens and run around the neighborhood eating candy, but I had to wear a pair of overalls and pretend to look happy while all of the holier-than-thou kids walked around with upturned noses.
          Second, to resent my parents for not allowing me to take part in the fun I saw happen around me every year. As a kid I’d think “No one actually worshiped the devil or ate other people or practiced witchcraft, so why wasn’t I allowed to be out there having fun?”
          Third, It taught me that being a “good Christian” was boring, unsatisfying, painful and joyless.
          And fourth, as stated by “Isa-ninja”, it taught me to fear. It taught me that things outside of what I had a direct understanding of were evil and to be avoided at all costs.

          It wasn’t just me, my childhood church friends all had the same feelings I did, as did all my siblings.
          I do not mean to say that you intend to raise your children to be superior, but if you take away harmless fun from kids, they well resent it and (God forbid), over time become one of the kids with the superior upturned nose and a deep distaste for “doing the right thing”.

        • Maybe I should make this clear. My kids won’t feel left out. We actually attend a church that does not practice Halloween. We homeschool. We do shelter our children who are all five and under. I will not feel bad about that – they are five and under.

          As they get older of course we will tell them about the things our culture does and of course they will experience more than they are now. We will not do Halloween.

          My husband and I both grew up in families that did not do Halloween and neither one of us resent our upbringings in the least. We had strong Christian families, that were involved in our lives and explained spiritual things clearly.

          I am not about making my children “fear” unnecessarily. I am not sure how you got that from my post. Once again I will clearly explain to my children that Oct. 31st is not a day of fear. We actually celebrate Reformation Day on October 31st because it is a more worthy even in history that occurred on October 31st. It is a day of learning and fun for us in a different way. It is not a substitution though. If Reformation Day had happened on a different day we would celebrate it then. (http://theroadto31.com/2013/10/celebrating-reformation-day-like-christian.html)

          I don’t understand this NEED to make our kids feel “a part” on Halloween. There are many things that we do not allow our children to participate in that the rest of the culture does because we do not think it is healthy for them or maybe we think it is sinful. There are a lot of things our culture does that I do not want my children to do. For example I do not want my children to dress like the average teenagers when they get older – will they feel left out? I hope not, because I hope that I will prepare them for why we do not do those things. I also pray that God will give them spirits that are not rebellious and they will have the mind to understand these things. We are attempting to cultivate that now by being very purposeful in how we handle these situations.

          It is the same here. We are honest with our children for why we do not practice Halloween. All we can ever hope – because we do not do everything right as parents – is that our children grow up to respect our integrity in following our conscience and that they trust that we were only doing what we truly thought was best for them.

          If adults grow up to resent their parents because of something as simple as not letting them practice Halloween – then honestly, that is a heart issue on their part. That might sound harsh, but it is true.

          If these posts, which I never once point blank said “No Christian can participate in Halloween and call themselves a Christian;” if you get mad because you think I am out to get you – I’m not. I don’t even feel that way. I made a case. I tried to be as graceful and non-judgmental as possible. I have family members who practice Halloween. We live extremely peaceably. It is a conversation that is at least valid to have even if you do not adhere to the same thoughts. I will not think less of you for not thinking the same as I. I do get frustrated when people say I am telling my children that others are “worshipping the Devil” on that day and “The day is evil.” This is just not the case.

          I have really great kids. Very thoughtful children. We have lots of conversation and we are raising them the best way we can under what we feel God has called us to. Some people appreciate this post because it is something they have been processing for a while or feel convicted about. If it does not strike a chord with you then that is completely fine.

  10. Lindsay, It was great to meet you at the Blogger meet up. When I became a Christian and surrendered my life to Christ-I saw Halloween in a new light. For me, I no longer had a desire to participate in holidays that did not seek to honor God. In my opinion celebrating Halloween is one of the biggest divisions I see in Christianity. Mostly I think that many Christians were raised to celebrate the Holiday. It was a big part of their church life. (So it was integrated for them.) For me it wasn’t. I didn’t actually grow up in church. So Halloween was just a day-we dressed up now and then, but not a big deal. Today, Halloween is a big deal to so many people. Especially in the Bible Belt. I think that the younger generation that grew up with it-they are the ones making Halloween what it is. My parents never encouraged- or discouraged Halloween. But so many people I know today-the parents are the driving factor in the whole celebration of Halloween. I do have to wonder though-how many of us want to hold on to OUR ways-instead of truly seeking out God’s heart in the matter. As I look around at decorations of tombstones and spider webs, and witches hanging in yards and houses-I see darkness, sorcery, and death being glorified. (Not anything about God, and his power over these things.) So plain and simple, we don’t celebrate Holidays that don’t honor God. Christmas is Christ focused at our house, so is Easter, If we chose to celebrate a national Holiday we do so -honoring God and His providence in the History of the foundation of our country. Celebrating a birthday-though perhaps the origins are pagan, still celebrates the Life that God gave us. So I can find reasons, to celebrate those things.

  11. I am really curious what everyone’s view is on Christmas and Easter. As someone mentioned above, they both have pagan roots and the modern celebrations are racked with paganism as well. We, as a family, have chosen to abstain from those two holidays, and most Christians think we are nuts. In fact, many don’t even know that Christmas and Easter are pagan in origin! They are not truly “Christian” holidays as Christians just borrowed traditions from pagan rituals in order to create an alternative to celebrate along with the pagan culture. This does not sound like the separation that we should have from the world and its practices. Not trying to start an argument here but I am really wondering if there is anyone else out there like us? I feel a bit alone sometimes….thanks. 🙂

    • I should add, we still join in with our family’s gatherings, but are up front that we do not practice any traditions in our own home. We will share a meal with them and we won’t tell them they CAN’T give gifts, because we don’t feel it’s our place. But we just really downplay it and focus on spending time with loved ones, as well as other times throughout the year to gather and share meals with our church family, celebrating God’s goodness in all of those times.

  12. i have heard many references to “well, if you don’t celebrate halloween because of it paganism then you must not celebrate Christmas or Easter because they have pagan backgrounds……there is a difference…..Christmas and Easter have to do with the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself…..He was born…..He rose from the grave………Halloween is not centered around Jesus at all….there is no event with Jesus that started a celebration of halloween……….the pagans were the ones who added their own celebrations of Christmas and Easter…….so that brings us to today…….yes there are parts of Christmas (santa claus) and Easter (easter bunny) that i personally don’t take part in…but the focus for Christians is on the Person Jesus Christ….or it should be…..there is no focus on Jesus at all on Halloween…….is it right to participate and justify the holiday by passing out tracts?…i don’t know….i used to pass out candy and tracts when the kids were little but now i even wonder about that…..should the end justify the means?

    • Here’s a question: If you believe in Hell…that it’s a real place, of unspeakable eternal torment apart from God from the moment of death until the end of eternity…and that people who don’t know Jesus are going there…do the ends NOT justify the means? Especially if those ends are your own personal discomfort with the origins of a holiday?

    • Not exactly…if you study the roots of both “holidays” (Christmas and Easter), neither one of them ever had anything to do with Christ. The opposite was true, actually. They were both very evil and pagan. The Christians wanted an alternative so they made up a “Christian” celebration to coincide with these evil traditions. I just can’t bring myself to decorate my house, exchange gifts, put up a tree, etc when every single one of those things were done to worship false gods. I don’t believe these things are “redeemable” by man. Look at the example of the golden calf in Exodus….the people took a pagan practice of bowing down to an idol, and it even says they used it to worship God. Was God pleased by their worship? Obviously not, because they were using something that was intended as evil and trying to turn it into “good”. This happened other places in the Old Testament, when the people of Israel would use the “High Places” which were originally designated to false gods as a place to worship God. He detested this, as it was not glorifying to Him. If something isn’t glorifying to God, why are we doing it? We still participate in our family’s gatherings (somewhat) because we don’t believe it’s glorifying to God to cause a rift with our families over it. But you won’t see any of that stuff in our house. It’s been hard for me to give it up because I did love all of the traditions, lights, smells, and sounds of Christmas. But I can’t teach my children that something has to do with God when it clearly does not!

  13. I just think we’re giving ourselves too much credit if we say we have the ability to take something evil and “redeem” it to be used for God’s glory. Why would God want the leftovers of an evil practice to be given to Him anyway? There are so many other ways to celebrate and worship Him that He DOES want….why waste our energy on (Christmas especially) a holiday that is so materialistic and commercialized that it really has nothing to do with Him in the slightest, even apart from its pagan roots?

  14. If anything I think it’s more sad to see 1 Corinthians 8 being thrown out the window (food to idols) if celebrating Halloween is something truly convicting to you then as siblings in Christ we should understand and not seek to be a stumbling block and argue as to why you should celebrate it. I am in the same boat as you, and I agree with a previous comment, some of the greatest backlash I have gotten for not celebrating Halloween has been from the church. How truly saddening. It’s not a who is right issue- it’s a are we willing to love and bear with one another even if that comes at a cost to me?

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