Halloween is definitely in the air-everywhere you look there are costumes, candy, and decorations on display. But as Christians, should we celebrate this holiday with questionable spiritual origins? A great history of Halloween can be found here.
Obviously the whole “worshiping Celtic deities” and “blurring the worlds between the living and the dead” things don’t really fit into the Christian faith. But I think if we examine our intentions, I don’t believe Halloween is off-limits for Christians.
There is nothing wrong with wearing costumes, carving jack-o-lanterns, and eating candy with friends. I think those can just be seen as modern-day, fun fall traditions, not reminders of a Celtic festival of Samhain, simply because these acts no longer have any historical or religious meaning. They are American traditions, just like cooking out on the fourth of July or eating those candy hearts on Valentine’s Day. (I don’t care what anyone says, they are fantastic.)
Christians’ enjoyment of Halloween, however, should be tempered by an idea put forth by Paul in I Corinthians 8. Here he discusses not wanting to cause brothers weaker in the faith to stumble in regard to eating meat sacrificed to idols. As a Christian, Paul knows the religious implications of eating this meat are meaningless, since the sacrifices themselves were meaningless to these fake Gods. But Paul says: “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.”
I don’t think this means if a fellow Christian is offended by your celebration of Halloween, you should stop. But I do think it means to respect his or her views, to not talk about it around them if they don’t want to hear it, and to be open to questioning about why you think it is OK. Don’t argue with them and try to change their minds.
My personal belief is, Halloween is a fun day that is taken way too seriously by religious people. I don’t believe God is offended if people celebrated this modern-day candy fest. But we need to be sensitive to those who don’t share those beliefs. It’s all a part of loving and serving others and encouraging them on their own spiritual journey.
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