To celebrate Halloween or not is a personal decision, I believe, because what is ‘is’ or how it is associated with evil does not seem so obvious to me, and may not be worthy of a major debate since there are so many other things our society is doing and supporting that to spend too much time debating the pros and antagonisms seems a lower priority.
Image from Tommy Boland (accessed 29 Oct 2022: https://tommyboland.com/2016/10/31/happy-reformation-day/)
To do a DuckDuckGo search for what Christians have posted on this topic since the early days of the internet is to find numerous positions and lots of words typed. I do not want to go through any kind of big debate or make a legalistic thing out of this. Some say it is ‘for the kids,’ others that it’s roots are tricky, and still others that holidays and their celebration are left to up the individual person.
Image found on PublicDomainPictures: https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=407371&picture=halloween-vintage-cat-card (Accessed 29 Oct 2022)
The picture above is certainly ‘cuter’ since it features a vintage design, a nice cat (though, dogs are way better :)) and the use of ‘Merry,’ which is not standard lingo these days. There are all kinds of bloody and starker images one could choose to represent the tropes of Halloween, a fact which shows some of the ways in which much has changed in our culture.
This post by Grace To You, the ministry of John MacArthur, ‘Christians and Halloween,’ written by Travis Allen, details a bit of the history wherein the author relates the known fact that the Church oft times shifted holidays around to coincide with pagan holidays. In particular, All Saints Day.
Here is a PDF of this article if you would rather have it in this format:
As I grow in my Christian faith, I am convinced more and more that maturity increases with focus on who God is, who Jesus is, and reading the Bible, which is where we find out who God is and who Jesus is. I don’t believe we can really find out who God really is outside the Bible. Some call is exclusionary. Well, when something is true, it is by default NOT false. Something that is true can not also be false in the same time and in the same relationship.
The Bible says it is the Word of God, breathed out by God, inspiring the authors to write as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
For reference, please look at these various verses: John 17:17; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
I write this to point to the Reformation as a whole, the ‘Day’ of which we celebrate on October 31 because on this day in 1517, in Wittenberg, Germany, Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to a door commonly used as a place to nail pieces of communication for community engagement. The next several years saw the beginning of what we call the Reformation where people went back to the original sources of the Christian faith and realized the Gospel of the Lord Jesus had not been taught faithfully.
That gospel is that we are each enemies of God in our hearts, we only want to do what we want to do for ourselves, for reasons that are not truly set apart to God, that penalty must be paid for sin and ungodliness, we are guilty before God, and that God himself reveals his true grace and righteousness by sending Jesus, His Son, the only one who can cover our sin because he has no sin of his own to cover. The Priests of old had their own sin they had to deal with. Jesus did not. As a result, he could go the cross and receive that just wrath on behalf of those who would believe and trust in God, that He is the just and justifier, and that to reject God’s simple good news is to reject God and his mercy at the same time. Christians are saved not JUST by the wrath Jesus took on the cross, but also that he lived a perfect life that we cannot live before God.
For reference please look at these various verses: Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53:5; John 1; Romans 3:26; Galatians 4:4 (there are so many others).
The point of the Reformation is to build or theology and life of godliness on more and more clear biblical teaching, to reform our ecclesiology on the Word of God, and that it is an ongoing work to be Reformed.
That Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the door in Wittenberg on October 31 is that it is a date, not some over anti-Halloween statement. So, whatever else happens on October 31 every year, the Reformation and what it represents is far superior.
Thus, I don’t feel the need to get on a soapbox about what Christians, or others, do on this one day of the year regarding Halloween because Reformation is a daily need as Christians are growing in maturity, being renewed in mind, being sanctified, and leaning ever more who God is. That is so much more important.