I hate Halloween

October 27, 2008

I’ve only gone trick-or-treating twice. We went with family friends back in Oklahoma when I was little, and I went a second time 2 years ago for the sake of watching after some little children. One of my experiences during the latter will not soon leave my mind.

-/-

As we walked towards the door, there were body parts (most likely dismembered plastic babies) strewn throughout a small garden on our left. On the bench to our right, there was a headless man with the blade from a circular saw protruding from his chest. Beside the door there was a man wearing the Scream outfit holding a plastic jack-o-lantern full of candy. We thought he was a mannequin, but much to our surprise, he extended the candy to us and startled us all.

-/-

Halloween is disgusting in my eyes, but it is far more disgusting in my spirit.

As Christians, do we believe that Satan is real? Do we believe he has a personality and goals and that they are distinctly opposite to God’s? Do we recognize that Satan is known for fashioning his evil as attractive and fun?

If you take a hard look at Halloween, there is no other honest conclusion to be had than this: Halloween is a celebration of darkness, death, and fear.

We might call Halloween a trivialization and celebration of Satan’s work on earth. Darkness is his shroud! Death (spiritual/mental/physical) is his desire for us! Fear is his number-one-hit in our lives!

People may choose to celebrate Halloween in many different (and perhaps harmless) ways, but the core of this holiday (in American culture, at least) is indisputable. All for Satan’s glory.

It’s unlikely that I could hate Halloween any more than I do. But the reason I hate it is that it is so obviously Satan’s handiwork. It reeks of him. (I just want to love what He loves and hate what He hates.)

I would contend that it’s disgusting to the Spirit of God.

Christians should not blindly go along with worldliness. We need God’s wisdom.

Do not be deceived–if we go along with the world and ignore the Spirit of God, we will share in the consequences of worldliness. We are not immune to the consequences of foolishness, and we should not be surprised that we feel far from the Lord when we ignore Him.

Matthew 15:

14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.

UPDATE: Read this post by Solomon. He framed the issue perfectly! (hat tip: bones)

If one is celebrating on this day and their celebration does not relate to death, darkness, or fear, there is no issue with that celebration (in my opinion)! Let us separate what is of God from what is of Satan! As we obey Him, listen to Him, and trust Him, He will draw near to us (He promises).

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24 Responses to “I hate Halloween”

  1. Edmund Says:

    I agree with you on this. Some of my friends find it odd that I get so riled up over Halloween, but the unease and dislike I feel of it in my spirit speaks quite clearly to me on the subject. I’ve come to the point where I typically restrain my discussion of my distaste for halloween simply because I don’t want to deal with defending myself for my convictions but maybe I should speak up a bit more.

  2. PeregrinJoe Says:

    Excellent post and I agree wholeheartedly. I especially like this comment: “We might call this celebration a trivialization and celebration of Satan’s work on earth.”

    That is a perfect way to put it!

  3. bimw Says:

    Great post! As you already know, I totally agree!

  4. Michelle Says:

    Thanks for your post and your refreshingly honest opinion. Thanks for your comment and for stopping by my little place on the web.

  5. Erin Says:

    Yes, darkness, death and fear are realities in this world. But, a more appropriate response than turning the lights off an hiding in our living rooms is to ask ourselves, “What does Scripture teach us about death and evil?”, “What does Christ’s Kingdom have to offer to the world in relation to death and evil?”, and, “Is this something to celebrate?” I say, “Yes it is!” As a follower of Christ who believes in the realities of sin, evil, and satan, I choose to celebrate Halloween as an opportunity to teach important scriptural truths to my children. To avoid it makes them think we’re afraid of something, when the truth is that that “something” is afraid of us!

    All Hallows’ Eve: On this day we celebrate the fact that Christ is the Light that overcomes the darkness of sin, death and evil. We observe the reality of the enemies, sin and death, and look to the promise of our resurrection and new life in Christ. We also observe the reality of evil and rejoice that God is more powerful and has already overcome it. ~ “O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting?” ~

    All Hallows’ (Saints’) Day: On this day we observe that God’s people are to reflect the Light of Christ in our lives. We celebrate and honor the lives and works of our spiritual forbearers–church fathers, martyrs and saints, known and unknown, living and dead–and recognize that only by the grace of God we too might have the faith to live holy lives as Christ commands. ~ “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith.” ~~

    All Souls’ Day: On this day we observe that, God’s people are called to be lampstands, sharing the Light of Christ in both word and deed with those in the world who are still walking in darkness. We remember all souls living by proclaiming the Kingdom of God and working to bring peace into our world, to establish justice among us, to lift the burdens of those who are oppressed, to care for the sick, and to assist the poor. ~ “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” ~ ~

    It is a wonderful opportunity of witness if we can craft our decorations to emphasize these truths, as well. So, I have no qualm with Believers who choose not to celebrate, and understand and respect their reasons for not doing so. But, it is not the only appropriate Christian response.

    RESPONSE:
    I love your reasoning behind the three celebrations! How do you celebrate them in effect?

  6. PeregrinJoe Says:

    And when a person says there is no God, he is called a fool.

  7. Kevin Says:

    I’ll be sure to put in a prayer request with your name on it at the Halloween black mass this year.

    RESPONSE:

    Bring it. I already know how the story ends.

  8. Meredith Says:

    Thank you, nathan! I agree 100%. You said it well!

  9. Andrew Faris Says:

    Nathan,

    I saw your response to Jenny’s post over at our blog, http://www.christiansincontext.org.

    May I suggest that you actually haven’t “reasoned” at all here? You have only strongly asserted how much you hate Halloween, linking it to Satan. Other than your personally scary story, I wonder if there is good reason to link it to Satan? You even that this is an indisputably Satanic holiday. What is so indisputable about your strong assertions? For that matter, given Jenny’s far more thoughtful post, it appears that we have direct evidence that your point is indeed quite disputable.

    Perhaps most of the celebration of death and the like that you are talking about could be avoided if you simply walked past houses with fake body parts strewn about. Then you can still trick or treat and thus meet the rest of the folks in the neighborhood without having to expose yourself or any small children to the directly evil side of it.

    And also, maybe we can pin your total fear at being startled by the person in the Scream mask to your self-admitted lack of trick-or-treating experience. That’s the oldest trick in the book, and one I learned to be careful about from a young age!

    I should note that I appreciate your sensitivity to the reality of Satan and demonic forces. Most of us brush these aside far too easily.

    Andrew

    RESPONSE:

    We must be thoughtful concerning what we support in this world. I take any reasoning into question that ends in support of this darkness! So many things on this earth seem harmless but in the end lead to spiritual/mental/physical death. We must entreat God for wisdom concerning them!


  10. Brother Nathan,

    Please consider deleting “Richard Dawkins” post. It is linked to a porn site that pops up whenever someone moves their cursor over “his” name.

    Peace to you brother,
    From the Middle East

    RESPONSE:

    Thanks for the heads up!

  11. Erin Says:

    >>RESPONSE:
    I love your reasoning behind the three celebrations! How do you celebrate them in effect?<<

    There are several aspects to our celebrations.

    First, I have created liturgies (following Robert E. Webber’s format in The Book of Family Prayer, which our family uses for our family devotions) for each of the three nights, complete with prayers, hymns, scripture, and responsive readings. If you would be interested in seeing what I’ve put together, I would be happy to forward those on. We also read stories about Biblical and historical figures of the faith, and I try to incorporate icons of them where possible, as children are very visual.

    Second, I not only avoid decorations that “promote” or “celebrate” fear, death/killing, or evil, but I go the extra step in using the already existing cultural symbols in a way that promotes or celebrates God. I use as many candles and lights as possible to represent the Light of Christ. I have a small grim reaper hanging in a cage, and on the outside of the cage is a scroll with the verse from I Cor. 15:55. I have a candle next to a skull with a placard that has Romans 6:23. I have a jack’o’lantern candle, and next to it I have a placard with the verse from Matthew 5:16. There’s also a “Pumpkin Prayer” you can probably find easily online.

    I have a tabletop-sized graveyard with three headstones that read (a) Here lies SIN (Christ Jesus was our sinless atonement); (b) Here lies DEATH (Christ Jesus victoriously rose again); (c) Here lies EVIL (Christ Jesus defeated satan in death and life). The sin headstone has an image of serpents around a tree; the death headstone has an image of a skull and crossed sickles; the evil headstone has an image of a chained dragon. On the fence, there’s a “posted sign” that reads, “These three enemies brought darkness into the world, but Jesus is the Light that shines in the darkness and overcomes it to give light to every person.”

    Other ideas I’ve had include using a dragon figuring with the Rev. 12:9-10 verse; headstones with Rev. 12:11 and Rev. 14:13; an empty coffin with text about how our tombs will be empty when Jesus returns. . . the list goes on and on.

    Third, we listen to “Christian Halloween Music,” both songs and hymns. These range from “The Devil Is Bad” (the W’s) and “Ain’t No Grave” (Selah) to “I’ll Fly Away” (Avalon) and “O Thou, In Whose Presence” (Fernando Ortega). Again, if you’d like a list, I can forward those on.

    So those are the basics. We do go around on “beggar’s night” in non-scary costumes. I like the ideas I’ve heard about giving thank you cards; and when we have a home with a driveway, someday, I hope to be able to sit out with a firepit and invite the parents up for a drink of cider and a chat. But so far my 5 year old has really embraced the decorations we’ve put together so far, loves asking questions about them, and it’s a great opportunity to teach her about things that I feel most churches don’t address very often.

  12. Frank Hart Says:

    I found this blog because Nathan posted on my blog. So, if you are interested in another Christian perspective on Halloween, check out this;

    http://ancienttruthmodernsound.com/whats-so-wrong-with-halloween

    I’m just offering another perspective, I’m not wanting to fight with anyone. Peace.

  13. Kathy Says:

    Excellent post. I had not thought of the angle of Halloween celebrating death, which God did not create, but is instead an evidence of sin. So, in celebrating the death-loving “holiday” of Halloween, we are in essence celebrating the sin that separates us from God and promoting it.

  14. Judy Says:

    Thanks. I, too, hate the idea of ‘celebrating death’. You can dress it up any way you wish, but the message the little children get is ‘monsters, ghouls, ghosts, graveyards, witches, devils’ etc. I simply decline to participate. Funny, today in a department store I was wished a “Happy Halloween”. I’ll betcha they don’t with me “Merry Christmas.”

  15. MandyMom Says:

    Something I try to keep in mind when participating in various functions or events: Would Christ do this? Would Christ approve? Would Christ “turn over the tables”, so to speak, if he saw this going on?

    Can I do this and HONESTLY praise God? Am I doing it for selfish reasons? Am I trying to convince or persuade myself that this is okay to do by justifying it?

    When I answer all of those questions honestly, I see that I cannot participate in a holiday founded by pagans.

    We celebrate the Protestant holiday of Reformation Day on the weekend nearest to Oct 31st. We start on Friday and continue until Sunday- so this year, we started our celebration on the same day as Halloween. It’s just a time when we just do what we normally do- spend time with our family, but throw in a little extra, like playing “pin the theses on the door”.

  16. jayson Says:

    Good to know there is a blog for this…

    I totally agree…
    Halloween is evils day.
    Its a pagan ritual christianized by the catholic church.

    and many don’t know this.They blindly celebrate it without knowing what it is and were it came from..

    Kudos to you…=)

  17. Roman G. Says:

    “Halloween[‘s purpose] is indisputable. All for Satan’s glory.” [Halloween] “is so obviously Satan’s handiwork.”

    What a load of crap. Here we go again– another Christian asserting absolutes without any shred of supporting evidence.

    Indisputable ? Hardly. Prove your assertions. Aside from the problem of proving the existence of Satan, you’ll be also be hard pressed to condemn Halloween as there is no mention of Halloween in the Christian Bible.

    Believe as you will. Live as you will. But stop making spurious assertions and claiming them to be “facts.”

    RESPONSE:

    I can see how my post would mean nothing to you as you do not believe in the spiritual realm.

  18. Roman G. Says:

    “I can see how my post would mean nothing to you as you do not believe in the spiritual realm.”

    First, don’t assume I’m an atheist. (I’m not.) You seem to make a habit of making assumptions and proceeding as if they’re facts.

    Next, how does my belief or non-belief (in anything) absolve _you_ of proving your assertions ? The short answer: It doesn’t. Your word means nothing.

    So, again, stop making assertions and claiming them to be “facts.” Prove what you say. Until then, it’s nothing but a biased opinion.

    RESPONSE:

    My thesis is that Halloween (as celebrated in America) is a celebration of Satan and his handiwork. If you don’t necessarily believe in Satan, this post is of no use to you.

    Besides–this is a philosophical, spiritual post. You will find no proof when one is speaking of intangibles.

  19. Boris Says:

    Same goes for a lot of other things Christians blindly follow – “Christmas” Tree, statues of Mary and Jesus in the Church – those and many more are all pagan rituals.

  20. Josh Says:

    Your link to the “Solomon” blog is dead, blog deleted BTW. For those who needed some scriptural backing, I’ll take your “no scriptural backing” and raise you a “Philippians 4:8.” Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

  21. jealouslove Says:

    Good post Nathan. I realize I said a lot of the same things you did in my reply to you; I replied to your comment before I read your blog. :-)

  22. TheHallow1 Says:

    This is why I don’t have a religion: Narrow-minded, pathetic, and mentally blind people like you. Halloween will always live on and the world will be better off when you’re dead.

    RESPONSE:

    Nope.

  23. Noelle Sumlin Says:

    Hey Nathen, My name is Noelle Sumlin and I am a 22 year old Christian. I have been a Christian since I was 13 years old. U seem like U have a Good Heart and LOVE God but U are so Wrong. Halloween is not just full of Darkness, Death, and Fear. If U think that then U are so WRONG and are looking at Halloween all WRONG. I have been doing Halloween and I have LOVED Halloween all of My Life. First of all if You are a TRUE Christian then You should know that this WORLD we live on and live in and in our lives as People there is Darkness, Death, and Fear. So if U are going to just not like Halloween because it sometimes seems to be of Darkness, Death, and Fear then U just need to stop living or move to the moon because as long as U live on and in Earth then there will always be Darkness, Death, and Fear until us Christians are in Heaven. I have seen in and on Halloween Brightness, Happyness, Lovingness, Caringness, and No Fear or No Scareness. There reason I have seen all those good stuff in Halloween is because every since I was 13 years old, I have taken my younger cousins out every Halloween Night. I Love seeing there faces Light up when they get all dressed up and they get and eat Candy, seeing there Happy and Smiling Faces Brighten up my day. It also makes me feel Good that I get tell them that Monsters are not real and tell them that Me and God will always keep them Safe. So Halloween can be a Good thing and be a Good Day. If U want to talk to ME then PLEASE Email at Allynoelle16@yahoo.com .

    RESPONSE:

    Noelle, if you do not see the darkness, death, and fear, I have no quibble with your celebration.


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