Christianity in the Dark
Drawn from scripture, these reminders will strengthen your faith and allow you to celebrate Halloween in a manner pleasing to God.
For some Christians, Halloween brings to mind kids in funny costumes, candy corn and maybe a jack-o’-lantern on the porch. Some Christians absolutely love the holiday and look forward to it all year long. On the other hand, some Christians have decided to avoid the holiday entirely, They hope to spare themselves from the dark spiritual energy often associated with Halloween. This may be due to the fact that Halloween is a touch too spooky for their tastes, or because they believe that it is ungodly, since Halloween, like many holidays, finds its roots in pagan or non-Christian folklore.
Those who abstain from Halloween often cite the Old Testament’s constant prohibition of dark spiritualism and of occult, pagan witchcraft. This prohibition forbids practices like divination, necromancy and cult worship of pagan gods. There is certainly value in that, but it’s not the only good Christian response to Halloween. In fact, Halloween offers Christians an opportunity to be aware of God in a new way—through the lens of darkness, fear and the unknown.
In an attempt to respond to these admittedly difficult questions, I have provided 4 reminders with scriptural evidence that will help guide you this Halloween. Remember—these ideas are merely starting places for discernment. If you really want to know what God’s wisdom means for your life, you should pray about these things and wait for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
I. Jesus Christ’s authority extends to death and the unknown.
Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead. —Romans 14:9
I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. —Revelations 1:18
Although these words have deeper meanings that we can hope to understand on this earth, the message could not be clearer. Although Jesus Christ is the source of life in the universe, He is also the sole authority over death. When Job suffers, he remembers that, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away” (Job 1:20-21).
We know that God is the authority of light and darkness, and of life and death. Jesus Christ’s authority extends down into every arena of life. Even an actual warlock falls under God’s authority, so there is never anything to fear. We are always on the winning side, no matter how bizarre and discomforting occult practices can be.
II. Halloween is an opportunity to reflect on death and the mysteries of the spiritual realm.
Human lives are more insulated from death than ever before. One reason is that the miraculous development of medicine and technology means that we’re living a lot longer than we used to.
It’s critical for Christians to spend time meditating about death, just as Jesus Himself faced death fearlessly. It’s also important for non-Christians to think about death, because the fear of death leads us to hunger of God’s forgiveness and a life of obedience to His will.
Instead of rejecting the holiday entirely, use the Halloween season as a reason to pray about death and to pray that by celebrating Halloween, people will remember their own mortality.
God will answer your requests for wisdom. There is much to be gained by meditating on the mysteries of life, death and the spiritual forces of the earth.
III. Halloween requires Christian discernment.
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. —Galatians 5:19-21
Consider using Halloween as practice for discerning the spirits. In other words, Halloween allows a wonderful opportunity for Christians to demonstrate their ability to understand where good, honest fun stops and where sin begins, as they are guided by the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
Although Christians should not use Halloween as an excuse to practice moral recklessness at parties and bars, it is not necessarily evil to go to a Halloween party or out with friends and loved ones. Even at a Halloween party, a Christian should behave like Christ.
IV. Halloween is a really tempting opportunity to judge others.
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. —Matthew 7:1-2
Christ taught us that we don’t get to judge people just because their behavior offends us. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to be concerned by reckless behavior, and that doesn’t mean you should abandon your moral code. It just means you should be open-minded and have patience for others, so that you can see them as Jesus sees them.
If you see people dressed and behaving inappropriately, it’s fine to say, “That’s not for me.” However, if someone offends you and you stop loving that person, you’ve fallen for the trap of judgment, which is in clear contradiction to Jesus Christ’s example. We’re told to love even our worst enemies, and that certainly means we must love people who make mistakes.
Ultimately, Halloween calls us to reflect on the mysterious power of God, whose fearlessness of death was demonstrated in Jesus’s sacrificial death for us. Any spiritual entity that might want to harm Christians has already been defeated by Jesus’s resurrection from the dead. Whether you choose to celebrate Halloween this year or not, we can all rest assured that the spiritual forces of this fallen world are nothing compared to the majesty and power of God.
Mason Tabor is a writer, thinker and artist in Austin, TX, with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Languages from Houston Baptist University.