By Kelly McCausey
Editor's Note: this isn't an official stance per se, and we have forum members of varying opinions on Halloween. I'm sticking this note here to clear up any confusion, because usually around Halloween we have some forum applicants under the impression that every single C'Mom here is against Halloween.
I grew up celebrating Halloween like most people. My parents encouraged the costumes and the scary decorations and the trick or treating. As I grew up the scares had to be scarier and Halloween became the time of year to go see the bloodiest horror movies at the theater. It was all ‘just fun’ and it didn’t ‘hurt anybody’. Halloween was also the time of year that I got most interested in the occult. I used ouija boards and studied my astrological charts. I watched TV specials about unsolved mysteries and paranormal activity. I became convinced that I was indeed reincarnated. Most all of, I wished that I had psychic abilities! I wished that I could read minds and see the future. I wished that I could know what happened in previous lives. I wished that I could make contact with the spirits ‘out there’ and get them to do things for me. I moved from one occult interest to another. I read books about ‘spirit guides’ and ‘walk ins’ and wished that some spirit would ‘walk in’ to me and help me deal with my abusive mother.
How did I go from dressing up as Wonder Woman to literally asking a spirit to indwell me? One small step at a time.
Some of you are groaning right now and shaking your head. What does one thing have to do with another you ask? Well, let me tell you. The devil is not stupid. He knows very well that we can be deceived if he can blind us to the truth. If he can keep us from ever knowing Christ in our lifetime he has won our soul forever. We will go to hell. The problem for him is that we all have an overwhelming desire to know God. We know that we are spiritual beings, at least most of us do. From the time that we can think about why we are here, we are thinking about what comes after death. I believe that God has put that irresistible urge within us to draw us to Him. That is a problem for Satan, but he has come up with many stumbling blocks to put in our way. He works constantly to make it hard to find the truth.
Satan and his demons have created a maze of ‘alternate religions’ to keep as many people deceived and confused as possible. All throughout history, he has introduced one false belief system after another. He knows that our deep desire for the God that created us can be short circuited by these false religions. He feeds upon man’s sin and our desire to be like God and so most of the world’s religions direct men to that lie. He created so many false faiths that he birthed one all-encompassing lie: “all roads lead to God”. Some uneducated Christians even believe that one!
All roads do not lead to God! There is only one God. He is the creator of all. The Bible is His Word and there are no mistakes in it! Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, hung on a cross for our sins and died. He rose again on the third day, defeating the works of the devil forever! He ascended to Heaven and there He is to this day. He sent His Holy Spirit to be with us until He returns. These are the facts, praise God! Jesus is our only road to God. Without Christ, there is no salvation.
So, having said that - what does it have to do with Halloween?
I pointed out that the devil wants to deceive us and keep us from discovering the truth. I am writing this for Christians, so I am going to assume that you already know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. You’re also probably an adult, so I don’t have to convince you not to trick or treat, right? But, what about your kids? Let’s say that you have kids anywhere from 3 - 12, that’s your usual trick or treating age group. As Christians, do we want our children to be involved in Halloween? Let’s take a look at that!
Let’s say that we do let our kids be involved. We get them a cute Barbie or Bat Man costume, decorate the house up like a graveyard, and buy lots and lots of candy. Harmless right? You hit the road on Halloween and your little one starts to see other children dressed as witches, demons, and other assorted monsters. What do you say? Now think about this - don’t answer too fast. You are building a foundation here that will mold how they think about the occult.
If you say, “It’s OK honey, it’s just for fun.” - Your child will remember that it is OK to emulate evil. If you say, “Just ignore them, they don’t know any better” - Your child will learn not to care about the lost around them. Any response that you give that tries to smooth over the representation of the occult in Halloween will dull their ability to determine what is dark and evil and what is light and pure.
Let’s say that you do choose the popular road of “it’s all for fun.” Your children accept that and they completely enjoy Halloween all through childhood. Maybe they have even dressed up as a witch once or painted blood on their face, ‘all in fun’. Maybe you let them read ‘Goosebumps” books and watch a few scary movies too, ‘just for kicks’. Then your son comes home from a sleepover and you discover that they have been playing with a ouija board and some strange stuff happened. How do you respond to that? His attitude is that it has been ‘all in fun’. Your son has heard you say all his life that it doesn’t hurt anything if you didn’t mean it to be serious.
Your child is confronted in school with tarot cards and she accepts a ‘reading’ from a friend. She is fascinated and starts playing with them herself. She reads about how she needs to be a empty vessel for the spirits to move through. How will she even know that it is a forbidden practice if you have not brought her up to know what the Word has to say about clairvoyants? How do you tell a 15 year old that it is a dangerous when you have allowed her to be involved in an occult holiday year after year?
Now let's take it to the extreme.
Your child is lonely and feeling left out of things. It’s Halloween time and she is surrounded with dark images. She is drawn to the morose and unusual. You have allowed her to celebrate Halloween for ten years now so you are not sure how to respond to her new look of black lipstick and hair. You don’t know what to think of the new friends that she has made and is spending more time with. Is that a pentagram she is wearing?? You decide to pull her aside and encourage her to go talk to the Youth Pastor but she tells you that she has decided that she isn’t going to church anymore.
Now you think I am going to far - but every single example I have given is a true one. When we blur the lines and we do not give our children firm direction in these areas, we are giving the devil free access to confuse them and mislead them. Our children are not saved just because we are. They have to choose Jesus for themselves. And if we tell them by our everyday decisions and actions that the eternal and supernatural realm doesn’t have to be taken seriously, they will not take it seriously!
My son will not celebrate or participate in Halloween because:
- I don’t want him to underestimate the devil
- I don’t want him to open up to demonic influence
- I don’t want him to stumble into an area of the occult unaware
- I want him to know that I take the Bible literally
- I want him to prefer the light of the Gospel to the darkness of the occult
- I want him to know that it is OK to stand apart from the world on these issues
- I want him to recognize easily what is evil and stand against it in the name of Jesus
There are many more reasons I could list, but you get the idea. I want to just say one more thing and I hope it won’t sound rude. If you are not convinced that participating in Halloween is wrong for a Christian, you really haven’t thought and prayed about it. Honestly, if you ask God to show you His heart on the matter, He will. Here are some bible verses to get you started:
Duet 18:9-13 “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults with the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord”
1 Cor 10:20-21 “I say the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink of the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in the Lord’s table and the table of demons.”
Gal 4:8-1 “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God - or rather are known by God - how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.”
Romans 13:12a “Let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light!”
One last thought - if you have allowed your children to participate in Halloween in the past, don’t despair. I did not come to know the Lord until I was 28 and my son was five. When I realized the truth about how spiritually damaging Halloween was, my son had already celebrated several years worth! I asked God to forgive me for allowing the influence in my child’s life and I renounced every and all related evil practices once and for all. (By the way, I also renounced all the occult stuff I did before I was saved too!) I threw out the Halloween decorations and I choose now to focus on the Lord of the Harvest! I sat down and talked with my son about Halloween and explained why we would not be participating anymore. He accepted it and now at the age of 15 he says he has never missed it a bit.
The Bible says “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” That is so true! We do need to know what the Word says. It is relevant to our present lives, not just our eternal! Many of us have wasted a lot of years and we are just finding out what God has to say about our lives. That’s sad in many ways, but it’s not the end of the story! So, if you are just finding things out for yourself now, don’t beat yourself up, just move on from here and do it God’s way!
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