Do you feel led to seek out the Word and what our Abba feels in regards to Halloween? Is there an unsettling in your heart about these things that is drawing you to ask questions and seek understanding? If so, I pray that this post series satisfies your soul and leads you to keep digging and asking of Him who reveals.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” ~ Prov. 25:2
We are royalty in the Kingdom of Heaven. We are co-heirs to the throne, and therefore it is our inheritance to come to understand the things of Heaven, as we are led and continue to search it out.
Never stop asking and seeking answers from the Word so that your eyes may see clearly the eternal Truth held out from Him.
Now that we have prepared our hearts and minds to receive all that our Abba has to say on this matter, it is time to dive in. I encourage you to write down anything that strikes you to dig deeper. This post is not necessarily conclusive, but rather the process that the Lord has sent me on. I would love to hear if He brings other things to your mind and heart as you study.
May we all be like the Bereans, and examine the scriptures every day to see [what] is true (ref. Acts 17:11).
Is it Biblical to Celebrate Halloween? (Part 2)
I figure a valuable place to begin is at the beginning. Let’s be clear on this specific question: “Is Halloween specifically mentioned in scripture?” No, it is not. There are many, many other-than-biblical holidays celebrated the world over and scripture does not directly address these, either. Not Kwanzaa, not Thanksgiving, nothing.
So, the specific day of Halloween is not discussed. However, we see very specific concepts discussed in scripture that explain what we are to turn away from, and to what instead we are guided to turn. In addition to the specific, we must also ask the difficult questions and assess things from our personal walks with the Lord and where He is leading each of us.
To be sure, our Abba has great plans for us, even in these things, and His plans draw us towards Him always, cleansing our hearts and minds that we may know Him better.
And, what is greater than knowing God?
Separate Yourselves from the Deeds of Darkness
You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.” ~ Deut. 12:4
In Deuteronomy 12, Yahweh instructs His people to separate themselves from the ways of idol worshippers. In the culture at that time there were physical representations of the pagan worship everywhere: Asherah poles, sacred stones, altars for child sacrifice, etc.
Repeatedly, Yahweh commands His children that they are to destroy these things from among them, and not have anything to do with them.
Though scripture does not go into explicit detail about pagan worship, we can learn throughout the entirety of Torah that there are various behaviors associated with it: child sacrifice (Lev. 18:21), sorcery (Deut. 18:9-12), sexual worship at demonic altars (Jer. 3:6), praying to demons (Deut. 32: 16-17), drinking blood (Lev. 7:10-12), self-harm and cutting as a sacrifice (1 Kings 18:28), piercings and tattoos to appease other spiritual forces (Deut. 19:28), sexual immorality to appease the flesh (Lev. 20: 10-21), etc. (Each of these areas of scripture has its own deeper explanations. Each of these areas have spiritual effects that only spiritual eyes can see. If one is pinging you, I encourage you to pray for wisdom, clarity, and to have open eyes to receive anything that the Lord would have you to see. Pray against pride and a rebellious heart that seeks only to see what is in alignment with current beliefs. We are all always in a stance of constant cleansing and renewal.)
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 the dead.” ~ Deut. 18: 10-11
We can be sure that things which are undoubtedly associated with these behaviors are not acceptable practices for believers of the Way. Demonic, sorcery/witchcraft, and sexually illicit things are not reminiscent of those who profess a saving faith, and ought not have a place in our lives. This is undeniable for any of us and such things are necessary to remove from our hearts and minds as we grow closer to our Abba who loves us mightily.
Take the Time to Consider Yourself AND Your Children
When my oldest daughter was just five years old I recall a time when we were walking through the mall and she caught a glimpse of a Victoria’s Secret poster, looked it over, and immediately asked, “Mommy, is that beautiful?” My heart dropped at the deductive reasoning skills of my young child, knowing that she was very susceptible to the underlining messages our culture sends out.
And, I was not wrong. It has been quite a journey for both of us as we diligently work to help her navigate through the slippery slope of life in American culture.
I have six other children, and not ONE has ever asked me such a question. Each child is built so beautifully unique, and requires a unique mode of parenting and discipleship in childrearing. While my husband and I are responsible for shepherding their hearts, we must be wise to discern which tendencies they have that could lead them astray.
Some children just need a firmer line.
For us, we learned to pull in the reigns on many cultural practices pretty swiftly as our daughter’s sensitive spirit was easily tripped up. Any connection to worldliness pulled her in with a vice grip. Thankfully, we are seeing the fruit of this wisdom now as she approaches her teen years and she can clearly see the separation between darkness and Light.
We are no different. Each of us are not only completely unique beings, but also come from different backgrounds and experiences. Some of us will be prone to exceptional sensitivity to dark things, while others truly can float above the midst without being pulled down and being harmed.
For this reason, we as parents must listen attentively to the leading of the Spirit for our own steps, and seek wisdom and clarity as we lead our children, too. And then walk in obedience as He leads.
“Let the Little Children Come to Me…”
As we walk with our children we must diligently teach them to see with spiritual eyes and to observe and understand the cultural norms of our society. In addition, we must also be willing to discuss and explain the various perspectives held for these things that understanding and awareness can be increased.
It is easy when kids are little to focus Halloween on things like candy and frivolity and dress-up and play, but truly, we must be careful to avoid the potential association of the day to a dark and demonic element. It takes only a quick trip to the holiday aisle at Target to see that there is a connection of darkness with this day.
As people who are working diligently to raise up our children in the Ways of Truth and Light (Eph. 5), we must teach them to see darkness for what it is, and not confuse their minds by toeing the fence with things we call play and then expect them to be able to navigate other elements of darkness as they age.
What do children typically experience in future years with the introduction of darkness through “innocent” Halloween? Ouija boards? Openness to the demonic and spiritual forces? Sexual immorality? Make no mistake, demons are regularly watching for access to our children (and we’ve had several encounters with this in previous years).
We must work diligently to train up our children to have eyes that can see clearly and discern the spirits.
The way my spirit understands these elements of Halloween is that it is a “gateway drug,” if you will. It is an introduction to playing with the demonic and calling it fun. Thankfully, though, while raising our children we are able to learn, make changes, and redeem these things as our eyes are opened and our understanding increases.
Ultimately, we are the parents, so we do make the final decisions as to whether or not we believe participating in Halloween is wise and good for our own family, but, we can still welcome our children into the conversation so that they, too, can learn.
Listen attentively to the questions they ask and the way they have been built to see, and guide them through any confusions or concerns they may have. Above all, may our lives and choices be set to honor our Abba.
History & Origins Matter
As we have been on this journey of evaluation for the many different traditions and practices in our culture we have learned to consider how certain practices entered into the culture of believers in the first place. From the deepest crevices of my soul, I want everything that is not in agreement with my Abba to be removed from my life. This desire drives me to desire a restoration of the Way outlined in scripture without influence of surrounding cultural practices.
For me, things that did not originate from biblical reasoning are suspect and worthy of deep examination. Scripture makes it clear that Satan comes as an angel of light, which means that he will use the flesh to entice us with the ideas of happiness and fun, things which seem lighthearted and insignificant, but that are actually disguised to ensnare the spirit.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” ~ Is. 5: 20
Wisdom is found by those who search for it constantly.
The history of Halloween makes it clear that it originated from a lot of pagan worship and idolatry, whether or not these elements continue to be obviously present. I am not going to go into all of the history surrounding it (because seriously that would make a very long post), but will provide several sources for you to check out and research on your own for better clarity.
We have already established that we are not to worship God the way the pagans worship, so if things we are doing originated with pagan worship we must challenge whether or not these things have any place in our lives, and continually seek the Lord for where He is leading us regarding various traditions.
There is no condemnation in Christ, so therefore this is not about never being in the wrong, but rather about coming into a whole and complete agreement with the Ways of God one little piece at a time. I encourage a regular and annual review of these things as one matures in Christ and has a deeper understanding revealed.
- History of Halloween
- Halloween, by Wikipedia
- Where did Halloween come from? Can a Christian celebrate it?
- Pagan Holidays, Festivals, & Celebrations
2 Biblical Alternatives to Consider Teaching to Children
Let’s say that you have decided that you no longer want to participate in any portion of Halloween, and desire deeply to only teach your children the things of God without mixing in cultural traditions or practices of questionable origins. I am happy to say that there are some biblical alternatives to consider adding into your annual festivities that you can confidently enjoy alongside of your children without compromising scriptural lessons and encouragement.
Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) (Lev. 23: 33-44)
Though this feast has already passed, it is one of the “high holy feasts” of Torah. The feast is an 8 day commemoration of the beautiful care that Yahweh extended towards the Israelites in the desert. There are many fun ways to celebrate this feast, including a camping trip, building a sukkah, plenty of fun kids’ crafts, and more. For more information about this feast, click here.
Feast of Purim (Esther 9:20)
You may or may not remember this, but in the book of Esther a day of commemoration was established to remember and celebrate the protection that Yahweh extended towards the Israelites when under threat of complete destruction and annihilation.
Today Purim provides a biblical day to dress-up, enjoy games of play and frivolity without bringing in mimicking elements of darkness. Children and adults alike enjoy dressing up as the biblical figures in the story (or other fun, unassociated figures), shouting out against the name of Hamaan as the story of Esther is read aloud, baking little treats (hamantaschen) to enjoy the festivities of the day, and giving gifts freely to those in need. For more information about this feast, click here.
If there is one thing I have learned in studying scripture, it is that God has provided a litany of joyful occasions for us to celebrate and convene in festivities for His glory and praise. Following Him need not be empty of fun and joy, ever.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” ~ Deut. 6: 5-9
We do not war against the flesh, but against the spiritual forces of this world…
Our Abba also holds specific rules regarding the worship of Him. And, since we are to worship Him at all times, the goal is to work continually to bring every thought, every action, and every word that we utter into alignment with Him and His Ways.
Will we fail at this? Absolutely, to be sure. No one is perfect, no not one (Eccl. 7:20). Praise be to God for our Savior, Yeshua Hamashiach, Jesus the Christ! Through Him and Him alone can we stand clean before God.
However, scripture also reminds us that we are to be constantly working towards the cleansing of all unrighteousness from within ourselves. This means that we will inevitably have things in our hearts, minds, and actions that do not line up with scripture.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.” ~ Psalm 139: 23-24
Some things may be easy to stop. Other things may take years, or decades. And, still others may never be fully and completely removed from our lives this side of heaven. Only God knows the walk we each must endure.
A Personal Walk with God is Critical (1 Cor. 10: 23-33)
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” ~ 1 Cor. 10: 31
We must be careful not to avoid something simply because OTHER people won’t do it, but also not to DO something because other people do it (a.k.a. the bondage of pleasing man). We must know what the Lord is revealing to us in the season of faith we are in. The Lord specifically leads each of us personally and in the fullness of HIS knowledge, and we must hold tightly to the Truth of His Word as He has makes alive to us through our regular reading and communion with Him.
Acts 15 explains an event when new Christians were held to legalistic standards of Torah compliance as though under the Law, rather than doing such things out of a heart to love and follow Yahweh. In the same sense, those who are in conviction to reject Halloween must do so for themselves and respect the rights of others to be where they are in their own walk of obedience. We each are responsible for our own hearts and minds.
God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.” ~ Acts 15: 8-9
Be wise to discern where the Lord has you.
Whereas one person has been created in the way to absolutely avoid anything of any degree of association to the demonic, because for whatever reason this is what their spirit sees when they “think” about Halloween, other people are able to separate the two without conflict within themselves.
‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” ~ 1 Cor. 10: 23-24
We are NOT to press our own convictions onto others, but we are right to lovingly share the things which the Lord is teaching each of us where we are in our journeys with Him. We have CLEAR Torah Truths that reveal what breaks the heart of God and therefore are not to be part of our lives: no occult, witchcraft, demonic, sexually immoral, and that which uplifts these things. Otherwise, we are clean and clear as the Lord continues to lead us each by the Way He has established for our walks, thanks be to Christ.
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” ~ Romans 14: 19
Romans 14 is an another excellent example of the importance of recognizing that these are very personal matters to take up with God for each of us. For some, Halloween is dark and demonic, without question. For them, it is sin, and for this reason they must not participate in any form. For others, however, there is nothing but play and delight, and for them there is no problem.
Unless the Spirit changes that for them, “who are [we] to judge?” (Romans 14: 4).
Above All Else Seek the Lord
It is my greatest hope and desire that these things are helpful to assess and pray about where the Lord is leading you and your family with regards to Halloween. There is no absolute simple answer, but we must not stop talking about these things.
We create a community where loving communication can flow when we seek to bring understanding and analysis to the front of the conversation, rather than judgment and condemnation.
Come, let us reason together.” ~ Is. 1: 18
May you find peace in the Spirit as our Abba guides you through your journey with Him, one step at a time.