Should Christians do Halloween at all? Of course we should! Halloween is the perfect opportunity to share God's love with others and offer hope and encouragement to those who need it most. When Christians get out and “do” Halloween, they are simply doing what they do on the other 364 days of the year. The only difference is that this day, in particular, provides more creative ways to do it!
Doing Halloween is a far cry from celebrating pagan traditions or teetering on things that don't align with God's word. For Christians, Halloween isn't about offering sacrifices to false gods, participating in evil rituals, or anything even closely related to being evil.
For Christians, Halloween is about taking God's love and grace out into the community. Taking it to those who need it most.
Halloween is about being the light of Jesus in a fun and creative way in hopes of reaching more people for the Kingdom. It is the opposite of death – it is literally about life – offering others a life in Jesus!
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What Does the Bible Say About Celebrating Halloween?
The Bible doesn't specifically address the specific holiday that we consider to be Halloween. It does offer many verses to warn us against evil acts and the darkness that surrounds the enemy.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11 NIV
So, of course, as Christians, we naturally attempt to avoid anything that goes against God's word. So in that context, of course, we don't “celebrate” the pagan traditions associated with Halloween. Instead, we must always seek out ways to enter light into the darkness.
Remember, Jesus always went out to where the people were. He met them on their turf (so to speak). Shouldn't we do the same?
How to Do Halloween as a Christian
First, and foremost, we should do Halloween in the same way we do every other day of the year!
Notice that I didn't say “celebrate” because of course, Christians don't “celebrate” anything of Pagan origins! But on this day, we should seek to glorify God in everything that we do. On this particular day, however, there is an abundance of opportunities to be the light of Jesus in our communities.
As Christians, we should “do” Halloween as we do every other day of the year – with the intent of glorifying God!
Instead of focusing on the original purpose of this day, seek out ways to make it a day of shining God's light for those who don't know Him. And, as in everything else we do, we seek God first. And we evaluate everything we do and validate it against his Word.
Being out and about in a festive Halloween way, in and of itself, isn't sinful. And as long as the activities you choose to engage in honor and glorify God, then you are definitely doing Halloween in a way that God would approve of!
Show Hospitality to Others on Halloween
Whether you stay home or get out into the community, think of ways to show true Biblical hospitality to your neighbors and to strangers! Christians do Halloween by simply being the light of Jesus to others in the community.
To the Trick or Treaters
On the evening of Halloween, even if you choose not to get out and let your own kids go trick or treating, you can still be a light for Jesus to those who stop by your home. God calls us to be disciples and go out into the world to share the Good News! Look on Halloween night as the harvest – a night full of lost souls needing to be introduced to Jesus. We are the workers needed for this harvest!
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15 NIV
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Mathew 9:37-38
Instead of simply turning your porch light off, here are some ways to do Halloween as a Christian (without actually celebrating it).
- Decorate your yard! Make sure your neighbors know they are welcome on this one night by decorating your yard. There are a lot of decorations that don't include monsters and gore! You could make it more of a “Fall Harvest” theme than the scary Halloween theme. There are even some really cute wooden signs that say “The only ghost that lives here is the Holy Ghost” – how cute is that?
- Set up some chairs in your driveway or on your porch. As a parent who has trotted along behind my young ones trick or treating, I can tell you that I would definitely welcome a chair to sit in and take a short break!
- Break out the grill and offer up some burgers or hot dogs! Seriously! Many parents are in a rush to get the kids out before all the candy gets taken so they often forget to put some real food in them.
- Drinks – I tell you, here in south Texas, October is still hot! I would SO appreciate a cup of cold water, lemonade, or (non-alcoholic) Halloween punch to quench my thirst while I'm sitting in the wonderful chairs you've provided!
- Have a BIG BOWL of candy! As the kids come up to grab a handful, it is the perfect opportunity to engage with them and tell them how great their costumes look! You can also include a church invite with each handful of candy!
- Trunk or Treat – For those who live in areas where it may be too cold or simply not safe to get out and do trick or treating activities, get your church involved! Trunk or Treats are a great way to get more people to actually come to church – even those who aren't believers!
Serve Others in Your Community
Christians are called to serve others. We are called to look out for the orphans, widows, and those less fortunate. Halloween provides the perfect opportunity to do just that! To get out and offer hope and encouragement – and a little fun – to those who need it most that might not get it otherwise.
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” Isaiah 58:7 NIV
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:35
Homeless Shelters and Soup Kitchens
One thing you will definitely find at homeless shelters (or shelters for abused women) is kids! And what do kids enjoy? Halloween and candy! These kids have most like gone through a lot if they are living in a shelter of this kind. What better way to be the light of Jesus to bring some fun into their lives by way of a Halloween party?
You could collect fun Halloween costumes to give the kids and do a sort of Trunk or Treat party right there in the shelter. This provides not only the opportunity to simply love on these kids at their level but to also love on their parents and to minister to them and give them hope for a better tomorrow.
Don't forget about the adults! While the Halloween fun is really more for the kids, there are ways you can serve their parents in a fun way. You can create adult “trick or treat” bags and fill them with socks, chapstick, toiletries, etc. Include a pocket Bible or devotional. Or even just print out some encouraging verses of Scripture on small cardstock. You can even collect jackets and blankets to hand out to them.
Many soup kitchens will host a special meal on Halloween. If baking is your thing, then bake up a bunch of Halloween-themed treats and donate them for this special meal event. As you wrap them up, tie an encouraging verse of Scripture to it.
Business owners have an amazing opportunity to glorify God through their business.
- Collect donations – Set up a donation box in your establishment to collect things such as blankets, winter jackets, socks, and/or other toiletries. These can be put together in individual bags with a small pocket Bible or devotional and delivered to a local homeless shelter on Halloween.
- Donate Food – If you own a food establishment, consider boxing up meals to donate to homeless shelters on Halloween. Be sure to include a special treat and some Biblical encouragement in the box!
These are great team-building activities to do with your employees – even those who aren't believers. Because even most believers still believe in the biblical principles of serving others who are less fortunate.
Related: When Christians Don't Do Halloween
Start with Prayer, End with Love
Ask God to open your eyes to see where you may shine His light to someone needing it on Halloween. There are so many out there that simply do not know about Jesus that need to know about Him! Instead of simply tuning out the entire notion of Halloween, I encourage you to seek out this day specifically to glorify God and use this day – born of pagan traditions – to bring more people into the Kingdom of God. All it takes is an open heart and a little creativity!
I would LOVE to hear about some creative ways you are doing Halloween this year in a way that reaches more people with God's love!
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**We use verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit our Scripture Citations.