Guest post by, Anna Joy
Scary costumes, horrifying decor, grave stones, skeletons, ghouls, and devils – Halloween is everywhere.
Regardless of whether you love it, hate it, or can’t decide, you can’t escape Halloween.
What are Christians supposed to do with Halloween, a holiday that celebrates death, fear, darkness, witches, and demons? A day that seems to be becoming increasingly evil in focus?
- Should we celebrate Halloween in the same way as our non-Christian neighbors?
- Should we turn off our lights on October 31st and huddle in the basement, hoping that people will think that we are not home?
- Should we write condemning Facebook posts about the evils of Halloween in an attempt to inform the consciences of the “worldly” Christians around us?
- Is handing a piece of candy to a four-year-old neighbor boy dressed up as Captain America really a sin?
Where should Christians draw the line?
I do not want to encourage any Christian to violate his conscience in the matter of Halloween. Nor do I want to guilt-trip any Christian into feeling that it is her duty to witness on Halloween. I am merely asking: Could it be that we Christians, as a whole group, are so busy arguing over the technicalities of Halloween that we are missing a beautiful opportunity to share the gospel?
The Apostle Paul Responds to Halloween
The Apostle Paul faced a similar situation in Acts 17. While Paul was in the pagan city of Athens, he took a walk and saw that Athens was full of idols, pagan altars, and the people who worshiped at them.
The people of Athens did not know the God Who had provided a way of salvation for them from eternal death, fear, and darkness. They did not know that Jesus had paid the penalty for their sins. They did not know that, by accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior, they could be free to live lives of love, peace, light, and joy while worshiping the One True God.
Paul found himself in a city that was living in bondage to, and celebrating, death, fear, darkness, and evil. Sounds rather like Halloween, doesn’t it?
There was so much evil and false worship going on in Athens that Paul’s spirit was “provoked within him.” So, what was Paul’s response?
- Well, Paul didn’t run to his hotel room and hunker down in the darkness, waiting for his Christian friends to show up.
- He also didn’t jump in and start acting just like the people of Athens, worshiping the same things that they worshiped.
- Neither did Paul start smashing any altars while loudly condemning all of the idol worshipers.
Instead, Paul did an amazing thing. He used a pagan altar with the inscription “To An Unknown God” as an object lesson to start telling the people about the One True God Who alone deserved their worship.
Here’s a thought: If Paul could use a false altar made by pagan worshipers as a means to tell people about God, could we, as Christians, use Halloween to tell our neighbors about Jesus?
You know those teens in their bizarre and immodest costumes roaming the streets on October 31st? How many times a year do they knock on your door?
How many opportunities each year do you get to look your neighbors in the eye and reach out to them in kindness? To offer them a verse of hope? To let them know that you are a follower of Christ?
What if, as Christians, we saw Halloween as an opportunity to spread the good news of the Gospel?
This year, instead of ignoring Halloween, condemning Halloween, or trying to justify Halloween, what if we invited God to work through us on October 31st? What if we set aside the week prior to Halloween as a time to be in earnest prayer for the salvation of the people in our neighborhoods? What if we used the pagan tradition of “Trick or Treating” to let our neighbors know that we care about them and that we are Christians?
Our great God does not retreat in despair on October 31st. He is still on His throne, powerful to call people to Himself.
A Few Practical Ideas for Sharing the Gospel on Halloween:
1. Make your front door and porch a place of light and warmth on Halloween night.
Decorate your porch and front door in a way that is so inviting that the scared five-year-olds who are passing by will be drawn to it. Our great God is a God of love, hope, warmth, and invitation to people who are living in darkness, despair, and death. So, pull those twinkle lights out of storage and make your front door reflect that message!
2. Offer a smile and a Bible verse of hope to the people who are drawn to your door.
The printable trick or treat tags below make it easy, as do tracks from sources like chickpublications.
3. Make sure that the treats you offer are also reflective of God’s generosity and grace.
If you are going to be handing out verses or tracts, Please, Please, Please DO NOT offer them with one vanilla flavored tootsie roll.
If you are desiring to be God’s witness to your neighbors on Halloween night, go above and beyond their expectations in your generosity. Perhaps this means a coffee maker, disposable cups, sugar, and cream on a table available for cold parents. How about disposable pocket hand warmers or dollar store mittens for little hands that are cold? Maybe it means real chocolate bars or individually wrapped pumpkin doughnuts instead of tootsie rolls.
Get creative! Brainstorm what you can afford and how you can show God’s hospitality to the people in your neighborhood.
On October 31st, your neighbors just might come knocking on your door. Will you be ready to receive them and offer them hope and light from God’s Word?
Printable Trick Or Treat Tags with Bible Verses
Below is a link to printable Trick or Treat Tags with Bible Verses. On each card, there is a space for you to add the website for your local church. If you are making lots of copies, be sure and write your website on each tag prior to making the copies – it will save you from writer’s cramp!
Would you like more Christian resources for Halloween? Check out A Sweet Opportunity: Seeing the Gospel in Halloween, a Bible study designed to help you show your kids how the Gospel relates to six different aspects of Halloween: Trick or Treating, Costumes, Darkness, Evil, Fear, and Death.