We opt out. Eight reasons:
- Few celebrations of Hallowe’en really involve witchcraft, but many treat it as a joke, something to be imitated in fun, rather than a serious evil.
- Many celebrations place an unhealthy emphasis on death and evil.
- Often there is a horribly skewed perception of life after death, which is also treated as a joke, a costume to wear, rather than a vital reality which must be considered.
- Sending children around to beg sweets can lead to wrong attitudes about sweets (and about neighbours). I never wanted to encourage that in my kids, or other kids.
- It has become dangerous as people have done malicious things to children.
- The “trick” threat of vandalism too often becomes reality.
- There are many other evil things in the ways people have taken to celebrating it with which I don’t want to be identified.
- We don’t need it. We can do fun things together as a family instead.
Note: I did not include pagan origins on the list. The dangers of ancient paganism are minor compared to every day dangers of current pagan atheism, materialism, and hedonism. Many reject Hallowe’en over pagan origins but welcome modern pagan influences in thinking and entertainment. Focusing on ancient pagan origins of various things is often a trick of the adversary to distract from the real dangers around us.
Though I don’t see any Scripture directly forbidding Hallowe’en, you could easily drift into celebrating it in ways that violate Scripture, without even really trying to do so. But rather than ask if Scripture forbids it, we might ask what is the value, compared to the problems?
A year ago, some readers may remember, I linked to an article that says women are able to “time births” and that fewer children are born on Hallowe’en — out of 1.8 million births, there were 11.8% fewer on 31 October. The final two paragraphs:
She added that mothers perhaps subconsciously wanted to avoid Halloween because of its associations with death and evil.
Levy said: “It evokes fear on some level.”
That isn’t a kill-joy, hyper-strict moralist, it is a Yale University researcher, telling us that Hallowe’en has associations with death and evil. She is right. Expectant mothers may subconsciously avoid it, but our family will consciously do so.
Added this year: our church takes no position on Hallowe’en. I do not teach that Christians must avoid this. This is the decision I have taken for our family. I do not believe it is necessarily wrong (as long as a person avoids the sinful ways so many people celebrate it), but I do believe it is unwise for the reasons given. Since I have no obligation or commitment requiring me to take part, I choose to opt out. It is what I would recommend to others, for reasons of wisdom rather than because the Scriptures command it.