The question comes up every year this time – should Christians celebrate Halloween?
Clearly, a person’s salvation is not determined by this holiday, so it then becomes a secondary matter for Christians. It is more a matter of impact and image.
I am not talking about the American tradition of handing out candy to cute little neighborhood kids. This is part of what makes America unique and great – the fact that we can still have our neighbor’s kids come by our house with anticipation that we will greet them with candy and smiles.
But what about the rest? What about the decorating of ghosts and witches and tombstones in our yards? Or the barrage of horror and evil associated with the holiday? My co-worker from India, who was traveling to the United States for the first time, told me a sobering observation.
He arrived in the U.S. in late October. Just like anyone visiting a new country for the first time, he was excited to see what it was like. After settling in for a few days, I took him out to lunch. As we drove down the streets of Atlanta, looking for a place to eat, my friend became quiet. He hesitated a little, and said, “I thought America was a Christian country. Why does everyone put out decorations of evil spirits and magic?”
I felt embarrassed. I tried to explain as best as I could to an outsider looking in, about our Halloween traditions.
He still seemed disappointed. “In my country,” he said, “there are people who worship evil spirits, so you do not put those things around your house if you do not want to welcome evil spirits.”
All I could say to him in return is that I was a Christian and I did not celebrate Halloween. “Ah, ok,” he said.
Impact and image are important. Does Jesus look welcome in this home? What would you think if your church pastor decorated his home like this? It would seem kind of weird. Why should it be any different for other Christians?