What is the purpose behind celebrating Halloween? Halloween has it’s roots in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people lit bonfires and wore costumes to scare off spirits. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III made November 1 as a time to honor saints. Of these two “holidays”, the culture of the Celtic festival of Samhain has over time persisted. The true roots of Halloween started as a pagan festival, and Christianity has not affected it’s traditions in any noticeable way. Christmas and Easter on the other hand are, at the heart, Christian celebrations but often in today’s culture our society at large has and is attempting to secularize these holidays. Christians feel comfortable with these two holidays, despite how the world celebrates them, because they know the real root and meaning behind them and can celebrate them as such. Can believers convincingly do the same with Halloween? In addition, Halloween so openly flaunts death, demons, and darkness- the very things that Jesus entered our world to conquer. Should we as believers feel comfortable celebrating the things Jesus defeated?
Perhaps some might attempt to pair halloween with “meat offered to idols” (1 Corinthians 8) and thus say that those who would choose to abstain from Halloween are the “weaker brother”. It could be argued that if one were to participate in Halloween activities because it’s easier than doing something else, or because everyone else is doing it, or because surely there’s nothing wrong with it, or because there hasn’t ever really been much thought put into it- then perhaps that person might have the weaker faith. Maybe it is better to pair Halloween to what Paul said in 1 Cor. 10:23 “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.” If we choose to participate in a Halloween activity, may we be very mindful of how we are profiting (or diminishing) God’s Kingdom.