Mankind would almost certainly never recognize the true love and glory of God without evil. We learn about evil in many ways, through life experience, through recounted stories, and from accounts in the Bible. Along with evil, there is good will, beauty and prosperity.
Whatever Halloween was, it is no more. Like so many other celebrations, for the most part Halloween has become commercialized and fictionalized and the holiday bears no resemblance to the Halloween celebrations of ancient civilizations. So, unless a Halloween night celebration specifically states that the hosts will be encouraging and performing ancient rituals, giving sacrifices, praying to inanimate objects or false Gods, you can pretty much expect the usual harmless games, disgusting-looking food, and costumes that reflect the whimsy of the holiday.
Whatever a pagan is or was and whether this is a holiday they created or didn’t, the celebration of October 31st or Halloween does not have to be shunned by the God-fearing because it used to be celebrated in a different way. If you believe in the teachings of God, shouldn’t you celebrate every day?
Superstitious games are a part of some Halloween celebrations. A person is either superstitious or they are not. The following scripture in the Bible is quoted often regarding Halloween and superstition:
Deuteronomy 18:9-14 (King James Version)
“When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. (10) There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, (11) or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. (12) For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. (13) You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. (14) For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.
Amazingly enough, there are a lot of people that do not recognize that these games of chance are based on superstitions and that Christians are not permitted to participate in games for the purpose of divination. Bobbing for apples is harmless; doing it to determine who will get married is superstitious if you believe in the outcome. These are very important distinctions and valuable lessons if you are trying to teach children Christian beliefs.
Theatre is art. Actors are artists. Actors wear costumes. I can find no reference in the Bible that specifically condemns actors or the profession of acting. As in acting, wearing a costume for Halloween is role playing for a day, not a change in lifestyle that is hypocritical to the character of your being.
There are many scriptures that condemn hypocrites or hypocrisy. These scriptures refer to wearing a mask in everyday life, pretending to be something you are not in your every day life. These scriptures do not mean that wearing a costume for the purpose of a temporary role on Halloween, or any other day will result in condemnation. Clothing in general is an outward expression to what may or may not be an inner state of being. Do ditch diggers wear suits? If a man wears a suit on Sunday and he digs ditches any other day, is he a hypocrite? If he goes to extraordinary means to prevent anyone from finding out that he is a ditch digger and he wears a suit anytime he is not digging ditches, he is. If a woman wears clothing that is typically considered men’s clothing, is she a hypocrite? Only if she wants everyone to believe she is a man in everyday life.
On Halloween, most people are going to realize that your costume is not a true characterization of your everyday life. While actors and movies strive for realism, Halloween costumes do not generally rise to that extreme.
It is your heart and soul to which God has an interest. If you, with a pure heart want to dress up like a doctor on Halloween and you do not give others the idea that you do in fact practice medicine, and you don’t pray to anyone or anything other than God, then you are going to be OK. The same is true when the costume is a fictional being or the deceased. By the way in the Bible, there are many accounts of Jesus and his apostles raising people from the dead but they were not evil, therefore the Bible teaches us that the risen dead if there are any, are not necessarily evil.
Some religious leaders have theorized that the decorations and costumes that reflect death or living dead are disturbing to some adults because it reminds them of their own mortality. It’s a valid point of course; when you are older facing the future decay of your body is distressing, especially when you have been told all your life by physicians and references in the Bible that your body is to be treated as a temple. Decaying temples are not exactly considered a strong selling point in the real estate market either, even if they were well-cared for in their heyday. Some of us can see the real potential in a fixer upper anyway.
The Appearance of Evil
As we all must learn, acts of evil and those who have succumbed to evil can take on many appearances. The Bible warns to “abstain from all appearance of evil,” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). There are many ways to take this scripture. Don’t let anyone see or hear you doing anything that could be perceived as evil. When you see evil, do not participate. Do not dress or otherwise give the outward appearance of being evil.
First you must know what evil is and what evil is not. As “evil” may pertain to Halloween. Something/someone that appears to be ugly is not necessarily evil. The day is not evil. Costumes are not evil; but make sure your costume is not too scary. Celebrations are not evil unless they are intended to glorify something or someone evil. This is not the case. Games are not evil as long as they are not for the purpose of divination. Hopefully you have chosen your friends wisely and they are not evil. With all that in check, Halloween can be enjoyed by everyone.
If your child wants to dress up like a bat a few days out of the year, there is no harm. He knows he is not a bat. Bats are not evil. He knows he will never be a bat and no one is going to mistake him/her for a bat. Hopefully, he has been taught that even if he/she did wanted to become a bat, God is the only one he/she should be asking for help to achieve that desire. If he/she insists that they want to become a bat and prays for that help, there is no need to fear; with faith and giving credence to the determination of a child, I’m pretty certain God will not grant the request; but if you think about it, again a good Christian finds opportunity to teach.
Halloween does not celebrate evil but it does recognize that it exists, as all good Christians must. A Christian alternative to Halloween has been suggested by some Christian leaders, restoring Halloween to what some believe it was in the first place, a carnival that is a celebration of the harvest, an end to one season and the beginning of another. You can still carve pumpkins, play games, participate in contests, wear costumes and have innocent fun.
October 31st is another beautiful day and evening. Make October 31st a Christian holiday. If you want to dress up, take the opportunity to do so. It’s not every day that you can be this silly without someone wanting to have you examined by a therapist.