So, I haven’t blogged in FOREVER because I really haven’t had much to say to be honest. However, today is Halloween and I’ve noticed in the Christian community there are two schools of thought:
- Halloween is a pagan holiday that Satanists celebrate so it’s a no-go for Christians!
- Halloween is just kids dressing up to get candy so let’s have a Trunk-n-Treat in our church parking lot!
Where do you stand on this?
Like everything in life, the truth is usually found somewhere in the middle of two competing ideas.
I really like how C.S. Lewis put it regarding Satan:
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.”
If I may be so bold, I’d like to amend that just a touch:
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about Satan. One is to give him too much credit. The other is to not give Him enough.”
You see, God is sovereign, and Satan cannot do ANYTHING that the Lord does not allow. This seems like a very uncomfortable statement but biblically it’s accurate. All authority on heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus. Satan, as we saw in the Book of Job, can’t do anything that God does not allow. Thus, Satan is actually restrained by God in the spiritual battle we all fight but is allowed certain authority as the “Prince of this world.”
Because Jesus is actually in charge, scripture tells us that we have the authority to rebuke the devil and he must flee (James 4:7) and that we will not be tempted beyond what we can handle because there is always a way out of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
So, when I think of Halloween, I look at it at the 50,000-foot level and at the ground level.
In the big picture, certainly Halloween is something Satan uses for his purpose. There absolutely is a spiritual warfare aspect of the “holiday” that includes demonic activity. We know that Satanists (well, actually former Satanists) have clearly said that Halloween is their high-holy day where they do all sorts of blasphemous things. So, yeah, Halloween is bad.
At the ground level, a kid dressing up as Captain America to get candy from their neighbors is pretty benign. That kid and their parents aren’t celebrating or worshiping Satan.
So where is the line? Where do we as Christian stand on what has become a cultural norm?
First off, I think it’s vital that we as Christians don’t look like nutjobs.
We are to be the light in a dark world through showing love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and all the rest WHILE telling the truth.
So, telling a group of parents and children they’re going to hell because they attend a Trunk-n-Treat event is actually unchristian (and yes, there are protestors that do that!).
Our faith should be so winsome that when people see us they should want to have what we have!
To put it in a more secular way, you never win over people by calling them names.
Here’s another question: Is having a Trunk-n-Treat event in a church parking lot tacitly supporting or endorsing Halloween and what it stands for to the evil one?
Man, that’s really a tough question for me to be honest!
On the one hand, absolutely not. The church isn’t celebrating Halloween. In fact, it’s just using the cultural norm to draw people to the church where kids will have a wholesome event that includes prayer and scripture with the candy.
On the other hand, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. By having a Trunk-n-Treat event where the church is doing everything the “world” is doing it does tacitly endorse the activity.
This is where I get back to my amended C.S. Lewis quote.
On the one hand, People give Satan way too much credit. I just don’t see Satan behind every tree like some of my Christian brothers and sisters do. Remember James 1:14, “But each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed.” The context here is James saying don’t blame God for your temptation. But the point is our sin nature is what tempts us not God and not Satan. Satan takes advantage of our sin nature and enflames it, but our sin comes from within!
This is one reason I don’t give Satan too much credit. Simply put, I am a child of God and Satan has no authority over me. My problem is me not him. Thus, I need Jesus to be more in my life and I need to die to myself, pick up my cross, and follow Jesus!!
Another reason I don’t give Satan too much credit is he’s not that powerful. Yeah, he’s the prince of this world and the world is a mess because of him. But the world is really a mess because people don’t follow Jesus and instead follow themselves which Satan uses against them. This is why we evangelize! We want EVERYONE to know Jesus because that is the way to contain Satan!
But then again, there are plenty (like the majority of people) that don’t give Satan enough credit. He is the prince of this world, given certain authorities by God for whatever reason. Here’s an interesting statistic I ran into researching this a bit. Only 70 percent of Catholics believe in Satan while 79 percent of Protestants do. That kind of amazes me given the clear doctrinal teachings of the faith.
Scripture tells us that Satan blinds unbelievers from the truth (2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan is an imitator and tries to imitate God by telling half-truths. Satan and his demons have been watching your family through the generations and knows exactly how to attack you spiritually! Satan is real and he’s extremely active out there in all our lives!
So, is Satan behind Halloween?
I actually don’t think so. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. So, in fact, Samhain had the exact opposite idea – ward off ghosts which are demons in disguise!
Now, has Satan co-opted Halloween for his purpose? For some, yeah. For those who consider themselves Satanists or some other kind of pagan they can dance around, chant, do whatever they do on Halloween. But that doesn’t mean the six-year-old dressed up as Black Panther saying, “Trick or Treat” has been co-opted by Satan. I just can’t get there on that one.
Where do I stand?
Well, while some of my friends are anti-Halloween, some of my friends are Trunk-n-Treaters. Personally, I’m with my friends.
I absolutely understand the demonic door opening on Halloween, but I also know that Christians using the holiday as an outreach is in no way an endorsement of demonic activity.
Here’s what it really comes down to: Free Will.
One can choose to embrace Jesus, ignore Jesus, not believe in Jesus, or even reject Jesus. One can do the same with Satan. Halloween is just a day like any other day. Those who use the day by giving out candy to cute kids are fine in my book. Those who abstain for that tradition for faith reasons are just as fine I my book.
Just don’t start judging each other. None of you are holier than the other. None of us are righteous not one. If you’re a non-Halloweener then if you are without sin throw the first stone. If you are a Halloweener show an understanding for those who are not and respect their opinion.
And in all things show that you are disciples of our Lord Jesus by the way you love one another!
Happy Halloween, Reformation Day, and All Saints Day (tomorrow).
I agree with you. It’s all a matter of free will. But here’s one problem with your school of thought. It’s easy for non pagans to not understand the full scope of paganism and how they normalize society. You’re right. No-you don’t want to give Satan too much credit. He’s a blow hard bully intent on making you think he’s bigger than he really is. BUT…
I was a Wiccan for 5 years. It’s a form of “white” witchcraft that doesn’t understand that “do no harm” spells to pagan deities are actually praying to demons in disguise. The reason I tell you this is because pagans, satanists, new-agers, spiritualists, etc all try to indoctrinate themselves as “normal” in society. The more they are deemed as okay by society, the more that Christians are seen as the evil ones. The more they succeed as being seen as okay and “normal”, the more Christians have come to agree that they are, in fact, “normal” and “just choosing a different path to God”. It starts with a thread. The thread turns into a ball of yarn. The next thing you know, you have a full sweater knitted and are now going for the full outfit. They celebrated when old horror movies turned into modern tv shows that depict vampires and monsters as the good guys. They celebrated when sex went from porn movies (hidden away in movie theaters) to HBO & Cinemax then eventually everywhere on tv and netflix. Now sex and evil spiritual matters like ghost hunting, UFO phenomenon, blood and guts in crime shows, vampires, watching people kill people in movies and tv, and every other evil out there has become so “normalized” by society that Satan is seen as being just a devil in a red costume. There’s a tv show that shows Lucifer as being a misunderstood guy. Now we can’t even call men “men” and women “women” without the government saying we are committing a hate crime. Again…evil. Evil in society should never be seen as normal. Christians okaying Halloween is like saying “don’t worry. Satan’s not real. Go ahead. Eat your candy now”. Meanwhile, Satan and his demons are laughing at all the Christians doing their work for them by continuing to normalize it even further because they don’t know just how behind the scenes they work in society. They use you and me to war not only with others but each other as well. Hate and rudeness is now “normal”. Where does it end? With Christians saying “enough is enough. This is not good. It is not normal”.
Yes. We are to shine God’s light in the world. We are exude the fruit of the spirit. We are to love our neighbors. But we should NEVER just okay evil and call it “normal” in society and act like it’s okay. It’s not. You think they are just costumes but the demons see parents that don’t care enough to warn them of the dangers of calling evil “good”, “fun” or “normal”. They turn around and make friends with those same kids and tell them that it’s okay to have sex with their friends, play with guns, take drugs, not get married as adults, have marital affairs and every other evil. Adults are now thinking marriage is just a certificate. Where did that start? Demons. They put this stuff in the heads of children who have parents who believe “it’s just fun. No big deal”. Being the salt of the earth means taking the road less traveled. You call it name calling. You don’t have to call names. But you do have to call evil what it is. Evil.
Great thoughts! Thanks for commenting!!
I agree with you. It drives me nuts when Christians see Satan in everything….including those who disagree with them on scripture, culture and politics. I went through it with my kids reading Harry Potter. My view was that I was actually the most influential person in my kids’ lives and they were READING while many of those protesting Potter as evil were allowing their children to play the most violent and vile video games.
On another point, Satan not being able to do anything that God doesn’t allow raises many questions about God. Of course, you and I have discussed this for a long time.