Halloween is coming up. For some, this is where the spiritual rubber meets the worldly road. Some say that participating in Halloween should be a big no-no for Christians. What does God say?

If your Facebook feed is filled to brimming with Halloween party food suggestions, photos of kids in costumes and comments of folks lambasting parents who allow Christian kids to participate in the dress up, you are not alone. The problem arises when as Christians we do not have a good grounding in scripture to make a conscious decision on whether or not to participate.

A Brief History of Halloween
Way back when, there was the pagan celebration of Samhain. Activities included divination practices, rites to contact the dead and bobbing for apples to predict marital bliss in the coming year. When the early church sought to convert these pagans, it used its tradition of All Saints Day (a.k.a. All Hallows Eve) to give a nod to the pagan festivities, hoping that it would make the adherence to the new faith a bit easier to swallow. Of course, the result was a pagan holy day infused with Christian symbolism and plenty of skeletons and orange décor.

Harmless Fun vs. a Compromise with the Devil
Allowing your child to dress up as Iron Man, Spiderman or Queen Elsa is harmless fun. Taking them around a safe neighborhood for trick-or-treating is also harmless fun. Letting your teenager run off with a group of Ouija-board-toting teens from school is no longer harmless fun. This is asking for trouble in the spirit of Deuteronomy 18:10-13 and Galatians 5:20.

A Word on Costumes
Keep a close eye on the costumes you or your little darlings are choosing. While the costumes made for boys are mostly okay, the girls’ costumes frequently leave something to be desired when it comes to modesty.

When You Should Stay Home
If you are an adult and attending parties where there is drinking and dancing could be a stumbling block to you, it is better to stay at home. If you come from a pagan background where the activities you engaged in come back to mind in the Halloween season, it is better to stay home. Last but not least, if you simply feel troubled in mind and spirit about participating in something that seems to have to many overtones of darkness and death, stay home. Remember that the participation in Halloween events – or your decision not to partake – is a matter of opinion and not doctrine. You are free to decide that this is simply not something you want to participate in.