Oct 31, 2017 by Alyssa Duvall
As a Christian, October 31st can come with a bit of baggage. The Christian community has been inflamed with debate over whether or not Halloween, as we know it today, should be celebrated. In an encouraging article for Christianity Today, author Ed Stetzer offers three reasons why you should, in fact, enjoy the day and go trick or treating.
Highlighting the choice to celebrate the day as one of Christian liberty to be made by each family for themselves, Stetzer points out the origins of the holiday, “some of them Christian, some pagan, and some occult,” which families need to consider when making their choice.
While being considerate to validate common reasons for and against Halloween in Christian arguments, Stetzer explains his family’s decision and why he believes Christians “not only can but should put on their costumes, pass out candy, and greet guests at the door each time Halloween rolls around.”
“First, this is likely the only time all year when neighbors will flock from near and far, ring your doorbell, and want to have face-to-face interaction with you,” Stetzer says. You can leave a lasting impression on your neighbors and sow seeds in Christ by being intentional with this “once-a-year opportunity to do something so simple, yet so critical: get to know your neighbors.”
Next, Stetzer makes it clear that no Christian is expected to forsake their faith or “confess allegiance to pagan deities” when they celebrate Halloween. We can approach the holiday with reasonable caution and ask ourselves of things such as costumes, “Does this item symbolize or support an ideology that’s incompatible with my faith? Does it represent my love for Jesus and the commitment I’ve made to follow him?” If your answer is no, rest assured you are not being legalistic in dropping that item from your Halloween festivities.
Third, Stetzer emphasizes the importance of having a “missional Halloween”. “…Most importantly, start relationships you will follow over the winter. On Halloween, do what we do: invite some neighbors over in November and December.”
Stetzer concludes, “…Christians needn’t be so scared about how to handle Halloween. Like all things in this world, it’s about learning to separate the wheat from the chaff—the worthy from the worthless.”
“God is at work in our individual lives, but also in our communities. If Halloween is an opportunity to engage in this work and learn to love our neighbors better, I believe we should take it—costumes, candy, and all!”