“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,…” I John 4: 18
Halloween is a holiday that presents a real challenge to Christians. Many would like to ignore it. Some try to shield children from it by forbidding any participation in various activities at that time. Many Christians do not even know the origin of the holiday and allow their children to participate freely as they desire. What is a sensible way to deal with children at Halloween?
Halloween is a holiday that will not go away. We will have to deal with it every year. As with many other secular customs that do not fit in with Christian ideals, we must find a way to please God and teach our children right from wrong. Children need to know the origin of the holiday. They need to be taught that God is love and that is the opposite of satanic beliefs. They should be provided with an acceptable way to enjoy the time without promoting the original beliefs of Halloween.
In this day of technology, all the information one needs to explain the origin of Halloween to children can be found on the Internet. As children are being taught about the origin, they need to be helped to understand that fear was, and in many cases still is, the underlying emotion of the holiday. When a person accepts Christ, there is no need to be afraid. This time of year provides an opportune time to contrast Christ and Satan. Satan would have us be filled with fear. God loves us and we can feel secure in His love. It is Satan and his ways that we are justified in fearing, but we find confidence in knowing that God wins in the end.
To completely forbid any Halloween activity for children is inviting resentment. In addition, the children are more likely to allow their children to participate in Halloween when they are grown. A better way, in my opinion, is to allow them to participate in acceptable ways. Costumes that promote witches, ghosts, or skeletons should be discouraged. Children can dress up in costumes that are simply fun costumes. Many churches provide Harvest Festivals as alternatives to undesirable activities. One church had a party and had everyone—even adults—dress up as a Bible character. These activities are great! They not only provide a suitable alternative for the children, but they are excellent outreach tools for churches. Many unchurched parents welcome a safe place to take their children on Halloween. The church should have a method to get names and addresses for follow-up visits to invite each person to attend church.
There are many instances when Christians must accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative when trying to be a good witness for Christ. We cannot do away with Halloween, so it is best to try to change it into a fun time that does not honor Satan. In doing so, our children can learn about the love of Christ in contrast to the evil of Satan.