Fred Butler joins me this month for a much more informal discussion than we usually do, on the topic of Halloween. Should Christians participate in Halloween? Fred and I have similar backgrounds in regards to how we approached Halloween early in our Christian walks, and how we approach it now.
Outline of the Discussion
- Fred grew up in a typical American home that had fun with Halloween. He dressed up in super hero costumes and went door-to-door begging for candy, and loved it. There was nothing occultic about his experience as a kid.
- Shortly after getting saved in college, Fred was exposed to presentations of the sinister and satanic side of Halloween. This scared him into retreating from all things Halloween.
- After getting married, we both had similar experiences in our approach Halloween, turning the lights out and ignoring the world. I (Andy) would go shopping to escape the ringing doorbell, but Fred would stay home because businesses in California would be doing the same things as residential neighborhoods.
- Fred had a friend who was recently saved. He was an actor that played villains on various TV shows. He asked Fred for John MacArthur sermon tapes to hand out to his neighbors. He showed Fred that Halloween was an opportunity to reach others with the Gospel.
- Halloween was the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Today, Halloween is a great time to remember the history behind the Reformation.
- Having kids forced us to reevaluate our view of Halloween. There is a large, innocent side to Halloween, perhaps it's not sinful to participate in those activities.
- A lot of churches take the opportunity to put on activities for kids. When done right, it can be a great alternative to traditional Halloween activities, especially for those whose consciences forbid them from the traditional Halloween activities.
- It's good to show the neighbors that we're not only committed Christians, but that we're not sticks-in-the-mud. It gives them opportunity to be exposed to the Gospel.
- It's important to listen to our consciences. If you're of a different mind, and your conscience bothers you about Halloween, listen to it and avoid the activities that make you uncomfortable.
- Some people who only see an evil side to Halloween also see Christmas as a purely pagan holiday too.
- Alexander Hislop was notorious for connecting things in history to paganism and spreading Christian “urban legends.”
- Romans 14-15
- 1 Corinthians 8
- DeChickifying Halloween – Fred Butler