Innocent Fun or Something To Avoid?

Gold Brush Stroke

I am as torn about writing this post as I am about the day itself. But if I’m struggling I believe someone else is as well, so here goes.halloween

My preference is that this day never happen—this day being Halloween. It would just be easier.

I have fond memories as a child of parading through our neighboring “village” dressed in mismatched costumes and making a haul on treats. But as an adult I’ve struggled.

I’m torn between the “innocent fun” that many claim the observance of Halloween to be and the encouragement of darkness and evil that others profess it is. Waffling between the two camps, I’ve sent a mixed message to my children over the years. Early on, dressing up and joining the hoards of children trick-or-treating  was done without question. For the past 5 or 6 years, though, I’ve felt less certain it’s an activity we should be encouraging our children to engage in.

As my faith has grown, my confusion over this day has increased. To appease my conscience, I’ve gone from allowing my children to follow the traditional trick-or-treat path to attending alternative, non-scary dress-up gatherings to pretending the day is just like any other. But which is correct? Is there only one correct way to address Halloween?

In Scripture I find many verses that point to avoiding the themes of this day:

“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

“Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22 KJV).

“Do not imitate what is evil” (3 John 1:11).

Yet at the same time, I don’t want to be a scrooge. Being overly legalistic only perpetuates the impression that Christianity is a life of mundane, stoic rituals, with little to celebrate. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In Christ, we are free from empty religion and “measuring up.” As Christians, we experience the abundant joy of not needing to “be enough” or “do enough.” Jesus is more than enough for each of us.

Nonetheless, we are to bring glory to God in all we do (1 Corinthians 10:31). Do we glorify the Lord when we celebrate Halloween? Can we somehow transform the day to glorify Him?

We are also admonished not to take advantage of the freedom we have in Christ. We are encouraged to make choices that edify ourselves and others.

“Everything is permissible,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up” (1 Corinthians 10:23).

How does celebrating Halloween edify anyone?

Finally, we must consider things carefully for the Enemy is deceptive, hoping to turn us from the path of life any way he can.

“But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a complete and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).

The more I study this issue, the more I doubt there’s an easy answer to the question of how to, or even whether to, celebrate or acknowledge Halloween.  Wise Christians have written extensively on both sides of the issue, with no consensus.

Yet, I’m convinced, as we continue to seek God’s answers to topics like this—as we continue to saturate ourselves with His Word—He will be faithful to reveal the truth. And, in turn, we will draw nearer to Him.

A true reason to celebrate!

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” “Listen closely, pay attention to the words of the wise” (Colossians 3:16).

Share in the Discussion: Have you wrestled with what to do about Halloween? What are your convictions about the day? 

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By His Grace,



  1. Natasha Metzler on November 1, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Love that you wrote this. We’ve been talking about it a lot lately. In our town, the school and village kind of pushed things a little beyond “innocent” and invited real witches to come to the Halloween programs this year. Our church ended up taking a stand and the majority of people pulled their children from school on Wednesday.

    Still, none of us want to make a legalistic issue but at the same time, as is clear in Scripture, there is a time to take a stand.

    For me, growing up, we never did anything. We never went to school on Halloween and I never thought a thing of it. Actually, my friends were a bit jealous that I got a day off. 🙂

    Anyway. Thanks for this thoughtful post.

    • juliesunne on November 1, 2012 at 8:47 am

      Oh, Natasha, thank you so much for your comment. I was biting my nails on this one. I do believe in the culture today we are quick to lump everything under fun while missing (or purposely glossing over) God’s admonishments. We need a huge yield sign–or perhaps DANGER would be more appropriate. I’m so blessed to be connected with you.

  2. Dawn Whitmore on November 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Julie: Thank you for a thought provoking and courageous post. We participated in church related events when our daughter was young. My Mom told me that I never liked dressing up growing up. I didn’t remember this…

    My Sweetie and I talked about this a lot cause we live in an apartment community. My nephew came and gave candy to kids but we had two knocks on the door all night long. My nephew came over because I told Sweetie I didn’t want to give candy out. I have never liked Halloween.

    • Dawn Whitmore on November 1, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      When we lived in our house we were always at the church and just left the light off at the house.

      • juliesunne on November 2, 2012 at 8:47 am

        In a State park, we never get trick-or-treaters, so I don’t have to worry about that aspect of the day.

    • juliesunne on November 2, 2012 at 8:46 am

      Thanks for sharing, Dawn, and for your encouragement. It’s a tough topic to address in a culture where it’s all about having fun.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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