Halloween: Trick or Treat?

So let’s talk Halloween. I’m sure you can guess from my previous posts how I feel about it. But you might be surprised to find out that my biggest problem with Halloween is not the candy, costumes or themes of evil and death…although I could go on for hours about these. My biggest problem with Halloween is the church adopting this pagan holiday and trying to make it into something good.

I have seen pictures and messages all over social media advertising church parties and gatherings for Halloween. To be really honest, those disturb me more than seeing non-believers in gruesome face masks, gory makeup, hyper-sexualized or even devil costumes. Why?

Because we are supposed to be set apart for God.

While it’s true the Bible doesn’t speak directly about Halloween, or most modern Christian holidays for that matter, which should really make you pause and wonder why, the Bible is very clear about the separation between good and evil, right and wrong, the holy and the profane.

When you come into the land which YHVH your Elohim is giving you, do not learn to do according to the abominations of those gentiles. Be perfect before YHVH your Elohim, for these nations whom you are possessing do listen to those using magic and to diviners. But as for you, YHVH your Elohim has not appointed such for you. Deuteronomy 18:9, 13-14

And have no fellowship with the fruitless works of darkness, but rather reprove them. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the desire of YHVH is. Ephesians 5:11,17

Beloved ones, do not imitate the evil, but the good. The one who is doing good is of Elohim, but he who is doing evil has not seen Elohim. 3 John 1:11

Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness? And what fellowship has light with darkness? And what agreement has Messiah with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what union has the Dwelling Place of Elohim with idols?” 2 Corinthians 6:14-16

Now let me be clear. I am not saying celebrating Halloween in any way makes you a bad person or you’ll go to hell or will be punished.

I do, however, believe what the Scripture says…that we should discern what is pleasing to our God and strive to be perfect as He is perfect. The Word of God is clear that YHVH desires us to be set apart and to not mimic the practices of the peoples around us. That means that we cannot take any part of the things that keep us separated or divided from God.

This is how the enemy does trick-or-treating.

He gets his treats from tricking us into believing we can change the meaning of Halloween into something acceptable to God.

This is my concern with the Church celebrating pagan holidays, including Halloween. We take something that was never meant to be part of the ways of YHVH and make it into something that allows us to take part with the nations around us. We ease our conscience by giving it a new name, of course, but it’s still the same. “A rose by any other name” as Shakespeare put it.

But these “Harvest Festivals” and “Trunk or Treating” and “Harvest Carnivals” are still Halloween. The enemy of God doesn’t care what you call it, just as long as you celebrate it. That’s because taking part of the unclean makes us unclean. If we are unclean, we are separated from God.

I once heard the story of a man who wanted to teach his daughters a lesson in righteous living when they asked to see a movie that was ungodly. When he pointed out the inappropriate content in the movie, his daughters replied, “but it’s only a little bit.” To illustrate the dangers of allowing even a little bit of ungodliness in our lives, he baked some brownies and added a tiny bit of dog poop in the batch. When they refuse to eat the the dog-poop brownies, he gives them the same response they gave him about the movie, “but it’s only a little bit.”

The point is, no matter how much we try to change the original intent of Halloween and dress it up and give it a “church message,” there will always be some amount of poop that remains.

I recently saw a post on social media inviting people to a church on Halloween with the words “Hell Night” written in bloody letters across the top. I’ve seen young children on their way to church events with their faces plastered with gory, slasher-movie make up to make them look like zombies or monsters. The disturbing part are the crosses hanging prominently in the background of these families’ homes.

We are not to mix the holy and the profane. We shouldn’t be teaching our children that we can live in both the heavenly and the worldly realm. We CANNOT be like the world. No matter how much we try to change the common things, we will never be able to make them holy.

If we truly want to celebrate the harvest season, YHVH appointed the seasons of Sukkot — the Feast of Tabernacles — and First Fruits for this purpose. Both are feasts of the LORD and allow us to celebrate the seasons of life. But if we can’t bring ourselves to line up with YHVH’s instruction, then perhaps we need to reassess the motives of our hearts.

What is most important to us? Fitting in with the world or fitting in with our Father?

If we intend to live in the Father’s house, then we will never look like the rest of the world. That has to be ok with us; it can’t just be words that come out of our mouths. We have to be totally committed to living a set apart life and not fitting in with the rest of the world.

So this Halloween, don’t be fooled by the tricks or treats of the enemy.