Jesus Is Not Afraid of Halloween

Some Christians don’t like any mention of Halloween — and they will make sure you know it.

I can certainly understand and I’ve heard from some readers have told me they don’t like it when I post Bible lessons that reference that day.

Christians love to argue about Halloween. I can’t solve that dispute here on the blog, but I want to challenge both sides to look at these issues with Gospel-focused eyes.

What is this holiday really about?

Yes, it has a weird history (so did I before Jesus). Yes, it’s mostly about buying stuff (like everything in America). But for most ordinary people it’s just a silly holiday where kids have fun and we satirize things that normally make us uncomfortable. American culture doesn’t have any real answer for death or demonic forces. So, Halloween is just one attempt to cope with those fears.

Kids see all this and start asking big questions. What happens when people die? What is my deepest fear? Are evil spirits real? What can keep me safe?

Only the Gospel can answer these questions. Jesus alone has defeated death, fear, and the devil himself. Read this verse from Hebrews 2:14-15 carefully:

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he (Jesus) himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

Did you catch all that? Satan has death & fear as his tools to enslave people, but Jesus overcame them both. He has broken the powers of evil and now lives as our champion. Bottom line, Jesus is not afraid of Halloween.

But it gets even better. 2 Timothy 1:10 says Jesus “abolished death” through the Gospel. If you’re a child of God, then death has been made un-true. Ultimately it can’t hurt you anymore. Death is nothing to be feared. In the long run, it’s about as scary as a carved pumpkin.

Halloween is a Door for Gospel Truth

I completely respect Christians who opt-out of the celebrations, but please don’t think Jesus is hiding under his throne. The reality of his Kingdom answers the deepest questions raised by this holiday. As his people, we must be ready to speak that truth instead of complaining about jack-o-lanterns.

This is an awesome opportunity to share about God’s love. Just like Paul used pagan idols to teach about the Creator, we must use every opportunity to speak God’s truth into the confusion of our culture.

I don’t think Halloween is completely harmless, but most of what happens is playful. We’re not talking about devil worship, most families are just dressing up the kids like superheros and getting some candy from grandma. What seems most dangerous is keeping silent when people need answers.

I don’t want to play the Pharisee. Instead of judging all those people, let’s be ready to offer them real hope. Just tell them the truth: Death is a pushover when Jesus gets involved. Evil spirits have always run from his name. Faith in His promises can overcome any fear.

On this website, I usually don’t encourage debate. But if you want to disagree with me I’ll listen. Just be sure to notice our Halloween lessons are mostly about trusting God and would work anytime of the year. Click here to leave your comments. You can also join this conversation on our Facebook page.

You might also enjoy what one reader wrote on her blog about Halloween and Jesus’ victory.


Comments

  1. Emmy Ondisa says

    Thank you for helping us to understand what Halloween is all about.
    May God bless you.

  2. Kathy says

    We used to be people very uncomfortable with Halloween. We hid and tried to avoid it all, afraid and judgmental. Four years ago, the Holy Spirit rocked our world by giving us a whole new vision . . . if 200 kids were knocking on a door where Jesus lived, would He be hiding in the basement, pretending He wasn’t home? No; He would be thrilled! Well, Jesus does live here, right? So, we started thinking about a celebration that would honor the Jesus we know – who loves kids, enjoys a party, is unbelievably generous and isn’t afraid of anything. So, we now do Halloween BIG for Jesus. We give out full-size candy bars, all labeled with the words “Because Jesus loves YOU big!” We have a fire pit out for warming cold hands, and offer a coffee bar for adults and a not-quite-hot chocolate station for kids. Every year we add a little something more to our hospitality, so our neighbors can get a taste of how wonderful Jesus is. And, when those kids dump out their “haul” when they get home, we want them to see the biggest piece of good candy standing out, and on it the message that Jesus loves them.

  3. Tauni says

    You are so on track with your blog. I couldn’t agree more. Please keep up the great work you are doing. It is making a difference my life. I am then giving the message to my Sunday school kids, family and friends. So your Godly message has a far reaching effect. Just how God intended. Thank you for your free message. You keep it up and I’ll do the same.

  4. Kathryn Gillespie says

    I agree Tony. Halloween has always been a night of fun for my Christian family. I love to dress my kids and now my grandkids up in up in fun, happy costumes. Our rule is we are not done Trick or Treating until we are lost and have to use Maps to get us home…so thankful for smartphones.
    So Happy Halloween or Happy Harvest…whatever you choose to say be sure you are having fun and laughing with your family on October 31…Satan will not approve :)

  5. Reby Lawler says

    I appreciate your words and agree with you. We are giving too much credit to Satan, Halloween is just a fun day but unfortunately we allow some to make it into some else. Kids dress up and receive candy. And if we are early smart we take this opportunity to provide and fun and safe event with an opportunity to give the gospel. We are Christian should define what the day is and isn’t, it is fun and an opportunity for families, community outreach and spreading the gospel. It is only a big deal if we decide it is more. Thanks, Reby

  6. Kathy says

    I think we are just getting closer and closer to being like the world. We are to be in it but not be a part of it. I think a lot of Christians are getting too close to being one with the world!

  7. says

    I agree with you that sometimes you can’t lick them so you might as well join them and use the opportunity to teach a Christian lesson! I like to include Christian tracts, etc in my treats that I hand out to kids. I agree with you, too, that MOST people do NOT have a clue about the origins of Halloween and it is just a fun time to collect free candy and dress up as a super hero! We have even had “harvest parties” at church to give the kids an alternate activity, allowing them to dress up in costumes, forbidding them to dress up as demons or witches, however. And including a short devotion. And lots of churches have a “Trunk or Treat” where the kids gather to collect more candy than they could ever eat all in one spot! Thanks for your post!

  8. Terri says

    We adore what you do here at Ministry-to-children and I want to thank you for this take on Halloween. Last year our church began participating in the community trick or treat activity downtown in our city. Just think of it this way, when can you get that many children to come to you as well as adults! You also posted a photo booth idea and I have mentioned, that our church could utilize that by taking pictures of anyone who wanted one and mail them to individuals who leave their contact info. Just a note.. we would then have all kinds of contact information for future events. We have also provided something that everyone loves, pictures. Thanks for all you do!

  9. Cathy says

    I’m not going to read all 60 comments to see if anyone told you that the verse saying Jesus abolished/destroyed sin is actually 2 Tim. 1:10. What a great point you make.

  10. jennifer says

    thank you for recognizing Halloween to be more than devil worshipping and evil. I appreciate the reference to it being an oppurtunity to teach our children about fear and making it a silly and fun “American tradition”

  11. Tracey Croft says

    Thanks Tony: I appreciate your sensible and level-headed approach to children’s worship. Kids have to learn to make their way in this world, and make choices about how to navigate all aspects of it, not just what we would prefer–as they get older, we’ll have less control over what they do. We’re doing an alternative festival at our church focusing on All Saint’s Day– and I’ll be using the Shine template you provided to make some fun and thought-provoking pumpkins for the church! (With battery-operated tealights, of course!)

  12. April Maus says

    I don’t take my kids trick or treating (we attend a Harvest Party at our church in the middle of the week), but we do pass out candy on Halloween night (and I allow my kids to dress up with things we have around our house if they want) and we all say “Jesus loves you” to every kid that comes to our door as we pass out the candy.

    It is exciting when a few parents or kids say it back to us, and we feel that we are able to “shine our light” for Jesus in that way.

  13. Chris Aryal says

    “Instead of judging all those people, let’s be ready to offer them real hope. Just tell them the truth: Death is a pushover when Jesus gets involved. Evils spirits have always run from his name. Faith in His promises can overcome any fear”.

    Great way of addressing. Great opportunity to discuss with others why we do not practise.
    People often talk about Christmas being a commercial time as a buying & spending out of control, lining retailers with big profits, & losing sight of the true reason for the season.
    Halloween has no reason! it is all about retailers cashing in, it is about instilling fear in others, it encourages unhelpful and dangerous confidences in children (GOING TO A STRANGERS HOME), I believe it goes against everything good, that we as responsible parents need to teach our children.
    THIS IS SO HELPFUL…………..
    “Instead of judging all those people, let’s be ready to offer them real hope. Just tell them the truth: Death is a pushover when Jesus gets involved. Evils spirits have always run from his name. Faith in His promises can overcome any fear”

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