I will start with a quote from a previous answer from Answers From the Book about Halloween.  “Halloween is a special day that many Christians refuse to celebrate.  The celebration of this day probably began with the Celtic people of Europe.  These people were pagan Druids who celebrated the end of the harvest season with this day, which was celebrated as Samhain (pronounced: sow-en).  The Celts believed the curtain dividing the living and the dead lifted during Samhain to allow the spirits of the dead to walk among the living–ghosts haunting the earth.  The name “Halloween” comes from the All Saints Day celebration of the early Christian church, a day set aside for the solemn remembrance of Christian martyrs. All Hallows Eve, the evening before All Saints Day, began the time of remembrance.  This celebration of All Saints Day was established to counteract the influence of paganism, so it was celebrated on the day after Samhain.  This really just resulted in trying to Christianize a pagan celebration, and so many of the pagan customs began to be carried on by the Christian church.  The focus on death, witchcraft, Satan, and the occult is still shown today in costumes worn by many people in celebration of Halloween.” 

Several of the so-called Christian holidays had their origin in pagan practices.  Christmas and Easter have pagan origins and some of these pagan practices have crept into Christian observances.  For that reason, many believers do not observe these days at all, considering them to be a dishonor to the Lord.  It only takes a little bit of online research to find out the pagan holidays and practices that are now being accepted by most of the Christian population.  Perhaps you and your family have absolutely no thought of pagan rites when celebrating these holidays.  However, I suggest you gather all the pertinent information about these particular days before deciding how, or if, you should observe them.

Your questions are about Halloween in particular.  Can a born-again Christian celebrate Halloween?  Well, certainly they can, and many do.  Maybe a better question would be, “SHOULD a born-again Christian celebrate Halloween?  We should consider whether celebrating this day pleases and honors the Lord or does it dishonor Him.  That should be our standard in all our decisions.  Can you honestly observe this day to the glory of the Lord?  We read in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, DO ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD.”

You asked for my advice to those who let their children celebrate this occasion?  It is certainly hard to ignore Halloween.  Most homes are open to trick or treaters and many lavishly decorate their lawns and houses. I recently read that U.S. consumers are projected to spend $8.05 billion on Halloween this year.  My wife and I, by the grace of God, raised six children, and we sought to teach them of the perils and evils of Halloween.  However, most of their friends were celebrating the day and were having lots of fun.  What were we to do?  Traditionally, we would take them to Chuck E. Cheese, which is a string of pizza restaurants geared toward children.  They loved to go eat pizza and play the many games there.  We would do this instead of dressing them up as monsters and ghouls to take them door to door.  This still seems like a good alternative to me.  It allows the kids to have fun without partaking in the observance of Halloween.  I’m sure there are many alternatives you can think about doing.

Today, our children are grown, but we still have little trick or treaters coming to our door on Halloween night.  Years ago, we determined to try to use this day and its observances to honor the Lord.  We normally sit on our front porch and when the costumed kids come to our house, we offer them bags with candy, a small toy, and a Gospel tract written for children.  We also offer Bibles to the older kids and any of the parents that bring their children.  We have given away a good number of Bibles over the years and are thankful for the opportunity to do that.  Rather than just turn the kids away with nothing, we try to give them something that will benefit them spiritually.

I will leave you with just a few verses that compel us to seek to honor the Lord in all things that we do or allow:

  • Colossians 3:17, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 
  • 1 Corinthians 6:20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”  (CC)  (551.6)