Each year at this time, I receive several questions about Halloween and the practice of dressing up as certain characters. People who Love the Lord wonder if participating in these traditional holidays is right. They ask men like myself, who are teachers of the Bible, if it is okay for them to allow their children to dress up and go trick or treating.
In every question that we have, regarding our behavior; it is what the Lord says that is important, not what I or any other person feels is right. The final authority for the Christian should always be what the word of God says.
In these matters, our primary question should always be: “Does it Please the Lord?”
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light in all goodness, righteousness, and truth, finding out what is pleasing to the Lord. Ephesians 5:10
We can gain some insight into what does please the Lord, from what He has said in His word. In certain matters of our behavior and practices, the Bible is very clear. We should understand that even when we might present a particular scripture to someone that supports our view that a certain practice is not correct, people are not always going to accept this as an authority that they will agree to. When someone wants to do something, they will find a way to justify their behavior. The excuse that many people use today for why they practice and participate in Halloween is that it is a very old tradition.
This reason is very interesting, considering that this is the same excuse that the people of Israel gave to God when they began to participate in the very old traditions of the surrounding nations. In the book of Joshua, chapter 24, the people of God had adapted many of the practices of the pagan nations that were around them. He told the people that if they imitate the behavior of these nations, this will become a snare and a trap that will eventually destroy their nation and their lives.
But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the LORD your God has given you. Joshua 23:13
Joshua stood before the people and challenged them to decide who they were going to serve.
And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
What is shocking about this statement by Joshua is the language which describes their participation in the traditions of these surrounding nations as worship to their false god’s.
Most people do not attribute the wearing of a costume during a particular holiday, to worship of a pagan god. This is precisely what God said to His people, through Joshua. He challenged the people to make a decision who they were going to serve. If they were going to believe in and follow the God of the Bible, they they should not participate in traditions or practices which do not glorify God.
When we arrive at the New Testament, we see this further defined for us:
Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God. 3 John 11
What do witches, zombies, and monsters; characters of evil and death, have to do with the Lord? What do these characters represent? Would this practice please the Lord? These are questions that each one of us has to ask ourselves.
If we study the Bible and the history of the Christian church, we learn that those who believe in Jesus do not learn from the mistakes of those in the past. We continually repeat the errors of the early Christian church and do not achieve knowledge by becoming aware of the faults of people before us.
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31