AUTHOR: MacArthur Jr., John
PUBLISHED ON: April 8, 2003
TAGS: Halloween

                               John MacArthur

Question: “What is your perspective of Halloween?”

Answer: There are a number of reasons why I think it is unwise for Christian
parents to permit their children to go door to door collecting candy on
Halloween.  First of all, dressing up like witches, ghosts, or goblins is
incompatible with a Christian’s testimony.

Furthermore, many of the customs of Halloween are associated with the worst
kinds of pagan beliefs and ceremonies; they are usually centered on sinister
things such as demons, witchcraft, and superstition.

If we as Christian parents simply disregard the unchristian aspects of such
practices as mere fantasy or superstition and then encourage our children to
participate in them, we run the risk of communicating the message that the
spiritual battle waged by the rulers of darkness (Ephesians 6:10) is not to
be taken seriously.

Halloween has its origins in an ancient Celtic harvest celebration.  The
superstitious Celts believed that demons, ghosts, and hobgoblins roamed free
in the dark and barren days of winter, and the end of October was the onset
of that season.  Their celebrations grew out of their superstitions, and they
have been passed down to the present day, along with other pagan and satanic

Another reason I don’t advise parents to permit their children to celebrate
Halloween by dressing up and going door to door is the issue of safety.  The
possibility of a child’s being struck by an automobile, kidnaped, poisoned,
or otherwise injured is greater on Halloween than on any other night of the

Still, I think it is wise for parents to give their children a creative
alternative to celebrating Halloween.  They shouldn’t feel like they’ve
missed something because they are Christians.

Our family likes to spend Halloween together.  We plan special activities
that are more fun for the kids than begging candy.  In the past, we have all
gone out together for ice cream, or we might stay home and have a special
evening together doing something just for them.

That way when the children face the inevitable pressure of talking with their
friends about what they did on Halloween, they can share their faith in
positive terms, rather than having to speak of what they can’t do because of
their parents’ Christian faith.

Transcribed by Tony Capoccia of

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