The following is an edited transcript of the audio from Desiring God.
What are your thoughts on Halloween?
It’s kind of one of those questions of, “Do you see Christ against culture, Christ in culture, or Christ over culture?”
I would guess that at our church there would be people from one end of perspective to the other.
That is, some who say, “We don’t want anything to do with that demonic holiday! Why would you even be involved with that at all?” And others who would have their children dress up as a butterfly and go knocking on doors and say, “Trick or treat!” And then in the middle would be people who do counter events, like a thing at the church where you dress up like biblical characters and have a great time.
I’m totally OK with the middle one and the first one. And sort of OK with the second one. I grew up trick-or-treating. We were pretty serious trick-or-treaters, right into teenage years.
There isn’t much in my neighborhood. We’re kind of an inner-city neighborhood, and it’s not the most lucrative place to go knocking on doors. You’re not going to fill your bag up with the best. You better go to the suburbs if you want to get a good pile.
So I would hope that all Christians would think biblically and carefully about any holiday, any event, and how they might be salt and light in it. And if they feel like this can be of value to the kids in some way, to teach them—if it can be an innocent way of enjoying God’s grace and teaching lessons—so be it.
I’m willing to run the risk of attachment to worldliness in order to be biblically faithful in witness. The same thing with Christmas and birthdays and Easter and worshipping on Sunday. All of these things have pagan connections.
I want to be loose and broad and give freedom to believers to find their way to be most effective. So I respect those who are renouncing it as too connected with evil, and I respect those who say, “No, let’s redeem it and penetrate it and use it.”