By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2002
With Halloween coming up at the end of the month, many churches and Christian parents are going to start wondering what their position on this holiday should be. The authors will present a brief case for abstinence in this two-part article.
Do you think these Scriptures relate to the issue of Christian participation in Halloween? Is it possible to abstain from every form (or appearance) of evil and also send your child out dressed as a devil? Is it possible to not imitate or learn evil while imitating or “learning” modern symbolism of ancient evil practices? Is it possible to have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness—and still participate in Halloween? “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth” (1 John 1:5, 6). Can Halloween be considered, at least in some sense, “walking in the darkness”?
When Scripture tells us we are not to learn the ways of the pagan nations, but that we are to learn that which is good (Deuteronomy 18:9; Hebrews 13:7; 3 John 11), the term “learn” involves the following definition as given by A. T. Robertson in his Word Pictures of the New Testament: the “directing of one’s mind to something and producing an external effect, learn; 1) as learning through instruction, be taught, learn from someone (John 7:15); 2) as learning through inquiry, ascertain, discover, find out (Acts 23:27); 3) as learning through practice or experience, come to know, come to realize (Philippians 4:11; Hebrews 5:8); 4) as achieving comprehension, understand, learn (Revelation 14:3).” This is the sense in which we should understand Deuteronomy 5:1, “And Moses summoned all Israel, and said to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I speak in your hearing this day, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them.’” The issue then, is whether our kids are imitating and learning something they shouldn’t on Halloween.