JAMES 1:26-27: “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Today is October 31. Today much of the world will celebrate Halloween. The internet will be filled with spooky posts and also countless articles about why Halloween is an evil holiday. Many within Christendom are divided over this debate. Some see it as merely a harmless time for children to dress up and have fun. Others see it as a celebration of the kingdom of darkness. All believers should ask this question,

What about Halloween?

I grew up in a mainline denomination that did not see anything wrong with celebrating Halloween. Granted, when I was a child it was a much simpler time. Yet, I can remember looking forward each year to dressing up and filling my bag with a bounty of candy. We would have neighborhood parties, bobbing for apples, and it was an all-around fun time for all.

Yet, in those years, I did not understand the difference between the kingdom of righteousness and the kingdom of darkness. Surely, no child did. I know my parents did not understand these things because we never discussed them. And, I never heard any teaching from the pulpit about these things.

When I committed my life to Jesus Christ as a young man, everything changed. When I was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit something inside me changed. I began to read my Bible and I found that I could understand it. As I read the pages of Scripture I began to understand that there were two spiritual realities. There was a spiritual battle taking place. It was a battle for the hearts and souls of men!

It was once possible for me to practice religion and celebrate Halloween. I did not see anything wrong with it. Dressing up like a devil or a witch was simply make-believe. Yet, I was practicing religion without knowledge. I was hearing the Word but not doing it. I was walking in darkness and not even knowing it. As James writes,

  • “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.” James‬ ‭1‬:‭23‬-‭24‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

My religion had no change of heart. My spiritual eyes were darkened. I heard the Word but did not understand it. I looked into the mirror of truth and walked away not even understanding what I had seen. Yet, I can do this no longer. As I look at the world, as I see the enemy raging to capture souls and destroy lives, I can no longer wink at a holiday that celebrates everything that is dark and twisted.

James writes,

  • “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

To be a disciple of Jesus Christ is to live a life of transformation. It is to receive a new heart, new eyes, and a new purpose for living. We no longer live for ourselves, but we live for Jesus Christ and we are called to serve others through His love. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. He came so that we might have life (in Him) and life more abundantly. The enemy comes only to kill, steal, and destroy.

To celebrate Halloween as a believer is to forget why we were redeemed.

As a believer, I am called to keep myself unspotted from the world. This means that I am to put the cross of Jesus Christ before me at all times. I need to ask myself these questions about anything I do.

  1. Will it help me to grow in Christ?
  2. Will it give glory to God?
  3. Will it help me to serve others?
  4. Will it help me to share the love of Christ?
  5. Will it lead others to Jesus, spiritual freedom, and eternal life?

If the answer is NO to any of the questions above, then as a believer this is something I choose not to do. And, as a believer, one who is desiring to be a doer of the Word and not merely a hearer, this is why I cannot celebrate Halloween.

One final note. I believe it is important for churches and people of faith to allow our children to experience the joys of life. This can still be done without celebrating Halloween. We need to teach our children the reason why we do not celebrate this holiday and give them a functional alternative to celebrate and have fun. Over the years, as a pastor, we would have either a Fall Family Festival or a Jesus Celebration. It would include dressing up as Biblical characters or characters that were God-pleasing, along with games, candy, and fun. And, we would always share the Gospel as we did this for children who came that did not know Jesus.

My prayer is that we can lead our children in Jesus’ path, help them to understand the difference between darkness and light, good and evil, all without taking away their childhood. This takes wisdom and balance. Yet, in these dark days, this is exactly what is needed.

Lord, give us the courage, wisdom, and balance to do so.

In Jesus’ Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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  1. Arron Moon Sr. says:

    Great article, thank you so much for sharing and a great reminder that we still need to show our kids how to have fun but not participating in pagan practices.


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