Witchcraft. Sorcery. Psychics. Demons. Spirits.
Most people think of those as they do fairy tales. However, I believe they are real because God says they’re real and because I have no doubt Satan is real as do most Bible-believing Christians. We tend to laugh and talk about these things lightly. We watch scary movies, read literature rich in witchcraft and sorcery, and participate in haunted houses. We “sugarcoat” the Devil and “dress up Halloween” for our children, when in fact the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Avoid every kind of evil.”
Deuteronomy 18:10-14 says,
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, or practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so.
Upon reading this Scripture, we immediately deny dabbling in any of these areas. However, we are guilty of watching movies and reading books to our children that involve such practices. As a society, we permit our families to celebrate the most evil day of the year- the sacred high, holiday of Wiccans. That which we think of as innocent and entertaining fun for the kids, such as jack-o-lanterns, dressing up, and trick-or-treat were all born from pagan rituals and customs that symbolize fear, darkness, and death. Halloween offers nothing holy and honorable to God. We are to be blameless, for the Lord our God has not permitted us to engage in, allow, or entertain wickedness in any form or fashion.
It is undeniable that the Devil is responsible for the destruction, drugs, disease, disaster, disobedience, defiance, division, defilement, divorce, death and darkness we see all around us. Why, then, would we allow our children to participate in a devilish day to honor him and his demons when we suffer the consequences of these things daily?
All throughout the Bible we see Satan’s attack on the weakest among us…our children. The demon possessed Canaanites, King Herod, and Pharaoh all killed babies. Today there is still a detestable war against our babies. Those who survive are indoctrinated by subtle evils all around them while we stand by and watch, or worse yet, dress them up as skeletons and witches, hold their hands, and lead them door to door on the Devil’s holiday. Even if they are dressed up as superheroes or princesses and you only visit people you know, you are still sending them a message that it is permissible to participate in Satan’s holiday, as long as you do it the right way.
I must admit, I fell for the temptation to trick-or-treat at the homes of loved ones when our boys were tiny because they looked so sweet in their costumes. I justified it by thinking it was just a few houses with people we knew who wanted to see our children. We called it Costume Day to make it sound better. We, like many other parents, were guilty of defending our actions by saying, “As long as we don’t celebrate Halloween with evil intentions, it’s fine.” However, we are told in 1 Timothy 6:11-12,
“But as for you, O man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith.”
Our boys are older now, and as we are all maturing and growing in our faith as a family, I don’t want them to be confused about where we stand. We are committed to fighting for the faith and protecting our children from the enemy. It is a battle, and though they are still young, I don’t want them to be weak and easy prey for the Devil. On a spooky day that is meant to stir fear within us, I don’t want my precious children’s thoughts to be filled with terror and torture. I want them to know that the God we serve “did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind” (2 Timothy1:7). These things are in stark contrast to what is celebrated on October 31st. Our children need to know we stand on truth and serve the Father of heavenly lights. We will not entertain the father of lies on a day set apart for him. The Bible is clear that “no man can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24).
When I was eighteen, I went on a mission trip to Salem, Massachusetts, the city known for its beauty, history, and the Salem Witch Trials. A city in America painted in black with cobblestone streets, witch museums, Satanic Temples, psychic shops, and stores that sell potions and spells and practice sorcery. I had been once before with my youth group in the summer months, but this time I went during the Halloween festivities with an older group of seasoned believers. We were not in the streets holding large signs and shouting that all who were there were going to hell. Instead, we spent our time quietly and prayerfully walking the streets during the days preceding Halloween. We assisted a small church in many mission projects, and on the night of Halloween, we joined them in a special service to pray for those caught up in the chaos, confusion, and corruption on every corner.
This particular church had faced much persecution over the years. Their vehicles had been vandalized while in church services. They had been shot at and threatened numerous times, yet they pressed on. The tiny congregation was determined they would not be overtaken.
Just in the short time we were there, we knew we were definitely unwanted. Spells had been cast on us. We had been spit on, cursed, and threatened. It was uncomfortable, uninviting, and the power of the Devil was unquestionable throughout the city. We were amazed by the perseverance and courage of this congregation who remained faithful, despite the constant pressure and attacks on them.
On Halloween night, as the evil parades and festivals took place and hundreds of thousands of tourists in costumes flooded the streets, we gathered on the steps of the church after the service to pass out free water, hot chocolate, and coffee while peacefully spreading the gospel message. Some received Jesus, most threw rocks and hurled insults at the Christians offering Christ. It was a very dangerous time.
The kind, elderly pastor was asked, “Why do you do this? You could be at home in bed. Why would you put yourself in harm’s way?”
“Why would I shut these church doors and turn out the lights on this day? We are called to be light in a dark world. Tonight, it is especially dark and we are the only light in Salem. I will never give up on giving Jesus to these people.”
He had love and compassion for those who had been deceived. He knew well that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
Martin Luther, who led the Protestant Reformation, was once asked, “How do you live victoriously over Satan?”
He replied, “When Satan comes and knocks at my door, Jesus goes to answer the door.”
So, what should we as Christians do on Halloween? The answer is: do not conform. “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord” (2 Corinthians 6:17) and “have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly” (1 Timothy 4:7).
We should use this opportunity to train up our children to be the light, live in victory, and let Jesus answer the door!
Should we turn our lights off, pretend to be asleep, and not answer the door on October 31st? Absolutely not! Be vigilant. Be ready. Turn your lights on! “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Halloween is the one night of the year you do not have to seek out the lost. Many who will come to your door will not know our Savior. We are to love them and recognize that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against Satan. Will you be there waiting to introduce them to the conquering Christ or will you be blending in amongst a lost and dying world? Will you use that opportunity to give Jesus, rather than candy, to someone in search of a Savior?
When they knock, will it be Jesus that answers your door?