Trick or Treat?

What are your views on Christian children trick or treating?

My view: Let your kids trick or treat.

I think we sometimes forget that the fight is over, and the good guys won.

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I’m not in the Anti-Halloween crowd. In fact I like to think that passages such as 1 Samuel 28 are great for the season.

I’d have to agree with you. I was never allowed to trick-or-treat as a kid, but I don’t have a problem with my own kids doing it (or at least I wouldn’t if we lived in a neighborhood).

I respect people who choose not to celebrate Halloween because most I know are sincere and have their reasons for it, but in my experience there’s been a lot of the “culture war” flavor to it. I can remember shutting off the lights, pulling the shades, watching a movie and pretending we weren’t home on Halloween. I think it can be a positive chance to interact with our neighbors and be a light.


I think it is fine and fun, so long as kids avoid the gore. I enjoyed it as a kid, and find our church about evenly divided on it, so there are no church sponsored trunk and treat activities to respect the ones who do not like it. We did have a 5th grade party at our house with a Pumpkin Smash theme, and had pumpkin piñata and such, hot dogs and s’mores, but no costumes.

Neat little essay by Russell Moore:


My Bible verse for Halloween is Philippians 4:8:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Seriously, celebrating bad things is illogical. But so too is saying that you can’t celebrate good things instead.

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I just wonder why almost everyone seem to forget that Hallowmas exist. To me, it feels like celebrating Christmas Eve but not Christmas.

The anti-Halloween trends in evangelical churches goes hand in hand with anti-pagan sentiments. Christians are often called to recognize the pagan elements within Christianity but this does not have to result in purging our Christianity of such things as if pagan equals evil. I see reason to celebrate those pagan elements and even to wish that paganism had more influence, particularly in fostering a greater respect for nature.

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A friend of mine posted this piece she wrote a few days ago and it encapsulates my own sentiments well:

Specifically, I appreciate the encouragement to use the opportunity to get out and meet neighbors and build bridges. When we lived in the States, we let our kids dress up and trick or treat and we invited neighbors to our church’s “trunk or treat” which had a costume parade/contest and various non-scary fall-themed activities like pumpkin carving and hayrides.

Now that we live in Mexico, there is no Halloween, but there is Day of the Dead, which has its own “pagan” baggage and Evangelical reaction to deal with. (If you’ve seen the movie Coco, that does a pretty decent job reflecting the beliefs and celebration.) I personally enjoy some seasonal pan de muerto with hot chocolate. Because we aren’t Mexican and my kids aren’t in local schools, many of the choices about how and when to participate in the cultural festivities don’t affect us that much. It is probably the biggest family holiday in the region where we live. When we are in Oaxaca in November it is even more interesting, since the town where our organization’s linguistic center is located has ruins that are considered THE resting place for the souls of the dead ancestors of the Zapotecs and Mixtecs. Day of the Dead is a HUGE deal.


Over in Belgium we don’t celebrate Halloween much at all. People coming together in a Town’s Centre is all I’ve seen! I don’t much care for the actual holiday either. The only thing i like about it all is just the cozy feeling it brings. But thats just because i’m a huge fan of Fall and Winter!

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What fight is over? Satan still rules the world. You still struggle with sin every day. And we all die.

Pagan holidays are for pagans. Simple.

If you actually believe that Satan rules over all the literal world (you do know that the word translated as world in the NT almost never means “the entire earth” let alone “the entire earth and everyone in it.”?) then, in my opinion, your understanding of the gospel is in question. (You are free, of course, to question my understanding of the gospel.)

I’ll let the late RC Sproul address your comment:

Even at this moment, as I’m discussing this question, Satan’s authority and power are limited and subordinate to the authority that is vested in Christ. Christ right now is the king of this earth. His kingdom is invisible, and not everybody acknowledges it. People are giving more allegiance to the prince of darkness than to the Prince of Peace, but that is an act of usurpation on the part of Satan. His power is restricted, limited, and temporal. What has happened briefly is this: The power and authority of Satan has been dealt a fatal blow by Christ. The Cross, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, and the Ascension tremendously weakened any power or authority that Satan enjoyed, but it didn’t annihilate him. That will come later, when Christ completes his work of redemption with the consummation of his kingdom. All things will be brought into captivity to him, and every knee will bow to him, including the fallen angels, who will bow in submission to his authority.

What Sproul wrote was a scholarly and skillful version of my crude: “The fight is over, and the good guys won.”

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Then Christ is a terrible ruler… Or one apathetic fellow. As the world is a mess. But I’d say you’re just wrong. As the NT states that Satan is the ruler of the Earth. The king of this world.

It states “Jesus is Lord” much more often.

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And I believe it! However, it is clear to me, and the writers of the NT, that Satan is still very much in charge here on Earth. The LORD has gone away to become a king.

I agree, but I think most of trick-or-treating celebrates community, sugar, and silly costumes. Nothing too bad there, unless you count obesity or the consumerism of all this money-spending on costumes and candy to be a negative.

I will say that I am not a fan of the “fear” element of Halloween. God has not given us a spirit of fear, and I don’t see any redemptive value in stoking kids’ fears and concentrating on fearful things. Just my opinion.


Ha ha ha, I was being facetious. However, I do have a real point to make. Positive angles still don’t make something a good thing.

Should we be like the Puritan republican revolutionaries of 17th century Britain and ban Christmas? And what about every day of the week and every month of the year which are named after something pagan?

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Well, I certainly would, yeah. But it’d be a bit hard. Well, not ban it, but make it clear the Church does not agree with it or celebrate it.

My grandparents (and parents) were very strong evangelicals. I have great memories of staying with my grandma to help hand out treats to kids in their rundown neighborhood. We’d give lots of candy out, then when hulking 16 year old boys came back a second time and said 'I’m getting some for my brother at home," she gave them a tract (with the candy!). Seriously, the kids were really nice overall and it was a great way to get to meet other families in an era when no one seems to know any neighbors any more (maybe because of TV?)

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