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Is it a Sin to Celebrate Halloween?

What is the biblical response to the pagan Halloween practices? Is Halloween and Christianity at odds with each other? Is trick-or-treating a sin?


Brother Bob Pellien: Hello, and welcome, everyone!

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Brother Bob Pellien | Minister of the Gospel

Brother Bob: I’m Brother Bob Pellien and thanks for joining us today in this episode of That’s in the Bible. Today we’re going to be addressing what you may have seen on social media recently. There’s quite a debate brewing. A lot of elementary schools are removing Halloween, and the parents are in quite an uproar about it saying things like, “Well, schools are just taking away the fun for the children. It’s a nice candy day for the kids.” Dear friends, there would not be such a debate if in fact everyone really understood the symbolism of Halloween, the origin, the history, and what it is all about. That’s precisely what was written into our program by Dianey. She wrote and she asked us this question, “Why shouldn’t we celebrate Halloween, and how did it start?” 

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Question: Why shouldn’t we celebrate Halloween, and how did it start?


Why shouldn’t we celebrate Halloween, and how did it start?

Brother Bob: Well, Dianey, we’re not going to turn to the Holy Scriptures to find the origins of Halloween. 

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We’re NOT going to turn to the HOLY SCRIPTURES to find the ORIGINS of HALLOWEEN

Brother Bob: Why, you may ask? This is the program That’s in the Bible. Well it’s because that’s actually not in the Bible. 

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Brother Bob: In fact, it has its origins in ancient pagan cultures, otherwise known as non Christians who are worshipping multiple gods. 

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Brother Bob Pellien | Minister of the Gospel

Brother Bob: So dear friends, before you place any of ourselves on either side of that ongoing debate, we need to educate ourselves. So together, let’s take a look into Halloween’s history. Where did Halloween come from? 

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Where did Halloween come from?

Brother Bob: In a book entitled Catholic Customs & Traditions, which is a popular guide written by Greg Dues. Here on page 196 this is what’s written:

There are several possibilities for the origin of the tradition of giving treats

as part of trick or treating…The more probable origin lies in the pagan New

Year celebration among the Celts. It was thought that the ghosts who

roamed freely that night would be satisfied with a banquet table laid out in

homes. For a while after Christianity arrived in Celtic lands, there was an

attempt to transfer this custom to the eve of All Souls Day (November 2).

Masked children would go from door to door to pray for the departed loved

ones in return for a treat.

[Catholic Customs & Traditions: A Popular Guide, pg. 196]

Brother Bob: So here, dear friends, we could see then, and Dianey, thank you for your question, the origin of Halloween and some of its customs in trick or treating and such, the origin of Halloween is not in the Bible at all, but rather it has its roots in ancient pagan cultures. 

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The ORIGIN of HALLOWEEN is NOT in the BIBLE at all 

What is the history of Halloween?

Brother Bob: What is this Halloween holiday all about? Let’s delve into a little bit further so you know which side of that debate you should put yourself on. If we look further into the history of Halloween, for example, if we turn to the very popular Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume II, page 15, right here it says the following about Halloween:

HALLOWEEN (in Medieval times “All Hallows”) kept on October 31, the

eve of All Saints’ Day, was the Celtic festival at the end of summer named

Samhain. It was connected with…the practice of divinations and its

association with the dead, whose souls were supposed to revisit their

homes on this day.

[Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume II, pg. 15]

Brother Bob: So, once again, it did not have and does not have a biblical origin. But as we just read there, history tells us it instead has its origin in ancient pagan cultures, and refers back to particularly a Celtic festival at New Year’s time, the end of summer at the end of the year, called Samhain, and it was connected with divination.

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Why shouldn’t we celebrate Halloween, and how did it start?

Brother Bob: Now, the dead souls at that time—and this is an important thing—because the dead souls were supposed to return to their homes during that festival.

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Brother Bob Pellien | Minister of the Gospel

What every Christian should know about Halloween

Brother Bob: Does the Bible have anything to say about these practices of Halloween, the divination, ghosts returning to the homes, the trick or treat and all the various things like that? All right then, let’s go to the Holy Bible. We turn to Leviticus 19:26 wherein it says the following:

“‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. “‘Do not practice divination or sorcery. 

[Leviticus 19:26 New International Version]

So the Bible does have a response regarding these things. It says first of all, “Don’t do that.” This is what every Christian should know about Halloween. The Bible specifically prohibits such things.

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Why shouldn’t we celebrate Halloween, and how did it start?

What about Trick or Treating?

Brother Bob: And what about the pagan practice to prepare a banquet table for the dead returning to their home, which contributed to the current customs of receiving treats when you go to the homes and yell, “Trick or treat!” Trick or treating is an important and popular part of the Halloween festivities. Dear friends, the Bible also addresses that and does so here in the book of Job chapter 7: 

As the cloud disappears and vanishes away, So he who goes down

to the grave does not come up. He shall never return to his house,

Nor shall his place know him anymore.

[Job 7:9-10 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: So dear friends, the Bible makes it very clear [that] there’s no returning to the home anymore as a ghost or as a skeleton or such things like that, the kind of costumes that parents put their children in, ghosts and skeletons and all that things is part of the traditions of this history we’re discussing here. 

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Why shouldn’t we celebrate Halloween, and how did it start?

Brother Bob: And they do so to get treats from the banquet table on that particular night. So, Dianey, we again, thank you for your question. Understand, the Bible clearly teaches against such things. So that is why Christians shouldn’t celebrate Halloween

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Christian should NOT celebrate HALLOWEEN.

Brother Bob: But let’s continue with both sides of the debate because some will say, “Well, even though it has those kind of pagan cultural origins, it’s just a fun thing for children to do. Why take it out of the schools?” They say, “Why not encourage the children to participate? It’s just fun. It’s an old tradition.” They say, “Kids love it.” We get it. We understand that side of the debate. 

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Brother Bob Pellien | Minister of the Gospel

Brother Bob: But look, here’s what the what the Scriptures and has to say. It was Apostle Paul’s a letter to Timothy where he addressed it in these terms. Let’s take a look here at 1 Timothy chapter 4, it says in verse 7 the following: 

But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself

toward godliness.

[I Timothy 4:7 New King James Version]

Halloween and the Devil

Brother Bob: So the biblical instruction is very explicit, dear friends. It says to reject such kind of fables and exercise, instead, godliness. There’s another element of Halloween that I suppose many do not know, and that element of Halloween was described [also] in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Let’s take let’s take a look at it. It’s recorded in Volume II  also on page 15: 

The autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches,

hobgoblins, fairies and demons of all kinds…It was the only day in which

the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes.

[Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume II, Pg. 15]

Brother Bob: Imagine that, dear friends? Imagine Halloween was the day [on] which they were able to invoke or ask, and that was the practice, to ask the assistance of none other than the devil himself. Obviously we here inside the Church Of Christ use these reasons for not celebrating Halloween. How could we? 

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Why shouldn’t we celebrate Halloween, and how did it start?

Brother Bob: But then, maybe there would be those who would want to say, “Well look, we’re not thinking of it’s pagan origins and we’re certainly not going to invoke the help of the devil, of course. So we’re just doing this because it’s cute to see the children wearing costumes of the devil, costumes of ghosts, and costumes of all these different things and the children enjoy going to Halloween parties and they get all kinds of candy for their kids.” 

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Brother Bob Pellien | Minister of the Gospel

What does the Bible say about pagan practices?

Brother Bob: So is there any biblical guidance that God would want us to know and understand as we listen to the ongoing debate at schools whether or not Halloween should be something Christians should participate in? Dear friends, we turn again to the Holy Bible and this time it’s Apostle Paul’s letter. He wrote the following to the Ephesians. Ephesians 4:17 which reads this way:

Here then is my word to you, and I urge it on  you in the Lord’s name: give up living as pagans do with their futile notions.

[Ephesians 4:17 Revised English Bible]

Brother Bob: Does the Bible give any instruction? Does the Bible give any guidance? What’s the instruction? Absolutely it gives us instruction. And what was it? He said, “Give up all those things that have to do with pagan origin.”

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GIVE UP all those things that have to do with PAGAN ORIGIN

Brother Bob: That’s the instruction, dear friends. So if we’re going to consider the ongoing debate, which side should we be on? Here inside the Church Of Christ, we’ll be on the side of doing it the Lord’s way and give up those Halloween practices that go against the teachings of God. 

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Why shouldn’t we celebrate Halloween, and how did it start?

Brother Bob: Why are so many people choosing pagan cultures and incorporating their traditions into the holidays of current times? There’s something that they have missed, and what they have missed was mentioned by Apostle Paul in  the format of a warning. What was the warning of the Apostle Paul given in the Holy Scriptures? Here’s what he said. He said it in his letter to the Colossians 2:8 is where it’s recorded.

Don’t let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-

sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ.

[Colossians 2:8 New Living Translation]

Brother Bob: So, the Bible is very clear. It clearly issued the warning not to let anyone lead you astray with human traditions, human ideologies and philosophies that they have themselves simply invented or incorporated from pagan cultures. 

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Brother Bob Pellien | Minister of the Gospel

Brother Bob: There was a direct instruction as well, also from Apostle Paul, when he spoke in a similar way to the to the Galatians. Not only was his advice,” Don’t let someone lead you astray.” That’s what people miss. They missed the point that they’re being led astray by those things. But he went on to say to the Galatians in Galatians 1:8:

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to

you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 

[Galatians 1:8-9 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: So dear friends, even if others will say or try to convince us,  “It’s just for fun.” And if they will say, ”No one thinks of it as pagan practice.”

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Why shouldn’t we celebrate Halloween, and how did it start?

Brother Bob: Truth of the matter is, it doesn’t erase where this holiday came from. Simply put, celebrating Halloween means to embrace something that is not Christian. To conclude, therefore, on that point I would like to read one more Bible verse. Apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 15:1-2:

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

[I Corinthians 15:1-2 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: Halloween, dear friends, may seem harmless on the surface. But after gaining this knowledge, we urge you to make an informed decision regarding whether or not it’s something you want to participate in, you want your children to participate in. Apostle Paul said to hold on to what was preached if we want to be saved.

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Brother Bob Pellien | Minister of the Gospel

Brother Bob: Here in the Church Of Christ, we use the Bible only as the basis of our beliefs. We stand by it, no matter what people around us may say, or do, or believe about us. 

Dianey, we are so very thankful for your question. And when you’re ready to learn more about the fundamental teachings found here inside the Church Of Christ, please visit us online or visit any of our various social media accounts. 

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Brother Bob: To speak to a Minister of the Gospel or to join us in worship, you can find a directory of our houses of worship online, also. 

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Find a house of worship near you:

Brother Bob: If you have any questions about the Bible, please email us for a chance that your question would be featured on the show. 

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Brother Bob: Well, dear friends, I’m brother Bob Pellien, and we want to thank you once again for joining us! We’ll see you again next time on That’s in the Bible.


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Is it a Sin to Celebrate Halloween?