Should Christians Participate in Halloween?

Finding the Balance between Distraction and Opportunity

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Most Christians have already made up their mind on this issue.  Halloween is either a good thing or a bad thing.


I’m not sure if the answer is as simple that either good or bad.  In order to live in the world and be witnesses of Christ, we should be identifying the balance between distraction and opportunity.

Halloween as a Distraction

Halloween isn’t the devil’s birthday (as some have suggested), but its history isn’t very holy either.

The Druids celebrated year-end on October 31st. They believed the dead returned as ghosts, were able to predict the future, and otherwise connect with the dead. It was definitely a dark and evil night. It would be difficult to argue otherwise.

It wasn’t long before the Catholic Church moved their celebration of martyrs (All Saints Day) to November 1st and remembering the dead (All Souls Day) to November 2nd.  It’s amazing that many don’t know much about either of these celebrations.

As history unfolded, and cultures collided, All-Hallows-Eve (October 31st) turned into Halloween. With that, came traditions like the poor asking for food and money in return for praying for their dead relatives (eventually known as “trick-or-treating”), and dressing up like ghosts so the “real” ghosts would leave them alone.  There are many other traditions, but the point is, they have transformed over the centuries.1

While we can make connections to today’s traditions, there is such a disconnect between what Halloween is today and what it was in the past.

With that said, that doesn’t mean we can’t be distracted by it all. As each year progresses, the amount of time and money spent on Halloween is unreal.  In the U.S. alone it was estimated people spent $6.9 billion on Halloween in 2015.2

People decorate weeks in advance, and sometimes just as much as Christmas. Is there anything wrong with that? If it’s a distraction, then yes!  If it leads to an opportunity, then maybe no.  As Paul wrote, “I have the right to do anything…but not everything is beneficial” (1 Corinthians 6:12).

The biggest distraction with Halloween is attempting to make “fear” a good thing.The biggest distraction with #Halloween is attempting to make FEAR a good thing. Click To Tweet

The reason why so many of these traditions begun in the first place, was because of fear.  If we promote or otherwise encourage “fear” we diminish Paul’s words: “If God is for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:31)?

As Christians, we need to make sure we don’t jump on the “fear” bandwagon.  We need to let everyone around us know that our God is all about hope and love, not uncertainly and fear.

If we find ourselves putting fear in people, we may be distracting ourselves and others from the gospel.  After all, we are His witnesses.

Halloween as an Opportunity

If Jesus was a homeowner today, how would he respond? If Jesus was advising our families, what would he say? It’s difficult to ignore Jesus’ response to children. I can’t think of a time when Jesus told children to go away.  I can only remember him saying, “let the children come to me…” (Luke 18:16)

I picture Jesus kneeling & looking at the vampire saying, 'You might look scary, but God loves you!' Click To TweetI can picture Jesus answering the door with a smile, as a bunch of kids scream “trick or treat!?” I picture Him kneeling down to get on their level, and complimenting the little princess’ hair, giving a fist-pound to superman, and looking at the vampire and saying, “You might look scary, but God loves you too!”

So, we have to ask ourselves, do we allow for godly opportunities even when culture might be pushing the tradition in another direction?  How will we respond when neighbourhood kids knock on our door?

At Bethel we do a “Halloween Ministry” every year. It looks like “Halloween” just enough so families recognize they’re invited, but different enough so that they recognize God’s love.

We light up the street corner by our building, play Christian music, give away Hot Chocolate, and of course a bag of treats with an encouraging verse inside and promo for our ministries.  And probably my favourite part: our 50+ ministry dress up in fun costumes to serve those who drop by!

Since starting this ministry, we have met so many people, and had numerous conversations that we would not have had otherwise.

So What Do We Do?

  • Reclaim October 31st for Jesus!

We don’t want to “Christianize” Halloween, but redefine Halloween.  Every day is God’s and darkness is no match for the light of the gospel.  Participate in a new way and reclaim a dark night.

  • Don’t ignore the possible distractions or opportunities.

Reclaim Oct 31; don't ignore distractions/opportunities; build hope, not fear; be a witness for Christ! Click To TweetIt’s easy to run in one direction or the other: it’s all bad, or there’s nothing to it.  There are clear distractions and clear opportunities.  Don’t ignore them.

  • Build hope, not fear.

There is nothing Christian about fear.  Instead of removing ourselves from the night, spread hope.  Instead of jumping in and “innocently” scaring children, surprise them with love.

  • Remember to be a witness for Him!

We are Jesus’ witnesses and we must point to Him.  When children knock on our door we have the opportunity to welcome them and show them God’s love through our witness.  We also must remember not to be distracted by the potential unprofitable activity that doesn’t bear witness to Christ.

Click here for more ways we can show God’s love on Halloween.

Your turn…

How do you feel about Halloween?  Is it a distraction or opportunity?

I would love to hear from you!  Feel free to comment below, on social media, or by email (  SUBSCRIBE HERE!

References   [ + ]

Should Christians Play Pokemon Go?

Finding the Balance between Distraction and Opportunity

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The more I hear about the new Pokemon Go app, the more it makes me think. I’ve seen the game act as a distraction and also as a ministry tool. My question: do we have to worry about balance?


For those living outside of the Millennial/Gen Z craze, Pokemon Go is a new game played on your smartphone.  In its simplest form, you have to walk around, with your device in hand, looking for Pokemon (cartoon creatures) to catch.

This might sound a little obscure and silly, but so do many games until you start playing.  In fact, games can become highly addictive. A little silly game can quickly consume large portions of our time and conversation.  Candy Crush is a great example.

I’d be the first to admit that I spend my fair share of time playing silly phone games. I’d also be the first to admit, that it doesn’t help me grow in my Christian journey.

I’ve started to re-ask myself a very basic question, “If Jesus were here today would He be trying to ‘catch ‘em all?’” It might be a complicated answer.  There are two questions we have to keep in mind: 1) is it a distraction; and, 2) is it an opportunity?

Pokemon Go as a Distraction

There are many things that can distract us from what is actually important in life.  Games, in general, definitely make that list.

Actually, “distraction” might be an understatement. Pokemon Go has caused car crashes, people to walk off cliffs, and otherwise completely disregard all forms of basic humanity.1

Games like #PokemonGo have the potential of distracting a whole generation from the #gospel. Click To TweetIn writing to Timothy, Paul warned him to avoid “youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace…” (2 Timothy 2:22). The phrase “youthful passions” is often debated, but it’s fair to view this in a general sense.  It’s a tendency to be lured into “immaturity” and the “new thing” and distracted from what’s important – “righteousness, faith, love and peace” (ie. the gospel.) 2 Games like Pokemon Go have the potential of distracting a whole generation from the gospel.

Paul also understood that we live in grace.  There are many things that we are free to do, “but not all things are helpful” (1 Cor 6:12, 10:23).  Paul was discussing specific issues when he wrote that, however, he was simply stating our freedom and responsibility in Christ.

We can participate, but is it helpful?

Pokemon Go as an Opportunity

Just like there are distractions, there are also opportunities.

Jesus made the most out of every opportunity while bringing people down the road of #SpiritualLife. Click To Tweet

Jesus connected with people in culture. In fact, he connected with them wherever he went. Jesus made the most out of every opportunity while bringing people down the road of spiritual life. Shouldn’t we aim to do the same?

Several local churches have made new connections with youth and young adults through the game.  Some have set up a charging station, put up a sign to welcome Pokemon trainers, and otherwise interacting with those running around their city or town.3

Check out this local church (their building happens to be a Pokestop):

Paul wrote, “I have become all things to all people that by all means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).  That means, for the sake of the gospel, we sometimes need to engage with things in order to connect with people.  It’s not a call to avoid holiness, rather a call to relate. We are by no means threatening our relationship with God by engaging in Pokemon Go.  But, by participating, we may in fact connect with kids and teens for the Kingdom!

So What Do We Do?

Ultimately, we all need to distinguish between a distraction and opportunity for ourselves.  As I observe, however, these are my best suggestions:

  • Understand the game and learn why culture is so caught up with it;
  • Sign up for the game and try it out; and,
  • Interact with those around you; BUT,
  • Avoid becoming personally invested in the game; and,
  • Keep your attention towards relationship building and Kingdom growth.
#PokemonGo can help us engage w/ culture so we can lead others to what really matters – Jesus! Click To Tweet

I won’t say Pokemon Go (and other games) are “sinful” or “ungodly.” However, if God wants us to live our lives for His glory, the Devil is certainly excited to see Christians fully engaged in silly games.  If we’re not focusing on our spiritual journey, then we won’t be able to lead others to Christ.

If, however, we use games like Pokemon Go to help build the Kingdom, there are some great opportunities.  Pokemon Go can help us engage with culture so we can lead others to what really matters – Jesus!

On a physical level, there could even be some positive outcomes to playing such game (12 Surprising Health Benefits Of Playing Video Games).

Your turn…

Question: How will you engage Pokemon Go? …and other games? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

I would love to hear from you!  Feel free to comment below, on social media, or by email (  SUBSCRIBE HERE!


References   [ + ]