It’s tempting to answer, “Sure, this year everything is!” But taking a post-pandemic view, the question is posed every year by a lot of well-meaning people…
“Is Halloween evil?” Short answer: No, we are. Evil lives in people, not in things (Romans 3:23). People are, to use the classical term, sinful. But it’s easier (and less convicting) to focus on things. Many point to the pagan traditions behind Christmas and Easter, or that unholiest of holidays, Halloween!
As a zealous new believer back in the 80s (typical of a converted atheist), I once stood on a coffee table, tears streaming from my eyes, and rebuked a youth group for participating in a popular church-sponsored haunted house! I’ve mellowed since then—and read my Bible. The apostle Paul tells us that things are just things (I Corinthians 8:4-13), and that it’s the evil within ourselves that needs to be confronted.
A few years after later, I was in a comedy act called Mitch & Allen. One of our more popular pieces was a quirky Bible-based take on the ultimate alien invasion story, the fall of Adam and Eve. We’d been watching The Blob, a classic monster movie from the 1950s, when it struck us that this was exactly how sin entered the world. First, evil (sin) consumed a couple of naïve teenagers–then it spread like a hideous blob! (This is vintage 80s stuff, so be kind!)
“Two innocent teenagers,” the narrator tells us, are overcome by “a horror so hideous, so corruptible it will change their lives forever–It Came From Outer Darkness!” (Matthew 22:13) “Gosh, isn’t it great to live in a place where we’re so protected and provided for?” teenager Adam Godson asks. (Genesis 2) But just then a “falling star” (Isaiah 14:12) is “cast out of its place in the heavens” (Revelation 12:9) and crashes down “somewhere east of Eden County, New Mexico.” (Genesis 4:16)
Adam and his girlfriend Eve Ribstein, played by a remarkably unattractive Hollywood starlet (me), are overcome by the creature “from the planet Sin.” Soon it is consuming everything that comes near it. “No one is safe!” (Romans 7:14-15)
The situation is hopeless (Romans 3:10-12) until one day, “earth’s last hope,” the Stranger shows up, announcing, “I can take that monster to hell and be back in three days!” (Matthew 12:40) It’s a creature “so real,” the narrator shouts (me again), “you’d swear it was right there in the theater with you! Well, it is!”
This horror thriller is true–and we are the monster! (Romans 3:9-10)
Halloween isn’t evil, we are. “All creation groans,” Romans 8:22 says, waiting for the evil in us to be taken away. And if we let the Stranger, “the earth’s last hope,” do his job, it will be. (I John 1:6-7)
I once toured Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and was astonished to see gargoyles (demons) all along the spectacular roofline. When I asked why they would include such symbols of evil, the translator replied, “Ho-ho, we do not embrace evil, monsieur, we mock it! You see, the demons are racing away!” (Each gargoyle is countered by an angel directly inside.) “And,” he added, “we humble them by making them serve as water spouts!” Now that’s the Halloween spirit!
So if you celebrate Halloween, don’t celebrate evil, celebrate the overcoming of it. You might even want to practice saying, in your best faux-French accent,
“Ho-ho, I do not embrace evil, monsieur. I mock it!”
If you’d like a copy of this video, you can download it here!