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Revisiting “Missional Thinking on Halloween”

By October 31, 2019History & Holidays3 min read

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these” (M​ark 12:30-31​).


On this day, kids will be hurrying home from school, dressing up and heading out to get candy from their neighbors. I grew up doing this, and I loved it every year.

When I got saved, I became aware of some of the other elements of Halloween – its history and some of the pagan practices. I realized that many Christians have strong views against this holiday and what it represents for some. This is my feeble attempt at helping us see this from a different perspective.
Try and see this holiday for what it is today: The one day of the year when many of the families in your neighborhood take their little ones and come up to your door.

It’s the one day of the year when it’s not creepy to slowly meander through your neighborhood while your kids beg for candy from everyone. It’s community.


It’s an opportunity to engage in our community rather than oppose it.

You do not have to compromise the gospel to be kind and friendly on Halloween. And compromise is what this is all about isn’t it? It’s the concern that, by celebrating Halloween, we are promoting evil and paganism.

Consider this: Instead of becoming overly agitated with the fringe elements of Halloween, let’s see it for what it is today for the large majority of people- a day for communities to come together and show some love to our kids (and candy, lots of candy!)


“Go, eat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works. Let your garments always be white, and let your head lack no oil” (Ecclesiastes 9:7-8).

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20 NLT).

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon encourages his readers to consider this one fact: We are all going to die. This will either depress you or motivate you to listen to God’s wisdom on how to live. If death is a reality, then what is this life all about?

And Solomon exhorts us to GO. It’s a command. Get off the couch, eat, drink and put on a nice outfit, maybe even some cologne! Why? Because God wants you to live while we are here on earth.
In Matthew, Jesus also commands us to GO. Go and make disciples of all nations. Go live out your faith in this world.

In both passages, we see the Trinity at work in our lives. I believe it is symbolized in Ecclesiastes and made plain in Matthew. The symbols are these:

Bread/wine = symbols of Jesus’ body and blood oil = symbol of the Holy Spirit

Solomon says partake of the bread and the wine and put on the Holy Spirit for God approves of this. Jesus says partake of My death and resurrection and be filled with the Holy Spirit. And as I am transforming you, GO make disciples of all nations.

This Halloween, GO- eat and drink, put on some cologne (and maybe a fun costume) and make disciples of all nations by living out the life of God in you.

​​​Phil Metzger is the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel San Diego. ​​​He was the director of CCBC Europe and served as a missionary church planter since 1998.