by Jaclyn Small, founder
I get these questions every year-- are you coming to the Church Harvest? Do you participate in Halloween?
No. We personally don’t participate in Halloween, or the Church alternatives--I’ll get to that in a minute! Without going into the actual history of the holiday (All Hallows Eve - you can look that up!), I want to briefly share why we do not participate— and some other thoughts to consider!
When I got saved, I got delivered from the power of the kingdom of darkness. If you are saved, you did too!
A) That means there is a kingdom of darkness.
B) That means you are no longer under its power and you’ve been delivered out of it— transferred into the kingdom of light.
He has rescued us completely from the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son.
Simply put, Halloween’s roots are darkness. The Bible says that God is light and has NOTHING to do with darkness. There is no darkness in Him, not one ounce.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:5
If I have been delivered from the dominion of darkness (and am actively being sanctified, working out my salvation with fear and trembling, closing the doors to the enemy in my life, and covering my family in prayer against darkness), and Jesus lives in me, why would I want to dabble in a holiday that was born out of darkness?
This is where the debate about kids in cute costumes comes in. I will say this — there is no cute side to darkness, and Satan’s kingdom operates on deception. Why would we as the light of the world take part in a day that promotes darkness? A holiday that devil worshippers love. Yes, satan has worshippers and followers too. They love that Christians cluelessly participate.
Straight from the church of satan website…
“We see this holiday as the night when the mundane folk try to reach down inside and touch the “darkness” which for Satanists is a daily mode of existence. Particularly in the United States, Halloween is a time for celebrating monster films, wearing costumes of a macabre nature, and evoking the thrill of “fun fear.” Children (of all ages) can indulge their fantasies by donning costumes that allow for intense role-playing and the release of their “demonic cores,” the parts of their personalities often hidden from their friends, co-workers and families.”
“This night, we smile at the amateur explorers of their own inner darkness, for we know that they enjoy their brief dip into the pool of the “shadow world.” We encourage their tenebrous fantasies, the candied indulgence, and the wide-ranging evocation of our aesthetics (while tolerating some of the chintzy versions), even if it is but once a year.”
I will also let this comment from Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan, speak for itself: "I am glad that Christian parents let their children worship the devil at least one night out of the year. Welcome to Halloween."
While I can’t say that Christians are actively worshipping satan, they are certainly opening the door for him. Churches removing “Halloween” and replacing it with the name “Harvest” for an event looks a lot like if satanists were to gather on Good Friday among Christians but change it to “Bad Friday” and make it suit their beliefs. Halloween is not something that we, as the light of the world, can twist to make light, pure, acceptable, or cute. Light drives out darkness, it doesn’t dwell with it. And personally, I don’t want to raise my children on the “cute side” of darkness so that one day they will be steeped in the confusing, desensitized space of wondering if something that is inherently dark is actually, dark.
Even if I don’t get “too deep” concerning the holiday, if you look at it on a surface level, the holiday promotes fear, death, violence and darkness in general. Just go to Target or the local Spirit Halloween store that sets up shop seasonally around this time. Does anything about this promote light or take territory for the Kingdom of Light?
Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:22
When you participate in Halloween you sow into the kingdom of darkness. Sound dramatic? Stick with me…
There are many ministries doing the work of the Kingdom who need sowers. When I launched Jesus Over Yourself® last year, I quickly realized that money was needed to do EVERYTHING— and so in faith, we began funding the ministry. Now that we are an official 501c3, I have had to begin the process of reaching out to kingdom-minded individuals who see what the Lord is doing through the J.O.Y. Movement and who are called to help move it forward with their contributions and giving.
Now, that’s our work to take territory for the kingdom of God. What about the earthly territory of satan's kingdom? We already established early on that there is also a kingdom of darkness (Luke 11:18)— and Satan is seated on his throne (Revelation 2:13), with his ministers (2 Corinthians 11:15) at work. Though fallen, he is called by Jesus no less than three times the “prince of this world” (John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11), thus plainly recognizing his rule over the earth.
Whether or not the earthly owners of the Halloween store knowingly worship satan, or just want to make money-- their business furthers satan’s kingdom...and the money that God gave us to be stewards over is spent on a business that promotes darkness, instead of saving, or sowing into furthering His kingdom. And it is growing rapidly at that, with over 1,300 stores in America.
You were following the ways of this world [influenced by this present age], in accordance with the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit who is now at work in the disobedient [the unbelieving, who fight against the purposes of God].
According to Ephesians 2:2, the ways of this world are in ACCORDANCE with Satan - the prince of the power of the air. This is the spirit at work in those who DO NOT believe in Jesus, and they fight against the purposes of God. But my concern is believers-- shouldn’t we that when we follow the ways of this world, we are working in accordance with darkness?
More than anything, I am writing this because I simply want to open the eyes where many of us as believers have been desensitized to darkness. I’m not writing this to determine right vs. wrong, or modify behavior as a result of a set of rules-- that's empty, rather I want to help expose something that has been hidden in plain sight because it impacts us individually and as a body. Years ago after I preached a message, one of the church members who served faithfully came up to me and shared that they struggled with a spirit of heaviness and darkness and couldn’t seem to shake it. I talked with them briefly and shared some things relative to their situation. About a month later, October 31st, I was on instagram and saw that same person posted photos dressed up in a costume promoting death, with words written on body parts-- including their head-- that agreed with their current state of heaviness and darkness that they just got done telling me about the month prior. Listen, demonic spirits don’t care if you think you’re just having fun and dressing up. As my friend Latrice Ryan says, I don’t play with demons, I cast them out.
While I don’t like to focus on darkness, I do understand that I need to operate wisely as learned in my personal walk-- I was stuck because of lack of knowledge and because I was ignorant of the enemy’s devices. So while satan does have a kingdom that we need to be aware of, we should keep it in it’s correct position, under the authority of Jesus -- the One Who claimed victory over death and everything demonic. He came to destroy the works of the devil and did so on the cross.
I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on [a]serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan)
He Himself in a similar manner also shared in the same [physical nature, but without sin], so that through [experiencing] death He might make powerless (ineffective, impotent) him who had the power of death—that is, the devil…
Now His power lives in you as a believer. If we are deceived, how can we exercise that power and be the LIGHT of the world, especially on a day when darkness is promoted? If we want to live Holy Spirit-led lives, I believe that means we invite the Holy Spirit into all that we do every day-- including October 31st.
Does that mean you should lock yourself inside and turn off all the lights on Halloween? Not at all. Turn the lights on-- BE the light. Ask the Lord how you can be that light. Disrupt darkness by turning on the light, not dwelling with it.
So, You’ve Celebrated Halloween for Years...Now What?
First, acknowledge that this isn’t a change laced in condemnation, it’s a revelatory change! When the Lord shows you things at a deeper level in the spirit realm, you naturally start to gain more revelation. The more revelation you get, the more you’re able to adjust what you do in the natural. Light is now shining in a place that was once unknowingly or naively opening the door to deception, confusion, or desensitization to darkness. This is exciting, not condemning! So don’t believe the voice of the enemy that is filled with condemnation.
Second, just like you share with your loved ones when you get revelations and how it completely shifts the trajectory of your life, you can share with your children that the Lord revealed something to you concerning Halloween. Use it as a teaching opportunity! When discussing the darkness, don’t make it all about the dark roots, but rather focus on the light. Share what you have learned about being the light of the world as Jesus wants you to be, and how that applies to Halloween. Light drives out darkness, it doesn’t dwell with it. Our love for Jesus requires doing things different than the world-- and your children will have to learn that too. What better place to model that than at home. Do it together.
Third, this is bigger than Halloween. How hypocritical would it be to eliminate Halloween (which children probably only see as fun) and yet you still open up the door for darkness to enter through the music you listen to, the shows you watch, or the words that come out of your mouth. Our children are watching. Let’s disrupt darkness in every area of our lives, not just this holiday!
Last, and most tangibly, have fun throwing out your old decorations and costumes. Depending on the age of your children, you can even discuss why you’re throwing out certain things. Then, you can even have fun filling your home with scriptures, fall decor, and comfy corners for your family to live in!
Founder, The J.O.Y. Movement