Should Seventh-day Adventists celebrate Halloween? The innocence of simple traditions

Pastor Luc Sabot of Abbotsford Seventh-day Adventist Church in British Columbia, Canada, carved a Jesus jack-o’-lantern for a church corn roast event. Celebrating Halloween is a divisive topic in the Adventist Church. Sunday, October 8, 2017. (Photo from: Nicole Sabot)
Pastor Luc Sabot of Abbotsford Seventh-day Adventist Church in British Columbia, Canada, carved a Jesus jack-o’-lantern for a church corn roast event. Celebrating Halloween is a divisive topic in the Adventist Church. Sunday, October 8, 2017. (Photo from: Nicole Sabot)

Written by Katelynn Webster

As Adventists, we have always been taught that Halloween should be avoided and ignored at all costs. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve started to become more and more frustrated by that teaching. 

I grew up celebrating Halloween; and, yes, I was born and raised Adventist and so were my parents. My parents would dress my sibling and me up every year, and when we were old enough, we picked our own costumes. We would go trick-or-treating in my grandparents’ neighborhood, decorate our lawn with spider webs in the trees and watch fun Halloween movies like “Scooby-Doo” and “Ghostbusters.” 

Although I’ve had so many people tell me that all things Halloween are bad, I’ve always believed that the ways I’ve celebrated it aren’t. One point to consider is that, yes, there is evil in this world, but some traditions should be taken with a grain of salt. I do believe that many people in this world observe Halloween to invite evil and demonic spirits into their lives. I’m not ignorant to that. But I don’t believe that everyone who celebrates this holiday has the same intent. 

Halloween is a time for many to spend an evening with their family or express their love for a special character by dressing up as him or her. Everyone has his or her own way of celebrating different holidays, which means that not everyone has the same values or traditions. I think this concept is something that our church struggles with at times. 

I believe Halloween has a different meaning to each person. For me, it’s a chance to play pretend for a night, watch fun movies and eat way too much sugar while surrounded by people I love being around. I don’t think that should be diminished just because other people take advantage of the negative connotations surrounding it.

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