Kirk Cameron recently urged Christians to host Halloween parties to possibly spread the Word of God, but pastor Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, said the holiday is simply a noble idea for a fun day.
Earlier this month, Cameron told The Christian Post that Christians should "throw the biggest party on your block" on Oct. 31.
"You should have the biggest party on your block, and you should have the reason for everyone to come to your house, and before anyone else's house, because yours is the most fun," he told CP. "Halloween gives you a great opportunity to show how Christians celebrate the day that death was defeated, and you can give them Gospel tracts and tell the story of how every ghost, goblin, witch and demon was trounced the day Jesus rose from the grave."
When asked by CP to weigh in on Cameron's comment, pastor Jeffress commented that Halloween is merely "a Christian attempt to redeem a pagan holiday," and might not be the best day to attempt the evangelize someone, with the focus mostly being on fun for most people.
"I doubt there will be a lot of opportunity for [talking about God] on Halloween, but I think it can be a fun celebration for people," Jeffress explained. "There is nothing wrong with Christians having fun, but ultimately every parent has to make their own decision."
Cameron also shared what he believes are the origins of some of the Halloween traditions, such as dressing up in costumes.
"Early on, Christians would dress up in costumes as the devil, ghosts, goblins and witches precisely to make the point that those things were defeated and overthrown by the resurrected Jesus Christ," Cameron asserted.
He continued: "The costumes poke fun at the fact that the devil and other evils were publicly humiliated by Christ at His resurrection. That's what the Scriptures say, that He publicly humiliated the devil when He triumphed over power and principality and put them under his feet.
"Over time you get some pagans who want to go, 'this is our day, high holy day of satanic church, that this is all about death.' But Christians have always known since the first century that death was defeated, that the grave was overwhelmed, that ghosts, goblins, devils are foolish has-beens who used to be in power, but not anymore. That's the perspective Christians should have."
Jeffress did not address this part of Cameron's comment directly, but did attempt to give some history on the origins of the modern Halloween celebration.
"My best understanding is that the most recent incarnation of Halloween is that it was a Christian attempt to redeem a pagan holiday started by the Celtics, much like Christians redeem the pagan holidays at Easter and Christmas by turning them into Christian celebrations with Christian truths," Jeffress told CP.
Despite the similarities to other Christian holidays, there is a long-standing divide among Christians on the topic of Halloween since the Bible does not specifically reference it. Consequently, Jeffress suggests families decide how to celebrate for themselves.
"The bottom line is, in questionable areas like participating in Halloween, we need to follow the Apostle Paul's instruction in Romans 13-14, to quit judging one another in these matters," he told CP. "I believe that every Christian parent needs to come to his own conclusion about what's best for his children, but not to impose that conviction on other parents. Every person needs to come to their own conclusion."
Jeffress also offered a final word of advice for families who are weighing the decision to observe Halloween, citing his own experience as a Christian father.
"I have found as a parent myself, it's best to 'save my no's for the really big issues, and I don't think Halloween is one of those really big issues," he said. "When your children become teenagers, they will face much more important issues, and I think as Christian parents we don't say no to everything, but no to those things that really count."