Halloween – it’s the latest hot-topic tearing up the blogosphere.
In the past couple of days, I have read the following three posts:
- What About Halloween? (Living in the Reign by Mac Dumcum)
- Trying to Understand the Undead (The Recovering Legalist by Anthony Baker)
- 10 Reasons I Kissed Halloween Goodbye (Prophezine* by Michele Blake)
Before I share my personal thoughts with you, here are some of their comments on this ‘unholy day’:
Mac Dumcum is a fellow pastor from Manitoba, Canada, and in his post, he writes: “This post is designed to help you come to an understanding of Halloween in the light of historical and Biblical truth.” It’s an excellent post to read if you want to be informed about the origins of Halloween.
I like his comment: “Unfortunately, Halloween is not going to simply go away because we no longer participate. Therefore, we have a responsibility as parents to provide good, wholesome alternatives for our kids. Some families go to a hotel with a swimming pool for the evening. Others get several families together for an evening of fun and games which are unrelated to Halloween. Sometimes Churches will provide an alternative evening through their Sunday School program.”
I like that response, and incidentally, our church happens to host an alternative to Halloween every year – a family fun fest with games for kids that include bowling, mini-golf, balloon darts and more. Read his post!
Anthony Baker is a fellow blogger and pastor. He and I both write for a blog called Proverbial Thought. He writes: “I hate Halloween. But if you are a big fan, one who looks forward to the glorification of death, evil, and the grotesque, then ghoul for you. My minimal desire for bags of candy and apples bobbed for in spit-filled water is not enough to make me dress up like a satanic mass murderer, which is what most costumes seem to portray.” Like Pastor Anthony, I also hate Halloween and everything it represents – a celebration of evil. His post is quite witty and entertaining – check it out!
Michele Blake is the only one I was unfamiliar with before I read her post – a friend of mine posted a link to her blog on their Facebook page. Although she makes a couple of good points (Halloween does glorify evil, not God), for the most part,
I thought she took a very harsh, extreme and legalistic response in how to deal with Halloween. She basically says that Christians who participate in any way in this holiday are as bad as Achan, a man in the Bible who experienced God’s wrath and judgement and was stoned to death for his sin. Be careful, little Christians – if you put a Jack-o-Lantern in your window or take your kids trick-or-treating, God will kill you! That doesn’t sound like the gracious, loving and forgiving God of the Bible.
Having briefly looked at these three different perspectives, how then should we as Christians respond to this particular day of the year? Before I share my personal thoughts on that, I think it would be good to review Romans 14:
“Accept Christians who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it is all right to eat anything. But another believer who has a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who think it is all right to eat anything must not look down on those who won’t. And those who won’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.
Who are you to condemn God’s servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. The Lord’s power will help them do as they should. In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. Each person should have a personal conviction about this matter…So why do you condemn another Christian? Why do you look down on another Christian? Remember, each of us will stand personally before the judgment seat of God.“ (Romans 14:1-5,10, NLT).
What a great Scripture to remember! If you choose to refrain from celebrating Halloween in anyway, then God bless you in that! There’s nothing wrong with an individual choosing to boycott Halloween. But God’s Word warns us to look down on others who may not have those same convictions as you do. Remember what Jesus said: Don’t judge others, or you will be judged!
Just because I hate Halloween doesn’t mean I have a right to judge you because you might put up a giant blow-up pumpkin in your yard. (I may think it’s totally tacky and ugly to look at, but I don’t have the right to tell you you’re going to hell because of it!).
Personally speaking, our family doesn’t celebrate Halloween. We don’t decorate our house with Jack-o-Lanterns, witches, ghosts, spider webs, devils or tombstones. Usually, the TV is off in our home during the weeks leading up to Halloween because most of the shows have some sort of Halloween theme – death, darkness, devils, etc – and we don’t want our kids watching that.
On Halloween night, we have a fun night for kids and their families that we host at our church. Every year, we have a theme, and we encourage our kids to have fun and dress up, come and play games, and get a bag of candy at the end of the night. We also see it as a great community outreach, and always see dozens of children and their families come through our church during this event. This year’s theme is Disney, and we encourage the kids to dress up as princesses or pirates, Mickey Mouse or Little Mermaids. No witches, demons or ghosts!
Is there anything wrong with kids playing dress-up? I don’t think so. As long as kids are secure in who they are as individuals, special children, loved by God, there’s nothing wrong dressing up in a costume. (Incidentally, this post is being written by a pastor who loves to wear superhero shirts – with Superman, Green Lantern, or Flash logos on them!).
A final thought to the legalistic Christians who would condemn those who choose to participate in a Halloween alternative: If you say you won’t celebrate Halloween in any way because of its pagan origins, then – if you want to be consistent, you must boycott Christmas on the same grounds, because this holiday also has pagan origins, just like Halloween. However, if we can redeem the Winter Solstice and choose that time of the year to celebrate the birth of Jesus, then why can’t we also take one night to allow our children to dress up, have fun, play games, and eat candy? Think about it…
What are your thoughts about Halloween? Do you participate in it, boycott it, hide in your basement with the lights off, or get involved in some sort of alternative event?
*Disclaimer: Upon further review of the Prophezine website, I would strongly discourage my readers from viewing anything on their site. They promote the teachings of several false prophets, and upon even a very quick and casual reading, I found there was much error on this website! So reader be warned!