I wrote about this topic a few years ago, but I figured I would repost it with some changes.
It’s that time of year again and for that reason, we must talk about it.
Lets face it, evil is celebrated at Halloween. How do we know this for sure? Just walk into your local department store and stroll through the seasonal aisle.
Recently my son and daughter were traumatized by the decapitated hand springing from a witch’s cauldron at our local Wal-Mart. They also cowered in fear at the gigantic blow up evil cat and moving witch’s legs prominently placed on display at Home Depot. Last year our neighbor flung bloodied limbs all over his lawn. How welcoming.
Get as gruesome, creepy and foul in your decoration and you’ve won at Halloween.
Our culture is fascinated with this stuff. With death. Like a moth to a flame we gravitate to wicked things. Our sinful heart’s desire it. And once October rolls around our filthy and evil thoughts are allowed and encouraged to come out and play. It’s a celebration, no matter how you slice it.
As Christians it is important to thoughtfully think through this tradition. And even more so when we have kids who will probably participate in the festivities of Halloween in some way. There is much positive and negative history involved, so we have to dig and ask ourselves most importantly what does the Word say on these matters? What does our conscience say? And what does the culture say?
Both Chris and I participated in Halloween trick-or-treating growing up. My mom created one boundary for my sisters and I, which was we weren’t allowed to dress as anything evil. So, I was a hobo for a couple of years and then a cat for about 5 in a row.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ~ Romans 12:2
What does this mean for us on Halloween?
The easiest way to be conformed to the world is by letting everything it whispers wash over us without any thought or care. If we never think about the importance of having a biblical worldview, we will inevitably begin to reflect the world and culture around us. If we want to live unthoughtfully, we will live unbiblically.
Stop. Think. Look at it all objectively.
Many Christians get frustrated with this conversation in the name of evangelism. They say oh why are we making a big deal of it? We can meet and evangelise our neighbors. Stop worrying about it. Most of this thinking I agree with, until the part about evangelizing never actually happens. At the end of the day many of these people never have any intention of talking to their neighbors about Jesus.
And I’m not saying we all have to. Unless of course you say your going to.
But there is evangelism (sharing the good news about Christ’s death and resurrection) and there is simply engaging your neighbors lovingly in the hopes that conversation happens in due time. Both good things, but different things.
I agree that participating in Halloween is a fantastic way to engage neighbors. It is a great way to open your door to family after family after family and show them that you are a safe place. That your home will not give children nightmares. You can meet and chat and learn names and shake hands. It is always our hope to start conversations and bring peace with us as we do it.
My family will be participating in Halloween, without celebrating evil or ignoring that it exists. My kids will dress up (in non-evil costumes) and go door to door collecting free candy. We will also give out free candy to anyone who knocks. And we hope that there will be people met and relationships built.
And our desire is to try to redeem a broken culture. Which means we have to start thinking deeply about it and then respond intentionally.
However while Chris and I have thought through our decision to play a part in the Halloween tradition and have come to a specific conclusion on how to manage that. I do not want to minimize other Christians who may have decided they will not be part of it. Their concerns are legitimate. And if their conscience will not allow them to participate, I would never want to mock them, get frustrated or persuade them otherwise. Scripture is clear on this.
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. ~ Romans 14:13-14
In this way I want to be sensitive to my Christian brothers and sisters who in thinking over this issue have come up with a different understanding then us. And they are perfectly entitled to do what they feel is right.
So…don’t have an opinion about Halloween? Learn and think about it. And then get one. It does matter. And regardless of your opinions, it certainly is a hefty reminder for all of us to pray for our neighborhoods.
God, make your glory be known this Halloween!