Friday, October 10, 2008

What to do about Halloween?

I recently read a friend's blog in which she discuss why she believes Christians should not participate in Halloween festivities in any form or fashion. Her blog got me to thinking about this issue. Personally, I have never gone overboard for Halloween, but we have handed out candy and helped out at events at our church. If we had children, I would probably allow them to dress up in costume and do a little trick or treating.

All this being said, what should a Christian do about Halloween? Are we worshiping Satan if we pass out candy or dress up in a costume? My opinion is that we are not. As I was growing up, it never crossed my mind that it was a Satanic holiday. For me, it was a day to play dress-up and get candy. When I think about this issue, I am reminded that at Christmas plenty of people participate in the holiday who do not worship God as part of the day. The same is true for Easter. Halloween, for most people, is just an activity, like Christmas and Easter.

Ironically, Halloween has its origin as a time of thanksgiving for the fall harvest. Out of fear and misunderstanding, the people dressed up and carved jack-o-lanterns to protect themselves from evil spirits. Their purpose was not to celebrate death, but rather to protect themselves because they did not know God.

I do agree with my friend that the stores are filled with too many items for Halloween. The money that people can spend decorating their homes for Halloween is obscene. Commercialism knows no bounds. Give the retailers a holiday, and they will come up with a way to make people spend money on it.

This Halloween we are going to work at a Trunk or Treat event with our church. This event is designed to reach out to non-Christians and show them that we are approachable. We want to create a fun environment where we can meet non-Christians and perhaps have them feel comfortable enough to come and check out our church where they will hear the word of God. I don't feel we are compromising our faith by participating in this event.


lovemylife said...

I would agree with you. Doesn't this fall under the category of taking every thought captive for the Lord? Like in sports: they can easily be taken the wrong direction - to build up prideful self, for material gain, etc. - but they can also be done for the glory of the Lord. It's the condition of a person's heart that determines what glorifies the Lord, I think.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

jen_lancaster said...

I agree with you. If my kids are Snow White and a Power Ranger and go around the neighborhood to get candy, that isn't worshiping Satan. I avoid the really ghoulish and deathly images. How much of our "Christian" traditions (Christmas tree, Easter eggs) have pagan origins? Probably a lot more than we'd care to realize. Even the date for Christmas - I can't verify this, but I've always been told that it probably wasn't midwinter, but more like March. I figure it's what you make of it, and part of the magic of childhood, but I understand that some people are convicted by it and that's ok for them. I think we need to be ok with the convictions of others. Paul said we should each be convinced in our own minds (Romans 14:5), and I think that of the things that aren't specifically spelled out in Scripture, we can all have differing convictions. I think God convicts us differently based on our weaknesses. For example, it might be ok for one Christian to have a glass of wine with dinner, and it might be wrong for another. Someone who has struggled with abusing alcohol in the past might be convicted to not drink now because they would be tempted to abuse it and sin. The challenge is to realize that what might be God's will for one of us might not be His will for another, and to not judge based on these convictions. Just my humble (and wordy) opinion!

Anonymous said...

Hey Trish, I wish you would have replied to the blog, this is the type of discussion I would like to hear - from fellow believers. My whole fear is your comment exaclty "it never even occured to me growing up that this was a satanic holiday" (I am remembering, so I am sure it isn't exacly what you typed). That is the sum of the trouble.

K.S. mentioned the outreach aspect, and I am 100% on board with that, and I tend to overlook it. Although I mentioned passing out tracts.

Obviously there is a lot of disagreement about this topic, which is why it makes a good post. There is a rebuttle to every view. I hope all Christians will approach God with an open heart and ask for guidance, and take the time to research this day...both the history of it, and what is still happening today. And then, use the 31st to pray, and outreach to others.

love to all. We will be praying for your trunk or treat.