The Halloween Debate
OK, so you have strong convictions about not celebrating Halloween with your children, i.e. not being absorbed into the culture of witchcraft and the occultic overtones of the holiday. But sadly Christians are often known more for what they are against rather than what they are for. Our neighbors think we are weird for going against the flow on all types of subjects, and we’ve gotten used to that. But is the message we want our families to be known for? Instead of focusing on the negatives of this season, and hiding down in the basement with the lights off so you don’t have to deal with Trick or Treaters (that really sends a great message to our kids!) what can you do to redeem the day and make it Christ honoring? Some Christians feel so strongly about not celebrating it, they just pretend it doesn’t exist. I’ve been there myself. Is that the answer we’re looking for? Others will join a “harvest festival” at church celebrating with friends–the sanitized, homogenized version of Halloween, just with a different mask on.
Advice from Mother Theresa
Yup! I definitely have strong feelings about Halloween, specifically the witchcraft and the occult, but aren’t we as Christians supposed to “light a candle instead of curse the darkness?” OK, that was a quote from Mother Theresa and not the Bible, but I believe it reflects biblical principles.–the concept of taking what the devil meant for evil, and turning it into good (Genesis 50:20).
Instead of being “against” something this October 31, what are you going to be “for”? Will you fix your kids their favorite meal, or go a step further and order one big pizza as a treat? Will you use the night for an extra special family night and play parlor games together, maybe even inviting unsaved neighbors or a family with a single parent over to join in?
Make it a Family Ministry Event
Or how about having your kids make a stack of colorful greeting cards with encouraging words and scriptures in them, and visit your local nursing home spreading cheer to the lonely? You might even get permission to take your puppy dog along. The elderly love animals!
Maybe do something similar and make pumpkin cupcakes with scriptures about God’s safety and protection and treat your local firemen or police officers, adding a little brightness to the night that may otherwise for them be full of extra tragedies while on duty. Maybe take your whole family to help in the local soup kitchen on that day. They might be short of help because of people having other plans due to the holiday.
One of the key ingredients to revolutionary parents who successfully raise spiritual champions is that they regularly found ways to serve and minister to others on a regular basis. What will you be “for” this Halloween instead of being “against”?
Here are some of the responses we received on Facebook with this post:
Ken M. I think that most Christians simply don’t know how to present their viewpoint in a way that doesn’t appear condemning. I would simply say that I don’t understand the appeal of celebrating death and morbidity.
Tiffany H. At times, the other children’s ministry teachers and I have discussed having a ‘Light’ party. With games, lots of lights, music lots of candy and prizes, because after all, it is a day created by the Lord and turned nasty by man.
Clifton L. Last year we sat outside and handed out life savers with tracts attached. We got to witness to a few older kids and to see the conviction on the Christians faces that came by with their little ones all dressed up in cute outfits saying wow we never thought about that?!?
Tiffany H. We have driven around our very small town and given out bags of candy with tracks. I was absolutely appalled at how many children, walking alone, will walk up to a car, in the dark, for a bag of candy.
Linsette H. Yes! Thank You Becky for standing up and speaking out, you are so right on! I was raise in church, and was in church several times a week. No one spoke against Halloween. But as I became an adult and began asking questions why are we as Christian following this practice, I was label ‘holier than thou’. We are children of the light, not of the darkness! So I think your ideas are some of the best ways we can let the light of the Lord shine through, on that night, and be the salt of the earth! I really like your idea of making cupcakes and greeting cards with scriptures about God’s love, safety and protection. Yes bring light to the darkness!!!!!!
Gina R. Being we were once full-blown deco, party, costumes, etc. then changed our views, we have done different things throughout the years. Gone to church celebrations, always did however, take them out of school on that day and we would go and buy a big bag of candy or go bowling or something fun. We have had a dress-up, pizza party with a few friends on a different day. But I have always encouraged others that still celebrate to “Google” what the meanings of the traditions are, such as “trick or treat”, etc. Also, just as with Christmas-WHY do we celebrate it as a pagan custom or as a day to give honor to the birth of Christ? But always be a light of love in all we do. Another thought, whenever you pass out treats, make sure you have the best ones on the block so they want to come to your place, the biggest candy bars, whatever, bless them with the best along with that tract!
Ruby D Yes it’s not necessary to keep doing what has just passed on from generations when the modern society accepts changes in various areas of living then why not accept JESUS CHRIST the light of the world to be on in your life and spread the light around to brighten up some one dark dull life instead of lighting up those hideous eerie looking.
Eric B. I think (as written in Romans 14) it important to do everything as unto The Lord. Do things that bring God honor, show His integrity, and a life balanced in the Word. I don’t mind if my children dress up as long as we are in those guidelines. They dress up all the time anyways and I don’t think that it is all of a sudden “evil” to do so unless we get into ungodly costumes and attitudes. We usually just go with the flow of whatever our church is doing and try to live in the world and not be polluted by the world. My point is that you can have fun and be godly. Don’t get so uptight that you are just living in a religious bubble. Jesus was frequently going where sinners were and bringing light and healing to them.
Scott K. I think, and this is just my wife thinking B.T.W. LOL! We should have a fun dress up day for the kids on another day. No ghouls, goblins, and so on. I loved getting candy when I was a kid, but always felt weird about dressing like a monster deep down. I loved Jesus pretty much since I can remember and The Holy Spirit has looked out for me BIG TIME!!! I like my wife’s idea about doing something fun for them without partnering with that day. Being Scottish I know something of its roots and being a history buff as well. Blessings Becky from Seward Alaska! You guys ROCK!
Bernice W. Halloween has proven to be the best time for evangelism with children and young people. Use Halloween to reach out to children and young people with Chick tracts or other colorful evangelistic tracts. Give them out along with candy to trick or treaters that come to your door. If you go out with your children you can hand them out to children that you pass as you walk from house to house. Use this opportunity to give tracts to the people in the houses that you visit. Children are out and about and open to accept tracts that they will take home, read and share with their family members. What an opportunity! What the devil has meant for evil can turn into little ones and their parents seeing Jesus standing there beside them and loving them!
Alva S. I’ve always thought we should take back the night. Jesus has already won. So why not celebrate now? I’m going to try to have most clear lights in town on our deck. Maybe. If I can find them…
Anja M. A woman in our community has a big street party with free rides, food etc. supported by money from council…has money vouchers and generous prizes for the lightest, brightest costumes… keeps the kids off the streets and brings the message and the light of Jesus.. 3rd year running now and very successful.
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