Tonight, a whole lot of young kids will dress up and go around town knocking on doors and begging for candy, ready to get spooked or surprised by scary decorations or costumed adults. Adults will dress up and go to bars to drink and have a good time with other vampires and princesses, all in the name of Halloween, a night of fun and good old fashioned scares…right?
I’ve been thinking about Halloween recently, and struggling with what I believe about it. I never really celebrated it, save for a few times I dressed up for work on Halloween or for a Halloween party at a friend’s house. I never really considered it being evil or unChristian in nature, because I figured my compromise of not dressing up as a witch or a vampire or something evil was enough to make God giggle at my flirtatious dance with the world. I was a frog, a bear, a ladybug. Nothing evil. I wasn’t celebrating Halloween, I was celebrating dressing up, right?
Not exactly. I was still celebrating Halloween, even though I thought I was defying the part of it I wasn’t comfortable with. It’s like if I said I don’t like to give presents out at Christmas, but still decorated my house around Christmastime and got together with family and ate a big meal on Christmas Day. Am I celebrating Christmas or not?
Of course I am. Just because I’m not doing one part of it doesn’t negate the entire celebration. The same goes with Halloween. I either take it or leave it. I can’t take some parts of it I’m comfortable with like candy and costumes, and leave out the uncomfortable parts, like ghosts and ghouls. That’s called compromise and Christ never called me to a life of compromise.
Please don’t feel like I’m attacking anyone. We all have different convictions and I’m merely sharing my recent convictions and thoughts on this holiday; I’m not trying to persuade everyone to think the same way, but to exercise caution.
Now if you look at the history of Halloween you won’t find too much weird demonic stuff like certain people would like you to believe. There is a lot about ghosts and scaring away spirits but not too much about celebrating death and demons; in fact most of it was started in opposing such things. But just like language, holidays and cultures evolve. So did Halloween. I don’t have the time or the perseverance to tell you about the entire history and evolution of Halloween, but rest in this fact: it has become less and less of a day to oppose spirits and darkness, and more and more of a day that welcomes them, trivializes them, and to trivialize something powerful is to open your door to an unsuspected guest. That guest is fear.
Everything about Halloween is saturated with it. Ghosts, demons, dark hallways, scary movies, cobwebs, spiders, vampires, and booming voices in the dark. If for no other reason, this alone would be enough to make me oppose Halloween. Fear has completely ruined lives,and has paralyzed generations of people from taking their lives by the horns and living how they were meant to live. I’ve struggled with fear in my past and it still haunts me today. I never watch horror movies or anything even close, simply because I can’t, and it makes me all sick inside.
God is not a god of fear. He is a god of love, and perfect love casts out fear.
Let’s compare Halloween and God and see if they seem compatible.
God is light, Halloween is darkness.
God is love, Halloween is fear.
God is life, Halloween is death.
God is joy, Halloween is dismal.
God is peace, Halloween is horror.
God is full of laughter, Halloween is full of screams.
We are called to be Children of the Light. Let us walk in light, and not darkness. I had the chance to go to a party last night. I considered it, but ended up not going because I knew to do so would be participation, and participation is the friend of acceptance, and acceptance is the friend of compromise.
I know we all have different ways we were brought up, and ideas and convictions on things like Halloween. I’m not trying to change anyone, I’m just sharing my thoughts. If you can celebrate Halloween and feel at peace about it, then ignore my words. If you can celebrate Halloween and do it unto the Lord, then ignore my words. I’m not saying this to be harsh, because it definitely convicts me of many things in my life as well. I’m just saying at the end of the day, if you ask the Sunday school question of What Would Jesus Do, and you can picture Jesus celebrating Halloween, you have a bigger imagination than I do.
Whatever you decide, make sure it is out of a personal conviction or conversation with the Lord and go in peace.
“You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”