Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Some Thoughts on Halloween

This post has been brewing for a couple of years now.  I guess I’m finally brave enough to voice my thoughts.  But I have been censored and edited by my husband, who is much gentler and more forgiving than I. Smile

Through many of the recent posts floating around Facebook and Instagram (my favorite social network these days), it has become apparent to me that the celebration of Halloween is no longer taboo for many of my Bible believing friends.  I am personally very disturbed by this.

Why is it that a holiday which is so evidently associated with evil has become something which Christians feel they can or have to participate in?  Why should we even celebrate it in an alternative manner?

These verses are continually coming to mind:

Ephesians 5:11 – “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

2 Corinthians 6:14b-15 “…for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?  and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial?  or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”

1 Thessalonians 5:22 “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

Whereas I understand that there is nothing wrong with dressing up as a princess or a pumpkin, I don’t understand why we would choose to partake in a day which has always been everything opposite of our holy God.  Can’t we dress up any time?  My kids love to play dress-up and role play nearly daily. 

Should we not take this opportunity to stand in stark contrast to the culture around us?  What a golden opportunity to show the difference between believers who have had their lives and purposes and even celebrations changed by Christ, and those who are still in bondage to darkness.  Instead we are blurring the lines between the holy and the profane.  This is a new trend.  Didn’t our parents and grandparents have a good reason for teaching us not to participate in this day?

Many try to seize upon this day as an opportunity for evangelism.  I appreciate their desire to reach souls for Christ, but I feel as though the ends do not justify the means in this situation.  Are we as zealous to use other opportunities to hand out tracts and share Christ throughout the year?  Or do we use this as an excuse to participate in Halloween?  Many “churches” would claim that a certain kind of music provides an opportunity for evangelism, and yet we would say that this music does not mix with the message of the Gospel.  Is not Halloween the same?

I have not said anything the last few years, though I always am vexed when I scroll through my newsfeed at this time of year.  Each year it seems to be getting worse, as more and more of my friends get involved.  I did not feel I could remain silent any longer.

Feel free to share comments and thoughts, but please keep it civil.  I also feel very alone in my position, so I would really like to know if there are some of you that stand with me.

12 comments:

  1. A missionary friend of mine used this opportunity to do just the opposite: have a LIGHT night--with all the emphasis on God and light instead of darkness. She invited kids from her neighborhood. I thought it was a great way to use the opportunity without partaking in it.

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    1. That's a good idea...but I really don't even like "alternatives" on the same date. Seems like we are still trying to improve a holiday/celebration which is associated with and has its roots in darkness.

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  2. We didn't grow up celebrating it, and we don't celebrate it with our kids. I can't get past the overwhelming glorification of death and evil... it grieves me.

    1 Thess. 5:22 is our family memory verse this week. We too play dress up all year, and candy is available anytime. I can't participate- not even in a "trunk or treat" church event.

    -Amanda and Russell Jones

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    1. Thanks for your comment! We don't care for "trunk or treat" either, which we have run into in MANY churches recently on deputation!

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  3. I appreciate your perspective a great deal, Andrea. Your statements are thought-provoking and timely. I would just ask that you not judge while scrolling through your Facebook feed by assuming that everyone with dressed up kids participates in trick or treating Halloween.
    Our Pastor's birthday falls on Halloween, and he celebrates his birthday by asking all the church kids to come to his house for a dress up party. We don't "dress up for Halloween" or trick or treat, just put the kids in animal costumes for our Pastor's birthday party. It does coincide with the holiday so I can see how it could be easily misread.
    I believe your perspective is wise, and appreciate your article! I respectfully suggest that you may not need to be concerned about the morals of everyone in your Facebook feed with dressed up kids as the exact circumstances may not be readily apparent in every case. :-)
    Thanks,
    TT

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    1. Thanks Tricia. I understand the "exception" but really most people that are posting costume pictures on the weekend of and day of Halloween are participating in the holiday. Very few people would have the situation you described, and if they did they would probably say where they are going. The posts I am seeing and disturbed by are the ones out trick-or-treating, or at neighborhood/school events which are obviously Halloween celebrations. Thanks for posting! I try not to judge people, which is why I haven't said anything for several years. As we travel in deputation we can see this becoming a trend in churches and among friends, and I felt I could be silent no longer.

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  4. I have also noticed and been dismayed by the increase of Christians dressing up for Halloween this year :( Church "trunk-or-treats" and dress-up "harvest parties" are simply "glorified" extensions of Halloween in my mind. I have wondered if we should even pass out candy to those who come to our door. Is that "participating?" But we do take the opportunity to include tracts with the candy, and not just on Halloween night, but we try to give tracts to everyone who knocks at our door throughout the whole year. And I don't believe children or their parents would think much on a tract that was given without candy on Halloween. We do not imitate the trick-or-treaters, but neither do we shun them.

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    1. I know many people who hand out candy with tracts. I suppose that is as close as you can get to "redeeming" this holiday. For my family, we have chosen not even to do that so as to avoid any association with the holiday itself. Even last night when the doorbell would ring or the crowds could be heard on the sidewalk, my kids would say "I wonder what their costumes look like?" I don't want them to wonder or to question why we can't do that too. I want to remain separated from Halloween so they know we don't participate at all, and then we can teach them why.

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  5. I do stand with you, Andrea! I was also sadden by many Christian friends allowing their kids to partake the "fun." Years ago, I battled within myself and later with my kids when they were younger on how not to participate in this darkness celebration, while the world is portraiting it is just for "fun." At work, I struggled how not to participate and later decided to even take off if I was forced to dress up. Now with school, I offered to stay home if school were having party. Thank God that school have change to celebrate fall walk to show appreciation of the nature and had it on other than the day. I have to be alert and be careful how and what I said to kids so that they learn to decern, even with little things, they all have its value. It is not easy for them also since majority of their friends also participate, including some being believers. As a parent, we need to be so clear and help them see through our eyes and encourage them to be the light and salt, and accept to be different for Christ sake. May we continue to stand firm and live out the light.

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    1. Thanks for posting Chun! I appreciate the stand you have taken to remain separate from Halloween, and it encourages me to know that I am not alone. It is a hard thing to teach our kids, but I think we can do it best by making the line of separation between good and evil clear, instead of blurring it by "sort of" participating. We miss you guys and Brooklyn! Say hi to Larry & Rebecca for us!

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  6. I completely agree with you & assure you that you're not alone! It's just another way in which acceptance of the world's ways are creeping into the lives of Christians. I appreciate your post!

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