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The holidays are right upon us; right in plain sight. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t done much preparing. With the exception of one lone pumpkin, I haven’t bought a single decoration, nailed down any Thanksgiving plans, and don’t even get me started on Christmas! I simply love the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays; they take me home, if you know what I mean.
But what about Halloween?
If I’m honest, Halloween brings with it a sort of dread for me. I’m all too ready for it to come and go, but mostly just go. For years, we have avoided Wal-mart like the plague during the latter part of October because my oldest, like me, had a strong dislike for the scary part of Halloween.
We live in a culture that embraces Halloween and looks forward to it with excitement every year. Kids and adults alike look forward to dressing up and raking in free candy. People spend hundreds of dollars on decorations, costumes, and candy without batting an eye.
In a secular culture, what should Christians do with Halloween? Do we set ourselves completely apart, turning off the lights and hiding in our own homes waiting for the evening to pass uneventfully, or do we get out there and engage our culture?
Should Christians Be Leary of Halloween?
Should we, as Christians, allow ourselves to take part in a holiday that was rooted in the celebration of otherworldly spirits roaming the earth causing trouble and damage?
And what does “taking part” even mean? Am I taking part if I open my door to children wanting a treat? Does taking part mean I agree with what Halloween stands for? Am I taking part if I let my kids dress up and go to the trunk or treat or the festival down town?
In some circles, if a Christian participates in Halloween activities at all, she is flirting with the devil. However, some circles have total freedom to enjoy the dressing up, candy, and fun.
Where do I stand?
To me, it’s unclear. Honestly, I struggle with knowing what to do. Should we ban anything associated with Halloween, including pumpkins and carving them? Or should we join the celebration by adding to it our remembrance of Reformation Day? Should we take advantage of the fact that hundreds of people will pass through our little town on Tuesday night, and shine our light in a dark world?
My tendency is to hide away until it’s gone because I do not have fond childhood memories of Halloween. Truthfully, I was afraid and disturbed by the ugliness of some costumes and deeply bothered by the mischief that reportedly went on Halloween night. It is because of my experiences as a child that we have never celebrated Halloween in our family. As a mom, I never wanted my kids to experience the fear I did, nor did I want them to feel like they had to participate. I felt like to participate (even a little bit) said that I was okay with the foolishness that does go on on Halloween, to give it my stamp of approval. And I didn’t approve.
What I am beginning to understand is that hiding away isn’t doing anything for us, making us more afraid maybe. Instead, we have an obligation, as Christians, to shine our light in a dark world on a very dark night. I love what the Barefoot Warrior shares about light penetrating the darkness and not the other way around!
Christian Views of Halloween
Check out these other posts on Halloween with differing opinions. Remember, we won’t all agree, but these articles offer some really good food for thought.
The truth is that we do the best we can with the information we have, and we continue to seek answers. Can I encourage you? If you are worried about what to do or struggling with past decisions, let God lead you. Seek answers through prayer and Scripture.