Halloween happens in October. It is a lot of fun. I love dressing up and pretending to be something. My mom used to make costumes for my brother and I. Some were cool (Batman and Robin). Some were not (Butterfly and Octopus...c'mon mom). I love getting free candy...bobbing for apples...and laughing with friends.
I've been really wrestling with Halloween for a good number of years now. I grew up having a blast doing it, and I'm not blaming for parents for secretly instilling evil into my little finite mind. I think we went about it innocently and had a great time.
Here's where I struggle...I can't get past this question: "What about Halloween brings honor and glory to God?" I've really thought through, researched, paid careful attention, asked that same question to several people over the past few years, and here's what I've come up with: Nothing. I haven't found anything about how Halloween is celebrated that honors Christ and I've looked/searched pretty hard.
Here's what I have found relating to Halloween without much effort:
- Ads for scary movies shown all throughout the day during "family friendly programming" that make my kids not be able to go to sleep, have terrible nightmares, and come crying and terrified to my wife and I...and this is with them purposefully turning the channel and/or turning away almost immediately so they don't have to watch
- An excuse to get drunk
- A multi-week celebration at Universal Studios where devout Christ followers go and purposefully spend their money to support an organization that pushes the two above mentioned things. The only defense I've heard when I've asked Christians about why they go to something so gorey and alcohol-filled is "to have a good time."
- An excuse to represent sexual immorality with inappropriate costumes and often partake in sexual immorality
- Celebration of death, killing, fear, hell, demons, etc.
- Razor blades hidden in chocolate candy...okay, this is a little extreme and extremely dated... back to the 80s I think...however it did happen. What was up with those few losers anyway?
I'm not trying to be a killjoy. If you know me you know laughing and fun are some of the things I treasure most. However, more important than those things in my life is reflecting the attitude of Christ.
Christ came to bring life. He conquered Satan and death. He is light...not darkness. Philippians 4:8 tells us to focus on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. In the middle of challenging us to live as children of light, Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:27 not to give the devil a foothold...zero space...no focus or acknowledgement.
It just seems pretty obvious what Halloween stands for today, and what Christ stands for always. The two don't seem to mix at all.
Consider Paul's challenge to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12, "...set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." and then again in 2Timothy 2:22, "Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."
I understand if you disagree with me and want to go to bat in defense of Halloween. A part of me is saddened as I think back about wearing my cool robot costume and getting free candy. It's hard to avoid Halloween...it surrounds us and can still be a lot of fun. I'm just asking you to consider the question I can't get past, ""What about Halloween brings honor and glory to God?" If you can find something please let me know. As you seek to answer that question, pursue Christ in all you do. Don't stop letting His light shine just to have a little fun.
I still love October :) Stay strong!