Both my husband and I were raised not going trick-or-treating. Neither of our parents were supportive of that aspect of Halloween. My family did make pop-corn balls, candied apples, light Jack-O Lanterns and warmly greet our neighbors who were trick-or-treating. Jim’s family probably did less than that.
My husband and I have pondered how our family should engage in Halloween since our first child was born. We have friends and family that take various positions on the issue. Some so completely avoid Halloween they will not even attempt to engage in conversations about it. Others of our acquaintance, complete embrace the day with all its festivities. Most of our friends and family take a more middle ground in the festivities of Halloween and pick and choose various methods of what makes them comfortable interacting with the holiday. I do not debate the subject, because I do see a variety of perspectives. Those who believe it is harmless to dress up and knock on the neighbor’s door for some candy, to those who will have nothing to do with the day and avoid it in every respect. All have valid reasons and I can respect that. But what is right for us? I am not accountable before God for how my friends and family chose to celebrate or not celebrate Halloween, but I believe it is important for our family to have solid reasons for what we choose to do or not partake of the holiday or any holiday for that matter.
My conclusions concerning Halloween are completely based on the Gospel.
For a Christian, Halloween is indeed a harmless day. We are told that Christ has conquered sin and its punishment, death. “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,” Colossians 1:13. “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:54-57. We are no longer a part of this world, we have become supernatural, eternal beings who are not dictated by the evil powers of earth. Because of Christ we are a new creature. Evil things have no power over us. Romans 8: 35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Superstition and fear of evil and death are no reason for us to not celebrate Halloween. Christ has given us eternal life and victory.
It is because Christ has conquered sin, death, and hell, and made evil powerless, that our family chooses NOT to celebrate the holiday. Halloween is a pagan holiday. It celebrates evil things like sorcery, witches, death, and demonic powers. It is a day that is historically and currently known to edify what is morbid. From the skeletons dangling from shop windows to the blow-up witches hanging from the grocery store ceiling, it is very clear that Halloween is a Holiday that celebrates evil and death. There is no power of those things over us Redeemed, but evil still holds on to those who have not been redeemed by Christ’s blood. And for the sake of the gospel, I cannot endorse the Halloween festivities. Out of compassion for the lost souls, I have no right enjoying a holiday that celebrates the horror lost souls face. And celebrating a day that glorifies evil and death is a contradiction of my faith. Yes, Christ has died and conquered any power of such evil. Yet, It is because Christ died to set me free from darkness, that I cannot justify embracing a day that celebrates the darkness from which Christ died to set me free.
Yet, despite the fact my family does not promote or take part of the fun and enjoyable aspects of Halloween, I have no problem using Halloween as a tool against sin, death, and evil. In fact, I have recently concluded that I am very grateful there is a Halloween. When else do the neighborhood children come knocking on my door in mass numbers? What a privilege it is to open it and share the kindness of Christ with them. I admire churches that take a pro-active approach and reach out to the neighborhood with trunk-or-treat and fall parties. Halloween is an amazing tool that we Christian’s can use to the advantage of the gospel, and I am not about to waste that opportunity. So, I am not against methods that wield Halloween to reach lost souls with the truth. After all, what a great time to see someone turn from the darkness of sin and death to celebrating the death of sin!
There is an older lady, who is a dear friend of mine. Her compassion for her neighborhood is an inspiration to me. On Halloween she gives out gospel tracts and shares the gospel message with everyone who knocks on her door. Her desire to reach her community with the gospel is incredible. Halloween is not the only pagan holiday tradition of which she takes advantage. She organizes a community Easter Egg hunt in her backyard every year. She has had dozens of neighborhood children scrambling in her yard to find Easter Eggs, while she uses the eggs and her conversation to share the gospel with them and their parents. She also organizes neighborhood baby and wedding showers for those in her neighbors who are expecting or getting married. Sometimes, she has just opened up her doors a certain time every week for any neighbor lady who wanted to join her for tea and cookies. Her perspective is so mission minded, that the battle of what to do about Halloween is irrelevant. She simply sees the precious children, in need of a Savior, who come knocking at her door one evening out of the year.
That is who I would like to be. And though our children are young, I want my children to also see the souls of others as more important than a holiday they choose to celebrate or not celebrate themselves. I want trick-or treaters to knock on our door. I want to give out treats, so that our house will be the best stop for trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood. I want to draw the lost to my door, so that I can build a report and share the gospel with my neighbors.
Halloween is not a creepy holiday I wish would pass without notice. But it also isn’t a holiday that allows me the opportunity to allow my children to indulge themselves in costumes and candy. Halloween is a gospel sharing tool that comes once a year, knocking at my door.