Trick or Treat? The question of Halloween

Pumpkin Patch 2

 

I know this post is coming a bit late but with a cold/flu making the rounds in my home, yet again, I know you will forgive me!

How do you feel about Halloween?

I get asked this question a lot by friends and fellow parents and even by parents of the kids in our youth group. It’s a difficult question because of the polarized opinions. If people ask the question it usually means they feel strongly about it, for or against Christian family’s participation of anything Halloweenie.

Remember, I am not a scholar or a historian. Nor am I a noted theologian or pastor. I am a mom who lives life in ministry with my husband and we are doing our best to be Christ-like in our home and in ministry.

I grew up participating in Halloween. Cute costumes as a child, trick or treating and pumpkin carving. As I got older I went to high school events and the costumes were a little less cute and a little more flirtatious for the girls and a little more disgusting and gruesome for the boys. Then when costumes were deemed lame we just saw Halloween as a license to roam the streets while the boys did stupid things with eggs and firecrackers. We flirted, they ignored us. They flirted and we ignored them. Such is the life of the average 13-15 year old.

As my opposite in every way, my husband never dressed up and did not give out candy to cute kids dressed as pumpkins and princesses. He occasionally went to the church harvest party but doesn’t remember dressing up. But his parents never lectured about the occult or the dangers of a seemingly innocent pumpkin day.

Now as parents we are trying to define how we will handle such events in our life and for our kids. It’s a big decision that every family has to make for themselves and we do not condemn someone else who has prayerfully discerned a different path for their family.

I get the history of Halloween and its intrinsic roots in paganism and the occult. I don’t want to be a naïve parent and say that it’s just a cutesy hallmark-created occasion. I know that its roots are very dark and yet we choose participate in our own way.

I don’t ignore Halloween because of its history and original intention. If I did that, I wouldn’t celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25 (not the day of Christ’s birth rather the day of the pagan winter solstice) nor would we put up a Christmas tree (another pagan ritual). We use our discernment and best judgment and take what could be negative and use it for the glory of God.

We participate in our churches autumn event and hundreds of non-church families from our community come in costume, play and laugh together. My husband does a big event for his youth as well. We celebrate that our kids invited their non-churched friends to an event (a very big deal for a kid in grade 6 or 7) and this year we know of 24 kids that indicated their response to the gospel message for the first time.

My wee ones dress up in sweet costumes but they are both too young to trick or treat so we haven’t made a decision on future participation. I don’t like the blood, the demons and the grotesque and it will have no place in our home. Although I think that’s inappropriate for all ages, I am especially sensitive to exposing my very young children to that world. I wish stores would get the message on that one and make sure there displays are G rated. But that’s a blog for another day….

Please hear me clearly: If you feel convicted about participating in anything to do with Halloween, then by all means don’t participate. That’s between you and the Spirit of Truth and no one can judge that. But also be careful not to judge those who choose utilize opportunities within our culture to bring light into the darkness. Instead, pray that God would move in a mighty way and that many would come to know Christ this Halloween.

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