A point of much debate among churches and a controversial holiday for most protestant families – Halloween has been around for centuries and it isn’t going away anytime soon. As a Christian mom of three little boys, I find myself torn. Do I let them participate in all the fun festivities of the day or do I cling closely to a hands-off approach to all things Godless?
Most families fit into one of a few categories when it comes to All Hallows Eve:
- Dive in with the latest costumes and enjoy the fun of a silly, and harmless holiday
- Attempt to turn the “evil” night into a “fall festival” where all the fun happens without the spooky, death part
- Scare the “do-do” out of people with “hell houses” forcing them into a desperate decision (just my opinion, but while these things may be effective for numbers, we must consider if we are really acting in love – did Jesus share the gospel this way?)
- Bar the doors, hunker down with the lights out and talk about how satanic this day is
Do you fall into one of those categories? Honestly, at different points in my life I have been in all of them. As our boys are getting old enough to be aware of the holidays and how those around us are celebrating, I have started to ask myself – can God be a part of Halloween?
I surveyed a small group of people online who claim to be Christians and asked them the above question. They all answered with an affirmative “No”. This response bothered me, it just didn’t sit right. I began praying and asking God the same question. Can You be a part of a holiday that celebrates Your enemy?
I want to challenge your thinking a little today, because I believe the answer to this question is not only a “Yes, it’s possible”, but this answer has shifted my entire way of viewing Halloween.
If you aren’t familiar with the origins of Halloween, you can read more about it here.
Our role as Christians living in today’s world is not to be a judger of unbelieving people around us, but rather to love them just as Christ did when He walked this earth (Mark 12:30-31) Because of this sole commandment to love those around us, I believe that Christians could, and perhaps even should, use Halloween and all the scary, superstitious, and evil expressions of debauched revelry as an open opportunity to engage an unbelieving society with the love and gospel of Jesus. Please don’t misunderstand me – I am not suggesting we just jump in a do things as the world does them. I am suggesting we meet our world where they are. Not becoming like them, but loving them despite their mess. Will this be difficult at times? Sure. Are their risks involved? Yep. Did any of those things stop Jesus from sitting down at the table next to the “sinner”? Not for a minute!
As a mom, I have spent too much time worrying if I should allow my children to participate in Halloween festivities in school and community settings. The truth is, there simply isn’t a need to be paranoid about this. Evil forces exist every day and are all around us trying to pull us away from our relationship with God (1 Peter 5:8). These things should be at the forefront of our attention, but they shouldn’t make us afraid. Demonic powers and pagan superstitions are not a new thing to God, the Bible is full of stories of Jesus and many disciples dealing with demons (Mark 1:21-28, Acts 16:11-21, Matthew 8:28-34, Mark 5:1-20 to name a few). These stories are probably not the best choice to be telling your 5 year old, but they demonstrate to us the while evil does have a power on Earth, Jesus is more powerful! And He has already won the victory of all of it (Heb. 2:14-15).
Our culture has created an element of deception about Halloween that suggests it is all in good fun, but the reality is the day touches on much more sinister things. This is the true nature of the devil (John 8:44, Gen. 3:1). Rather than being afraid of this day, we should call it out for what it is and use it as an opportunity to help our children ask serious questions about celebrating something with such darkness when our faith is all about the light. God has instilled in each of us a conscience that always responds to His truth (Romans 2:14-16). That conscience exists in believes and non-believers alike, and is an ally to the evangelistic enterprise. What would happen if we, as Christians, took the time to graciously inform the minds of our friends and family with biblical truths about who God is, what sin is, how future judgements will look, and the hope we have of eternal life in Jesus through repentance?
What would happen if we chose to show love in the midst of death and fear instead of passing silent judgement on our neighbor?
What would happen if we trusted God with our families enough to let His light shine through us in the darkness of Halloween?
Revival. That’s what would happen.
So that’s all well and good, but what does that look like for my family this fall? I am so glad you asked!
Below are a few suggestions to get your heart and brain starting to turn. First and foremost, spend some time in prayer with your family and ask God to guide you and open doors for you and your kids to share His love with others. You will be amazed at the paths that will open up if you ask with an expectant and obedient heart.
- “Treat” a family in need on Halloween with a gift card, basket of goodies, or dinner. Bless them just because you are blessed.
- Pray together about Halloween, that each person coming to your door will find the light of Jesus
- Don’t be afraid to talk about the scary side of Halloween. Use it to emphasize how we have victory over it all through Jesus. Jesus wasn’t afraid of the “lost” and we shouldn’t be either!
- In addition to candy (don’t be stingy!), include a little something sharing the gospel with others. (for my favorites check here: What do you do when darkness comes to visit?, Who is the light?, and a ton more)
- Create a costume that speaks hope to others – for ideas check out this list
- Share a gospel lesson before going trick-or-treating with some friends with this awesome activity!
- For more ideas check this great list.
* This was originally posted on Sweet Tea and Saving Grace blog *