What about Halloween?

Read: Joshua 24:14-18

Each year the shelves at the stores fill up with candy and costumes as the Fall leaves begin to fall.  And each year many Christians wonder, “How should I feel about Halloween?” or “What should I tell my children about Halloween?”  We like the fun of dressing up and getting and giving out candy, but we are somewhat uneasy about all of the other things that this day represents.

I personally have never been a big fan of this day because of the deep pagan history that it has, but I also realize that kids enjoy the costumes and the candy part and many of those things are actually quite innocent and fun for them.  Perhaps Dr. James Dobson sums up my feelings well in what he writes about Halloween.  He says…..

“Halloween is a rather different story. Whereas it can be argued that Christmas is a Christian holiday with Christian origins that has suffered the effects of growing secularism, Halloween can be traced to distinctly pagan sources. It is reasonable, then, that many believers would find some aspects of its celebration disturbing. I agree with them in that regard. The traditional emphasis upon the occult, witches, devils, death, and evil sends messages to our kids that Godly parents can only regard with alarm. There is clearly no place in the Christian community for this “darker side” of Halloween.

Even here, however, there is a place for some harmless fun. Kids love to dress up and pretend. If the Halloween experience is focused on fantasy rather than the occult, I see no harm in it. Make costumes for your children that represent fun characters, such as Mickey Mouse or an elderly grandmother, and then let them go door-to-door asking for treats. This side of Halloween can be thoroughly enjoyable for the little ones.

Let me add, again, that I’ve given you my personal opinion. I realize that the topic is controversial among committed Christians, and I’m sensitive to the reasons for their misgivings. My final word to parents on the subject would be ’Stay true to your own convictions.’”

And I heartily agree with Dr. Dobson’s last statement.  You have to be true to your own convictions about this.  In Joshua 24 the Lord talks about putting away other gods and idols that get in the way of our worship of the one true Lord.  If we want to participate in the “fun” part of Halloween we need to be clear with ourselves and our children about some of the things that need to be avoided.  Joshua 24:15 says, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Make it personal:  This week you really do need to make it personal.  If you have issues with every part of Halloween and do not want your family and your kids to have anything to do with it then by all means follow those convictions.  But at the same time don’t judge those who might enjoy the “fun” aspect of costumes and candy.  Perhaps this will be an opportunity to have a great conversations with your friends or children about this?

Have a blessed week,  Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church