The month has barely started, but everyone is talking and thinking Halloween. So, let’s address the elephant that is sitting in the centre of most Christian circles.
Do we let our kids dress up and go out on Halloween, trick-or-treating with everyone else?
Depending on your Christian upbringing or traditions, you may immediately and emphatically say “NO!” I was raised that way. And I harbour no ill will against my parents or my church community for those beliefs. But I have come to a different understand that I think that all Christians, regardless of denomination or previous traditions, should embrace.
Here are the 7 reasons that I am letting my kids dress up for Halloween, and you should too.
1. GOD OWNS THE DAY
I think my opinion of Halloween started changing when I asked this simple question:
WHEN DID HALLOWEEN BECOMES SATAN’S DAY?
You may not have heard that before. That idea may not have crossed your mind. But as I was growing up, I heard that or something similar from tons of adults.
Halloween is the Devil’s day, and anyone participating in Halloween was doing the Devil’s work.
That was normal when I was a kid. But what on Earth ever made people think it was the Devil’s day? And who gave him the power and authority to lord over any day?
I know it wasn’t me. And I don’t think that my pastor or church did. But somehow Christians just said it was so. So they acted like it was true. And sadly, there are Christians that still say, act, and believe these kinds of things.
What they are missing, and what I so happily learned, is that Satan has no power or authority over any day. Not even Halloween. There is only one Lord over the day.
“This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalms 118:24 NASB
A day that God has made, that is how Halloween is described. As a day that touch by the hand of Holiness. At what point we decided that God had removed His hand from October 31, I don’t know. But nothing in Scripture, nothing in applying what the Bible says logically to my life, leads me to believe that God is not the Sovereign King over every day of the calendar year.
So, why would I ever act like that?
God owns Halloween. He doesn’t need us to pray really, really hard to get it back from the clutches of the enemy. We don’t need to have prayer warriors walk around town, condemning and damning every person in a costume and every house that has a pumpkin.
Halloween was never in jeopardy of being Satan’s. So don’t act like it is. Halloween is God’s day. And I will rejoice and be glad in it.
2. I AM NOT PERPETRATING A SPIRIT OF FEAR
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
As believers, we are filled with a Spirit that does not make us feel timid, gives us to reason to feel timid. Or as the King James puts it, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear”!
We do not have a spirit of fear. I like the authority behind that verse. There is nothing that is out there that should leave us fearful. We have exactly zero reasons to be scared of anything. Nothing spiritual. Nothing physical. Because that is not the spirit that fills us now. The Spirit of God that fills us gives us power, love, and self-disciple. Or self-control, for the KJV fans.
That is true every day of the week. And just as true on Halloween.
“But, Reg, there are bad people out there on Halloween. What do we do about them?”
Okay. I understand the protest. I want my kids to be safe when they go out on Halloween. I want your children to be safe. But locking them up in your house, closing the basement door behind you as you go to hide, and turning off every light in the house isn’t going to keep you safe.
It will keep you scared. It will breed a mentality that says evil is running ramped, unchecked, and all I can do is hide. It will warp the understand of your children’s faith, limiting the power of God, and over exaggerating the authority of Satan.
I’ll be a smart parent. I’ll make sure my kids are dressed to stay warm. They will have something reflective on, so cars can see them. I’ll be there with them when they go to a stranger’s door. I’ll be there making sure we don’t wander into the seedy underbelly of our town. I’ll do everything to keep my kids safe.
But I will not spread or live in a spirit that is not of God. A spirit of fear is not of God. So I will not act out of fear. And neither should you.
3. WE’VE DONE IT BEFORE, LET’S DO IT AGAIN
One more Bible moment. Flip to the back of your Bible, or pull up the search bar in your Biblegateway App, and look up the word “Easter.”
Go for it.
Then, look up the word “Christmas.”
Now that you have discovered that both these sacred holidays do not appear in the Bible, whatsoever, we can talk more about Halloween. (Yes, the KJV has Easter in there, but that isn’t what the Greek says.)
Easter started as a pagan holiday. Meaning that Christians didn’t start it; someone else did.
Christmas started as a pagan holiday. Meaning that Christians didn’t start it; someone else did.
At some point in the past, Christians commandeered other holidays. We made them Christian. We added our Christian Biblical events to someone else’s holiday until it became so mainstream that we called it a Christian holiday. (I could go into a lot more detail, but there are literally hundreds of articles and websites about these already, so I’ll just continue on to my point.)
We made pagan holidays Christian. Why can’t we do that with Halloween?
Yes, for those educated on the subject, Hallow’s Eve was the day before All Saint’s Day. Celebrated by the Catholic Church on November 1st, it was about recognizing the holy men and women that had gone on before them. Hallow’s Eve was believed to be the day spirits would come out and try to confuse and tempt you away from the forthcoming holy day.
But it has since become a holiday that completely skips over any Catholic heritage and neglects any ties to Christianity. It was a Christian holiday but was commandeered by the general public. So why not take it back?
Bring back the themes of sainthood. Bring back the idea that there are men and women of great faith that we should look to as examples of how to live an exemplary Christian life. Bring back the honour and respect of people that have gone on before.
Or just do what other people are doing, but add Jesus. We do it with T-shirts. Why not do it with pumpkins? Let’s see some amazing pictures of Jesus carved into a pumpkin. Let’s see an empty tomb mural on someone’s lawn. (The empty tomb would be Jesus’, not a mummy’s.) Have kids dress up as Moses, or Samson, or some other Bible character.
Would this take years? No. Probably decades of faithful Christians doing this. But it can be done. We did it to Christmas and Easter. We can do it again.
4. HOLIDAYS ARE FUN, SO HAVE A LITTLE.
As much as the 31st was originally a holy day, it is a holiday. And isn’t holiday is synonymous with fun? So why not have some?
More times than not, Halloween turns into a “WE MUST DO EVERYTHING TO NOT ENJOY OURSELVES BECAUSE THAT WOULD MEAN SATAN IS WINNING” fest. And to be honest, watching that and participating in that is one of the most stressful things that you can do.
It is hard work trying to not have fun on a day that is supposed to be fun. Try going to the beach and doing your taxes. It won’t happen. Because the atmosphere of a beach is all about fun. And Halloween has an atmosphere of fun as well. Dress up. Pretend to be someone else. Eat candy. Look at other people’s cool costumes.
Yes, I’ll admit that there can be dark and evil things out there on a Halloween night. But you are only going to find those things if you go looking for them. So, don’t go looking for them.
Embrace the atmosphere of fun. Have your own brand of fun. If it means you have apple-bobbing in a tree rather than in a pail of water (because dunking yourself into ice cold water is totally okay, and fun, and not self-inflicted torture) that is okay.
Just have some fun.
5. DON’T MISS AN ONCE-A-YEAR OPPORTUNITY
This is a once-a-year opportunity to be creative.
Most of us work in a job that is very limiting. By that I mean, we do the same thing every day, all week, every week, all year, every year. That is wrong or bad. But we are creative beings, made in the image and likeness of a Creator God. So why not flex that creativity once a year, by making a costume?
Now, this doesn’t have to be just for kids, although kids do look amazingly cute in costumes. But adults can have fun in dress up too. Just watch all the Halloween episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Barney Stinson loves dressing up, being some else for a night (I am not condoning the actions of Barney Stinson after he suits up, or down. Just remarking on the joy that can be had by an adult while in costume).
There are people that dawn costumes throughout the year, for conventions and things like that. And they are often praised for the uniqueness and detail oriented costumes. They embrace their creativity and run with it, all year. So, why don’t you embrace the creativity that God has endowed you with once a year?
It will surprise you how much fun you can have.
6. IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME
No one can deny that line from Field of Dreams, it’s great. You don’t have to see the movie to recognize that line, that’s how great it is. If you build it, they will come….and it doesn’t have to be a baseball diamond in the middle of your corn field. It could be a sense of community. And it could be done, starting with Halloween.
Most people don’t know their neighbours. Not because they hate one another, but because society has become very independent and closed off. I’ve watched people move in around us, and all of them have built fences. I understand a sense of privacy. I have a fence too. But I realize that it also keeps me inside, as much as it keeps other people out. I live in a great neighbourhood, but there is no sense of community.
But Halloween offers a simple, non-threatening way to build it.
The idea of trick-or-treating, walking up to someone’s door and knocking, and having an innocent conversation to 20 seconds…could it be any easier? And you walk away with candy. You are immediately rewarded for small talk.
Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter; all these holidays are very family oriented. And there is nothing wrong with that. But Halloween has always been about the community, about being outside of your house, outside of your fenced in yard and interacting with people.
For people that are not evangelists (like myself) or introverts (me again), this is a great way to get to know and see people when I otherwise won’t.
For extroverts and the evangelists, Halloween is a prime time to get out there, get your foot in the door, and get to know people. Share the Gospel if you want.
The opportunity is already established for you. Businesses close early. Kids and parents plan for it. Stores hit you over the head with flyers, telling you how cheap their candy is.
If you’ve noticed a lack of community in your neighbourhood, maybe you should think about how this Halloween you can start to build it.
7. DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN?
There will come a day when my daughter and son will be grown ups. I don’t want to think about it. I’m sure just at the mention of that eventual reality my wife will well up with tears. While we can’t stop them from growing up, the best thing that we can do as parents is to build memories with them when they are young. Halloween is a great time to do that.
Yes, you can make memories with your kids all the time. You don’t need a holiday to do that. But this is an intentional moment in the year where everything is leaning towards Halloween. Why not lean into the season, and make it something you will remember with your kids forever?
Dress up with them. Spend hours making their costume. Freeze your hands as you walk them up and down the streets. See their face glow in happiness when they get a handful of candy. Hear the joy and excitement of them counting how much of each kind of chocolate bar. Carry them to bed when they inevitably fall into a deep sugar coma.
These are precious moments that you won’t get at Easter or Christmas or any other vacation. These are potentially beautiful Halloween memories. Don’t miss out on such special moments with your kids.
Build memories. You will be glad you did, for your sake and theirs.
All Scripture references provided by Biblegateway.com
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