Last year, my 6 year old came home from his 1st grade class distraught over the thought that he was possibly and most likely a "Satan Worshipper". Surprised by his emotional concern and startling revelation about himself, I asked him what in the world made him think that. I learned that a little boy in his classroom had told him...after my 6 yr old had excitedly told his friends that he was going to be a Transformer for Halloween...that he (my 6 yr old) was a "Satan Worshiper" and that he was going to "Hell". Deep breath momma... Deep breath...
The rest of the car ride home was spent reassuring my 6 yr old that he is in fact NOT a "Satan Worshipper" nor is he going to Hell because he is going to be a Transformer for Halloween and go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.
When I was a child, my family participated in Halloween. As most Americans do. Our Halloween was innocent, fun and all about the candy and fun costumes. Over the years I had the pleasure of being a Mouse, a Pumpkin, a Princess, a Beauty Queen, a Clown and probably a few other silly things that I have forgotten. My sisters and I got a thrill out of our parents driving us to the "ritzy" neighborhood for the best candy and then later going home to sort through all we had collected. Although I was aware of the grim, the gross, the evil and the scary, to us it was a free cavity fest for days and a night to wear a fun costume.
When I became a mom and as our first Halloween was approaching I remember searching for weeks for the cutest, sweetest and most fun costume I could find for my tiny Trick-or-Treater. I did the same for the next year and for the next.
Over the years I have become more aware of others beliefs toward Halloween and their opinions on how Christians should respond to this particular Holiday. Growing up, I wasn't taught the "origin" of the holiday. I knew there was darkness surrounding the holiday but I never took the time to investigate it myself. Not until about 5 years ago anyway.
In my findings, and through multiple conversations with a whole bunch of different people, I have discovered that this is one of the biggest controversial topics amongst believers when it comes to the holidays we should and should not acknowledge. (It's tied with whether or not we should acknowledge the name Santa Claus in our homes.)
As a family we have chosen to "participate" not to be confused with "celebrate" in Halloween. I feel strongly that this is not something we should throw stones at each other over. Its just not worth it.
Here is what we do:
We have decided to take this night as an opportunity to not turn off our lights and hide from our trick-or-treaters or hide out at the closest "safe event" but rather turn our lights on, sit on our front porch and greet our trick-or-treators with warm smiles
We feel like we are called to live this life "on Mission". To be the light of Christ in a dark and broken world. We decided 3 years ago to make this night a "missional" and intentional night for our family. It has become a fun tradition that we all love. We dress-up in sweet fairy and super hero costumes, ring a few doorbells and then head home to pass out our treats. This night is such a great night to share the gospel with your neighbors and many others from your community. A couple years ago I made some address labels with some encouraging and simple scriptures on them to stick on our fun sized candy bars. It is a simple way to share God's truth with 100+ people. The kids and I pray over those candies as we stick the address label on them. We pray that whoever reads that verse will feel God's love and that they will know that they are chosen and loved by Him.
I share this with you to not boast about our tradition or to scorn you from attending a near by Fall Festival or to shame you for participating the old fashioned way. I share this with you to encourage you to think outside the box. To seek God and ask Him what He would want your family to do this Halloween night. This could potentially be one of the biggest outreach nights for you and your family.
Here are a couple of blog links concerning the holiday and how others are approaching it that I like:
I particularly like what the closing statement of the last post says...
"We can't allow our own convictions about a holiday to cause division in the body of Christ, nor can we use our freedom to cause others to stumble in their faith. We are to do all things as to the Lord."
I LOVE this printable. I might use these this year!
Also...watch this video above. It's pretty good.
So the question still remains...
Should Christians acknowledge, celebrate or participate in Halloween?
I don't really know.
I just know that my children are growing up in a dark and broken world and it is probably going to continue growing in darkness. That is until the day Christ returns. God has placed me in this role of being these 3 kiddos mom. It is my job to teach them, to equip them and to teach them to not hide from evil and darkness but to rather be in it fighting for the light. My job is to not shelter them from the world. Am I to protect them? Yes. And by protecting them that means, to me, educating them on the existence of evil, wrong, the broken and the scary. On an age appropriate level of course. I don't want my children to fear the darkness. I want them to be brave, bold and strong fighters for what is right and true. I want them to love the lost and shine their light when amongst them. I want to equip them for the long haul.
What are your thoughts on this holiday and what does your family do on this night? How do you approach this controversial night?