While listening to our local Cheesy Christian Radio Station (WCCR) last night, folks were calling in with their spiritual reflections on why they hide from Halloween. There are mountains of people who literally go out today, rent a family movie, and hide in their house so that they can ignore the festivities of the night. (Then congratulate themselves for "surviving" another Halloween.)
Last week I made my feelings clear when I posted, "We celebrate Halloween."
Here are 3 reasons why I think every Christian should embrace Halloween as a cultural phenomenon beyond personal convictions that you are endorsing evil.
- Don’t punish your kids for your convictions. We don’t let our kids dress up as demons or witches… but we do allow them to wear costumes because it’s fun. But to keep them at home, locked in the basement while you watch some cheesy Christian movie instead of getting bucket loads of candy tonight… that’s just mean. We are called to bring light into darkness not hide from darkness. (Ephesians 5:8-14) You can take your kids to your neighbors houses, keep them safe, and show them that being a Christian isn’t about hiding from the world.
- Be hospitable. I know plenty of people live in rural areas and don’t get trick-or-treaters. So you folks are exempt… for a night. But if you are like me and hundreds of kids will be walking by your house looking for a few pieces of yummy candy don’t be the jerk on you block. Head out to the store right now and get yourself a couple bags of candy. Titus 1:8 pretty much makes it clear that anyone in leadership at their church must be hospitable. Turn your light on, answer the door, and be hospitable. Even if you can’t be home tonight, leave out a bowl and turn the light on. People know what to do! (Yes, just let people steal your candy!)
- Don’t be afraid! I think a lot of this anti-Halloween stuff is based on terrible theology. The Bible tells us to resist the devil. Peter tells us to "resist him" which indicates a struggle. (1 Peter 5:8-9) But the Bible doesn’t tell Christians to hide from evil. Look at the example of Paul as he went to various towns. He encountered evil in all its forms and chose to bring Christ there.
I think the last sermon series at Romeo captured this quite well. When we make fear-based decisions in life, ones that are emotionally based, we tend to step away from the best that God has to offer. God provided His Son for salvation… for freedom from the devil. I think hiding from something as harmless as Halloween is giving the devil a foothold in your life. (Yes, I know the origins of Halloween… don’t even get me started on the origins of Christmas! The inconsistency there drives me nuts, but I’ll save that for December.)
I suppose this is why I don’t understand the Christian "ant-Halloween" mindset. If Jesus has conquered Satan, and Halloween is 99% community and 1% a recognition of Satan’s activities in the world today… why are we "hiding it under a bushel."
If you absolutely can’t bear the thought of giving people candy… don’t hide in your house. Come to mine! We’ll be giving out buckets of candy, greeting people, offering them something hot to drink, and telling them about the kids programs at church. This isn’t an activity of the church… it’s a ministry of my family to my neighborhood!