We are now days away from the scariest of American holidays, Halloween. The holiday can a confusing mess for Christians, who take a wide variety of approaches to the day. One hip Christian will ask what the big deal is. 'It is just a day for kids to dress up, have fun, and get candy,' they say. And they would be right. But yet another Christian would say that Halloween is a celebration of evil that gets darker and more demonic every year. And they would be right too. How can they both be right?
On one hand, for the past hundred years, Halloween has had a pretty benign influence in America. Brought over to the states by Scottish and Irish immigrants, the holiday has largely consisted of children dressing up and getting loads of candy. For most people in recent decades, this has been an enjoyable ride. Who doesn't like their little toddler looking like Simba the Lion for an evening, and what 6th grader doesn't enjoy the thrill of an experience of mild fear? As Christians, along these lines, we don't want our faith to be communicated as a killjoy, and so we are inclined to participate in the holiday at this level.
On the other hand, if we are spiritually perceptive, we begin to get the feeling that all is not well in the haunted house of Halloween. Evidence and influence of the holiday's darker side seems to grow every year. We read accounts of the occult and evil crimes that take place at this time. We see brazen images and characters of death that scratch children's imaginations. We see adults taking over a holiday that once emphasized children. And we sense that there may be a spiritual vulnerability present, especially as our society slowly begins to wake up from modernity, and once again believe in a spiritual realm. All this momentum toward things evil can rightly give up pause about embracing this holiday wholeheartedly.
So where does this leave us? I think this leaves us with an opportunity. Two opportunities actually: the opportunity to be wise, and the opportunity to be powerful. Here is what I mean- First, during Halloween, we can develop the wisdom to say, my family will participate in some of the fun, innocent parts of the holiday, and we will refrain from the dark and evil parts of this holiday. I have a Christian brain, and I know how to use it. Maybe this thing isn't 100% wrong or 100% right. Secondly, as this day continues to slide further down the trail of reveling in the apparent supremacy of evil, we will find ways, in the midst of this melee, to proclaim the greater supremacy of Christ. Some churches evangelize during Halloween, which is a great way to redeem the evening. Other families help bring people together with a harvest or costume party, which helps friends connect. My family likes to remember the sadly forgotten holiday of All Saint's Day. This Christian holiday, which has been overtaken by Halloween in the wider culture, is a time to remember the faithful martyrs and disciples from ages past. Every year my family writes a short, hokey, skit about one of our favorite saints (protestant or catholic), and we preform it for family and friends. We pass our faith on to our kids and friends this way, and we have a ton of fun in the process. Christ is stronger than the darkness, so shout it out!... and make sure the kids get a bunch of candy in the process, because victory over evil is worth celebrating!
If you would like to read further check out Glen Scorgie's article below.
Author: Cameron Lemons
Reflections from the pastor