As a kid growing up on Sand Mountain, Halloween was always a fun time. We knew all of our neighbors and trick or treating consisted of going to see people our family had known for years and getting treats. Certain neighbors always had certain treats for the kids. For instance, Chalmer and Verma Chloe Watkins allows had hot parched peanuts in the oven for trick or treaters. They so enjoyed watching us grow up and it was a community connection. After I got older, there was church events with friends, hay rides, etc. After becoming a pastor, some of the churches I have served actually had a “trunk or treat” party on Halloween night for the community.
At various times, I have had some Christians tell me that we shouldn’t acknowledge Halloween at all in the church. They cited the holiday’s pagan origins and the frightening, demonic costumes and movies that are pervasive the week of Halloween. Certainly, those are valid concerns. From what I have read, Halloween does have its early roots in pagan festivals. The website www.history.com has this to say about Halloween…
Evolving from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, modern Halloween has become less about literal ghosts and ghouls and more about costumes and candy. The Celts used the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, and also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead. Over the millennia the holiday transitioned from a somber pagan ritual to a day of merriment, costumes, parades and sweet treats for children and adults.
If you turn on the television this week, you can’t escape ads for horror movies. Haunted houses used to be fun, fund raisers for local schools, but now they are big business in metropolitan areas particularly. Certainly, evil is rampant enough today without celebrating it further!
Personally, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with letting kids dress up and go trick or treating. It’s all in fun and part of growing up in America. There’s nothing wrong with going to a good, wholesome, fun party with friends tonight. Personally, my son has a high school football game tonight, so we are going to dinner with friends and then on to the game. I’ll have on my normal costume that I wear every day!
However, Christians should take care to remember that spiritual warfare and the demonic realm is very real. It is nothing to laugh at or revel in. On Halloween (and every day for that matter) Christians should take great care what we expose our minds to and what we participate in. The boundaries and guardrails we have in our lives aren’t put on hold for Halloween.
Finally, let’s all let Halloween be a reminder to think of Jesus. He is not one of a bunch of “spirits” but rather He is Lord over all…
“The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.” (Psalm 103:19, HCSB)
What should a Christian do about Halloween? Worship Jesus. Love Jesus. Serve Jesus. Tell someone about Jesus. Jesus is Lord over Halloween!