Halloween is right around the corner and Christians all over are discussing and debating whether it’s appropriate or not for a Christian to participate in Halloween activities or go trick-or-treating.
This article isn’t to present an argument on the validity or truth behind Halloween (there are more than enough articles from both sides on this issue). My intent is to simply explain why my family of six does not participate in these events.
A little back story first. I grew up in a Catholic home and we did trick-or-treat every year. I have many fond memories of dressing in costume and collecting candy. We have even gone out to trick-or-treat once as a family a few years ago and it was a good time. So why don’t we continue to do so?
Whether you believe or not the truth behind the origins of Halloween I try to consider what the rest of our society thinks about it. What is the intent or heart behind Halloween for the secular audience? I mean, shoot, you could ask these same questions about Christmas, but we’re talking about Halloween right now. Halloween is culturally driven by spooky, creepy and often gory imagery. Demons, devils, zombies, ghosts and witches are some of the characters that are depicted during dress up. (notwithstanding superheroes and princesses, I’m not daft) Houses are decorated as graveyards or “haunted” places, giving dreary imagery of death and the supernatural.
Though I know these things have no power or control over God’s sovereign being, I find them to detract or at least distract from things that are in fact godly. I used to be very excited about watching horror movies, but the closer I grew to the Lord in knowledge of scripture and grace I became disinterested in the things that intentionally caused fear. Now I know that if we did trick-or-treat we wouldn’t be dressed in scary costumes or anything like that, but we would be surrounded by that imagery as we went about from door to door. This isn’t me being legalistic but rather, cautious of the things we take joy in.
“But aren’t your kids going to grow up feeling like they’re missing out?”
Yeah, probably. They are also missing out on a father who watches movies with sex in it. They are missing out on a mom who spends paychecks on purses and shoes. The point being that there are things that they purposefully miss out on because of our choices as a family, and they’ll be fine. In fact, my wife had never trick-or-treated until the one time a few years ago (and she’s mostly normal).
Celebrations are purposeful events. Harvest Festivals are a great way to celebrate the season, while avoiding some of the commercial non-sense. Spending time with candy and a board game and making memories at home as we glorify God through our time as a family. We can even watch a “scary” movie like Honey I Shrunk the Kids or Beetlejuice (kidding about one of them).
We’ve found that though we can always glorify God in any event we participate in, the night that is recognized by many as an “evil” night is probably one we could avoid and still have fun in our own ways.