halloween

I want to preface this post by saying I’m not here to judge or condemn and I would ask the same from you. I am simply voicing my struggle with this particular subject. I appreciated the sermon that our pastor preached this past Sunday from the passage in Romans 14. He was addressing the subjects of grace and legalism.

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

This week, every year, my anxiety level goes up. I question my convictions. I feel isolated and at times, guilty for the choices we’ve made. I feel left out from the crowd and I find myself feeling awkward as I explain to people… we don’t celebrate Halloween.

I was telling my husband that I struggle every year for a couple of reasons. First of all, I grew up celebrating Halloween. I have fond memories of it. It is one of the few times I remember my brothers investing time in me and taking me trick or treating. I remember my dad stepping away from work and watching sports on TV to carve pumpkins with me. The second reason is this… I believe that God laid in on my heart before I even met my husband to abandon the practice of celebrating Halloween. I wrote more about that in a POST a couple of years ago. That conviction was confirmed when God brought a man into my life that felt the same as I did about the subject. But I will confess, it is hard to go against the grain. I don’t mind being counter cultural when it comes to being a Christian… but to be counter cultural in my own church has proven to be a struggle for me.

I feel left out (at times) because we don’t celebrate Halloween and we don’t watch shows about zombies and we don’t read Harry Potter or a number of other books that involve sorcery.

I’m not out to change your mind about Halloween. I’m really not. I’m also not asking for you to tell me the value on handing out tracts to trick or treaters or how I should use the “holiday” as a time for missions. I’m just expressing some thoughts here on what it’s like to have made a decision that is in the minority… even within the church body.

I asked my kids the other day if they ever felt like they were missing out because we don’t celebrate Halloween. I asked if they understood why we’ve made the choice not to participate. Big Sis said it’s hard because Halloween is a holiday and she likes to celebrate. I told her that I totally understand. We are a family who loves to celebrate. We discussed the different holidays that we do celebrate like Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter. We talked about how those holidays point us to Jesus. Those holidays cause us to reflect on our Savior. I explained that Halloween not only doesn’t point us to Jesus, it points us to evil.

I have been reading the book, Six Ways to Keep the Good in Your Boy. One section put into words how I feel about Halloween and so many of the books that are marketed towards our children that feature witchcraft, zombies and mysticism…

Avoid books that blur the lines between good and evil…There are “good” vampires for our daughters to lust after and “good” witches for our sons to idealize. Be careful! The Bible says witchcraft is evil and is opposed to a proper dependence on God Himself…. We should never take anything to do with witches, vampires, or darkness lightly, especially if it is not clearly spelled out that it is evil.

In my opinion, Halloween takes what is evil and blurs the lines. At the library today, there was a “friendly” mummy poster encouraging my children to read. In the children’s museum, there were smiley ghosts and witches all about. A sweet lady invited the kids to story time. I asked if the book was about Halloween and she said. she would check. She reported back that it was just about pumpkins… and there were a couple of witches and ghosts, but no, it wasn’t about Halloween. The lines between good and evil are blurred … and I think Satan likes it that way.

I struggle because I hear the arguments that this time of year is just fun or a great time to reach out or really not that bad if you don’t dress up in the evil costumes. I just can’t make sense of it though. I just can’t bring myself to be okay with it. For the next week, I will struggle. I will wish that I could put my decision aside and join in. I will wonder what my kids will say and do when they grow up. I will wonder if we’ve made the right decision. I will blush when people ask my kids what they are dressing up like for Halloween. I will receive awkward stares when they tell people that we don’t celebrate.

I came across this post from What’s the Bible… it contains several different opinions/ approaches to Halloween from well known Christian bloggers. You might find it interesting.

To Halloween or Not to Halloween

4 thoughts on “To Halloween or Not to Halloween

  • October 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm
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    I love your commentary and willingness to admit your struggle.I agree about blurred lines. I was that same mom. We raised four children and we did not dress them up for Halloween and take them trick or treating. I grew up in a household where my mother would only let us be a ‘nice’ character; nothing to do with ghosts or evil, but even then, I know she struggled about sending the wrong message.
    We decided early on we would not encourage Halloween, but my children still laugh about all the candy we would let them have the day AFTER when all the candy was marked down at the store. I think they like that memory now that they are grown, and I really don’t think they feel like they missed out at all, especially since we did allow them to attend some Reformation Festivals from time to time at our church. They still had the fun of ‘collecting candy’.
    Follow your convictions and don’t sear your conscience. God will honor you for that, regardless of what others might think when you tell them you don’t ‘celebrate’ Halloween. You are a great mom. Continued blessings on your journey.

    Reply
  • October 27, 2013 at 10:17 pm
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    I love your honesty and I can relate, We made the choice as well to not celebrate halloween. It seems like a no brainer now, but at first it was so difficult, because I grew up loving halloween. Now it’s just difficult because not only are we the weird homeschool family, we don’t celebrate halloween also…lol.

    We went to Applebees to eat dinner last night with the kids and the whole place was covered in webs, scary monsters, witches, etc. My husband walked the girls to bathroom and at the end of the hall by the bathroom there was zombies and monsters hanging from a noose, needless to say my kids started screaming and crying and refused to go to the bathroom…ugh.
    Even though it is trying and hard to help them understand why all this scary stuff is around, I know it all worth it to not be involved in this deceitful event.

    I think it is so important to find all those blurred lines and gray areas and get them out, after all everything is either good or evil there is no in between.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.
    Blessings,
    Forest Rose

    Reply
  • November 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm
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    I struggle with the same thing every year. We started homeschooling this year and I decided to re-think our decision. I did and we didn’t celebrate Halloween. Instead, we had Reformation Week and made it into something like a birthday party with cake and balloons and projects.

    Reply

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