Many of our holiday traditions have ancient origins, none more so than Halloween. Over the centuries the original intent and practice of this specific day is rooted in superstition, lack of knowledge, tradition (see brief history below), and part of the symbolism of ancient religions. Halloween for modern day Christians tends to be put in the category of ungodly pagan beliefs that have no place in the holy righteousness, and purity of God. I am no scholar and don’t even pretend to know what God thinks of this specific day, but if we were to single out Halloween as evil and no place in the Kingdom, then we also need to look at our traditional Christmas and Easter celebrations.
My Halloween/Fall decorated dining room
I remember in my early days as a Christian, there were so many scare tactics about celebrating any holidays that weren’t patriotic (ie. 4th of July) or Thanksgiving, as opening ourselves up to the devil. We really didn’t celebrate the three main holidays – Easter, Halloween, or Christmas, except for the family meals. Therefore, there was no Christmas tree, no Easter egg hunts, and definitely no dressing up and collecting candy for Halloween. Our alternative to Halloween were “Harvest Parties” in which you could dress up as Pilgrims, or farmers, or country folk and it was filled with games and candy, but you most definitely didn’t stay home and pass out candy, maybe gospel tracts.
My Halloween Tree
As my children got older they definitely thought that was all totally lame and begged us to go out trick or treating. Were we afraid what others would think, and receive condemnation from our good Christian friends, and would we offend God, who would witness our compromise, if we let them have fun? We love our children and didn’t want to be bad parents or poor role models, but we had to decide which was more important; showing the love and fearlessness of faith believing that our children would not get slimed by the enemy, or walking in the fearful superstition that the enemy has power to influence our children…after all, we have to live in this world and not be part of it. Look I know it is still a big topic in many Christian hearts, but we did finally let go.
The results of that were so beneficial, because of the extended grace we began to have for all kinds of situations and people. The superstitious fear began to have no effect and God’s grace began to work in a very big way in our lives. Did we get some backlash and condemnation? Yes. Were we called carnal? Yes. Did we see great fruit of loving our children and extending love to their unbelieving friends? Yes! The Bible says, “Your personal convictions- exercise them as in God’s presence keeping them to yourself [striving only to know the truth and obey His will]. Blessed and happy is he who has no condemnation or judgement by what he chooses to do.” Romans 14:22
Do I think that everyone should come to the same conclusions as we did, absolutely not, we have to have faith for what we believe. I still remember a family who loved the Star Wars movies when they came out in the 70’s, but were offended by Princess Leia’s skimpy outfit in the first episode. They would hide their boy’s eyes at that part and cut out all the pictures of her in the books they bought for them. A little extreme. Or other families that forbid their kids from having the action figures, I guess they considered them inappropriate spiritually…but are their kids serving God today?…just saying…the control of fear that they demonstrated turned their children’s hearts, believing that God was mean and didn’t care.
Now, we hand out candy joyfully with much prayer for God’s grace to reach the children’s hearts and lives, to know the true Father and His never ending love.
Yoda on my Halloween tree because….
My granddaughter dressed up like Yoda to go trick or treating, Love you Peyton and your stick light saber!
– The History Channel : Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.