Oct 292013
 

Halloween is almost here. And like many Christians I’ve got some mixed feelings about the whole thing.

Finding Wisdom for Halloween

+ Trick-or-Treating is a fun activity for kids and is a social time with friends and family – and an opportunity to visit neighbors and others you may not see often

– Most of these social times include ungodly things (witchcraft, demonic ideas, overt sexuality and immodesty, mockery of others, etc)

+ Halloween is named after All Hallow’s Eve, which the Catholic Church set up to remember those who’ve gone before us.

– It was meant to replace a celebration with very pagan origins (see here for more info about both)

+ Costumes are fun to dress up in and pretend

– Many commercial costumes glorify ungodly things, mock Christianity, or are overly sensual – even kid costumes. And even if you don’t go with these, you are going to see them, and have to explain them to your kids.

+ It’s an opportunity to witness

– Our kids and family’s witness a lot of unGodly things

I trick-or-treated as a kid and always had a blast. We never did scary/demonic costumes, or glorified these things in anyway. We made treat bags and passed them out. Halloween was a non-issue for our family – just a fun time.

My concerns started in college as I started really noticing the demonic nature of Halloween. The glorification of all things that the Bible says aren’t good (Deuteronomy 18:9-12 for one reference out of many) really bothered me. I also learned that many of the “fictional” characters of Halloween are real (witches, vampires, etc.) and that people actually do practice these activities.

I’ve had the above internal conflict over the last several years, but it’s really been a non-issue for us as we didn’t have kids and were rarely home for Trick-or-Treat night anyhow. I did take the kids I nannied to the mall for Trick-or-Treat, and we always had a good time. As questions arose about the “scary” costumes we had a discussion about them and moved on.

But this year we’ve had to make a decision – and as such needed to ask for wisdom for dealing with Halloween.

As I’ve prayed for wisdom on this topic, as with many others, I’ve utilized the A.S.K. principle – Ask, Seek, Knock.

Here’s how this process has gone for me and my family. God may lead you and your family in different direction than He has for us at this time in our lives. My goal in sharing this is to help you in finding God’s wisdom for dealing with Halloween. 

Ask:

In seeking wisdom for your family – please take the time to go through each of these parts. I don’t think on issues like these there is one right answer for everyone – if so it’d be spelled out clear as day in the Word. However, God does promise us guidance and direction in these matters – unique and personal to our distinct situations. We’ll be going through this process every year as we continually seek Him.

Prayer has to be the foundation for finding wisdom. The Bible tells us that He will write the law upon our hearts and minds (Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 10:16), and that if we need wisdom we should ask God (James 1:5). So I’ve been praying a lot about this issue.

Seek:

Second we have to seek – starting in His Word. Here are some Scriptures that apply (hover over the reference to see the actual Scripture, you can also change the version if desired or click it to read the Scripture in context (highly recommended!) by clicking more in the bottom left). There are many more Scriptures that could apply to this issue I’m sure, but here are some of the main ones that get references frequently.

  • Think about good, pure, true and noble things (Philippians 4:8-9)
  • “Turn from evil and do good” (1 Peter 3:11)
  • Don’t be yoked together with unbelievers, what fellowship do light and darkness have? What agreement is there  between the temple of God and idols? Touch no unlcean thing. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)
  • Ephesians 5 makes the following points:
    • Follow God’s example (Eph 5:1)
    • There must not be a hint of sexual immorality, impurity, or greed (Eph 5:3)
    • There should be no obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking – but thanksgiving (Eph 5:4)
    • Live as children of light for we were called out of darkness (Eph 5:8-9)
    • It’s shameful to mention what is done in darkness (Eph 5:12)
    • Be careful how you live – as wise not unwise, make the most of every opportunity, be thankful, filled with the Spirit, and encourage one another with psalms and songs. (Eph 5:15-20)
  • 1 Corinthians 10 also makes many points:
    • flee from idolatry (1 Cor 10:14)
    • Food sacrificed to idols and idols are nothing, but they are sacrificed to demons. Don’t participate with demons (1 Cor 10:19-20)
    • You cannot take part in both the Lord’s table and demons (1 Cor 10:21)
    • We have freedom in Christ-but not everything is beneficial (1 Cor 10:23)
    • If an unbeliever asks you to a meal go, thanking God for the food, without worry about if the food was sacrificed to idols, but if told the food is sacrificed don’t eat it for the sake of the unbeliever (1 Cor 10:27-30)
    • Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31)
    • Don’t be a stumbling block to others, but seek the good of others that they may be saved (1 Cor 10:32-33)

The main principle that I see when looking at these verses, and others like them, is about idolatry – and the heart of those participating in such events. God warns us time and time again to not be idolaters – for He wants us to worship Him and Him alone (Matthew 4:10).

Ultimately where the question of Halloween lies is in your heart and the heart of your family, is it idolatry?  <<<— Click to Tweet

Are you worshiping the idols and evil that are presented on Halloween? Are you participating in the evil practices? Are you greedy for fun, fitting in with the Joneses, and candy? What exactly is Halloween to you?

Knock:

Once God has given you wisdom on this issue for your family then you must act upon it – and yearly keep seeking Him on this issue. Time and circumstances change – as do our hearts – and we must continually be evaluating what God would have us do now.

For my family this year knocking on the Halloween issue means we will be taking this time to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) and to bless others for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31).

As I prayed and sought through the issue of Trick-or-Treat God reminded me that most people in my area pass out candy in order to bless their neighbors and enjoy the children. Their purpose isn’t to glorify demonic idols, or practice witchcraft. The Holy Spirit also prompted me that this is a great time for my family to bless others around us.

For us as a Paleo family, the candy is a null-point, so I was thinking it’d be easy to skip out on Trick-or-Treat, and probably the most practical thing to do. But the more I prayed about how to handle this issue, the more I felt God leading us to bring some light to this dark time by blessing others around us in our community. So instead of Trick-or-Treating we will Bless-and-Treat. 

I haven’t fully decided what that is going to look like yet (I’ve still got a couple of days). However, my small group has decided to Bless-and-Treat some residents at a local Nursing Home this week.

God also prompted me to change my thinking about Halloween.

I’ve been viewing it as a dark and “bad” time. A time of “evilness” in the air with all the gory-ness and haunted things everywhere. It’s really been down right depressing and I’ve strongly disliked this time of year.

However, Ecclesiastes 7:2 says “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.” Maybe as Christians we need to take each October to be reminded that all of the horrible things we see around us at this time of year are no longer our destiny. It’s good to be reminded of the evil that is very real and present in this world and eternity – and to be able to praise God that this is NOT our destiny! 

Praying for you & your families as you seek God’s wisdom on this issue and others!

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What verses have you found that really speak to you on the issue of Halloween? What are some ways that you can think of to Bless-and-Treat others in your community??

 

 

If you are looking for some more thoughts and insight into this issue Answers in Genesis has a great little booklet called A Biblical and Historical Look at Halloween by Bodie Hodge. It’s short and offers some interesting food for thought about the origins of Halloween and other worldwide festivals celebrating the dead that occur around this time of the year.

 

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  14 Responses to “Finding Wisdom for Dealing with Halloween”

  1. Crystal, I love how you pursue wisdom from prayer and God’s Word about this issue, using the A.S.K. method, rather than just going by your gut feelings or man’s wisdom. I also LOVE the idea of bless-and-treating. I believe that the vast majority of people who celebrate Halloween are innocent children, who God loves. I’ve heard the side of the argument that says that Halloween can lead children into the occult, and yes, those things are real, so I agree with them to a certain extent. But those children need light and blessings from Christians rather than judgment and avoidance. I also like what you said at the end about this time of year being a reminder of how truly blessed we are through the salvation of Jesus Christ that we are destined for heaven and not hell! Amen! This is a wonderful post, and I am going to share it. 😀

    • Jane you are absolutely right, we have to find a line between judgement and condoning sin – and NOT just on Halloween! Thanks for sharing my post. I’m so thankful that God gave me a different perspective on looking at all the stuff around – and to use it as a reminder to thank Him for His saving grace!

  2. Wow, you put a lot of thought into this! I admire that you are seeking to be purposeful about finding wisdom from the Lord and listening to his guidance. I think many people miss this important step and do what they feel is right without knowing whether God does too. I think you were very gracious and loving in how you presented this difficult subject.

    I have never been a huge fan of Halloween though we did trick or treat when I was a kid. My biggest problem with it has always been the association with evil things as well. I am also very susceptible to being frightened by scary images and especially certain movies because of a traumatizing experience as a child.

    There are some large billboards around my town that advertise for a haunted house and the images are very scary and grotesque. Not only am I scared by seeing these, my heart hurts for people that think this is entertainment, even Christians! Can’t we find more God honoring ways to spend our time?

    I do like what you mentioned about looking for ways to bless others, that is a wonderful idea! 🙂

  3. One thing our family will be doing is saying thank you. And Jesus. Loves you after receiving a treat. We also are thinking of printing up that Jesus is the key and a few sentences on their explaining that. And handing them out w. a treat.

  4. I really really love this post. I love that you are finding a way to turn something uncomfortable and uncertain into a blessing. I love that you prayed about it. Halloween never bothered me until this year as I read different blogs and as my son gets older and is becoming aware of things taking a creepy turn in the stores and on TV. My pastor’s wife told me about something called a Judgment House: http://feest.us/JUDGEMENT-HOUSE-REVENGE-Great-Bend-10-25 Have you ever heard of that? A church puts on a live action scene that depicts life without God and some of the pitfalls. Wow, sounds like a powerful way to portray real evil and fear of a life on the wrong path. I can’t wait to see what shape your bless and treat takes.

    • I don’t know that I’ve heard of that specific one – but I have heard of doing “haunted” houses to show people Hell is real. I’m not really sure what I think about all of that. I’m excited about Bless-and-Treat – but I need to get working on it! Have a blessed day!

      • I had never heard of it before until yesterday so I went online to see what it was. Our pastor’s oldest daughter said she went with her mom when she was 13 and it really really scared her and she doesn’t want to go back! The pastor’s wife, however, felt like it was a very powerful message about the path to Hell and then at the end you go through a room that represents Heaven and you are hugged and welcomed by someone dressed as Jesus and he speaks scripture to you. Somehow the reality of evil and what it does to our lives is way WAY scarier than anything on Halloween. I guess if it is done well- rooted in Christian principles and the Bible it could be a powerful image to someone who had not yet put their faith in Christ. But I kind of think the imagery would be way too much for my kiddo and I.

  5. Excellent comments. I’ve been confused and conflicted about Halloween too. I grew up not celebrating it (we ignored everything to do with it), but that was easy to do as homeschoolers who lived out in the country. Now I have two girls in school in a city… it’s hard to avoid! I had a big discussion on FB yesterday with a bunch of friends about it because I really didn’t put enough thought into it this year so felt underprepared for the day.

  6. Thanks for sharing this, Crystal! 🙂 And I love your idea of Bless-And-Treat, and that you spent so much time with God about it. I know it’s after Halloween, but I know this is something I want to keep in mind for next year! What an amazing way to still be a light in a dark world. I think that’s right where Jesus would be. 🙂

    • Bless and Treat (dashes or no-dashes? I think I changed my mind and like it better without the dashes 🙂 ) went wonderfully!! Our neighbors were very surprised that they got the treat – and they really enjoyed a chance to see my daughter and visit with us. Even if it was just for a few short moments.

  7. […] man ringing the bell in the freezing cold. I plan to make some cute printable cards like I did for Halloween, that I hope to share here soon (Lord willing that Naomi gets over her bad […]

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