*This is a blog repost from last year that I'd like to share with you.*
As we near the Halloween season many questions are raised about whether one ought to celebrate it or not.
For some these questions extend even beyond Halloween, encompassing Christmas and Easter, in an effort to distance themselves from all things pagan.
To be sure, if we were to distance ourselves from all things pagan we'd barely be able to exist in this present culture at all. But that's a topic for another day.
When I first began this post last year my original intent was to share my opinion on whether a Christian should or should not celebrate Halloween. But as the post grew longer and longer an idea hit me - why not take a poll! I posted the poll on a few different sites and the collective response astounded me! On one site it literally took on a life of its own, while there was healthy debate, it was respectful, differeing opinions were shared (ranging all over the map), and I am happy to say that I sat back and just enjoyed the ride!
The results are:
a) Celebrate it - 8
b) Do an alternative (harvest party, etc) - 18
c) Ignore it - 10
d) Not sure - 1
Now - for some thoughts.
To be sure, Halloween's origins are dark, pagan, and demonic. I could go into a huge history lesson here - but it really would not serve the purpose for what I want to share. I think the majority of us know Halloween's celtic orgins, how Jack-o-lanterns came to be, why they dressed up, etc.
Additionally, I think we could all agree that the way Halloween is currently celebrated hardly at all resembles the way it was originally celebrated. It is commercialized and I'd argue that most parents are not focused on the pagan aspects of the holiday - they simply want their children to have a good time.
When the topic comes up among Christians the opinions are varied and deeply rooted. Some are so steadfastly convinced that all Christians should completely ignore the day (and any kids who come calling), that they believe any of differing mind to be "double-minded and unstable in all his ways".
Honestly, no matter where you stand on the subject, hurling judgmental statements and name-calling serves no purpose whatsoever.
Because you will find no verse that says, "Thou shalt not celebrate Halloween", I believe this topic falls in the range of following one's conscience.
The Bible does command us to reject - indeed flee from - evil, specifically demons, witches, and witchcraft in all its forms.
One may argue that Halloween falls in that category. And to some degree it does.
Yet, it begs the question that if we as believers so reject Halloween as a day, refuse to open our door to trick-or-treating kids, or allow our churches to be a safe haven for those who would otherwise be on the streets, are we missing out on an opportunity to share Christ's love?
Did Jesus literally turn away sinners in an effort to broadcast a message about sin?
Did Jesus isolate Himself from unbelievers in an effort to protect Himself from pagan customs? And let us not forget that in His day paganism abounded - as did every other form of wicked behavior.
If our quest is to be like Him, let us look to His behavior as an example of how we ought to respond when faced with paganism, evil, and even wickedness in our culture.
I am not proposing that we "be like the world to win the world". I reject that statement in every form. I do not believe that compromise ever brings results. However, the church can and should capitalize upon every opportunity presented to bring the gospel to the lost.
So I challenge my readers this year to consider how you can use Halloween to reach out to your neighbors and those you usually do not get a chance to talk with. Consider doing a Harvest Party at your church and advertise your facility as a safe place for children to have fun. They will be out trick-or-treating one way or another. Isn't this a great opporutnity to do an outreach to children and their parents? Don't just ignore this holiday - turn into an opportunity. Be proactive!
Thank you for sharing...