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Halloween Fast Approaches

October 23, 2006

I know the topic of Halloween stirs Christians up somtimes as to what is the most appropriate response to it. I think it’s an issue of conscience. But stirring people up is not my point in posting this link to Tim Challies’ post. However, it is thought-provoking, and I think one of the best pieces I’ve read on the topic in a long time, so I had to share.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 23, 2006 12:00 pm

    Great article Danielle. While living in VA our church did nothing on Halloween…we were always home with our light on passing out candy and meeting the neighbors. Although many of our friends did not agree with it we felt like it was a great way to meet our neighbors. My husband and I even did it when we were first married without kids. Now that I have kids…I am not as comfortable with trick or treating door to door for obvious safety reasons…although we always make it a point to take the kids in their costumes over to the neighbors we know. A lot of them are older and they just love seeing them, it is a highlight for them that and cookies at Christmas. Our church here does a big carnival. Everyone dresses up..even the Pastors. We do it as a family festival to reach out to the church neighborhood and our neigborhors. I invite all our neighbors with kids and most of them like going because they know it is SAFE. Obviously sometimes there are some scary costumes because everyone is invited but it is a great way to reach out to the communtiy. We always have info on the church there but the rest is just fun prizes and candy and each caregroup mans a carnival booth. My kids love it and we have gotten so large we had to move to a larger outdoor location this year.

  2. October 23, 2006 12:16 pm

    Living in a tiny rural community gives us less worry about the physical “dangers” assoiciated with Halloween. Our school has a Harvest Party and a costume parade and I allow my children to dress up. They always dress up in a non-scary costume and I don’t mind it because they are only little once; my oldest son stopped costumes at about 10 yo. After school we go to a few friends and family’s homes to “trick or treat”. It is an opportunity (and good excuse) for us to visit people we don’t see often (because some are shut-ins). We actually go in and sit down at many homes.
    I think Halloween, like many other worldly issues can sometimes really hang us Christians up, to the point of legalism. I’ve already been there and done that ugly scene and I’m not going back. I desire myself and my children to be a light in this dark world and how can we if we hide at home?

  3. bethyoung permalink
    October 23, 2006 12:53 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for the post 🙂

  4. October 23, 2006 12:57 pm

    Very interesting article. I liked it. Like Rachelle said it can really hang us up, but is it really one of those issues worth getting so worked up about? I think there are more important things. But we should at the same time do what we think is best for our kids for our family, what we think God would want. I think like the post said it is better to give out candy and greet your neighbors rather than have a blackened house. For me, I have no problem with kids dressing up and getting candy. It is fun for them. I think it is innocent for the most part. Sure some people get all wierd and evil about it, but younger kids for the most part just look at it as a free candy day and dress up time. I trick-or-treated all growing up and thats all it was to me. Candy and getting to wear a fun costume. When I got into high school people still dressed up but by then I thought it was lame.
    Really the only things that bother me are all the decorations people put up…strange to me, and people who let their kids dress up as like murders from movies or stuff like that. That is wrong and not something kids should be dressing as or watching!!

  5. Zoanna permalink
    October 23, 2006 1:16 pm

    Daniell, I read every word of it and really , really appreciated his viewpoint. I left a comment there saying that I never really saw it as an oppotunity for hospitality. I mean, the other 364 days of the year we don’t live in a blackened house. I stil don’t know what is “best” but am thiniking that shutting the door and staying quiet in a dark house is not the answer. I never realized my degree of self-righteousness in this area. I excused it away with “there’s nothing Christian about Halloween, so why participate at all?” and yet I love costumes (non-spooky ones) and the giving and getting of candy. It’s really NOT that different from Christmas if you think about it. Christians had to do something to break up their winter solstice without acting like pagans. Why not toss in the Luke 2 account and pretend Christ was born in the bleak midwinter when actually he was most likely born in a hot, humid stable where lambs were being born. AFter all, that’s why the shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks–so little lambs wouldn’t be eaten by wolves and coyotes. It wasn’t something shepherds did year round, but in the spring for sure, since it was their livelihood to raise new lambs. Jesus was our Perfect Lamb. Anyway, this is not about Christmas. If I am to be practice hosptiality (the defintion being the opening of one’s heart, hands, homes to strangers NOT JUST CHRistians, then what’s my problem? Thanks for linking this article.IT’s the best I’ve read so far. I still have trouble with the day because I know of llves that have been ruined by the occult which is in full force on Oct 31st. Ah, the dilemma.

  6. October 23, 2006 1:34 pm

    Bethany, I LOVE what your church does, great idea! I’d love to be involved in something like that. For now, Josh and I just have candy on hand and give it out to any kids who come by. Last year it was one cute little girl from across the street, dressed up as fire fighter. They’ve moved so who knows if anyone will come. Actually, considering they’d have to balance themselves on our unfinished porch, probably not, light on or not. Next year my house will look more hospitable and less like a haunted house! 🙂

    Like I said, it was a fabulous post, so I had to share. Glad you all got something out of it!

  7. October 24, 2006 11:21 am

    Danielle, I remember one year my mom had real spider webs on her front porch…just had not cleaned them off in awhile. When the neighbor kids came to the door they told her she had the scary house because she had real webs. We were on in the living room cracking up laughing. My mom would never decorate scary or anything like that so we found it amusing the kids all thought she had the scary house.

  8. October 26, 2006 12:24 pm

    I like this post, especially the point that social barriers come down on Halloween.

    We’ve done Halloween since our oldest was old enough to go to a few houses. It’s turned out to be a marvelously fun evening, as the whole neighborhood turns out to walk the block and visit. Obviously we don’t do scary or evil costumes — although my son has managed to carry a sword two years in a row — and we observe All Saints’ Day, usually with a party. (There’s not much point to All Hallow’s Eve if there isn’t an All Hallow’s Day to follow it.)

    Halloween’s pagan roots show more obviously than most of the other holidays’, but paganism run deep in our culture. Our very days of the week and months of the year are pagan. I figure that Christians can’t avoid pagan associations, but can work to redeem the day for Christ. It’s worked well for Christmas and Easter; why not Halloween?

    (This year, my daughter is a lamb, and my son is Cornelius-who-saw-an-angel-and-became-a-Christian.)

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