|Pumpkins carved by my two youngest boys|
Last night I sent Hannah (my eldest daughter, age 25) this text:
Your 3 youngest siblings are trick-or-treating. Don't faint.
Within seconds, my phone rang and I answered it.
Hannah responded, "Who has my mother's phone and where is she?"
Many Christians believe that making the day a harvest day or calling it Holyween makes it ok, but the Lord does not want imitation. So Halloween should come and go just as every other day, with no celebration of any kind. If it wasn't rooted with God, than we shouldn't try to make it that way. Evil is evil no matter how you try to dress it up. Source
I laughed at Hannah's response. Yes, she certainly had every right to be shocked and surprised. This was the first time I had ever taken any of our kids trick-or-treating. It was completely spontaneous. My younger kids, after seeing a group of kids dressed in costume come to our door, started asking me why they couldn't go trick-or-treating.
I had to think to myself: why is it that we have never allowed the kids go trick-or-treating? Why is it that we rarely bought candy or answered our door to trick-or-treaters? Hannah did remember one year I bought candy and left it in a bowl on the front porch for trick-or-treaters. We typically turned the lights off and went into the basement and had a family movie night. I made special treats and it was fun. Other years our church had a Harvest party and children were encouraged to dress up as their favorite Bible character.
Is trick-or-treating really so bad? What is so bad about Halloween? If our kids put costumes on and go trick-or-treating, is that promoting evil? Playing with Satan?
When I thought about it the whole Halloween thing, I thought about our neighborhood. I thought about the kids who had just come to the door and the kids who had come to the door last year. They wore cute costumes, nothing evil, eerie, or Satanic. As far as our neighborhood, the most I saw for Halloween decorations was one lit pumpkin. Most of our neighbors are empty nesters or retirement age - they are "over" Halloween for the most part. Our home was kind of the extravagant one with two carved pumpkins on the front porch (pictured above) - lol. We're talking a no-Halloween-frills neighborhood here, just homes with the front porch lights on and neighbors ready to hand out candy. I came to the conclusion that in my neighborhood, Halloween is a day where kids dressed up in basic costumes and neighbors give out candy - there really was nothing more, and nothing sinister or evil about it.
I pray that now that you know the truth behind Halloween, you will make the decision to keep your children from something rooted in and derived from evil. Source
We have shared with the kids about how some people celebrate the day, and that we do not celebrate that kind of evil. But tonight, after being questioned numerous times by my children, I simply could not find a good enough reason not to go trick-or-treating based on what I had seen in our neighborhood and the kids in our neighborhood. And because of that, I decided they could go.
TRICK OR TREATThe Druids went from house to house asking for a contribution to their demonic worship celebration. If a person didn't give, their trick was to kill him. The people feared the phrase "Trick or Treat."
Therefore, it is inappropriate for Christians to celebrate Satan's high holy day or to celebrate with those who practice witchcraft and use occult symbols such as witches, black cats, ghosts, jack-o'-lanterns, etc. This time can be used to make children aware that Halloween is an alliance with the powers of darkness and that it is now our privilege to live as children of light. Source
The stipulation was that they had to come up with a costume with what we had at home and that they had to put it together within minutes because it was already approaching 8 pm. One child grabbed a bed sheet and made some sort of cape with it (I still don't know what he was). Our youngest child wore a feathered headband and a cowboy shirt. Go figure. The middle child (aka resident artist) wore worn jeans, a t-shirt, a bandana around his curly strawberry-blonde hair and carried a blow gun. They were quite a sight. I escorted them down the block and down 2 cul-de-sacs before they decided they were done - probably visiting a total of 10 homes.
Why is it that some Christians do not have a problem with Halloween and can enjoy themselves and their family by dressing up, going trick-or-treating? Does it make them less of a Christian? Are they celebrating evil? Are they in sin for participating in Halloween?
The quotes in orange are from various websites with the belief that Christians should not have anything to do with Halloween. This is what has permeated most of the groups I have been a part of in the last 20 years - particularly in the homeschool movement and conservative Christian churches.
At my former church, my pastor decided many things for us: what colors of clothing we should avoid wearing, who we were allowed to swim with, the length of our shorts, how we spent our time. In lieu of Halloween, we had a Reformation party and people brought games to play and snacks to share.
I found it interesting that some websites went as far as saying there should not be a Halloween alternative or substitute on that day. So, no Reformation parties or Harvest parties where children wear even Bible characters. I wonder if a child was born on Halloween, would that child be allowed to celebrate their birthday? hmmmm
I can't live under this kind of legalistic bondage of someone deciding for me and my family what is sin and what is evil. When I was living in that kind of rigid environment, convincing myself that I was making the right choice by avoiding evil and some of my friends were "playing with evil", I was judging them. I tried not to judge, but it was easy to do because I felt I was taking the higher road and thought that they were being deceived: what kind of an example were they showing their children?, why would they chose to make light of Satan's day? I may have even asked some of my friends if they thought they should be participating in such an evil day. Who knows. I'm a different person today than I was even 6 months ago.
I am realizing now that when I answered the door last night to the trick-or-treaters, I had the rare opportunity to meet the neighbor kids. What other time would they voluntarily come to my door? These are the same kids that I might meet in the summer at the neighborhood pool. These might be kids my children will eventually play sports, music, or go to school with. I had fun engaging the trick-or-treaters, asking them about their costume, thanking them for stopping by. I enjoyed taking my kids trick-or-treating, getting a chance to say hi to neighbors who are usually inside. This is my community. I want to get to know my neighbors. This was a great occasion to do that - to make a connection.
What I want to be is a genuine Christian - not one that follows rigid rules because someone dictated to me their rules, but one that looks at the full picture in light of how Jesus made an impact in the world. How am I showing the love of Christ with my neighbors? With my children? I want to be an intentional Christian and a thoughtful Christian. I want to model to my children godly discernment, not legalistic rules. Last night, in our unique neighborhood, I really think God was okay with us trick-or-treating.