I have never understood Halloween; from either a secular point of view or a religious one. I wrote yesterday about the secular part, but really do not understand why Halloween has become accepted by many in the Christian community as well. I am not saying everyone in the Christian community buys into all goblins and goons and gore that are so celebrated, but should there not be a line drawn somewhere? Should we not as Christians stand up for what we know to be true? Christ came to bring life – not promote death. He came to bring peace – not instill fear. He came with the offer of salvation from the consequences of sin – not permission to revel in them.
Now I know some will say that Halloween is all in good fun as long as you don’t get into all of the evil stuff. The princess or super hero costume is fine and the jack-o-lantern as well as long as he has a happy face. Some churches even promote their own version of Halloween and call their celebration a ‘harvest party’ or an ‘autumn festival’. Of course, the requirement is that costumes must be of Biblical characters and you won’t find any spiders or webs or bats or skeletons in coffins. There will be candy and bobbing for apples and maybe even a pumpkin pie eating contest. We present a version of Halloween that is close enough to the world’s version so they feel welcome…but not so close that we feel uncomfortable. I have seen some pretty big productions!
All of that is well and good but again, what is the point? Instead of providing an alternative to the world’s Halloween, why not just present the truth of a savior who came to conquer sin and death and provide a way out of the hell and damnation that Halloween celebrates? The answer to that question, as I’ve seen and heard many times, is numbers – no one would show up. All you end up doing is preaching to the choir while the lost are still lost. So in order to reach a few, we become like them and before too long the only difference is our celebration is cleaner, kinder, and safer. It is not only Halloween replacing a Christian world view – think about it the next time you see Santa and his eight reindeer on the roof of a nativity scene or an Easter egg hunt in the church yard.
Have we become too like the world? Is not our truth better than their fantasy? Is it not our job just to present that truth and let the Holy Spirit draw the people in? How about we chuck all the syncretism and stand up for the Gospel. It is this truth that will set them free…not the harvest party in the fellowship hall.