October 31, 2006

Halloween: What does it mean to you?

For as long as I can remember, the Fall season always reminded me of apples, changing leaves, crisp air that drove out the long, hot summer, and Halloween.

I was always big on decorating for Halloween and when my children were young, I always took them trick-or-treating. Some nights were drizzly and wet and I admit, it was a chore to drive along, letting them out, getting them back in the car, while onward we drove to the next house. But looking back, I wouldn’t trade those days and I will always remember them. It was worth all of the soggy costumes, messy makeup, and ripped candy bags. The joy it brought the kids couldn’t have been more than the joy it seemed to bring those homeowners who greeted them with a bowl full of goodies. When I was a kid, growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, Halloween was not regarded as an evil holiday. It was generally viewed as a “fun” holiday. I am a Christian in case you were wondering. When I was a teen and still trick or treating, I was regularly attending church. The pastor and church members pretty much saw the issue of Halloween and what a Christian is to do on Halloween very differently as many in the church do today. There were no fall festivals to keep the members and their little children from participating in trick or treating because it was “evil”. A majority of the church members took their kids trick or treating without the slightest worry that they might be committing a sin by doing so. But times, they certainly do change. What we have in the past ten years is a bend towards viewing these Halloween activities as evil incarnate. Since I am not one to go with the flow, the following is my view on Halloween and the activities of Halloween:

On Halloween history:

Just because some did evil and had twisted views regarding October 31 long ago does not mean that I hold their views. I am not somehow flung back to the past and joined with those who held twisted and evil thoughts concerning the day October 31. The question of whether one is to decorate, participate in harmless activities that have to do with the holiday, just as other issues in life, is an issue of the heart. Did you know that the Christmas tree has pagan roots? Even though it does, if you are a Christian, you don’t share those pagan beliefs about the tree do you? I know that I don’t. And that is why I do put up a Christmas tree. When I think about the origin of the Christmas tree, I don’t care what some people BEGAN using a tree on Christmas for long ago in the past, they are not me. The same applies for Halloween. I don’t share the beliefs that the pagans held. Their twisted beliefs mean nothing to me and my life in the year 2006. They were deceived. Instead of seeing a pumpkin, they saw a damned soul? Well, that is their problem. That is what spiritual ignorance will get you. When I see a pumpkin, I see a fruit that the Lord made and allowed us to enjoy. The same goes for the bat. The bat is associated with Halloween and to some it may be associated with evil in some way, but I don’t associate it in the same way as they do. The Lord made the bat and they are creatures to me. That’s all they are.

Trick or Treating will always be to me what it was when I was a child. A day in which you dress the kids up in silly garb and take them around to collect treats. It brings those who greet them at the door much joy and really makes the kids happy. Going to a Halloween carnival is fun and is not something that is evil unless perhaps it is to you personally. And in that case, you should not do it. If some of the activities we associate Halloween with such as going to a Halloween carnival or trick or treating or carving a pumpkin is evil to you, ask yourself why you view them as evil. Why would cutting up a pumpkin and putting a candle in it be evil? If the answer is because some druids or Celtics did it to ward off evil souls or some such nonsense, then you have to ask yourself if you hold their same view. If you do, I feel sorry for you, you are just as deceived as they were then. If you don’t, then grab the pumpkin, carving utensils and get after it!

If Halloween is a stumbling block to you, then don’t do anything on that day. But please, don’t think others are evil if they choose to participate in some of the activities pertaining to Halloween.

A day is just a day. It is what we make it and not what those who lived it long ago made it. They and their beliefs should hold no sway over those of us who have been made alive in Christ! We are free from the traditions of man. What matters? The heart and our motivations in everything we do.

To read more on Halloween, click the following links:

Halloween and the Christian, Pt 1

Halloween and the Christian, Pt 2

Halloween and the Christian, Pt 3

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