So it’s October 31st once again.
I love October. I love the weather in October. I love the colors of October. I love post season in October (usually ;) ). But I don’t love the holiday in October.
Over the last few days I’ve come across several different thoughts on halloween (some of which I’m linking to in this post) and have spent some time mulling over them. Now I realize there are many opinions about this holiday, and I’m not trying to stir the pot. (Hmm, probably not the best analogy in this case…)
There are a lot of harmless things about celebrating, such as donning a playful costume (who doesn’t like to dress up?!), or eating sweets (what bozo turns down free chocolate?). But given the pagan origins of this holiday, and the downright creepy affects it has on neighbor’s lawns and store ads, it would probably be wise for Christians to at least give the matter some thought.
For an excellent overview of the history of halloween and why Christians should approach it cautiously, check out this article by SBTS President, Al Mohler. I particularly appreciated his thoughts.
“Christian parents should make careful decisions based on a biblically-informed Christian conscience. Some Halloween practices are clearly out of bounds. Others may be strategically transformed, but this takes hard work and may meet with mixed success.” read more —>>
For a complete opposite approach, ie “evangelizing” trick-or-treaters, you’re welcome to consider and read this article a Canadian mother wrote a year ago. She has a very different perspective from Dr. Mohler, let me just say. Gotta keep things balanced, ya know.
This writer’s view is probably somewhere in the middle of the two above, as far as opinions go. He reminds Christians to not condemn or judge other believers no matter what their course of action on October 31st is, citing Romans 14 and Colossians 2.
For a refreshing reminder of keeping our minds and thoughts focused on Light rather than Darkness, go read Leslie Ludy’s blog post. This is good practice any day of the year.
“During this season when the rest of the world focuses so much on darkness, we as Christians are given the privilege (and command) of turning our minds and hearts on something altogether different – His light. While the world glorifies evil and death, we are commanded to meditate upon His abundant life.” read more —>>
For this next link, I can’t say what I think because I haven’t read it. And I can’t read it. The only reason I’m linking to it is because it’s from a trusted website, Aviva Nuestros Corazones, the Spanish equivalent of Revive Our Hearts. From the leetle bitty bit of Spanish I know, I can tell that it’s about why the author does not celebrate halloween. So if any of you read Spanish, I’d love to know what she has to say. :)
If you want a reason to celebrate that’s completely non-related to anything halloween, look into the events of October 31, 1517. This is the day Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses on the church door in Wittenburg. Learn more about Reformation Day in this article over at Ligonier Ministries.
Along that same note, dig in a little deeper about the rippling affects of Luther’s action that day on “All Hallows’ Eve” in this post from the Desiring God blog. You might be surprised to find that it is no accident that Reformation Day and Halloween coincide. You can also find out what Luther himself had to say in his Ninety-Five Theses.
So to summarize, I’m not against pumpkins on the porch, or candy for kids. But I want to be mindful of the spiritual darkness that is very real; of the unseen spiritual forces at war with each other, for which reason we’re told to “stand firm”, and to “put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Eph. 6:10, 11)
As I was reminded this week in an e-letter, it is easy to forget about the serious battle that is waging around us even while we speak. Even while I answer the door to give away
candy to a “football official” and “wolf”.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12)