Halloween is a challenge for me. It’s amazing how much the holiday has grown since I was a kid. It’s a big deal today. For Christians, it presents a challenge. There is no doubt that there is a certain darkness to it and that it has roots in very non-Christian practices.
There are bible verses that seem to counsel against participating in Halloween
- Philippians 4:8—”think about pure, lovely, noble things”
- Romans 13:12—“put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22—“Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”
- 3 John 1:11—“do not imitate what is evil”
- Deuteronomy 18:9-14—”do not learn to imitate detestable ways, including spiritists, sorcerers and witchcraft”
On the other hand I see my great-grandson dressed up as dinosaur and I have to wonder what can be wrong with that. There have been years where we hosted “harvest” alternative celebrations, where we just turned out the lights and hide in the bedroom, or where we passed out tracts with the candy. I am not sure what’s the best response. I guess I like Kirk Cameron’s perspective:
“Christians have always known since the first century that death was defeated, that the grave was overwhelmed, that ghosts, goblins, devils are foolish has-beens who used to be in power but not anymore. That’s the perspective Christians should have.”
The best approach is to consider Halloween a teachable moment. Here are some truths we should consider passing along.
The Spiritual is very real, both the light and the dark. It’s important for kids to understand there is a spiritual side of things. That some of the dark side of the spiritual isn’t to be messed with. Children should learn that the fight is “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12.
The light has already won. Kids should be taught to be wary of dark forces, but not afraid of them. The essential part of any education on the spiritual is an introduction to Jesus and the victory He represents.
Often, Halloween’s most popular costumes mimic those who are not great role models. This provides an opportunity to teach about role models, the good ones and the bad ones.
Safety. Sadly each year some nuts use the distribution of candy and goodies to harm children. This is a great time of year to teach kids about good common sense in our interactions with others.
Just because Halloween has become so popular I’m not advocating an “if you can’t beat ’em, join em” attitude. I am suggesting that be very open for opportunities to teach our kids really important good things.