The Halloween Dilemma

Lots of good discussion over the last couple days about Halloween. It’s interesting to me how our past experiences and present influences color our beliefs.

Rachel and Morgan, for example, both grew up in homes that taught the evils of Halloween, but both of them now have a different view (for different reasons).

Zoe likened celebrating Halloween to drinking alcohol, and I think that comparison is apropos. Some people can “handle it” and others have to refuse to taste a drop.

Suzan shared her experience with occult involvement and Krysti shared hers witnessing the effects of Halloween trappings on her children.

Then KR asked the key question: shouldn’t we have some agreement within the body of Christ?

I think that might be the problem—we’re all coming at this hotbed topic from different points of view, and yet we’re expecting agreement.

We aren’t going to find agreement because our past experiences and our present influences—all of which differ from person to person—affect what we think.

Because of my childhood background, I thought the school I taught in, by banning all Halloween trappings and celebrations, was behaving a bit like Chicken Little crying that the sky was falling—until Charles Manson carved a pentagram in his forehead. Suddenly I got it. Paganism, in stark rebellion to God and His law, was in our culture.

The students I taught needed to know.

But what did they need to know? That carving a face in a pumpkin was sinful? That dressing up like a princess and going door to door for candy is sinful?

That having a party called a Harvest Festival is OK but having one and calling it a Halloween party is sinful?

Too often I think we Christians, in our zeal for the truth, forget why we’re teaching what we teach to children and why we believe what we believe.

Would any of us disagree that Satan is real and he is to be resisted? I suspect evangelical Christians see eye to eye on this point.

Would any of us condone participation in Wiccan celebrations? I imagine we would uniformly say we would not.

At the core, I believe we would be united in those points because we believe in Jesus and do not want to give any quarter to the enemy of our souls.

But from that point, our agreement splinters based on our experience. Which is why I believe grace needs to reign. Grace and our oneness in Christ.

Scripture is clear how we are to treat one another though it says nothing about carving pumpkins or bobbing for apples or for that matter, pretending to ride a broom.

As I see it, Halloween is a great opportunity for Christians to witness to the world, not because we all should give out tracts that night but because we can stand up and say, I love my brother in Christ MORE than these other things. I will respect my brother’s decisions and not ridicule or judge or accuse. I will not insist he does things my way. And if necessary to keep from offending him, because he’s got a weakness in this area, I won’t do things my way either.

Now that‘s what I think we Christians should agree on.

Published in: on October 7, 2010 at 6:04 pm  Comments (6)  
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