|Copyright © 2004, 2008 - All rights retained by author|
|Written by: C. W. Booth|
Halloween is a day of pagan celebration. Whatever its true roots, today it embraces and festively commemorates many things ostensibly evil. Witches, demons, death, degradation, spell making, hauntings, and the list goes on.
It also has its innocent side. Children getting out of their homes to meet their neighbors, consumption of mass quantities of candy, parents spending time with their children, community events, and that list too goes on.
So, how can this obvious clash between the celebration of evil and the positive aspects of family time be reconciled? No Christian wants to participate in evil, nor to be seen as endorsing that which is evil. Yet, their own children feel left out of the fun, and the community pressure to join in the festivity is enormous.
One of the simplest solutions to employ is to hold an alternative celebration, not sanctioning evil but thanking God for His blessings, by throwing a Fall Festival, a Harvest Party, or boldly declaring a Fright-Free Party Night at the church; this latter approach is the one taken by our church annually. There is certainly nothing wrong with celebrating God's bountiful showering of abundance on His people with a community feast. A Harvest Party accomplishes that and still maintains the benefit of the communal aspects of the celebration.
Those who choose to remain at home, a perfectly legitimate option, might consider other means of reclaiming the night. In our neighborhood between the hours of 5pm and 8pm there is a steady stream of children going door-to-door for "trick-or-treat". Yes, I do give out candy in the spirit of being a good neighbor. At times, I have also supplemented the candy with Bible tracts. "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.(Ephesians 5:15,16) Make the most of the time. When else do you have the same opportunity to give away tracts to willing recipients who actually come to your door fully expecting to get something from your hand?
Another option is to buy a large bag of candy and a large collection of Bible tracts or church flyers, and go out "treating, not tricking." Knock on each door, just as the children are doing, and when someone answers say, "treat, no tricks" and hand them candy and a tracts taking nothing in return. Laugh, wish them a good evening, and go on.
Keep in mind that most of the parents and children really have no idea what they are actually celebrating. What on the surface to your eyes looks like a night of evil can be redeemed, at least for you, with a little planning and minimal effort.