A Balanced Perspective on Halloween

Every year around the this time Christian debate the morality of Halloween.  I have been on both sides of this debate. 

As a child, both my brother and I eagerly awaited the day when we could don our costumes and binge on collected candy from the neighborhood.  We were aways warned by our father of the evils of the origins of th day, but candy was candy and it was free! 

Yet, during my more mature years, I have come to the conclusion that free candy isn’t always good for you and neither is celebrating a pagan holiday.  Yes, I must admit, I have been guilty of  being judgemental, prideful and condescending while holding this view. 

I was reminded (ok, convicted) of this when reading the latest blog post from my pastor, Bob Bixby. I would encourage you to give it a read.  I appreciate how he weaves together condemnations of wicked elements of the day and the prideful elements of the opposition of it.  Here’s an excerpt:

Avoid the 2 Extremes

There are two extremes to avoid in the Halloween discussion. Fitting with the theme, I’ll classify two bad extremes as 1/”the spooked” and 2/”the zombies.”

1. The Spooked.

I am saddened to see how many Christians get all spooked by all the dark data around this holiday. They quote witches and give (often fanciful) “historical” analysis of the origin of every single tradition from costumes, to eating treats, to ringing a doorbell. Some of it’s true.

But even if it is all true, the Christian knows so much more. Frankly, these things do not spook me because they have very little to do with the really troubling reality of demons. Satan and his demons are more into presenting themselves as beautiful creatures and in crafty and deceitful teaching. While lots of people this Halloween will be disguising themselves as freaky blood-stained goblins, Satan also disguises himself. As an angel of light! And his servants disguise themselves as “servants of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11: 14-15). In other words, I think it plays into Satan’s devices when the world categorizes all things freakish and gory to him, the forked tail and the horns, and all things with the appearance of beauty and light as necessarily good. Likewise I think Christians who hyperventilate about the sensationalized occult elements of the holiday in order to build their case that Christians everywhere should abstain from all appearances of association with it are really contributing to the same kind of misguided fear that their secular neighbors embrace as part of the ritual of Halloween.

Let me put it this way: part of the aura of Halloween is to actually embrace fear for the fun. When Christians get all worked up about the dark side of the holiday they end up actually promoting the very thing they abhor. They come across as spooked. And that makes the holiday all the more appealing.

2. The Zombies.

When Christians gullibly walk the way the worldlings walk, they are like zombies. It is very frustrating to me to hear Halloween Christians glibly mock the concerned non-Halloween Christians for having any concerns at all as if they are superstitious or legalistic. But the opposite of superstition is not naivete. Our theology should govern our analysis of the world and its activities. Therefore, we should know that Satan is real, sensuality is real, and the chronic obsession of our society with death and darkness is indicative of the fact that men love darkness rather than light. Besides, the ghoulish costumes and fascination with death, the trite and mindless vanity of the holiday should cause all Christians everywhere to pause. Instead of walking like zombies who follow the course of this world from one holiday to the next, Christians should thoughtfully interact with their world in such a way that proves that they are lovers of light rather than darkness.

  Read the whole blog post here – http://msbcstuff.com/2010/10/29/lets-talk-about-halloween/

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