Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Christians and Halloween

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Jack-o-latern[/caption]

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of Halloween. I've had Romans 14 thrown at me about judging Christians who celebrate Halloween, been called narrow minded, and have had people try to explain that it's just fun as long as you don't dress up as ghosts, goblins, skeletons, or whatever other creepy creature is out there.  But I have to ask, "what is the redeeming feature about Halloween?" I have yet to ever receive an answer. I also don't get where someone gets the idea that I'm judging those Christians who celebrate Halloween. Maybe I am, to an extent, but who's the weaker brother here? So, before I get into a rant, let me explain my ideas behind Christians and Halloween.

Halloween has morphed from what used to be called "All Hallow's Eve." All Saint's Day followed by All Soul's Day are the next two days which are traditionally celebrated by the Catholic Church in which the saint's are honored and those who have not reached Heaven are prayed for that they would. Definitely unBiblical, obviously, according to Protestant doctrine. Halloween can also be traced to Samhain, a Celtic/Gaelic festival celebrating the end of Summer.

In the American tradition of Halloween, kids typically dress up in costumes such as ghosts, skeletons, Batman, Darth Vader, and princesses, and go around from house to house saying "trick or treat" in order to get candy. Simply the whole "trick" part should be considered unBiblical in that it is basically a threat that if you don't give me what I want, I'm going to do something bad to you. Should we, as Christians, partake in such foolishness? It is just good, clean fun, right? At least, that's what I've been told before. Dressing up has it's tradition in scaring away evil spirits. As Christians indwelt by the Holy Spirit, should this be an issue for us?

Christians in America simply are not very discerning. They really could care less about what traditions mean. Even our modern Christmas and Easter celebrations have their roots in pagan traditions that have been "Christianized" mostly by the Catholic Church. We offer Halloween alternatives such as Judgment House and fall festivals. One alternative that I don't see a problem with necessarily is Reformation Day. Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on October 31, and we, as Protestants, should remember that we hold a debt of gratitude to the reformers such as Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and others for leading us out of the bondage that the Catholic Church had people in.

Let's be discerning as we go into this season and see all of these unBiblical things around us. We are to be salt and light to a dying world, but we should not celebrate the world. We must celebrate life. Halloween represents death. Even scary movies are all about death. I don't care what fun you may think they hold, they do not celebrate Christ. There is not a redeeming quality about them. There is not a redeeming quality about Halloween.