Tomorrow is Halloween and, regrettably, the UK seems to be embracing the custom with the same degree of unbridled enthusiasm as the US.
While retailers are rubbing their hands with glee all the way to the bank, Christians are cringing at the thought of the ringing doorbell and planning their tactical response: to keep the curtains tightly shut and pretend they’re not home, or to reluctantly participate because it’s ‘fun for the kids’.
Over in the US, my sister-in-law laments the general ‘no problem’ attitude of Christians: “Almost no-one takes a stand against it. Like so much that is inherently evil, people choose not to give it that name and so, I suppose, they don’t feel they have to stand against it. In any event, in not participating in the trick-or-treating you are regarded as a kill-joy seeking to spoil the children’s fun.”
How do Christians in Britain feel about Halloween? Is it innocuous fun, or an occultic practice that should be avoided at all cost?
Lies of Halloween
Yesterday, in a blog entitled The Tragedy of Halloween, Canon J John posted an excellent commentary on the lies that Halloween perpetuates, and warned against allowing our children to be deceived.
Two that resonated most with me were that ‘evil is trivial’ and ‘evil is undefeatable’. As he says, “Nowhere in Halloween is there any sense that evil should be combated and can be defeated…. The subtle lesson that Halloween teaches here is that all you can do with evil, death and the occult powers is to appease them by making an offering to them and hoping that they will go away…. How much more encouraging is the good news that, on the cross, Jesus defeated all the powers of evil.”
In his Christians and Halloween article, Grace to You’s Travis Allen explains the origins of the custom and tackles its current-day practice from a US perspective. But most significantly, he advocates using the event as an opportunity to share the love and truth of the gospel.
It’s for children
No doubt Christian parents find this time of year challenging, with children under pressure to participate in Halloween-themed parties, wear scary costumes, eat ghoulish-looking food and, of course, join in the mandatory trick-or-treating.
As a church, we will be hosting an alternative party where local children will play games, eat party food and enjoy a great deal of fun but in a wholesome, Godly environment.
In the Koeksister household we’ve decided to hand out sweeties to those kids who come knocking, but along with a UCB Bag of Hope containing a gospel booklet. With its truth, says J John, “we can change the eternal destiny of a child.”
Now that’s worth sharing this Halloween, along with a prayer for God’s ‘hallowed-ness’ to reinvade our neighbourhoods.
Do you think Christian objections to Halloween are a storm in a teacup? Or do you see the custom as evil? What do you think the Christian’s response to Halloween should be?