Halloween: Should You Stay or Should You Go?
Kevin EastKevin East is the President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of East Texas. He formerly served Pine Cove Camps as their Executive Director of Ministries. He writes at his blog, "Following to Lead". Connect with him on Twitter @kevinteast.
- 2015 Oct 29
I have great memories as a kid running around my neighborhood trying to get as much candy as possible each Halloween. I was the first one out and the last one back. Recently, I read about how someone explained Halloween to Jerry Seinfeld when he was a kid. His response, “You mean people are giving away candy…for free? And all I have to do is wear that?” That was my thought as well.
Once Steph and I started having kids, we began to determine what our family traditions would be. Would we just move forward into what our culture labeled as the norm, do something completely different, or nothing at all?
Those against Halloween have typically said:
- It celebrates evil
- There will be razor blades in your candy
- It’s part of a worldly culture
- It’s pagan
Those for it have argued:
- Kids love it
- It’s fun
- Makes for great memories
- It might be pagan, but kids don’t know it
- If there are razor blades, they can always be removed
We now have 4 kids staring at us, eager to know what we are going to do. For us, we didn’t want to just “end up” somewhere, but instead wanted to carefully consider it. Here is where we have landed:
Most people have no clue why Halloween is even celebrated. I sure didn’t. So I wanted to do a lot of research. After reading up on it, it made much more sense. There is no need for me to recite here all that I read, because a friend of mine wrote a post recently that is a great overview of what Halloween is. It is a thorough, meaty; a must read. I highly encourage it.
Now, once you read it, you will now have a better understanding of our conclusion.
We have decided to wholeheartedly join in the festivities known as Halloween. This year, my kids will be known as Buzz Lightyear, Captain Jack Sparrow, a bumblebee and a princess. Our reasons for our decision are fairly straightforward:
1.It’s a great opportunity to engage our neighbors. It is easy for all of us to stay just busy enough where we never interact with our neighbors. We’ve got to be purposeful to make that happen. This night known as Halloween gives us great opportunity for it.
2. It’s a great teachable moment for our kids. I believe Satan is real, that there are demons, and that they would love nothing more to see us destroyed. On this night, when you see many decorations display these items, we see it as an opportunity to talk about what they are. They aren’t just decorations, but reminders that spiritual warfare is real. We will be talking about God’s power, and how that everything evil shudders at the Name of Jesus!
3. It’s an example of using something for good. In scripture we see people use musical instruments for satanic worship. We use them to worship God Himself. In the same way, yes, people use Halloween as an opportunity to glorify evil. Not us. We’ll join in on the festivities using it for the good of being an example, loving our neighbors, and creating great memories with our kids.
As Christians, we can choose to be afraid of darn near anything. Let’s not throw Halloween on that pile. Instead, let’s join our neighbors, build relationships, and create great starting points for future relationships and conversation. After all, we are meant to be a light in a dark world. So instead of hiding, we shine brightly. Instead of glorifying evil, we glorify Jesus.
We thank God in advance for the time we’ll have with our kids, and for the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that people will hopefully be giving out.
What’s your take? Will you or your family be dressing up and joining in? Why or why not?
Publication date: October 29, 2015