In light of this week’s beloved and hated holiday, I want to share some thoughts. This is yet another topic that divides Christians, and like many other points of disagreement, it is not a simple one.
Our theology directs us to one side or the other on the subject of Halloween. An oversimplification may set the outer boundaries, but not do much to further the discussion. That deeper conversation might best be held at another time and place. But here’s my generalization.
Those who lean left, being less inclined toward a literal reading of the scriptures, will not put much stock in supernatural overtones. This week for them will be an opportunity for a harmless, fun holiday that children of all ages can enjoy.
Those who lean right and take the Bible at face value may see this as a festival that celebrates a culture of death, violence, and the world of spiritual evil. For them, it is unsuitable for Christians to participate in events that promote paganism, witchcraft, or demonic activity. On the far end, it can’t be sanitized enough to make it innocent fun.
Many believers fall somewhere between the two poles I’ve just identified. Most people decide to what degree they will participate or not. Churches feel they have gotten around the issues by offering Harvest Festivals and Trunk or Treat. They don’t want the children to feel deprived of a fun holiday that their classmates get to enjoy. So they provide a safe alternative with suitable entertainment and plenty of goodies to share.
As I said, we could have a long conversation about this subject, but we aren’t going to change the cultural holiday that’s scheduled this week.
I love this quote from C.S. Lewis.
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
Actually, sometimes even those who disbelieve in the supernatural realm also have a curiosity about it. Who do you know that has a craving for entertainment about the paranormal and occult? It’s a dangerous and poor substitute for realities of the holy, spiritual world over which the Almighty God rules.
I hate the fear factor being increased this week, especially for children. There are enough frightening things with real world events, without promoting more horror movies and tv shows. As I said recently on Twitter, I don’t watch those things because the images and sounds tend to take up residence in my brain. I’ve got enough things in there needing eviction notices, without inviting more undesirables in too.
I’ll share some scriptures I find helpful going into this week.
- There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. – I John 4:18
- For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – I Timothy 1:7
- The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? – Psalm 27: 1
- You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. – I John 4:4
Also, Romans chapter 14 may have some application to this discussion, but I’ll let you work that out on your own. Can I have a piece of candy, please?
Otherwise, it’s Reformation week, closing with All Saints Day. We serve the God who has blessed the saints of old, and continues to bless us now.
Blessings to you, Dottie