Thoughts on Halloween

I grew up participating in Halloween enthusiastically.  My mom was creative in our costumes–none of the store-bought stuff for us.  Of course she did not allow anything “evil.”  As close as I got to anything dark was a bat.  Another year I was a monkey.  Minimal costume needed for that.

I was an adult before I met anyone who felt Halloween was off-limits for Christians.  I know may sincere folks who hold this view.  Even so, we at St Peter’s will be on hand to give treats and hot chocolate and smiles to the hordes who will invade south Frankfort.

Here is a newsletter that recently came to me.  It was written by conservative Christian homeschooling father and blogger.  Here is his site.

Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, reportedly said, “I’m glad Christian parents let their children worship the devil at least one night out of the year.” He was speaking, of course, about Halloween night.

I don’t know what’s more troublesome: the fact that LaVey wanted people to worship Satan or the fact that so many Christians got worked up about what he said.

Christians aren’t supposed to base their views about worship on the whimsical statements made by Satanists. (Cult leaders don’t tend to make good Bible interpreters.)

Rather, Christians take their cues from the Word of God—God is the one who defines what real worship is.

Worship is the act of ascribing worth to something or someone—in both our hearts and in our actions. We can, of course, worship an idol (after all, the human heart is a factory of idols). Or we can worship the one true God.

It’s true: our outward activities on Halloween night may be an indication of who or what we worship, but “Satan” is just one possibility in a list of millions.

– Yes, a slim few neo-pagans will gather worship the Devil on Halloween night (as I’m sure they do on other nights).
– Others will worship at the altar of hedonism and sex as they put on seductive costumes, looking to allure others.
– Others will worship their stomachs as they seek to gorge themselves on candy.
– Others will worship at the altar of greed as they seek to outdo their neighbors on decorations.

But you and I can be different. We can choose to worship the true God on Halloween night.

– We can attend our harvest festivals with a spirit of thankfulness to God.
– We can teach our kids (just like medieval Christians taught) that Halloween ought to be a mockery of the Devil, not a celebration of darkness.
– We can honor God by showing love to our neighbors, making our front porches, our homes, and our bonfires into welcoming places.

Jeff Harshbarger, a former Satanist who came out of the occult, gives this advice to Christians on Halloween:

“Enjoy Halloween! How? By being free! I know that the theme of death surrounds the celebration of Halloween. I know that the activities of Halloween had pagan beginnings. I know that there are even criminally minded occultists that do very evil things on Halloween. But that doesn’t nullify the reality that we are not to be dominated by all of this. We can celebrate life instead of death. We can participate in activities without compromising our Christian faith.”

The end of October doesn’t just have to be about Halloween and trick or treating — celebrate Reformation Day or throw an All Saint’s Eve party! Learn more about how Christians can approach this time of year and celebrate in the festivities: A Christian’s Guide to Halloween Activities & Events



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