Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why We Wont Be Trick or Treating This Year

When I had kids I wanted my children to experience halloween. It wasn't something we did growinig up (I think I can remember once going to the mall in homemade costumes). I wanted them to get to pick out a cute costume and to see and hear people react to their adorableness. But this year we won't be trick or treating.

While the appropriateness of a Christian celebrating (and by participating we are celebrating) had crossed my mind, it actually was my 6 year old who sealed the deal for us.

Brianna has recently become aware of Satan's role in deceiving us into sin. She has realized and verbalized to several other children now that while we make the final choice, Satan is the master deceiver. As we drive through our neighborhood she asked me what God thought about halloween. Up until this point I had always chosen to believe that because we personally did our best to avoid the evil aspects of halloween that it was ok for us to go trick or treating. I mean what's the harm right? We would just explain to our kids why we don't dress up scary and move on. After all the Bible doesn't specifically say not to celebrate halloween, right? When the line is blurred between what is right and wrong in a situation (let's for the sake of this blog post pretend that it is), or the Bible doesn't give us specifics on how to act in certain circumstances, I refer back to 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. So now the question is, is participating in halloween to the glory of God?

I don't think it is really necessary to go into detail about what halloween stands for. It is plain as day, when I walk outside to get my mail and see ghosts, witches, demons and murder scenes in peoples front yards. It is evident when you visit a haunted house that it is not a God honoring place.

No matter what frilly outfit we put our daughters in or what costumes we avoid for our sons, when I walk out the door and participate in halloween, I am celebrating the devil.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 (King James Version)

21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

22Abstain from all appearance of evil.

This year we will not purchase costumes and we will stay home. We will chose to glorify God by not participating in trick or treating.

Halloween and the Bible
This is a great site to start with on learning the back history on halloween.


Brandie said...

I don't think Jesus would 'not participate' in this said holiday. I think he would take a different approach and pass out scriptures with His candy and invitations to his church. He would host a family, friendly carnival and a house to walk through showing what He went through and try to save lives.

I don't think we are called to avoid the negative, but make something positive of those times. I think sometimes we shut ourselves out of the world and this can lead others to dislike Christianity as a whole. Rather than not partaking, do so in a Christlike manner. It will be a far better act of witnessing than staying indoors.

Anonymous said...

We could try to turn it back to a positive celebration of the holy people that lived before us, hence it's name - All Hallow's (holy) Eve.


Anna said...

I will have to disagree. To me this is the same as saying let's go sit in a bar and hand out tracks. We will be ok as long as we don't drink! It is the appearance of evil.

This holiday is so entrentched in evil and satanic occultic history that I just do not believe that Christ would want us having any part of it, because even with good intentions, to the world it will look like we are ok with celebrating halloween.

We are not called to avoid the negative. We are called to avoid ALL appearances of evil. The Bible says stay away from anything that even just looks evil! I would have to say that halloween is about as evil looking as it gets! I can not base what I do on whether someone is going to like me (or Christianity). The Bible teaches us that the world will hate us. I think we are way to worried about whether we are going to be liked.

We looked up alot of scripture that we thought would be appropriate to make this decision and I just do see anything that justifies participating in halloween in any capacity. However, I do find abundant scripture that instructs me to stay away from evil. At this point it is our conviction that we as Christians should not participate.

If you must celebrate at this time celebrate Reformation Day instead :)

Anna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna said...

All Hallows Eve is still associated with pagan rituals involving the spirts of the dead coming back at full strength for just that night. Revised comment. I do realize there are Catholic links back to all hallows. I would have to look up the rituals involved in celebrating it to see how I feel about that.

Brandie said...

I understand all that, I really do. But Christ still would act differently. He would do something BIG to be seen. To show you can have fun without evil. He took every opportunity given to witness. Talking about going to a bar is out of context. He wouldn't be at a bar, but I bet he would associate outside of the bar. We have to remember that non-Christians are watching us and they have to actually see us to want to make that change in their life. This is more than just Halloween, it's every aspect in life. I'm just afraid that we may be giving a negative image while trying to stand too firm in an opinions. We need to be in the world, not of the world.

Anna said...

All of which we can do without celebrating halloween.

Part of my witness is what activities I do and don't participate in. You can be an example by not participating in something just as well as you can be one by changing how you participate.

If you are going to do something else, IMHO it needs to be utterly and completely different from halloween. It needs to have NO resemblence whatsoever to halloween celebrations.

People are watching us and if we look no different than they do then why bother becoming a Christian at all?

At any rate, I am not asking anyone else to hold our convictions. I would rather been seen as a prude and know that I am doing what Christ has called me personally to do, than to find myself sinning by not doing what I know is right.

How anyone else choses to view halloween is entirely between them and God :)

Now my brain hurts, so I am heading to bed.

Rachel said...

The older I get the more I see Halloween shift -- what society tolerates as "okay" to do. Like you said -- the graves, the pretend murder scenes, alien cut-outs on windows and more. To me, it's sad. I don't remember such a glorification of evil when I was a child. Who knows, I might have not seen it.

My oldest two daughters hate Halloween. Plain and simple. I didn't teach this to them. They've gone trick or treating before for years --- yet somehow they recognize the roots.

I always breathe a sigh of relief when November 1st rolls around. I can't stand even going into Target right now. Or turning on the television. There is soooo much emphasis on Halloween that it makes me shudder.

What is the right response? As you wrote, I think it's between each family and God. I know, that for us, we don't embrace it. Do I like opening my door and having my little kids afraid when there are other kids dressed scarily? No. Have I handed out candy before? Yes. What will I do this year? I'm not sure.

What I am thankful for is your willingness to both write and discuss Halloween on your blog. I also appreciate Brandie's discussion as well. So often these points can become so full of emotion to the point where it becomes about being right and thus we lose the ability to listen -- so I truly respect the discussion that you have had. To both of you, thank you.

God's blessings on your evening, and continued blessings as you seek His will.


Anna said...

Ok last post I promise LOL

I think this is where I am at with halloween. We had a chance to take it and make it something good. We had a chance to take the day back and we missed it. Now the whole day is so completely evil that we are better to stay out of it all together. Kind of like a holiday version of Sodem and Gomorah if that makes sense. That's a bit of a simplified thought on it but there ya go.

Brandie lives too close to me for me to risk upsetting her too much hehe.

We can't force our convictions on anyone. All we can do is present the evidence and everyone has to decided through prayer and careful meditation what is God's calling for their life. I do think discussion is healthy for spiritual growth though :)

Nighty night for real this time!

Anonymous said...

Anna, I am so proud to see your post!

I know you and your brothers did not understand why your dad and I stopped allowing you to participate in all the Halloween events, but none of you complained. After all, we were able to replace trick-or-treating with the fall carnival at church, even if it was not on Oct. 31.

That allowed you to have a fun night out without all the satanic overtones, and in a safe, Christian environment. To us, it was worth it.

We also did not have to worry about any of you getting tainted candies or poisoned tatoos, or any of the other nasties that are so prevalant these days, and that are there whether parents are holding their children's hands or allowing them to roam from house to house on their own.

Since the decision was made those many years ago, we also have not participated in the passing out candy routine. Our porch light stays off.

Making a choice like this is definitely a matter of personal conscience and belief. I, for one, am glad that you have taken the path you have, and for the reasons you give. It is even more special since the questions came from my granddaughter. "Out of the mouths of babes", as they say!!


Brandie said...

I think the way we approach subjects is very crucial. Rather than just saying "NO" to Halloween, we need to look for another opportunity. Why not come together as a church, as a community, or as a group of friends and celebrate it differently? Just like raising children - we can't tell them "NO" and except them to be okay with that. They may need a reason and/or another option. Non-believers are like children in a sense, without another option they will continue to participate in the normal traditions if not given another option. They don't know any different! We have to give them another opportunity and share with them why we are doing something other than trick-or-treating. Just like your Mom even said, you didn't participate in Halloween per say, but you did have a Fall carnival at church.

I found this online this morning...

"Too, rather than “hide” in the face of evil, we should unabashedly and boldly create an alternative that is positive and uplifting; that celebrates good over evil and the triumph of God over Satan. We need to provide an environment that also makes room for heaps of fun while using the day as a “teachable moment” to celebrate God’s protection, provision and purpose for our lives."

I understand convictions, and I believe you are teaching your children the right way. However, I think approaching the holiday in a different manner would benefit your children, your friends and your community in a different and far more Christ-like witnessing kind of way =)

PS - No worries people, we are still friends. We debate ALOT!

Anna said...

Was answering on facebook but moved it here since you did :)

My approach was to use scripture to make my point.

The problem I have with this is that scripture seems to point against it, because of the evil associated with the holiday. At any rate, Reformation Day is the same day so we chose to celebrate that day instead. We seem to have this idea that it is our job to turn everything right into fun. Sometimes doing the right thing, isnt doing the fun thing.

My honest hope is that my community knows me because of my every day life and that they add up all those things to deduce that I must be different.

I just think some things we need to stay out of because they are just SO EVIL. I dont think it's always our responsibility to make a worldly ritual fun.

Anyways, my friend, I think we have come to the point of beating a dead horse.Perhaps, some of us are meant to make a statement by staying out of it, while others are meant to make one by offering an alternative? Maybe God has chosen to use us in different ways?

Ashlea "The Favorite" L. said...

Here is my view:

I see it as Halloween as always had that association of evil to it. I can understand that. We were not allowed to trick or treat as kids but we were allowed to pass out candy for some

Like Brandie said...we cannot as Christians hide away just b/c there is evil involved. If that was the case the world in itself is so corrupt that we wouldn't be able to leave our house. However, you also have to pick your battles. In this debate I agree that to each its own.

On the flip this the one holiday where we will take a strong stance on religion. What I am getting at is Christmas. It is the celebration of our Savior's birth. In the Bible does it talk about showering kids with gifts? That is a holiday that has been commercialized to where all the kids see is gifts. Are you going to take your religion and the Bible into that holiday as well? Now, I don't mean the Santa issue either. We don't do Santa. What I am getting at is the fact that Jesus was given only 3 gifts. Those gifts were for a King...not a child. I was just curious if you have thought about this as well....where will the witnessing and putting Christ in Christmas come from this year??

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this, and if it brought one family closer to God and out of the hands of the devil, then you did your job. My children were sick tonight, so we did not go. I've had this sickening feeling on whether to talk to my children about it, what they would think, what my husband would think, what our extended family would think.... UNTIL.... I read this blog! I see what it means to be a strong Christian woman to stand up for what you believe in and do what is right in raising our children. So just now, my children, age 7 and 5 (and the little one but too young to understand now) and my children are ok with it. They understand we should not show any celebration in the devil, they both said they want to follow God and His ways and not the devil. I explained we can buy the costumes they love to play in (this year we bought Wizard of Oz), ironically I guess the "wizard" part of that isn't Christian either now that I think of it... but my daughter wanted to be Dorothy and my son the Tin Man. There is SO MUCH glory hidden in this common world we live in that celebrates and introduces and sneaks the devil into our children's lives.. I agree not to hide them from it, because when it comes time to defeat evil, I want them to identify it and take it head on... but I don't want them to glorify or celebrate the devil's work in any way. I appreciate you sharing these points with us and like I said, if it changed the outlook on just one family this year, you did God's work. Thank you!! The Harris family :)

Anonymous said...

This blog is still changing hearts and minds after 2 years. I am literally sitting here crying and thanking God for these words of confirmation and encouragement. I was never allowed to "trick-or-treat" or participate in festivities celebrating Halloween as a child and i always despised that the experience was withheld from me as a child. I even carried this feeling of deprivation into adulthood!! I vowed to myself that I would never withhold such a fun experience from my child! And i have held true to that promise, UNTIL this year. My husband has always been against celebrating Halloween and we have had several discussion's r/t this issue. My argument being that he always got to celebrate and dress up and he still turned out to be a preacher, so what really could be wrong with it? but i always felt a SLIGHT twinge of conviction over arguing this point because i could hear the words. Those who know to do good and dont follow after it, to him it is a sin! That was his argument. He was not raised as a christian or in a christian home, so he was not raised to follow after God, and to uphold the TRADITIONS of man, which the Bible clearly speaks against. I said all that to say this. My son, who is 7 and the perfect age to really enjoy participating in Halloween and all its glory. Refuses to "trick-or treat " this year! Why? Not because his parents told him he could not, or withheld this great fun experience from him(actually the contrary, I was asking what he was going to be this year two months ago.) But rather because he had questions r/t the subject after seeing all the EVIL pertaining to the holiday and when delving into the information r/t the origin of Halloween( and finally shedding a light on it for myself) explained it to him in kid friendly terms. HE made the decision that he did not want to "celebrate the devil" his words not mine. And after all these years when I thought i was deprived of the experience of celebrating Halloween. It took my own child's curiosity of a pure conscience, to push me to seek out the truth in order to teach him the way he should go and bring peace to me and our family regarding this issue. To the comments regarding christians replacing the Halloween festivities with one of the same magnitude in a christian form. In my research i found out that the catholic church attempted to replace those traditions and it did not work. But those traditions were so strongly set in the hearts of ppl that the church was actually brought into supporting many of the pagan traditions they initially set out to discredit. My conviction personally is to as has been stated before, SHUN the very appearance of evil. SHUN is a harsh word, but Jesus used it and you still love Him. So why wouldn't others? How about having a soul saving, miracle working revival instead?!!! And regarding the comment about handing out tracks at a bar as long as you don't drink, Genius!!! That's so true! You would be associated with that sin. The Bible says, Let not your good be evil spoken of! Let, indicates you have a choice! Choose those things that are pure, Holy and acceptable to God.

The Shoestring Contessa said...

and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones,
2 Peter 2:10 (ESV)

I studied up on what it means to "blaspheme the glorious ones," or "speak evil of dignities," since I didn't know what it meant. My understanding is that the verses are referring to angels of all sorts (so naturally, fallen angels are included). It occurred to me that, as a church, we take VERY lightly the idea of demons and spiritual warfare; but the fact is that Satan is our enemy. He seeks to rob us of joy and victory at the least, and our very souls and lives at the most. WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD GOD'S PEOPLE, WHOM HE HAS CALLED OUT OF DARKNESS AND INTO HIS GLORIOUS LIGHT, choose to HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WHATSOEVER with the darkness from which we were saved? Why would we give any honor to the enemy? It breaks my heart for the Church, that we would so lack discernment. It is no wonder that we have A FORM of Godliness, but completely lack any power. No wonder we have no influence in our culture; we are too entrenched in it ourselves to do anything to change it or to redeem it for the Kingdom.