Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Evolving Views on Halloween

For most of my life I embraced Halloween for the fun of it. As a kid I went trick-or-treating with everyone else. As an adult, when our children were young we dressed them up in various costumes and took lots of photos. The ghoulish, ugly side of the holiday never really appealed to me so that was a non-issue.

About a decade or so ago my wife Alice and I began to take a look at the pagan-ish side of Halloween. The fact that it is Satanism's high, unholy day of the year became a real concern to us. Combined with this, we tired of the increasing commercialization of the day. Therefore, we purposely decided to reject the day by actively not participating in any way (except the requisite Fall Festivals at various churches).

This year, for some unknown reason to me, my views on Halloween have changed again. I'm no longer for or against the day. I simply don't care about it at all anymore. It carries no interest for me. I suppose this puts it in the same group with St. Patrick's Day, Groundhog Day, and Columbus Day. I'm utterly ambivalent about Halloween.

I've come to the conclusion that this is an area of freedom for Christians. If you want to participate by dressing up, handing out candy, and carving pumpkins, then go right ahead. If, however, you want nothing to do with it, then by all means don't participate. As for me, I'll probably not take part just because I'll forget about it.

So I guess evolution does happen once in a while - at least as it pertains to my views on Halloween.

What about you? What do you think of Halloween? Do you participate or not? Why?

15 comments:

abnormalreaction said...

Just wrote my thoughts on this the other day...

http://abnormalreaction.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/jesusween-are-you-serious/

Swanny

Arthur Sido said...

We haven't done Halloween in a long time but I think this year we are going to break with that and let the kids trick or treat. Not for sure yet but that is how I am leaning. In years past we would take the kids to the store the day after Halloween and let them pick out their own candy at half price!

micah7 said...

Eric, I notice that you did not include Christmas in your group of holidays.

Aussie John said...

Eric,

You echo much of my own thinking on the matter.

I have concerns for the children of some families who are allowed to, unchaperoned, knock on doors until late at night.

In recent years, there has been retaliation from older children, when no treats have been forthcoming, broken windows, eggs thrown at houses, even assaults on the elderly.

Jeremy Myers said...

I dress my kids up like Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and then we go out and hand out "Jesus Corn" with Bible tracks and toothbrushes to all the wicked little vampires and goblins who are going to rotting out their teeth and their souls.

...Just kidding. We participate to the hilt. In our area, different town do different parades and different events on different days so as not to compete with each other. So this year it looks like my girls get to dress up four different times for four different "get lots of candy" events.

Of course, my wife doesn't let them eat all the candy they get...so they give it to Daddy.

Eric said...

Swanny,

Thanks!

Eric said...

Arthur,

It is a tough one to know how best to handle. I'm glad for God's grace in this.

Eric said...

Micah,

I don't know what to do with Christmas anymore.

Eric said...

John,

Halloween certainly can turn ugly. Considering the emphasis on ghouls and goblins by some, this makes sense. I suppose it is another example of our fallen world at work.

Eric said...

Jeremy,

Feel free to mail some of the chocolate candy to me. I'll be happy to relieve you of some of it.

Steve Scott said...

Eric,

I did a bunch of research on Halloween a few years ago due to the same line of questioning you had. I discovered that Halloween is actually a Christian holiday for many, as the powers of darkness have been defeated and our costumes are a mocking of them. Then there are the people who view it as a Satanic day. My conviction is that it is a matter of conscience.

Here's a blog post of mine that sums it up:

http://fromthepew.blogspot.com/2007/10/halloween-and-christian-conscience_23.html

Eric said...

Steve,

It sounds like you and I have come to similar conclusions. I'll take a look at your post. Thanks!

Mac said...

Does not God call us to "abstain for all appearances of evil" and did not he say in OT "that we are not to do worship the way the pagans do or to have anything to do with that form of worship, it is an abomination". There are many other passages if one studies it. We have not celebrated the High Holy Day of Satan for 15 years. The conviction has to be by the power of the Holy Spirit. No amount of head knowledge csn change s persons mind. Glad to hear that you are prayerfully thinking on it. I know that it has not been easy breaking away in obedience, but it has been a blessing in many ways. The Grace of our Lord Jesus The Christ be with you brother and may the Holy Spirit lead and Guide you.

Eric said...

Mac,

The reasons you have given are why we gave up celebrating the day several years ago. It is interesting that Christians differ so much on this particular day. I'm trying to show grace to those with differing views even if it is difficult to understand why they want to celebrate it.

Eric said...
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