halloween is good?

Jackolantern_christopher_walters_47I really enjoy Halloween.
Yeah, I know there is a lot of demonic stuff associated with Halloween… but that distinction is not really all that unique.  Many of our Western holidays are associated with ancient pagan celebrations in one way or another (even Christmas!).  In fact, All Hallows Eve used to be a very spiritual time for Christians in Europe,1200 years ago, the Pope converted the Celtic celebration of the dead into a "Christian" celebration of Catholic Saints.  At that time, the three days of celebration (not just one evening!) were called "Hallowmas".   (Click here for the history of the holiday.)

I’ve gone back and forth through out my lifetime on whether Halloween is a good holiday.  As a kid, I absolutely loved it.  Are you kidding?!  I got to dress up in some crazy costume, walk around the neighborhood at twilight, and got junk loads of free candy!  Afterwards I got to lay out all my stash in a huge pile on my bed and trade with my brothers for Nerds and Kit Kats!  Amazing stuff!  But as a young adult, I began to freak out about the occult influence on the holiday.  Why in the world would I be comfortable with a holiday that honors demons and death and gore and fear?  In some years I would cancel any other activity that night except to retreat and pray against all the evil stuff that was to happen that night.

Now, I love the holiday again.  And I’ve come up with three reasons why:

  1. I’ve got three kids.  The fact is that my kids love Halloween like I did.  In the innocence of their hearts they delight in the creativity and fun of getting dressed up.  And they revel in the one day a year they get to collect a bag full of candy!  They also love sharing their costumes with their friends and showing off their whit to our neighbors.  Which brings me to point #2…
  2. I’ve got hundreds of neighbors. What other night of the year do we get to interact with so many of our neighbors than Halloween?  Rarely does any day bring neighbors out of their houses and onto the streets like this day.  I actually feel that it would be wrong for me in the eyes of God not to take the opportunity to interact with and build relationships with my neighbors on this night.  A darkened door could be a sign of an uninviting house.  So we turn all our lights on and keep the candy pouring out.
  3. I’ve got a prayerful heart. In fact, I spend the whole night praying.  That’s something at least that I learned from my prayer warrior Halloween nights.  And it would be absolutely wrong for me to neglect the spiritual crap that happens on this holiday.  Plus, in interacting with my neighbors, I should be praying!  I want to be a light on a very dark night, so that those around us can see Jesus and learn of his love for us.

8 Comments

  1. Thanks Heather! Great to hear from you. Glad the post was encouraging… Taking the opportunities to building relationships with our neighbors is so important to sharing Jesus. I appreciate your comment!

  2. My Mom and I were just discussing some of what you wrote and how so many Christians are missing out on the opportunity to build relationships with the people around them. Thanks for the encouraging words and for challenging people to think about halloween in a positive light.

  3. Re: Maoris.
    Well, whadaya need to know? Although I’m as white as the snow that will eventually be falling, I learned a lot when I was down there and even have the t-shirt to prove they adopted me as one of their own … probably because I was a skinny white kid they pitied, but that’s beside the point.
    Other more reliable sources:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C4%81ori
    http://www.maori.org.nz/
    http://history-nz.org/maori.html
    That’s mostly history and factual stuff, but Google has a lot to offer as well. Most of what I can tell you is personal accounts, convictions and beliefs from the Maoris I lived with and fought with (I took some martial arts when I was there) … they are the most spiritually intense and fierce people group I have ever come across … I envision that if it were possible, in a spiritual battle they would be at the front carving a path. Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it …
    whew.

  4. Brenton, so pumped that you got up on that soap box. I hope to see you up there regularly! Thanks for that story about the Maoris. Where can I find out more about them?

  5. Deanne, we miss those driveway times with you guys too! Definately some of the best memories of our time in Parksville! Keep seizing those opportunities to shine. We love you guys!

  6. You speak the truth… well, in my opinion anyway. The fact that Christmas used to be a ‘pagan’ holiday for celebrating the winter solstice is lost on many Christians. Similar to back then, a lot of new people groups nowadays coming to Christ take their ‘old pagan holidays’ and somehow manage to still keep the celebration but do it focussed on God. I think this is great because not only is it Christ centered, but they also don’t lose their culture and heritage; although, some would say that “becoming a new creation and leaving behind your ways” is better.
    Case and point: Maoris of New Zealand: those that have become followers have replaced their previous ‘god’ with God. They still worship and have the same traditions, but now it’s centered on a loving relationship.
    After all, we all worship something … question is “what?”
    (stepping off soap box now)

  7. Funny thing Ken, I had this exact conversation yesterday! I had the same reasons. We did our yearly event of lighting our potbelly stove, putting out our carved pumpkins, sharing hot apple cider and having our fireworks display. We had many great chats with neighbours that we see but once a year! People who we didn’t know came and warmed themselves at our fire. The only thing missing was you and your family!
    Praise our amazing God for turning our hearts more to him on what is a night of conflicting beliefs.
    Miss you my friend
    D

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