Question: "What are your girls going to be for Halloween this year?"
|Image from www.costume-cauldron.com|
...it's usually asked by completely well-meaning people at the grocery store/bank/library/anywhere we go. And fair enough - most people participate. But it's met with awkwardly blank stares by my girls, and me trying to answer swiftly and politely and not open up a debate or come across as judgmental. So....
Answer: We choose not to celebrate Halloween. The girls know what it is, and they understand that some people choose to celebrate it with their families and friends. They also know that we don't. They've never been trick-or-treating. Will jokes that they play dress-up pretty much every day anyway, and it's more fun (and less wasteful) to let them choose their own favorite bags of snacks or candy the day after Halloween, once the candy is 50% off. That way, we don't get any of the gross candy (like Mary Janes and Bit O'Honey and that awful peanut butter-ish-maybe? type candy. Ugh.).
As I learn more about who God is and what He desires of those that follow Him, I've developed a few strong convictions about Halloween.
They may not be your convictions. I'm okay with that. Please don't think that if it's something you get really geared up for and enjoy that I'm sitting here thinking "whoa - sinner alert!!" - the Bible says that you (and I) are a sinner no matter which holidays you celebrate (Romans 3:23); conversely, if you don't celebrate it, don't think that I'm sitting here thankful that we're in some awesomely holy exclusive club together (Romans 3:23!). It's not about that; it's where I am in my walk with God and what I know His Word says about it. If you claim to follow Jesus, you need to reconcile your thoughts, assumptions, and feelings with His Word on your own.
For those curious, here are the reasons why Halloween is not a holiday we observe:
-A number of years ago, Will and I watched a brief documentary (if you're interested, I can find it for you) about folks who had been practicing Satanism, paganism, or witchcraft, who had made the choice to leave those ways and decide to instead follow Jesus and His teachings. One consistent topic was that of Halloween sacrifices - some said they had been part of rituals where animals, and in one interview, a human baby, were sacrificed in a mockery of Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Now, I realize that most people who read this and identify themselves as pagan or witches would never consider or have even heard of this, and I don't assume to know what you do or believe. But hearing their stories about the fact that it does really happen moved us. And it caused us to think twice before willingly engaging in a day of fun and candy when there are heinous acts being carried out to mock our Lord. I suppose that anyone could make a case that that happens every day of the year, and should we not celebrate anything in that case? That's another message for another time...
-Even though the apostle Paul exhorts believers to be all things to all people that we might win some of them to Christ (see 1 Corinthians 9:19-23), he doesn't advocate pretending to be something we're not to appease the world around us. Halloween has become a day (or, I could argue, a whole season!) of hiding behind false pretenses and trying to wow people with the grossest/most enticing/most ridiculous/most thrilling/most holy costume - for what? If I dress up and pretend to be an angel or well-known Bible character or an apostle or Jesus Himself, that's not going to convince anybody that my Lord is worthy of all glory and honor. No - God commands us to clothe ourselves daily in humility, patience, love, tender mercy, strength, and dignity, (see Proverbs 31: 25, Colossians 3:12-14, 1 Peter 5:5). Those are the adornments He will draw others to Himself with. I don't need one day a year for that wardrobe - that is a daily living wardrobe. Plus, I'm not an angel. Don't take my word for it; take His: there is none righteous, no not one; there is none who seek after God (see Romans 3). The best thing to be for God's glory is what I already am: a wretched sinner who has been completely redeemed by Jesus.
-Much of the advertising in the season surrounding Halloween is marketed to frighten us and moreso, our children. Why? Why is it necessary to fill our minds with fear? As a believer in Christ and what His death accomplished for me, I want to declare this now: I am not afraid of death (1 Corinthians 15:55). I am not afraid of the night, or what possibly lurks in the dark. I am not afraid because I know without a doubt that my God is totally in control and He keeps me in His peace. And He says that He has not given His people a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)!! And He also bids us to set our minds to dwell on that which is good, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report (Philippians 4:8). Thus, I do not need to subject myself or my children, whom I have been called by God to guard fiercely!!!, to things that would scare or cause fear.
-Lastly, and not an entirely biblical reason, how are we still promoting a holiday that (commercially) is mostly about candy? If everyone were actually serious about the nation's obesity epidemic, people would not seriously let their children collect and consume all that candy. We'd call for a massive reduction of junk food production and promote something healthier. Biblically speaking, believers in Christ are not bound to the chains of gluttony and such a heinous lack of self-control - Jesus has set us free from that and we should take care of the bodies He has given us. And we'd teach our kids to do the same. Now, mind you - I have not arrived in that department. I still enjoy candy too much. But that doesn't change the fact that I need to work at being a better example to my daughters.
Those are not all of the reasons but they are the major ones. There are going to be some of you who disagree with me, and like I said before: okay! This is my heart now, and before the Lord and His Word this is what He's shown me. I'm totally open to an honest and deeper discussion about the whole topic - just ask. Ask. We may continue to disagree. We may learn something from each other. Our minds might be changed or our hearts may be convinced to keep searching the Scriptures for an answer. That's how we grow.
This Halloween, I want everything I do to be
for His glory!
This post may be shared at one of these homemaking link-up parties!
[If this post has blessed, encouraged, or inspired you, please comment or share with a friend!]