Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Thoughts???

Last week we attended a fun pumpkin carving party....


No, Landen did not go dressed as Llyod from Dumb and Dumber that is just how he likes his haircut:(
What can I say?



here are some pictures and thoughts on Halloween.....




Growing up we never went trick or treating or dressed in anything "bad" or "scary". Instead on Halloween my mom always made costumes for us to dress in like Strawberry Shortcake or Superman for my brother etc (never forget that Halloween HA!). We still laugh at the video of my brother in tights. HAHAHA! We would always attend our Church Hallelujah night. We would play games based around bible stories and go home with lots of candy! They would play Christian music and we would all have a great time.


I now do this with my own kids...

Thinking nothing of it....

Dressing them up like a princess or a cowboy....

I only decorate the house (or hotel this year) in Fall like decor.

Never ghosts of witches etc.

Only pumpkins and leaves...

We love to go to the pumpkin patch and carve our pumpkins....

Roast the seeds...

And all the fun family traditions that go along with this time of year....


I love all the fun memories we have made as a family dressing up in family costume themes...
I do try to incorporate Bible lessons. (there are many good Christian books to read during Pumpkin carving etc)






BUT.......

lately I don't mean to be the party pooper.........

I just don't like this holiday and kind of feel convicted in letting my kids be a part of it.

As Christians are we compromising? Are we doing the things of this world?



I know the Bible doesn't speak directly about Halloween, but some biblical principles apply. One things is clear .....

all pagan practices are to be avoided.

Witchcraft, occult practices, sorcery, etc. are strictly forbidding in the Bible (Exodus 22:18; Acts 8:9-24; Acts 16, 19).



I know that dressing up our children in animal costumes or skeleton shirts (because my sons say God made our bones, it's not bad Mom to wear bone shirts!) It's obvious that wearing a superman costume (except for the fact you will get teased by your sisters forever)isn’t involving themselves with witchcraft, so what is a biblical stance on Halloween?

I guess it's a personal decision and it's up to us as parents and our own heart felt convictions. As a Christian do you celebrate Halloween? I'd love to hear your take on it. I think that if we as Christians decide Halloween is something fun for our children we should make sure they are kept far away from the evil aspects of Halloween. When believers participate and in anything (even Halloween), their attitudes, dress, and behavior should glorify Christ (Philippians 1:27)

I have a Christian friend who is letting her son dress as a soul taker??? Really trying to not be judgemental here...
She said but we don't trick or treat we just go to the Church.((yikes))
I thought Bianca's post on Halloween was great too!

In fact all her posts are great....especially her Friday Vlog posts! She answers questions from readers in a ask anything series...

like are tattoo's a sin?

at what point is shopping and fashion wrong?etc....

And she's proof that homeschoolers can grow up to be successful beautiful people not nerds that are scared to go outside the house HA:)


36 comments:

tammy Kay said...

This is a good thoughtful post. This is the first year we are not doing Halloween. We are in fact going to a fall festival at our church but we are not dressing up, etc. I find it hard to separate myself from others if we are all just dressed up. Even if my kids are not dressed up in something scary or satanic! If you don't dress up or go trick or treating you take more of a stand and separate yourself more. I hate skeletons, witches, and all that that comes with Halloween. I love fall with leaves, pumpkins, and feel that is fine to decorate with all that stuff.

Scrapingirl said...

Well, I have thought about this A LOT lately. I went TOT when I was a kid, and my parents were very strict Christians, And I think I tured out OK. :) But my hubby's b-day is on Halloween, and his mom NEVER let him go. BUt he didn't care, he got presents while everyone else got candy. :) But when we had kids, we had to decide what to do. We take them TOT. But last year we worked our church's harvets party. But since we left that church, we had to figure out what we wanted to do this year. But I think the choice was made for me. Both my kids have had nightmares and terrors this year, adn I don't want them exposed to the scary stuff. So we found a harvest party on Halloween that we're gonna take them to. But, Noah did ask me what Halloween celebrates. I didn't really know, but I know that it's not good. But I feel that as long as you don't go all out with the scary stuff, you're good. That's my two cents.

Cecilia said...

After reading Bianca's post on Halloween, that too convicted me and made me start think, are we compromising? Great post. Makes us think and I love that!

carlisle clan conversation... said...

Awesome post! We have been the black sheep of the family for some time with our view point on Halloween. We have never thrown it out, we just do our on thing..such as, church activities or outreaches. Our church has hosted a trunk or treat to share the gospel with the kids that live in our church neighborhood. My kids understand and have never shown expressed missing out. Food for thought to celebrate at all. would love to hear your take on Santa, because we don't acknowledge him either.

Lauren said...

Very well written and thought-out post. I think you hit the nail on the head: we ought to do what we feel the Lord is convicting us personally (for our families) to do. And I think that it is something that we should examine seriously, but that He may call different families to different things. After all, not all Christian parents homeschool, and not all believers are called to the mission field!

We don't utilize hormonal birth control methods, do the Santa thing for Christmas, or (my hubby's still on the fence, but I feel personally strongly about it), celebrate Halloween. These are just some of those "grey areas within the Body" issues that we have prayerfully sifted through for our family; to us they are no longer grey areas, but certainly within the Body of Christ a lot of these things just aren't black and white issues, you know?

For halloween, our conservative reformed church does have a "happy costume" parade and kids get candy for participating. But we also celebrate Reformation Day on the 31st. :)

I'm interested to see how the comment dialogue progresses. :)

Jo Jo said...

Hi Bridget,
I usually try to stay away from these types of discussions but I thought that I'd give my two cents this time. It seems that Christians made Halloween a Christian holiday in the 800s. It was meant to celebrate and remember saints and martyrs; those who had been killed for the name of Christ. Sometimes, we as Christians get so caught up in these things that we forget Colossians 2 where Paul says, not to get caught up in legalism. Specifically verse 16 and 17 say, "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ." In other words let us not say that we are more holy or more right for not celebrating Halloween. We are free in Christ and do not need to add our own rules to the Bible and say that we are more holy for doing so.
I think it is a great thing to remember those who have died for Christianity on Halloween and I also think that there is no harm in dressing up, going trick or treating, carving pumpkins, having fun etc. How are any of those things evil? I am even going to be so bold to say that I don't see anything wrong with scary costumes. Right now that my kids are little, I would prefer that they do not see those costumes because they will have nightmares! But, why is it wrong to wear a scary costume? I guess I am saying that we need to be careful as Christians not to become legalistic, make up our own rules, and attribute them to God.
I have attached the link for where I got the origins of Halloween from. http://www.history.com/content/halloween/real-story-of-halloween

I am blessed! said...

When we were kids, my husband I did celebrate Halloween. Our parents were young Christians and just hadn't really thought about it. We dressed up in costumes we would not like our kids to wear and went to Haunted houses,etc. When our kids were little we decided some limits. First, that we would allow them to pick a costume (Disney character- no scary stuff)and get candy. Often we would go to a church fall festival. This year we will probably attend a Reformation Day celebration. But, I do let them trick-or-treat some. Both sets of our parents live in our neighborhood and my granny. We usually go out for a bit. I find it's a nice way to meet our neighbors. They never go alone. As for Biblical support about how we made our decision. Mainly Romans 14 in which Paul is explaining about Christian liberty. We usually feel like it's the more liberal Christians that are weak, but that's not what he says. The weaker Christian is the one bound by a law that is not God's. In the case of Rom 14, eating meat that is "unclean." Whereas Paul says in v 14 "there is nothing unclean of itself." In other words, as Christians we know God is Sovereign, Lord and Master of the Universe. We know that Satan and demons are confined to the limits of God's will. We know that there is no power in the dressing up in costumes just as there is no power in idols or the eating of meat sacrificed to idols. We always remind our kids that we don't wear scary costumes or decorate in that manner because we don't want others to think we are honoring the things of Satan. We are not to desire the death of others or glorify it.
As for me and my house we will serve the Lord:) But we do allow them to dress up and trick-or-treat, because we're free to do so and we believe we do it in a way that does not dishonor God in any way. Now, if there were someone in our church family that had a problem with this, we would need to just let it go so as not to offend them or cause them to stumble in their faith. But, as of now that has never been an issue. A couple of years ago Halloween fell on a Wed and I let my kids wear their costumes to church where we did our Scripture memory and catechism class as usual except I gave them some candy at the end. "All things are legal, but not all things are profitable." 1 Corin 10:23. And remember that while man looks on the outer appearance, God looks on the heart. Our heart's desire is to honor God in all we do. I never buy candy and keep it on-hand. Once a year we let our kids have fun getting candy from family and neighbors. It actually provides a time to witness because people are so amazed to see such a large family all together at one time! I pray that you and your husband will make the right decision for your family. Remember, if it's not prohibited by Scripture, we have freedom to make our own decision about it. Also, we are not supposed to judge another Christian on how he chooses to celebrate or not celebrate Halloween because he is God's servant and to his own master he stands or falls (Rom 14:4).

Following Forward said...

We have prayed much about this and I agree A LOT with this article.... http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2000/october2/29.79.html

We celebrate and leave out the witches, ghosts, evil type things. We even, as a church, have an opportunity to minister on Halloween since our church is right smack in the middle of our downtown trick or treating each year.

I like the point the article makes that in all Christian holidays that we celebrate there are pagan rituals, like the Christmas tree and such. I agree that as a family you need to make that decision for yourselves, for us, we see no harm.

Debbie said...

I am glad that someone wrote a post about this as it has never been something I could "settle" into fully one way or another. I grew up with all the usual and typical Halloween celebrations. When I was young and first married with kids, was the first I had really heard any of the history behind Halloween. So when my kids were little (until around 7 or 8) we dressed in "nice" people costumes and went to the parties at church. My kids were always in Christian school, so there were no parties or Halloween celebrations, music, or even carved pumpkins etc. I have never decorated my home in any way for Halloween, though I have LOTS AND LOTS of Fall decor around my home, inside and out. HOWEVER, as my kids got a little older they wanted to trick or treat with their friends. After much thought and prayer I allowed this with a few rules attached. No evil costumes of any sort, and no haunted houses, no parties (as there was no way to control everything that went on there that most people consider typical and fun) an adult had to go along, and all candy had to be examined and checked before eating. Soo, my kids dressed up and went to church parties and got candy when they were young, and got dressed up and went door to door and got candy when they were a little older. My little grandkids are all pretty much following the same pattern, except this year our church cancelled the party and so did the church where my son is the high school pastor. They are all coming here this year and trick or treating in our neighborhood. The question then is, is this compromising? Does this honor Satan in any way? Does it make much difference where they go dressed up to get their candy? I guess I don't really think so. Part of me has always felt that if we are going to avoid the holiday, not celebrate it in any way, then why go to church and get candy and dress up as anything etc.? Why not just treat it like any other day? And then what about kids coming to your door? Do you give them candy and make your own watch? It is a complicated issue full of many grey areas, so I guess I think you are right in saying it has to be up to each individual person with no judging on either side. I think I will continue on as I have done for many years now. No decorating, no honoring of anything evil, and enjoying all the little trick or treaters that come to my door (including my own grandkids this year) and passing out candy for them to enjoy. Christmas when you think of it is also full of many pagan rituals too. But that's another post. Thanks for writing this, I've enjoyed hearing everyone's thoughts. Blessings to you, Debbie

Marie Evelyne Lanathoua said...

I found this last week and I shared it with my first and third grade CCD at church on Sunday that I teach....everyone loved it.....

Being a Christian is a lot like being a Pumpkin, God Picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you, Then he cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc., and then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see!


The parents and the kids loved it....

Fall is my favorite season.....

Love you Bridget!

Tiffany said...

You have some great discussion here! I think this truly is a decision that each family has to pray about and come to a conclusion on their own - then stick with it. I do not think it is a black and white issue - unfortunately! And I do not think we can make judgements on any other family regarding what they decide to do - simply because it is not cut and dry.
Having said that my husband and I do not "celebrate" Halloween. I decorate my home for fall in the same manner that you do. I have a four year old and a one year old. We do get pumpkins and carve them (and roast the seeds - yum!). And my children do dress up - in harmless, appropriate costumes. As for TOTing. My children just go to grandparents and our best friends' house. That is it. I am not so keen on my children having gobs of candy. Plus I would rather my children knew the people at the homes we go to. So they basically get dressed up and spend time having fun at 3 homes that night.
I love that you started this conversation! I will keep checking back!

Jen said...

I don't have the time to read through all the comments, but just wanted to say that I grew up in a church were we didn't celebrate it. And now as an adult, I choose to keep my kids away from it. Right now my kids are terrefied of the Halloween section at the stores. I personally feel that as a Christian I need to avoid the appearance of evil. Halloween is evil. Look at the decorations around town. People either decorate for fall, which turns our pretty, but if they decorate for halloween it's scary. You can't make halloween not scary. The Bible tells us the God has not given us the spirit of fear. We personally choose as our family to ignore the holiday. Our church has a Bible costume party, but we don't participate in that. Not because I fell holier than thou, but because I feel my Lord wouldn't want me too.

Laurel said...

We do not celebrate halloween in any way. We do not dress up. We do not buy candy (for our own kids or for neighborhood kids). We do not go trick or treating. We do not attend the BIG "harvest festival" at our church.

We do not, in any way, want to celebrate or promote a holiday that has been dedicated to satan. There are people, in 2009, that actively practice witchcraft and satanic worship. This is their holiday, and I don't want any part of it.

While I understand the scripture verses that many of you quote, about liberty, and the freedom to do what we want, and not wanting to judge others, I still do not believe that celebrating such a holiday is in any way honoring to the Lord. And, I'm not judging you, just wanting to encourage you to think a little deeper.

In our house, we are not part of the "legalistic crowd" and there are a lot of those in our little conservative town. We do homeschool, but we wear jeans, and makeup, and cut our hair in cute styles. (So, don't put us in the "legalistic" box.) However, for our family, we always want to ask the question, "What is God's very best for my life and the life of my children?"

When our teens' friends are going to an R rated movie, I ask my kids, "Is that God's BEST for you?" "No."

When adult friends offer us alcohol, we politely say, "No, thank you." But, inwardly we know it is not God's BEST for us, while it might be scripturally "legal".

When we choose what church or community activities we want our children to be involved in, we must ask, "What's God's BEST for our children?" We do not believe that it is honoring to the Lord, to allow our children to attend a party, on a day that has been outrightly dedicated to Satan.

We do not believe that our church should host a party on a satanic holiday. If they want to host a big Harvest Festival, then pick another day. I have no problem with Harvest Festivals, with pumpkins, with parties, with dressing up in cute costumes. But, I don't want any part of it on Oct. 31st.

Sorry to rain on your parade ... but, you asked.

In the town we used to live in, we would host a very large Harvest Party earlier in October. We would have 100+ people over for a BBQ. We would all bring Pumpkin Desserts, with recipes to share. We would dress in orange. We would have a pumpkin painting contest for the dads (because it's always the moms and kids doing the crafty things). It was FUN! ... and it had nothing to do with a satanic holiday. Nothing.

Here are a few scriptures that I would encourage you all to pray about ...

"Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." 1 Thess. 5:21-22

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2

"For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" 2 Cor. 6:14-15

"Abstain from all appearances of evil." 1 Thess. 5:22


Halloween, at it's very core, is evil. Plain and simple evil. And, the scriptures tell us to have nothing to do with it.

See this link for details about the origin of Halloween (not what Christians tried to change it to, but the origins): http://www.jeremiahproject.com/culture/halloween.html

Sarah said...

Good stuff. Great discussions here.
I'm on board with Taleah (JoJo) on this one. In fact, my 7-year-old is going to be a witch this year. Black pointy hat and all. She has no idea what a real life pagan witch does ... and really, I've never encountered one myself ... but as I began to think about it, I realized there is very little difference between my little witch and my 5-year-old going as a fairy. Truthfully, I've seen more damage on the attitudes in my children from watching Disney Princess movies, than from any witchy influences.
We really do have freedom and liberty in Christ. It seems to me that teaching our children the LOVE of Christ, daily, will go much farther than one fun dress-up day will do.
I reserve the right to change my mind as my kids get older, though! Seems like I end up eating my words quite frequently. I may well regret letting my kid be a witch ... but I don't feel even remotely convicted about it right now. And I do love Jesus. ;)

Michelle said...

I totally could have written this post. I feel the same way. Since costumes have already been bought, I have decided that this year will be our last year trick or treating. I think if you feel convicted, you should share that with your kids. I think they will understand that hey, mom listens to God and the Holy Spirit is speaking into her life. You are acting out of obedience. And that will show your kids that you too are under God's authority. That is what I'm going to do. I've already told the kids that I feel convicted about it and that next year, we may just hand out candy and bless our neighbors, but we do not have to participate in Halloween. My parents and my husband's family were very strict about halloween as well and so I rebelled in a sense when I had my own children. Last year though, we saw way too much bad stuff and my kids were genuinely scared. Our neighbors have been in the past pretty tame, but last year there were skeletons on trees and scary haunting music coming from the doors of some houses. It just really made me feel like this isn't what I want to do with my kids. And children should also know that as Christians, we will often be set apart from the world. We are supposed to be different. Obviously, some families don't feel the conviction..but if you do...I think you should listen to what God is speaking to you and not be afraid or feel bad for being obedient. The world will ridicule us as Christians, but we need to do what God has called us to do. I hope that helps. Thank you for posting this :)

Michelle said...

I wanted to comment too on the scary costumes that someone previously posted. Nothing is wrong with scary costumes? I beg to differ. You can't avoid verses such as "whatever is pure, whatever is lovely..think on these things"! God calls us to treasure Him, not the things of this world. My pastor once said, and it rings so true here...don't under estimate the devil. I truly believe that. Don't think for one second that the devil isn't at work on Halloween. I think he is. And if he can get your children scared and fearful...than he has already won. I like what you wrote..you have to decide what is right for your family. So if Halloween is right for you, then don't judge those who don't do it. And the legalistic argument seems to be a way to condone bad behaviour...like getting drunk. I do think there is a problem when kids want to scare people. How does that honor Christ? That is the question I have had to ask myself and I hope other Christians do too. I'm not saying to run and shut yourself inside your house because that sends a weird message too...but there are alternatives.

debbie said...

It is clear that as Christians we should desire one thing and that is to glorify God. It is very clear that though He may call us to different things in life, such as a missionary, or pastor, or prayer warrior, or homeschool mom ect., the one thing that remains the same is that He has called each of us to live holy lives. To be different from the world. I do not believe the day Oct 31 is evil as the Lord says that each day is a day that He has made and we are to rejoice and be glad in it. I do believe the world uses it for evil but Satan has no day to be glorified. His followers can do what they will, but our Lord can and will be worshiped everyday. I think we do need to ask the Lord how best to bring Him glory each day by what we say and do and yes even how we dress. I am sure if we are honest with ourselves before the Lord we will not want to dress like any scary creature or any other thing that dishonors Him. How does dressing like that glorify Him? I mean think about it. Does He think a child in a devil costume is cute? A monster? A witch, ect? I know I cannot see Christ smiling at that. He has not paid such a great price to deliver us from our sins, just to see us debate how far we can go to justify wether something is black or white, or even gray. Abide in Him, rest your head on His chest and look into His bloodstained face and see what He expects of you. I am sad to see that so many Christians use scripture to justify their behavior. Not just On Halloween, but on other issues as well. The word of God is clear we are to be a holy people sent apart to Him and are not to partake in the unfruitful works of darkness. I think going to a church function on that day and having fellowship with family and friends in an environment that promotes Christ and seeks to draw others to an alternative to what the world does is fine. We do need to remember that we belong to Him and should seek to put Him first in everything. Listen to the Lord! He will direct your path if you seek Him with a pure heart.

Anonymous said...

Decorate & make costumes of people or thing that you admire & are good.

Halloween does stand for "Eve of all Saints" so Celebrate the day for the lord & the early Christians not for witches & devils. Just take all the bad things out & replace with good. That's what the popes in the 800th did.

Any day where people share from their homes candy & smiles with children can't be to bad.

Too Many Kids In The Bathtub said...

Bridget! I hear your heart on this!!! I really do! We struggled with this for years! We have neevr done the scary stuff, but we would go to our church's Halleluliah night and let the kids dress up. For years we were unsure, and one year we went and the kids did not dress up, another year we stayed home, another we went dresses up. It just never brought us peace! For our family, we decided that we would do away with the holiday as a whole! Which meant not even going to church. For us, we thought that our church would not celebrate this if there were no such thing as Halloween. Our kids play dress up every day, we just chose to say no to this holiday!

Bianca said...

"And she's proof that homeschoolers can grow up to be successful beautiful people not nerds that are scared to go outside the house HA:)"

Hahahahahahaha! I'm sitting in a cafe in Chicago literally laughing out loud. You just blessed my little heart with your kind words. Love you!

PS I'm totally proud to be a homeschooled nerd! We're the coolest ;)

Here to Serve Him... said...

I would have to say that I fit right in there with Jen and Laurel! I'm thankful for your post on this as well as the comments that were written...God has used it to confirm the convictions He placed in my heart many years ago yet convictions that Satan would like to weaken. Convictions that my husband and I just discussed with our two girls ages 15 and 9 this past Saturday at the breakfast table...Are we standing firm or are we being legalistic??? God knows what's in our hearts...isn't that right??? So as long as He knows that our motives are pure, isn't that all that matters? The various comments have compelled me to refocus... As a child growing up, I attended public school. When Halloween came around and the kids in my class dressed up and paraded around the elementary school, I sat alone in the classroom uninvolved. Did I feel left out? Of course! Did I feel that my parents didn't love me and wanted me to suffer? Not at all...I knew that they were standing for what was right even if my child-like mind wanted to "fit in"! I am SO THANKFUL to this day that I learned at the tender age of 6,7,8 to persevere even when I wasn't accepted. My Sunday School Class is currently going through Beth Moore's Esther study and so many Christians are much like the Jews were...they chose to remain in exile staying in Persia rather than returning to Jerusalem. They became as the Persians and were not distinguished as Jews because of the carnal practices that they adapted to...that is why no one knew that Esther was a JEW!!! God's Word tells us that we are to be set-apart, peculiar, different...if we do as the world does, how will anyone/everyone know that we serve the KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS rather than the prince of the earth!?! It's time for us as Christians to live GOD!!! Would Jesus compromise if He were here walking in the flesh??? I am certain He wouldn't! WE ARE TO BE JESUS IN THE FLESH in a lost and dying world...a world that is crumbling day-by-day! When we look at Jesus' life, He didn't do things or become someone other than who He was to "fit in" or to gratify "His desires". He kept His eyes on His Father and did His Father's will! In our discussion as a family on Saturday we reminded ourselves that what one generation does in moderation, the other does in excess! I desire for our girls to live the highest life of purity possible...no compromising!

Mendi

-Anyone needing clarification of the practices of Halloween from a biblical perspecitive should watch 'Pagan Invasion' by Pastor Chuck Smith...It's riveting and eye-opening.

Here to Serve Him... said...

Oh, and I forgot about the question on Santa...We as well never have done, never will do Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, ect...We always felt that we were lying to our kids by doing that as well as underscoring the significance of where God wants our focus to be on Christmas and Easter! He wants us to focus on HIM!!! He was born to bring us life...He died to give us salvation!

Mendi

Emily said...

Wow ~ love the post and completely share your thoughts! As Christians we have to be SO careful of participating in what the world has to offer, on so many different levels, Halloween included! The deeper I get into scripture the more I see and realize that as Christians we MUST walk a very fine line throughout this life, and that's the challenge of being in this world and not of this world!

I have recently been doing a lot of "checks" even with my own fashion after a sermon our Pastor gave late this past summer! He received a letter from a young single man in the congregation who expressed how he desperatly tries to keep his thoughts pure and that coming to church during the summer months is very difficult because he feels like the way females are dressing is a stumbling block for him ~ WHOA! Our Pastor took us through scripture, because yes even the Bible speaks about beauty and being modest ~ so, it is important to Christ and bringing God Glory!

I try to think about something our Pastor said during that sermon everyday when choosing what I'm going to wear ~ are you dressing attractively or dressing to attract? BIG difference ~ I think this same line of thought goes into many other areas, including whether or not we celebrate Halloween ~ what is the 'why' behind what we are doing? It becomes a heart issue ~ just like you said, what is God convicting you of? One thing is for sure ~ the deeper we grow in Christ the more strangely dim this world and its things become!!

Keep these great thoughts coming...

Celia Jimenez said...

Thanks for the post. I was so excited to read it! :-) This year has been one of the first that we've actually had to discuss what not to do/what we should do, etc. Our church usually has a fall festival but is not hosting one this year. I prayed and prayed about Halloween (I was never allowed to celebrate it growing up) and I just really was convicted. The funny thing is our pastor is doing a series on the book of Daniel. Calling us to be set apart and not to indulge in ANY pagan practices or rituals or celebrations. But we feel not only set apart from the world...but sadly set apart from our fellow believers! Because we have made the stand not to celebrate it...those around us feel like we're judging them for taking part in it. But aren't we called to exhort our brothers and sisters? To call them on the carpet and expect them to follow the Word of God? Thats where I'm struggling. What does that look like? How to do it in love...still pondering it! But thanks for your post and your link to Bianca's post. Very insightful! Keep up the good work, sista!

Dionna said...

I hate Halloween. That being said, we have participated in our church's "Trunk or Treat" for years now. My girls have grown up with it (as grown up as you can get for 10 and 12!) I feel it's a safe environment where they can be around positive influences and still partake of fun.
I'm with you. I never allow my kids to dress up as anything evil, satanic, harmful, etc. They've always been things such as tigger, fireman, mickey mouse, karate kid, etc.
I believe that what Satan meant for harm, God can make for good. And that is what our church is doing each year by witnessing to the neighborhood through trunk or treat. That being said, other than that - I don't really celebrate halloween. I get pumpkins but we don't decorate a whole lot.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting. I think that even if Halloween started as a "Christian" holiday, it certainly has turned into something different and there is no denying that.

I wish we had a tradition in our country like Dia de los Muertos in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries. On Nov. 1st and 2nd they celebrate and pray for people in their lives who have died. It parallels the Catholic holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. The celebration encourages people to not be afraid of death and to celebrate life. People visit their loved ones' graves with their favorite foods, sugar skulls, and flowers. They also make tables called ofrendas with their loved ones picture and favorite foods.

That is an example of a holiday that really does celebrate Christian life. Halloween, no matter how much we want to believe it, celebrates life anymore. It is a holiday that has most definitely changed over time.

Lisa said...

I have struggled with the same questions you've presented...a close friend of our family pointed me to this blog and I really like what he has to say about Halloween, especially about being a light of Jesus in our neighborhood rather than shutting our door and turning off our porch light....

http://www.challies.com/archives/articles/halloween-fast.php

James said...

legalism is in our blood. it has been said that “man is incurably religious.” Jesus said “beware of the leaven of the pharisees.” pride, the original sin, self exaltation. so many of us desperately want the way we do, or do not, celebrate halloween to mean something. not only to earn God’s favor but to separate us from “average” christians. trick or treating vs church parties. and before you say, “no not me, i’m not a legalist,” remember Jesus warned the disciples of this kind of pride, it’s a warning to all disciples of Jesus Christ. it’s a warning i personally take seriously.

look, if you read five different sources as to the origins of halloween you’ll arrive at five different conclusions. i’m not denying that all of the conclusions don’t have pagan origins, i’m just saying it’s a bit simplistic to declare it “satan’s holiday.” along those lines of thinking christmas trees and easter eggs are equalling satanic, a discussion for another season perhaps. as far as halloween goes, satan is referred to as the god of this world, and not just on october 31. i realize this day brings out some weirdos, but in my opinion the far more vile and potent satanic worship is civilized. it’s the love of money, power, and pleasure. it has it’s grips on everyone from old men to soccer moms, some of whom are quite proud of themselves for denying their kids candy.

bottom line, it’s an issue of conscience. “whatever is not from faith is sin.” i completely understand if someone cannot in good conscience celebrate halloween. but on issues of conscience the bible says “let each be fully convinced in their own minds.” in other words, in an area of personal conviction, it is not my job to impose my convictions on someone else as God’s law, that, by definition, is legalism. many christians have a hard time dealing with the fact that God might tell you “no” and someone else “yes.” for someone who has had no problem with abusing alcohol, God might permit them to occasionally drink. for others who were alcoholics in the past, God would probably convict them to not touch alcohol. great cases could be made on both sides, it’s one of the reasons a personal relationship with Christ is the key to all of this.

since there is not a verse that says “christians should not celebrate halloween”, i believe you are in biblical error if you declare it. if, however, you say that God is leading me not to celebrate halloween, i understand. but you have to at least be open to the fact that might be just a word God has given you, not all christians. my little girl is going to dress up like a princess and eat candy. many christians will use this day as an opportunity to meet their neighbors and witness. tell me, where is the satanic worship in that? our goal is to be lights in darkness, ironically many porch lights will be turned off. if your waiting for all of the satan worshipers to go away you’ll be waiting a long time.

~Jenna's Baggs said...

ok, i have read most of the comments and all of the post...i have a few things to add
1. growing up we celebrated reformation day, we had a party at my father's church, dressed as calvin or martin, or black plague rats :) and learned about reformed church history
i grew up as a homeschooled nerd and now am happily raising my own;)!! glad to be in good company with bridget and bianca!
2. as a parent we have chosen to do nothing on the 31st. it is not a holiday. my husband's birthday, like scrapinggirl, is on the 31st and we celebrate that!! as kids, it was the only day we knew we could eat dinner in a restaurant!
3. my kids are not missing out on ANYTHING!! they use their imaginations everyday, dress up whenever they choose, and we do have a supply of candy available. they are not embarrassed to say they don't celebrate it and i have never heard of one kid tease them for it either!
4. i am very sad that i actually have to ask my kids to close there eyes as we drive past a certain house in our town (almost every day) as we drive by. it is grossly decorated with all things evil and i don't want those in my brain much less theirs.
5. i do not believe it to be a sin to participate in the activities of the 31st. our family chooses not to and are very happy and blessed by that decision. i think the discussion (not accusing) is important in christian circles.
thanks for the outlet bidget!!

Leah said...

I am thankful for our church event, so we can go and celebrate Harvest- my kids dress up all the time in their Star wars outfits, so it would be weird to say, no, you can't dress up on this day only, but every other day. We never do anything scarry- I talk to them about the darkness of Halloween and we say we celebrate Harvest.
Let's really get to the heart of it all, it's all about our hearts. If our hearts are to honor God, then we honor Him with our words, actions and yes, even our dress. There is darkness in evil costumes, and our hearts moved by God will not allow that.
I have to say, another big topic (although diff. than Halloween) is Santa. This is all an individual belief- let God work in our hearts, and don't look down on those who choose to celebrate. Now, with that being said, if Christians are allowing their kids to dress in "dark" costumes, it's probably an area where God still needs to work. My thoughts from leah20.blogspot.com

Kristie said...

My husband and I were just talking about this the other day in regards to our life growing up and how things will be if we have children! We were coming back from picking out our pumpkins at the local farmer's market.

When we were growing up, we dressed in costumes (princess, Star Wars, etc), went trick-or-treating, carved pumpkins, etc. We enjoy Halloween, but are also Christians. We do not go "all out" and when we have kids, they will be allowed to dress up (nothing gory/scary) and trick-or-treat if they want to. We'll visit the pumpkin patch, go on a hayride, pick apples, do the corn maze and veggie throw, etc. That's more "fall fun." My husband and I both do NOT like to be scared. We watch scary movies during Halloween but ONLY during the day so we can actually sleep at night!

I know that my God is stronger than Satan. He will keep it away from us because he knows our hearts are turned to and focused on Him. God knows how you feel because He made you! Trust Him and believe that He will prevail over all evil.

Jessica said...

I grew up also just doing church activities on Halloween. My children are 5 and 3, 2 years ago we were convicted to not even do the church events. I guess I felt like we were suggesting they were "missing out" by not trick or treating so we would go to church?? Although I see the whole outreach side of having these church events...anyway, our family chooses not to participate in even church events. We do decorate for fall, roast pumpkin seeds, and make pumpkin dishes though!

summur braley said...

Wow this post got some people fired up!At least you got a response. i did a post about how I can't stand all these evil vampire movies and i got one response. I don't blame people for not understanding. Satan has done a great job of making Americans think he doesn't exist. One commenter said she didn't see anything wrong with letting her kids dress in evil costume, but not this young becasue it is scary. Hello think of others. We need to protect our innocence and also care for others around us. It is not even about us. We are already going to heaven. We need to think of the lost souls who don't know Jesus and show them the light, not the dark.

Susan said...

I can tell that many of us are coming from different religious backgrounds, even from a Christian perspective. Believers of Christ? Yes. We’re Catholics, Reformed Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans... Sadly, despite our Savior commanding us to be one as he and the Father are one, we are broken up even into these various religious circles/cliques, each with our own points of view as to what the Bible really means. Making our "team", in my opinion, a whole lot weaker than it ought to be, sadly. I'm not trying to be funny or sarcastic here, only truthful. But, this disunity is a discussion for another time.

After reading your post, my initial thoughts were these (and they were many):

1. We are called to be salt and light in the world. It pains me to see many Christians hiding in their homes on Halloween night with their lights out, as well as to see them hiding in their churches doing their own "godly thing". As a child, I trick or treated, I hid in my home, and I went to my church functions (all spread about amongst various years, of course, as my parents struggled with this very issue). Way to go salting our own little salt bowl, Christian family! And yay for lighting our own little bedroom, too! (the last two comments WERE sarcastic, and I should remove them because I hate sarcasm, but they will remain because I think there is often truth in jest.) We ought to dress up as biblical figures and respond happily when people say, "And who are YOU supposed to be?" "Why, I'm Lazarus. In my life, I died but Jesus brought me back to life!" or "I'm Michael the archangel. I lead the heavenly forces in battle against evil (as seen in the book of Daniel, etc)." Or, "I am Mary, God chose me to be the mother of the Savior of the world!" Or, "I am Queen Esther, God used me to help him to preserve his people from being destroyed by an evil man named Naman." Or any of the many men and women who were martyrs or even just amazing witnesses for Christ! Imagine how much opportunity to REALLY WITNESS is lost in hiding away or “keeping ourselves away from evil things” by doing something at church. (After writing this I am seriously bummed that my kids are going to be the Mario Brothers and Princess Peach this year... Next year we will go as a much more purposeful crew, cross my heart.)

As Christians we should have no fear of any evil thing, knowing that we have God and his heavenly army on our side. Most importantly, what did Jesus do in his death and resurrection??? He bound up Satan and conquered death. Sin remains, but the power to overcome it is now given to each of us.

(continued in next comment, sorry!)

Susan said...

2. We need to remember our freedoms in Christ, as well as remember our responsibilities to him as his Children and representatives. As Christians we ought to be showing people how Christ would behave or respond in all situations. Would Christ have a glass of wine? I think, yes, he would. He turned water into wine for a wedding and then he gave it to the guests. He wouldn't give something to share that he condoned. It was his first miracle. Now, would he get "as drunk as a skunk" and wake up hung over and puking in the bathroom the next day? NO.

3. A few people have mentioned the verse that discusses steering clear of all appearances of evil. I think that is something to really think about deeply. Jesus had no problem going out to the sinful crowd and being among them, because he wasn't’ going out with the intent of joining them, rather he was going out with the goal of winning them over for his Father. "It is the sick that need a physician," he argued. WHAT DID HE DO when he WAS among them? He spoke to them about all things holy. He told them parables and all about his Father and that they needed to repent for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. I believe that we CAN participate in various secularized holy days (holidays) as Christians. Whether Halloween started out as a pagan celebration or a Christian one, we can always celebrate His holiness as a holy people.

(Mercy! This is getting a lot longer than I'd intended!)

I am very much with the anonymous commenter who spoke about celebrating the Day of the Dead, All Saints Day/All Hallows Day and All Souls Day. These holidays do not celebrate death, though they do bring healthy attention to the fact that one day we will all lose these bodies. They celebrate the lives of those who have lived. Particularly the lives of those who lived according to Christ's will.

MY BIGGEST PROBLEM with Halloween - it bothers me tremendously sometimes - the thought of taking my children out to other people's homes (and often the homes of complete strangers) with the expectations that they will, in fact, provide candy/treats. Though I HAVE taken them out the past two years, I wonder to myself, WHAT ON EARTH ARE WE THINKING AS PARENTS??? Every other day of the year we're teaching our kids not to take candy from strangers, not to demand toys or candy, etc. It baffles the mind. On the other hand, this is tradition, right? What a mess!

Yikes! There is so much to say, but I've already been here for 25 minutes (!) and I've gotta go!

I love you, Bridget, and I love that your heart wants to glorify God and that you long, desperately, to teach your children what is beautiful and good. I am praying for you as you journey and witness to others as a Christian woman and as a Christian family. I hope you will do the same for me.

Blessings,
Susan

Valerie said...

Bridget, wow, some of these comments are down right defensive on there "right" to Halloween. Some are obviously just clarifying why they celebrate it. Which I personally have no problem with. I think it is good to share scripture and discuss why or why not we celebrate it. This is the first year ever, my husband and I are NOT going to celebrate it. We came to that conclusion by watching a one hour documentary on the origins of Halloween. Not just when and where it began, but how it warped and changed through times and countries. It was a secular program with no Christian "legalistic bias" ;) After watching that we looked at eachother and said "um yeah, there is really no need to drill this holiday into the kids' heads. No thanks" Simple as that. I have no problem with people who do. I am glad however, that we do NOT. The ONE problem I do have with some of the comments are peoples' shouts of LEGALISM, just because they celebrate it and are ASSUMING you are calling them bad Christians which you were not. WE must remember that in almost every promise of freedom, there is an underlying responsibility. WE must be responsible Christians. We are free, but we are are not. We are free from sin and condemnation, but we are not free from Christ. Christ has some mighty strong words to say about things, and we are his "slaves" his "servants". We fall under His headship. WE must in our freedom, not forget that. Most people who are accused of being "legalistic" are just people who are truly desiring to follow our Lord and savior with our lives.