One of my favorite stories in the bible is found in Matthew 9. In short it’s when Jesus is eating and socializing with “sinners” in a pub and being ridiculed by the Pharisee’s for doing so. In verse 12 Jesus answers his ridiculers by saying, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” I love this story. I feel like I know Jesus (not in our ultra-Christianese talk about our relationship with Christ) when I read this, like He’s a regular dude like me.
I start with this picture because I think it gives us a good idea of the heart of Jesus. He didn’t spend his week nights at church, He of course made sure He went to the Temple according to Jewish Religion/Law but on His off days He wasn’t spending His time segregating Himself from the sinners.
I can’t prove that Jesus would have been a fan of Halloween, much like you can’t prove He wouldn’t (if you read a blog saying it’s a fact that we can or can’t be involved with the event I’d advise you stop reading it, or at least giving it any weight towards your decision making process). But I think we can read enough about Christ in the New Testament to get a feel for how He interacted with people, and the places He went to do so.
Last night as I was getting ready to take my two boys out for free candy (that’s basically what we celebrate) I found myself to be full of joy. So many cute kids came to our house, and my boys were so excited to see kids, and meet the neighbours that give them chocolate. My boys were dressed as Mario (Nintendo) and a Shark. As I walked the streets of my neighbourhood I met more people than I have all year. Parents were in great moods greeting eachother and kids were being so kind to my two young ones. It potentially could be the happiest night of the year.
So why are Christians so against it? Honestly I have no idea. I get that it’s deep long past was a little dark. It was a very archiac group in Ireland. They probably also believed the world was flat along with the idea that Spirits could come back on the one night of the year that we now call Halloween. Sure that’s how it started but do you know how it was redeemed by one of my favorite Saints? If not I’m going to leave a link to a very good blog below that I want you to read.
My point is this; Enjoying an evening out with strangers, new friends and our families is no more a form of Satan worship then unbelievers opening presents on Christmas is a form of Christ worship. Perhaps it can be this simple. Love your neighbours. I don’t know of any other event that your neighbours will come to your house without an invitation. Use the opportunity to be the friendliest, best candy givers on the block. Trust me, we know the ones that are and we go every year. Maybe then you can build a relationship with them that will allow you to introduce them to Jesus Himself.
My wife told me that when she was young her parents didn’t let her do halloween. It was so evil to her that she spent the night terrified at home worrying about the evil happening outside. I caught myself thinking of an analogy that involved a company called “Friendly and kind” (a metaphor for the Church).. I won’t bore you with that but the idea is this. The one house on the block that everyone knows is supposed to be friendly and nice seems to be completely opposite the one night that the neighbourhood is actually willing to come over.
Anyway, I loved my experience last night. My boys did too. If anything I worshipped my God by spending time with my family, loving on my boys and my neighbors. I suspect God was pleased by that.
Anyway, come to your own conclusions but if you are going to segregate yourself at least invite your neighbours. Check out this blog on Keeping Christ in Halloween by Steve Bell. http://blog.stevebell.com/2009/10/keeping-christ-in-halloween/
Love God and your Neighbours friends!