Last week my kindergartner was asked what she will be for Halloween. She said, “We don’t celebrate Halloween.” Her sweet friend then exclaimed, “WHAT? You don’t love Jesus?!”
Friends, the American church has major problems if our children think Halloween is about Jesus. It never was and it never will be.
Light and Darkness
Every Fall I find myself sitting around a table discussing a shared love: God’s Word. And as October 31 approaches, new Christians and long time believers inevitably discuss Halloween. My heart sinks as the new believer sits in shock as someone speaks about their Halloween plans.
“You celebrate Halloween? I thought Christians didn’t do that?”
I watch as the new believer scrambles to reconcile Halloween’s evil, death, fear, murder, mutilation, and sexual perversion with their new life in Jesus: God’s love, truth, redemption, gentleness, peace and light, set free from sin and death by choosing Jesus and leaving the old behind. Can the two coexist?
Nervous looks pass around the table as people feel called out by the crystal clear perspective of a newbie. It’s a viable question as old as the city of Corinth.
For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Satan? – 2 Corinthians 6:14-15
Discerning truth is becoming harder in today’s world. We live in a culture that celebrates the many shades of grey. As Christian parents we need to teach our children how to discern light from darkness, truth from lie, good from evil and how to be the arrow that points people to God. By participating in Halloween we build a friendship with the unholy that hinders our discernment and befuddles our purpose.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9 … “[Priests] are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.” – Ezekiel 44:23
If we want to raise our children to hear the voice of the Lord, we must teach them how to keep their hearts pure and untainted by the world.
Satan is ruthless and he is after our children. Fear is a high ranking spirit in the kingdom of darkness and the devastation is more widespread than most suspect. We must guard our hearts and minds and train up our children in the ways of the Lord. Why would I willingly hand them over to the demonic spirit of Fear? Are we willing to compromise our inheritance, our new life in Jesus, our children’s inheritance in Jesus, for a bag of candy? God forbid. At least Esau was starving when he tossed his inheritance aside for a legit bowl of soup.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23
Speaking of fear, many participate in Halloween because they fear their kids will rebel later if they miss out. Don’t make decisions out of a spirit of fear. Some of the worst decisions sprout from FOMO or the fear of missing out. It is our aim to teach our children how to overcome this weakness of human nature and not be a slave to fear – of any kind. We are creative, independent thinkers. Not governed by FOMO. And when they are old enough to make these choices for themselves, each child will have a spirit that is honed with the sensitivity they need to discern the holy from the profane.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ – Philippians 1:9-10
A Witness for Christ
I have more honest conversations with people about why we do not celebrate Halloween than at any other time of year. It is the mark of Christ that separates us from the world. Frankly speaking, I find nothing in Halloween worthy of my time, honor, worship, attention, money or recognition. We believe in life, truth, hope, forgiveness, healing, deliverance and all things that are honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, and noble. We do things that ignite God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Teaching children how to stand apart from the crowd is a powerful lesson all children need.
Choosing Christ will be their own decision, but our children need never be a victim of group think. Give your children the powerful gift of knowing what it looks like to stand firm in convictions and make sacrifices for them. If you seek an opportunity to be a witness to the love of God, I urge you to separate your family from the Halloween world. Be ready with an answer when they ask why.
Father, help us to “honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks [us] for a reason for the hope that is in [our hearts]; yet [help us] do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when [we] are slandered, those who revile [our] good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. – 1 Peter 3:15-17