What to do with Halloween?

Posted: October 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

Great-Pumpkin

We are working our way through a series for adult Sunday school on developing a Christian Worldview as a way of better understanding the culture we live in. Learning to be in the world but not of the world, to be salt and light in the midst of darkness, demands a great deal of wisdom and discernment. For example, what are we as followers of Christ to do with Halloween? Travis Allen, managing director of Grace to You ministries, describes three ways Christians answer this question…

The “No Participation” policy.

As Christian parents, they don’t want their kids participating in spiritually compromising activities–listening to ghost stories and coloring pictures of witches. They don’t want their kids to dress up in costumes for trick-or-treating or even attending Halloween alternatives.

That response naturally raises eyebrows and provides a good opportunity to share the gospel to those who ask. It’s also important that parents explain their stand to their children and prepare them to face the teasing or ridicule of their peers and the disapproval or scorn of their teachers.

Halloween alternatives.

Often called “Harvest Festivals” or “Reformation Festivals”–the kids dress up as farmers, Bible characters, or Reformation heroes. It’s ironic when you consider Halloween’s beginning as an alternative, but it can be an effective means of reaching out to neighborhood families with the gospel. Some churches leave the church building behind and take acts of mercy into their community, “treating” needy families with food baskets, gift cards, and the gospel message.

Limited, non-compromising participation in Halloween.

There’s nothing inherently evil about candy, costumes, or trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. In fact, all of that can provide a unique gospel opportunity with neighbors. Even handing out candy to neighborhood children–provided you’re not stingy–can improve your reputation among the kids. As long as the costumes are innocent and the behavior does not dishonor Christ, trick-or-treating can be used to further gospel interests.

Ultimately, Christian participation in Halloween is a matter of conscience before God. Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, you must honor God by keeping yourself separate from the world and by showing mercy to those who are perishing. Halloween provides the Christian with the opportunity to accomplish both of those things in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s a message that is holy, set apart from the world; it’s a message that is the very mercy of a forgiving God. What better time of the year is there to share such a message than Halloween?

“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” – Colossians 4:5-6 (ESV)

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