"But Mom, ALL of my friends are dressing up! "
How many moms and dads will be confronted with this line come Sunday night? Yes, that's right, it's Halloween again. As if anyone who ever leaves their house could not have known considering all of the things stores have bombarding you right at the front door. Candy, costumes, decorations: You name it, they have it.
But is this "holiday" something that Christians should actually be celebrating? Doing a quick Wikipedia search on the origins of Halloween, you would be shocked ( as I was ) to see what you find. Halloween is as pagan a holiday as you can get.
Courtesy of Wikipedia:
The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworldbecame thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.Another common practice was divination, which often involved the use of food and drink.The name 'Halloween' and many of its present-day traditions derive from the Old English era.
Is this the type of "holiday" that we want our children participating in?
There is then the argument that we can dress as Biblical characters to make a statement to the unsaved. Yes, this could be an idea. But, unfortunately, the costumes the other children are wearing are getting worse and worse every year. Have you seen the costumes they are selling nowadays? All blood and guts and gore. Certainly something that would scare a small child, if not a full grown adult woman! I don't want to even put my children out in that kind of situation where they would have to be confronted by such things. Even passing out tracts at your front door to trick-or-treeter's has the same dilemma. While your family is trying to show the light of Christ, the child on your front porch looks like something out of the latest horror movie. That image is now burned in your child's brain forever. Yes, it can be said that children show know the difference between real and fake. Try telling that to your poor child who is now having nightmares. There just does not seem to be a Godly, Biblical way to address this time of year, other than just hands off.
You might be considered weird or old fashioned by not allowing your children to participate, but please don't let that discourage you. Or worse, make you lose your stand on not celebrating at all. The only person that we should be seeking to please with our lives is God.
Tomorrow, I will be addressing Fall Festivals and my opinions and views on those. Hope to see you then!