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October 30, 2012 / brockbruce

October 31 No Longer Scares Me

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I grew up anti-Halloween. Just like many Christian families, we didn’t celebrate that day. No pumpkin carving, no costumes, no trick-or-treating. I understood the pagan origins and the evil associated with day and we did alternative things as a family. I’m completely ok with that and thankful my parents lived out their convictions, but I’m no longer anti-Halloween. Anti-evil? Yes. Actually, I’m still against the pagan origins and demonic activities associated with the day. But Oct 31st is a great day to dress up like Fred Flintstone and eat candy. Let me give you a few reasons why my position changed, and not without much thought, prayer and trying to be honest intellectually and spiritually. I hope and pray you will receive this in the spirit I give it, not trying to force you to agree with me, but understanding that there is freedom to disagree. So, here are a few reasons why tomorrow we trunk or treat.

1- I’m not under Satan’s rule. He doesn’t set my rules. Costumes aren’t in and of themselves evil. And I’m not going to allow pagans and Satan to decide that one day is evil so therefore a costume (any costume) is evil on that day. I’m no longer under the domain of darkness so I’m not under his rule and he doesn’t get to decide that Oct 31 is evil. If I’m not worshipping the devil by wearing a costume on the 30th, I’m not worshipping him on the 31st just because others my be.

2- I’m well aware of the pagan origins on Samhain. But I don’t believe that just because I do some things on Oct 31 that I am participating in pagan rituals. Bon fires were part of the pagan ritual but just having a fire on Oct 31 doesn’t mean that I’m invoking spirits. I’m not going to let Satan have a day, and I’m not going to live in fear of Oct 31. I’m just as free on Oct 31 as Oct 30.

3- Discernment. This, to me, is big. I think it’s important that we teach our kids to be discerning. We must teach our kids to be critical, spiritual thinkers. If they don’t learn to discern between good and evil they will never survive outside of the Christian bubble. They must recognize what is truly evil. I think that calling things evil based on the day that they occur but not based on the content of what is happening isn’t spiritually or intellectually honest or consistent. And it trains our children not to think through tough issues biblically but instead to hide from them.

4- Creativity and imagination are gifts from God that mirror him. I don’t think it honors God to say we can be imaginative and creative and play dress up and eat candy everyday but Oct 31. I think that it actually robs God of who he is on Oct 31. I think it gives Satan too much power.

5- Evil is evil always. Witchcraft, demons and evil are satanic and shouldn’t be celebrated or treated lightly. We need to make sure our children know what is evil and what is good. We mustn’t confuse our children by saying this isn’t evil except on Oct 31. And we shouldn’t allow our kids to be entertained by things that lead away from Jesus any day of the year.

6- Overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). On a night that many associate with evil, why not do what Paul said overcome evil with good. I can’t think of anything “gooder” than the church coming together, offering an alternative to some of the evil activities of Oct 31, allowing kids to mirror their creative God, love each other, fellowship, sing a song, pray and dedicate a night to God that Satan tried to steal but he is powerless to do so. It doesn’t have to be an evil night. It won’t be for me. I’m giving it back to God.

7- Opportunity to love others. What Satan meant for evil God can use for good. There really isn’t a better day than Oct 31 to minister to kids. Think about it. It’s almost as fun to a kid as Christmas. And as a church you don’t have to compete with the rush of shopping and Christmas parties and family gatherings. Families are looking for something to do with their kids. Families don’t understand why letting their kid dress up like Spider-Man is evil. Families that do those types of harmless activities aren’t thinking about Satan. They are just enjoying their kids. And to refuse the innocent because of the evil is, to me, throwing the baby out with the bath water. I think there are more important battles families (especially those outside of church) need to be trained to fight. But if we exclude them from this opportunity they may never get the real spiritual training and even salvation they need. Who wins then? Not God. We’ve allowed Satan to set the rules because we’ve given him his own day that we wouldn’t redeem.

8- Receive, Reject, Redeem. We are given an opportunity to choose what to do with Halloween. I believe the best choice is redeem. For more on the idea of receive, reject, redeem go here.

9- You can eat meat. Paul rejected Satan and recognized the power of demons. He even recognized that meat sacrificed to idols was actually being offered to demons (he said idols were demons). But he said if your conscience doesn’t bother to eat the meat that is sold to be offered to demons, eat the meat (follow this thinking further in this post from The Village church). He recognized the demons are bad, but meat is good. In relation to Halloween I say, demons are bad, but candy is good. We must reject what is evil. And we must recognize that things like demons, witches, occult and slasher films are evil, demonic. Reject those things. We must guard our hearts and minds. But if in your conscience you can dress up like Spiderman and eat candy, go for it!

I hope and pray you take this in the spirit it was given. Again, I completely respect the other position. I know this is something that has to be wrestled with in our own spirits. And if after prayer you we still disagree, that’s cool. I’m just glad your thinking and praying. And just to be transparent with you, I’ve never felt more free in Christ during Halloween season than last year when I didn’t let Satan set the rules but I honored Jesus out of faith not fear and carved a pumpkin with my kids that said Eye Heart Jesus and lit up the fall night with the Light.

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