By Justin Edwards
I think there is one very simple and honest question each of us must ask ourselves as born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ - is there one single thing that is good about Halloween? No doubt there is someone already thinking I am a legalistic party-pooper trying to take "the fun" out of this "silly, harmless" "holiday" - right? I mean, after all, the kids get to dress up in fun costumes with hopes to fill their bags with their favorite candies. What could be the harm in that? Or what about a night on the town going to any number of the adult costume-themed parties, where one night out of the year you can wear that mask and be someone you're not? A night to cut loose and dabble into the "dark side"? It's all innocent fun right?
The traditions and history of Halloween aside, have you ever considered this day to be a time to glorify evil, sorcery, witchcraft, the occult, and the horrors of life? I ask the question again, is there a single thing that is good about Halloween? Speaking from my own experience, as a child, I wasn't allowed to go trick-or-treating in the neighborhood, but we attended the fall festivals and the like at church. Of course, dressing up as innocent cowboys and other fictional characters made everything ok at the "harvest festival", but what this did, in my opinion, was desensitize me to the reality of Halloween and everything it truly represents. Once I became an adult, I loved to go to all the parties, bars, clubs, and events that hosted the various ghoulish festivities.
Of course, my wild escapades into the nightlife on Halloween night was not a result of bobbing for apples as a kid, but looking back into those reckless, young adult years I see that there was indeed nothing good about those nights as I drank the night away and celebrated what could be described as nothing less than glorified sin. And I professed to be a Christian.
One only has to pick up a local news magazine like Creative Loafing and browse through the October advertisements to see what I mean. The names of these events truly give weight to the depths of evil in society, and the worst part of it is, I have no doubt many of these people have any idea as to what they are promoting and taking pleasure in - events like "Feathers and Fetishes", "Gravediggers Ball", "Wicked Women of Wax", "Campground Massacre", "Sin City Halloween Party", and most revolting is "Sin Sunday Fangbangers Ball" at a local "men's club". Yet, on the other hand, we only have to go to John 3:18 to see why men and women take pleasure in such blatant wickedness:
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
At the Carowinds theme park in Charlotte, NC, an event is held each year titled Scarowinds, and they boast from the website (emphasis mine):
...for a deathly descriptive run down of our 11 attractions and scarezones, as well as our sinful stage shows and terrifying rides, visit Scarowinds.com People are DYING to get in are you? All you fear is here!
A brief look into the different attractions reveals "scare zones" such as "Camp Killauee", "Dead Inn", "Slaughter House", and the "Silver Scream Sinema". And to think that professing Christians can go to venues making light and fun of sin, the very thing that God hates, and have no sensitivity to such foolery. It's truly mind-boggling and a testament to the state of the professing church.
I can't put into words the advertisements I have seen through various media outlets over the last few years amplifying and glorifying these things God detests. I have come to the conclusion, however, that Halloween is the most evil day of the year and I want nothing to do with it as far as participation is concerned. The answer to the question I posed at the beginning of this post is clear to me - there is nothing good about Halloween. Another even more necessary question must be asked, what in Halloween brings glory to God? Surely you cannot answer in the affirmative there is anything about this day that glorifies the name of Jesus Christ.
As born again believers, each of us must ask these questions of ourselves. What are we doing for our children when we make light of this day and provide them with "less scary" alternatives? Obviously, a child isn't sinning for knocking on doors asking for candy, nor do I believe you as parents are sinning by allowing your children to do so (unless, of course, you are being convicted by the Holy Spirit to not do so). But what I'm asking you to consider is this:
All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. - 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
Admittedly, it is not my place to judge anyone should they participate in the apparent innocence of trick-or-treating and the like. But we must ask ourselves what are the benefits? And are we playing a role in desensitizing our children to the weight of sin? As for me and my house, we have chosen to not compromise.
There is so much deception in the world today, and as we near the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, the deception will only increase. The less we compromise our Christian values and moral principles and the less we are conformed to the things of this world (Romans 12:2), the less ammunition we give the world to seduce our children into the ways of the world. We must detach ourselves from the crowds. We must make up our minds and be resolved to protect our families no matter the cost. God has a standard of holiness and we are to pursue it with all of our strength out of the abundance of love in our hearts for Him.
This world is passing away (1 John 2:15-17) and we as Christians have been called out. We have been set apart. We are, in fact, aliens in this world whose citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). The line in the sand has been drawn, and within my power and ability I will choose the things of God, love the things He loves, and hate the things he hates, namely sin. Not only do I not want to offend God in this manner, but I no longer want to go along with the crowd or continue to do things because that's just the way we've always done it. And any time we take pleasure in the things God hates, we dishonor Him and relish in the very things for which He was crucified.
And speaking of Christ's death and glorious resurrection, God can and will take something that was intended for evil and turn it into something for good and His glory. What better time than to talk to somebody about the free gift of grace God offers to sinners? While sin and death are being celebrated in a way that distorts truth, we have the opportunity to reveal the reality of sin and the certainty of death. And all who do not recognize their sinful condition and gift of grace through repentance and faith in Christ will realize the wages of sin - eternal death.
If you're planning on handing out candy this weekend, I encourage you to add to your stash the Gospel. There's no time left to purchase Gospel tracts online at excellent sources such as Living Waters or Custom Tract Resource, but your local Christian bookstore should have at least a few options for you. And if you have access to a color printer, you can print my Urgent Message tract for free. Be sensitive to your surroundings and in your conversations this weekend and look for opportunities to talk about death. Styrofoam gravestones, zombies, caskets, death scenes, and the like provide us with great conversation starters - like, "what do you think really happens when you die"? Give the person you're talking to a chance to explain what they believe, and should they not understand the gravity of their sin and Truth found in the Lord Jesus Christ, share Law and Grace with them in truth and love. While many of these people are flippantly celebrating death, eternal death will be their fate should they continue along the wide path of destruction.
I hope this post has given you something to think about. We must examine everything we do to see whether or not it honors God and brings glory to His name. Those things in our lives that clutter and weigh us down or distort or compromise the truth must be cleaned out. At the very least, I hope this post leads you to pray about these things.
Please take a moment to watch the two short videos from Todd Friel of Wretched Radio and Chad Williams and Tony Miano from Living Waters. The first video will echo some of the things I've given you to consider, while the second will give you an example of taking the opportunity to share the Gospel in even the most "deathly" situations. :)
Be safe this weekend.