Sunday, October 08, 2006

Question of the Day

Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

14 comments:

Keith Taylor said...

I think we should. I see nothing wrong with kids dressing up and going trick or treating. Personally, Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays.

Now, if you are concerned about your kids dressing as the devil and the blood and gore, you should be, if they aren't Christians. It is up to you. Dress them up as Christian saints, Wesley, or Luther, or Paul and Silas, etc. Of course, they'll get beat up, but that is probably a good lesson in itself.

I'd say we should use Halloween to teach and remind ourselves and our kids that the Enemy and his agents are real. That they do roam the earth an we are at war with them. However as Christians, while we do fall under that attach, we really have nothing to fear. Christ said, do not fear one who can take your life, fear the one who can take your soul.

I'll be trick or treating while the rest of you figure it out.

James said...

With close to 8,000 people, Halloween is bigger than Christmas or Easter.

Patti said...

Do Christians celebrate Christmas, Easter, and birthdays? They all have pagan roots, according to my Jehova's Witness student's mother. So I say absolutely! It's my favorite holiday!

Keith McIlwain said...

Absolutely.

Joel Thomas said...

It would be wrong to "celebrate" Halloween if we failed to observe All Saints Day or All Saints Sunday, which I understand was created to try to push Halloween aside. It could be a way for a Christian to say "I live in the light and am not afraid of the dark." Or, "your powers are limited, Satan, and greatly illusory, so enjoy your puny power while you may." Costume choice should be heavily monitored, though.

If a child is old enough to understand, it can be explained that originally Halloween was intended to allow townfolk, including adults, to dress up in ghoulish costumes to scare away those who would steal the the living on the eve of the hallowed day (Saints). It could then be explained that though we believe in Satan, we no longer believe in evil spirits (spirits condemned to hell who would come back in search of the righteous living to possess so the evil spirits could get into heaven). Obviously, this is just one explanation of the Halloween tradition.

As clergy, I have often greeted trick-or-treaters, giving them candy with a Bible verse attached demonstrating the providence, sovereignty or majesty of God.

I allowed a Halloweem party of sorts at one of my churches. The condition was that no costume could reflect sorcery, witchcraft, ghosts or such. Kids could dress up as their favorite character such as Superman or Spiderman. We did allow carved pumpkins, though.

Kansas Bob said...

Maybe not celebrate - maybe join in the fun in a wholesome way?

John said...

The room is spinning and I'm getting woozy -- Joel Thomas is more conservative than me!

Joel Thomas said...

Go ahead and come out of the theological closet, John. Time to bare all!

I do think there is a distinction to be made between what we allow our kids to do off church property and on with regards to certain kinds of events. I'm not going to deny a child the right to attend a Christmas party with Santa, Rudolph, and such, but those characters will not be allowed on church property.

Lorna said...

This is an interesting topic. In Finland Hallowe'en has not been traditionally celebrated - now it's becoming popular. It's all the ghools and ghosts and vampires - along with new age stuff like fortune telling and I at least want nothing to do with it.

DannyG said...

I can't think of a single "evil" persona that I adopted in haloween. Astronaut, Pilot, Superman, etc. I think as some fun it is ok. Of course, should we adults be watching "elvira" and the b-grade horror movies all night on haloween? Where does a good tale, well told end and flirtation with the evil one begin?

John said...

I grew up with a traditional pagan Halloween, dressing as Dracula, as well as Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. My parents are solidly theologically and morally conservative, so it never occurred to me that there was anything wrong with it. I can understand that, in theory, it's unChristian. But it's like reading Harry Potter and playing Dungeons and Dragons. Like, get a life, critics.

So you're right that the pagan elements of these holidays don't belong at Church. But they're okay at home, if that dichtomy makes any sense.

Joel Thomas said...

OK, I confess. I'm a hypocrite. I, too, like Harry Potter.

John said...

I was required to read a Harry Potter novel in library school, but I didn't like it. Rather boring.

Joel Thomas said...

WEll, I enjoyed one of the movies, anyway. Haven't actuall read any of the Potter books.