Halloween was yesterday, and I barely even noticed. Several years ago, my husband and I decided that our family would not participate in Halloween and Harvest Festival celebrations. I haven’t regretted it. My children have gotten used to it, too. The 31st of October is just another day to us. I know other Christian families who do the whole Harvest Festival thing, and I don’t look down on them for it. Instead, I try to understand what their reasons are, and accept that we all see things from different perspectives. But if they ever decided to ask me why we do what we do, I might answer something like this:
First of all, the Bible forbids us to have any association with witchcraft.
“When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect [blameless] with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess [dispossess], hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do [appointed such for you].”
Why would I want to have anything to do with a holiday that celebrates the macabre? That pays tribute to death and decay, ghosts and witches? To Satan himself? Christ has overcome death! I want to honor Him by rejoicing in His victory over the powers of darkness!
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened [made alive] together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
I think that many churches have Harvest Festivals as a safe, healthy alternative to having kids out on the streets. When the children and their families come to church for the event, they not only play games and receive prizes and candy, but are (hopefully) introduced to the gospel message. While I am not entirely against this approach, I still think that the right thing to do is to separate ourselves entirely from this dark holiday. It seems to me that we can proclaim our Savior best by emphasizing the great distance that divides us from all such wickedness. When other people see that we refuse to lower our dignity by having anything at all to do with diabolical celebrations, they will ask themselves, “Why are these people different?” But if we continue to offer alternatives such as Harvest Festivals, it only looks to the world like we are still celebrating Halloween, just in our own peculiar way. We are not being much of a light!
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Later, I want to look into the roots of Halloween, but I need to do some research first. For now, I know what I see, and that is that there are witches, ghosts, skeletons, spiders, cobwebs, graves, corpses and spooky lights all over the place. I think that is a reasonable indication of what Halloween is about.