It’s not every night that families come to you
As a dad, I’ve looked at Halloween as a way to bring the good News of Christ to children. If our own kids had no part in Halloween we would have run the risk of them being ostracized and other kids making them feel like they are on the outside. Yet, at the same time we don’t glorify Satan, death and darkness.
In past years we have given out candy along with simple, kid-friendly booklets explaining about God’s love. Neighbors have come back to us to say thanks for including something that brought hope and joy to their children.
This year, our kids can dress up, but their costumes will not reflect darkness, fear or death.- my wife Kelly and I might dress up like worn-out parents of four kids. We may get together in someone’s front yard in the neighborhood and host a BBQ for everyone to enjoy. We want it to be a fun, community event for families where we can get to know our neighbors. As Christians, if we lock our doors and turn out our lights, we loose an opportunity to share Christ with our neighbors. It’s not every night that all of the families in the neighborhood come to your door.
As a youth pastor for fifteen years, it saddened me that teenagers, especially Christian teenagers, celebrate Halloween in such a very dark and pagan way. They need to understand that although we live in the world, we are not of it. Each of us is called to be a light on a hill and to be salt in the world. Teenagers really struggle with being accepted by their peers, especially between the ages of twelve and sixteen. But if they knew their identity in Christ, they wouldn’t struggle with peer pressure. When they recognize that they are a child of The King and understand the intensity of how much God loves them, the teenagers who really grasp that reality, make a lot less mistakes in middle and high school. Today’s Christian teenagers are the example and leaders to the other teenagers, and Halloween is a great night for them to shine!
Brody Howell is a pastor at First Baptist Fort Lauderdale and serves as the SE Area Coordinator for First Priority of South Florida. He and his wife Kelly are the parents of four children- Toby (13), Tucker (10) and twin girls Hannah and Abigail (4).
Halloween is not for the believer
Once we had children, the neighborhood Halloween invitations so we researched Halloween and searched the Word of God. The more we uncovered, the more convinced we were that Halloween was not for believers. Its origins as a Celtic New Year celebration where Druid priests performed human sacrifices convinced us that Halloween’s origins lay in cultic practices. Witchcraft, Satanists, Neo-paganists and Spiritists still celebrate October 31st as their highest holiday.
As our kids grew, there was a lot of pressure from neighborhood families and even from within the church to participate. There are some things that are not true, noble, right, pure, lovely or admirable (Philippians 4:8) and Halloween was certainly one of them for us. Verse after verse like Romans 12:1-2 directed us to not conform to this world, but to be imitators of God. Halloween did not look at all like God to us.
Ephesians 5:11 instructs us to “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
God instructs believers to celebrate festivals like Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. Most Christians know all about Halloween, but little about the Biblical feasts that Jesus celebrated and that we will celebrate with Him throughout the millennium. Christians participate in Halloween to entertain their kids, but God has so much more for us.
As Christian parents, we all strive to raise our children and to train them to obey the Lord without compromise through equipping them with the tools in the Word and through the power of the Holy Spirit, to walk in that obedience. Then we pray that this foundation will not only sustain them, but enable them to go out and make a Kingdom difference for their generation. This is a narrow walk that begins when they are little, and sometimes may mean missing out on a few parties.
Sue and Rick Puchferran have four children ages 16-23. Their family is very active in Boca Raton Homeschoolers, their church and community.
Making a Satanic connection that doesn’t exist
I love Halloween! Since I was a child, it has been one of my favorite days of the year. It was always a special time for my mom and me to celebrate together. Now, as a mother, I’m excited to continue the tradition.
I love decorating my house and it’s fun to dress up. I start planning my costume around July but it is a secret until then. In the past my husband and I have dressed up as Raggedy Ann and Andy. I’ve also been a scarecrow and a hippie clown. The fun is in the planning and putting all the parts together.
I don’t put any value on the people who say that it is Satanic. Its almost as though they are making a connection that doesn’t need to exist. I understand that originally it had ties to pagan Celtic tradition but that was back in the day and has nothing to do with our celebration here and now. If you look hard enough, a lot of things have pagan origins even Christmas but that was thousands of year ago.
This year my son is dressing up as Raggedy Andy. I’m excited to pass on to him my love of Halloween and the fun I have in decorating and dressing up each year. It’s just a fun night for my family.
Aisha lives and works in South Florida and is the mother of a seventeen month old son.
Halloween is not a religious holiday
I listen to the arguments on both sides of this debate and honestly, I don’t understand why there is a problem with kids celebrating Halloween. It’s a holiday that’s made for children and they have a good time going from door to door in the neighborhood collecting candy. It seems to be a big controversy about nothing.
Satan or the devil isn’t involved so why would anyone have a problem? It’s not a religious holiday at all. There is no religion to debate about. Let the kids enjoy the chance to dress up and to collect candy from their neighbors.
Cary Nagdeman is a longtime resident of Boca Raton and is owner of Trust Marketing Group and the father of a nineteen year old son.