Happy Halloween?

    Walking the the city neighborhoods has provoked some thought on the essence of Halloween; just what are people celebrating and what stance should believers take on the issue:

   From a purely non-religious view, I can see that Halloween is like any of the other holidays; you decorate, do related crafts in school and ultimately receive candy on the actual day. (isn’t that where all holidays have gone?)
The decorations have intrigued me as to what the owners expected from the day:

There are some who put up a banner as they probably do for any other holiday, or hang cute little spiders or ghosts from a tree – just enough to show that they enjoy celebrating…anything.

Others go a little farther, trying to send the message that they want the kids to come and get the treats at their house – who wouldn’t want to see a cute little kid dressed up and on a sugar rush?

Still other seem to have a quite different taste – from a family graveyard…

To a fantastic and gruesome display with over 20 figures that must have cost a thousand dollars!
Do people ever think about what they are putting up? Do they think it’s funny and a little naughty to have beheadings, ghouls and Jack-the-Ripper in their yards? Or do they delight in the occult and revel in the chance to display nastiness and evil?

   The other thought line was spurred by our church search and seeing how many of them offered some sort of Halloween alternative -candy, booths, costumes, everything. They call them “Fall Festivals” or something like that.

There are several reasons given for these:
 - Safe alternative to roaming the streets
 - A chance to witness to non-Christian friends
 - A “Christian” way to celebrate so our kids won’t feel left out
 - Family fun time

   So I was thinking, should we as Christians join in what is recognized as a holiday honoring evil? Is this a great opportunity to witness through secular adaptation or is this really joining forces with the world? I was thinking that maybe this would be a good opportunity to teach our kids to stand alone and face “missing out” on what the world has to offer, rather than placate with a substitute that mars the line between good and evil. Let kids dress up, give them candy sometimes, and have a fall festival – but why not do it at other times than Halloween?
  You know, way back in the garden of Eden we acquired the ability to discern between good and evil, later we are told to hate the evil and seek the good that we may live (Amos 5:14). Romans calls us to be wise unto that which is good and simple concerning evil; by abstaining we may be doing our kids a favor, because those that are of age to “have ‘strong meat’ are those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

  Finally, consider this warning from Isaiah: Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter…..therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people (and who are his people?)… (5:20,25)

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