No, I can’t take credit for the title. That goes to my good blogging friend Beth, and today she’s waxing philosophical about Halloween. Go read her post. Seriously, click on the little link, do it now, it’ll open in a new window (and let me know if it doesn’t, ‘cuz it’s supposed to!). I mean it, go read her post, because she’s sharing about Halloween, but she’s also asking a question about what others’ points of view are, so you need to read her post before you continue reading this one πŸ˜‰

For the first few years of my life, I was raised with my parents neither really for or against Halloween. I can remember one year my sister and I dressed like witches in costumes my Mom made to go to the school’s fall festival. I can also remember going to friends’ Haunted Houses.Β  But we never went trick-or-treating. This was largely due, however, to the fact that we lived so far out in the country, it would’ve been impossible to walk from house to house, and my parent’s weren’t willing to drive us into town just so we could get free candy.Β  (There was this wonderful neighbor lady a few miles up the road, Mrs. Darsey. She always thought it was a shame that Ellen and I didn’t get candy and she made us up goody-bags every year!) At some point in time, though, Mama and Daddy did take us out to eat every Halloween – a good 45 minute drive, usually to the Pizza Hut; a rare “treat” to be sure! (Yes, that pun was intended :p)

Well, somewhere in there, somebody at church was truly convicted about what Halloween really is, where it comes from, what its roots are, etc, and a lot of the families in our church stopped doing anything for Halloween. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, do a Google search for full details. Quick rundown: some Christians consider Halloween the Devil’s Holiday because it’s so full of pagan symbols and rituals. If you don’t want to do your own Google search, go here (I really like Wikipedia :-)).Β  Back to my story: some of the families, especially those who lived in town, stopped actively participating – no more letting their kids go trick-or-treating, no more going to Haunted Houses or Halloween themed events, no more costumes to the school Fall Festival – but they also didn’t just turn off the light and disappear. They took a more passive role; they still bought bags of candy, but took Bible verses on little slips of paper and wrapped around the individual pieces of candy that were getting handed out, and used it as an outreach opportunity! (Stereotypical Southern Baptist, to be sure, but still ;-))

I, personally, took the “turn the lights off and hide” approach the last few years, largely because I either wasn’t involved in a church, or the church I went to sporadically didn’t offer an alternative event for the kids. As a parent I loved that the church we attended when my son was much younger offered a Christian alternative to what the secular world was doing. The name had nothing to do with Halloween, it just so happened to be held the exact same hours the city was doing trick-or-treating. It was very much a Fall Festival type of atmosphere, with lots of games for the kids to play, and hot dogs and cotton candy, and candy given to the kids whether they won or lost. The church even partnered with a local dental group, and got grab bag of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other fun stuff for the kids, too. There was even a dunking booth our last year at that church; needless to say, “try to dunk the pastor” was a very popular event! I didn’t feel like I was hiding from the world in my house, because I wasn’t. And since it was a community outreach event – (“free food” advertised in the paper works every time!) – I knew I was “letting my little light shine,” too πŸ˜‰ After the 1st year, the pastor did instigate the rule that there be no gruesome/gory costumes allowed, and believe me, we had plenty of “headless” monsters walking around b/c they had to take it off. (You might wanna mention that to your pastor, btw. Since it’s being held on church grounds – I’m assuming – y’all have every right to veto unwanted costumes. Our church kids either didn’t dress up, or dressed up like BibleMan or Bob the Tomato, or something secularly mundane like a pack of M&M’s or Dora the Explorer.)

So, Beth, I’ll be praying for you, sweetie πŸ™‚ That God would give you His wisdom and direction in how YOU are supposed to handle this, whether it be to spend the day in prayer, to ignore it altogether and treat it like any other day, or to embrace what your pastor and church are doing.

And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive. Matthew 21:22

β€˜Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3 (both NKJV) For the verse in Jeremiah, the NIV says “unsearchable” for “mighty!”