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Why we don’t do Halloween by Joe Holland

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This is a good, simple explanation. He further talks about it in the comments section found at his blog page. Our question to ourself, for our family should be, “How can we be called a peculiar people if we continue to practice what our culture practices?” There has never been a time that this particular holiday was captured or can be made good for the one who calls himself Christian. This is different than other holidays that do associate themselves at some point in history with Christ (His birth or His resurrection).

Why we don’t do Halloween by Joe Holland

Post reposted from this link.

The Hollands don’t do Halloween.

To be honest, Halloween makes my stomach turn.  I’m a pastor.  I daily face death and its destruction—physical and spiritual.  In hospitals, counseling sessions, and sermons I teach people about Jesus’s triumph over sin, death, and the devil.  Mortality, spiritual malevolence, demons, twisted sensuality, devils and the like aren’t just costumes at RiteAid.  They are daily realities.

So when it comes around to Halloween and I see ghoulish decorations, 5 year old zombies, 8 year -olds in fish net stockings, bloody corpses in front yards, and resurrecting dead it hits a little too close to home.  How can I laugh and give kids sugar highs when I’m facing grotesque, cartoonish representations of the things that literally haunt people’s souls?  Do I really want my kids thinking that death and the demonic are only lawn decorations for a few weeks a year?

I know what you’re thinking, “Dude, lighten up!”  Well, I’ve tried and have been unsuccessful.  I’m not angry at Halloween or the folks that will pad my street on the eve of October 31.  I’m not really all that concerned with the historicity of the cultural practice.  I don’t even think there is a whole lot of malevolence going on—in fact I’m more concerned with the relative ease in interacting with Halloween on a thematic level.

I just can’t keep from cringing when I think about it.

It comes down to the cross.  I actually believe that Jesus triumphed over malevolent spiritual forces at the cross—Col 2:15.  The cross has changed me and my affections in ways I could never have predicted.  I’m more serious about death and the spiritual world than I’ve ever been.  I’m also more joyful in God’s power over sin, death, and devil through Christ than I have ever been.

For so many Halloween is about good times, candy, and fun.  Put simply it is joyful frivolity and dress up.  For me it is sobering and sharpening.

So we don’t do Halloween.  Not because we think it earns us anything with God.  It’s just the way the cross has affected me and my family.

Now for all of the disclaimers:

  1. If you participate in Halloween with a clear conscience then please continue to do so.  I don’t think you’re a pagan Satan worshiper.
  2. I know not all of Halloween is about death and the creepy.  If you want your little pumpkin to parade up and down the street with Freddy and 12 year old bar maids, then go for it.
  3. I love my neighbors and actively and aggressively look for ways to tell them about Jesus.  The whole, “You’re not really into evangelizing if you don’t do Halloween” is one of the more stupid arguments I’ve heard.
  4. I’m not really into Halloween alternatives either.
  5. The whole argument not do Halloween based on its historical basis is silly too.  Although, if Halloween occurred for the very first time this year, would you participate?  Something to think about.
  6. Don’t worry about my poor deprived children.  We have a large tupperware full of costumes and I give them enough candy to make a dentist’s drill finger twitch.  They do just fine on the other 364 days a year when it comes to dress-up and sugar consumption.

Joe Holland is a church planter in Culpeper, Virginia at Christ Covenant.

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