2022 was the first time my daughter of 4 was invited to a Halloween party. Would she go, and if not why not? If you like me have wondered how to engage with Halloween if at all, here are some thoughts.
Boiling this blog into one line I would say this, Halloween is a trick not a treat! You see the idea of pretending that evil is ‘just a bit of fun’, should never deceive us into welcoming its presence in our lives. Evil is serious and to take the supernatural lightly is a dangerous trick of Satan.
“The reason Christ came into the world was to destroy (evil and) the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8
The mission of the Son of God was to destroy evil and the works of the devil by taking upon himself sins held over his people. By celebrating what Jesus came to rid this world of, is at best unhelpful, and worst opposes the very mission of Christ.
On the night of Halloween last year, I was sitting with a couple to do marriage prep, and the words from 1 Corinthians 13 were read out. “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” As innocent as Halloween may present itself, Paul would argue that it can never be loving, because true love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
A man was referred on the NHS to a sleep clinic, due to his disturbing and vivid dreams. His lack of peace at night was affecting his whole life and causing harm. He was referred by G.P’s and nurses and was now in front of a sleep specialist – things were looking hopeful. Their first question was “what does your evening routine look like?”. “Well,” replied the young man, “I usually watch a movie before bed”. When asked what genre, he replied, “horror……”!
We live in an anxious society where people’s mental health is under attack – why allow the intrigue of darkness to occupy space in our lives, however ‘fun’ it may present itself. Instead of contributing to cultures disturbing anxiety like a horror movie insomniac, Philippians 4:8 teaches us to think and action what is true, noble, right, pure, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy.
But what about being in the world?
This phrase is often used around Halloween, and any slightly shady behaviour in our lives! The idea of being in the world but not of it, is to be like salt. If salt loses its saltiness, (begins to taste like everything else around it) then Jesus says it’s of no use.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
The idea of you and I being in the world is to reflect something of the beauty and light of God. You are in the world, but you are not of it, so allow your thoughts, desires and actions to come in line with the Kingdom of heaven.
Can I throw a light party?
Light parties have become an appealing alternative to many. The idea that we would not simply pull the curtains closed and hope the world will be better by morning is both proactive and engaging. We are to be relatable, understanding and loving in our communication of the truth – even the truth about evil.
So, if you’re wanting to have some fun, throw open the doors, turn on the festoon and let your light shine. My only caution is that this would not be the one time a party is known to be thrown in your house with the one other family from Church! This can come across pious and even our unbelieving, Halloween loving friends are more hospitable than that!
Our children need to understand why we do/don’t do things beyond a ‘because I told you so’. They need to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. So show them!
There will be a 1000 and 1 different situations to consider, so ask the spirit of God to lead you into love as you seek to follow the pattern of Christ. Some may go out on Halloween, others stay in. Whatever you chose to do remember that evil in this world is responsible for the misery of millions. Their heartache and pain are no joke, and our Lord came to bring hope, life and light, utterly destroying the works of the devil. Let’s be those who side with this gospel which is good news of great joy.
by Dan Baptist