Everyone has an opinion on Halloween… and its alternatives.
On one hand, I completely appreciate opportunities to remember that Halloween is really a degradation of “All Saint’s Day.” Everything belongs to God, including whatever has been corrupted or changed over the years to reflect something else. It’s why my family is a huge fan of how this season can be a time to sip apple cider and eat pumpkin pie while the leaves change. We don’t do the ghoul/ghost thing, but we do let our kids get dressed up in a fun costume and make the rounds for candy while we bond with our neighbors. That seems kind of important to God,doesn’t it?
On the other hand, I also appreciate the efforts of Christians who believe we should “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” That word “nothing” is rather powerful, isn’t it?
Churches have tried to come up with alternatives that try to ride the tension between those two thoughts. Sometimes we forget how this comes across, though. Here’s a great one-liner from “Angry Youth Pastor”
Harvest Festivals are like substitute cuss words…God and everyone else still knows what you mean. #holyghostweanieroast
Meanwhile, Greg Stier offers 13 ways not to share your faith this Halloween. Here’s a slice:
- Insert Testamints into marshmallows covered in chocolate and blessed by a priest.
- Tell the kids who come to your door that Halloween is the Devil’s birthday party (Like my son used to believe.)
- Give away apples with John 3:16 carved into them. John 3:16 is great but apples? Seriously? Don’t be that house.
- Go as a zombie with a sign around your neck that reads, “Dead in my sins
Perhaps a more comprehensive summary is what Darren Sutton hits on regarding how Halloween outreach efforts often fall flat.
Somewhere, we decided that Halloween was bad – and we were going to offer an ‘alternative’ (that strangely looks just like Halloween huddled up on our parking lot.) And then we heartily pat ourselves on the back because 700 people show up for free candy and a dunking booth. We don’t get their names, We don’t REALLY meet them, because this time they’re actually wearing real ‘masks’. And somehow we think we have accomplished ministry. And we’ll do the same thing for our Christmas program, Easter pageant, and July 4th celebration.
So… what’s your perspective on all of this?