Tuesday, 29 October 2013
Living on the cold, Canadian prairie meant that my four-year-old daughter’s Halloween costume had to fit over her big, puffy snowsuit. We found an adorable clown outfit which worked well with the large rainbow afro wig that was her favorite dress up item and headed out the door.
We weren’t out for very long as she didn’t embrace the concept of knocking on strangers’ doors and taking candy – the two very things we had trained her to never do. Back in the warmth of our kitchen, we sat at the table, sorting through her goodies. She was unusually quiet.
“Mommy,” she said, finally breaking the silence, “If Jesus was born to give us Christmas, and died for Easter, what did He do to give us Halloween?”
“Um, no, this isn’t a Jesus holiday . . .”
Pushing the candy towards me, she got up from the table, “Yeah, I thought it was the Devil’s thing – I don’t want to do it anymore.”
And that was that.
I had grown up in a Christian home and would go trick-or-treating with our pastor’s daughter every year. It had never been an issue to me. But, now my own daughter – at the age of four – felt convicted and didn’t want to participate.
How could I argue? So for our family, we stopped trick-or-treating, but struggled for years on whether or not to still hand out candies. Some years we did, other years we withheld. Our church held alternatives and some times we would attend, other years we stayed home. We would ‘feel’ our way through prayer every year and act accordingly. When we do pass out goodies, we try to stick Bible verses on each candy or include a Christian tract – when else do we have our neighbours come knocking on our doors? Best to take advantage!
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:22, “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.”
I don’t judge friends and family who choose to participate in Halloween; everyone needs to be true to their own convictions. We have noticed however, that the last ten years or so the merchandising and commercialism of the holiday has taken off big time. Celebrating Halloween for our family is definitely a no-no. We do not hang up decorations or promote ‘spooky’ haunted houses. As Christians, we are fully aware of the spiritual realm and it is not to be taken lightly.
Just remember that non-believers are watching and being divisive or judgmental is not going to win anyone to Christ.
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. Romans 14:1-4 (ESV)
To trick or to treat . . . or not . . . that is not the question. The question is regardless to what we choose; will they know we are Christians by our love?