Sunday, October 31, 2010
Let me preface the rest of this blog by telling you that my mother LOVES Halloween. She decorates the house and the porch and always went all out making our costumes. Whatever we wanted to dress as, she made it happen! Witches, bats, gypsies, vampires, genies.... She created just about every costume you could think of over the years. My mom is a Christian, too! But, she just really loves the holiday and all the spooky stories and movies. She was raised in a time where Halloween was something that was all in fun. It was safe to walk the streets at night and trick or treat everyone in your neighborhood and everyone just had fun with it.
So, for the last 10 years since having children, we've participated in Halloween activities. They have always gotten to dress up, but it was always something cute. We've done Eeyore, puppies, tigers, princesses, Wizard of Oz, etc. We've attended the school and church carnivals and we always trick-or-treat a few people in town that we know and who enjoy seeing the kids dressed up. And, although I was uncertain exactly how I should approach the holiday as a Christian, I've not felt like it interfered with our faith in any way... until this year.
This year my 10 year old wanted to be a witch. I was just really uncomfortable about that. But, I couldn't totally put my finger on why. My mom was wanting to make her costume and was waiting on my decision about whether or not to allow her to dress as a witch. Of course, Mom and I had a discussion about it and it was hard for me to express how I feel because I didn't want to make my mother feel like I thought her parenting was less than mine because she had always allowed us to dress up in ghoulish (never gross or gory!) costumes and she felt like it was all in fun and there was nothing wrong with it. I couldn't find the true reason I was having issue with it. I told my mom I didn't feel like it was going to interfere with my daughter's faith or walk with God, but it just seemed like a bad witness to other people. However, I caved! I let her dress as a witch and my son as a skeleton. Even though I was still really unsettled about it. I didn't want to them to wear their costumes to church carnivals and that got me!! I said to myself: "I should not be letting my kids do anything or act in any way that I wouldn't if we are in church!" Our lives should be led the same way regardless of what building we are in! I realized that I for sure had made a mistake in bending on my principles and ignoring my convictions! I decided to do some Halloween investigation! I came across an article that Air 1 Radio had on their site and it really let me know what I needed to do. (Link to article: Halloween: Opression or Opportunity)
Halloween (it was not called Halloween then) started before Christ's birth as a pagan holiday in which people dressed as evil beings to trick the true demons. They wanted to blend in with the demons and evil spirits they believed were walking the earth so that the demons would pass them over and not torment them. This is DEFINITELY against our religion as Christians. We believe we should be set apart from the evil of the world and be a light for all to see! Many years later, after Christ, the Christian church decided to infiltrate this pagan holiday and make it about God. They named it "All Hallow's Eve" (Which is where the word Halloween comes from.) They made it about the fact that the only true protection we have from evil is Christ!
This article gave me the history lesson I needed to tell me exactly how I feel about this holiday and how to explain my convictions. When my daughter wanted to be a witch and my son a skeleton, I didn't like it, but I didn't have the explanation I needed to tell them "why." Now I do! So, even though they were dressed ghoulish this year, it will be the last year. And, we had a discussion about it. I told them that we should use Halloween to let everyone know that Jesus is our protection from evil and to celebrate the peace and protection we have from his resurrection. I will allow my children to celebrate Halloween (or all Hallow's Eve) and they will be allowed to dress up as something cute or funny. But, there will be no more evil spirits, ghouls, witches or hobgoblins at our house! And, I think we'll make a tradition of talking about Jesus on that day and reading a verse about why we have nothing to fear in this world. I have found a verse I really like:
The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. -Proverbs 19:23
And, now I know exactly where I stand and WHY! Everyone has their own convictions. For instance, the woman who raised me has a very different opinion that I! And, we can't judge each other on that. We just both have to accept that our choices are between our selves and God. I know what God has said to ME on the subject, but I can't know what is truly in anyone else's heart! So... I can with sound conscience say to you all: HAPPY HALLOWEEN AND GOD BLESS!!!