I am looking forward to Halloween. I like the costumes, meeting the neighbours, seeing all the smiles on kids faces, and of course the candy. We levy a pretty high ‘candy tax’ in our house. Also somehow I always overestimate the amount of kids that will come to our door so we end up with extra chocolate bars to get rid of.
But speaking as a Christian, and as a pastor I recognize that not everyone in my faith community shares the same love for Halloween. Some Christians for various reasons really dislike Halloween. And when we as a faith community really dislike something we have the tendency to be a little weird and kind of annoying about it.
So this year I thought I would do my best to help out. If you are a Christian and are feeling uneasy about Halloween here are a few tips and pointers to help you avoid annoying your neighbours.
If You Chose NOT To Participate;
Do So Quietly– Most people are not celebrating Halloween because they love Satan. They are celebrating it because they like free candy and dressing their kids up in cute costumes. I recognize there can be a lot of violent, sexual and down right evil imagery around Halloween and I don’t care for it either. But most people are not in it for that. Giving them a tongue lashing or posting rants to Facebook about the evils of Halloween won’t make those things go away. And they make you look kind of cranky. Instead just take a page out of the Jehovah Witness’ handbook. Turn your porch lights off and quietly watch some TV until bedtime.
Do Not Throw An Alternative Event That Still Is Clearly Halloween– Some Christians want to celebrate Halloween but call it something else. I have been to a few ‘harvest parties’ where kids dressed up and got candy. I don’t think we are fooling anyone with this attempt. If you really don’t want to celebrate Halloween then don’t. Simply pick up discounted boxes of candy on November 1st so you don’t miss out on those tiny Kit Kat bars.
Do Not Judge Those Who Participate– This should be a given but I am going to say it anyway. If you have come to the point in your faith that you feel you cannot participate in Halloween that is fine. But other Christians, like myself, have not. Don’t judge. We are not conforming to the world we are enjoying what we consider to be a mostly harmless celebration.
If You Chose TO Participate:
Pass Out Candy-I know there is a movement in the US in particular to mobilize Christians to give out tracts and the like on Halloween. This practise is very annoying, and I doubt has resulted in a single new Christian. Remember when you were a kid and the dentist in your subdivision gave out toothbrushes instead of candy? You were disappointed because you wanted a chocolate bar. This is the same thing, only worse. At least parents looked at the toothbrush and thought it would be useful. When they look at the chick tract you gave them they just think you are a little scary.
Go Easy On The Sanctified Decorations– There are some pretty impressive Christian themed pumpkin carving patterns out there. If you feel like having a sanctified jack-o-lantern power to you, but I suspect one is enough.
Before I sign off I do have one final suggestion. This has nothing to do with faith at all but I still feel I should pass this along. As far as I can tell only about 1 in every 100 people or so like those yellow, orange and white candy corn things. Don’t give them out. They are gross.
Happy Halloween to you all, Christian and Non-Christian alike.