We recently just had one of the most controversial holidays pass... Halloween.
A bit of History: The origin of “Halloween" begins in
the eighth century. There was a holiday appointed in The Church to honor and celebrate the Saints (All Saints Day) and the soon-to-be Saints (All Souls Day), later combining to All Hallows' Eve. All Hallows' Eve was a day for prayer and celebration. Then, as in most human history, we’ve turned our eyes away from the reason why we started a holiday in the first place. We turned from celebrating the faith in which the martyrs died and the God for which they served into scaring off evil spirits and expediting spirits that apparently lay in limbo. Human nature took things into their own hands and now it has become a celebration of evil. Like Christmas and other holidays, somewhere along the way it got hijacked and lost its true meaning... Thus, the controversy.
Luke HATES this holiday. Upon entering American culture and its mass commercialism of the holiday he has made that clear. I, on the other hand, grew up with no opinion of the holiday. My parents were always conflicted with it as one year we could dress up and the next year not. It was always kind of a lottery. What I do love, however, is ANY chance to dress up or let my creative side come out. So dress up = YES, evil spirits = NO. It is a fun thing for the kids... It is one day that they can dress up as their favorite characters from movies, nothing more than that...
The questions you have to ask is, where do you draw the line with cultural things, especially this one? I think it wasn’t until my late teens/early twenties that I saw the potential in this holiday. I could see the endless opportunities for evangelism and outreach in this. Is it more helpful to have a night in and not interact with people or to go out into the night where most people are out and interact with people the way Jesus would?
My heart over the years has been increasingly growing for this holiday. I want to create a “Space” for the people roaming around the streets for candy to stumble upon something MORE. I want there to be a place that is safe, fun and yet offers guidance and truth. We hope to one day have a thriving youth outreach and how amazing would it be to have an event where its not about dressing up in the most provocative outfits and a time to party hard, but its about building friendships and not being judged by people they label as “Christians”. Why can’t we utilize the culture as an opportunity to show God’s love in a non-threatening way?
Do I see Halloween as evil? I do not believe Trick or Treating and participating in the holiday opens you up to Satan. If this kind of thinking was true then certainly me and my family are in the wrong business... we are constantly faced with the darkness around us and our responsibility is to shine amidst the darkness. I would say that, it is what that is in your heart that determines what you continually allow in... is your heart toying with evil?
So, it is really what you make of it...
There is good culture and bad culture. I would say that this is more reflective of our society as a whole as opposed to laying the blame solely on the holiday. I think from our view, the worst thing we can do is to lock our doors, stay at home and refuse to join in. I see this as opportunity and I will FOR SURE use Halloween as an outreach.
We need to weigh it in regards to faith and culture... How do you live your faith out in culture that generally is inherently evil (not pointed towards God) and then have the conviction to live it out in a way that you do not subscribe to culture but you are shining your light in the midst of it?... Lets take EVERY opportunity to shine our light!
Although your people live in darkness, they will see a bright light.
Although they live in the shadow of death, a light will shine on them."