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Happy Halloween?

We don’t celebrate Halloween at my house.  Or I should say that we don’t dress up and go out trick-or-treating.  We do buy a little bit of candy to hand out to the kids because we have found that this is the ONLY time of year that the kids in our neighborhood will come out of their houses!  In an effort to meet our neighbors, we have bent the “rules” a little bit and joined the millions of sugar dealers across the country.

I put “rules” in quotes above on purpose because I want you to understand something.  My belief in not celebrating Halloween is not a conviction that I expect others to have.  In fact, there are no “rules” to go along with my conviction.  I think it is adorable to see my friends and family members dress up their kids for Halloween and participate in the fun.  But my kids won’t be doing it.  When they are teenagers, they can decide for themselves what they believe.  But for now, I’d have to get involved, and I just don’t want to participate!  But don’t start writing me off as legalistic just yet!  There is no verse in the Bible that says, “Thou shall not celebrate Halloween!”  If you want to celebrate Halloween, then go ahead and have fun!

I grew up in a legalistic home because my parents were new Christians and didn’t truly understand the Gospel.  Instead, they just did whatever their church told them to do, thinking that these things were just part of becoming a Christian.  However, as they have grown in their faith and matured in their relationship with Christ, they have come to realize that a lot of the issues that were Christian “law” were actually just opinions of people like themselves.  My siblings now dress up their kids and take them trick-or-treating, and my parents love to see the grandkids in their costumes.

My generation is on the other side of the spectrum, I think.  We have learned that legalism is wrong, but we are taking Christian liberty to the extremes!  I often find myself having to stop and evaluate if I’ve gone too far, and sometimes I have.  Our goal should be to be more like Christ and less like ourselves, but it’s easy to get so caught up in our Christian liberties that we lose sight of the prize – eternity in heaven with God.

When I became a teenager, my parents let me make up my mind for myself, and I attended a few Halloween parties.  But when I got married and began to talk about my future with my husband, the Holy Spirit convicted me that Halloween was just not a holiday that needed my attention.  But I do have some Scripture to back up my beliefs.

*Disclaimer:  These are my convictions from Scripture.  Every Christian needs to listen closely to the Holy Spirit and come to their own convictions through studying the Bible and conversing with God.

The main Scripture passage that convicts me about Halloween is found in Phil. 4:8 – “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Now I don’t know what goes on in your household, but all I see on television on Halloween are scary movies and television shows fixated on freaking out the viewers!  In my opinion, these things are not lovely, true, or worthy of praise!  And honestly, I do not want to think about them because I will have nightmares (I promise you!).  Now some of you may think they are harmless fun, and they don’t bother you at all.  But for me, they settle in my thoughts and haunt me in the night.

Plus, a lot of the costumes and parties are centered around the idea of scaring each other.  Cemeteries are considered haunted; old houses offer haunting grounds for the dead.  Witches, ghosts, goblins, ghouls – all things unlovely and detestable to the average person – come to life for the night in hopes of scaring some unsuspecting “victim.”  I just can’t see the fun in that, and so we don’t even bother.  There are other fun things to do that we can enjoy.

So now you know why I am convicted about not celebrating Halloween.  I will let you know that my husband does not share my conviction, but he has just never been all that interested in the holiday and would rather start decorating for Christmas instead!  But I have been getting a lot of flack for taking a stand, so I want to turn the tables on you.  Are you judging those who do not celebrate Halloween like you do?  Have you looked at your own heart to see what your motives are?

The real issue here isn’t whether or not someone celebrates Halloween.  It’s a heart issue.  We each have to account to God for our own actions – right or wrong.  That’s why He gives us the Holy Spirit to help us along the way!  Each of us is on a different journey, a different walk with Christ, and none of us is righteous enough to judge the other’s convictions!

Titus 3:5-6 says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  6Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.”

None of us can work for our salvation, so none of us should be casting stones at each other!  No, I don’t believe my friends are “devil-worshippers” just because they choose to celebrate Halloween.  For most families in my community, it is just a fun time to dress up and get some candy.  There’s no harm in doing something fun with your kids.  But my kids can dress up any time of the year, and they certainly don’t need the candy!

Hannah dressed up as a princess for her third birthday - proof that dress up is fun any time!

I just wanted to set the record straight and to encourage my fellow believers to know your convictions and be careful about judging others’ beliefs.

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