It’s Halloween. Once again good Christians everywhere have grappled and come to terms with the “to celebrate or not to celebrate” conundrum.
Naturally, we who love Jesus do not believe in/support/encourage the celebration of Halloween. We are opposed in principle to the demonic premises and the pagan historicity which undergird this annual ritual. (Certainly we cannot call it a holiday; or can we?) Yet, in our hearts, we who love Jesus do also love childhood innocence, imagination and play, and handfuls of free chocolate.
This dilemma, pagan ritual vs. free chocolate, has fostered the last, great, ongoing Church fiction of our time. We censure the practice of Halloween celebrations, while commending ourselves to “Harvest Parties,” “Hallelujah Parties,” and, the newly promulgated, “Reformation Day Parties”. Everyone knows these are Halloween Parties in thin disguise; the Christian, October, version of the Hanukkah Bush.
I think we should come clean.
The Church should finally confess that we, too, are Hallowed Eve celebrants. We delight in seeing our children in fireman and princess costumes; we are enchanted by their make-pretending. We love walking our children door-to-neighborly-door on brisk fall evenings, helping them to amass their bounty of sweets. We love the duty of the safety inspection of the sweets after our walks have ended. We even love the bartering and bargaining over the consumption schedule of all that candy. This day for us is a treat!
The redeemed, of all people, should especially acknowledge the ghoulish–the ghosts, goblins, witches, spirits, and spooks, whose appearance proliferates around this day. Our unified voices should broadcast far and wide the fact that the fantastic images on parade are but faint, faint representations of a demonic realm that is very real. Just as the sight of orange jack-o-lanterns and cardboard black cats cannot be avoided, so pervasive and unrelenting our message should be: UNBELIEVERS YOU ARE BEING TRICKED. BE AFRAID. HELL IS REAL.
Let us rejoice on Halloween. Let us hold our gatherings, play our games, eat our food, and even, yes, purloin the snack-sized chocolate bars that are heaped upon platters for just such a purpose.
Halloween is a day to remember the spiritual world, and the spiritual Life that we have been given free of charge. How sweet is this Life. How abundant. How amazing the change in us, that we are now princesses and from us, and not fire hoses, rivers of living water gush.