Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Torn, But Standing Firm

Halloween, Halloween, Halloween
Now that Halloween is upon us I find myself torn on how to handle it. Before and after having Kaitlyn I have always stood on church related Halloween functions and trick-or-treating is wrong. I know many people disagree with that. When I was a kid churches didn't have Halloween parties. Oh, I know they don't call them Halloween parties, they try to put a spiritual twist on the name like Hallelujah Party. But really it's just another party on Halloween that hands out candy and goodies and plays games. The only difference is the party is sponsored by a church and they usually have the kids dress like Biblical characters. So tell me... Is dressing like Marry for Halloween more rightous then Spongebob? Is one of them more of a compromise then the other? Aren't you still dressing up no matter what character you choose? What if I dress Kaitlyn up like Marry and skip the church function and take her trick-or-treating? Have we then stepped into the dangerous realm of the big spiritual matter of Halloween? Okay, what if our pastor, his wife, assistant pastor and his wife have us all bring our kids to the church, split them into four groups and they each take a group out trick-or-treating? Is it okay then? No? Are we stepping into a dangerous area? What if I promise to fast and pray between now and Halloween for all the kids in Kaitlyn's trick-or-treat group? Would it be okay for her to go then? Then tell me why if it's not okay for her to go trick-or-treating or to a party at a friends house, that it's okay for me to take her to a church party?
For those scratching their heads at all this my stance is there's more to Halloween then costumes and candy. Halloween is a day to glorify the devil. A lot goes on in the spiritual realm on that day. For that matter it goes on every day, but this is the devils day and I don't want to simplify it for Kaitlyn's pleasure. I hear you, "lighten up it's just a little fun." I feel we must be careful who we entertain. A girl I knew in high school was a witch. I don't mean she simply dressed up like one for Halloween. She was a practicing witch. If her and I hadn't had a debate one day I never would have guessed how deep she had been in it nor how far she came in her turn around. She became a Christian shortly after our debate and did a 180*. Even her appearance/countenance was different with the same clothes on. After giving her heart to the Lord we talked about how she got started into witchcraft. She said it was little stuff like predicting the initials of your future spouse (I won't say how I don't want to tempt anyone) and all the other dumb games teenagers play. All the little things became really big in her life when she handed everything over to the devil. 3-4 months after she became a Christian I lost contact with her. She was found and raped by her "group". They threatened her life. The police advised her to leave the area and cut of contact with everyone, to save her life. I'll never forget her telling us all about this in youth group one Wednesday night. Now back to Halloween. I don't believe going trick-or-treating leads to witchcraft; that's not what I'm saying. However it is one of those "little things" that in the spirit world could open you up to bigger things.
I know Kaitlyn would have a good time dressing up and yelling "trick or treat", but I can't get around the spiritual side of it to allow her the fun. If I never let her celebrate Halloween at church or by going door to door, then one day I won't have to tell her how wrong it was for her to do that, while explaining the spiritual side behind Halloween.
BTW, our church isn't having a Halloween party nor are the pastors taking kids out.


Kevin Mayfield said...

What if the church had a festival on August 12th where kids could go and play games and win candy. Would you allow her to go to that? What if on June 25th she wanted to play dress up? There is nothing inherently evil about this day or that day or even dressing like something out of the ordinary (within reason of course) and if a church can reach some kids that would never step inside the doors otherwise then why not hold a celebration on a day known for it's paganistic origins? Your thoughts?

Jennifer said...

If they had it August 12th or June 25th I would dress her up and take her. It then would just be a fun party without a reason other then having fun. There wouldn't be a holiday calling for it. From all the pictures I've seen of the Halloween party at Neal's parents old church it was only geared to younger kids. I just don't see it as a big way to add to the flock by inviting 3-8 year olds. I also don't see many (or any) parents who aren't already attending a church going just for a Halloween party.

Mostly I feel like Halloween parties at churches are just another form of compromise. It's also hypocritical for them to say not to go trick-or-treating then throw a party. Who knows, maybe the same churches who have parties don't say it's wrong to go trick-or-treating.

As for me and my house, we will not be celebrating Halloween.

Wittschen's said...

Hey Jennifer,

I have a great book for you to read. It is called Redeeming Halloween. Search on Focus on the Family's website. Good ideas and the correct history of Halloween.

Last year in our sunday school class one of the associate pastors brought copies of this book for us to read for parents with the same concern as yours about Halloween. It is a great book, and really helped us with all the misconceptions about halloween. I grew up in a strict christian home, and my home church always had a "fall" festival. You didn't have to dress up like bible characters, but just not allowed to dress up as anything scary or evil. My church that we go to now is having something similar, and they are having people pass out flyers to the surrounding neighborhoods inviting kids to to a safe festival on halloween. Last year we had hundreds of kids that did not belong to the church attend, and we had people leading in worship songs, had skits for the kids, and really used that time to witness to the kids and families who did not go church. I agree there are alot of ways that Halloween can be used for evil, but every holiday can be as well. Christmas Day is actually a pagen (spelling?) holiday that too many people don;t even know about. when I say christmas I mean dec 25, but christians use that day as well to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Anyway, I think you will like the book, but ultimately everyone has a right to choose which holidays they participate in and if you don't feel comfortable with it then go with how you feel. No one can tell you that your feelings are wrong.