So, I haven’t blogged in FOREVER because I really haven’t had much to say to be honest. However, today is Halloween and I’ve noticed in the Christian community there are two schools of thought:
- Halloween is a pagan holiday that Satanists celebrate so it’s a no-go for Christians!
- Halloween is just kids dressing up to get candy so let’s have a Trunk-n-Treat in our church parking lot!
Where do you stand on this?
Like everything in life, the truth is usually found somewhere in the middle of two competing ideas.
I really like how C.S. Lewis put it regarding Satan:
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.”
If I may be so bold, I’d like to amend that just a touch:
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about Satan. One is to give him too much credit. The other is to not give Him enough.”
You see, God is sovereign, and Satan cannot do ANYTHING that the Lord does not allow. This seems like a very uncomfortable statement but biblically it’s accurate. All authority on heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus. Satan, as we saw in the Book of Job, can’t do anything that God does not allow. Thus, Satan is actually restrained by God in the spiritual battle we all fight but is allowed certain authority as the “Prince of this world.”
Because Jesus is actually in charge, scripture tells us that we have the authority to rebuke the devil and he must flee (James 4:7) and that we will not be tempted beyond what we can handle because there is always a way out of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
So, when I think of Halloween, I look at it at the 50,000-foot level and at the ground level.
In the big picture, certainly Halloween is something Satan uses for his purpose. There absolutely is a spiritual warfare aspect of the “holiday” that includes demonic activity. We know that Satanists (well, actually former Satanists) have clearly said that Halloween is their high-holy day where they do all sorts of blasphemous things. So, yeah, Halloween is bad.
At the ground level, a kid dressing up as Captain America to get candy from their neighbors is pretty benign. That kid and their parents aren’t celebrating or worshiping Satan.
So where is the line? Where do we as Christian stand on what has become a cultural norm?
First off, I think it’s vital that we as Christians don’t look like nutjobs.
We are to be the light in a dark world through showing love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and all the rest WHILE telling the truth.
So, telling a group of parents and children they’re going to hell because they attend a Trunk-n-Treat event is actually unchristian (and yes, there are protestors that do that!).
Our faith should be so winsome that when people see us they should want to have what we have!
To put it in a more secular way, you never win over people by calling them names.
Here’s another question: Is having a Trunk-n-Treat event in a church parking lot tacitly supporting or endorsing Halloween and what it stands for to the evil one?
Man, that’s really a tough question for me to be honest!
On the one hand, absolutely not. The church isn’t celebrating Halloween. In fact, it’s just using the cultural norm to draw people to the church where kids will have a wholesome event that includes prayer and scripture with the candy.
On the other hand, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. By having a Trunk-n-Treat event where the church is doing everything the “world” is doing it does tacitly endorse the activity.
This is where I get back to my amended C.S. Lewis quote.
On the one hand, People give Satan way too much credit. I just don’t see Satan behind every tree like some of my Christian brothers and sisters do. Remember James 1:14, “But each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed.” The context here is James saying don’t blame God for your temptation. But the point is our sin nature is what tempts us not God and not Satan. Satan takes advantage of our sin nature and enflames it, but our sin comes from within!
This is one reason I don’t give Satan too much credit. Simply put, I am a child of God and Satan has no authority over me. My problem is me not him. Thus, I need Jesus to be more in my life and I need to die to myself, pick up my cross, and follow Jesus!!
Another reason I don’t give Satan too much credit is he’s not that powerful. Yeah, he’s the prince of this world and the world is a mess because of him. But the world is really a mess because people don’t follow Jesus and instead follow themselves which Satan uses against them. This is why we evangelize! We want EVERYONE to know Jesus because that is the way to contain Satan!
But then again, there are plenty (like the majority of people) that don’t give Satan enough credit. He is the prince of this world, given certain authorities by God for whatever reason. Here’s an interesting statistic I ran into researching this a bit. Only 70 percent of Catholics believe in Satan while 79 percent of Protestants do. That kind of amazes me given the clear doctrinal teachings of the faith.
Scripture tells us that Satan blinds unbelievers from the truth (2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan is an imitator and tries to imitate God by telling half-truths. Satan and his demons have been watching your family through the generations and knows exactly how to attack you spiritually! Satan is real and he’s extremely active out there in all our lives!
So, is Satan behind Halloween?
I actually don’t think so. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. So, in fact, Samhain had the exact opposite idea – ward off ghosts which are demons in disguise!
Now, has Satan co-opted Halloween for his purpose? For some, yeah. For those who consider themselves Satanists or some other kind of pagan they can dance around, chant, do whatever they do on Halloween. But that doesn’t mean the six-year-old dressed up as Black Panther saying, “Trick or Treat” has been co-opted by Satan. I just can’t get there on that one.
Where do I stand?
Well, while some of my friends are anti-Halloween, some of my friends are Trunk-n-Treaters. Personally, I’m with my friends.
I absolutely understand the demonic door opening on Halloween, but I also know that Christians using the holiday as an outreach is in no way an endorsement of demonic activity.
Here’s what it really comes down to: Free Will.
One can choose to embrace Jesus, ignore Jesus, not believe in Jesus, or even reject Jesus. One can do the same with Satan. Halloween is just a day like any other day. Those who use the day by giving out candy to cute kids are fine in my book. Those who abstain for that tradition for faith reasons are just as fine I my book.
Just don’t start judging each other. None of you are holier than the other. None of us are righteous not one. If you’re a non-Halloweener then if you are without sin throw the first stone. If you are a Halloweener show an understanding for those who are not and respect their opinion.
And in all things show that you are disciples of our Lord Jesus by the way you love one another!
Happy Halloween, Reformation Day, and All Saints Day (tomorrow).