Halloween is a mixed bag of good and evil. The decor can be fluttering autumn leaves and bright orange pumpkins, or it can be gruesome scenes of fake blood, skeletons and witches. Children can either excitedly think of candy and costumes, or they can dread the scary things they’ve seen and have nightmares about howling ghosts and vampires and death. Even as adults, we have to decide how far we will go in celebrating this day – whether we will watch gruesome movies of horror and carnage and feast on terror and fear.
Halloween is controversial holiday, and with good reason: in a nutshell, the debate has to do with whether it’s simply a fun holiday of dressing up and trick-or-treating, or whether there is an unhealthy focus on death, demons and darkness. Titus 1:15 tells us, “Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted.” So, how do you want to celebrate this holiday?
Have No Fear
However you approach the holiday, there is a scriptural principle to take into account as your guideline: “God has not given us a spirit of fear.” Fear is not of God, nor are the things that lead us into terror and panic. It isn’t really a biblical trait to want to terrorize yourself or someone else.
Much needless pain and anxiety can result when we are exposed to frightening situations and traumatic scenes, and Halloween offers plenty of opportunities for this to take place. For parents of children and adults looking to have fun, we must think carefully about what others are exposed to and how we will choose to celebrate this holiday.
If your want your Halloween celebrations to remain positive and in the light of faith, use these tips:
- Notice signs of stress: What you think is an innocent prank may not come across that way to the one who got a bucket of slime over their head or got dragged through a dark room of screaming voices. Inquire to those you are with if they are enjoying the fun. Look for signs of stress in the way they hold their shoulders, flinch or pull back. And don’t be afraid to change routes if the atmosphere turns from fun to fear.
- Avoid exposure to scenes of murder and gore: I don’t know why this should ever be appropriate, at any age. Christians should never delight in anything related to darkness and death. But as this is your judgment call, just remember you have the right to choose what your eyes will see and what your ears will hear. There are sometimes horrifying scenes that we see that we cannot get out of our minds. My advice is to keep your eyes set on what has to do with life and love.
- Don’t encourage an unhealthy obsession with scaring others: Early on, children will either get pranked and scared by someone, or they will learn to do this to others. Be very careful when you see a child enjoying frightening another kid. There is nothing redemptive in terrorizing someone. A harmless prank with a fake spider is one thing. But genuinely terrorizing someone else is a mean-spirited thing to do. Boundary lines should be enforced at parties and events so that fun pranks don’t turn into a traumatizing event that will negatively affect a child for the rest of their life.
- Focus on God’s love and light: Halloween can be a great night for imparting lifesaving truths about the Author of life … or it can be a night where the enemy of our soul gets free reign to revel in terrorizing and imparting fear. Decide who you will honor and communicate about on the day of Halloween. Joshua, in the Scriptures, said, “Choose you this day whom you will serve.”
Halloween, in some ways, is one of the best days to have a frank discussion about values and our responsibility to decide for ourselves what we will celebrate. Halloween can be a fun night of silly pranks, funny costumes and lots of candy. Or, it can be a night where the darkness is glorified and fear reigns.
The Bible tells us that God has set before us life or death. Apart from deciding to follow Christ as Lord and Savior, we have to choose a path every day that will draw us closer to Him or take us farther away. Choose your way to celebrate this day in the light, and watch how the light shines out to others.
You may also be interested in Fun Halloween Activities For Brand New Couples