When I was young, one of the things my father and I regularly did together was watch horror movies. The scarier the better. He loved horror movies and while I didn’t share the same passion, I liked spending time with my dad. But if you got a chance to read my story over at Intervarsity, you’ll know that horror movies were simply a part of the culture I was raised in.
So it shouldn’t come as any big surprise that my dad made a really big deal out of Halloween. We would have enormous Halloween parties, but even if it was just trick-or-treaters my dad would go all out and set up a graveyard with smoke and bones or something scary. One year he dressed up as a dead priest.
I realize that Halloween is one of those subjects that Christians have a wide variety of views on. Maybe I’m more sensitive because of my background but the truth is, I pretty much hate Halloween.
Yes, Halloween has pagan roots and occultic practices embedded within it, but since many other holidays also have these things, I find many Christians dismissing those origins completely. Oh, we’re just having fun! We don’t believe those things so what does it matter?
But while I believe that the origins of Halloween are nothing to be dismissed, there are two bigger reasons I loathe this “holiday”.
1. Halloween is a Culture Of Fear
Halloween has increasingly become about creating fear. Theme parks all over the nation create entire events every weekend during October dedicated to scaring the pants off of you. You can visit Haunted Corn Fields. Haunted Houses. Pretty much any kind of scare you want, you can find.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7)
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear,but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Rom. 8:15)
We are to “fear the Lord”, but the Bible repeatedly talks about fear as a “spirit” Now, that too, is a pretty controversial topic among Christians but whatever. The Bible talks freely about demons and spirits and angels so I always wonder exactly what Christians who avoid such topics do with all of those verses. Oh yeah, the “not for today” argument. Well having come out of the occult and being freed from it, I can tell you that fear is not a toy to be played with. There are plenty of real fears we have to deal with in this life without purposely opening ourselves up to more fear. Fear that can get a hook into you if you allow it to.
Let’s put it this way. I don’t watch horror movies or even scary shows anymore. It’s not all pretend.
2. Halloween is a Celebration of Evil
Which brings me to my next point. Every day I drive out of my neighborhood during October I have to see this giant demon that a neighbor has hanging from a flagpole. That thing makes me to want to commit crimes. (Because I’m pretty sure if I ripped that thing down and burned it I’d get in some sort of real trouble.) And it’s not just that neighbor who has orange lights strung around his house, but others have graveyards and spiders, etc.
Evil spirits actually exist. An entire supernatural world exists. And Halloween. Well, many of the ways people celebrate create a sort of playground for the enemy. I will not participate. Now I realize that many, many people choose to stick with a “fun and innocent” version of Halloween events, but we also can’t turn a blind eye to the larger celebration that is occurring.
The proliferation of “ghost hunting” tv shows, halloween and witch movies all being advertised makes even tv watching in October a bit frightening. The “fun” part of being scared is nothing more than good old adrenaline. And there are a lot safer ways to have fun than poking a supernatural hornets nest.
Now I already know a lot of people will think that I’m just a spoil sport. But I truly adore Jesus. I adore His Word. And because of that, these things bother me immensely.
That’s my two cents anyway…