In case you’re wondering whether this pastor and his wife allow their children to go trick-or-treating, here goes…
When it comes to Christian comment on whether it’s appropriate to participate in Halloween activities, you’ll hear lots of conflicting advice. In our ears, a lot of it smacks of legalism regardless of the viewpoint, whether it’s “Under no circumstances should you allow your children to be part of this satanic holiday” or “It’s your Christian duty to impact your neighbourhood for the better which you can’t do if you keep yourself and your children locked inside when everyone else is outside.” (Granted, the latter is not as common.)
We think this is a discretionary decision that parents need to make without condemning other parents who decide differently than they do. As for us, our children enjoy three aspects of Halloween.
1. Carving pumpkins: This makes for a fun afternoon of gooey hands and explanations of what seeds are. It also develops creativity within our kids as they help design the faces of our jack-o-lanterns.
2. Imaginative play: Dress-up time is already a fun activity in our house. For the past month, we’ve been getting used to having a doctor and a firefighter running around – and they take turns with the costumes! Showing their friends their dress-up clothes is a highlight on Halloween.
3. Community building: In an age when so many people don’t know their neighbours, it’s cool to see adults and kids mingling in the streets. Encouraging children to interact with the adults and children in their community on one special night of the year may spark more interactions in the future.
While downplaying the ghosts, goblins, zombies and the like, we see other parts of Halloween that provide learning opportunities, which we try to make the most of.
Our Tigger pumpkin from last year.
You might enjoy reading this over at Relevant: “Is Halloween Good Evil?” and this over at Think Christian: “Opportunity Knocking.”
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As a fellow pastor< I know what it is like to have people ask me whether or not we'll be participating in Halloween. It is often asked as a thinly-veiled shibboleth for a fundamentalism. I appreciate your answer and thoughts.
Yes, I appreciate your comments. We probably didn’t speak of the evils of Halloween with our kids enough. We just had so much fun dressing up and joining community kids with fun costumes! And the pictures! So fun! I also let them eat all of the candy in a week so it was done and gone……
Here at Fleetwood CRC we embraced Hallowe’en by having a trunk party on the church parking lot and we had a great deal of fun as well as neighbours from around our building visiting. An outreach effort that really speaks to our younger members .Evils of Hallowe’en? yes , but the main thing ought to be the main thing: being open to those who don’t know Christ and earn their trust and reach out to them “where they are” and not where we think they ought to be. God bless our feeble efforts.
Thank you, Henk, for your comment! Here at Trinity we held a “Hallelujah Party,” something similar to your trunk party in design and goal, I imagine. Indeed, may God bless us as we look for creative ways to serve Him and others! ~Stan