Friday, October 25, 2013

Witches and Zombies and Ghosties - Oh My! Part III

Welcome to Part III of my series on Halloween. 
Wow, you must be a loyal reader, if you're back again! :) If you're just joining us, be sure and go back and read Part I and Part II!

Yesterday, we talked about the origins of the holiday we know as Halloween, and how it is linked to pagan rituals, Catholic traditions, witchcraft and ancient superstition. 
Now we want to discuss:

What does the Bible say about it?

Well, obviously, it doesn't address the day directly, but it does have somewhat to say about spirits and witchcraft; any times a witch or wizard is mentioned in Bible, it does not have anything positive to say about it:

(uh-oh, now we're really getting serious - bullet points and everything!)
  • Exodus 22:18: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (KJV)
  • Deuteronomy 18:10-12: There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. (KJV)
In the New Testament, witchcraft is mentioned among a list of things that, it tells us, would prevent the doers thereof from entering the Kingdom of God (i.e. Heaven): 
·  Galatians 5:19-22 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (ESV)

 "The Bible definitely speaks negatively about occultic practices, spirits, and witches and condemns not only the practice but also the people who are involved in it. As Christians, we are to have nothing to do with the occult. Tarot Cards, contacting the dead, séances, lucky charms, etc., are all unbiblical and can harm a Christian's fellowship with God and open the Christian to demonic oppression. " (source)

There are many other scriptures I could use that speak to us about avoiding evil, etc.

So, what's a Christian to do? If we allow our children to participate by dressing up and trick-or-treating, are we casting our implicit approval on the day?

I don't have all the answers to these questions (and others). 
I don't have all the answers for my own questions, to be honest. In some ways, my instinct says avoid it completely; I know that, in part, however, this is due to my personality type, and to my own experiences as a child. My family didn't trick-or-treat. We could dress up any day of the year, but we didn't get special costumes for Halloween. My parents did buy us some candy to help with our feeling left out on that respect, but giving us tons of candy was never priority. On the other hand, my husband's family DID go trick-or-treating. He remembers having fun with it, and wants out kids to be able to have fun as well. 
This is where we are at this time: 

  • I do allow my children to dress up, but the costumes cannot be anything scary or related in any way to ghosts, witches, dead people, demons, or the like.
  • We have, on some occasions, taken them trick-or-treating, but usually try to find something a little safer for them to do to occupy them on that day. Mostly, we want them to have fun and not be the one child left out when all their friends are crowing about the obscene amounts of candy they scored. (Not that I think it's always terrible to not go with the crowd - I firmly believe there is a time to stand for your convictions and it doesn't matter if LITERALLY every is doing it - if it's wrong it's wrong, but this is not one of those times.)
  • I fully support churches holding 'trunk-or-treat' or harvest themed events and promoting Bible and historical character costumes. It seems to me the best way to 'redeem' the day, so to speak, by giving kids something to do that is not involving them in the bad aspects of the holiday.
This isn't a definitive list, but it should give some idea of what we are allowing at this point in our lives. I can't tell that it won't change in the future, but I can tell you that the type of 'celebration' of this holiday that has become mainstream will NEVER be something I can willingly embrace.

Please understand that I am not presenting this as a one-size-fits-all thing. There are some Christians who would look at this as appalling - why in the world would a person go so far? It's just an amusing holiday is all! On the other hand, there are those who would even doubt my own Christianity for participating as much as we do. I understand that. This is where WE are at this point in our lives - I'm in no way saying you can't possibly be a Christian and 'do' Halloween. What I AM saying is that I can't comfortably do it.

Come back tomorrow for one last installment - an amusing ending to an otherwise dark subject!  

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