I hate this time of year. Yes, I mean hate and all the ugliness that comes along with that word. When I found out a couple of years ago that I was going to have a baby in the month of October my first thought was, "WHY??? Why can't it be any other month of the year?" Oh, I love the weather and I love the colors on the trees and I love the return of football and I love the back-to-school feelings even though I haven't participated in back-to-school festivities in years. But it's all been poisoned by Halloween. Even my sweet Honey Pie's October 14th birthday is overshadowed by it.
In case you haven't picked up on it, we don't celebrate Halloween in our house.
There is nothing fun or funny or good about celebrating a holiday dedicated to celebrating all things death, darkness and fear. Fear is not funny. My daughter should not have to walk by the Halloween aisle and say, "It's okay! I can try to be brave!" From the very beginnings of Halloween, there has been nothing redeeming about it. And don't say all the candy. I have read more than one article in parenting magazines about good ways to exchange your kids' candy for healthy things after a few days, which always makes me wonder why those particular parents thought it would be fun for their kids to go begging door to door for candy that they were going to take away in the first place.
Simply getting candy is not a good reason to participate in things that basically give the middle finger to God's goodness. I believe that Halloween violates 1 John 1:5. If there is no darkness in God, and Halloween glorifies darkness, how can it be of God? And since there is no part of Halloween that is from God, then, as a Christian, it would violate Romans 12:2 to participate. Talk about conforming to the world.
But we're not really to the part that makes me cranky. The part that makes me cranky is the fact that I'm pretty sure that 100% of the Christian culture feels the opposite. And I'm sure you'll never believe me now, but I am not judging Christians who participate in Halloween. That's where my crisis of conviction comes in. And it makes me cranky.
I know so many God-loving, Christ-following believers who dress up their kids on Halloween and post pictures for the world to see, and I have no doubt in my mind that when they stand before the Lord, He'll still say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." He most likely won't say, "Wow, you did so great, except for once a year when you celebrated Halloween." So why can't I feel the same freedom to do the same? Every single year I tell myself, "I should cave. This is ridiculous. I'm not making a difference; I'm simply depriving my children of a common childhood ritual." But I feel no peace after that conversation. So I suck it up and pray the month of October away, and breathe a little easier on November 1st.
Verses come to mind, like 1 Corinthians 10:23 (“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.) and Romans 8:1 (Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus) and those verses seem to war within me.
I don't really know what to do. Our church is putting together an incredible family night for the 31st that involves trunk or treating, and it logically sounds like a great idea. But how will the world know we are different if we act just like them? I know it is an extremely popular thing for the church to be culturally relevant these days, but that seems to be a slippery slope to me. Then I have Pumpkin Pie wistfully saying, "I hope I get to wear a cost-yume someday" each time we walk by the multitude of displays in all the stores these days. There is nothing like feeling like a big jerk for depriving your kids of something.
Would Jesus have gone to a Halloween party? I don't know. Would he have stayed home and handed out candy to kids? I don't know. I do know He probably wouldn't have stood on a corner and told all the dressed up kids that they were on a highway to hell, and that's not what I'm trying to do either. I honestly just needed an outlet for this battle that goes on in my head and heart every single year. I'm trying to channel my energy into planning a birthday party for my sweet almost 2-year-old.
And I'm praying for grace every day. For me, and for me to have for everyone else.