Guest Author - LeeAnn Bonds
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13-14.
Is Halloween evil or innocuous? Do I rig costumes for my kids and take them trick-or-treating, or head for the alternative Harvest Festival or Reformation Day celebration at church? What about the Halloween party at school? If similar questions have been rumbling through your head, I’m glad you’re thinking about the issue. Thinking is underrated. Whether it’s Halloween or homeschooling, Facebook or 4-H, many opportunities and alternatives deserve a good thinking-through before you make important decisions.
What is the foundation of your life and your family’s life? If you are a child of God, you have been bought with a price, and belong wholly to Him. If you have children, you are responsible to bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. In that case, the following verses may provide guidance as you decide if and how to participate in our culture’s Halloween activities.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 Here is the place to start. Let God know you want to be obedient and do the right thing in His eyes. Pray for wisdom and guidance to know what that is in your situation.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17 If you find that you can’t in good conscience do something “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” then you shouldn’t do it at all.
Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8 Analyze what you’re considering participating in, to see if it fits in these recommended categories. The word meditate in this verse means to think realistically about, to count up and weigh the reasons.
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Colossians 4:5 You are inside the family of God, and many of those celebrating Halloween are outside. So use wisdom when you’re deciding how to walk and talk with them. Will your participation be redeeming the time? Will you be shedding Light in a dark place, or stumbling about in the dark yourself?
Think it through. Weigh your options, your alternatives, and how these all fit with your core beliefs. Make carefully considered plans, not based on what your neighbors are doing, or the pressure you are feeling from your child’s school, or the wild enthusiasm of your kids, but on the conclusions you come to after prayer, study, and conversation with those you trust. If you do this, then you will be able to express your reasons for joining in or abstaining from any particular event or custom. You will be following Paul’s exhortation as he continues in his letter to the Colossians, to “let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” This is a great benefit, because whether you decide to jump in with both feet, participate in moderation, or ignore the whole holiday, you will no doubt field some criticism from one camp or the other.
It isn’t so much about Halloween, as it is about living our lives every moment for the One who loves us, and gave Himself for us. Every decision should flow through the filter of that vital truth. Whatever you decide, if it is decided with heart and mind yielded to His love and direction, you can be at peace about it. "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You! Isaiah 26:3"