Okay, so here’s the problem I have with Halloween. Actually, there’s two problems. But first let me say that these issues have not resulted in our family passing out anti-Halloween tracts or holing up in a dark house so kids don’t come by asking for candy. Nor does it cause me to look critically at the many friends of mine who enjoy Halloween. With that said, here’s my two cents on the matter.
First, Halloween does for Reformation Day what Santa Claus does for Christmas. It ends up eclipsing the beauty and splendor of what is truly worth celebrating. Whether it’s little pointy hats or long white beards, it doesn’t take long for these things to begin robbing God of a little piece of His glory in history. And God will not share His glory with another. We must approach these things with our children in the same way we approach the depths of our own hearts. We must ask for and use great wisdom and discernment. How do we handle the common things in a way that does not corrupt the holy?
Second, in spite of what Halloween was for you or me as children, it is way beyond that today. While I’m not convinced that our nostalgic memories of Halloweens gone by are entirely accurate, what we are faced with today is much more. Halloween on the whole has become a celebration of death, desire, and distorted beauty.
While we as Christians do not want to ignore the reality of death, we also do not want to see death for the enemy that it is. Because of Christ it is a defeated enemy, but it is an enemy bred from the womb of Adam’s sinful rebellion.
Even as we are surrounded by scenes and creatures of death, we are also confronted with the dark side of sexual desire. Take a quick stroll through the little girl’s section of Halloween costumes. What is the recurring theme in a majority of the costumes? Sexuality. Now walk through the adult section. Look at the pictures of the women modeling the costumes. Same provocative costumes now hanging on objects of grown up desire.
All of this leads to the reason I give my children for our protective nature during Halloween season. At best, it presents a picture of distorted beauty. There is nothing even closely resembling godly beauty in this holiday. And we are commanded in Philippians 4 to think upon those things which are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, anything excellent, and anything worthy of praise. Hard to do when everywhere we turn the opposite of those qualities are placed before us. Likewise, Jesus exhorted His disciples, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)
Darkness is best defeated by light. Despair is overcome by joy. Desire is subdued and conquered by beauty. The great blessings we received from the Reformation include a return to light, joy, and beauty. Indeed, it was simply a return to Christ and His Word. And that is something worth celebrating in countless ways.