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Halloween: innocent fun or insipid frivolity

Halloween like Easter and Christmas are issues that Evangelicals will come to different conclusions as to the extent Christians should participate. This is clearly an issue that we must grant charity to for believers who come to a different landing spot.

As an adult I have never had a Christmas tree in my home, my children never received Easter baskets or participated in egg hunts and they never experienced trick or treating. I do not believe my family has been deprived of any social benefit as a result.

For me it has come down to simply asking myself “how Christ would act if He were on Planet Earth.” I am sure there are a myriad of other things more pressing that I am selectively overlooking or not giving due consideration. I readily acknowledge that so I am seeking to be as fair-minded and generous in my evaluation and not make more of this issue than necessary.

Yet, Halloween is the issue that is immediately before us because of its temporal proximity. This article will surely not become the definitive word nor the most eloquent. Yet, it remains a question the church must contemplate and wrestle.

Our impact on the culture is significantly impacting by how we choose to respond. Today I listened to a sermon by Dr. John MacArthur preaching from the Book of Revelation. His thesis was the Church of Pergamos was rebuked for not separating itself from the those who lived according to the world’s system.

For me the issue is not so much settled my position because I am pretty much set in my ways but the counsel I will give to my children as they make decisions as to how they will govern their future families.

When one considers the symbology and imagery and then add the origins of what Halloween is based upon I do not believe it is a stretch to consider the Evangelical’s positive association with Halloween to be highly problematic.

I certainly remember as a child my home church sponsoring activities which I enjoyed as a child but there are many activities I enjoyed as a child that as an adult I would not endorse.

The Apostle Paul explicitly talked about the things he did as child but no longer subscribed to as a maturing Christian. That is where I land on the issue, knowing full well other Evangelicals will come to different resting places.

Time and time again we see studies by respected researchers like the Pew Research Group and Barna that reveal Evangelicals are not all that different from the culture in regards to beliefs and practice.

Just today a fellow believer posted a study commissioned by Ligonier Ministries that revealed 51% of Evangelicals they surveyed believed all religions are acceptable to God.

Proper orthodoxy is always followed by proper orthopraxy. Right beliefs always produce right actions. As Dr. Albert Mohler is fond of saying, “Theology Matters.”

As a result, I will again post a sign on my front porch this Halloween signaling to my neighbors my home doesn’t not participate in Halloween. I do so not because I am a curmudgeon trying to be a kill-joy. I do so only because I can not jive the event with my understanding of proper Evangelical ethics and participation in Halloween festivities.

I reject the common notion of “Christianizing” the event to make it palatable.  Evangelicals should be weary of the practice of taking a pagan/secular concept and slapping the name of Jesus onto it and naively thinking what was otherwise profane now becomes “Holy” and a sweet aroma to heaven.

I welcome your comments and feedback. Until then keep your hands to the plow!

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