Monday, October 25, 2010

Why Christians should celebrate Halloween

This news may not be shocking to you, but it was a bit shocking to me. I was in a Christian bookstore the other day and saw a number of anti-Halloween brochures and books. Really? Don't we have better things to do with our time?

So in rebellion against those ridiculous pamphlets, here's my take on why Christians should celebrate Halloween.

It's the only time during the year that you have lost/unchurched people knocking on your door. Seriously, most of the time we're the ones knocking on doors of people who don't necessarily care about what we have to say. On Halloween they come to us! This does not give you permission to preach at folks, take them down the Roman road or try and get them to pray the sinners prayer. It does mean that you get to be Jesus for your neighbors.

Use this opportunity to get to know your neighbors. Serve them. Say nice things about the kid's costumes.

I'm of the belief that Christians should give out the best candy in the neighborhood. We've been given extravagant grace. Let's be generous and give great candy. (This is a small pet peeve of mine: Don't give out tracks unless you're also giving out king-sized candy bars. While God can use a tract I think he would prefer to use you, so build a relationship, engage in discussion, but don't give out tracts.)

Halloween is also a great time to teach your kids to tithe. This might sound funny, but if you like candy you can always have your kids tithe their candy to you. :)

Many churches have the Christian Halloween substitute (trunk or treat, Fall festival, etc.). And those are all good and great (except if you make the kids dress up as a Bible character, that's just weird). The problem with those, however, is that the only people to attend, for the most part, are those who are already churched and who are looking for a safe place for their kids to get candy. If you're going to do something like this then do it on night other than Halloween, and then, do it really, really good and go out of your way to do it for those who are unchurched.

Jesus didn't call us to safety. Jesus didn't tell us to separate ourselves from the world. Jesus didn't command us to hole-up within the four walls of our church buildings. He called and commanded us go into the world and make disciples. I think Halloween is a great opportunity. Let's not waste it this year.



At 11:41 AM, October 25, 2010 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well stated! Thanks for sharing.

At 2:43 PM, October 25, 2010 , Blogger pat gillen said...

I've always felt like it was a great time to meet neighbors.. even though I hate giving out my precious cure for my worst addiction. (chocolate of course)

A few years ago we did a county wide Fall Festival at a local park (kind of like movies in the park, but with games...) and saw a ton of unchurched people come. Fall Festivals can be a decent outreach opportunity - it's usually just poorly executed. (and yes, church folks do usually heavily attend also)
Parents (christian or not) are more and more interested in safe events for their kids to be involved in, and a church can execute something like that very well if they've got the guts!

At 3:06 PM, October 25, 2010 , Blogger Our Family said...

I think that's great Jonathan! Never thought about it that way before! But as for the Chruches trunk or treat, I think that depends on the situation, community and Church. Our Church does a trunk n treat and we reach out to a lot of unchurched people, because like Christians, unchurched people are looking for a safe place to take their kids. But Well Said!

At 5:59 PM, October 25, 2010 , Anonymous Joy Holden said...

The first Halloween that we were in our new house I told the church that I would not be volunteering at the "Fall Festival" because I wanted to meet our neighbors and give them candy. Totally agree with you Jonathan!

At 6:50 AM, October 26, 2010 , Anonymous Jaimee said...

Allen and I were just talking about this yesterday. Not that long ago, we thought you were horrible for having a skeleton hanging on your door at Halloween. Now, as payback, we have a child who wants to wear his "bones" shirt every day! I think your perspective is a great example of being wise as serpents but innocent as doves. It's a refreshing take on things and a reminder to stay focused on what's most important.

At 9:02 AM, October 26, 2010 , Blogger Lauren said...

Halloween is very close behind Christmas as being my favorite holiday. Candy and costumes! I couldn't agree more with your assessment of Christians and Halloween. Perfect time for getting to know people. Reminds me...I need to finish my costume and carve a pumpkin...

At 2:11 PM, October 26, 2010 , Blogger Judy said...

How refreshing!


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