Halloween: a celebration without consideration?
Updated: Apr 18, 2020
I always loved Halloween
As a child and a young adult I have been found home-making costumes and throwing parties in the past. It was one of the most fun times of the year – but some things have changed as I’ve gotten older and I came to realise that this “fun” is both careless and inconsiderate.
What has changed?
Firstly, I became a Christian
(Here we go, another Christian perspective on Halloween. Let’s hear about pagans and all-hallows eve). I have heard all the arguments from Christian perspectives for and against Halloween and they always seem to land on some sort of safe neutral ground that says do what you want. They are so samey that I couldn’t stomach listening to another one talking about the evangelistic opportunity vs the pagan history etc. I am going to be more honest about it, I don’t believe a Christian should be celebrating this “holiday”, simple as that. As I was starting to think about whether I should celebrate I had to ask myself some very honest questions –
Is Christ REALLY going to be pleased with my adding to the celebration of evil (even if it is just the appearance of evil)?
If Jesus were with me here would I consider taking him along with me and my kids to Halloween events where the dark, death and suffering are celebrated?
Are there Halloween parties taking place in heaven in the presence of the Holy living God? If not is that because it doesn’t bring glory to him?
Can I claim to be doing it evangelistically when I don’t do it at all other times of the year and at all other opportunities? It’s often just an excuse not to do away with Halloween
Is it an appearance of evil which I should abstain from? When somebody hears you’ve been to a Halloween celebration the conclusion is drawn, nobody asks if your child was dressed like a princess rather than a zombie – it is an appearance of evil.
Secondly, I became a Father.
More of the difficult questions came from this part of life like –
How can I teach my child how to be safe and avoid strangers and then teach them to knock on strangers’ doors and beg them for a treat?
What am I teaching my child about evil? – That which is considered “ugly” is portrayed as evil during Halloween – blood, masks and facial disfigurements. This is the opposite to the truth
Is Witchcraft a fun activity to take lightly? This one is mixed with Christianity – witchcraft is taken very seriously and considered extremely dangerous in scripture. Can I teach these verses to my daughter after celebrating Halloween every year?
Do I want my child desensitised to evil? And is the “fun” of Halloween valuable enough to discard all these cares?
Thirdly, and where the care and concern for others really hit me –
I became the Father of a wonderful little girl with disabilities
This left me thinking of the future she is facing in this world and made me look beyond my old selfish desire for fun, to the people who probably don’t find it very fun at all. I began to think about some more questions –
How I would feel at Halloween if I had a very visible disfigurement or was a victim of a burn or acid attack? I wouldn’t want to go to a party and I certainly wouldn’t want to answer the front door to my own house that day. We’re teaching children that people who look different are evil and something to point at, fear or run away from when the reality is that the worst people throughout history all looked very regular.
How do Elderly people and those with a nervous disposition or social anxiety feel when we’re all having fun and insisting on including them by knocking their door and feeling entitled to gifts from them?
How does it make me feel that these pictures are being painted about these people AND at the same time disability hate crime -even on children, is on the rise?
I know the excuses and reasoning, I’ve heard it all before but people still celebrate this festival because they want to, and then they pick an excuse to help absolve any feeling of wrong doing. I really struggle with the fact that so many Christians do this so easily when we are supposed to be putting on the new man and seeking the things above as in Colossians 3. I see a determined and will-full rebellion like nothing else I see at any other time of the year at Halloween, so I have no doubt many will continue as planned but I would just like to ask you this year to consider these things and consider those who may not be having quite as much fun as you are.
Halloween isn’t needed for fun and rest assured if at any other time of year, you have a fancy-dress party or celebration then I’m in 😊
These are just some thoughts of mine as a Christian Father of children with difficulties. I don’t aim to condemn as that’s not my job, nor do I represent the feelings of the entire disabled community, I’m just offering a perspective that I didn’t have when I was younger.
I am open to any further friendly discussion. 😊
Bethan and Caitlin play a tune for Lydia at Margam park (soon to be overtaken by ghoulish Halloween events)