As a kid, I always loved Halloween. I mean, who wouldn’t? Go to people’s homes, ring the doorbell, spout off that silly little phrase and get candy! What could be easier? As I grew older, I understood more clearly that the origins of this American favorite, were rooted in things that were not of God and I withdrew from the practice. (OK, maybe it was I didn’t fit into my pirate costume anymore … no matter).
What should our attitude be as we, once again, come upon this ghostly of a celebration? Should we dive in wholeheartedly? Should we withdraw completely? Should we ignore it and hope it goes the route of a Studebaker (an old car from the ‘50’s)? I’ve swung back and forth between the extremes.
The overarching question is, “How can Christ-followers engage a culture that has no problem lifting up monsters, demons and ‘scary-things’?” While the Bible says to think about things that are lovely and excellent (Phil. 4:8), it also says to but in the world but not part of the world (John 17, Rom. 12 etc).
From an outreach perspective, our attitude should be one of making a difference. Many well intentioned Christians want to make a point rather than a difference. They want to stand against culture in every way rather than be an influence on the culture in which they’re placed. I choose to be a light and have every interaction with people in our world a pleasant one.
If you do decide to make a difference in your neighborhood, here are some tips to get you started:
1) When trick-or-treaters come to the door, hand out candy or better yet – a healthy snack, but also slips of paper with written out bible verses. Examples would be: John 3:16+17, John 10:10.
2) Be pleasant to the kids coming to the door but also greet the parents. End your short encounter with “God bless,” or “May God keep you safe.”
3) Teach your own kids about the holiday and it’s trappings but allow them to go door to door and this time, you pass out scripture cards to the people.
4) Throw a harvest party in a local park. Our church did this with jumpy things, candy, games etc so when kids would walk by, they’d end up at our party and not going door to door. Our youth teams were there to engage the families in great conversations.
As with anything in our culture, we as Christians need to be in prayer and study about such issues. But in everything, we always ask the Lord for His guidance and trust that we are not simply making a point, but more so, we are making a difference.