A Reprint of my 2010 Halloween Tirade

Reprinted from my blog originally posted October 29, 2010 {{HERE}}

“I Loathe, Despise & Abominate Halloween” BUT wait:  I LOVE the trick-or-treaters!!! 

This is my nearly-2000-word {highly-opinionated} essay (w/no pictures) on WHY I hate Halloween~

I don’t hate little kids, all cute and dressed up coming to my door with an open bag.  That actually requires a lot of trust in this day and age and I look at it as a chance to bless the little children, a chance to be a nice neighbor.  Trick-or-treating does not bother me, really, because the kids (young kids only, please – you kids that are old enough to work – go buy your own dang candy) are just excited to get to wear a costume and eat more candy than they should.  I hate, literally loath, despise and abominate Halloween, but maybe for reasons different than you’d imagine…

The Horror of Retail {mwa, mwa, mwa….}

For 5 years I ran a retail party store.  Halloween was the BIG ONE.  It drove our sales for the year and I had to be number one (I just HAD TO!…and was!!, ok – strike that last prideful statement), so can you imagine my deep loathing for both milking-Halloween-for-all-it-was-worth for the money we could rake in and just hating the symbols that have come to represent it all?  I set everything and worked my head off (can you say 90+ hours a week during the evil-season??) to sell to people who would purchase useless styro-headstones, “bloody” goblets and giant fuzzy spiders.  Fog machines were the biggest rip-off and anything witchy-skeletony-or-ghoulish you could add double-D batteries to so it would light up or make some horrific noise were big sellers.

And then there were the costumes.  We sold all those crappy costumes plus face paint and fake blood, stitches, etc.

And people would FILL those carts and spend hundreds of dollars.  I both loved racking up the sales AND I disrespected seeing people waste that much money on something like Halloween, a “holiday” that really celebrates nothing that means eternal anything to me.

The worst part though?  The company “encouraged” (read: forced) us to “dress up” – the whole month of October!  It is fun for like, three days.  The other 28, not so much.   I have been a nun, a gypsy, a bunch of grapes.  There were platinum blond wigs, Cleopatra headdresses and hot pink beehives.  I was never “evil,” just dressed, all the while managing a hopping Halloween staff, chasing shoplifters, receiving Christmas and trying to make that transition as fast as humanly possible and just gritting my green-hick-farmer teeth to get through.

Suffice it to say I had more Halloween than I ever wanted and enough to last 37 people a lifetime.  Yuck.

The Great Halloween Debate

And to top it off, I have spent almost a lifetime in the middle of the great Halloween debate: Is it OK for Christians to Participate?? OR Is it an evil-pagan holiday dedicated to devil-worship that we should avoid at all costs?  I gotta tell you, I DO wish to avoid it all costs, but not for spiritual reasons, necessarily because the devil doesn’t own my days – not any of them.  Dare I say I think it falls under the Romans 14 directive for disputable matters?…I do.  Let the stoning begin…

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so!

This year my home church decided not to have the Halloween alternative they usually have.  And nobody knows quite what to do.

When I was growing up (in my very Christian, very strict Pentecostal preacher’s home), our parents let us trick-or-treat.  In retrospect, that seems crazy.  I couldn’t cut my hair, wear make-up or listen to the radio, at least “legally”, but I got to trick-or-treat.  Strange.  The church hadn’t been super-sensitized to the meanings and origins of the day back then.  They still really thought it was just kids dressing up and getting lots of candy.  And even after it became a “test of righteousness” in Christian circles, the churches my dad pastored still usually offered an alternative like a “Harvest Fest” with fall activities and the kiddos dressing up.  I remember church bulletins reminding everyone that no “ghosts, ghouls or goblins” were allowed to attend, but costumes were welcomed.

Dave’s family was an absolutely-not Halloween family.  I was from the use-the-opportunity-to-witness stream.  My earliest memories are of my mom explaining to me that I had to do a “trick” to get a “treat,” and wow, was I ever willing!  My trick was always to sing a song of some sort and since we didn’t do secular music, my song always had something to do with Jesus.  The first year I could sing it all, I did – at every. single. house.     “…for the Bible tells me so.”  Deep breath, the person tries to give me candy, I whip my bag away from them , my mom reminds me, and whale on, “Yes, Jesus loves me!  Yes, Jesus loves me!…”  They were prisoners to the end.  But I would not take that candy until I had witnessed of the Lord’s love the full way through.

Pagan Roots

It seems H’ween has its roots in pagan Celtic festivals, the Druids dancing around bonfires and offering sacrifices to the spirit world for the harvest.  So actually – having a church “Harvest Festival” is not an improvement on Halloween, necessarily.  During the ancient pagan fetsival,  Candy Corn would begin to fall from the sky, just kidding…just checking to see if you are still reading.  ;p  Haha.

In the 8th century, the Pope moved All Saint’s Day to November 1, so October 31st became “All Hallows Eve” and most people think he did it to claim the 31st back for Christians, which frankly, I applaud.  What I bind on earth is bound both here and in heaven.  We do have some authority in Jesus’ Name, people!

I digress.

So, then there is a biblical scripture-storm that erupts annually against having any part.  One of the scriptures often cited is Ephesians 5.7-12 NLT:

7 Don’t participate in the things these people do. 8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.

Or, there is Deuteronomy 18.10-12 NLT

For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering.  And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, 11 or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the Lord your God will drive them out ahead of you.

And there are lots of other verses that are used to promote total abstinence from any type of Halloween participation.  And they are important scriptures with definite guidelines for what we should and shouldn’t be participating in.  But I honestly don’t see them saying “Little kids dressing up and trick-or-treating is anti-scriptural.”  I just don’t.   My grandbebes, who will dress as Nacho Libre or a Strawberry or as princesses or Batman this year?  They will NOT be calling forth spirits of the dead or hosting seances.  We will not sacrifice them as burnt offerings.  They will  NOT participate in drunken parties and godlessness of that sort and I will teach them to speak up for righteousness through their vote as citizens and to protect the helpless and feed the hungry.  That is how they are being raised.  They are being raised to be who God created them to be (light!) and to do what God has ordained for them to do and to fulfill their destiny for God in their generation.  Period!

The devil doesn’t get my grandbebes.  I truly and humbly do not see trick-or-treating as the step into a dark realm.  If anything, I see it as “Hallowed,” like the old Pope wanted it to be because he went to enemy’s camp and took back what was stolen (know that song?  Don’t make me sing it here!).  My days are the LORD’S.   All of them!  And it is a great time to show our babies the difference between light and darkness by not worshipping death, not giving in to demonic influence and avoiding rebelliousness (which is as the sin of witchcraft and rarely gets corrected in Christendom).

Renunciation.

You know what, though?  If you came from an occultic background where you used the 31st as part of demon worship and you have walked away from it being born into Christ and you have renounced that past – by all means, don’t participate.  It holds something for you it doesn’t for me. Don’t be enslaved into any bondage you have been delivered from again!  I would stand with you in that, and I mean that!  Or if you just have a strong conviction that you don’t want your family to participate, because to you, it seems like being part of an agreement with the world, part of this godless generation and you’d rather make a stand here – then make that stand.  I support you in that, but Romans 14, again {“disputable matters”}…

Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.

Figure it out.  Study it through.  Pray.  Ask the Lord.  Listen.  And be obedient there and let’s not let a disputable matter polarize us as Christians, or get us fighting one another in scriptural-sword fighting.  Because?  Then the stupid-head devil wins.  Geesh, people – it is when he breaks our unity that we are trashed – not when some low-level demon flies around a room impressing the idiots who want that sort of thing.  RESIST HIM, seriously.  He HAS to flee!

I loathe, despise and abominate* Halloween because of how it separates us and causes holier-then-thou crap and we make each other the enemy instead of THE enemy.  And I hate all the blackness and darkness because I am of the Light, but oh, by the way, I shine ever so much more brightly in the dark places.  I say kick-him-in-the-butt and bless the little children when they come to your door: give the best candy, the biggest smile, the greatest encouragement and give ’em a God-bless-you, because that actually is within your power to do.  Heaven will hear and attend to your blessing!  May His will be done on earth as it is in heaven!  On Halloween, even!

‘Nuff said.

*In the book version of Meet Me in St Louis, the sisters show their distaste for things by saying “I hate, loathe, despise and abominate {fill-in-the-blank}”.  I think it is used a time or two in the Judy Garland movie, too.  It is a fav family quote.

“Live as people of light!”

RT @ pastormark via ryan may: “If you’re one of those Christians who is going to give out tracts for Halloween, also give enough candy to make a kid a diabetic!”  Haha!

So this Thursday, October 31, 2013?  I stand by it.  The devil can’t have that day or that night in my life, my neighborhood or in my family!  We are a holy people redeemed by the LORD!

OH, and…if you’d like to be really super missional this year (have they been talking to my mother???), THIS SITE has tons of ways to redeem Halloween and makie it a teaching and being-a-nice-Christian kind of thing!

One thought on “A Reprint of my 2010 Halloween Tirade

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *