People are Watching

I’ve noticed lately that some people I know who used to have very strong convictions about certain activities (i.e. Halloween) are now letting go of those convictions and diving in full speed ahead to the day and its festivities.  This has me thinking a lot about how I live and how I want to live and how I want to be seen by others.

It is not my intention to tell anyone how to live in this post, but I hope to make the point that people are watching and listening to what you say and do, and your life is a serious testimony to your faith.  1 Timothy 4:16 tells us to watch how we live… what we do can affect the salvation of others.

My family does not participate in Halloween.

When I first had kids, I never wanted to take part in Halloween.  My convictions about the day were formed during my teen years.  I went to a great youth group and the youth pastor was really good at explaining God’s will for us and the things of the world that we were not supposed to get involved in.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2

When my kids were in pre-school, however, I noticed the emphasis placed on this time of year.  Not wanting to be the mean mom, I dressed up the little sprouts and set off for the trick-or-treat fun.

Only, for me, it was not fun.

I never felt at ease in participating.

But everyone else was participating.  Neighbors…  Friends…

For the next few years, I struggled internally with what to do.  Celebrate or not celebrate?  Was a party or walking around on Halloween night really that bad?

And then we started attending a church that participated in Halloween by having what they called an “outreach” on that night.  I talked myself into taking part in the name of outreach… but during the couple of years we went, not once did I hear Christ being talked about.  Rather, the church handed out hot cocoa and the teenagers all went searching for the local haunted house while the little kids walked door to door.

I finally couldn’t take it anymore and told my children that I didn’t want to participate in Halloween in any way shape or form and that I felt it didn’t honor God.  I told them we would discuss it more as they got older.  To my surprise, my daughter spoke up and said, “That’s ok.  I don’t like Halloween.  It’s scary.  I just want candy.”

So I told her I would buy her candy and that was that.

We haven’t dressed up, gone to parties, trick-or-treated, carved a pumpkin, or anything else related since.  Rather, at this time of year we start the focus on fall and Thanksgiving.  We enjoy pumpkins for fall decoration without the carving.  We enjoy leaves and sunflowers and apple pie.  We enjoy all things harvest related in the sense that we appreciate the seasonal change.

We do not go to haunted houses or go bobbing for apples.

Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19:31

I know there are people out there who won’t like my use of Scripture in this post, but I’ve decided that I’m not concerned with being liked here.  I am simply explaining my take on it all.

The history of Halloween dates far back to the Celts.  Without going into a huge lesson here, I think the main points to remember are that these people were worshiping false gods and spirits and attempting to cross over to the world of the dead on a night when they believed the dead and living walked together.  The rituals preformed on that night are reenacted every year by people (including Christians) all the name of Halloween fun.

God tells us to stay away from it.

If you are a Christian and you participate in this day, I just want to ask you to do your research.  You don’t have to answer to me about this, but one day we will all answer to God.  Be sure that you are ok telling Jesus your reasons for either participating or not participating.

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12

Evil exists.  There is a spirit world surrounding us that is very real.  When I think of the people I know who used to have such strong convictions and have since decided it’s no big deal, I wonder how they can forget what God has taught us about the unseen world.

And it confuses me sometimes because I start to wonder if I’m over the top in my beliefs.

But then I take a walk around my neighborhood and I see skulls hanging from trees, tombstones with family members’ names in the front yards, witches plastered in the windows, and demonic looking figures hanging off doors.

All of this reminds me that evil is real and I don’t want to invite it into my life.  I will not pronounce death over my family all for the sake of a Halloween decoration, and I will not subject my children to Satan’s fear-inducing mischief all to look “normal” in the world’s eyes.

As Christians, we aren’t meant to be that sort of normal. (Romans 12:2)

The world is watching us, and just like I get confused by my Christian friends who suddenly stop holding strong to their beliefs, the world gets confused by Christians who preach against things and then go out and do those exact same things.  This holds true for many activities, not just Halloween.  So I guess I am just trying to say that how we live matters.  I’m acutely aware of that these days.  In a society that seems to grow in dislike for Christians on a daily basis, it is increasingly important that we stand firm in our faith, following God’s way in all we do.  And we need to work diligently to let our lives radiate His will.

By standing firm, you will win your souls.
Luke 21:19

I plan to stand firm for as long as I live.  And I pray the Lord help me to do so.

 

*If you are looking for a family Bible lesson to help explain Halloween to your kids, I have found this one from Hem of His Garment that I like (printable and free!).  I used it with my children and they were very receptive.  I am not affiliated with the site in any way.  I just want to share the information.

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