We are getting to that stage of year where Christians suddenly turn into pagans. Not because they are dressing up, getting some free sweets, and enjoying Hallowe’en – that’s not pagan. But because some Christians actually believe that demons get more powerful based on a day of the year! That’s paganism, not Christianity. Being scared of demons is utterly incompatible with being a child of the living God.
So, in honour of the season, here are 7 great reasons Christians should celebration Hallowe’en:
1. Hallowe’en has never been about evil. In Victorian times, children dressed up as tramps, as burglars, as pirates. It was creativity, it was escapism, it was using our imagination. So much of success in life depends on our imagination, and our ability to conceive a future above and beyond what we are doing right now, realizing we have a God who is above and beyond anything we have right now and can conceive naturally. Let your children practice and rehearse using theirs! If you are uncomfortable with them going door to door alone that is nothing to do with Hallowe’en, that’s just good parenting. Take your children out – spend some time with them! Enjoy “guising” with them. Or take them to a party. Let this day be a day you invest in your children!
2. Don’t let the pagan past of the day bother you. Colossians 2.16 says not to let anyone judge you on the day you keep – we are free to observe or not observe days. Both the dates of Easter and Christmas in this country are pagan in history – so are the days of the week: Thursday is Thor’s Day, Friday is Frei Day. They are the names of pagan gods. January is named after a two-faced god called Janus. So – if you feel bad about celebrating Hallowe’en because it is “pagan” then don’t give anyone a Christmas card, don’t celebrate your pagan birthday in pagan January, and certainly don’t go to church on the day named by people who worship the Sun!
3. Get a grip on rumours and conjecture. Here is the truth: no one actually knows what Wiccans and pagans did during the ancient festival of Samhain. What we do know is the Pope moved All Saint’s Day to November 1st so that people had something to celebrate at this time of year. If that sounds familiar it should – that’s how we have the current dates for Christmas.
4. Realize that satan has been utterly and completely and totally and irreversibly defeated. I mean seriously – if I dress up as a dog I am eating at the table of the devil, falling into the devil’s pit and walking into the devil’s trap? Did you forget about Calvary? Did you forget that the devil has a squished head. Did you forget that Jesus beat him once and for all for all eternity? If you think the devil is so powerful that he can demonize someone for dressing up or eating candy, or bob for apples, or carving a face into a pumpkin, then you don’t have a Biblical paradigm, you have a pagan one.
5. This wonderful quote from Martin Luther: The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn. Have a good laugh at the devil. Here is this day that some Christians are scared of, some Christians will hate you for embracing, some Christians will not sleep at night because of the imaginary extra demon activity – you may even hear stories of witches praying and fasting – here is this scary, scary day and you are getting time with your children, you are getting free sweets, you are oblivious to him and his ridiculous fear-tactics. Have a good laugh about now, because that’s awesome. Don’t spend the night concerned and worried – that’s not the fruit of redemption. Have some fun and have a laugh at the no-powered, flat-headed, wannabe that tried so hard to give you the heebie jeebies.
6. All Saint’s Day (November 1st) is a really important thing. I know some people think that you have to be really really special to be a saint. Nah! Every single born again Christian is a saint – is a holy one. You were made holy by Jesus the moment you accepted his life into yourself. Your spirit was transformed into righteousness and your life changed so significantly Jesus called it being born again. It’s great to take some time to remember all the saints who have influenced you, helped you, mentored you, inspired you with their books and biographies. It’s important to remember that generation after generation the church has grown, survived and helped people and that you are currently where you are only because you are standing on the shoulders of giants. Hallowe’en is from “Hallow’s eve” which is the night before All Hallow’s or All Saint’s day – the day of remembering the saints.
7. Hallowe’en is a great day to smash a stereotype. Some people think Christians are a bunch of frail-minded, superstitious fools who see a devil in every corner. They think you are sitting under your covers rebuking the devil, warding them off with your HOLY Bible and separating yourself from people. Get out there, smile at the neighbours as they go round the streets. Get boxes full of sweets and hand them out. Be the most generous giver of sweets on your street. I would say don’t dare stick a tract in the bag unless you know that bag has the most sweets in it of anyone in your street. Get yourself talked about – get the whole street talking about your generosity, which is spelled L O V E. Then when someone asks why give an answer about the love and life of God inside you.