Let’s be clear from the start. I’m not a killjoy who wags his finger at people having fun and dressing up in costumes. I see nothing wrong with celebrating harvest. I won’t even comment on children who gorge themselves on chocolate. Pumpkins, and especially pumpkin spiced lattes, are good things. But like a grafted tree, Halloween has some harmless modern practices growing on a sinister ancient trunk. That trunk still produces vigorous evil branches. Let’s face it, Halloween would not be Halloween without its fundamental focus on evil spirits and death. Halloween needs uprooting and replacing.
Some churches have the right idea; they throw a harvest party for children, with fun games and plenty of candy, but without the evil themes. Greeting the masked trick-or-treat ghost at the front door with a quick word about the Savior who defeated hell and rose from the dead is admirable. But shouldn’t Christians go further? As citizens of the kingdom of God, can’t we do better than to drift along in the current of our world culture?
Jesus came to earth to announce a new kingdom. He taught the kingdom of God in parables and demonstrated the kingdom through miracles. When He cast demons out, it sent a shockwave all the way to hell—Satan no longer has free reign on earth. Jesus gave the same authority to His followers. Christians should be extending the kingdom throughout the earth. We should be proclaiming the spiritual freedom that comes with life in the kingdom, and exercising our delegated authority as we set Satan’s captives free. When Jesus conquered sin and death, it was as though a suspension of oil in water separated. The kingdom of God is distinct from the domain of the devil. Life in the kingdom should reflect that separation.
He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col. 1:13-14)
There is no need to slam doors in the face of trick-or-treaters, or to shoot unpleasant criticism at random targets. A silent boycott of the whole affair by one hundred million Christians would speak volumes. A jubilant celebration of Jesus’ victory over darkness would be even better.
Surely God’s children can replace the dubious hotchpotch of Halloween practices with a healthy festival that only promotes God’s values. Let’s renounce the dark side of Halloween: the sinister costumes and garden “decorations,” the ghost stories, the horror movies, and other evil obsessions. There’s room for more days like Easter and Christmas. Let’s celebrate life, spiritual freedom, and healthy relationships. Children can have fun, costume creators can express their talents, and everyone can still get fat on candy and pumpkin spiced lattes.
Are you ready to live a kingdom lifestyle?