By Betsy St. Amant, Crosswalk.com
Halloween is one of the more controversial topics among Christians. Some believers feel it’s wrong to participate in anything Halloween-related. Other Christians believe it’s okay to participate, so long as certain boundary lines aren’t crossed. For some families, those boundary lines mean not trick-or-treating and only attending church carnivals. Other families choose to sit the holiday out completely, while still others find it okay to dress up—so long as the costumes aren’t scary or fear-promoting.
The important element to remember is not to judge other families, talk negatively about them behind their backs, or mock their choices. Halloween can be dark enough without adding division to the body of Christ. Choose what’s best for your family from your convictions and move forward in faith.
Wherever your family falls on the spectrum, here are 6 of the many opportunities to be a light in the darkness this Halloween!
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1. Pass out candy.
Isaac and Angie Tolpin, creators of the blog and mentor program Courageous Parenting, suggest adhering Bible verses to candy—and not just any candy, the really good kind! Go all out with the brand-name, king size candy bars and make it appealing. Be the house that everyone talks about, so more kids have access to Scripture. If candy isn’t your thing, get creative with other goodies instead. You can just as easily tie pieces of Scripture to bags of fruit snacks, glow sticks, or pumpkin-printed pencils. Find ways to tangibly share the word of God on Halloween night!
Galatians 6:9 (ESV) And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
1 Peter 3:15 (ESV) …but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…
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2. Engage parents.
If you choose to participate in Halloween via turning your lights on and handing out candy, you’re literally inviting strangers to your doorstep. It couldn’t be easier to share the gospel! While most trick-or-treaters tend to pop in and out quickly, there’s no reason not to make eye contact, smile, and initiate a brief conversation with the kids’ parents or guardians. This is the perfect opportunity to share the gospel or invite the neighbors you didn’t even know you had to church with you next Sunday.
2 Timothy 1:7-8 (ESV) For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God…
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3. Host a prayer group or Bible study.
One powerful way to shine a light on Halloween is to host a prayer group or Bible study. Nothing fights back against the powers of darkness like prayer and diving into the Word. Invite friends and family over for pumpkin pie and start dissecting Scripture together. Pray for those who are lost, and pray for those in the neighborhood around you that very night, that the Holy Spirit would draw them to Himself.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV) And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (ESV) For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…
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4. Celebrate Reformation Day.
You might be surprised to learn that Halloween isn’t the only occasion happening on October 31st. The last day in October is also the day that Martin Luther, a Catholic monk, nailed the ninety-five theses to the door of the church and sparked the Protestant Reformation. If you follow those Biblical teachings, consider celebrating Reformation Day with your family instead. That still provides an opportunity to celebrate an occasion with candy or various treats, dress up in that time period, and play games—without involving Halloween. (Need another excuse? According to National Today, October 31st is also National Caramel Apple Day! Enough said!)
Philippians 2:1-2 (ESV)So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
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5. Teach your children.
We all desire to protect our kids, but we do our children a major disservice if we don’t teach them about darkness. The good news is, the truths about evil and spiritual warfare aren’t scary, because we already know the Victor and the outcome. We’ve read the final page of the book, and we know how it turns out. So, as you teach your kids about darkness and the realities there, you must also teach them about light. Share with them how God is always sovereign and is on His throne—even on Halloween night.
Isaiah 45:7 (ESV) I form light and create darkness;I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, who does all these things.
John 1:5 (ESV) The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Ephesians 5:11 (ESV) Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
God created October 31st, just as He created every other day on the calendar. He maintains time and the universe. Hebrews 1:3 (ESV) He (Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power…
God isn’t threatened on Halloween night, despite the evil doings of others, and neither should we fear.
Psalm 56:3 (ESV) When I am afraid,I put my trust in you.
Psalm 118:6 (ESV) The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.What can man do to me?
Proverbs 29:25 (ESV)The fear of man lays a snare,but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
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6. Invite lost friends to a church fun day.
There’s something about a church event on a holiday that makes inviting people a lot less awkward. Take advantage, if you can! If your church is hosting a carnival, invite your co-workers and neighbors who might not have a church home, and go have fun together. Even if your church doesn’t host a fall carnival or harvest party, there are always plenty of them around town to crash instead. Gang up together and enjoy the party! While you’re there, make time to connect with other believers and initiate conversations with your lost friends. There are so many wounded people out there today struggling with “church hurt.” Help them see the fun and fellowshipping side of the church body they might not have even realize existed. This can easily lead to conversations about the heart of the body, and Christ’s love for His bride—the church.
Luke 10:27 (ESV)And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
There’s no better way to love your neighbor than to invest in their eternal security. What are you waiting for?
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