The Annual Halloween Conundrum
Published by Sergei Bagot-Sealey on Tuesday, 29 October 2019 12:48
A handy guide for parents and care givers on Halloween
The Annual Halloween Conundrum
Clare: Hi Sue, were having a few children over for a sleep over Saturday night and we’d love for Sarah to come. Would that be okay?
You: How lovely, I’m sure Sarah would love to. Text me the details. Thanks for the invite Clare
Text from Claire: Hi Sue, details for the sleep over, arrive for around 5pm, the girls will have something to eat, play games, change into their nightclothes ready to watch a film. We’ve got age appropriate films, toys and games. CU soon. Sue x
Your child is excited, talks incessantly about nothing else than the sleep over. The day of the sleep over....
You: Come on Sarah, have you got your overnight bag? Let’s go or you will be late
Text from Claire: Hi Sue, I’ve got everything ready, then it dawned on me.....did I tell you that it’s a Halloween themed sleep over? Come dressed in your best witches outfit! CU soon. Cx
So, here you are, faced with a dilemma. How are you going to tell your daughter, who has been looking forward to this party, that I have said yes to her attending, that she can no longer go as a Halloween party is against your belief.
Parents and carers today face increasing pressures from their children, school and society to partake in events such as Halloween. Having to disappoint your child is the last thing you would want to do.
What is Halloween and why is it observed?
The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Until 2,000 years ago, the Pre-Christian Celtic year was determined by the growing seasons and Samhain marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark cold winter. The festival symbolised the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead.
It was believed by the Celts that on the night of 31st October, ghosts of their dead would revisit the mortal world and large bonfires were lit in each village in order to ward off any evil spirits that may also be at large. Over time, came the Christian festival of ‘All Hallows Day’, also known as ‘All Saints Day’ to remember those who had died for their beliefs and is observed on November 1. The night or evening of Samhain became known as All-hallows-even then Hallow Eve to what we know it as Halloween.
The demons had their fun with poor mortals that night, frightening, harming, and even playing all kinds of mean tricks on them. The only way, it seemed, for scared humans to escape the persecution of the demons was to offer them things they liked, especially fancy foods and sweets. Or, in order to escape the fury of these horrible creatures, a human could disguise himself as one of them and join in their roaming. In this way they would recognise the human as a demon or witch and the human would not be bothered that night.
What the Bible says
Is Halloween based on godly themes such as the idea of peace, freedom and salvation or does the holiday bring to mind feelings of fear, obsession and bondage?
The Bible does not sanction witchcraft, witches, and sorcery? On the contrary, the Bible makes it clear that these practices are an abomination to the Lord.
As Christians, the Bible says that we must refrain from taking or being a part of practices of the world such as Halloween. We have an opportunity to finally make the difference God has called us to make, to distinguish ourselves from the world by godly living while sharing the hope of salvation with all who will listen.
However, if we are indistinguishable from the rest of the world because we are participating in their sins, our message of holiness sounds hollow, and it becomes even harder for us to call people out of their sins if we’re participating in those sins with them.
To counteract the pressure of having to conform to the world, think about how as Christians, we can bring forth light into lives of others. Share your testimonies of how God has saved you from sin, of the blessings He has bestowed on you, on how your experience can help to change others lives, how you can share the Good News. Involve your children!
Don't dabble in darkness. It would be advisable (especially for younger children) not to let them dress up as dead things such as demons, monsters, witches or any other such things.
As Christians, we should never forget that there is more to the world than what we can
see, and we are never to participate with the demonic.
There are several different ways Christians will engage in Halloween evangelism. Some will adopt a "No Participation" policy. As Christian parents, you may not want your children participating in spiritually compromising activities such as listening to ghost stories and colouring pictures of witches or having your children dress up in costumes for trick-or-treating or even attending Halloween alternatives.
That response naturally raises eyebrows and provides a good opportunity to share the gospel to those who ask. It's also important that parents explain their stand to their children and prepare them to face any teasing or ridicule of their peers.
As parents and care givers, you should teach your children in an age appropriate way that:
· There is a spiritual world filled with goodness from God and evil from Satan (Eph. 2:1-10);
· Life with Christ has power over darkness (1 John 4:4); and;
· Those who celebrate Halloween either are unaware of its roots, or are intentionally promoting a world where evil is lauded and viewed as an ultimate power.
However, as Christians, one thing that we should NEVER do is to COMPROMISE OUR FAITH TO GO WITH THE STATUS QUO.
For further information on our engagement with children and young people, please contact:
Revd Andrew Wignal: National Youth Director
Revd Nathan Lewis-Gordon: Assistant National Youth Director