My dearest friend and homeschool mentor wrote this article about her journey of understanding and growth regarding Halloween. I hope it will minister to you as you travel your road of growth and understanding as well. She has a humble heart and wishes to share this so that others who are seeking answers or possibly deciding to eliminate this holiday, will not feel so alone. ~Anne
From the Heart…
Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the colors, the weather, the anticipation of the holidays, the routine the season brings. I was happy to put out my fall porch decorations last week. They are nothing too special, but the colorful pumpkins and flowers greet me, and remind me of this beautiful, thank filled season. Yet, every year, my delight in the season is shadowed by a different holy day, blaring from every store window and isle, with all the gore and ghoul associated with this holiday. Yes, Halloween is the thief… that interesting “holiday” that is marketed to children and families, yet is saturated with the blatant celebration of death, gore and evil.
While I was hesitant, and afraid of being controversial, I decided to bring up this subject that troubles my heart every year at this time. Let me say quickly, that my repulsion towards Halloween was a process, a journey, and I realize your family may come to a different conclusion as you seek the Lord on this issue. Still, I will share a little of my story, in case someone else is struggling or feeling uncomfortable or praying about this for their family. I hope my heart comes through, and that you know this discussion is not fueled by any type of self righteousness. Rather, I simply wanted to bring up the discussion in case others might be evaluating what the Lord is desiring for their family.
Many years ago, in my pre-children days, I was the one on the planning committee for my church Halloween party, having a blast, making costumes, etc. My only associations with Halloween were fun and festive. It was in that masquerade of fun, that I think the truth behind this day was hiding, even from Christians and churches. It appears that for the most part, it still is.
Since then, my husband and I did some research, which led to the decision that we didn’t want to have anything to do with Halloween, even an event sponsored and celebrated at church. Once we realized that the evening was set aside as a real Holy day for the Wicca religion (witches, etc.), we just could not find any peace in celebrating at all.
In some ways, our journey away from Halloween mirrored our journey away from government schools. As young parents, we didn’t know anything else and it was natural to recreate the fun and festive atmosphere that we enjoyed as a child, with costumes and candy and parties (or new school shoes, clothes and lunch boxes, etc.). Yet, when we moved towards that familiar routine of our childhood, and followed the norm, there was a check in my spirit. Something didn’t feel right. Just as I felt uncomfortable at the thought of sending my little one off on a school bus to be gone from me all day, I also felt uneasy as I looked closely at the spirit of the holiday and my child’s reaction to it. Similar to the awakening that happens when the Lord reveals the unbiblical teaching and training that happens with public school and calls you to come out from the crowd and home educate your children, the Lord began to put people and information in my path that revealed the disturbing truth behind Halloween, and led me to a decision to shun everything to do with the day. Even participation in a church event feels like a celebration of some kind. One article that came across my path and spoke to my heart was written by Teri Maxwell (author of Managers of Their Homes). She kindly shared her story, which I related to so much. I will try to find it and pass it on via an email in the next week or so, in case others would like to read it.
As I mentioned though, it has been a journey. Once we initially decided not to “do Halloween”, we gave our children an alternative by getting together with a few other families and having a Harvest Party. We had such fun. The kids dressed up in cute costumes and we gave them treats and played games like “Stuff a Scarecrow Race” or “Scavenger Hunt“ and “Flashlight Tag“. Our motives were good, and we wanted to provide a fun place and a good time. We didn’t want to cheat our kids out of the fun and memories of Halloween, like candy and costumes, and this seemed like a good option. But after a couple of years of this annual event, our son was getting older and I realized that what we were doing was still a celebration of Halloween, similar to the church events hosted by very well meaning, devoted folks, who go to a ton of work to provide a safe, fun place for families to come and enjoy.
We had added 2 little girls to our family, and with a 10 year gap in ages, we were at a crossroads. Did we want to head down the same uncomfortable path in celebrating this day? What message were we giving our kids, especially our son, who was 12, regarding any involvement with the occult? The Lord again spoke loudly to our hearts. We felt like the veil was pulled away, and we came to see Halloween as a holy day within the occult, celebrated by the Wicca religion, and we wanted nothing to do with it.
We decided to take a completely different approach with our family. We were very honest with our children. First, we repented to the Lord and to our son, for our lack of understanding on the subject of the occult, and for our previous participation in anything on October 31st that was related to Halloween. Then we educated ourselves and our children on the subject. We explained the religion behind the holiday, and began to teach them discernment regarding evil and to recognize the marketing of things pretending to be cute or silly, but still linked to celebrating something we believe is offensive to the Lord.
Well, at that time we lived in the country, and in 13 years, we never had a “trick or treater”, so it was quite easy to take our stand. : ) If we didn’t go into town on Oct. 31, my children didn’t even know it was Halloween. But with our recent move back into town, we have been faced with questions about why we aren’t participating, and given the chance to share our heart about this with our new neighbors. When asked first by a cashier and then by a neighbor, what they were going to be for Halloween, my girls quickly answered, “We don’t do Halloween”. When asked surprisingly, “Why not?”… they both said, “It is such an evil holiday, we want nothing to do with it”.
I find it interesting that even young children can be sensitive in their spirit to either the Holy Spirit, or to things of the occult. Our culture, both secular and the church, is becoming so desensitized to evil. From Harry Potter, to the dark vampire movies, our Christian kids and young adults are being attracted to the occult. We need to teach our kids to recognize their enemy.
I share my story, my journey, because maybe someone else is out there, struggling with this issue, wondering if they are alone. You are not. : ) I also wanted to encourage families to take a moment to maybe reevaluate what your family does or does not do on Halloween. I know it seems quite harmless to participate in church festivities. But personally, I think it would be much more beneficial if congregations were taught the truth behind Halloween, from the pulpit, and encouraged to have nothing to do with it, rather than throw a party in the church parking lot.
Well, it took some courage for me to share this, but I pray my heart comes through as I write. Again, I don’t mean to be judgmental or self-righteous in any way… far from it. And if you are comfortable with participating in Halloween or Harvest parties… please don’t feel judged. We all encounter different moments when we just can’t ignore what the Lord is showing us or telling us. For me, I may feel Halloween is one of those convictions, but I am certain the Lord has shown you particular things, and I am still on the journey of finding my way. : )