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October 25, 2006
In the last few days, a good number of bloggers have chosen to discuss the always-difficult topic of the Christian response to Halloween. Because I jumped the gun a little and posted about this topic earlier this week, I thought I would, in my best imitation of Phil Johnson, and using Google’s Blog Search feature, do a Halloween Blogspotting, linking back to those who linked my article on the subject. I’m sure others have discussed Halloween as well, but I wouldn’t know how to find them. This may just provide a slice of the Christian blogosphere’s attitude on the topic.
Dale at Silent Matters says, “As Halloween quickly approaches and stores begin to stock up on costumes, candy, and decorations, I begin to feeling very much ‘alienated’ from society because my family and I do not celebrate this holiday. Television and movie theatres quickly turn to blood and gore to entertain the masses. Everywhere I go, I can see signs of celebration of death and dying. That has been a part of this society for as long as I can remember…” He celebrates an alternative to Halloween: “There is nothing wrong with playing dress-up, but Tonja and I prefer the dressing-up to be educational and edifying to our children and other children. We heard of a homeschool group celebrate Reformation Day (which happens to fall on Oct 31 as well) in which the children dress as 16th century Christians, give skits, do Reformation artwork, and such. This is what I talked with the SFC staff about and we are considering that for next year but this year proved too soon to organize.”
David, a.k.a. Thirsty Theologian gives out candy to the neighbors but does not allow his kids to trick-or-treat (which, admittedly, is better than some our neighbors, who send their kids out but do not give out candy). “Our kids do not trick-or-treat, and we do not have Halloween parties, for the reasons stated in the second paragraph of this article. The axiom ‘no harm, no foul’ does not apply in our home. It is a matter of principle. However, while we can choose not to actively participate, we do not have the option of ignoring Halloween. Let’s consider a few of our options…” He goes on to do just that.
Duzins at Question Everything says something that interests me, as I’ve often wondered if there is a link between homeschooling and a lack of participation in Halloween. I know few homeschoolers who trick-or-treat and few kids going to public school that do not trick-or-treat. “This year, for the first time, we are considering ‘doing’ Halloween. My oldest daughter (9) went from homeschool to ‘real’ school last year, and this is our first Halloween spent in a school. Subsequently we are actually coming into contact again with a great deal of unbelievers. It’s very sad to me that we’ve been so out of the world for so long.” I loved to read this: “I know I’m not going to lead anyone to Jesus on October 31. However, the people 2 doors down that we’ve never met, though we’ve lived here for 5 years, will get to see those ‘believers across the street with four kids’ on that night in a relaxed and cordial atmosphere. Will we touch their lives on Halloween? possibly, but probably not; However, we will open a door that has been closed for 5 years and maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to plant a seed in the near future.”
Richard Campeau at Boarsheadtavern seems to agree with me. Then again, I never can tell when those tavern guys are being sarcastic. Matt Redmond at Discerning the Times seems to agree as well. Jeremy Floyd who blogs at Theology is Practical just wants to talk about the issue rather than study Hebrew. No one talked about it, so I guess he went back to Hebrew. It’s probably better that way. Vince, who is a Pot Calling the Kettle, also just excerpts the article without much comment. Funny how that happens.
David Miers at Eternal Weight of Glory complains about Starbucks’ Halloween coffee. “In Australia, Halloween is a non-event. Each year we would get maybe one or two visits from some punk kids who already have missing teeth from their sugar habit! So Christians in Australia don’t have to think through the same issues as North American Christians.” Danielle at Dance by the Light agrees that Halloween is a matter of conscience. Bob Hyatt says my article shows some “good missional thinking… from a self-proclaimed fundamentalist!” I choose to take that as a compliment.