A Halloween Primer… Part 1: Introduction to My Party Pooper Ideas
For many years now I have had some issues with the way Christians celebrate Halloween. Once I started researching the beginnings of and current celebrations around this “holiday” my thoughts began to change. It has been easy to sit on the sidelines in a non participatory way over those last many years, but I suspect my “don’t ask don’t tell” handling of my deepening convictions will soon come to a head.
Now that I am a parent, it won’t be long before I am forced to either accept Halloween as the costume ridden candy grab it has become in our western society, or be one of “those parents” who try to find a lame substitutionary event to distract my children from the evils at hand. I could start my own Wittenburg Door parties where we do the Luther equivalent of a trick or treat!
Likely my take will be to fight with my children about the premise, purchase lots of candy to buy their cooperation, and try to keep it all in a non participatory mode.
So why am I a party pooper?
The basis of Halloween hoopla runs deep into Pagan and Celtic belief and although we claim it’s all just about candy and costumes, I wonder if understanding the roots of the celebration will change our desire to be involved in it. Moreover, we are not talking about the celebrations of a dead or past religion. Some say Paganism is on the rise.
In a nutshell, I wonder how proper it is for I, as a Christian, to celebrate another religion’s holiday with rites and practices that harken back to that religion’s roots. Furthermore, I wonder if the glorification of those roots is indeed as harmless as one hopes when they minimize it to “costumes and candy”.
So over the next few weeks I will attempt, as time allows, to post my thoughts and understandings about Halloween. I hope it spurs much discussion and you can help me decide if I’m making mountains out of molehills, or if there is enough basis to at least warrant some caution. That is ultimately what I always hope for; I desire discussion that brings enlightenment.
I will try to respond to pertinent posts or questions, but the aforementioned time issues may not allow it.
Next Time: Part 2: What’s in a name? The Christian attempt to subvert a celebration.