Not all Christians feel the same way about Halloween. To be fair, Christians feel differently about all kinds of things from playing music to consuming alcohol. The answer to any question very much depends on who you ask. But Halloween is next week and Christian responses really run the gamut on this one, from full participation to turning the lights off and going to bed early.
Jesus Ween seeks to make October 31st all about Jesus. While the website stops short of calling it Satan’s birthday, you get a definite anti-Halloween vibe. Suggestions for “ways to participate” include giving out Christian gifts with candy (whatever that means) and wearing a positive costume if you have to wear one. Contacting your church pastor and getting others involved is also recommended. All better suggestions than handing out Chick Bible Tracts (sans candy) but… Jesusween? Really.
Our daughter is two, so Halloween for us means carving a jack-o-lantern and roasting the pumpkin seeds. Halloween is a children’s holiday, celebrating dress up and imagination. The main facet of Halloween is giving away candy. Unless candy corn is suddenly the mark of the beast I fail to see what honors Satan in all this. For those baptized-in-vinegar Christians that turn off the lights and go to bed early – still annoyed that some people have the nerve to ring the bell – consider Matthew 5:42. But let’s get serious for a moment.
The origins of Halloween have practically been lost to history. While some claim it dates back to Roman pagan festivals of the dead, the evidence is more folklore than fact. The “summer’s end” festival is just as if not more likely Celtic. While Irish, Welsh and Scottish folklore sometimes associate the occasion with the supernatural there is no evidence of any association with the dead or with pagan religious activity. By the 16th century Ireland had long been Christian, and November 1 had been All Saints’ Day (or All Hallows) for 400 years. If we as Christians learned our own history it would spare us a world of grief. The hostility between Christians and Muslims was started by Renaissance Christians at the end of the Middle Ages and… brace yourself… Christians started Halloween.
Now there are of course many who don’t accept Catholics as Christian, but that’s a whole other cans of worms I don’t wish to open. If we’re tossing out Halloween for either pagan roots or association with Roman Catholicism, what are you doing with Easter and Christmas? Both of those holidays are rooted in paganism and established by the Catholic Church. But let’s be honest: there probably aren’t too many independent, fundamental, pre-millennialists reading this blog.
Jesusween – I’m not saying it’s good or bad, just seems to me to be a little ridiculous. Remember the iCross? I’m not convinced we need distinctively Christians versions of products that work fine the way they are. Halloween is fine the way it is. Your thoughts?