The Great Mix
I absolutely love my dear friends who choose to celebrate on Oct. 31st. Yet, I submit this to make you think a little more, maybe helping to foster awareness for those who have stood behind the curtain and seen what it’s really all about, and perhaps at least understand better those who make a choice to take a stand against it. I hope as you read, you will hear my heart. It’s not to condemn or divide, but to shine light.
October has never been a favorite time of year for me, but at age ten, things intensified, maybe because I understood more. I’ve said before I was raised in a conservative Baptist, Bible thumping, hell, fire, and brimstone home.
Each year my father, the pastor, sought to out do the haunted house that he had executed at the church the year before. For weeks, he schemed, preparing every horrific detail.
The colorful ad appeared in the Sunday bulletin: The Haunted Trail. Holes were dug in the ground along the way where he had teens dressed like mummies and evil spirits hiding, ready to jump, grab, and chase the panicked church members down the dirt path.
I don’t remember what I was made to wear that year. I tightly gripped my plastic jack o’ lantern swinging it nervously, as we cautiously walked the driveways, knocking on each door to declare “Trick or Treat”. My mom checked our candy for razor blades, as she did every year.
Next, we met my father at the church sponsored trail. Begging not to go down it was futile. Anxiety mounted into terror as I ran down the dirt path through the black woods. Only the moon shone to cast eerie shadows on the ghouls.
This was my normal life growing up. A Bible sitting open on the coffee table with a magic eight ball next to it, and a Playboy magazine tucked under some books beneath. “The Great Mix” I now call it. Friends from church invited me over to a sleep-over at which they sought to speak with the dead through séances using Oujia boards to guide, while I huddled terrified in the next room. Others would read my palm or tell me my horoscope. All the while, God was sending me to hell for disobeying Him.
Later in life, after becoming “Spirit-filled”, I visited friends who were counselors at a local Pentecostal campground. The “fun” activity for the youth that week of summer camp was to run down a trail through the woods at night, while a “Freddie” look-a-like chased them with a chain saw buzzing.
Now, we have Christianized haunted houses that scare people into salvation. Most churches are involved in some way, with “Trunk or Treats” and “Harvest Festivals” to give kids “alternatives”. For those who take a stand in not participating, some are made to feel like something is wrong with them. I’ve heard first hand stories of people being excommunicated because of it. By fellow church-going believers, mind you.
What are we doing?
I know some will say, “You are just reacting this way because of your childhood. You shouldn’t put that on others.” Other will say, “It’s just clean fun. We don’t get into the dark side of things.” Still others will say, “It’s a time for us to be light to our neighbors. We aren’t afraid of the evil stuff.”
I have very good, solid Christian friends who feel completely good about participating. Please hear me say that I’m not coming at this from a condemning point of view, at all. I will still love my friends who see this differently than me. This is not to divide, but to give further awareness.
In my own past, I have allowed my children to be a part of church “Harvest Festivals” and dress up as non-evil things. At the time, the events were used as a way to reach the unsaved, and each year, children were saved. This is why in the beginning I said yes, even though in my gut I still didn’t like it.
Yet it morphed into a social event, a Christianized “alternative” to Halloween. As I healed more and more from my own abuse and matured more in my relationship with Jesus, the sick feeling in my gut increased to the point I could no longer allow my kids to participate in it.
I also noticed a pattern, not just in my kids, but in other friends’ families that were going against their consciences, allowing their kids to participate because it was a church event, that our children were becoming very ill during this season. When we made the choice to stop participating, the sickness during this time stopped, not just for us, but for my friends as well.
There are many good articles and resources out there on why Christians should not celebrate Halloween.. If you want to read up on it, I would encourage you to do it.
At its core, Halloween is a day set aside to worship the dead, to exalt deeds of darkness.
I know many would make an argument about Christmas and Easter, that the roots of those are pagan as well. There is some truth to that, but both of those at least have strong elements of celebrating what Jesus has done for us. Again, I’m not trying to be an extremist here. We celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas, we enjoy talking about the wonderful story of St. Nicolas, and we joyfully embrace Resurrection Sunday.
On the other hand, Halloween has nothing to do with light, but is a day to celebrate the enemy and the darkness. Many times former Satanists will speak out, not understanding how Christians can celebrate such a day. The reason why is because they understand first hand what’s behind it, not because they are scared of the dark side of it.
It’s amazing to me how many God-loving people turn their heads to look the other direction. Ask police officers the percentage of animals that go missing, and how much rise there is in child abduction during the month of October. This is not fun and games. It’s death. It’s evil.
It’s kind of like someone who knows about abortion, but they have never experienced it close up. It’s easy for us to kind of dismiss it, not really be passionate about ending it. I’ve been guilty of this at times. Many Christians believe compassionate abortion is acceptable, and others know abortion is wrong, but aren’t really affected by it. When you have stood in the room and watched the carnage up close then you truly understand the horrors of it, and can’t stomach when someone has one. The ones who have experienced the direct and deadly affects of it are the ones most passionate about it ending.
Same with Halloween. Those who have been behind the curtain of what it is really about at the core will not have anything to do with it. It’s not out of fear of darkness, but reverence of the light.
My dear friends, the more I experience Jesus and His kingdom, the less I want to do with darkness.
Why do we tolerate the great mix in church? Why do we think it’s “fun” to play with dark and evil things? Do we really think this is what our loving heavenly Father wants for us? Demons are real. There is a real battle going on over the souls of men, and the enemy doesn’t play fair.
Yes, love on your neighbors. Yes, be light to them, not just at this time of the year, but every time of the year. Does being apart of something that celebrates evil and darkness really help bring light to them, and love them well? I can’t answer these questions for you, and I don’t seek to condemn or shame others into having my same convictions. I’m just asking the question, IS IT RIGHT TO MIX?