Monday, October 30, 2006

In defense of Halloween

Lint Hatcher has a book, and a few other things, available at the linked site about the place Halloween has in Christian society. An excerpt of the book is available for download, too.

I just want to make one point that Hatcher didn't quite directly address in the press kit available at his web site. He talks about how many people, especially Protestants, are trying to get away from Halloween because they find all the costumes and trappings are pagan, or at least morbid, and if either one isn't satanic enough, the two together must be.

Well, I think it's crap. Something isn't satanic, or even bad, just because someone who wasn't baptized used to do it. A non-costumed, no-skeletons-in-sight "harvest festival" party is as pagan as anything, but folks know better than to fly off the handle at the staging of one because, hey, harvesting crops is important no matter whom or what you worship (or don't).

Not that I don't believe in Satan. I do believe an angel named Lucifer made a bad choice and has been malicious and spiteful ever since, and I don't think he's one to take lightly--

no, let me rephrase. Satan is not one to dismiss lightly, but he's already on the losing side, and the only One we need to take seriously (although He does have a sense of humor, and is exquisite in joy) is God, the one who's actually in charge. Satan can do us very little harm, perhaps all of which must come through temptation, one way or another.

What I'm saying is don't mess around with stuff that's obviously geared to bringing you supernatural power or making contact with otherworldly forces, but don't give the devil more credit than he deserves. He doesn't deserve that honor. Further, too much of "the devil made me do it" really cuts into your own spiritual growth. It wouldn't be honest for you to deny that there is temptation to which you have succumbed, or to deny yourself the opportunity to learn to deal with temptation when you can't avoid it.

Go ahead, laugh. The devil hates your laughter more than any other reaction you might have. Don't afford him so much gravity that you're more worried about him jumping out from behind every tree, waiting to reach out from under every rock, than about God and the state of your relationship with Him. We make light of death and morbid things not to make friendly with ghostly bullies, as the pagans did, but because death is an integral part of life, one we must remind ourselves that has no permanence, no sting.

1 comment:

Joshua said...

I am against it. There is much violence associated with it, and people dress up as all sorts of horrible things.