As we near the Halloween season, many raise questions about whether to celebrate the holiday or not.
For some, these questions extend even beyond Halloween, encompassing Christmas and Easter, in an effort to distance themselves from all things pagan.
If we were to distance ourselves from all things pagan, we'd barely be able to exist in this present culture at all.
To be sure, Halloween's origins are dark, pagan and demonic. I could go into a huge history lesson here, but it really would not serve the purpose for what I want to share. I think the majority of us know Halloween's Celtic origins, how Jack-o-lanterns came to be, why they dressed up and so on.
Additionally, I think we could all agree that the way Halloween is currently celebrated hardly at all resembles the way it was originally celebrated. It is commercialized and I'd argue that most parents are not focused on the pagan aspects of the holiday; they simply want their children to have a good time.
When the topic comes up among Christians, the opinions are varied and deeply rooted. Some are so steadfastly convinced that all Christians should completely ignore the day, along with any kids who come calling.
The Bible does command us to reject—indeed flee from—evil, specifically demons, witches and witchcraft in all its forms.
And to a degree, Halloween falls into that category.
Yet, it begs the question that if we as believers so reject Halloween as a day, refuse to open our door to trick-or-treating kids, or allow our churches to be a safe haven for those who would otherwise be on the streets, are we missing out on an opportunity to share Christ's love?
Did Jesus literally turn away sinners in an effort to broadcast a message about sin?
Did Jesus isolate Himself from unbelievers in an effort to protect Himself from pagan customs? And let us not forget that in His day paganism abounded—as did every other form of wicked behavior.
If our quest is to be like Him, let us look to His behavior as an example of how we ought to respond when faced with paganism, evil and even wickedness in our culture.
I am not proposing that we "be like the world to win the world." I reject that statement in every form. I do not believe that compromise ever brings results.
However, the church can and should capitalize upon every opportunity presented to bring the gospel to the lost.
So I challenge my readers this year to consider how you might use Halloween to reach out to your neighbors and those you usually do not get a chance to talk with. Consider doing a Harvest Party at your church and advertise your facility as a safe place for children to have fun. They will be out trick-or-treating one way or another. Isn't this a great opportunity to do an outreach to children and their parents?
Don't just ignore Halloween—turn into an opportunity. Be proactive!
Rosilind Jukic, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her Bosnian hero. Together they live with their two active boys where she enjoys fruity candles, good coffee and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. Her passion for writing led her to author her best-selling book The Missional Handbook. At A Little R & R she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. You can also find her at Missional Call where she shares her passion for local and global missions. She can also be found at on a regular basis. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.
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