As we near the Halloween season, many questions are raised about whether one ought to celebrate it 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.
Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
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.
Turning our lights out and pretending Halloween doesn't exist doesn't mean it ceases to exist. Our refusal to acknowledge the day doesn't make it go away.
People still celebrate Halloween—people who need the love of Jesus.
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.
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.
3 Ways Christians Can Use Halloween to Spread God's Love
1. Hand out tracts with candy.
When kids come to your home, have a tract ready to hand out with candy. Use this as an opportunity to spread the Good News of the gospel.
2. Trunk or treat.
Find a church or organization hosting a trunk or treat and get involved with them, or organize one yourself and get your friends and church family involved!
3. Throw a neighborhood party.
Get your neighbors together and organize a huge neighborhood block party. You can do a tour of homes or, if the weather is warm, host a block party. Give children a safe place to go and begin building a bridge to your neighbors as an opportunity to share the gospel.
4. Join a church harvest party.
Join your church or a neighboring church in hosting a harvest party. This gives children and their families a safe place to go and gets them off of the streets. It also opens the door for you to spread the gospel.
Don't just ignore Halloween; turn it into an opportunity. Be proactive!
Rosilind Jukic, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her hero. Together, they live with their two active boys in the country, where she enjoys fruity candles and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. She holds an associate degree in practical theology and is passionate about discipling and encouraging women. Her passion for writing led her to author a number of books. She is the author of "A Little R & R," where she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
This article originally appeared at rosilindjukic.com.
For more on the Christian controversy over Halloween, check out the podcasts included with this article.
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