On Halloween

I think I may actually offend many of the church going people I know with this post. I’m not sorry. Just so we’re clear, you know – in advance.

(*Edited to add that when this post was written in 2012, the only people who read it were my church going friends who really know me, and they know that when I say I might offend them, that I’m saying so in a let’s-still-be-friends-even-if-we-disagree, kind of way. I did not expect this blog to blow up the way it did the following year in 2013. I did not intend to offend the church going people everywhere, all the time. Holy smokes. But that seems to be what happened, however unintentional.)

Every Halloween it’s the same silly thing.

People getting annoyed with the gore. The focus on death. The devil. The blood.

And you know, I’m not a huge fan of all that stuff either. In fact I’m kind of a basket case with it, to the point I don’t even watch commercials for scary movies. So totally not my thing. But as I sat in my van tonight listening to Christmas music while watching Glenn and the boys knock on my parents’ neighbor’s doors, I was struck by something.

This is the only night of the entire year that most of your neighbors and mine are going to come knocking on our doors. The only night.

And what is the typical Christian response to this?

1. To go to church and hide from our neighbors at a “harvest party” with costumes and candy.
(FYI – nobody is fooled. Unless you live on a farm or have a grow op in your basement we all know that there isn’t any harvest going on. I will concede however that in some places the only viable way to participate in Halloween at all is to go to some sort of church or community party. Do your thing. It’s all good.)

or

2. To turn off the lights and ignore the door bell for the evening.

I’m sure that both of those things are going a long way toward the command to love our neighbors. Jesus didn’t know anything about blood or torture or dying a gruesome death. The devil was definitely not there when Jesus died for and saved all of humanity.

Right?

I’m not here to try to sit down and come up with something redeeming about this day. There is nothing redeeming about it in the Christian sense of that word. But really, so what? Are so many of us really willing to keep our lights off and our doors closed because the neighbors are coming calling for candy instead of Jesus? Are we really sitting on our couches the other 364 days of the year waiting for them to show up looking for a revival? What exactly is so redeemed about the rest of the nights of the year? Lights are out, door is locked, nobody has a clue from the outside that Jesus is home.

Before I was a Christian myself, which didn’t happen until I was nearly 18, Halloween was the most innocent, stupid fun night of the year. Whatever the historical or spiritual origins of Halloween may be, I was like most kids and families who were then and still are today just in it for the fun and candy. That’s it. The dark side of Halloween was off limits for us. My parents aren’t into that either. Those houses with the people we knew were ignoring us? We figured they were religious nuts or hated kids or both. Obviously as an adult now, I do realize that there are people new to the country who don’t have a clue what’s going on. Or people who have backgrounds of trauma or cultural reasons for not participating. Or people who don’t get kids at their door in the first place. Or communities where trick or treating doesn’t make sense so everyone goes to a big party. This is not meant to offend anyone in those or other groups who just don’t or can’t participate.

When we were kids, the houses with the really bloody, awful decorations? Skipped them. Christians aren’t the only ones who aren’t into that stuff. The houses we liked the best were the ones with cool pumpkins and friendly faces at the door. My kids are the same way now. They don’t like the front lawns with zombie arms coming out of the ground and tombstones and skeletons and some creepy guy who looks half dead at the door. A lot of kids don’t. One year one of our more zealous neighbors took apart a bunch of toy baby dolls and covered the limbs in fake blood before scattering them around his yard. Classy. My kids literally ran past his house to the one with the lights on and nothing that would give them nightmares at the door.

May I suggest that you have neighbors who just want their kids to have fun and be safe on Halloween? They aren’t biting heads off of small animals or chanting spells or making voodoo dolls out of your likeness. They are normal people. I know this because I was one. I am one for crying out loud. Your neighbors are not out to get you. They just want you to meet them. To say hello. To share some candy. To be nice to their kids.

If Jesus can go straight to hell, stare death and devil in the face, win and come back alive, why can’t we open our doors to the 6 year old in a Batman costume and his shivering mom? Why can’t we?

I’m not denying that there are some really dark and disturbing things about this holiday that we don’t need to expose ourselves or our children to. Those church events may be the best place to party like it’s 1999 on Halloween for lots of families. I’m not assuming to know what is best for every person everywhere. I’m just saying that hiding from this holiday and the opportunity to meet our neighbors and/or their awesome kids may not always be the best way to approach it. So if you’re torn or on the fence or not sure how to deal with this very polarizing day for the Christian world, here are some thoughts:

Turn your light on. Lots of lights. A city on a hill cannot be hidden right? Be a city on a hill. Halloween may not be “redeemed” but you are. So open your door and smile.

If you don’t want to give away candy, give away something else. This year my kids got packets with juice boxes, raisins and prepackaged cookies. The kids may not jump for joy (mine didn’t) but hey – Halloween is the last day of the month. That kid’s mom or dad might not have done groceries yet since being paid, and that snack pack may be the best thing in the kid’s lunch the next day. You seriously never know. I live in a neighborhood where I can guarantee you this is true for a lot of families. I’ve seen some of those kids’ lunches. It ain’t always pretty. The kids also got play dough this year, and have received little pencils and notebooks in the past. There are some very fun, creative people out there who just want to do something nice for the neighborhood. Be one of those people!

Or give away the biggest, best candy on the entire block. Be the house that every kid in your neighborhood goes to every year because you are the awesome house with the best treats and nicest people at the door. You don’t have to like Halloween to be the best thing that ever happened to it in your neighborhood. My husband’s family lives across the street from the house I lived in when I was a kid. And I happen to know that another house, just down the street, gives out the best candy in the neighborhood. When we stopped by to visit Glenn’s brother and family tonight, I sent my kids to that house down the street, and sure enough those super nice people with the good candy were still there, 19 years later. I love those people and I don’t even know them! Now my kids think they rock too. I want to be those people. Seriously.

Decorate. I saw a sign for a house near us that put up a pumpkin patch on their lawn. What a great idea! We didn’t get there because we were trick or treating at my mom and dad’s (they watched Rosalie), but I am so stealing that idea when we live in a house that gets trick or treaters.

Or throw a little carnival on your lawn. Rent a popcorn machine and haul out a portable fire pit if you have one for the moms and dads to warm their hands. Get a cooler full of water bottles. Rent a coffee urn and buy a huge bag of disposable coffee cups. Put some carnival games on your lawn and make the kids win their candy. I don’t know. Just do something fun. Something different. Something memorable.

You may still hate Halloween and avoid it at all costs. That’s fair. It’s not for everybody. But hey, it’s over now so you’ve got a whole year to mull it over. Give Halloween a chance. Be a blessing. Love your neighbor. Even if you think the whole thing is just awful. Jesus didn’t come to redeem a day. He came to redeem lives and all we have to do to be part of that is to love our neighbors. Not preach at them. Not throw Bible verses in the Halloween bag instead of candy. Just love them. It’s so easy. It’s so worth it. And seriously, it’s so much fun.

One day this world and everything in it will pass away, including Halloween. What will be left will be lives. If the only chance we have to make an impression on some of our neighbors is on Halloween, we may as well make it the best impression possible. Let Jesus handle the blood and the gore and the death. He’s done it before, after all.

***

Due to the overwhelming response to this blog, I wrote a follow up in 2014 called which can be found here.

I also posted this status on my blog facebook page:

Halloween is dark and scary and gory. Yes it is. But there kids and there are families, in every neighbourhood in my country and yours, who see, hear, and experience darker, scarier, and gorier things than Halloween all the time. Halloween is not scary to them because they have experienced real horror, and real terror. And believe it or not, Halloween, for some kids, is the LEAST scary thing they’re going to experience this month or this year. For some kids, it’s the most fun and least threatening thing they will do.

And so, if Halloween is the MOST scary night you can think of, or that you’ve experienced. You are blessed, my friends. And the world needs your light. It needs it bad.

***

As of November 1, 2013 comments on this post are closed.

Fall 2014 at the pumpkin patch.

Fall 2014 at the pumpkin patch.

Fall 2014, Just playing with pumpkins.

Fall 2014, Just playing with pumpkins.

copyright (c) 2012 Jenna Pelias // all rights reserved

441 thoughts on “On Halloween

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  10. I have three daughters, now 17, 16 and 12. We are Christians and have always participated in Hallowe’en. Our family sometimes has a strange dynamic regarding certain issues, this day being one of them. I grew up in a home where it was celebrated whole-heartedly; however, my husband grew up in a home where it was taboo. So before we had kids, I prayed about it. Armed with the knowledge that everything in our lives must be God-honouring, I needed to have a plan and get hubby on board before kids happened and grandmothers offered their opinions and exerted their influence.

    Since each holiday is what you make of it — no diligent parent is helpless against the world’s view on anything — I decided to make something God-honouring of it. This was my approach. Everything God made is good. So we looked at all the things connected to Hallowe’en through a “God filter.” Did God make witches? No, God made people. Some people make very bad choices and become witches. Did God make bats? Yes, so bats are good. And so on. And so, always with age appropriate activities, Hallowee’en became an educational time of year. Each year we learned interesting stuff about bats and spiders — the unsung heroes of the natural world, eating all those bugs! We got creative with pumpkins — carving faces and baking with the stuff we pulled out of the inside. We also grew our own pumpkins — sometimes giant ones. That, of course, allowed for a few basic botany lessons. And then came anatomy. Every year the girls learned more and more names of bones and how they are connected — because God made skeletons, too. And that led to discussions on how to keep our bones healthy. We also studied the moon. Their treats were used for lessons in how to read nutrition labels and learn about the nutritional components of their loot (or lack thereof). And then they were used as manipulatives for their math homework. Dividing into sets, making a tally sheet and drawing graphs.

    As the girls got older we also learned about the history of Hallowe’en. Initially this was to explain why we never went to my mother-in-law’s house for treats. And, in the beginning, the explanation was simply that Grammy felt too much of the day was not God-honouring. And so it is, and so the girls were taught, and so they were also taught to celebrate Hallowe’en only in God-honouring ways. As they matured, they learned more about the history of the day and the pagan/celtic traditions that are so alarming.

    We have tried to teach our daughters that intent makes a huge difference. A swindler can use a deck of cards to steal someone’s savings, hand by hand, or the same deck of cards can be used to play Old Maid with a child. Are the playing cards evil? No. If certain people use Hallowe’en as an excuse to rationalize their immorailty, is that the fault of the day? No. God will not hold October 31st accountable for any sins committed on that day. However, for the people who committed them, the accountability will be the same regardless of the date. We have taught our children that the history of the day is irrelevant. Personal experience is a different matter. Neither myself nor my husband have any reason to fear that day. Yet someone else may.

    Although my comment is in a slightly different vein, I wanted to contribute to your blog. I thought it was a very thoughtful post and had a lot of good ideas. People need to have their beliefs challenged now and again — if only to remind us why we believe what we believe. Because if we forget that, how can we explain it to someone else? And sometimes new information changes what we believe. We must always be prepared for that, too.

    Keep on blogging! (Sorry this is so long — just realized)

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  11. Reminds me of the passage on eating food sacrificed to idols. It is permisable (because the Christian eating it knows there is no such thing as any God but the Lord), unless eating it is leading someone else to falsely see it as you supporting idol worship (thus leading them to worship idols themselves). Do we think participating in Halloween (eat candy “sacrified” to “idols,” so to speak) leads non-Christians or new Christians to think that there are real idols that we believe in or support? Doesn’t seem like it to me, but I would be interested if someone had a compelling argument otherwise. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+8&version=NIV

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  12. We open the door, give generous treats and a fun card that tastefully presents Christ along with a thank you for coming to our home and an invitation to join us at our church home… name, address times of Sunday and Wednesday Services and sign it Pastor Bob and Gale. Over the years several have visited Church, some have stayed and some have accepted Christ as a result. So, we open our door each year, as an outreach… and pray for those the Lord brings to our door.

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  13. Hi Jenna, In the past I have been shaken by the forces of evil. I am growing to know more of Jesus love and grace and that he has won the victory on the cross. I walk in HIs wisdom, love & grace. Some years ago when I worked at the local village infant school & Halloween was near I heard on the radio that Christians shouldn’t celebrate. I didn’t want to but I knew that lots of people would. I felt unable to turn children away from my door (this May have been partly selfish or pride). I believe that our loving, gracious God meets us where we are. Some years earlier I was moved by 1 Corinthians 13. Verses 4 – 7 (starting with “love is patient, love is kind, it is not proud, it does not boast”……….+ Love never fails) I saw as a picture in words of Jesus. Everyone wants to be loved and would recognise the truth in these words. Every child who came to our door received a welcome smile, chat & a chocolate bar or bag of crisps with beautiful truths from The Gospel. At the time I felt very afraid and very self conscious. I was so blessed when a parent came & thanked me for those words.
    A beautiful Christian friend put a cup of sweats on the doorstep with a note saying that she & her family were Christians and didn’t celebrate Halloween but asked callers to help themselves to sweets and told them that God would bless each one of them. This year for the 1st time in years no one called!
    In all we do or say we need to shine his loving light.

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  14. Great blog post. Being a very conservative Christian, I have had friends frown upon me for letting my kids trick or treat. Now that they are grown, I love passing out candy to the kids. We don’t need to pass out tracs. We just need to be the face of Jesus. We need to welcome our neighbors, let them know that our door is open. Thank you for being brave to say what many of us think. The day only belongs to the devil if we give it to him.

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  15. I’m Christian. I’ve never skipped Halloween. We go to a church that does Trunk or Treat every year and some of the decorated trunks aren’t “christian” at all. lol! We also go from house to house every year. We have our own kids and live out in the country, so we don’t tend to get many trick or treaters of our own, but we put jack-o-lanterns on our step. I love pumpkin carving and we decorate our yard with both goofy tombstones and silly pumpkins and cornstalks. I’ve never Hidden from Halloween and I don’t know of any families in our church that ever have either.

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  16. It brings joy to this grandma! I try not to over think it. Play is good. My Grandkids went to the retirement home their great grandparents live at. The JOY it brought brings tears to my eyes- to think of the residents giving a treat to them. The JOY it brought to my Grandkids. The JOY it brings. Have I mentioned the JOY?

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  17. One of the houses we went to last night had hot chili, coffee and hot and cold Apple Cider for the parents. It was really wonderful found out later it was the youth group of one of the local churchs. They also handed out candy to the kids. It was very kind and touching. And although we are Christian we apprecitated they were doing this out of their kindness and not trying to press religion or their faith on anyone. not one word. It was the best kind of blessing

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  18. Well we don’t hide at our church. We have trunk or treat and send out fliers, put up banners, advertise on Facebook, and invite all who want to give their kids a safe environment for Halloween. We have fun jumps, games, food, and people decorate their trunks for the kids to go trunk or treating. We don’t celebrate the dark side of the holiday but we give our kids a very fun alternative to trick or treating! My boys have never asked me to go trick or treating. Our event is so much more fun!

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  19. I can’t figure out the ORDER of these comments!! I just got an email with a comment….but I can’t find it above…..to comment on it! (Maybe it was deleted!?) It’s these types of comments (about being too blind to use — or know punctuation) that make me NOT FOLLOW BLOGS!!! I hate the negative comments like that….. that serve NO PURPOSE other than hatefulness! So…..I guess I’m going to unfollow this blog as well! APPRECIATED THE POSITIVE ARTICLE!!

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    • i am sincerely sorry that THAT comment was left … i do remember that comment and think that it was COMPLETELY unnecessary and ignorant … i do hope you will reconsider your decision and re-follow Troubleface Mom’s blog … they well-written, articulate and thoughtful posts … but i might be biased

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  20. Well….you sounded pretty confident that you would offend every single Christian in the church. Let me tell you!! I HATE….HATE…..HATE Halloween! I am the one in the church who has been legalistic (and proudly mouthy) about it….for years! (Since I became a Christian 33 years ago!) I have never once passed out Halloween candy! Oh….I did pass out Christian TRACTS–about the evils of Halloween— for a couple of years!! My daughter did her senior research paper on the history of Halloween…. .and… YEP…..I usually post it on FB every year!!! I have argued with church members for YEARS!!! I have REFUSED to participate….or even donate to our church’s “harvest/fall” parties!! (OK…..I don’t know that I even will. I still contend that the child can not tell the difference in a Halloween party…..and a party on Halloween!!) But I must tell you…..this is the first thing I have EVER read that made me QUESTION my coming home…..turning off my lights….and padlocking my gate!! I know you said I had a year to mull it over……but yesterday and today was enough to discern the voice of reason. I AM handing out candy to those who come to my home!! (I seriously considered turning out the lights….and just feeling guilty about it!) So…..thanks. Thanks for being real…….thanks for risking offending many…….and thanks that my neighbors won’t sit back tonight talking about the GRUMPY CHRISTIAN on the block!!

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  21. You MOST definitely did not offend this church going person. Thanks so much for posting this. You made very legit points in here and I think its great that you challenge the “christian” mentality on things. Props!

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  22. Personally, I am not really bothered whether Halloween originated from Pagan roots or christian roots. Mainly because I don’t know and there are mixed views so maybe I will never know.
    Reading this article, I agreed with the points about showing kindness to our neighbours and being loving, just as Jesus shows love and kindness to us. I think it is right that as Christians we don’t shut ourselves away from those coming to our doors and we ought to do something on that day, to try and reach our neighbours who we might not see or talk to every other day of the week.
    However, I cannot say I agree that once the theme of death and gore and evil is stripped away, celebrating Halloween is perfectly acceptable as long as we have bright lights and happy pumpkins and sweets and chocolate and all things “festive”. You can’t dress a donkey as a horse and call it a horse, nor a wolf as a sheep (excuse the bad comparisons). But my point is,whether we decide to ignore the evil scary parts of halloween and focus on the good parts,we’re still celebrating halloween and all that it involves- both good and bad.
    To cut a long comment as short as I can, I don’t agree with the new-age Christian culture of trying to blend in with the world as much as possible, so they don’t think we’re too different from them or so they don’t hate us as much or think we’re these judgemental people. As a Christian, I should be constantly looking to God’s word to guide me in my life and in all the things I decide to involve myself. And since no one can REALLY say for sure what halloween really is about, it is up to me to PRAY and ask God for the ability to discern whether or not halloween is something I should be involved in.
    Some Christians have no qualms about dressing up and going trick or treating with their children. On the other hand, some do. Please don’t judge those of us who still refuse to integrate with the world when it comes to halloween. It doesn’t make us judgemental, nor condemning to those who do.

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  23. Indeed, Oct. 31st is a day the LORD has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it! If I would open my door to my neighbours most any other day of the year (and I do!), why not this day also? Is it a “sin” or a form of “worshiping other gods” for me to be hospitable on Oct. 31st? Has God commanded against it? It would seem, no (Hebrews 13:2). To give out candy? Also, no (Mark 7:14-16). At the same time, if I would go and put up nasty decorations or intentionally give my kids unnecessary exposure to nastiness elsewhere just for “fun” (which in years past has only served to, in the very least, instill fear or desensitize them, NOT make them more resilient! yes, it’s a reality but that doesn’t mean i should propagate it), would that be pleasing to God? In my mind, I tend to think not (Phil. 4:8). Would I attend a seance or anything of the sort? No, unless God specifically called me to it for Kingdom purposes. “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19). Furthermore, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, AS WE HAVE OPPORTUNITY, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:7-10) For now, instead of lumping Oct. 31st and “Halloween” into one evil ball, I rather want to consider each action I take in light of God’s Word, His holiness, and what is or is not pleasing to HIM. Even so, I’m not saying I’ve got it all figured out! There’s no end to the discovery with our Great and Awesome God!!🙂

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  24. October 31st is also the day martin Luther nailed the 99 theses, and subsequently the start of the reformation and protestant movement! I think that is definitely a positive thing to celebrate and educate the children concerning!

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  25. I say this as gently and lovingly as I can, but I think your lack of “asshat tolerance” kind of negates the evangelism you’re wanting to promote.😉 I know, though, that that tolerance sometimes is REALLLLLYYY hard to build and maintain. You’re preaching to the choir on that point.

    I have been on the fence about this for a few years, especially as my 4 kids age, but there were several points made in your post, as well as in the comments, that solidified a different conclusion for me. I would hope, though, that as folks read through these comments, that the full scope of this issue is brought to light, and we are each responsible to God for whatever choice He lays on our heart. And He has the last word on everything, IMO.😉

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  26. And finally, please don’t hand out tracts or something similar. I promise you that’s the worst turn-off for these kids AND their parents. That’s probably the worst response to Halloween.

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    • SO AGREE with you Peter. Handing out tracts is proselytizing at its worst. Save it for Christmas or Easter…or just be a real person and have real conversations. That always works for me.

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      • Juanita – I respectfully disagree here. As a Christian we cannot have out feet in both camps. In this case setting aside some days as those for proselytizing and other not. As Nancy Percey, a Francis Schaffer student, noted in her book Total Truth, as Christians we should have only one worldview and lived daily. So, our Christian worldview is how we should live in both our public and private lives. This carries over into things such as holidays.

        That said this year we did hand out glow stick bracelets with a short Bible verse and on the opposite side an invitation to our church. While not tracts these do fall in a closely related category. And while not maybe the worst thing to do, I guess they may come a not too distance second. However, I found this a better alternative to candy and in keeping with my Christian beliefs and at the same time not partaking in the day for what, at its core, is a day that glorifies godlessness.

        As Christians we are judged by the world by how we behave in the public eye. If we behave in keeping with the ways of the world we are not different. If we are not different how can we be effective in being light to the world? We can’t. It is our difference that God uses to bring His light to those around us, not how we conform to the world. It the same in business. If a product is just like any other product, why should people purchase one over the other? So, differentiation is keep to letting people know a product is exception from the rest. The same for our faith and how we live it.

        I understand the desire to not put people off. That is surely not what God wants. But if in being who we are because we love Him and that puts people off, that is not a judgement on me or mine, but those that reject who God is. As Jesus commented, people will hate us for no other reason than we love him.

        Conforming is hard not to do, but that is exactly what we are called to do.

        Blessings.

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  27. I gave up on reading comments in the end because two thirds of the people posting are stating opinions as facts and the actual ‘facts’ that they offer are uninformed. The one thing I would like to pick up on is the amount of people saying that Halloween ‘was’ a Pagan celebration, not ‘was’, ‘is’, Samhain is a Pagan celebration which is still observed by millions of Pagans across the world. The element of death in Halloween is from the core meaning of Samhain, a recognition of the symbolic death of Mother Nature as Summer changes to Winter.
    The sacred days of the Pagan wheel of the year have not gone, although they were adopted and changed by the coming of Christianity as an attempt to assimilate Pagans to the new faith.
    The key message, that many are promoting in the comments, is tolerance, kindness, love and happily co-habiting multi-faith communities. Come on guys, let’s just be nice!

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  28. May I share one sentence that I wrote on my blog yesterday? “And seriously, of all the things that Christians can debate among themselves, getting mean with each other on the public Internet about what we do on October 31 is way more damaging to the cause of Christ than whether nor not we hand out candy to trick or treaters.” People, be nice. No one should be judged a “real Christian” or not based on what they do with Halloween. Jenna, thank you for the suggestions of how to reach out to others and for your love and concern for your neighbors. I hope you have a lovely evening to the glory of God! (www.thissideofheaven.weebly.com)

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  29. i am okay with “asshat” … i am even okay with “troll” – as some people who have replied are acting as such … like Jenna said, no one is judging anyone for what people believe in and say … stand up for what you believe and have convictions for … just have enough common sense and decency to reply gracefully, articulately – without use of any foul language and please refrain from beating people over the head with verse after verse after verse … we’re not ignorant Christians – we are well aware of what God’s word says … and not any better for using the Bible in a really self-serving way to prove/validate your point … be kind, courteous and good neighbors … that’s all this blog is saying really … if you’re upset, don’t vomit all of this blog … take it somewhere else …

    as for the author, i am proud of you and i am excited to have seen how many lives and hearts this particular blog has touched and am looking forward to seeing how God will continue to use you and your fabulous and impacting gift …

    signed,

    Glenn – Troubleface Mom’s husband

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    • Just want you people to know that while I’m the unchurched one who doesn’t have a filter or boundaries, my husband is the exact opposite. Church kid, pastor kid, missionary kid. All of it. He’s a true lifer. If I’m driving some of you people bonkers, just imagine how crazy I make HIM.

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  30. You did great. Our adult daughter shared this with me since she knows how I am about Halloween and how we raised she and her brother. You’ve put all the right words together.

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  31. A few thoughts. FOR THE LAST TIME, participate in Halloween, or don’t. It is seriously fine with me either way. I’m not judging you and neither is anyone else, if this day is just really not your cup of tea. This post was meant originally to be read by my friends and family – never did I ever imagine that it would blow up like this. I am not a pastor or a speaker or a leader. I’m not telling anyone how to live their lives here and I’m not forcing anybody to read this blog. If you don’t like it, there are other blogs elsewhere that will probably appeal to you more. My asshat tolerance has hit zero. Comments that have demonstrated the reader has missed the point of this post (and the other one) will be deleted. If you are bothered by my use of the word ‘asshat’ – this is really not the blog for you.

    ALL COMMENTS WILL BE SHUT DOWN AS OF NOV. 1

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  32. You are right, there is NOTHING redeeming about Halloween. But our family chooses to redeem (buy back) the date of Oct 31. We also thought that this is the only time that hundreds (in our case) of unbelievers come knocking on our door, so what are we doing to share Jesus with them?

    For the last 13 years, we’ve chosen to reach out to our neighbors. We set up a table in the front yard and we have cookies, cocoa and hot cider FOR THE PARENTS!! We tell them we want to share this blessing with them as they take their children around on these very chilly nights. The response has been overwhelming! I sometimes have folks in the groceries stores say, “You are THAT family! You give out cookies and cider for parents! Yeah, no matter where else we go, we make sure and come to YOUR house.” Some families have even moved away and drive 20-30 minutes just to come for cookies and cocoa!

    But I don’t think it’s the cookies and drinks…they can get that cheaper where they live. It is the THOUGHT that someone else wants to do something kind for them, to serve them without asking anything in return.

    That’s not all. We make up small bags of candy for the children and we put a sticker on the bag. It’s not the gospel message or the plan of salvation. It is just a simple message of triumph; triumph of the victory of good over evil. And we list 7 things (they mostly change each year depending on what happened in the news) but always ends with the last one.

    We judge no one else for their choices, but this is how our family has chosen for years to declare in our little community that we love our neighbors and that Jesus brought victory over darkness.

    This is what it says this year:

    Redefine the meaning of All Hallows Eve.
    Celebrate the triumph of good over evil!

    7 Reasons to Celebrate:
    • Michael Landsberry who gave his life to save his students
    • A God who answers prayer
    • That teacher who inspired you to aim high
    • Ordinary people finding unexpected ways to show kindness
    • Soldiers who daily risk their lives for our freedom
    • Moms & Dads who daily sacrifice to help their children grow strong in character
    • Jesus, whose triumph on the cross over all the forces of hell made all of this possible

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  33. Dear Trouble Face Mom,

    I love you.

    It has broken my heart to see how mean Gods people are being to each other. I wonder what He thinks of how people are treating eachother on this issue. For me, you have pointed me to Jesus to go and seek Him and ask Him what He wants me to do and now it is my obedience that He wants in my own life.

    I would encourage people, if this has touched on a tender part of your heart or a nerve, to seek the Lord and ask Him why this has upset you so much.

    Or not.

    Like

    • I love you right back. I love your last line – IF THIS HAS TOUCHED ON A TENDER PART OF YOUR HEART OR A NERVE, SEEK THE LORD AND ASK HIM WHY THIS HAS UPSET YOU SO MUCH. You always know what to say.

      Like

  34. Wow! I’m astounded at all the comments! I didn’t get through ALL of them so I might be repeating some….I just wanted to say that while I think Halloween can be celebrated very innocently with a lot of fun…..I do think it is important to KNOW and understand the culture’s view of these things and talk to our children about it as they get old enough to understand. I don’t mean going into great detail about all the “wrong” aspects of the holiday or how others participate…but rather to speak to the parts that our children observe that we disagree with and be well prepared to explain why. But I also do not think there is anything…and I mean ANYTHING wrong with those who do not wish to participate in evacuating the neighborhood and heading for a “Harvest Party” at church or someone’s home instead. This is just a fun evening and we all are free to spend it any way we prefer. Plus, if this is the ONLY time you meet and greet your neighbors, you are doing more wrong than celebrating Halloween incorrectly. While I let (past tense….I’m a grandma now) my kids dress up in costumes and trot around the neighborhood (with me) collecting candy…I had respect for those who chose another way and if it meant we had to walk a few more feet to pass by an empty house…..it just gave us an excuse to eat more candy!.

    I do think it is good to have conversations about these things b/c sometimes others bring up things to think about that we are unaware of and might want to consider.
    Many of these same arguments can be used in the discussion about whether or not to participate in yoga classes. I choose NOT to b/c each pose is related to a Hindu god, whether you talk about it or not. (I was taught that by a yoga master’s daughter who had become a Christian) I feel I can get the same benefit from Pilates that anyone can get from yoga so I’m not messing with it. There are many wonderful Christians doing yoga who have NO idea that what they are doing is even linked loosely to Hinduism, much less comprised of idol-honoring poses. Perhaps for them it isn’t dangerous.

    We need to be aware and yet full of grace. I think that is what the author was trying to say. Jo

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  35. I perfectly understand where you are going here and it is something indeed to think about, however, how genuine would the “repentance” and “conversion” be if the Holy Spirit isn’t drawing and convicting them? They are not coming to our doors under conviction looking for Jesus. Hundreds of “Hell House” , so-called conversions will take place where churches set up rooms to look like Hell to scare the “Hell” out of people. They say a prayer and the church has another “salvation notch” in their holster and feel good about how well they evangelized…..but where are the folks next week? Probably not in church, because when the fear leaves, they do too. I think the children’s minds are going to be to get to the next house for more candy and they would recite a prayer to Mickey Mouse to be left alone. Just my two cent’s worth.

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  36. An answer of mine to a previous posting was placed in the wrong place. Apologies to the person whose post is above mine and whose thoughts had nothing to do with what I posted.

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  37. How do you know that this writer does not witness to othes EVERY day?? But kids especially, are more prone to listen if the person who is witnessing, includes that with their fun. As for holidays, Christmas and Easter both have their origins in paganism and false teachings. Do we do away with those? Also, Sunday keeping is false……it was first used to bring the pagans into the church by the emperor Constantine in 321 AD. In the Council ofLaodicea (on or about 364 AD) it was formally adopted by the Catholic Church. While we may not see these things as “evil,” they were certainly not Christ-centered at first, by no means, other than the Sunday law, which was and still is, in conflict with God’s law.

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  38. Thank you for the article. Our church is one that had the festival for years on Halloween. This is the first year we are not, for the very reason you mentioned in your post. In fact, we have been encouraged to have yard games, etc. Thank you for putting thought to “computer”. I couldn’t have explained it better!

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  39. We set up a couple of inexpensive bubble machines on either side of our driveway, and then sit out at the end of the driveway to give out non-candy treats, Often the kids will go right past our table to play in the bubble stream! They love it!

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  40. Hey all you crazy Halloween-joy-killers……comments will be disabled shortly. Too many people using this as their platform to spew judgment and condemnation and then there’s all the ones posting the same stinkin’ links over and over and over and OVER again about the origins of Halloween. No one cares. Really. No one does. I’m not reading any of the links, neither is Jenna. There’s over 400 comments on this thread alone. If you want to see how some people feel about this day, just read through it. I told Jenna her blog post can stand alone. Read it, re-read it or don’t. It’s her opinion and it’s darn good writing. So, happy Halloween….trick or treat, smell my feet and all that FUN. You know people are out there just having fun, right? They are. So go have fun too and don’t be such a bunch of Mr and Mrs. McJudgy Pants(oh I just love that from one of the commenters!)

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    • Please do not assume that those who don’t want to celebrate Halloween are trying to be joy-killers or are judging those who do. Jenna posted her opinion, which is her right. Opening the door for comments invites others to post their opinions. That discourse should absolutely be civil and done in love, especially from one believer to another. Obviously, this topic stirs up some deep feelings and deeply held convictions on both sides. Let’s honor those convictions without name-calling on either end of the spectrum and follow Paul’s words in Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

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  41. “(FYI – nobody is fooled. Unless you live on a farm or have a grow op in your basement we all know that there isn’t any harvest going on.)”

    Though I agree with much of your article, this comment is silly. The idea that only farmers can celebrate harvest is ridiculous.. Are non-veterans allowed to celebrate Veteran’s Day? Why?

    Harvest isn’t just about pulling an ear of corn off a stalk, but thanking God for His abundant provision in our lives. Are we allowed to do that or is that just for farmers as well? Was John 4:35 only for farmers?

    You should think a little more before disparaging other churches for their choices. Maybe they don’t hold your narrow view as to what a harvest is.

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    • Sarcasm. That was sarcasm. Thank you for so perfectly becoming an example of entirely missing the point. Nobody is disparaging anybody, though you do seem alright with disparaging me so it looks like we’ve got ourselves a double-standard. It’s been made quite clear, repeatedly, that I am all for people making their own thoughtful choices on how to handle this holiday, or not handle it.

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  42. Best Article Ever on the Subject of Halloween, I am going to share this on my wall whether I get negative feedback or not! Thank you so much for taking the time to right this.

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  43. just because you don’t celebrate, or take part doesn’t mean you are judging or condemning. just like just because you don’t have premarital sex as a Christian you aren’t judging those who do. I don’t have a single friend who doesn’t celebrate Halloween as a Christian, but my family, we don’t. we don’t hand out candy, we don’t open our door, we don’t dress up, and we don’t attend church parties. tonight, we are actually just grocery shopping, bath, bible stories, and bed time as usual. my neighbors know who we are. we are friendly all year round, we are a light and a city on a hill, and all that. every day. just because we aren’t handing out goodies on Halloween doesn’t make us bad witnesses. we leave gift cards, clothing, food baskets, other items of needs on our neighbors doorsteps throughout the year when we know there is a need, or when we feel led by the Lord. so while I am not judging you for celebrating a holiday that I don’t care to dabble in, whether I do the evil parts or not, please don’t make it seem like those that shut off their lights and don’t hand out candy are “religious fanatics”. we are disciples of Christ, living out our convictions. it sheds a bad light on Christians who choose to not celebrate, when that light shouldn’t be cast on your brothers and sisters in Christ.

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  44. Dear Troublefacemom,
    I am not a mother yet but a newly married wife. When I saw the headline to this post I immediately wanted to read what you had to write. I am a Christian and raised in church. I have volunteered at church events including the harvest festival😉.
    I wanted to encourage you for speaking your mind and expressing your thoughts. My husband and I have many things that we would like to express our thoughts on that we as “Christians” do that don’t seem very Christ like. Thank you for having the courage to express your opinion with out fear. Reformation needs to happen in the modern day church and to many people live in fear to do anything about it. Anyway, I could go on but I want you to actually read my post😉 lol. Again, thank you so much for sharing this with everyone. I am inspired!

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  45. you will regret not letting your children participate in such fun. They will resent you. Take it from someone who knows, a grown person whose parents threw out such ridiculous reasoning that you do. Search your heart for the fun and fellowship with neighbors they will miss out on. Think about the teasing they receive from friends.

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    • I grew up without celebrating Halloween and do not resent my parents for it. I’m sorry that you do. We have much fun and fellowship with neighbors on other days. I also don’t appreciate my personal convictions (which I am not saying you need to have) being called “ridiculous”. Do what you like with this day. I’m only participating in a public discussion. Romans 14:4 “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall.” I answer to the Lord for my reasons, as you do. I hope you have a safe and fun evening.

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      • @Anonymous, I definitely agree with you, many of the people commenting on this post do not understand the writer’s heart on this topic. I may be an atheist, but I love her honesty and vulnerability in this article. All these people just remind me of the cruelty, gossip and domination I experienced for many, many years in Bible School, Church and in Christiandom as a whole. (It also proves that many scriptures support varying view points to the topic at hand and it is awfully confusing as to which verses are to actually be applied.) I’m kind of glad that they reminded me, it makes me happy to be out.

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      • We went trick or treating tonight with our atheist friends and it was good times. Kids had a ball. Incidentally – none of the kids were comparing notes on which belief system they ascribed to. They just know a good friend. We could learn a lot from these extremist kids of ours, just accepting each other for who they are.

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      • @TroubleFace Mom, agreed, children usually don’t care about the differences. To them, people are more important than their belief systems. (Except for some of the kids here in West Tennessee. Their parents and Churches have already trained them to tell non Jesus believers we’re going to hell.)

        I certainly enjoyed this piece and like some of your other posts as well. I wish you all the the best in your life, family and in your writing.

        Take care,
        Charity

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  46. My parents are Christian Reformed. They went along with the church when we were kids and did not let us participate. When I was a teen I would anyway – but behind their back.
    It was a great time to have fun with friends and neighbors.
    When I became a parent I was all in having my kids participate – and guess who showed up every year to take the kids around the block? My parents. They friggin’ loved it! And they regretted turning a simple childhood joy into a religious issue.

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  47. With the plethora of articles, including yours, that have been posted this year about using Halloween as a witness and an outreach, I’ve given some serious, prayerful thought to approaching the day as you suggest. But I’m not there. We will spend the evening doing something else as a family. No big deal. I’m not a less evangelistically-motivated Christian for choosing this (and I hope that Halloween is not “the only chance we have to make an impression on some of our neighbors”), and I don’t think you are a bad Christian for participating. I appreciate your intention in encouraging people to reach out to their neighbors, but I wish your tone was a tad bit kinder towards those of us who choose not to participate in the festivities for a variety of reasons (mine are shared here, lest I leave a blog-length post🙂 http://thissideofheaven.weebly.com/4/post/2013/10/my-hang-ups-with-halloween.html. It’s not always out of fear or hiding from our neighbors. There is a wide spectrum of Christian responses to this day, and we need to not use those responses to judge one another’s faith.

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  48. I love halloween .not because im a witch or evil ( although some people would argue that lol ) but because its one night of the year when people have fun .i love to c the little ones dressed up n see their cute faces light up when they r shown kindness by u giving sweets. I love that their parents bother to escort the younger ones n mine when they were little used to love to c those dressed up coming down our path . Tomorrow i am attending a halloween party where i will dress up .i will not be partaking in any human sacrifices or orgies but i will have a few drinks n have some fun. No harm in that. Happy halloween everyone🙂

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  49. Check out the article by Answers in Genesis regarding the history of Halloween. It is very enlightening. It points out that the feast of samhain was just one of celebrations for the dead practiced by one of many ancient cultures worldwide. Almost all of these celebrations are around the same time pointing to a possible singular origin, like perhaps Babel. Nobody really knows for sure the real origin but it is very likely that it is as old as Noah. Was it a celebration of death or was it a celebration of loved ones who were dead? No one really knows. But like each individual culture we have the freedom to celebrate as we see fit. My family celebrates it like yours. Some years pass out candy from ane some years we join our church’s neighborhood outreach in the form of trunk or treat. Either way, we are taking the opportunity to meet our neighbors.

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  50. Well I was actually harvesting today and will be tomorrow. Just making a side point.

    But seriously, loving your neighbor should be something done year round. Not just one day. We shouldn’t need a holiday to tell us that. People used to Christmas Carol, would that not be reaching out to your neighbors?

    As a Christian, if someone comes to my door I won’t avoid them or turn them away. I do have a problem with putting any sort of fear in their lives when they come to my house. Fear is probably my biggest problem with Halloween. The origins aren’t good and to be clear Catholics are technically called Christians but they made up a lot of things through history to lure people in with pagan traditions and rituals, which would technically also make them wrong and not truly following what Jesus taught, or Paul or John. You cannot mix darkness with light.

    Fear is spiritual and not of God. So why would I want to have a part of it.

    Just think of how really weird Halloween is anyway. Imagine if someone that had never heard of Halloween came into a town on Halloween night and observed all of the “decorations” murder scenes spewed across lawns. Zombies, witches, goblins, Skeletons, etc. The person would assume we had twisted minds and could even assume we were psychopaths for wanting that displayed.

    I know you don’t like that part of it but like it or not that’s what Halloween is and I don’t want to support anything like that.

    I’m not offended by your view. I just think you need to realize that you can’t be mad at people that don’t want to have this sort of celebration in their lives, especially when its all about generating fear. Who needs that?

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  51. I’m skimming comments, reading what I can, and really appreciating the mostly respectful discourse. We can all learn from each other. I’m only needing to delete a very few comments. Thank you.

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  52. I agree completely that we should be a light and open our doors ALL year. However, I do believe that most “harvest or fall festivals” began after we had many dangerous candy scares and parents felt safer taking kids to known places. Malls began opening around the same time also so parents felt like they had a safe place to go. I am sure for your and my neighborhoods where I can afford to set up that pumpkin patch and buy the expensive chocolate candy this is a great plan. But. their are parents that live in areas that do not seem as safe. I think many churches were attempting to offer a safe environment alone.

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  53. I think what this discussion shows is the tension that Christians face being in the world and at the same time being called to be set apart from the world. Whether the holiday is Halloween, Christmas, Easter or whatever, every holiday has elements that reflect worldly and faith based values. So, how do we deal with these competing viewpoints? For Christians the first thing we can ask ourselves is, does a particular holiday bring glory God or something else. If God, I see no reason to not celebrate. If not God, we need to seriously consider our partaking.

    Over time I have been criticized for not joining in on Halloween celebrations, not telling my kids that Santa is real and for not joining in on the bunny bonanza at Easter. I have even suggested that we give up gift giving outside of birthdays to avoid the material nature that has overcome all of these holidays and more. OK, so yes, most of the kids at Halloween are cute, Santa is a fun guy and chocolate bunnies do taste yummy, but does any of this glorify God? If we are honest with ourselves, the answer is no. And if the answer is no, then why do we partake?

    The answer to the last question comes back to the issue of tension or friction between the world we live in and the people God has called us to be. We have traditions that are hard to break because they are so much a part of our culture, but God has called us to be sanctified, set apart, holy. If we partake in the world as the world partakes, how are Christians and Christianity different from any other worldview. If we are no different because we participate in and encourage activities that do not glorify God, why would we expect others to see things differently from what they already accept?

    In the end the world will come knocking on our doors this Halloween. Where the line should be drawn is whether we engage the world or engage as the world does. This year we have decided to engage the world by offering a treat with an appropriate Bible verse, what we will not do is engage in Halloween as the world does.

    Afterthought – I have a problem miss spelling Halloween. Often I find myself typing Holloween. In some ways I see the mis-spelling as a better representation of the day as it is truly hollow. Whether praying for the dead, which has not value as our prayers cannot make a difference to those that have passed on, celebrating a pagan feast day or celebrating a day of gore; these are all hollow and bring nothing in the way of glorifying God.

    Respectfully.

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    • Thank you. A good yardstick for ANY activity is “Does it glorify God or something else.” Another good yardstick is Philippians 4:8, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” If it doesn’t pass those tests, I probably shouldn’t be doing it.

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    • This is an excellent way of articulating what I am also thinking. I couldn’t have written it better myself so thank you. I might even quote this!

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  54. Have *you* any idea what satanic cults all over the world do ALL THE TIME? Handing out miniature chocolate bars and being in a satanic cult…..not the same thing.

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  55. Oh my gosh… Stop bickering!!! Is this what Christ has taught you??
    Is this how you would speak to one another face to face? Especially if He were standing right there with you sharing the conversation? Seriously… I’m literally teetering on the edge of calling myself a Christian. I was raised Christian, in church from childhood, never participated in Halloween. I believe in God, I am born again and have a place reserved for me at Jesus’ side. But I have reservations about being classified with people who do not live their own laws. I seriously hope that I am a better wittness for Christ to those around me than how most of you are appearing now to me. Your back and forth argumentative postings give me the impression that you are bitter and miserable. It is a horrible example of the attitude I want to have influencing myself and my children.

    “Pastorswife” really? Which church?? I’ll have to be sure to avoid it! This is incredibly sad to me!

    My kids are to young for trick-or-treating so I am undecided on the subject at this moment. I will not not train my kids to blend in with the crowd, rather teach them to be different and stand out. They can’t stand out if they’re not in the same room or locked in a dark house hiding from the devil. No, I will likely not take them door to door, but neither will I hide in my home as if I would be struck down the moment I open the door; instead, we will stay home with our lights (and smiles) on to greet our friends and neighbors with a smile and a hug and let them know that they are loved by us as well as our Saviour!

    And to all of you out there bickering the days away until Halloween, as much as your arguments break Jesus’ heart and mine, I would still greet you with a smile and a hug.

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    • I wanted to note here that my chide was directed at some earlier posts in the last few days. I had not read all the way down yet. I believe many of you are sensible, and a few of you are not the sort of people I would chose to spend a ton of time with. (No offense)

      Troubleface Mom, I think you got it right. Very nice article. Thank you!

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      • There are many sensible posts, including some very respectful debate, which I have no issue with. I think it’s good for us to talk things out, even if we don’t always agree. Long as it honors people, I’m fine with the back and forth. I’m with you though – the bickering. Ugh. No thanks.

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  56. Hope you don’t celebrate Christmas either since it’s pagan holiday as well and has nothing to do with Christ either.

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  57. Every year on Halloween in our neighborhood we have a huge block party at my brother-in-law’s house. We have cookies, hot chocolate, a fishing booth, a hayride and we show the movie “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” on the garage door in a continuous loop. We put out chairs and invite people to stop and visit a while. It’s well attened every year and people look forward to it. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to get to know one another.

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  58. Halloween is our favorite holiday EVER! What a great opportunity for handing out gospel tracts!

    We give out Chick tracts, which are nice little comic books that appeal to the kids. Sometimes with candy and sometimes not.

    In addition to having those at home for the trick-or-treaters, we also let our kids dress up (gasp!) and go door to door, trick-or-tracting. This is the ONLY day of the year our neighbors will be happy to open the door and receive a piece of gospel literature from the hands of our children. They usually do so with a big smile and thank you, and give our children candy in return.

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  59. I completely agree. We always had a hayride through our subdivision.to trick or treat. The children had a great time we didn’t allow any bad costumes or any bad talk that was frightening to other children. And God should always be the center of everything! If it can’t be we should not be doing it!

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  60. Our church does a “Fall Carnival” every year where we provide candy and games for the kids, and free coffee for the parents. It gets dark out as early as 7PM here, and it’s usually cold and wet, so parents always appreciate being able to bring their kids to warm, safe place. While I understand and agree with your post, I’d like to point out that our church-hosted event has brought so many people to church who would otherwise never step foot in the doors. It’s really an incredible tool to show people the love of Jesus, and present them with a fresh image of church.

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  61. In our home (OUR MINISTRY), we open our doors wide and give full-sized candy bars with a note about “How BIG Jesus’ love is…” taped to them for years… We have kids that say, “hey you’re the guy with the big candy bars on Halloween” when it’s the middle of June!

    Thank you for the affirmation and encouragement!

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  62. I grew up in a very rural area and we had to do a lot of walking from house to house. There was an older couple that lived down the highway and that was everyone’s turn around point. That had tables and chairs set up inside and served hot cider and cocoa to the kids and parents. It was such a treat to warm up and rest. There was such a sense of community. Nothing scary or gross, just nice people who enjoyed having their home filled with children that one night. Thank you for your post. We are also born again Christians and I feel the same way. Show the love of Christ in all you do!

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  63. Consider the following facts that prove Halloween is a sacred holiday ordained from above:

    1. Candy (supports the sugar industry and the dental community alike)

    2. It’s A Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (are you really going to tell me Snoopy is evil?)

    3. The fact that every woman’s costume starts with the descriptive word “sexy” (can I get an “amen” from my bretheren)

    4. The one time of the year, the kids turn off the tv/xboxes/etc…and go out and meet their neighbors

    5. My little niece dressed up like Tinker Bell is nothing, nothing, nothing short of angelic (aka sent from above)

    6. Unlike other holidays, there are no boring family parties for kids to have to sit through while old aunts-uncles talk about Lawrence Welk (yes, I had a rough childhood).

    7. The left-over candy that is not handed out to trick-treaters which goes all to me

    8. Carving Pumpkins

    9. Smashing Pumpkins (the activity – not the group….the group may or may not be of the devil…..but yeah Bullet with Butterfly Wings is SO good of a song…but I digress…)

    10. Eating White Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins made from the smashed pumpkins…love, love, love those muffins and, at risk of bragging, I do make a batch that can best be describes as…dare I say it…..HEAVENLY

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      • Ask as ye shall receive:
        1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

        1 teaspoon baking soda

        1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

        1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

        1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

        1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

        1/2 teaspoon salt

        1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

        1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

        2 large eggs

        1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

        Enough pumpkin to make 3/4 cup (180 ml) solid packed puree

        1 cup (175 grams) white chocolate chips
        Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Place rack in the middle of the oven. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray each cup with a non stick vegetable spray.

        In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ground spices, and salt.

        In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and pumpkin puree, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips.

        Fill the muffin cups evenly with the batter using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Place in the oven and bake for about 18 – 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool.

        Makes 12 regular-sized muffins.

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    • OH and for what it is worth, I went out and bought a ton of Christmas Candy to pass out this year. Russell Stover Chocolate Santas, Candy Cane Chocolate Kisses, and other candies with Chirstmas packaging. I may even where a Santa hat and get the Leg Lamp out early. It IS a major award

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  64. Loved your post! Although, I also find nothing wrong with simply letting my kids enjoy the fun of it. I think while we must be intentional in our lives and making the most out of every opportunity, I think it’s good for my kids to see that mom & dad care about our family having a fun time together. I think if we say it is only for evangelism then we must be consistent and make sure everything we do is for that. Sometime in the summer I take my kids to the pool, for example, with no intention of doing it to meet people and share the gospel, but just letting them swim and have fun. However in everything I do, if the opportunity comes, then I am ready with an answer to why I believe what I do about Jesus and thankful that God is sovereign and has prepared in advance good works for me!

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  65. This is an excellent post. Thank you so much for sharing. You opened the eyes of many people who read this.

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  66. Another opportunity to build community with the neighbors–say a prayer thanking God for your neighbors who care and send your kids back a couple days later with simple thank you notes telling them your family prayed for them. It’s also a great way to lead into the gratitude of Thanksgiving, while sharing a little more of God’s grace with the neighborhood.

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  67. I loved reading your well-articulated perspective. I personally agree, so it was a bit disappointing to read some of the comments…but I am choosing to focus on the positive aspect of all of this. That we all have been given the gift of freedom, supported by grace, to live…to make our own choices…to have (and share) our own opinions based on our context or experience. Hopefully, we are doing all of these things with a filter of love for one another.
    I also want to say that I have tended toward fearfulness in different ways throughout my life. It has been so liberating for me to remember that The Spirit who is in me, who works through me, who walks everywhere with me…is NOT a spirit of timidity, but of power. That He who is in me is greater. The truth is, Satan can never have power over me because of who God is. With this assurance, I can freely, fearlessly and guiltlessly participate in, share in, and enjoy the Halloween festivities with my neighbors, family, and friends. With my lights on!
    I hope that we can all remember that we have been given freedom through Christ to choose whatever we choose, and His power and grace to make up for it if it’s “wrong”. 😉
    Grace and love to you all, thanks troublefacemom!

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  68. I cannot belive families like mine (who do not celebrate) are so openly persecuted and criticised in blogs like this. We are trying to honor the Lord in a way we understand to be right. I don’t know why people don’t just leave us alone. I haven’t ever preached to anyone about this issue. I never say I don’t celebrate unless asked. Yet, I am a “target” of this person’s rant. It is a bizarre phenomenon.

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    • This blog was not written for people who have already done their thinking and chosen not to participate in Halloween. As stated very, very clearly, there is absolutely NO judgement coming from me towards people who choose to opt out of Halloween. This post is not about you, it is targeted towards people who are questioning if or how to participate. This is not a rant at all. It’s a series of questions about why we do what we do and if we need to question that, and some thoughts on how we come across to people outside the faith. That’s all🙂 I’m sorry you’ve mistaken the tone and intention of the post as persecution. That’s a little extreme. I’m too busy worrying about my own family’s journey with God and living out our own faith to even have time to “persecute” others for their choices. Bless you, and your family.

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  69. Reblogged this on New Life and commented:
    A follow-up to yesterday’s post about Halloween – a completely DIFFERENT perspective… check it out, give it a read, and tell me what you think!

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  70. Thank you for your post. I am staying home from our AWANA Harvest Festival so that I can pass out candy and information about our AWANA club. Like you said, the kids are coming to US!

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  71. Christianity is about relationships – with Christ and with others. I don’t care for Halloween but don’t want to come across as the Halloween Scrooge. I’ve often thought it might be fun to put up my home Christmas decorations during the day on October 31, but never seem to have the time. It would be interesting to shine with the message of victory over death (Don’t leave Jesus in the manger. He came to die on the cross) instead of simply death of Halloween.

    There is a good amount of fun that is not deathly on October 31. Setting up my Christmas tree and all could also create a form of culture wars that may not be in the end attracting others to Jesus’ saving grace. I land on considering what I have done the rest of the year to be a good neighbor and shine the light of Christ. Besides, two months is too long to keep up all those decoration and my wife wouldn’t put up with it.

    Make it fun and get to know your neighbors.

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  72. I totally agree. About 25 years ago, I wrote a very similar post in our church bulletin. It’s so wonderful that others see it the same way. It’s never wrong to give. God loves a cheerful giver.

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  73. I see your point, but as Christians we have a bigger responsibility than just being friendly. My parents used to give the kids a little kids tract to read. At least that way you are getting the gospel into their homes too!!

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  74. I read your post a few days ago and loved it. Even though my parents were strictly opposed to Halloween and trick or treating, they did take me to a neighborhood Halloween party once when I was about four or five. I remember it being pure fun, no “demonic elements” involved. I’m happy they bent the rules that one time, because a few years later, the neighborhood started to go south and we had to move to a place where the houses were much more spread out. That wonderful sense of community was gone from our lives, but at least we enjoyed it while it lasted. It’s like you said: people don’t live in their communities (neighborhoods) anymore, they drive to them (church, school, etc). One possible exception is small towns. The little town I work in is like one giant neighborhood, and yes, the local Culver’s has a Halloween party every year. The downtown district evens things out by having a “Scarecrow Festival” earlier in the fall for those who maybe don’t celebrate Halloween. I know all this from working at the library, which tries to have staff be present at community events. (Sadly, some of us really do need to be encouraged to attend!)

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  75. i’m pretty sure you’ll never get to read this, but if you do i want to say “THANKS” so much for posting this! i couldn’t have said it any better…if you don’t mind i would love to repost it …it’s AWESOME!!!! ty ty ty for rockin’ it out with such brilliance!! loved it!!! keep blogging, you keep people like me believing not all christians are stuffed shirts or religious fanatics!!! again, many thanks😉

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  76. I like your post! I have one disagreement though. The harvest festivals in the Old Testament were not restricted to only those who grew the products. That would have made for an extremely small crowd at Pentecost.

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  77. I am that odd Christian who kept my kids from participating in Halloween when they were little (making sure that everyone knew it) but currently decorate and have fun on the holiday. I decided that I wasn’t worshipping Satan by carving a pumpkin, or putting wreaths decorated with spiders on my front doors. I fully embraced the liberty that I have in Jesus Christ to pass candy out to the neighborhood kids while wearing clown hair🙂

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  78. Wow… some of these comments are terrifying. I knew people thought this way, but to see it spelled out like this… Some of you REALLY have the wrong idea of what being a Christian means.

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  79. Interesting post. That was a nice, refreshing take on Halloween. Not many Christians are even willing to talk about it. Personally, I understand the want to avoid it. My family did for a long time, but now, we hold an awesome Halloween party every year. It’s not scary; it’s just a place for a bunch of teens to go hang out. And most of our friends are Christians anyway, so it just ends up being a nice gathering.

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  80. I myself being a Kid\Teenager, I like halloween. I am a Chistian, But i still enjoyed the thrill of getting candy and counting it, running around trying to get the whe neighborhood before dark. It’s something I will always have with me. As I get older the costumes for my age become…. “Sexy” or whatever I along with my friends just make costumes instead. I know halloween has a dark history. But I loved it as a little girl, I now love passing out candy and seeing the little kids smile in their cute costumes! A lot of Christians think of halloween as “worshiping the devil” by dressing up in scary things, but you have to think of the kids. What is their intent? Not to worship the devil I can tell you that much. They just like dressing up and getting candy, if it were up to parents there wouldn’t be a halloween. Think of the kids and put your “Worshiping the devil” thoughts aside and think of the kids. This is the one night it’s okay to go out in public and be in costume and stuff their faces with candy.

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  81. This is pretty good but not sure I completely agree with the notion that some of us do not open our doors because we do not agree with the traditions of the holiday or that they are against our religious beliefs. Some of us turn off the lights or do not open the door because truthfully (and I know this is going to sound bad) we are not kid people.🙂 Personally, and my bf can attest to that, kids make me nervous so I stay away from them.🙂

    But you do bring an interesting point: meeting the neighbors. Here is where I stand on that. I am the single girl that lives in an area where everyone else is married with kids. I am all about meeting the neighbors and I have even introduced myself. Yet the moms hang out together in cliques. When I see them around they do not say hi nor are even civil, so why should Halloween be any different? Just sayin’.🙂

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    • When I talk about my assumption about the people who kept the house dark, I only mean that’s what I thought when I *was* a kid out trick or treating. Obviously as an adult I do realize there are many reasons people don’t participate in Halloween, and there is no judgement coming from me on that.🙂

      And I gotta say, the moms in your neighborhood are probably missing out. My friends who DON’T have kids are some of the most refreshing people in my life simply because we get to talk about *other things* and I love that. They need to bust out of the mommy bubble.

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  82. The article never stated that you should only show love one day of the year. This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad i it! Satan may lead his blind followers to think that he owns “one dreadful day of the year,” but he doesn’t! Even he knows it. Love your neighbor every single day. I look for every opportunity to love my neighbors, and if that is a day that they come knocking on my door for candy, I want to throw the door open and show the love He has, because He has already conquered death and the grave, and all of those things the world fears! Yes, be holy, as you are a light. Do not fear the darkness. God has already overcome, and we can celebrate God’s goodness on October 31st, and every other day of the year by taking every opportunity presented to us to do so.

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    • K, I totally agree with you! I think the problem I’ve been running into is that I’m not sure I really 100% agree with either “side” so many of these “Halloween” articles are presenting. BUT, one thing I am sure of is, as you said, that God is the sole owner/author of each and EVERY day of the year regardless of what the world wants to call them or do with them. And, as much as I despise the whole idea of “Halloween”, its origins, and all its nastiness, Oct. 31st IS most certainly still a day the LORD has made! The Lord has never declared Oct. 31st something that is sinful and there is no need for me to shrink back from it. So, while I’m NOT willing to say “so what”, I’m also NOT going to turn out my lights and run for the hills. It’s not compromising, bowing down, agreeing with, or delighting in evil (1 Cor. 13:6) for me to stand my ground in the midst of all the nastiness the world propagates. If I’m home, my lights will be on just like every other day of the year. If kids come to my door, I WILL try to bless them (maybe even with some candy, eek)… just like on most every other day of the year. If my kids want to dress up (in NON-nastiness), i will let them… also just like pretty much every other day of the year! At the same time, I won’t look down on those who choose not to! It was not at all my intention to come across legalistic but rather to point out that our “motive” doesn’t necessarily make something we’re doing right (Jer. 17:9). If something we’re doing is right or wrong according to God’s Word, it is so no matter what our motive is or what day of the year it is. All I really wanted to say was that it is becoming all the more important to me, as a result of reflecting on God’s holiness, that my choices/actions are pleasing to HIM (though, most days I fail miserably which is why I SO desperately need His mercy and grace!!)! Blessings!🙂

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  83. My Mom was definitely not in favor of Halloween BUT took the same approach you have. It is a great time to share the love of Christ. She would make goody bags with really good candy and put fun, kid-friendly tracks (plan of salvation) in them. What a great idea, right!? Take every opportunity to share Christ’s love.

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  84. Oh good! I live on a farm and we are, in fact, harvesting so I’m excused! (JJ!!) In reality we don’t trick or treat, although we do wear costumes for our homeschool group’s party. We live so far out in the middle of no where that we’ve never had a single trick-or-treater, but I like your perspective on it. I also don’t think its wrong for any family to choose to not to join in with this holiday though. Surely the world is big enough for lots of opinions. Thanks for sharing yours.

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  85. You have assumed that all churches are doing it to separate themselves from the world. You are assuming we all live in areas where there is no harvest. You are assuming we all live in sub-divisions with lots of children who trick-or-treat.

    Our church offers it as a safe alternative and we invite our neighbors to go with us.
    We live in an area with harvesting, therefore we do have harvest festivals. We don’t live in a neighborhood with trick-or-treaters.

    You have lumped everyone in one little category and passed judgement on all.

    That is all I will say, because I don’t want to be judgmental.

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  86. I love your take on this! It’s the one night of the year that kids can just have fun, why should we take that away? I’m 16 now, and we have always had fun going out on Halloween and giving treats to people. My church actually goes trick or treating together and use it as an opportunity to bless strangers! When the kids knock on the doors and get candy, they give the person at the door a treat bag back with a draw entry to win a car in it and an invitation to church! I love it!

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    • If you’re 16 and have your driver’s license, you should do what I did at your age – dress up and go trick or treating at drive thru restaurants. They used to think it was hilarious to get trick or treaters at the drive thru window, and give us treats just for stopping by because business was always so slow. And it’s super fun!

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  87. YES!! finally someone with sense!! There r 365 days in a year & you only pick one?!?! I used to celebrate Halloween until the Holy Spirit kept convicting me about it. Well I ignored it & the devil told me all this stuff mentioned in this vary article!! Which did make me feel better. But then I just couldn’t shake it anymore & did some research. Well after I did I found out why & haven’t celebrated it since. Sometimes it’s easier to justify something than to listen to the truth. You all can serve whom you choose, but as for me & my house we will server the LORD🙂 & enjoy the peace that comes with it🙂

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  88. loved your insight very helpful When I was a new Christian with a unsaved husband I felt the pressure not to participate but was overruled by my hubby..We decided to turn it into something good my for children went out as Gods wonderful creation A flower a butterfly a spider and my oldest a crash dummy….hmmmm But I Decided do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good

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  89. Not sure what kind of Christians you know but I am one and none of my “church going friends” act in the way you mentioned above.We participate in Halloween, dress our kids, enjoy the fun part of it…etc. I think it’s going to a HUGE extreme to think that the dark houses with no light and no answer at the door are “Christians” not willing to take part. Did it occur to you that many go out to Halloween parties? That some take their children to the grandparents neighborhoods to trick or treat? Perhaps there are some people who do lock themselves in and ignore all the hooplah outside their door but is it THAT big of a deal? Of all the things to complain about…someone not opening their door on Halloween? Above that, to assume they are religious and that THAT is the reasoning behind them being a “party pooper”? Wow. Super ignorant and judgmental post.

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    • Of course all of that occurred to me – as an adult. My assumptions about Christians were based on what I knew of them before I was one. Of course I was ignorant. I didn’t know what I didn’t know! I was also a child/teen when I was making those assumptions. Then I grew up, became a Christian, had kids and went, “let’s do something awesome with this day -IF we can.” I’ve done the Halloween party thing, and I’ve done the trick or treating in the Grandparent neighborhoods – which is mentioned in the post. We haven’t done anything for Halloween for the past 5 years because nobody came to our door. Now we can, and we will. Not everybody can or wants to, and that’s fine.🙂

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  90. my dad was the halloween advocate at our house, and i am so grateful for it. my mom was petrified that we’d be swallowed by demons (or something?) which was GREAT for my trust and faith in this BIG God she believed in. or not.

    well, one year she won, and I went to a church-hosted “let’s-celebrate-leaves-and-wheat-and-apples-and-not-anything-to-do-with-blood-or-death” party dressed as, wait for it, THE. HOLY. BIBLE. i didn’t want to hurt my mom’s feelings. this is the first time she ever handmade me, well, anything. stepping into the church, i was more embarrassed than the time my skirt fell off on the stage during a remembrance day assembly (they still let us go to those because those don’t have any talk of death in… wait a second…)

    looking back now i should’ve flaunted that huge cardboard box with some serious self-righteousness… “everything i say can and will be held against you…” well, before this gets a little too blasphemous… jenna, hats off to you, for, well, for being normal. level-headed. smart. and most importantly… kind.

    sadly, the strongest lesson i learned as a church kid was how to be afraid of everything. a perpetual fear of doing it wrong, reading it wrong, sinning, not hearing god’s voice, disappointing leaders, going to the wrong bible college, falling into the temptation of even imagining going to a college that wasn’t of the bible variety, not saving enough people, not being a good enough example, making mistakes, taking my bible costume off to pee and getting eaten by halloween demons … the list goes on and on.

    what you’re saying here can be applied to so many aspects of the “christian” way of thinking.

    i’m not afraid anymore. i mean, sometimes i get scared. but i’ve never been braver. and i’ve never been more okay with making mistakes and taking risks and loving people and talking to people. like actually talking to them without “conversion” in the back of my mind. i fired myself from being a salesperson of the soul. i sucked at it anyway. now i just want to “live with”. not “live at”.

    and, much to some people’s horror (not of the halloween variety), i will talk to anyone. about anything. in just the past couple of months i have had some of the best conversations of my life. i chatted with a homeless guy over some donairs about how he’d just “stepped out of a movie screen and into this dimension” and i was like “cool!” and i meant it. i chatted with a stranger lady outside of a hospital about how she was the first woman at GMC to climb the ranks, and how she fought for equal pay and looked her boss in the eye during her interview to tell him “i don’t lift my skirts to make my way to the top” and he laughed and hired her on the spot. i talked to a boat mechanic who broke his foot when he fell back in his office chair and his foot hit his desk and well, just the way he told it, i laughed so hard tears were streaming down my cheeks.

    why close your doors like, ever? well, close the door to pee and poo. please, don’t stop doing that. and when there’s mosquitos. you know what i mean.

    people are people, people.

    sadly, i didn’t learn this in church. maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to assume that the church building is always the best place for people either. GASP! did i just SAY that?!?! this just may conjure up horror (of the halloween variety!) or worse, horror of the poop cookie variety…

    ps – i have no idea why i wrote all of this. i just wanted to say “great job, jenna!” and then this happened. verbal diarrhea. shocking.

    pps – you should really close the door if you’re pooping in cookies. and never come out.

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      • seriously jenna, i love the way you think. i want to beat every *idiot* on here. #honesty. i hardly know you and i feel protective… i’m fist-pumping all of juanita & glenn’s responses. i agree with them. you are awesome and your words and ideas are awesome too.

        some of these “christians”, they’re like bees to honey… the honey being any-single-thing-they-somewhat-disagree-with. and they don’t eat the honey, they try to sting it and get all sticky and now you have these nasty bees stuck in your honey, trying to sting and twerking all over your hive… well, this metaphor just grew into a weird life of it’s own…

        anyways… i know you’re one tough cookie (no poop needed) but PLEASE PLEASE remember this: you are not the crazy one. they are. and their crazy words do little for the “jesus” they supposedly follow or the people they are trying to “save”. don’t let them stop you or second-guess jack squat. i’d never question someone with the last name squat… i mean, have you ever tried to do one of those?!

        OH and i am so not the same shelley that commented even earlier. i think you knew that. also, i am thinking i may change my name. shaniqwa, maybe.

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  91. Wow. My lights are off because I’m out with my husband and kids trick or treating with friends. Oh and sometimes we are out of candy. (It happens) or gasp, there was a year we couldn’t afford to buy candy to give out and had to forgo the handout. I’m Christian, grew up Christian, my husband is Christian with a pastor father. Our church and a few good churches have a “harvest festival” where kids can get candy, play games, dress up and NOT get scared by zombie babies scattered on the front lawn. While there are those that will bd those that would rather not participate, just like those that don’t participate in Christmas. Do you make sure to go out every Remembrance Day or do you hide away? I think you’re topic is quite ignorant.

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    • and you taking this blog personally is a sign of ignorance too, because CLEARLY didn’t read the WHOLE blog … nice!

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  92. Amen amen amen amen. I don’t have kids, I don’t trick-or-treat, and I don’t like the demonic part of Halloween, but I’ve never thought of it this way. What an OPPORTUNITY to have a cross on the wall that will be seen when the front door is open, or a cross necklace dangling near your heart, on display for the world to see. If we don’t open our homes to others, who will? How will the neighbors ever feel stopping to talk to us on the sidewalk (they won’t) if we don’t open our doors and arms to them? Well said. Round of applause.

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  93. Trick or Treat!🙂

    Gee, this is a good blog! I like your writing.

    And I like it all — the trick or treaters who go only to specially designated small businesses, the church parties, Saint’s Day Parade with costumes. It can all be really nice. One year I celebrated by giving a talk to a college class of Muslim exchange students about the very nice and holy traditions of this time of year. They loved it!

    I keep trying to give trick or treaters healthy things, organic apples or peanuts in the shell and such, and the kids and parents just get so sad and upset!! One mother said “If you couldn’t bother giving candy, why didn’t you just STAY INDOORS AND TURN OFF YOUR LIGHTS?” Gosh.

    But, it got better — one year I totally forgot about Halloween! I was walking home at dusk with groceries and some little princesses were knocking and I felt so ashamed I apologized to the family, and held out a big bunch of carrots with greens saying “Kids I am so sorry — this is all I have!” One princess screamed with joy and yanked the bunch out of my hand and chomped on a carrot like a coal mine pony while galloping to the next house.
    I said to the parents “Wait! Stop them! Those aren’t washed! They’re filthy!”
    The dad said “Yeah, I know. They sure are.” Then he hollered “Girls, come back. This nice lady just offered you a bath and some cleaner clothes.”

    Happy merry safe wholesome blessed holidays to everybody! Bob an apple for me!

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  94. I really appreciate people like you we are called to be lights in this world and it’s sad to see that Christians have become exactly what Christ came to save us from the Jews were about rules regulations and the strict adherence to certain holidays and festivals. Christ gave us freedom to love people and gave us the command to love another sadly all I see Christians do is judge! Thank you so much for speaking up!

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  95. Any holiday is what you make of it, how you choose to be involved and what you choose to celebrate. On Christmas I celebrate Jesus’ birth and the joy of loving others by sharing and giving to them. On Halloween I will always celebrate and encourage the joy of child-like innocence and fun.

    My sibling and I trick-or-treated all though our teenage years, but we never dressed as anything evil or scary it was SO fun, we were the crazy kids who came to the door and sang Christmas carols on Halloween. We were there to make our neighbors smile, have fun and get candy. In my later teens I often dressed as Santa Claus, to hide my age, being the oldest I didn’t want to miss out and I think me still coming helped my younger bro and sis not feel pressure that they were too old. Plus my Mom was happy if we were all out together.

    I felt that pressure when I was 13, one Halloween I went with a friend to a party instead – but I was at her house for a while before we would go to the party and I couldn’t resist throwing a costume together – I wore a yard waste bag and a brown hat as a bag lady and I went around to trick or treat and meet her neighbors. (my friend stayed home to do her make-up) After that I didn’t bother trying to act like an adult on Halloween and I’ve always found an excuse to be with kids or take kids trick-or treating.

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  96. I like your attitude. We’ve always let the kids (now 26, 22, & 18) go out – with the same costume restrictions you have – even when we didn’t live in the best neighborhood. And we’ve always given out candy partly to be good neighbors and partly to not get egged. We usually decorate with pumpkins and gourds – which means they can stay out until Thanksgiving. But this year my wife has finally agreed that doing “nice” jack o’ lanterns is also okay.

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  97. A friend recently reminded me that we often practice religion, but not Christianity. Love your neighbor and their children this Halloween.

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    • Kate: isn’t that what all (or, certainly, very nearly all) trick-or-treaters do? They are out there for the sugar (along with a little chocolate or other flavors mixed in with it). I suppose that kind of selfishness (Give me! Give me all I can get!) is one of the things that I really don’t like about Halloween, and about Trick-or-Treating in particular. All the conversations at elementary schools on Friday (and many conversations at middle schools and some conversations at high schools) will at least touch on “How much stuff did you get last night?” It’s all about “the haul” (how much).

      Candy itself isn’t the problem, at least in my mind. *Demanding* treats under threat of nasty tricks, that’s a problem! Yes, I know that is not usually an issue with younger kids. But for some older kids, that becomes part of the the whole Halloween experience. That was even how it worked centuries ago in Celtic villages. I really don’t like that. But even with the younger kids, we teach them, at least subliminally if not overtly, that people who don’t give anything (or don’t give much) are rude and probably not very nice people because ‘they should have put something (or something more!) in your bag.’

      But even if we put all of that aside, what is evening supposed to be celebrating? Look at *almost* all of the decorations that go up, even in places of business! The vast – vast! – majority of it has to do with death. The spirits and other characters that are depicted in the decorations and the costumes (again, not all, but the vast majority) are what would commonly be thought of as evil spirits or ‘bad guys.’ Yes, this is less true the younger the children are. But have a look (really pay attention!) to the costumes (and the decorations) that you see this year. Have a look in the flyers at the costumes that are for sale, and look at how they change depending on the size of the person they are made for. Death, destruction, sin, and selfishness are the overwhelming themes of modern Halloween, and really they have been have been pretty much since it began in ancient Celtic culture.

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  98. Halowwen is and should be age appropriate. The reason we go out and choose not to answer the door is because many of the costumes scare the hell out of my little boy and girl. We do a harvest party because number 1 I have yet to hear of poison candy given at a harvest party. and 2 I try my best not to have a double standard and teach the kids not to take candy from strangers, but then… Tell them to go off and take candy from strangers one night of the year.same thing with Santa Claus, I don’t choose to tell my kids not to talk to strangers then put them on the lap of a stranger… That being an old fat guy with a beard… And no offense to any fat guys with a beard but think back too many of the pictures you have seen of a pedophile. Personally, I could care less about the death and gore. There is death and core every night on the 6 o’clock news. and remember, just because Jesus died a horrible gory death, does not mean you can expose your kids to death and gore…and it be okay.

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    • BAHAHAHAHAHA did you actually SAY that about beards on fat guys?!
      how do you survive movember?? oh the horror. what’s your address, i want to send you a poster of zach galifianakis. a free gift from me.

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    • 1 Ive seen more pedophiles without beards who are in good shape. But way to stereotype. 2 I am 13c and I’ve never gotten a piece of poison candy so HA! 3 Your neighbors aren’t strangers. 4 Way to take the joy out of Christmas for a little kid, I never believed in santa, in fact I am a Christian so I know about Christs death, BUT sitting on santas lap was still alot of fun, Way to be a hater the old fat guys with beards are just trying to make a living. I honestly think that it is so dumb that you’re saying you are a Christian but go on hating. God says be a light. Not to turn the lights of and ignore little kids and make the parents despise you. Great example you are setting for your kids:/

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  99. I totally agree with angelcope. I’m a young mom and find it hard to allow my children to enjoy this celebration. I feel convicted because of the un Godly rituals that go on. Let me know if anyone else feels convicted at all when they read the following link. I am willing to please the Lord before conforming to the world because they don’t see the harm. P.s. I’m not offended…just have a different point of view.
    http://www.demonbuster.com/halloween.html

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  100. Just to clarify, not all Christians feel that way. I’m a devout Catholic, my wife is a Baptist. And our house is like crazy-Halloween. I’ve got a dead body hanging from a noose, gravestones, a coffin, smoke machine and a zombie under my car tire. Just because you love and celebrate Halloween doesn’t make you a bad Christian. Those people you’re describing that think that can feel free to hide in their house with the lights off.

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    • I don’t understand celebrating and glorifying death. Death. The very enemy of Christ! 1 Corinthians 15:24-26 – “Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

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      • Hey Cindee- how is it that parents taking their kids trick or treating is glorifying death? How am I glorifying death by handing out candy and a smile? I used to think as you do- but all I was doing was being self- righteous and judgmental. I would rather open my door on Oct 31 and offer a morsel of grace and neighbourly joy than hole up and avoid . Jesus didn’t cower and neither should we.

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  101. Thank you for this article. I agree with you that we shouldn’t hide in our houses away from all the trick or treaters, or hide inside the church building with a harvest party. My husband, a children’s pastor, has organized Fall Festivals for almost 30 years at various churches where we have been on staff. It was never a “just for our kids” party- these events have always been open to the community as a safe place where children can come and play games, get candy, eat hot dogs, have trunk or treat, go on a hayride, etc. We always have put the word out to the local community that their children were welcome here if they decided to do something besides going door to door. And we have always had a tremendous response from families in the local community. I don’t like the dark side of Halloween or some of the ancient origins of it, but I think the children should have some fun! In my neighborhood, there are very few people staying home to give out candy anyway, so the children have to spend more time going to several neighborhoods just to have the Trick Or Treat experience. I see the church events as a great way to reach out to the community, not “hiding away”! As a matter of fact, this year, for the first time, our church is participating in a downtown Truck Or Treat event for the entire community. We have a parking lot that has been assigned to us to do whatever we want. We will have Trunk Or Treat, a power band bracelet station ( fun way to share Jesus) and our Puppets On A Mission team will be performing. We are joining with about 12 other churches and businesses to do this for the community.

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  102. Wow! This is really a great post and I appreciate the time you took to write it. Growing up in a Pentecostal Christian home, we went trick or treating at least every other year. Being that my childhood was full of neglect and abuse, Halloween was one of those few times that my six sisters and I had the chance to be happy and to just be kids. As I got older I became paranoid and saw Halloween as pure evil, to the point where I only allowed my oldest to go trick or treating once when he was a toddler. As Southern Baptists, my family has only been to two community/Church functions. For the other years we stayed home (last year my husband had a super early surgery the day after, so, we stayed home then as well). This year we will be passing out treats for the first time. Like the commenter above, we are handing out full size candy bars. My husband will be doing that while I take our boys, ages five and eight, trick or treating. This is our second Halloween as atheists and I am happy to have my kids dress up as Harry Potter (Oh the humanity! I had forbid those books from my home until this past May, now my oldest is on the forth book!) and a Fireman. I want my kids to enjoy every ounce of life that there is.

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  103. Halloween was always so fun as a kid. I would regularly walk over ten miles and come back with a pillowcase overflowing with candy. I would be so tired that I could barely stand (that much candy and that much distance are a lot when you are six). I’m glad I got to do it.

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  104. As a former Christian, I remember the fuss Christians (myself included) made about the dos and donts of celebrating Halloween. I went along with it, but secretly loved Halloween time. As a kid who grew up in a non religious practicing home, I freely enjoyed Halloween. It wasn’t until as an adult, after I joined a Baptist church, that it became this awful thing. So happy to be free from all those rules. Thanks for you post, and wish you and yours a safe and happy halloween.

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  105. Also just wanted to note – sometimes when people are debating ideas, that is just it. They are debating ideas. They are not debating YOU or your life or your experiences. I love stories and I love the stories of people who are different from me. I am not about to sit here and tell everyone reading this how to live their lives, celebrate a holiday, or be a Christian. If that’s what you’re hearing please know that that is NOT what I’m saying. At all. This blog, and the follow up, are meant as suggestions of one possible approach to take to Halloween. I don’t know how many times I can say that.

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  106. I love you people. I am having a super hard time keeping up with the comments, but I’m trying! Thank you for such lovely, kind, humorous, and insightful comments. And thank you for keeping (most) of the debate end of things civil and respectful. The internet has it’s share of crazy but there is certainly no shortage of awesome either.

    I didn’t know what it means to be Freshly Pressed…because I am an internet dum-dum. No, really. Of all people to get this kind of attention, I am a terrible candidate.

    I’m happy only to have had to delete a couple of comments so far. Please feel free to disagree, debate, and offer whatever criticism or instruction you feel appropriate. But BE CONSTRUCTIVE. Malicious comments will be deleted. Posts the lengths of blogs rather than comments will be deleted. Please just copy a link to your blog rather than pasting the whole thing here. Thank you.

    Thank you, and happy reading. You’ve made this a really cool week around here.

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  107. Thank you so much for sharing this! Seriously the most coherent argument FOR Christians about Halloween that I’ve ever seen. You made me remember the family in my neighborhood who always had a party on Halloween afternoon – all the kids in the neighborhood went over to their house and made popcorn balls and Rice Krispy treats and just generally had a ball. Those wonderful folks never had kids of their own – but every kid in the neighborhood loved them to pieces! Thank you for reminding me of those great times!

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  108. I don’t see the problem with dressing up in costumes and handing out candy. I was raised as a Christian and we went trick or treating. My mom drew the line at certain kinds of costumes and movies, so we knew where the boundary. Let the kids have fun, and talk to them about what is real and what is not. It’s the tradition you let it be. I don’t really see a difference between Halloween, Santa and the Easter bunny. They are all cultural traditions alone to a Christian. They may derive from or relate to or be a distortion of Christian truths but you don’t have to embrace that part, any more than we embrace other distortions in our culture. Let the kids have their fun and let them know the truth. They can have both.

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  109. Good for you, glad to hear this point of view! And no, to those that suggest it is tearing down Christians… It is saying “let’s be a little more real, and less hypocritical!”

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  110. You are a rockstar!!! My thoughts exactly. This year we are grilling hot dogs in the driveway and giving them out with the candy and small bottled water. You got to wonder how many kids/families run out of the house without eating dinner so they can go collect candy from people they only see once a year…

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  111. I love the greet-your-neighbor aspect of this silly holiday… and we’re super church-y Christian types. We’re the house with the Full Size Bars!!

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  112. Wow, I read these replies and I am alternately refreshed and saddened. I come from a background of very organized religion where the culture is to only socialize and be with those who have the same beliefs. No wonder Christians get such a bad name. I have been blessed to work with women from countries all over the world with different backgrounds and beliefs. I learn from them everyday, regardless of their religion or lack thereof. I do not shove my beliefs in their face but let my actions tell them who I am. I wholeheartedly agree with this post. Quit getting absorbed in the “rules” of Christianity and truly understand the meaning. Once you become so convinced you are one hundred percent right about your views, you stop listening. When you stop listening, you stop learning and growing.

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  113. Good grief!! Living in Wales (UK) this is the first time I’ve read about how US Christians get their knickers in a twist about what is actually a Celtic Pagan festival! – Somewhere in all the above arguing the comment has been made that Satan wouldn’t get too excited about ONE night – but he will be rubbing his hands in glee at all the in-fighting over this very little issue…….
    From the perspective of someone outside the -I feel- insular US Christianity it’s all been blown out of proportion; where has the blood and gore come from? NOT from the original Pagan festival for sure.
    Outside the US there wasn’t trick or treating until the last few years (another American ‘invention’)
    Growing up in the 1960s Halloween was a time for a little family/friends get together when we had games (apple bobbing ect) As we grew older we would remember anyone who had died over the past 12 months and would light a candle while doing so – Maybe not ‘Church’ but certainly not Satanic!
    All the ‘trappings’ of Halloween that are in the shops these days have been manufactured (in every sense of the word!) by those greedy for money – whether those people are also ‘of the Devil’ I don’t know…..But I do know that they have NOTHING to do with the original Celtic Festival.

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  114. Boy I remember when Halloween was dressing up and trick or treating, plan and simple. As kids it was fun and fun for my kids it wasn’t evil. Put it this way as children we didn’t think of it as evil and I didn’t teach my kids that either it was just fun and talking to the neighbors and who had the best candy. But I do have respect for those who don’t go along with it.

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  115. I completely agree with how you handle the holiday. I like many other families are into it just for the sweets and dressing up part. I like the comradeship of meeting the neighbors and just enjoying ourselves. I know that their is a dark side to it but I really don’t think that it matters if we hand candy out to kids or whatever we hand out. I truly believe that Jesus would want us to be friendly and giving. I don’t think he would close the door on anyone of those families. I grew up taking part in the parties and activities and there has always been that constant argument of whether we should be taking part in Halloween. To me it is just another commercially drawn Holiday that companies seem to make tons of money on.

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  116. I’m a little late to the party, but I enjoyed the points that you made. Essentially, each person should review their convictions and where they are in their walk currently. We don’t celebrate Halloween and haven’t with our kids. . .we haven’t even felt the need for the replacement of Halloween in the form of a Harvest party or otherwise though we have been to those too. We simply treated the day like any other. In the early years of our marriage, we did not participate at all. Then, we had a youth event where we used it as an opportunity to minister. Now, our children do the same. We try to have “good” candy (at least we hope!) with information with it about the love of Jesus. We’ve done this in different forms. We don’t condemn those who do celebrate but also would like the same respect given towards our kids and us to not encourage us to be a part of it if we don’t feel it’s appropriate for our family (e.g. doing Halloween crafts with our kids). There is nothing more hurtful than another brother or sister in Christ degrading your convictions when they know that you don’t come to them lightly. (by the way, I don’t think your blog did this). My oldest brought home a paper one day from school regarding the history (yes, the Celtic background). . .we still felt it was darkness, so we were convicted to not celebrate but take the opportunity to greet those who came to our door. We are freaks b/c we ask that our children just participate in “fall” crafts at school and we know our kids will resent something we have done. . .it could be this, it could be a billion other areas for which we have shielded our children. For us, we have issues with a lot of holidays we have tried to make “Christian”. . .those holidays that when you look at the history were simply added so that we would have something to celebrate when pagan holidays were being celebrated so we wouldn’t have to be different/set apart. Easter alone should cause us to think when the resurrection of Christ is celebrated with a word coming from the name of a pagan goddess. But, I digress. We each will be led by the Holy Spirit. We each will be held accountable to that. Let’s respect it.

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  117. Ask a witch what Halloween represents. Really. There are tons around if u start asking. I know 2. It’s a ritual. It is partaking in a satanic ritual… Ask a witch. A witch wouldn’t “pretend” to get baptized. It represents something. When you open the door to spirits guess what happens? It may seem innocent but its a ritual and you take part by doing the actions of getting dressed and collecting/giving candy. Now love ur neighbors and go meet them without having to use a fake holiday as an excuse for it. We fall so easily for the tricks of the devil then turn around and ask why bad things happen. Also if you must go out please use the Sherrifs website to check for registered sex offenders. You will be surprised how many are so close.

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  118. It’s always hard as a Christian to know what to do about Halloween. I must admit a lot of the time we’ve gone with the don’t open the door approach but I completely take your point that Jesus wouldn’t have.

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  119. I LOVE this post!! Thank you SO much for writing this. I, too, am a Christian who grew up participating in Halloween. Dressing up, trick or treating, carving pumpkins. It’s just FUN. It doesn’t mean you love Jesus any less. I shared this on FB and I hope that all of my friends (especially Christian friends!) will read it. I know many Christians who fall under those same categories you listed and it is sad to me. What a great opportunity it is to reach out and just LOVE those around us.🙂 Thank you again!

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  120. I don’t think of the dark side of Halloween but the art and crafty side myself. There are so many Ideas for Creating Halloween Spirit that are so much fun to do as a family together.

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  121. I try hard NOT to judge others or their “preferring ” not to participate in whatever..However, having said that I can’t help but comment on your post about Halloween. I can’t speak for ALL Christians, or ALL Blacks, or ALL Americans or ALL Mothers/Parents/Catholics/Businesswomen..or anything else I’m a member of..But this is my opinion on Halloween. I do NOT believe in what it has become. Period! Once upon a time, when my exhusband & I got caught UP in celebrating so -called American holidays /activities? We used to fully participate..Until? I realized a few things..First of all it makes NO sense for me as a parent(my sons are now grown) to parade my children through the neighborhood, collecting candy which can ruin their teeth!(and I wasn’t big on keeping sweets in the house) plus NOT trusting those who had given my sons candy to the point I was checking each and every piece of candy..OMG..What sense did that make to contribute to bad dental care, nutrition plus not even trusting the candy my sons received? None at all. So we stopped participating..We began instead to go to church harvest activities or gatherings at our trusted friends houses or ours..To add to that I don’t watch scary or horror movies either. I don’t bait the idea of ghosts & goblins or spells or witches or any of that..It just isn’t something I wanted to teach my sons about either OR participate in. So we stopped. And quite frankly IF that is the only night folks are interacting with their neighbors; then they’ve got more catching up to do than one night is going to suffice for. Back-in-the-day folks used to know their neighbors! But then again that was when folks actually had time & women didn’t work outside of the household..Another long topic for another time..As is other American so called holidays ; in which I don’t feel are worth practicing for the hypocritical meaning behind them. Like Thanksgiving! WOW I could go on and on about the ugly REAL meaning behind Thanksgiving & the things taken from another people (without thanks..) that is the very foundation of that “supper”..Yet another long topic for another time. My bottom line is folks don’t participate in things they don’t feel are worth participating IN. I respect others wishes to do as they please & likewise. That used to be the American way of living. Live & let live without bashing others beliefs. Back-in-the-day..

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  122. The blog is great. Some of the replies make me cringe. It’s amazing that God still elects to use His followers as the only means of spreading His love. It’s a shame that so much criticism and hatred can be read in many in these posts towards your fellow Christians, so much one-up-man-ship, claiming to be the better Christian, the real Christian, the original Church Christian, the Christian who knows the most history, the Christian who knows what Jesus might do. “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you LOVE one another”. I’m not feeling it. You think Satan like Halloween? I think he likes us attacking each other a whole lot more.

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  123. Great points; I love the idea of taking advantage of the one night a year when your neighbors come knocking on your door. I plan on reaching out in some way with the gospel. For most of the trick or treating crowd, Halloween is nothing more than an innocent fashion show for candy. I love the idea of setting up coffee and a fire pit on your lawn. Might do that.

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  124. Excellent, excellent article. As Christians we are to be salt not to be separated.
    Let me disagree on one point. In your article you state “I’m not here to try to sit down and come up with something redeeming about this day. There is nothing redeeming about it in the Christian sense of that word.”
    I disagree adamantly. There is glorious reason for Christians to celebrate with enthusiasm the date of Oct. 31, for that is the day that sparked the most significant event in church history. One that affects the church even still today.
    It was on that day that Martin Luther posted 95 statements concerning the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, sparking the Protestant Reformation.
    There is great reason for Protestant Christians, Reformed or not, to celebrate this day.
    I suggest for Christians to do a little research to find out the rich heritage we enjoy today as a direct result of the Reformation.
    Allow me to suggest some topics for you to “google” for starters:
    •Martin Luther •Protestant Reformation. •Luther’s 95 Theses •The 5 Solas •Post Tennabras Lux •Diet of Worms

    May God bless your study and may it be richly rewarding to your spirit.

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  125. Being a Christian myself, I often struggle with this concept. My parents used to take me trick-or-treating when I was young before, as my Mom puts it, “knew better”. To me, Halloween was the best day of the year: you get to dress up and get free candy. What wasn’t to like? Today, I don’t celebrate Halloween at all, mainly because I can’t stand the blood and gore.

    But, you bring a refreshing perspective that I think a lot of us need to hear. It’s especially on days like Halloween that we need to be a blessing. Because when you think about it, this is perhaps the only day of the year where people will actually come to our door. If I can bring joy and a little bit of Christ’s love by giving a little kid some candy, then I’ll do it. I remember the joy I got from getting all those candies in my plastic, pumpkin-shaped candy bucket. Unfortunately, I can’t do it this year because I volunteered at a church celebration, where kids can dress up in non-spooky costumes and play games for Halloween candy. You know, I think about all the saints that have come before us. Like St. Polycarp and St. Ignatius, they were around when the hottest form of entertainment was watching other people stab each other or some other living thing in the arena until one of them was dead. Yet, they still used those times to spread the love of Christ. You have my sincere thanks for helping me come to terms with this issue.

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  126. I totally understand the idea behind your comment. I came from a family that didn’t go to church or have any religion to speak of for that matter. We did Halloween every year. Then I started to read the Bible and study it deeply in order to understand what is expected of me by God. The Bible says in 2 Cor. 6:14-18: “what does light have to do with darkness….‘“Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,” says Jehovah, “and quit touching the unclean thing”’;
    Eph. 5:10, 11: “Keep on making sure of what is acceptable to the Lord; and quit sharing with them in the unfruitful works that belong to the darkness, but, rather, even be reproving them.”
    Genuine love for Jehovah and a strong desire to be pleasing to him will help a person to break free from unchristian practices that may have had emotional appeal. A person who really knows and loves Jehovah does not feel that by shunning practices that honor false gods or that promote falsehood he is in any way deprived of happiness. Genuine love causes him to rejoice, not over unrighteousness, but with the truth.
    Also, if it’s truly all about loving the neighbors and getting to know them, there’s an entire year that we can take something to our neighbors (like brownies or something) instead of begging them to give to us. This would be a great way to start getting to know our neighbors and showing them love instead of expecting them to provide for us. Not to mention, I do believe the Bible says that it’s better to give than to receive. Otherwise there’s really nothing about getting to know the neighbors and showing them love when it comes to the celebration of Halloween.
    Compare Exodus 32:4-10. Notice that the Israelites adopted an Egyptian religious practice but gave it a new name, “a festival to Jehovah.” But Jehovah severely punished them for this. Today we see only 20th-century practices associated with holidays. Some may appear harmless. But Jehovah observed firsthand the pagan religious practices from which these originated. Should not his view be what matters to us?
    The Encyclopedia Americana says: “Elements of the customs connected with Halloween can be traced to a Druid ceremony in pre-Christian times. The Celts had festivals for two major gods—a sun god and a god of the dead (called Samhain), whose festival was held on November 1, the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The festival of the dead was gradually incorporated into Christian ritual.”—(1977), Vol. 13, p. 725.
    The book The Worship of the Dead points to this origin: “The mythologies of all the ancient nations are interwoven with the events of the Deluge . . . The force of this argument is illustrated by the fact of the observance of a great festival of the dead in commemoration of the event, not only by nations more or less in communication with each other, but by others widely separated, both by the ocean and by centuries of time. This festival is, moreover, held by all on or about the very day on which, according to the Mosaic account, the Deluge took place, viz., the seventeenth day of the second month—the month nearly corresponding with our November.” (London, 1904, Colonel J. Garnier, p. 4) Thus these celebrations actually began with an honoring of people whom God had destroyed because of their badness in Noah’s day.—Gen. 6:5-7; 7:11.

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  127. I just love the idea of making it a social event! Halloween is my ABSOLUTE favorite holiday and as I read your ideas of making a carnival or setting up games I began to picture it on my front lawn!!! My fiancée and I just bought a house and we didn’t really get to plan fun Halloween things for this year. But maybe someday when we have kids we can be that cool house of the block that everyone talks about!!! Love it🙂

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  128. I enjoyed reading your post and agree that we should take every opportunity to share Christ and His love for everyone! We have done this for years as a family- we get great candy and make sure that each person gets a gospel tract that we have put into a little bag with the candy. We look for very well done tracts, with cartoons or activities that will draw their attention and make reading easier. For a couple of years, we had a little side business downtown and every year they had a “munchkin parade” and we loved it! In about 2 hours, we gave out over 500 baggies of good candy and Gospel tracts for the kids. We need to look for every opportunity to share the Gospel. As the old preacher said years ago- “I’d go to hell and preach as long as I knew a had a return ticket”. Look for opportunities and stop hiding in the house! Chuck

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  129. I figure there are an awful lot of people out there who thump the bible and go to church who aren’t very good christians, so eating a piece of candy shaped like a pumpkin isn’t going to turn anyone into a devil worshipper, either.

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  130. Halloween can be a lot of fun silliness. I am a religious person myself, and dislike the gore-aspects that others love. However, as a chance to dress ridiculously, have an excuse to eat candy, and to decorate, Halloween can be a blast. And, it is also about saying a brief hello to your neighbors. It can be a friendly, fun holiday.

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  131. The holiday where excuses to act poorly are accepted. Toilet paper the house, egg the car, and other tricks that I will not mention. How about treats that are not sugar shockers and put the children into hyper. No I believe this is the one night I fear just because you never know how it is going to go. Christmas is gentle, Easter is spiritual and the Jewish Holidays festive. But Halloween would have been avoided by Jesus as it is now being celebrated. The Roman Soldiers with horns, the cross with people singing Christmas carols around it and egg throwing at the gladiators? I think I and my friend Jesus will pass.

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  132. Sooooooooooooo ….. I kinda took this as a rebuttal to my post the other day. I read this and then spent a few days thinking on it, considering what was said and determining if I would respond. Fact is it didn’t change my point of view at all and I do want to touch on a few points made. 1: If every single church going person is offended by another’s point of view that may differ from their’s…they need to grow up. None of us will agree on everything and it doesn’t make us better or worse than another! Challenging each other is never a bad thing tho. 2: It may be the only night that our neighbours will come knock on our doors, but why are we waiting for them to come knock on our doors anyway?? Seems to me we need to get over ourselves, suck up our fear, cross the property line and not use the the “one night of the year” (that is ironically based on fear) as our time to connect with our community after all aren’t WE supposed to “go into all the world” … last I checked it didn’t say wait for the world to come to you. 3: For those who either go out and do other things with their family or just simply turn out their lights to be accused of hiding seems rather unfair. Could it be that it’s the best way they have come up with so far to stand up for their beliefs….is it the perfect way??? Doubtful, but it’s their way. Funny how they’re not consider “religious nuts” if they stand up against abortion, human trafficking, drugs in our schools, evolution…..weird. As for people not realizing that “Jesus lives in a house with the lights out” …. if we’d consider crossing the property line then perhaps the neighbourhood would already know! 4: Yes Jesus understood blood, torture, gore, death,hell and the devil. However, I don’t find anywhere in scripture where He made an annual celebration of it. He took on all the darkness and horror of this world and of hell to conquer it, to set us free. I have never found since that His focus was on what He defeated, but rather it seems that His focus is on us, His love for us and His overwhelming desire for us to find our way back to Him. He went into hell so we don’t have to. 5: Whatever the historical and spiritual origins of Halloween should absolutely be a consideration as a Christian. Far too often we discount the spiritual aspect of things in life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everything bad is “the devil’s doing”, sometimes life is just hard because that’s what happens when sin makes things no longer perfect. But I wonder, are we opening doors to the dark spiritual realm into children’s lives?? Are some of the problems they have as the get older a result of things we expose them to for fun?? We wouldn’t let them watch horror movies or play Halo/Mortal Combat. I suppose I am reading way too much into Halloween after all I guess we do need to remember that our battle is IS with flesh and blood and NOT with the powers, rulers of darkness and principalities of the air….. good point!

    Dana

    (I know this is posted twice, but it dawned on me that the first time I didn’t sign my name)!

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    • Hey there. When you say you took this as a rebuttal to your post the other day, did you mean the comments, or the blog itself? This post was written a year ago. I just didn’t want you thinking my blog was an attempt at an internet war over Halloween. LOL! Thanks for your thoughts. It is nice there are people who can discuss this in a civilized manner.🙂

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  133. Sooooooooooooo ….. I read this and then spent a few days thinking on it, considering what was said and determining if I would respond. Fact is it didn’t change my point of view at all and I do want to touch on a few points made. 1: If every single church going person is offended by another’s point of view that may differ from their’s…they need to grow up. None of us will agree on everything and it doesn’t make us better or worse than another! Challenging each other is never a bad thing tho. 2: It may be the only night that our neighbours will come knock on our doors, but why are we waiting for them to come knock on our doors anyway?? Seems to me we need to get over ourselves, suck up our fear, cross the property line and not use the the “one night of the year” (that is ironically based on fear) as our time to connect with our community after all aren’t WE supposed to “go into all the world” … last I checked it didn’t say wait for the world to come to you. 3: For those who either go out and do other things with their family or just simply turn out their lights to be accused of hiding seems rather unfair. Could it be that it’s the best way they have come up with so far to stand up for their beliefs….is it the perfect way??? Doubtful, but it’s their way. Funny how they’re not consider “religious nuts” if they stand up against abortion, human trafficking, drugs in our schools, evolution…..weird. As for people not realizing that “Jesus lives in a house with the lights out” …. if we’d consider crossing the property line then perhaps the neighbourhood would already know! 4: Yes Jesus understood blood, torture, gore, death,hell and the devil. However, I don’t find anywhere in scripture where He made an annual celebration of it. He took on all the darkness and horror of this world and of hell to conquer it, to set us free. I have never found since that His focus was on what He defeated, but rather it seems that His focus is on us, His love for us and His overwhelming desire for us to find our way back to Him. He went into hell so we don’t have to. 5: Whatever the historical and spiritual origins of Halloween should absolutely be a consideration as a Christian. Far too often we discount the spiritual aspect of things in life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everything bad is “the devil’s doing”, sometimes life is just hard because that’s what happens when sin makes things no longer perfect. But I wonder, are we opening doors to the dark spiritual realm into children’s lives?? Are some of the problems they have as the get older a result of things we expose them to for fun?? We wouldn’t let them watch horror movies or play Halo/Mortal Combat. I suppose I am reading way too much into Halloween after all I guess we do need to remember that our battle is IS with flesh and blood and NOT with the powers, rulers of darkness and principalities of the air….. good point!

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  134. Are you so blind and
    cannot see that this day is a very evil day and how sad it is that this day is the only time you reach out to your neighbors.
    Jesus said be careful little eyes what you see be careful little ears what you hear for father up above is looking down with love and be careful little child what you see and do.
    if it is not something that you will do in heaven do not do it on Earth do you think Jesus is happy when we take part in a day that is set up for satan and call it a holliaday satan is working overtime because he knows his time is short before Christ returns and we as christians not just churchgoers need to know that we are in this world but not to take part of this world that doesn’t honor God we are not to pay tricks just to get treats and his children should not go begging.
    it is a night at we all as Christian need to be in pray more thin any time of the year that is what I will be doing I will be praying that God in Jesus name will take off your bandages from your eyes like he did for me so you can see the trueth be carful on what you chues to do but know greatter is He the is in us then he that is in is fallen world.

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    • Dear Anonymous( there sure are a lot of you on this thread) ~ you are so deluded and mistaken on many fronts. I think you need to go back and read this post. First of all, Jenna( the blogger of this page) did NOT say that this is the only time she reaches out to neighbours. She said…and I’m repeating myself for the 600th time….that this is the ONLY DAY when your neighbours come to you. Next up: This is not Satan’s Day. Who told you that? Did God tell you that? Isn’t every day the Lord’s day? If you think that God is not big enough to handle one day on the calendar then your God is not big enough. Next….why and how is it evil for kids to go trick or treating? Are you placing judgment and condemnation on those who take their kids out on Halloween? Like I said, go back and read this post with open eyes and and open heart and then read the follow up. I’m thinking maybe your are the one with scales on your eyes. Oh and one other thing, “Oh be careful little eyes what you see….” That’s an old Sunday School song. It is not scripture. Jesus never said that. So don’t quote things and attribute them to the Son of God without quoting the scripture reference. Thanks.

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      • Thank you Juanita…….Well said! I am thankful that someone ,Jenna, had the heart to write this. In our neighbourhood people get together in the summer, sit on a selected driveway and have a beer….in some peoples eyes it can be taken the same way as some of these folks are harping about Halloween…I believe the devil is very real and has a host of demons that are sent to temp and plague us. Light rebukes darkness. Get over yourselves and be the light that God requires of us whether it’s
        Halloween or any other given day of the year.

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      • “If you think that God is not big enough to handle one day on the calendar then your God is not big enough”
        Well said, and I’m thankful that every single day is a day that the Lord has made, and we will rejoice and be glad in it.

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  135. This is for the person who said halloween originated as a Christian event not pagan….it was Celtic…they believed it was the night that evil spirits came out and they would dress up in scary costumes so they would not be recognized as human beings. They would make jack-o-lanterns to ward off the evil spirits. I disagree to a point also, yes we are called to love our neighbours, BUT if we only do it once a year, while most others are celebrating the death and gore of halloween, what kind of example are we setting? And no I do not agree with turning out the lights and pretending you are not home, that is rude. But you can still answer the door, not hand anything out and still give a smile and say “I am sorry but we don’t celebrate halloween…” That wouldn’t be too hard. But, yes, each to their own, what gets me is that in the public schools they put on a halloween event and at my child’s school, they are even told to bring money to support it. Not just mentioned to maybe bring an offering if you wish.

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  136. Would you say the same holds true for a ouija board? Despite its intent, can it be innocent fun? I think your assumptions are incorrect. How well are your neighbors seeing how you live in a 20 second encounter. Wouldn’t it be better and more fruitful to create deliberate interactions with your neighbors? You are implying that we should change our behavior when it does not interfere with you. I have spent time in prayer on this issue and am comfortable with my decision not to celebrate it.

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    • Dear Anon(using your own name would be beneficial)…as has been stated multiple times in the posts and in the comments , Jenna never implied that EVERYONE should participate. Please re-read the post before getting all defensive. From the follow up post, Give Them Potatoes “And sometimes we need to question why we do the things we do. For some of us, it might mean we change the way we do things. For some of us it might not. There are people who have real and valid traumatic associations when it comes to Halloween. There are people who don’t care or can’t be bothered. And that’s fine. ” and from THIS post “You may still hate Halloween and avoid it at all costs. That’s fair. It’s not for everybody.” Also, I think you have missed the entire MAJOR point of the entire blog: God is bigger than Halloween and all the other crappy days in the year. He is also not afraid of it. It is also NOT EVIL for someone to hand out candy nor is it evil for parents to take their kids out trick or treating. This is the ONE SINGLE DAY in the entire calendar year when your neighbours will actually come to you. That is the point. Simple. If you don’t want to, don’t. I do sometimes and other times I feel like I don’t want to be bothered. Neither one makes me sinful UNLESS I’m choosing to NOT be visible to condemn those outside my door. That is sin.

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  137. I feel so much the same as you. I don’t love the night, I don’t hate the night. I like the fun my kids have dressing up, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to love on my neighbors. We pull the fire put into the drive and pull out the soccer chairs. We offer hot cider and hot chocolate. We have a ball building relationships.

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  138. Seems to me this is a case of eating meet sacrificed to idols. (look it up in your bible) Paul says that some are able to do it, because they realize the idols are nothing. Others can’t because they still think of the idols as having power in the world. We are not worse if we do not eat, no better if we do. I recognize that God is over all and nothing else has true power. So I can partake in trick or treating. Others may see “demonic power” at work, so they won’t participate. However, when we claim that “my way” of seeing this is the only way, we create dissension in the body of Christ.
    But look at these words “If some unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience.”

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  139. Finally someone with the right response. Amen!! Totally agree with you. American Christians…you simply can’t tell them apart from the world. They say they are believers but act they aren’t. Thanks so much for your response!!!

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  140. thanks for your words. We give out big candy bars (and little ones too since they get expensive and we have SO many trick-or-treaters) and we put up a table on the lawn with hot chocolate. My husband makes a game of giving out the candy. It’s a great way to meet people and get to know our neighbors and the community. I’m not a big fan of Halloween, but how often do you have the opportunity to say hi to half of the community at once!

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  141. Here’s the problem I have with your post..I can almost guarantee you that 90% of people who “celebrate” Halloween (the kids and the parents who take them out) do NOT have the Occult, Satan or even God in mind when they are getting their little one dressed to go out, or buying the candy to hand out, or even opening the door to a child dressed as Spiderman. Most parents if not all will take their kids to the houses that look safe, inviting and friendly and will avoid houses that look like they ARE thinking about the Occult or Satan, because…ya, no thanks. Are parents even thinking about their kids souls being “stolen” by Satan while trick or treating? No. They are worried about how cold their child is in their costume, they are worried that some weirdo will be sticking razor blades in apples, and they are worried about how they will be getting their kids to bed after all the sugar they will be eating.
    Do all of the activities a Christian participates in have to centre around a nice neat bible story? Seems not, because I am pretty sure “harvest parties” are a solution for some Christians to celebrate the same holiday, except that they deny that they are still celebrating Halloween and inside they truly believe it, as they are solidly confined within their own comfy bubble (and yes, I have been to harvest parties before, as I grew up in the Christian church). The pure fact that we don’t even really KNOW the true origins (pagan? Celtic?) of Halloween tells me that it’s roots are NOT relevant (the original tradition is lost) and therefore it is what we make of it, a tradition rooted purely in culture and nothing more. If you don’t want to celebrate traditions of culture, that is fine, but it will change every single holiday for you…
    Think about how and why Christians celebrate Christmas. The birth of Christ right?…so where did the Christmas tree idea come from? And the turkey dinner? Christians even KNOW the origins of this holiday, yet they still celebrate it in a way that looks nothing like its origins. Our traditions are almost entirely cultural (the details are certainly not biblical) and we have made it what we made it. But you know what, who cares! Because it doesn’t matter! We do it because it’s fun, it’s tradition and it is FUN. Is that evil? Is it blasphemous? Am I going to open myself up to satan because I trick or treat, or hand out candy? No more than I would talking to my neighbor on October 30th or November 1st.

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  142. I appreciate your stance to want to share the good news with your neighbors… this is something we should do whenever we can. I have had different reflections and prayerful research of God’s Word of this day. I learned that God told us to cast out demons, not draw near to them. There are many ways we can show love to our neighbors without having to participate in Halloween. Candy is not good for our vessels anyway, right? We should be outreaching to our neighbors in the light, not the darkness. I will not feel bad as a follower of Christ because I chose not to participate in a day created as a Sabbat for witchcraft. As the words of Mike Nichols, a Pagan Witch, says of this day we call Halloween, “Nonetheless, it seems only right that there should be one night of the year when our minds are turned toward thoughts of the supernatural. A night when both Pagans and non-Pagans may ponder the mysteries of the Otherworld and its inhabitants.” You see, there are many things happening in the spiritual world on this day. Satanist and witches do holdup this day. Demons are real and they cast themselves as beings of the light. Though,our Lord and Savior has conquered the grave and will set prisoners free to those who call upon His name and repent from their evil ways… I do not feel this gives me liberty to partake of a day given to Pagans. The Lord is the LIGHT of the world… “trick or treat” has always been something done in the darkness… Why? Because people want excitement and just a “little bit of evil” tied into it. We, as Christians, want to have fun and partake of the ways of the world…. we want to blend in and not be set apart. We are reminded in Ephesians 5:9-11, “Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Of demons… 1 Corinthians 10:20-22, “Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?”
    When my eldest son was about 6-7, he saw one of those witches that you see plastered on telephone poles at this time of year, but this one was smashed on the outside of someone’s home, and my son said, “mom, why is that witch trying to get into that persons home?” I thought… hmmm. Out of the mouth of babes…. the witch is trying to get in through deception. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons…” 1 Timothy 4:1
    This is shared to show that many times we take lightly what God did not mean for us to take lightly. We can have FUN all through the year and praise God for the good things He has given us and the saving grace and mercy He shows every day… We do not need to wait to dress up for darkness or dress up for candy.
    May we say with all certainty that witches, sorcery, darkness, divinations and vampires are evil. “When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:9-11)
    I would say Christians who are “genuine in the community and genuine in their relationship with others” will want to share Jesus at all times. It is His love that compels us to share TRUTH, The Truth that sets people free. The biggest candy bar on the block will not get people to heaven.

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  143. I don’t like the darkness of this holiday and when the kids were preschoolers we didn’t go out, but handed out candy. Unlike most people I have gotten to know my neigbors quite well, and many have joined me in Bible study. This year I am hosting my neighbors to hot dogs and chili in my driveway with a sampling of good candy! I think we need to have limits but be engaged. For our family we only do harvest decorations and no occult costumes.

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  144. Anonymous, that is your real name, right? Umm….is Oct 31 REALLY a satanic night of worship? Where? According to whom? I don’t worship Satan on Oct. 31. Come to think of it, no one I know does. Actually, no one I know- not churched, unchurched, athiest, Muslim, Mormon, JWs, no one I know worships the devil. And since you seem to know so much about the Father’s heart being hurt on this one night of the year, tell me, is His heart hurting for all of your devil-worshipping neighbours who are taking their poor little devil-worshipping children out for a night of helter skelter toil and trouble? Must be scary where you live. Better batten down the hatches and close all the windows. I think you need re-read this post and the follow up. Because when you say “How can you think that because the house doesn’t have anything horrible out the front that it’s ok.” it makes me think you didn’t read this blog at all. Like….AT ALL. Seriously.

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  145. I can’t even suffer through many of the RIDICULOUS comments in response to this blog.

    So many of you who call yourselves Christians are talking about “satan’s day” and how it is “his” holiday…BLAH BLAH BLAH. And “boo-hoo, we can’t give satan an inch so I’m going to cower in my house with the lights off….”.

    LIKE, REALLY?!?!?! Is this what this generation of “Christians” is all about?!?!? So this day “belongs” to the devil, now does it???? Well, not in my world. I, for one would rather TAKE THIS DAY BACK. Why should I keep my mouth and my door shut and just LET HIM HAVE IT?!?!?!

    STAND UP. BE BOLD. TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS AND OPEN YOUR DOORS. If you don’t want to “do Halloween”, FINE. DON’T. But why would you turn down ANY opportunity to show the love of God?!?!? Why don’t you stop JUDGING and CRITICIZING the people that do participate and instead, show them who Jesus is?!?!? Just like Jenna said in her blog, Jesus isn’t afraid of Halloween.

    SO WHY THE HECK ARE YOU?!?!?! DO YOU NOT HAVE THE SAME SPIRIT??? THE SAME POWER TO HEAL AND CAST OUT DEMONS???????? Seriously people. Open your Bibles and read about that, will ya?

    It makes me sick and ALARMS me that so many are so paralyzed by this. Don’t you get it?!?! *THAT* IS EXACTLY WHAT THE DEVIL WANTS. There. I said it. You are doing MORE HARM by leaving your lights off and sticking with your good little Christian friends at your good little “Harvest Parties” because you are rendering yourself INVISIBLE to the world. And if there is a night that the world needs Christians…..it’s probably Halloween.

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    • wow… this is so sad… I stand up, and I am rather bold… I don’t let the enemy have any day by choice… though sometimes I fail… I am not paralyzed, but I also don’t chose to celebrate this holiday – I am more than willing to chat with someone about why, I have friends that do & friends that don’t… and I try very, very hard to not judge… and sometimes I fail… I am very sad by some of these responses… and all this fighting? That is what the enemy of our soul wants… to kill, steal, and destroy… it seems successful with some of these responses…

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      • Good! I’m glad that you stand up and are bold. that is what I believe we need to do! And I’m not saying, just as the blog is not saying that you have to participate in all the “Halloween” stuff. My comment was very clearly in response to the people who are hiding in their houses and refusing to show love because the day “belongs” to the devil.

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      • Christians who choose not to participate are not “hiding in their houses”. They are choosing to spend time with their family without having to partake of the “world’s made up holiday”. Satanist and witches will tell you this is a high holiday for them… whether you want to believe it or not. Each of us must follow the Lord and His Word, not man. We have 365 days in the year to outreach to others… may we use our days and hours wisely for His glory.

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      • “Each of us must follow the Lord and His Word, not man. We have 365 days in the year to outreach to others…may we use our days and hours wisely for His glory” These are you very words Cher. I believe the author of the article was also trying to make this point. Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding. He hung out with sinners and was also called a sinner and a glutton…and yet…He never sinned. He was in the world but not of it. He forged relationships instead of being legalistic. Just because a practicing witch or satanist “claims” Halloween as their day, doesn’t make it so in the end. The Word says that this is the day that the Lord has made. If you choose to take that one day to spend it with your family because you don’t agree with it, that’s your CHOICE. Just like it’s the CHOICE of others to see the evangelistic opportunity of this day to reach out to others. And it’s OK if you choose not to. Not everyone is called to evangelize (Romans 12). And yes, we do have 365 days a year to reach out to others. The author of the blog stated that. I feel her point was meant for those Christians (mind you, I don’t mean ALL Christians) use the one day as an excuse to get out of having to love their neighbor by hiding behind legalism. If you choose to not participate in Halloween for reasons other than that, then you shouldn’t be offended by Sara’s comment or the blog. If you are offended by it, maybe it’s time to do some soul searching and be real with yourself. The rest of the world can see right through us when we lie to ourselves, and it’s nothing but a big turn of to them. How, then, is that showing the world Christ?

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  146. To quote the follow up blog;
    “If God cannot use you to love your neighbor on Halloween, or any other day of the year,

    your God is too small.”

    Quit patting yourselves on the back, acting like you are better than ANYONE else. You sound like a bunch of hypocritical Pharisees.

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  147. maybe you need to lay off the dog-poop cookies. it’s making you a little condescending – which isn’t any better than Satan worship/witchcraft

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  148. I think you have some good points; However, I also think you have some ignorant points. You can’t lump “Christians” into a large group of people who choose not to celebrate Halloween. I’m a solid Christian who loves Jesus and is not a wing nut…and I choose to let my kids dress up and participate. And I may add, my costume usually trumps most.
    There are many reasons why people may not celebrate, and I can tell you as someone who mainly knows Christians….we are the ones that buy the bigger chocolate bars, and pray for all the people who will darken our doorstep Halloween night. We are also the ones who do “Harvest parties” at the church just as most cities have tailgate parties in their community hall as some feel it is a safer environment. So, it is not “The typical response of Christians” That is a broad, and ignorant (meaning: lack of knowledge) response.
    I think you have done the exact thing you blame Christians of doing; making it into something it’s not. Some people are home-some are at their neighborhood parties, some have two or three toddlers and need both set of hands when making their rounds, some are elderly and can’t afford the $100 woth of candy, and some just plain out don’t do it. Not Christians-people.

    Just saying, as I’m tired of non-Christians thinking they understand Christians, and we are all the same. We are fallible people who recognize the need of the Redeemer…and it is not a bunch of laws and do’s and don’ts.

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  149. Most of all my Christian friends now celebrate Halloween without a second thought. I didn’t know it was still a polarising issue with American Christians. In the UK we have bonfire night on November the 5th which is a great night for fireworks, chilli, neighbourhood parties, and being “out”. Trick r Treating on Halloween is not so big so you’re not seen as unfriendly or weird if you’re not in or answering your door, so in a sense we can still “get away with” not celebrating it as it’s still not that big a deal. Our local “bright lights party” actually has lots of unchurched kids going to it as many parents just don’t like the idea of trick or treating and feel it’s unsafe and just downright rude (british shyness/politeness). We are out and about in our community most day of the year so if we choose to not partake in Halloween it’s not seen as a real social faux pas as it would be in the States. My husband is an ex-pagan so to him it’s just a no brainer…..we don’t do it. I also have pagan friends who don’t celebrate Christmas and I totally respect that. However if I was living in the States I am not quite sure how I’d handle it. It really is hard to ignore. One thing I do agree is that we should in no way be afraid of, intimidated by, or feeling the need to “run away” from the day, or put up walls in ways that make your every day trick r treater feel judged…however to what level we participate is obviously a matter of individual conscience, conviction, and calling. It’s funny as I grew up in American Christian subculture and have broken away in many ways, I’m politically more liberal, enjoy a glass of wine, and struggle with Christian subculture in general….but this is one one thing I’m still pretty old school on

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  150. Interesting thoughts. Halloween is probably one of the greatest controversies of the Christian faith. I struggled with the right and wrong of it for years. My daughter went trick-or-treating for the first time in her life two years ago. She was ten. You can read about my thoughts on it here. http://melindatarcon.blogspot.ca/

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  151. Here’s the deal: As parents, it’s our job to use the teachable moment. We can use it badly at times, but mostly we want to use it well and for good. Our children CANNOT be protected from evil, or things that will do harm. They CAN be carefully introduced to them so that the danger is known, understood, and not feared but respected for the power it has and doesn’t have.

    We need to help our children cope with calamity and horror with the tools that enhance courage more than despair. Like Fred Rogers said: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” This is what we do on Halloween, in a way. We take the power AWAY from what evil they may encounter when we are not present.

    GK Chesterson said something important about this, too: “What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.”
    Tremendous Trifles (1909)

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  152. Dear Jackie, so handing out candy is evil? Taking your kids down the street to the neighbour’s is evil? Is having a pumpkin on your step evil too? What about movies- are THOSE evil? What exactly is evil to you? Are you saying a scary mask is evil because it’s scary? I suppose then mice and snakes and bugs are evil because I find them all scary. So “camoflauging” with the “rest of the world” by being out and visible and a light, by showing love and grace and peace and happiness…that’s all evil, right? What you have just done here is condemn every single person who has ever trick or treated, handed out candy or carved a pumpkin to Hell. I’m sure you’re fine with that but Good Lord I’m happy to not live in your neighbourhood. Your neighbours must be scared of you and your judgment.

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  153. HI great blog!!! My mother in-law always gives out glow bracelets as well as candy. We used to live next door to her but have moved. we gave out the glow bracelets last year and ran out. I had kids running to the door saying”is this where you get the glow bracelets?” So we are stocking up this year because we are now known as the house that gives out the glow bracelets (and candy bracelets) Just thought I would share since its different and fun!

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  154. Wow. I love your blog troublefacemom. I am an evangelical Christian and have been raised as such since I was a baby. I love Jesus. Initially, as a child, no one EVER said anything about Halloween being evil, so it was never a thought in my house. And trust me, my dad would have been all over it if it had been. Then, when we moved to Louisiana, we started hearing of the evils of Halloween. That’s the first time I had ever heard of the notion of simply not trick-or-treating or giving treats to children. As an adult, I had to make a choice. I see it the way you do. If you close your home, turn off your lights, and say no to the little princesses and superheros (and yes, sometimes the vampires) who come to your door…what message are you sending? I feel the way you do. Open that door up and pass out the candy. In fact, my husband and I pull out the fire pit and have hot chocolate and take the opportunity to talk to our neighbors. Unfortunately in our society, neighbor talking doesn’t happen much except for the ones right next door…so we meet people all over the street we would normally not have the pleasure to meet. Thanks for posting! And…you aren’t offending every Christian out there at all…so don’t assume it. TONS of Christians I know feel the same way….

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  155. THAT night? honey its just a date which happens to have a label on it.. whats wrong with reaching out to people on Oct 31?!!

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  156. i think some neighbors would actually be offended at you insinuating that they celebrate and participate and worship the Devil

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  157. Some people leave their lights off simply because they have no interest in it. I had no interest as a child or teenager, and no interest now. I don’t have children so there’s nothing drawing me to it. Why should I celebrate something I’m not interested in? I have participated in giving away candy, and you’re quite wrong in it being that neighbors want to meet their neighbors. No one ever introduced themselves, asked who we were or anything like that. They wanted their candy, got it, and left.

    I leave my lights off because I don’t want to answer my door every 30 seconds to tell someone I have no interest in Halloween. People don’t have to celebrate it if they don’t want to. Doesn’t have anything to do with being Christian for some people.

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  158. As a YoungLife leader and fellow follower of Christ I just want to say a huge THANK YOU! This is the heart of why I work with YoungLife to be a small picture of God’s love to those who need it or are turned off by it by just simply doing the love part in a way that will really speak to them. Well said!

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  159. I think our goal should be to show Christ’s love in whatever we do. How we do that will vary greatly according to the particulars of our individual lives. Any kind of legalism (strictly following rules because we think it will make us holier) is wrong. For many families, the ideas in this blog post, as well as some in the comments, will be great ways to show love to their neighbors. Others who have been traumatized by past experiences are right to avoid similar events. But anyone who thinks that their own experiences are the basis for rules that other families should follow is missing the mark.

    I would never choose to raise my kids in an inner city neighborhood, or the jungles of South America, or in a muslim country, but there are Christian families in all those places and many more, spreading the Light where God has called them to be. If you feel that God is calling you to do this type of outreach, than NOT doing it is just as wrong as not doing anything else that God puts on your heart. Be the light. Don’t be the candle-snuffer putting out someone else’s light.

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  160. And this is the only night when you ringing their door bell is not an inconvenience! You can never go wrong with making personal connections. Last year as we went to our neighbors I made a little “treat” bag for them with a note thanking them for being or neighbors. It went over really well. So anyway, great article!

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  161. Very interesting!! I am a Christian and personally I don’t see anything wrong with Halloween as it was based on a Jewish Holiday known as ALL Hallow’s Eve. Since Jesus was a Jew I can’t help but wonder… Also how many of us good living people love Christmas? I do!! How many of us good living Christians get presents ? I do!! How many people put up a Christmas tree? I do!! And how many of us take our Children to see Santa Clause? I would if I had children. Guess what Christmas is based on Paganism. Every single thing from the tree, the gift giving to big old Red himself is all pagan tradition. In fact in Jeremiah there is a verse about decorated trees being brought into the house because it symbolizes worship.

    As a Christian I find it very difficult to what we see and deem as right and wrong. I have a strong faith in Jesus and believe with my whole heart but; let me tell yah sometimes I find extreme Christians to be wing nuts. They condemn one thing and mark the other one down as fine in accordance with the bible. I don’t know what God would be offended by more having people participate in a day that is meant for innocent child’s play while dressing in attire that is somewhat gory and scary. Or, participating in pagan tradition and slapping name on the front of it. Just my thought.

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    • It’s not a Jewish holiday, but a pagan one. Observant Jews do not celebrate Halloween. We give out candy, but I know Jews who turn off the porch lights and do not give it out.

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  162. I love the part about getting to know your neighbors and being good to the neighborhood cildren. But, please don’t be so critical of everyone that has their lights off. My 85 year old mother kept hers off because she fell a lot and would not have been able to lean over and give out candy. This was for her safety because of her health! I feel like you lumped everyone with their lights off into one category! There are always exceptions!

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    • You guys are right, I did lump everybody into that category in my writing, but that is certainly not how I feel! There are lots of people who can’t answer their doors for the reason you described. And honestly, my city has a huge immigrant population, many of whom don’t even know what Halloween is, let alone what they’re supposed to do with it. Blessings. Thanks to you (and others) who have pointed out this error.

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  163. It’s you Christians, who make those Christians, feel like they’re not Christians, when everyone knows, I’M THE BEST CHRISTIAN. FYI, that’s what this entire comment section reads like. So…everybody relax.

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  164. what? could you say where that is in the bible? Go out and meet your neighbours, even if they are not Christians…and dress-up have some fun life is to short not to……….

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  165. quick question… why not do any of that on another day? My light should always be on, I should be meeting and serving them every day of the week… if i only am doing that on halloween what does that say about me?

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  166. I am a Christian church-goer and I straight up LOVE Halloween. I have a son, born on Halloween who will be 4 this year. We go to the trunk or treats and I am taking him trick or treating this year. I think that as long we teach our children that all the spooky stuff is make believe, no harm, no foul. I also totally agree about it being one of the few nights a year when people are welcoming to their neighbors. Halloween? Bring it on!

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  167. Excellent article!! As Christians we often have one of two responses to Halloween: the Fundamentalist condemnation of the world from which we retreat (even though John 3:17 scolds us about that), or, the Evangelical “let’s show them God’s grace and Good News while we can”. The former tends to be a little too self-righteous for me; the latter is more what Jesus had in mind for advancing the Kingdom. Great time of year, BTW, to put kid’s oriented Gospel tracts into their bags. Some might even dress up as Jesus handing out candies. And since blood and gore are Halloween now, why not have a crooked cross with a fake body dripping in blood on the lawn? …..or a prison scene with disciples and/or missionaries bruised and battered, and a sign that says “tortured for their faith in Jesus”? We can be creative too!

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    • you didn’t see how many people responded because they were offended at one portion of the article? you don’t see those people apologizing for their over-zealous comments, do you?

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  168. I’m still up in the air on Halloween, but I have a question for you all against Halloween, do you celebrate Christmas and Easter? These holiday’s roots are pagan as well.

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    • We gave up Xmas and easter. We celebrate the days outlined in Leviticus 23. After the “city on a hill” bit, Jesus talks a lot about persecution. Probably because he knows that truly being set apart and shining His light would make us look really weird, and invite persecution. Like Passover/Sabbath/Hannukah weird.

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  169. I enjoyed most of the article, but, it is ESENTIAL that we love our neighbors, and share the truth of the gospel! Isn’t that what Jesus did? It is God’s word that has the power onto salvation! I can remember how nice my neighbor was 20 years ago but still die and go to hell without knowing the way to salvation. Very sad, that this was mentioned last in the article and downplayed like it has no importance; it is THE most important thing! We can share God’s truth in love and gentileness…this is ultimately loving our neighbor!

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  170. Great thoughts… We long ago decided to “take back the night” and be a light as you described. It opens doors into the hearts of the neighbours. Apostle Paul walked among a whole bunch of statues to foreign Gods, and used those idols to point to the one true God… lets be smart.. take back the night Christians!

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  171. Awesome! thank you for being so non-religious and FREE! This post really affected me even though we don’t have kids. You seriously made me think. Thank you!

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  172. Bravo, TroublefaceMom! I was raised by a God fearing woman who knew both sides of this and other issues. She also understood the value of having fun with life and with other people. She also knew the value of not ‘thumping’ everyone with her Bible, but treating everyone with love. We had fun with goblins at Halloween, Santa at Christmas and Bunnies at Easter, but we also knew the “real story” behind it all! It was a “healthy” place for this little boy to grow up. I’m 66 years old now and when I grow up I wanna be just like Mom!

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  173. What ever happened to the good old days, the days where the apostolic spirit (cultural transformation) was alive and well in the hearts of Christians?

    We took Saturnalias and turned it into Christmas.

    We took the Spring Festival and turned it into Easter.

    Why then is the thought of TAKING BACK what was ours, All Saints (All Hallow’s) Eve? A time where Christians celebrated brethren who have fallen asleep (died), especially martyrs. If Halloween offends you, then so should Christmas and Easter.

    But it all depends on who’s voice you believe: Satan says the world is going to hell in a hand basket, and things will only get worse. God says that to the increase of His government and rule there will be no end, and that His kingdom will come and His will done on earth as in heaven.

    Darkness is just the absence of light. How about we take the bushels off our heads and make light of darkness?

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  174. Ummmm, some times, the lights are out and the house is dark because we’re out with our own little trick or treaters. Please don’t lump us all in the category of haters or religious nuts.

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  175. Reading comments brought this passage to my mind. Just stay aware that our actions, although fine and okay to some, could be a stumbling block to others. Romans chapter 14.

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  176. The real event is All Saints Day! Celtic legends is that legends. Pagans traditions were expected by the Christians to welcome them into the Christian way of life. Culture and faith brought together. Our culture has changed (for the worse). Halloween wasn’t celebrated until the end of wwII. Death is real, praying for all is Gods will.

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  177. We used to kid around with our kids that Halloween was Satan’s birthday. Always had tons of fun walking around, keeping up with the kids, beer or wine in hand, hanging with the neighbors. Great night for communing with folks you don’t see often enough. BTW, I’m a pastor…

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  178. I appreciate your blog on Halloween. My daughter is now across the country in University, but I remember that Halloween to her was the fun of dressing up. I used to sew many things for her, but in the Arctic, October 31st is usually freezing. In addition, I was usually at work. I began to give her a bucket of candy and dress her up, and she would go from office to office in the Courthouse where I was stationed and “deliver” to the adults there. They were blessed, she was blessed and since then Halloween has never been the same

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  179. Reading the comments on this blog has been wonderful! I am not against church Halloween parties at all – the point I failed at making on that is that it’s still a Halloween party, even if you call it something different🙂

    And obviously, if Halloween triggers trauma or is simply not something one wishes to celebrate, they shouldn’t celebrate it. Plain and simple. No condemnation. There are many other ways to love our neighbours throughout the year.

    I don’t think it’s an all or nothing thing, in either direction. Discernment over what is best for your own families and communities is more important that what one obscure blogger on the internet has to say😉

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    • Hi Jenna,

      I am one of those people who encountered your blog post because it has gone viral. It went viral, I suppose, because you touched right on the nerve. Your post was well written and straight forward without being rude or particularly condemning. Good job. And, as I have already said in a few comments above, I really like the idea you are wanting to get across (or at least it was the idea that I got from what you wrote) that we need to be out there doing something to communicate love and acceptance. I agree with that, but I think it does not go quite far enough (see my comment somewhere above).

      I want to question something you said in this comment. Is it really “still a Halloween party, even if you call it something different”? I am not sure that’s true. I think it is a fairly safe assumption that most churches (or families) that offer “alternative activities” to Halloween are encouraging those that come to *think* about the costumes they may wear (if any) and remind people that it really is important that we know what we are communicating. The fact that these alternative activities, whatever they may be called, are designed to celebrate something positive makes them something fundamentally different than what Halloween is celebrating.

      Yes, I know that young children, the average parent of young children, and most older adults are not deliberately participating in Halloween as a celebration of sin, evil, death, or destruction. But having said that, it is undeniable that for older children, teens, and many (most!) of the adults that still celebrate Halloween themselves, it is very much a celebration of one or more of those things. And it is very quickly becoming more and more culturally acceptably to do so! And then there is the matter of the selfishness (give me! give me!) that is… well that’s another whole discussion. It is little wonder that Christians do not want to be associated with that.

      But you are right! We *do* need to be engaging our communities. So here is the hard part, at least as I see it: how can we be engaging our neighbors and communicating love, acceptance, and the Gospel *without* communicating a willing participation in a celebration of any of those other things (sin, evil, death, or destruction) and without communicating condemnation (Jn. 3:17). Whatever we do, it must be well thought out and its communication must be abundantly clear. In my opinion, just simply participating does not do it. That is no different than what anybody else is doing. You suggested some good ideas that I think are great starting points. Others have made comments that have suggested some really good ideas too! But our message, however we package it, must not get lost in the packaging. The message of God’s love and forgiveness must be front and center!

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      • Bob Crozier… I love the tone of your reply. I also think that the alternative activities are not Halloween parties and so should have a different name. Also I agree that “just simply participating does not do it”. Love your last line was well as the respectful way you make your arguments.

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    • “Be set apart…”
      “even the elect will be deceived”😦
      “we wrestle not against flesh & blood, but pricipalities…”
      We should be “a witness” 364 days, not the most holy day for Satan! You are accountable to God for every word you say and don’t say😦

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  180. I have been “undecided” about this subject for many years, until now. Thank you for sharing this post and your heart on this matter.
    After many years of hiding during this night… I am excited. I don’t want to be religious anymore. Jesus wasn’t religious, he was relational. I want to be like him.

    A few years ago…our small church wanted to do something sort of…out of the box..during this season. We did not partake in the traditions of this holiday but wanted to be a light to the community so we decided to do a reverse of trick or treating. We collected bottles of soda, bags of candy, bags of microwave popcorn, small bibles, and our media guys put together a DVD of each of our departments in the church. Our youth group, ladies ministry, men’s ministry, Sunday school, kids ministry, worship team, and even our nursery. We made over 200 copies! We then bagged up a couple bottles of soda, some candy, bags of unpopped popcorn, a bible and a DVD, tied the bag with pretty raffia …dressed in our bible character costume …and we went door to door in small groups. Instead of taking candy…we gave the goody bags. It was amazing to see the response from the community.
    I’m not gonna be afraid of this holiday anymore.

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    • I think it’s really interesting that your church decided to go door to door and give people treats and a blessing. How original. I wonder if they encountered any people who would not be able to leave their homes, but welcomed the visit? I remember hearing about a Christian group setting up a confessional at some kind of college campus or event. But when people got in the confessional, it was the Christians confessing their sins – not taking the confessions of others. Your post kind of reminds me of that.

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    • Another great idea! This engages people and the community. It communicates love and acceptance and (I assume) the Gospel without communicating a participation in a celebration of sin or a sense of condemnation (Jn. 3:17). Well done!

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  181. I attended a Halloween gathering only to find that it was a Samhain circle. I was in another state and I was driven there by the people who invited me. The members chanted in a circle to a goddess of death and burned pieces of paper putting an end to a chapter in their life. Some parts of it sounded good and even beautiful, but I was in shock to witness it and have no way to leave, no way to opt out once I understood.

    My small family has participated in social customs quietly, like dressing up for friend’s gatherings or offering candy without drawing attention to the holiday itself, but now knowing what the day really celebrates, I have been on the fence about participating.

    I know now I do not want to make a deal of Halloween. I don’t want to be the best house to get candy from, or the most decorated. I think that would show I’m condoning commercialism. I don’t want to draw attention to a holiday that I wish to attach no part of my heart. I think I need to be the best neighbor I can be without having to wait for someone to knock at my door for candy. I hope that my neighbors know me well enough so that when October 31 rolls around, no one would think ill of me for opting out of something I am not comfortable celebrating or magnifying. I honestly hope my quiet house shows a message; that this year, I know where I stand.

    Sadly, so many comments here show a lack of general friendliness and edification. And sadly, I see more argument than accord, and I certainly don’t see the peace that surpasses understanding among how we have talked and treated one another. Maybe next time, we can bolster one another in love and say, “Friends, let’s use this Halloween as a way to show love to our neighbors. Here’s some ideas” instead of wagging our fingers about what is wrong with us. Just a friendly suggestion. Blessings!

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  182. As someone who was saved out of witch craft and satanism, I have rebuked everything to do with it. And this time of the year is exhausting for me. I am constantly having to explain myself and deal with all the judgments from OTHER BELIEVERS for my conviction to have NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. I do not judge others for their decisions to part take in any festivities yet I am constantly barraged with condescending comments and holier than thou “we just do that or this” justifications for their involvement. So if you are sitting locked up on your couch for the other 364 days out of the year than celebrating any part of halloween is the least of your problems and i just have to say that I find it highly suspicious when so many believers who don’t evangelize the rest of the year use evangelism as their justification for taking part in something that is obviously not of God just so you can ‘get some candy and have some fun’. Stand by your convictions. If you really don’t see the harm in celebrating this day then quit making others who don’t agree with you defend themselves so you can feel better about your decision.

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    • Good came of this discussion for me: It helped me decide to have a quiet house this Halloween. I appreciate your reply greatly!

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    • Halloween is obviously a difficult time for you. There is no reason to feel you have to defend yourself. Not at all. I’m sorry that you’ve been made to feel that way by other believers. And I certainly hope you don’t feel that way because of me! There are other things I avoid, that other Christians are able to handle no problem. You are not alone in that. Mine just doesn’t happen to be Halloween. Your story may be incredibly helpful to others coming out of the same darkness as you have. Please keep telling it.

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  183. I never went trick or treating and I personally never missed it, so for me that is not the issue. I do like the idea of using the opportunity to evangelize! I just didn’t know how to. For the past few years we have been going to our church for harvest fest. Not to try to trick myself or others but rather for the communion of saints I experience. I don’t wish to judge others hearts it isn’t about that for me at all but rather what I find upbuilding for my family’s faith life. I try to teach my children about Reformation Day and how being different from the world is a good thing. Just a different approach but it would be great to do both!

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  184. I grew up on a farm – and knew it wasn’t a “harvest party”… bit offended by that statement…be careful about judging others like that. Bottom line – live out your faith – don’t let anybody tell you how to live it – you have the ability to read the Bible and have a personal relationship with God – the Holy Spirit can tell you what is right for you. People will know you are a Christian by your love and actions, not by how big of a treat you hand out… it’s more than just a one night act.

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      • I think you may have missed the whole point of these alternative parties (Harvest Party or whatever else you want to call it). I cannot speak for all churches. But for many that I know… they simply want to offer another option to people. Have you ever tried imagining what it would be like to be a person that simply does not want to take part in Halloween? Regardless of whether you feel they are right or wrong in their decision…. just imagine for one minute that you are one of them. What options would you have to respectfully not take part int he event? Even if they never speak a word against halloween to anyone, these poor people cant even stay in the privacy of their own homes and not take part because Halloween comes knocking on their door. The simple act of turning off the lights as a sign that they just choose not to participate is seen as rude/insensitive by many. Halloween requires us all to take some action in order to ‘deal’ with it. So… since staying respectfully at home is not an option, these people look to gather together with other people who likely share similar beliefs so that they can have a pleasant evening without partaking in something that they choose not to take part in. Many have kids that really like costumes and candy – since both are easily available this time of year and neither is a sin, some allow their children to wear costumes and eat candy if they wish. They have no desire to celebrate Halloween – if they did, they would likely be out trick-or-treating or giving out candy. Most of these people just wish Halloween simply didn’t exist. But since it does exist and it will not be going away anytime soon, they are simply choosing a different activity on that day. Lets not judge them.. Yes they may be different than the rest of us – but what is so wrong with being different?

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    • If the biggest thing we have to worry about when Christ returns is whether or not we participated in trick-or-treating or Harvest or Fall Fest on October 31st, then you have lived a much more blameless life than I. Don’t you all see? This is EXACTLY what Satan wants us to do – argue amongst Christians about tiny details like Halloween. Create divisions. Turn people who want and need to know Jesus off with our petty bickering. Is it your will or HIS how you are handling the situation?

      Please go pay God’s love forward to someone today.

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    • I may have removed the comment you’re referring to (I’m not sure now), but I’m keeping this one up because this is the point I’m trying to make here. I used to feel the same as this. Thanks for reading🙂

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  185. I love this! I was raised celebrating very little, because of my parents’s beliefs on origins on holidays. I’ve married into a family who celebrates everything, sometimes in ways I’m not very comfortable with. I’m trying to find a joyful, acceptable balance for my little ones. We decorated pumpkins a couple of days ago, making a cute little family. I don’t really think of is as for Halloween, just cute fall decorations, and my daughter loved it.🙂

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  186. THAT is fantastic. I love the idea of a mini-carnival on the front lawn, complete with a warm up portable fire pit for parents. Hot chocolate would be boss too. And I love the thought that Jesus has taken care of death and gore and can do it again. It made me cry. What a great way to look at Halloween.

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  187. Before moving a few years ago, we attended a church that did something called “Shine the Light” instead of your more typical harvest party or truck or treat. Families signed up to participate, but the light was shining in our own neighborhoods. At our house, we were popping popcorn and making cotton candy in addition to the bags of treats the church provided. Every light in the house was on, and we even had a spotlight in the yard making it even brighter, and we had Christian music blasting. Our little cul-de-sac never saw so many trick-or-treaters, and every one of those people was invited to attend church with no strings attached! Our kids had a blast and didn’t even miss going door to door that year since they helped with all the festivities!

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    • There you go! Another excellent idea! That is being in the world but not of it! That’s the trick, I think (please pardon the pun). Somehow we have to keep finding ways to *engage* people and community (and not just at Halloween!), in ways that do not communicate a willingness to participate in or condone a celebration of sin, yet without communicating condemnation either (Jn. 3:17).

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  188. I see this blog is a year old. However, it is still relevant.

    I love Jesus and strive to love and live like Him. I also enjoy seeing the kids dressed in fun costumes. I like visiting with my neighbors. Harvest Party, Fall Fest, or actual trick-or-treating are all ways to spread joy and commune with others in your community, be it church, street, or town. That simple conversation might spark a friendship and a deeper conversation. Jesus sat and ate with those “less desirable.” Who are we to turn up our nose at those we don’t normally associate with? Shelter my children from the gore and scary things – YES. They aren’t old enough to process it. Show my children that we should show care and love for all people by the way we interact with them – YES. They absorb that from birth.

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  189. The best interaction I have had with my neighbors was when I taking the kids trick or treating last year and they stopped me to offer hot chocolate for the adults accompanying the kids. Halloween is one of my favorite nights of the year, simply because of what you said. Getting to meet my neighbors and say hello. I love it and thank you for articulating this for all of us to read.

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  190. You are criticizing Christians for having Fall Fest then saying for individuals to do the exact same thing in the yards. Every church Fall Fest I have taken my kids to is open to the public and gives our community some place to go since we live in a very rural area. I have seen kids (and adults) dressed in their blood and guts stuff there and nobody asked th to leave, they played the games and had free food just like the rest of us. That is showing Jesus, when the church sponsored function is not hypicritical and accepts everyone.

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  191. We have different neighbors than you. There are no six year olds who dress up like batman as you described. There are children, but their parents attempt to dress them up as scary as they can. The parents also dress up as gory as possible, and show up on our front door drunk next to their kids. This is not something I am willing to open my door to expose my own young children to. I want my kids to love our neighbors as I do, not to be afraid of them.

    A second thing that is different with us is that we make time for our neighbors on a daily basis. We listen to their stories of hardship, we hug the crying drug addict mother in the street, we help the failing fifth grader with homework, we help people find jobs, we help them work on their house, we pass down the things our kids outgrow to those who can’t afford necessities let alone the fun stuff (bikes, scooters, wagons), we are a light to our neighbors every. single. day. They know we’re christians and they really love us…because we love them. The fact that we might go to a church party for Halloween, makes no difference in our witness with our neighbors.

    My point in sending this is to show that there are many ways to reach out to neighbors of all types. Halloween doesn’t need to be anything special in light of the other 364 days of the year. Nobody needs to feel ashamed that they prefer to keep the doors closed on Halloween. They should, however, feel ashamed that they never open their hearts to their neighbors let alone their doors.

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  192. Killjoy and totally missed the point of this great blog. I was raised in church my entire life, and the comment above is why I don’t want to be a part of organized religion anymore. I love God very much and am glad He redeemed me. I just have a hard time believing that you worship the same God I do when you obviously have no sense of fun and have allowed man’s pulpit doctrine to supercede Christ’s divinely inspired doctrine.

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    • I totally agree. I love God, but I don’t believe in using Him to feel superior to other people. I don’t believe in ‘love thy neighbor, except on October 31’.

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  193. I’m the opposite of you – was a Christian till about age 20. Happily agnostic now. This is HANDS DOWN the best thing I’ve ever read by a Christian and is ten times better than any of the sermons my Baptist preacher used to preach. We could carry on a conversation and learn from our differences rather than just instantly disliking one another or being afraid of one another. You are the kind of Christian that could probably actually get non-Christians into a church just by being yoruself. Heck yes to you, sister! Common sense! It’s so rare these days – keep bringing that to whatever church you attend, good for you.

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    • I am the same as you – it was Christians that wrecked organized religion to me…I don’t understand their need to always be “right” and not even try to think through an idea that might even have merit. Kudos to this blog for freely exploring ideas that helps her become more approachable and loving to all others, at any time.

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  194. I totally laughed when you said you can’t even watch scary commercials because that is me!🙂 I actually wrote a post this week called Halloween Redemption, too. You’re right – there is nothing redeeming about the way our world celebrates Halloween, but we Christ-followers can work towards “redeeming” it by our actions. Especially since we’ve already done that with holidays such as Christmas and Easter, which also came from pagan festivals full of all sorts of evil. I know our approach isn’t for everyone, but it satisfies our convictions about the day.🙂

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  195. I agree with you. Halloween is not my favorite and I really don’t consider it a ‘holiday’ but it’s fun for the kids and is all about dressing up and candy – not the dark side of things. We are really not part of our community here (Christians in a 90% LDS county). They are a very tight knit community, so to shut our doors on the one day of the year they come knocking would make us that much less approachable. It’s a chance for us to chat with people, be warm and welcoming. There is a house in our neighborhood that makes up big batches of hot coco and hands out little cups of coco to parents who are freezing from walking around with their kids. (It’s always cold here for Halloween!). I thought that was a fun, neighborly idea.

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  196. I grew up participating in Halloween, wearing gory costumes, etc. Never worshiped the devil or even considered it. That some Wiccan’s, Satan worshipers, or New Age practitioners hijacked “Holy Evening” (Hallowed e’en)–the night before “All Saints Day” is not a reason to renounce it as some sort of Satanic ritual.

    In fact, I see little difference between evangelistic styled “Hell Houses” put on by churches and “Haunted Houses”. And by the by, I totally disapprove of such “Hell Houses” as bad theology and bad evangelism (“scare the Devil out of them”). They end up being little more than emotional manipulation designed to scare kids and teenagers into following God. Not particularly healthy emotionally, mentally, or theologically.

    Did Halloween originate from paganism–don’t know–heard both sides one says yes, the other says vice versa. Does it matter? Most holidays had their roots in pagan observances. This doesn’t make the observance wrong. How many people observing Christmas bow down to their Christmas tree or worship the Sun god?

    Good article. Good ideas. Use every opportunity to put in a good word for God and show others that followers of Christ are community oriented.

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    • You are one thousand percent correct about the “hell houses.” I don’t understand how anybody could possibly think those are a good idea for the Church. Much worse than any haunted house, in my opinion anyway.

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  197. Ten years ago, I met a neighbor, for the first time on Halloween. She lived down the street and I probably wouldn’t have met her had I not been handing out candy bars to the neighborhood kids. That introduction turned into taking morning walks together and the occasional afternoon cup of coffee. About 6 months after we met, I had the opportunity to lead her to Christ. The funny thing is, until I read this blog, I had totally never thought about the fact that the only reason I even met this woman was because of Halloween.

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  198. GREAT blog post! We will be camping at Lake Claiborne State Park in Louisiana. I can’t wait to see all the children come round on the hayride! We need to try to save some of the innocence of childhood if we possibly can!

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  199. Just about everyone on this thread following the ABOVE comment really missed the point. I know Jenna, the author of this post, and as much as I dislike what Halloween is in the historical sense I GUARANTEE you that 95% of the people: families and children …who go out on Halloween are going out for fun. And “shame on you” should be directed at the religious pharisees who would shut their doors, turn off their lights and mock any “Christian” who would open their doors and turn on their lights. If you don’t want to participate, don’t. But here’s the thing …it really is THE ONLY NIGHT OF THE YEAR when your neighbours will come to you….so , whatcha gonna do with that??

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    • …..I would open the door and say with a smile:” We do not participate in this holiday!”. We’ve done it for 10 years , it’s a free country.

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  200. HOLY POOP BATMAN! I am the most boringest blogger on the internet, I promise. I haven’t read through the comments so I don’t know what the HECK happened to bring so much traffic here, but uh, hi🙂 Also…we have had a super fun case of viral plague hit our house and everybody is sick. So like, if I angered the internet I’m super sorry. I’ll have to fix it later. Or not. HI random 10,000 people who viewed my very boring blog today. *waves*

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    • HI! I’m one of the 10,000. Came up on my FB today. You probably don’t want to read a lot of the comments. I thought your post was fantastic, funny and well written. Kudos to you. But don’t let some of the “fighting” in the comments get you down or keep you up at night. Be proud that you wrote something fantastic and there are thousands reading it. Hope your family feels better soon!!

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      • Thanks Mom of 3 boys for your gracious, encouraging comment! I know Jenna really needed to hear that and those of us who know her appreciate the kind and affirming comments!

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  201. Dave, do you think Jesus would turn out his lights and lock the door? He most certainly would not. He would use this as an opportunity to reach out to those who do approach his door.

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  202. Reblogged this on Lauren Gerhard and commented:
    My family chooses a Bible verse each year, carves the reference into a pumpkin, and puts a label sticker of the full verse on each full-sized candy bar. It is such a wonderful night to strike up Bible questions and Jesus conversations. In this post, I especially love the line, “Halloween may not be ‘redeemed’ but you are. So open your door and smile.” TroubleFace Mom’s thoughts are so well put.

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  203. You can still connect with your neighbors and those around you without partaking in dark activities. Why not take that night to reach out to people, you can reach out on all the other 364 days, but what a statement it would be to hand out cookies that said, “You are amazing, Love God.” Of course there is evil going on…but there is a boatload of evil going on every other 364 days of the year as well.

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  204. Christians tend to run and hide, when we are completely missing what Jesus was able to do and is still able to do. Most Christians are afraid of evil, I think when we get to heaven we will realize that is was the relationships with people and reflecting the love of Christ (which you can’t do if you are hiding) that was important, not making sure we don’t partake in anything evil…I think we can love Christ and others without wearing scary costumes and not running from them either. I look at it this way…”this is the day that the Lord has made…” I love your suggestions too by the way!

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  205. My ADD kicked in mid post so I’m not sure if you offer alternatives latter in your post. I lead our church to hold a “trunk or treat” a few nights prior to Halloween each year and try to invite the whole community. I also keep a bag of candy I case the neighbor kids atop by. We live in a rural area and rarely get trick or treaters. I long ago choose not to wage war on jack o lanterns, Santa, and Peter Cottontail. I promote Jesus and ignore silly.

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    • I am confident that my connections on our neighborhood all year round blesses the people here, and becausey kids are too little to discern the struggles in their dreams from the ‘known relationships’ who are seeking to terrify with their costumes… Pretty hard right now for them to understand. In the years to come we will be the house who are out on the lawn handingout hot cocoa with a warming up station….I look forward to engaging, but I agree that we neglect knowing our neighbors all year long…and this is regretfully the saddest excuse for being known or not known…as Christians to those who can see our lives daily. It’s daily or at least weekly engagement in life around us that will allow us to share Jesus with others …even I’d it is without evangelist style.

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    • Pastor’s wife… You keep assuming that we are saying this is the ONLY night to reach out to our neighbors. You’re making the wrong assumption, at least for many of us. The point is that this IS the only night our neighbors come to our door, and seek us out. There are no defenses to be broken through, no awkwardness in starting up a conversation. It’s the one night that we can pour out God’s love on possibly hundreds of our neighbors who just want their kids to be safe and have fun.

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      • Could not agree with you more “Pastor”- you nailed it. I think there are a lot of people on this thread that need to re-read this post and the follow up. They are completely sidetracked and missing the point. Good gracious what a bunch of legalistic hypocrites!

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  206. Miss the point much? Did we read the same article?

    “Why do you use THAT night to reach out to your neighbors? Shouldn’t it be that you should reach out to them every other day other than when your kids are just trying to get candy from them?”

    Did the author say “Take one night out of the year to evangelize your neighbors”? No. She said, use this one night where your neighbors come knocking on your door to evangelize. You’re making the assumption, because you believe that her decision to redeem Halloween is “the appearance of evil”, that the author cares nothing about her neighbors 364 days of the year. Shame on you.

    “Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think Jesus ever asked us to be like everyone else, in fact to be quite different.”

    Again, did you not read the article? The author is saying “BE DIFFERENT!!!” Give generously, decorate extravagantly, do whatever it takes to tell your neighbors that you are a believer and you ARE different than the hypocritical “Christians” they might be used to.

    You go ahead and turn your lights out. God will use those who are available, and if you choose to not be available, he will certainly find somebody else.

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    • Shame on me? I have some Muslim friends who have some great Eid Mubarak celebrations going on. Should I attend them because I can show them neighborly love? Do you think attending their religious festivities will win them to Christ? Really?

      The problem where Christians disagree on this holiday is that it has become as much a cultural holiday as a religious one. Kind of like how atheist celebrate Christmas. And because of the “good times” and nostalgia involved we don’t recognize it as the religious holiday that it is. It is simply that. I have no reason to celebrate Ramadan, or Qwanza, or Halloween because I am not Muslim, Black/African or worship Satan.

      Forgive me but I know people who have been sexually and physically abused in occultic worship on this night, I have had family members who have shared testimony, and some who are still trapped in this religion, to think that it is just another night to “fellowship with your neighbors”.

      You may call it religious if you like, and no if you go trick or treating you are not a devil worshipper. For me, I never celebrated Halloween, and never felt like I missed out. Neither do my children. The problem with the disagreement is not that Christians don’t know the root of the holiday, or that they see it as an evangelistic opportunity. It is that they don’t want to deprive their kids of their own nostalgic memories they have, and they don’t want to be ‘peculiar’.P Plain and simple.

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    • @angelcope Funny (to use your word)…but I never celebrated Halloween growing up, and with two young kids, the only reason they dress up is to participate with us as we serve our neighborhood. So, when you say ” It is that they don’t want to deprive their kids of their own nostalgic memories they have, and they don’t want to be ‘peculiar’.P Plain and simple.” I once again point out that you’ve missed the point.

      “I have some Muslim friends who have some great Eid Mubarak celebrations going on. Should I attend them because I can show them neighborly love? Do you think attending their religious festivities will win them to Christ? Really?” Again, missing the point…did I say this? No. You continue to assume things about those of us who disagree with you. Like I said, keep your doors closed and your lights turned off. You miss the blessing.

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    • @angelcorp
      Would Jesus attend an Eid Mubarak celebration or give out candy on Halloween? How about attend a drunken celebration or a whore house or a tax collectors house? There is a difference between acceptance and approval. To accept someone for who they are and where they are at is what Jesus did countless times and continues to do. But He did not approve of the choices or lifestyle of the wedding goers, the prostitutes, or the tax men. To not accept someone is to reject them pure and simple. And how can God work through a Christian that has rejected the lost. I have attended many Eid party’s being that my wife’s cousin is Muslim. They are a great opportunity to share Jesus through your actions alone. If you stand strong in your faith and trust in the Lord you will be able to attend an Eid party or give out candy at Halloween or anything else and Satan is powerless. We are called to preach the gospel to all the world and to do that we need to live Christ like lives all the time. As St Francis of Assisi said “preach the gospel at all times use word when necessary.”

      For the quick answer yes you should attend an Eid party for no better reason than your actions which are a portrayal of Christ, may lead to a Muslim or maybe someone seeking God (in the wrong place) coming to Christ.

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    • I don’t think it is for any of us to judge who God can use and who he can’t use. The minute we do that, is the minute we stop following His example. God has given us all a conscience. If we pray for discernment, He will show us the right thing to do in our particular situation. For some of us that may be taking part to some extent in the usual way to do Halloween, for some of us it may be to go to a different type of gathering (ie:harvest fest or whatever else you want to call it) and for some of us it may be simply staying at home and turning out the front lights as a sign to let others know we just don’t like Halloween and choose not take part in it. There is no need for us to pass judgement on those who are different. We need to respect other’s differences, love them anyways(even if we think they are wrong) and always… always listen to our conscience.

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  207. I love this! My thoughts exactly! It is so hard to be “neighbors” in the old sense of the word, because many people drive straight into their garages after work and go inside. It’s hard to meet people! I remember there was a lady down the street when we grew up and we all called her the “candy lady”. She gave out a ziplock bag full of candy every halloween (the cheap kind- but who cares!) and it always included a little mini bible. Everyone knew her for that. It was the most positive association of what a Christian is, in our neighborhood.
    Also, another way to meet neighbors is to do yard work on Saturdays. Yuck, but it is worth it to open up those relationships.
    Thank you for writing this!!! It helped me feel stronger about my own convictions!

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  208. You might be right about offending every Christian you know, but that is because you don’t know me. I think this is a great post.

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  209. It is such a blessing to have all the neighbourhood kids come to my door! I chat them up and besides chocolate bars , I offer an Adventues in Odessey story CD to the 7 to 10 yr olds. (You can order a pack from FOTF …reasonably priced.) What an opportunity … too good to miss!

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  210. Nice! This year, we gave out cartoon gospel tracks & full size chocolate bars & we went out & about. The kids who came by our house mentioned how they liked getting full size bars. It’s nice to be the house they’ll remember! :0)

    When we pastored our first church the day after halloween our new next door neighbors came over to say how impressed they were that we had pumpkins carved with crosses & that we actually answered our door for kids, unlike the previous pastor. We included an invitation flyer to our Saturday Kids Club & we local kids came to it too. No offense to the prior pastor, maybe they went out that night.

    For the past five years we have had a great friendship with our next door neighbors, a single lady & her very dear Mom. Last month we spent time with them because the Mom was dying of cancer. It was great to see her a few days before she passed away at the convalescent by praying, reading the Bible & recalling our friendship over the past years.

    I think the great thing about ‘Harvest Parties’ at church is that we have seen a ‘Harvest’ of kids come to Christ & new unchurched kids show up to church on Sunday & it’s another form of gathering together (Hebrews 10:25).

    I like a balance of church & neighborhood connections throughout the year. That’s where the ‘rubber meets the road’ 365 days a year.

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    • Love seeing the children running from house to house,but can understand churches doing tacky parties and doing trunk or treat to insure the kids safety ,it’s dangerous out there,love your post.

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    • I love this!! Non Christian holidays can be used to reflect Christ and God’s goodness. Just listen to the small, still voice and it will give you the ideas that you need. : )

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    • We raised our kids, many years ago and now our grandchildren and great grandchildren to give and get the candy but also putting in there bags a trac telling them how much Jesus loves them, but make sure it is a pleasant memory for the young people especially…..

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      • We always enjoyed trick or treating as children,of course we got candy and didn’t know to trick if we didn’t ,I go to church regularly ,but enjoy seeing the children coming around but can understand parents not wanting their children out now trick or treating,I believe that the reason for tacky parties and trunk or treat that churches put on to keep the children safe.We turn on our porch light
        and welcome the children with a treat. The Caines

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      • Who really cares where the holiday came from. In a child’s mind it is just a fun time to dress up, pretend, go trick or treating with friends and see who gets the best candy. It’s the time when I put out pumpkins and mums on my doorstep and watch the leaves change. It’s the time when children make cute little crafts at school that parents hang on the fridge. It is a time of warm memories and a time of seasons changing.

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    • Do you realize that the origins of Halloween are Christian, not pagan? All Hallow’s Eve is the eve of All Saints Day in the Roman Catholic Church – the original Christian Church. This is a time to honor the dead. In our church we put their names in a book and pray for them, remember them, honor them, and acknowledge how their lives contributed to ours. Pausing to think about death is part of our lives as adult Christians. A speaker at my church recently said that we have to remember the Crucified Jesus, not just the Resurrected Jesus. His suffering has meaning and is a part of our heritage. So the problem with modern-day Halloween is that it has twisted the original meaning from honoring death to playing with the fear it instills in us. You make some good points in what you say, that’s for sure, but I just wanted to point out that this holiday has Christian roots. I hope my neighbors open their doors for my kids (and husband). I enjoy opening mine and taking part in the fun part of modern Halloween.

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      • Wrong, It was a celtic holiday predating the catholic church. go back and do some more research please. but that is beside the point that Gayle is making. Its always nice to bless the children in any way we can.

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      • This is interesting. I am hearing from people who believe the origins of Halloween to be both Christian and Pagan, and it’s been fascinating. I would really like to do more research into it. Someone else told me today that people used to dress up to scare the demons away. Not welcome them in. Obviously there is quite a mixed heritage when it comes to Halloween. You are so right about death. Our culture has turned death into big business. TV, video games, movies – it’s everywhere and it’s glorified every day, not just on Halloween. We just ignore it the rest of the year. And yet the Bible says that there is a time to mourn and a time to dance. Death really is part of the natural cycle of life, in this life anyway. Thank you for your comment.🙂

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      • “Despite concerns among some Catholics and other Christians in recent years about the “pagan origins” of Halloween, there really are none. The first attempts to show some connection between the vigil of All Saints and the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain came over a thousand years after All Saints Day became a universal feast, and there’s no evidence whatsoever that Gregory III or Gregory IV was even aware of Samhain.”

        Copied from:

        http://catholicism.about.com/od/thecatholicfamily/p/Halloween.htm

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      • Halloween or Hallowe’en (/ˌhæləˈwin, -oʊˈin, ˌhɒl-/; a contraction of “All Hallows’ Evening”),[5] also known as All Hallows’ Eve,[6] is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It initiates the triduum of Hallowmas, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.[7]
        According to many scholars, All Hallows’ Eve is a Christianized feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals,[8][9] and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain.[6][10][11] Other scholars maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.[12]

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      • Nice perspective on the door opening! But, in fact, Hallow’s Eve and All Saint’s day were in fact preceded by and older pagan festival known as Samhain. Practiced by the Celts, and other early people, Samhain was a festival to mark the beginning of the Celtic new year, and it was marked by a dual darkness, both the death of the old year, and the birth of the new, a tradition of rebirth and fertility that Christians should well comprehend, resurrection being…you know…kind of important for us.

        I don’t mean to be academically pedantic, but I think it is an important thing for Christians to realize that we don’t need to own a holiday or festival to treat both it and those who practice it with kindness, love and respect. Regardless of the problematic nature in which many people celebrate Halloween (Overly sexualized costumes, gore, violence, etc.), our calling is love and brotherhood, not judgement and condemnation. There is enough negativity and hatred in the world without our contributing to it. Any festival that allows people to come together in a spirit of fellowship, and allows them to acknowledge a community that is greater than themselves, should earn our respect, and it would behoove us to nuture that caring aspect of any celebration, regardless of its roots.

        If anyone is interested in learning more about the roots of our modern fall festivals, please see the source for the above comments, Geo Athena Trevarthen’s article “The Celtic Origins of Halloween Transcend Fear”.

        Happy Halloween!

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      • The Roman Catholic Church is not the original Christian Church. The original Christian Church followed the teachings of Jesus, not the heathen doctrines of the papacy which are steeped in ancient sun worship.

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      • @Anonymous

        Not wrong but only partially right. Yes, there was a Celtic holiday on what is now Hallowe’en/All Saint’s Eve. It was the Celtic New Year. (As in Jewish culture, New Year was celebrated when the harvest was completed in the fall, not in spring or midwinter.)

        But so what? There were also Celtic and Roman and Germanic mid-winter feasts before there was Christmas.

        And the English name of Easter derives from the name of a Celtic goddess of Spring. Easter, like Passover is timed to be celebrated with the spring equinox. Should we stop celebrating the Resurrection because the spring equinox was celebrated by pagans at the same time?

        In fact, the attitude of the early Church was not to denounce these pre-existing holidays, but to baptise them and Christianize them.

        That is why Christmas is celebrated at the winter equinox (surely not the time of year for shepherds to be abiding in the fields); to replace the pagan festivals of Saturnalia and Yule.

        Rather than trying to enforce a cessation of a happy Celtic festival, the Church gave it a new meaning: All Saint’s Eve (=All Hallow’s Eve = Hallowe’en) and All Saints Day.

        So just as we have a pagan goddess’ name on a Christian celebration (Easter) we also have a Christian name (Hallowe’en) on what used to be a pagan celebration.

        Big deal. It’s a long, long time since Hallowe’en has been pagan. Let’s get over that and celebrate it as what it is intended to be: a fun time for the kids and a time to remember the saints of all ages.

        I loved Hallowe’en as a kid–the school party, the games, the costumes, and the trick-or-treating house-to-house. I am appalled by the mean spirited souls who take the innocent fun out of it.

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      • There are both Christian and pagan origins, just like many Christian holidays which correspond with some pagan ritual. The dating of Christmas in Dec. was actually intentionally done by the Church to put a Christian overlay on a traditional pagan festival. Jesus was not born in December.

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      • A lot of christian holidays were invented/had a date change to coincide with pagan holidays to “drown” them out. The original origins of halloween were not christian, but as all holidays, they have evolved over time. I am an atheist who celebrates christmas because growing up it was a holiday about peace, kindness and brotherly love and I was and am able to celebrate those ideas without being religous. I think in that same way someone who doesn’t believe in the origins of halloween can engage in activities linked to the modern day version of it. It’s about imagination, adventure and sweets for kids. A holiday wrapped up in their creative world, devoted to their joy. I think that is ok to celebrate without making a deal with the devil.

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      • Samhain-Halloween
        Like most of the major “Christian holidays,” Halloween is an old Pagan holy day that the Christian church attempted to usurp for its own purposes except that this one kind of backfired on them. Originally known as Samhain Eve it was one of the principle festivals on the Celtic calendar and had nothing to do with Devil worship as that is a purely Christian concept. Samhain was a time for contemplation, a celebration of the final harvest of the season, and the one day of the year when the barriers between worlds was lowered allowing the spirits of both the dead and the unborn to walk among the living. When the Christians finally decided that the best way to subvert the popular Pagan festivals would be to modify them to celebrate Christian concepts and religious figures sometime between 400 and 1000 A.D. the best they could come up with for Samhain was to turn it into All Saints Day a day of celebration of all the saints and martyrs, known or unknown, making it largely a holiday in commemoration of people who died in some horrible fashion for the sake of their faith. It’s interesting to note that Samhain seems to have a much more positive take on the issue of dead people than All Saints Day.

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      • It is not a Christian holiday. The custom of wearing costumes has been explicated by Prince Sorie Conteh, who wrote: “It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints’ Day, and All Hallows’ Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognised by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities”. Also the first Christian church consisted of Jews (the apostles) not the Holy Catholic Church.
        You need to read the new testament and read the history of Halloween.

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      • Kathy, you are right about Halloween being the “evening” before “All Hallows Day”. However, the practice of dressing up as hobgoblins, spooks, etc. developed as a way of tweaking the nose of evil in the world on the one night a year when it traditionally walked unfettered in the world. (Yes, early Christians did adapt some elements of pagan celebrations into their observances.) As a result we have a holiday that gives families an opportunity to interact w/one another in a fun & creative way. The emphasis, though, has changed over the past 50 years from spookiness to horror, just as movies have changed from black & white Frankenstein, Dracula, etc., to brutally graphic, Technicolor gore fests. As parents & grandparents we need to reevaluate our responses to the mass marketing that pushes us all toward more & more excess, and take our children to Church when All Saints Day is observed and we celebrate our departed loved ones’ roles in defeating Satan & evil throughout their lives & blazing a trail in Christ’s footprints for us to follow. So by all means celebrate! Trick-or-treat! But be sure to tell your children about the significance of both days and the fact that All Saints Day is the more important of the two.

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      • It is a pagen holiday, started by celtics. The church did not get involved until about 1000 years later. And Halloween was not to honor the dead but to drive ghosts away. All saints day(nov 1) was to honor the dead saints and then all souls day(Nov 2) was for all the other souls who had passed. Trick or treat is an American tradition, jack o lantern’s are england’s. tradition. Hope this clears things up for people. Have fun and be safe.

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    • It is so refreshing to hear from someone who isn’t tied up in legalism. I am a Christian and appreciate your openness. Why would we not celebrate All hallows (saints) eve and give the glory where it’s due. G.B.

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    • Thank you for this link! This is great testimony and puts a very valuable perspective on this issue.

      Jenna, I think you have a *start* to the right idea here. But, I think, it still comes up a little short. Like many believers, I really do not like Halloween. Except for really young children and most older adults, it is a celebration of sin, outright evil, death, and destruction. And it is a celebration of selfishness (give me! give me!). I do not want to participate in that in any way that looks like I support it.

      But you are right, Jenna. As believers, we should be *engaging* the culture around us, not *hiding* or *retreating* from it. That is what Jesus did and that is what He calls His followers to do (be in the world, but not of it). So I think you are right to say that we need to be out there doing something. I think we ought to be out doing something that communicates love and acceptance and a positive message without crossing the line to communicating that we think the evil and selfishness is ok or that we want to participate in it or even just condone it. I like the idea that believers could do something big and memorable and positive: having the coffee/hot chocolate and a fire pit for parents. But then it *must* include the *alternative* message somehow: tracts, displays, I don’t know. But it would *need* to be there, clearly presented, not as condemnation, not as ‘in-your-face’ confrontational behavior, but just as a positive way say that God is real and that He loves you, forgives you, and really wants to have a proper and positive relationship with you.

      As the person writing the article linked above says, “Why do we need to try to redeem Halloween?” We don’t! And if our actions come across that way, then I think we are missing the mark. It is not the task of believers to try to redeem Halloween. But, we *DO* need to be out there with the message of *personal* redemption from the things that are being celebrated by so many on this night. It is an opportunity to meet our neighbors and others. We just have to find ways to *make it clear* that we are not there to celebrate the goings on and underlying messages of Halloween, but rather to present a *different* message*; a message of hope and of life and of love and of *real* redemption.

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    • I appreciate the ideas you mentioned for how to be a light on Halloween. I do think that may have been and are doing may of these things already. I know some chose to turn out their lights and ignore the tricker treaters but I’m not sure it’s fair to say that is the typical Christian response….

      My husband and I have been in ministry for 19 years and during that time have served in three communities and three churches. During that time we have lead/participated in events such as delivering gifts on Halloween to the neighbourhood surrounding our church, sending dozens of volunteers to help with the community event (we live in Alberta and often it is far to cold to have children going door to door), setting a goal for our church family of giving out the best candy by families committing to buy and give our family sized chocolate bars, having trunk or treat events in a parking lot where kids could come and play carnival games set up on truck flat beds and win piles of candy….

      The above is only a few examples and we have heard from many other churches in other communities of similar ideas as well as many other creative ideas taking place….

      Over the years I have been encouraged and blessed by out of the box thinking that has allowed The Church to be a light!

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    • My husband and I put our lights on. Have scripture posted on a white board with a light shining on it. And offer candy and a God bless to all that come past our door.As we are sitting outside inviting all to come. We started it last year when we moved to Pottstown and plan on doing it every year as long as we are able.

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    • nice post on being Christian!

      All i’ve gotta say is those who believe it is a celebration of the harvest moon and not Hallows Eve… Harvest moon happened back in September. You’re a month late for that pagan wicca stuff.

      It IS/WAS a based on Christian holiday. If you want to call it the Catholic church you can (dont know if it was the Roman Catholic or Irish Orthodox).. that point is moot.. it’s now mostly a commercial feel good festivity and definately something Jesus probably would have participated and showed love in while the Pharisee’s locked their doors and denounced everyone.

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    • I myself don’t go to church at all. my moms a catholic, and my dad is christian. And they never made me go to church, but would always ask if i wanted to. I always said no, i’d rather sleep in then go to church, Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest right? Anyway Halloween is supposed to be scary and spooky. I mean whats wrong with it? I love Halloween, and i always had the best memories running around and going to haunted houses and getting spooked.it’s the point in celebrating the dead , making it fun by getting candy, and dressing up scary.
      My parents always made Halloween the scariest and the most fun, decorating the yard in graveyards and ghost. i mean come on, its just a holiday. I like it scary, and thats the point.

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    • I’m a Christian and I love Halloween and I love the blood and gore of it too!!! I participate in zombie prom and go to haunted houses and watch scarey movies. I grew up with that to me its fun. I loved the houses that were the scariest. One of the things I asked before becoming a Christian was… do I have to give up my Zombies…. I was told NO. As long as you don’t put it before God there is nothing wrong in enjoying the scarey and the weird. God knows this is who I am and what I enjoy he in fact made me that way.

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    • I have struggled with this issue for years!! What you said you said BEAUTIFULLY!! It opened my eyes and helped me settle this internal struggle once and for all….Thank you🙂

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    • I have never heard a better way of looking at Halloween in my whole life. Thank you so much for posting this. I am sure a lot of people’s eyes and hearts are open because you took the time to write this. Thank you again!

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