We will not be having any cute pictures of costumes this time of year. No pumpkin carving - no candy bags - just no Halloween.
We used to celebrate Halloween. We went all out with princesses and knights and whatever costumes we could come up with. We enjoyed it, except for those few houses or costumes that always scared the pants off my little ones.
Then we migrated to alternative Halloween parties -- or even Harvest parties. These were usually church sponsered events with -- you guessed it -- cute costumes, carved pumpkins, candy bags, but no really scary costumes.
However, in the last few years we have given it all up -- with much thought and conviction. We are Bible believing Christians should we be observing this event?
Our research turned up some interesting information. The origins of Halloween are Celtic and revolve around the Druids. It was celebrated at the end of summer and did probably include some element of harvest. However, they felt that the boundary between the living and the dead became blurred on this night. The home hearth fires were extinguished for one sacred fire built for sacrifices to Samhain. Some websites indicate that humans were sacrificed, others say only animals and crops. The important point to us is that they were sacrificing to their god. Over time the Romans came and the melding of cultures then produced a celebration with the Druid origins, but now included the Roman's day for the passing of the dead and their goddess of fruit and trees, Pomona. Eventually, Pope Boniface IV attempted to replace this with a Christian festival.
I really don't believe that children in their cute costumes trick-or-treating are really worshiping Samhain or anything else. I really don't believe they have anything evil in mind at all. I believe it is a fun time to dress up and it is a cultural tradition of fall.
Having said all that, why do we feel we can not participate? In Scripture we are told in 2 Corinthians 6:14 "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" Or verse 16: "What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?..." Verse 17: "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."
It was our children who brought this conundrum to us a couple of years ago. They felt very uncomfortable acknowledging an event with such beginnings as Druids and sacred sacrificial fires to a pagan god. Shining the light of scripture on this, we have decided that for our household we will abstain -- As the verse above says "what fellowship can light have with darkness." This holiday was conceived in darkness and we are striving for the light of Christ.
We have also abstained from Church Harvest parties that for all intents and purposes are Halloween parties with Christian attendees.
In the end, we have much peace as a family with our decision "Touch no unclean thing and I will receive you."