The perspectives in the church on Halloween are pretty extreme. Most Christians either love it, hate it, or create a Christian-alternative for it (which is sort-of celebrating it without saying you’re celebrating it). I realize that merely talking about Halloween in this post may not make some people very happy.
Regardless of your position on Halloween, this is an important question.
My wife asked me this question a couple of days ago, and it’s been swirling in my mind ever since. She asked me where I thought Jesus would be on Halloween night if he were here with us right now.
The way I see it, there are three likely places that he might be…
- He’d separate himself from the rest of the world by hanging out at a Halloween-alternative “Fall Festival” at somebody’s church. After all, it’s important that he avoid any appearance of fellowshiping with darkness (Ephesians 5:11).
- He’d be walking the streets of some neighborhood talking with the people. After all, there’s no other day of the year when there are more people outside their houses walking and talking to each other than this night, and he wouldn’t miss a chance to engage with people like this.
- He’d be hanging out having dinner with some church leaders (much like he did with the Pharisees of his day), rebuking them for missing such a great opportunity to get out on the streets to engage their neighbors and be a light in their communities.
What do you think? Are there other places that you’d add to this list?
I know some will call me a heretic just for asking this question, or for what my responses may indicate about how I feel about it. But I think how we answer this question not only tells us what we think about the holiday, but also what we think about the church’s place in the world…
I do know that throughout history, the church engaged in pagan celebrations and holiday practices either as an opportunity to reach people, or to avoid persecution. In fact, the church may be more responsible for the tradition of Halloween than anyone else, especially as it relates to fascination with the dead (because of All Saints Day and All Souls Day).
Okay, let me have it… what do you think?