Redeeming Halloween for the Glory of God
Mars Hill Church has a series of four articles which explore the issue of Halloween. Here is a summary of two articles posted by Mars Hill Church. The image below of Christ celebrating Halloween is from Mars Hill website.
Halloween: To Trick or Not to Treat?
So, what do we do with Halloween? First, we shouldn’t merely accept it nor quickly dismiss it. The history of Halloween is muddled and unclear. As scripture is unclear on the matter, each of us must give careful thought to the question. The issue we’re dealing with here is one of conscience, which means the end product may differ from Christian to Christian. This also means we have to be careful when speaking to others whose consciences may be weak in this area (1 Cor 8). Ultimately this is an open-handed issue.
What follows is a summary of the article, which claims to give seven ways to redeem Halloween for the glory of God. The full text can be seen on the hyperlink:
Halloween: Loving God & Your Neighbors
Given the context of the previous three posts, I submit to you the following seven ways, which are by no means exhaustive, by which to redeem the holiday for the glory of God.
First, Halloween provides an opportunity to be missional. As God’s people, we too are now sent. That means we should be where the community is, doing what the community is doing. This was Jesus’ model and he was called a glutton and drunkard because of it.
Second, Halloween reminds us that Jesus created candy and taste buds so that we could understand what it means to “Taste and see that the Lord is good”. What is more delicious than your favorite candy? The most delicious of candy should remind us, in a very tangible way, of how truly good Jesus is.
Third, Halloween reminds us that Jesus created creativity and humor. Just as God is a creative God that enjoys humor, so we are creative and enjoy humor. Just as God has created all things, we are a creative people and Halloween provides an opportunity to express that shared quality with God.
Fourth, Halloween provides an opportunity to provide hospitality. Halloween provides an opportunity to love your neighbors and welcome them to your home.
Fifth, Halloween provides an opportunity to practice self-control. Halloween is a prime opportunity to exercise self-control in eating, in particular.
Sixth, Halloween reminds us that Satan and his servants also disguise themselves. Thus, Halloween reminds us that our enemy also disguises himself and that we should be on the lookout for subtle ways in which he may be attempting to tempt or lure us to sin, which is his primary strategy.
Seventh, most importantly, Halloween reminds us that Jesus conquered Satan and demons. Halloween is a great day on which to remember these central gospel truths.
The above articles makes it clear that Mars Hill Church sees nothing intrinsically evil about Halloween. It presents a picture of Jesus Christ that shows him participating in Halloween celebrations. Indeed, Mars Hill Church suggests seven ways in which Halloween can be redeemed for God. While acknowledging that some Christians sense that there is something not quite right about Halloween, Mars Hill says that its simply a matter of conscience, and those who would like to celebrate Halloween are free to do so. The message of Mars Hill is that Christians can learn a great deal by participating in Halloween.
The Biblical View
The Christian faith has always opposed Halloween because its practices and images can open the door to the occult. Any serious study of Biblical demonology will reveal Satan as the power behind false religion, witchcraft, idolatry and the occult. The Word of God makes it clear that these are all to be shunned as dangerous. The Bible commands us to shun occult practices. Mediums and spiritists are expressly prohibited.
Consider these biblical texts:
But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.
Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy, Chapter 18.10-14
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.
2 Chronicles, Chapter 33.6
And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
Clearly, celebrating Halloween fits well into the ethos of Mars Hill. Here we have a church that loves punk rock music, that loves tattoos, that promotes pornographic websites and that mocks Scripture.