dirty Christian words.

Our kids go trick or treating.  And we love Jesus. 

There, I said it.  It's out there. 

It's a very controversial thing among us Christians.  And as a parent, to little sinners who you are trying to lead the way for, you have to decide which stance your family will take on it.  Either it's harmless fun or you are taking your kids door to door to sell their souls for fun size snickers.  At least that is how it's been told to me.  I DO think there is a right answer and I will share that at the end of this post.  Just hang in there. 

Last year was our first year trick or treating with the boys.  Before that they weren't really old enough to warrant buying them a costume to go around and collect candy that we wouldn't let them eat anyway.  Last year, we took them, they had a few pieces, forgot that the candy existed and we, as parents, hoarded the rest. :) Good deal right?

Here's hoping it goes that way again. 

But you know how we, as Christians, decided whether or not to even participate?  Because really we had A LOT of input from everyone we know.  We researched it.  We got to the root of what it means and it's history and decided whether or not it conflicted with what we, as lovers of Jesus believe.  And you know what...it really doesn't.  It origins have nothing to do with evil or ghouls or witches.  It stems from a tradition in European countries where the poor would go house to house begging for food and drink in exchange for praying for loved ones who had died. 

And my kids wear their costumes year round.

And I like fun size snickers.

All these things equal harmless fun in my book. 

Has Halloween in general been distorted by society?  YES...oh my goodness yes.  I hate that I can't go anywhere with my kids from August through October because of all the scary stuff in EVERY store.  Moses will literally walk through a store with his hands over his eyes.  We made and make an effort to shield our children from all of that mess.  And that is what we decided is best for us. 

But at the end of the day, you know what the RIGHT answer is?  The one that you pray about, learn about, research and are convicted about.  Decide all that for yourself and then mind your own business.
Because come judgment day...none of us will be hearing "You were so right on about....(well anything)"...we will be answering for the choices WE made.  

I don't spend time trying to convert people to trick or treating.  If they ask me why I think it's ok, I share with them. 

Otherwise I leave it alone.  And steal fun sized snickers from my kids buckets when they aren't looking. 

I will leave you with this quote I stole from my friend Sarah:

"One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing himself without wanting every one else to give it up. That is not the Christian way. An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons--marriage, or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who use them, he has taken the wrong turning."- C.S. Lewis

p.s.  how adorable are my pumpkin scarecrows!!??


Alisa said...

All I can say is AMEN!! and yes your pumpkin scarecrows are adorable!

Tiff said...

Two Thumbs Up!!!

derekcindyterp said...

You make a good point that we have to do what WE believe in our hearts is right, using of course the Bible as our first point of reference. I know a lot of people in my church let their kids trick or treat and participate in halloween. The reason we do NOT is because we find that this is one area where we can set ourselves apart. Not that tt'ing is an evil we need to set ourselves apart from, but because there are those that view it as such, we choose to not participate. And that's OUR decision. We are not comfortable with it. And that is my 2cents. Even though you didn't ask for it. LOL. I do think kids in their costumes are pretty cute though!!

Alisa said...

The simple pleasure of dressing up in a costume for the night and having friendly neighbors give out little pieces of candy is so much fun for little ones. My kids are all grown now, and I cannot tell you how much I enjoy seeing all the neighborhood children during their trick-or-treating time. I think some forget that many, many people enjoy and cherish children, even if they are not their own. Your post was very well said.

Megan Bruch said...

We are Christians who let our son trick-or-treat also. Here's something I realized when I had a child and this whole issue came up: I was raised by Christian parents and we trick-or-treated. And I accepted and loved Jesus. The first time I realized that Halloween was viewed as something other than fun, dressing up, carnivals, and candy? When I became an adult. So I have a good feeling it's not going to "ruin" my child in any way, you know? It's fun stuff. And he's the cutest Cat in the Hat I've ever seen. :)

(I do understanding about setting ourselves apart, though, and I want to make it clear that I'm not bashing anyone's decisions. I love to see people stand up for what they believe in - when they do it in love. :) Like you, Crystal, this is just how our family sees it.)

Laura said...

I love your point of view. We also do trick or treating- it's the only day of the year that every child in my neighborhood will come knocking on my door. What a fantastic day to build community, form relationships and show the love of Christ to neighboring families!

Smalltowngirl said...

I think you have a wonderfully balanced view on this holiday.

I took my 2 kiddos trick or treating many times...they are healthy, happy & productive adults.

I think you said it best when you said "decide all that for yourself and then mind your own business."

I can't imagine any other parent out there stealing those snickers! lol

Jamie Ely said...

Amen Sister! As a child I trick or treated every year (probably a little longr=er than I should have) and actually dressed up as a witch several of those years. I don't recall casting any spells or concocting any magic potions any of those Halloween nights either. And you know what, I loved Jesus then and still do. Heck, I probably went to church Sunday morning and trick or treated Sunday night which in my area is utterly unacceptable. Sheesh people let the children have some fun playing pretend and scoring some free candy. Maybe they can say some extra prayers that night :)

April@MySacredSojourn said...

I love this post. Our daughter isn't old enough to participate yet and when the time comes, we'll have to make a decision about it. But at this point, I'm in the same boat you are. I don't want her to be traumatized bc of all the yucky things available this time of year (skeletons, gory dead things, frightening movies, etc.), but if she wants to dress up like a bumblebee and go visit friends and family? I'm all for it!

More importantly, I do not believe that as Christians we should live in fear for any reason...I'm not going to hide in my house one night a year because of evil that exists year-round. I believe in exercising the authority given to us by Christ and redeeming what the enemy has stolen. That includes October 31.

April@MySacredSojourn said...

Oops, that should read we SHOULDN'T live in fear for any reason! Major typo! So sorry! :)

Carrie M. said...

Fantastic post!!

Anonymous said...

Very adorable. Extremely adorable in fact :)

Mainly a midwife said...

I totally agree. Well said. I just make sure our Halloween decorations don't eclipse our Christmas decorations! LOL!

Anonymous said...

I like this post!
I am a Christian myself and I have never questioned Halloween traditions. It's my favorite holiday. But I do understand why some Christians do.
I feel that Halloween is important socially though, and I am saddened to see so many people, Christian or not, abandoning it's traditions. Halloween is above all else a community building holiday, in my opinion. There is something incredibly enriching about a holiday that essentially encourages you to open your door to complete strangers in masks and offer them treats. On the other hand, there is something enriching about letting your children knock on complete strangers doors and accept food from them. It builds trust and relationships, and there is no other time of year that we naturally do this anymore. Sure, we used to Christmas carol and meet our neighbors in church, but that is no longer the case. Halloween is all we have left. It saddens me beyond words to see that fewer and fewer people are letting their kids trick or treat, and that fewer and fewer people are opening their doors to their community on Halloween night. It saddens me that because of a few urban legends (and they really are urban legends, check it out) I have to hand out individually wrapped candy junk instead of popcorn balls or other home made treats. I think we have really lost something, as a society.

Amy M. said...

As a Lutheran, I'm always surprised that this is controversial. Halloween is not really a pagan holiday. It falls near the Day of the Dead when we remember our loved ones. There is nothing wrong with that. I think Christians often do ourselves a disservice when we seek out reasons to demonize and vilify things. For example, where I live, many Christians think Earth Day is evil. How nuts is that? God charged with with being stewards of the Earth. Why not take a day to focus on that stewardship?

This is one of those trumped up controversies by our fellow Christians who have tunnel vision. The same ones who seem to think that the words "liberal" and "Christian" cannot go together.

April said...

Totally agree. I grew up in a Christian home and went Trick or Treating-shoot my parents even let me go to haunted houses (maybe not the best decision, but I learned quickly that I hate them :-)) And guess what? I am walking with the Lord today and even a missionary. I love that C.S. Lewis quote!

Jules said...

That C.S. Lewis quote is amazing. So well worded and so deeply true.
Bring on the snickers.

Tricia said...

First, I love your pumpkin scarecrows! Second, you rock! I totally agree with you on the Halloween issue, but what I appreciate even more is the sentiment that we should mind our own business. If my kid wants to dress up as Batman and pretend to fight for justice, I say let him play! No need to make him feel like he is somehow advocating for evil should he decide to trick or treat with his friends. I certainly understand the desire to keep kids (and adults) focused on Christ, but I've never understood exactly how Halloween gets in the way of that. Okay. Enough from me! :) Sorry for the rant, it's just nice to hear someone else express my thoughts so perfectly. Take care!

P.S. That C.S. Lewis sure was a wise man, wasn't he?

Taffy said...

My MIL hates Halloween. We love it. We like to dress up and have fun on Halloween. We enjoy Trick-or-treating with neighbors.
We made a decision that Halloween would be fun, not scary or evil. Isn't that the way of the world right now? So many good inventions, like computers, can be used for good or evil and it's OUR choices that make it either way.
Love the C.S. Lewis quote!

http://mylittlehappies.blogspot.com said...

I just found your site via pinterest. Loved what you said here and totally agree!

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