Halloween: Trick or Treat?

The Gospel of Halloween. A very well-done video of the medieval church’s view of “All Hallow’s Eve.” According to Wikipedia, experts cannot agree if Halloween is of Christian origin or an example of Christians “baptizing” secular culture (like Christmas trees and Easter eggs).

Watch the video and then weigh in. What do you think? Harmless fun for the kids and a chance to be a witness by being present in your neighborhood? Or a bizarre pagan ritual that should be avoided?

*Thank you to Fr. Bryan Owen at the excellent blog “The Creedal Christian” for posting this.

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11 thoughts on “Halloween: Trick or Treat?

  1. It does give one pause to consider whether the time, energy and passion spent on preaching and campaigning against some of these “desperately hot issues” might be better spent face to face with a lost neighbor over a cup of coffee and a Bible. Let’s see…I’m 53 and have been “encouraged” to stand agains the evils of:
    Star Wars (those dark forces and magic must be demons)
    Disney’s Lion King (evolution and ‘sex’in the clouds)
    All of the Hall Mark holidays (pure commercialism and pride)
    Barbie (well, isn’t it obvious she is a slut!)
    Credit Cards (it says 666 right there on the magnetic strip)
    Anything science fiction (mocks the very concept of a creator God)
    Movies in general (everybody knows what goes on in there…)
    The internet (nothing but pornography right there in your living room)
    Any number of restaurant chains that might serve a homosexual.
    Any household product from Proctor and Gambel (astrological symbols right there on the label for crying out loud)

    And on and on and on. In fact it might be a fun study to track down some of the dumb things we Christians get all fired up about while our neighbors die and go into a Christless eternity.

    Was I too vague?

  2. The video is just an ad for tooth brushes, they look like fine toothbrushes, but I thought it would be more about the subject of the post. I did this once with a video I downloaded from Youtube, I chose to download video while the ad was still playing. Good to know I am not alone in this mistake!

    • Pretty fun video, isn’t it?

      I confess, I really love Halloween. The Christians decided years ago not to abandon the neighborhood on Halloween, that it sent a terrible message about God’s love and joining the neighborhood, on the one night of the year in which the entire neighborhood is outdoors and interacting. Part of that is our context. In Phoenix people have been locked indoors from the heat for 6 months and the weather is finally nice.

      • I really like Halloween, too, despite the fact that we never celebrated it growing up. I don’t recall my parents being too extreme in their denunciations, but it was certainly looked at as an opportunity for and celebration of evil rather than good. Now, with my own kids, I’ve been able to embrace All Hallows’ Even as a time of fun and excitement for them (and for me, too, honestly; I always have loved all things autumnal, and there’s just something about the orange glow and fresh, earthy smell of a jack o’lantern that does it for me; plus, I’m Irish). It’s not just fun, but is imbued with spiritual significance from a Christian perspective, as the video (loved the verse!) points out — it is a time for acknowledging the reality of death while also mocking the futility of evil and ultimate defeat of death. And as believers in the communion of saints, we Christians can appreciate the belief, so easily brought to mind on that night, that the veil between the living and the dead is quite thin indeed. Finally, as you point out, what other night of the year does the whole neighborhood spill out into the streets and openly offer hospitality to neighbors and complete strangers? Halloween today is about community as much as anything, and that alone would be reason enough for a Christian appropriation of the day, even if we hadn’t already done so centuries ago!

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