October 20, 2014
I have thought quite a bit about why Christians often involve themselves in observing Halloween. My thoughts have churned up the following analysis (one that may surprise you!).
Wanting to enjoy the environment and context of Halloween is very much like wanting to enjoy a theme park. It's a fabricated world of illusion designed to stimulate a sense of enjoyment (much like the allure of ambient music, candles, restaurants, etc.). It is fair to say that one is not "celebrating" Halloween any more than a visit to the Rainforest Cafe is "celebrating" Gaia. I like Disneyland. I do not worship Walt Disney. I like the Haunted Mansion. I do not worship grim grinning ghosts. On the other side, shopping at Hobby Lobby, eating Chick-Fil-A, and watching Duck Dynasty are not celebratory of Jesus Christ. They're benign forms of entertainment. The allure of "fear" during the season of Halloween is probably analogous to the adrenaline-inducing "fear" one experiences in a roller coaster. It is wrong to encourage cars to smash into others. But I can enjoy a round of bumper cars, no? Now consider this: What if Disney created a "Jesus-land" where patrons can ride the "Crucifixion Coaster" or the "Martyrdom Mayhem." What an outrage, we would rightly say! Is not the Christian's participation in Halloween under pure "entertainment" pretenses an indirect way to minimize - nay, diminish! - the cult of superstition? Is it not silent mockery to ride the "Devil's roller coaster" and go trick-or-treating? I, for one, am game to diminish the Devil's world by reducing it to a piece of momentary entertainment. After all, he has been doing this to our beloved Savior ever since Hollywood was born ... So, pull up a butterbeer, carve up a pumpkin, and get the kids ready to turn the Devil's playground into ours.