My friend Janelle Glick is back, after having spent significant time this week researching and pondering. Here are her concluding thoughts and questions. Plug in!
Confession: Sometimes my statements of practice are built on comfortable ignorance.
So I spent some hours this week reading about the origins of Halloween. I read articles depicting the gore and perversity of occult practice at Halloween, and I wonder “Is it just coincidence that Halloween is the second major holiday among Satan worshippers?” (Christmas is also close to the top of their lists, apparently.)
I also read many articles connecting Halloween to past holidays of the Catholic church – the main characteristic being peasants saying prayers for the dead in return for a few morsels of food.
And then there are the writers who actually think North America made up their own healthy form of the bad Irish holiday.
I’ve also read eight e-mails from my neighborhood moms group explaining why they love Halloween. For each of them, it is because they have a warm connection to their childhood experiences. Halloween is a chance to be creative with their costumes, and meet new neighbors. I responded graciously, of course, but acknowledged too that I have no emotional/familial ties to the holiday. It holds no pull from the past for me. One thing I know – these eight moms who celebrate it with their children on October 31 will be doing so out of a love for tradition and culture – not a wish to glorify darkness or delve into hidden curiosities of occult practices.
Now I wonder, is it enough for me to stand at a distance this Halloween, continuing my mantra of “We do not celebrate Halloween,” if I do not have Scripture verses or quotes from my research at the ready to recite for those who challenge me? What is this paranoia I feel when I realize I could not win a debate on an issue for which I have already chosen my line?
For several years now I have felt a strong respect for the Old Order Mennonite people in our community. They have a better understanding and acceptance of the stands they take for sake of culture. They do not try to defend their lifestyle with Scripture. They love others who do not share their lifestyle convictions. They are certain of their choices, but slow to push them on others. And in conversation with them, I have realized that I am guilty of thinking I need to ascribe Scriptural defense to everything I do.
I do not like how it feels to realize that I don’t celebrate Halloween this year simply because I don’t want to. I wish I had a verse, even a random one from Deuteronomy. 🙂
I still don’t think Jesus would trick or treat or wear a skeleton costume. But I don’t think He’d condemn all those who do to fiery damnation. I think He would love trick-or-treaters on Halloween night just as much as He does on the Sabbath day. I think He would continue to live and love without changing His own desire for light and truth.
I’m invited to a neighborhood moms-and-kids Halloween dress up party next Wednesday morning. Jesus invited Himself to a tax collector’s house and ate with Zaccheus. What do you all think? Should I dress up my kids and go?
-Janelle Glick of Waterloo, Ontario