Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween and Christians

A couple of days ago, one of my church members asked me what our family did for Halloween at our house. Implied in the question was whether Christians should even observe a holiday that has its roots in evil and paganism.

Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary, gives a thoughtful response at Beliefnet.com:

"We need to be aware here of what logicians call 'the genetic fallacy'-which occurs when we assume that because something started off with a certain meaning, it still has that meaning. Many of our Christian holy days, and the practices associated with them, have pagan origins-but this does not mean that we should not have Christmas trees in our homes or celebrate Easter at a time when the ground begins to 'birth' new life."

Yet, he wisely goes on to say, Christians must be perceptive about how Halloween is celebrated today.

Children especially need to know that Jesus--through his death and resurrection--has declared victory over death and evil. While these forces are still at work, their end is certain. Why celebrate forces whose power is limited and will be ultimately done away with?

My three young kids are all excited about trolling for candy. That's all Halloween is to them.

Mom is worried about all the sugar they'll ingest.

That's the greatest Halloween evil we're worried about.

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