Saturday, October 26, 2013

a little bird told me {about Halloween, evil, and imitating evil}

I got this question a couple of weeks ago, and thought it relevant to re-post it and my response in light of this week's holiday. Irony: Holiday = Holy Day ... Hmm.

Dear Robyn,What are your thoughts on allowing kids to trick-or-treat? My kids go to a Christian school. They don't do Halloween at the school, but instead a "storybook character parade." The kids dress up as story characters and they have a little party. Similar to a "fall festival" that some churches have. The kids still get to dress up and have fun, but no mention of Halloween.
As a Christian parent, I don't want my kids to grow up thinking everyone who trick or treats is a demon, creepy and people to avoid. Some Christian families really forbid all trick or treat and I'm just not sure how I feel about it. We don't celebrate Satan or even acknowledge the "holiday" of Halloween in that sense. But since my kids are older now, they are interested in going door-to-door for some candy. In their minds, totally fun and harmless. Also, I've heard some Christians say that, by forbidding trick or treat, you're missing a good opportunity to meet your neighbors and be a light in the community, maybe invite people to church, etc. 
Obviously everyone has an opinion on this. I want yours! 
~Just Wishing Halloween Wasn't an Issue

Dear Just Wishing,

Thank you so much for asking. This is a sensitive topic this time of year, and I feel the tension around our community as well. Here's my take:

The reason I think it's important NOT to participate in Halloween is that the Bible says not to imitate evil (3 John 11), and I believe that is what the heart of Halloween is all about. While most people don't actually DO evil things on this holiday, we are glorifying the imitation of being evil if we dress up as monsters and devils and demonic characters that are the opposite of God. Mind you, SOME people DO evil things on Halloween, and I'll let you google that one to verify the truth. Vile, horrific things happen on October 31st, including sexualization and murder of children in satanic ritualistic seances. (By the way, did you also know Easter is a high time for these evils as well?) 

In addition, the Bible tells us to avoid all appearances of evil (2 Corinthians 7:1). Once again, I don't think dressing up like a monster and threatening to play a nasty trick on your neighbors so they'll bribe you off with candy falls into that category either. Just sayin. 

And while we've morphed it into things that are light-hearted and kid-friendly, we steer the ship in our homes as parents and we have the opportunity to teach our children that sometimes God's kids act differently than the rest of society, and this is a good, biblical, godly thing.

Okay, another beef to pick with Halloween: The Bible tells us over 365 times NOT TO FEAR. As in, here's My command: Don't be afraid. And if we instigate our own fear or the fear of others, how is that not disobedience to God's command? When people go to haunted houses they are going for the thrill of fear, which is in my mind, just as sinful as shooting up heroin because you're making fear your drug and your god. Not cool, I say!

Alright, now that I'm off that soapbox, how can we redeem this day of the year? 

The same way we redeem every day - by walking in Grace. Here are a few of my suggestions. The choice is yours, and should be made in response to prayer with your spouse and the Spirit's leading.

1. Attend a fall festival and invite your unsaved neighbors too. These events aren't just so you can go into your Christian bubble and be "safe", they're so you can be proactive in fighting against the evil. So don't just go, invite some other kids too, and hold it on the 31st if you dare - make it more fun than trick or treat so kids will want to come to church more than they want to imitate evil. This is counter-cultural, yes. Which is what we're supposed to be sometimes.

2. Pass out candy with church invitations, but not in a scary costume. Of course dressing up isn't evil in itself, so throw on a lion suit and let your kids have fun blessing the neighbors and inviting them to church with you. Don't be condescending or judgemental, and don't make people feel shame. Instead, love your neighbor by GIVING - candy and the Gospel if you can. Redeem the time!

3. Teach your kids. If they're getting older, then be sure to teach them age-appropriate reasons why you don't celebrate the same way as other kids do, and how we CAN honor God by not imitating evil or instigating our own fear. Turn off the porch light, grab a Bible and a bowl of candy, and have a family devotion about what is good and what is not, and how sometimes it's necessary to say NO to what everyone else says YES to. 

*added as an edit* : When it comes to trick or treating, I've always wanted to protect my children from unnecessary fear. One might even go so far as to say that ALL fear aside from fear of the Lord is unnecessary. When people go trick-or-treating how can they know that their kids won't be frightened by the monsters, demonic representations, and creepy things all around? Why push the envelope just because everyone else is doing it? For candy? Yeah - I'll let you decide if that's a good trade off. I go with no. But maybe that's just me.

"Brothers and sisters, in light of all I have shared with you about God’s mercies, I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship. Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete." -Romans 12:1-2 (VOICE)

I hope that helps. Happy October!

In His Hand,


In addition, I got this question to my reply:

In one of your replies to last week's questions, you wrote that we should stay away from imitating evil...
Please do not be upset or offended by the following question - I truly do not mean it to cause conflict - but I too am searching and wish to find the truth in what God is saying.
If you feel that we should not be imitating evil, why then do you have a tattoo, and how do you reconcile this with what you wrote about pulling away from the world and not imitating evil?
Thanks for your thoughtful and Christ-centered posts.
- Searching for Truth in All Things

And here was my reply (slightly edited as I thought over things this week):

Dear Searching for Truth in All Things,

Thanks for asking - I'm not offended or upset at all. I wish more people would ask me about my tattoo! Sometimes I think maybe they make assumptions instead of asking, and I'm super-glad you did.

First, I did not say "pulling away from the world." We do need to be in this world and not of it. But our influence needs to be going one way - Light dispelling the darkness. We are to be going into the world, not pulling away from it, so that we are able to bring the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them and bring them into increasing godliness. I go into very evil and dark places in order to win people to Christ. I am very proactive NOT to allow the darkness to infiltrate me. And I do not bring my children with me, as they are still learning how to be the light.

Second, I don't believe all tattoos are imitating evil, just as I don't believe all hair-cuts are imitating evil. 

Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.
... or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord." - Leviticus 19:17-18

Some of the Levitical Laws, when they are filtered through the Cross of grace do not apply to us in our dispensation. "Do not fear or instigate fear in others" is a command that would still pass the "filter test" of the Law of Christ (Love God with all your heart, love others well).  See the books of Galatians and Colossians for more on our freedom from the Law through Grace. Also, God changed some of the food regulations in the New Testament too - See Acts 10. 

I believe that we have been released to cut the sides of our hair and have tattoos, as long as they are not of inappropriate things. Images of pornography or satanic symbols/idols shaved into the sides of your hair, or tattooed into your skin would be breaking the Law of Christ. Neither my tattoo nor your hair-cut is evil or imitating evil.

For those of you who do not know, I have a tattoo of the word Yahweh on my hand. I wanted to write His name on my hand as a sign of love and devotion, just as I believe He has my name tattooed on His hand as well for the same reasons.

"Can a mother forget the infant at her breast,
walk away from the baby she bore?
But even if mothers forget,
I’d never forget you—never.
Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands." -Isaiah 49:15-16 (Msg)

Another translation says,
"Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; [O Zion] your walls are continually before Me." [Amp]

Some tattoos are evil, yes. Some Halloween costumes are evil too. I don't think it's imitating evil to dress up in a princess costume. And I don't think it's inherently evil or imitating evil to have a tattoo. Subsequently it's not evil to cut the sides of your hair.

I hope that helps you understand more about tattoos, or at least my take on them. 

Keep Searching! He will indeed reveal His love and truth to you.

In His Hand,


I'd like to extend my Saturday invitation to you, Sweet Reader. Have you ever wanted to ask a question about life, God, the Bible, relationships, people, church, or anything? (That last one is scary, but that's why I need the Holy Spirit to write through me.) Go ahead and ask me!  I'll do some research and write back to you next week here in the nest. My answers come from the Bible, revelation from God (as He generously gives - see James 1), and personal experience. And then, when it comes up in your conversations with others, you can always say, "Well, a little bird once told me ..." *wink*

Go ahead, courageous soul - type your question right down there in the comments box and keep it anonymous. I think it's also fun to sign it with a clever salutation, like "Drowning In Sorrow" or "Wishing Life Was Easy" or "Wondering What You Think"

I can't wait to read your questions!

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