As you know, Halloween will be here in a couple of weeks. I am not a big fan of Halloween and I have always wrestled with finding balance in our culture concerning this holiday. There are those that totally ignore the spiritual significance of this holiday and there are others that just react out of fear as well. I do not believe in ignoring or reacting. I believe in engaging.
In the past the churches that I pastored provided an alternative called a harvest party. They were fun and at least they got us parent’s off the hook with our kids concerning not engaging in a pagan ritual but they really did nothing to engage the culture that we live in. Nothing has changed. It was still just a way to offer an alternative, but not a way to actually use the holiday as an opportunity to share a different way of life with the ones that were celebrating the holiday.
Ways Christians Have Attempted To Use Halloween In The Past.
Just off the top of my head I can think of a couple of ways that Christians have used Halloween to try to spread the gospel in the past.
- The first one is what I call the “Shouting at the top of their lungs approach”. This method is used every Halloween from pulpits and other forms of media where they decry the evil’s of Halloween. Let nobody misunderstand. Halloween is the celebration of paganism. Paganism is sin. It is not only sin but it is destructive. The issue is not whether or not Halloween is bad, but how to engage those that are celebrating paganism, usually without giving much thought to it. Shouting at the top of your lungs that it is evil is no more going to change our culture than shouting at the top of your lungs is going to get somebody to buy a new car or the latest and greatest gadget. It is a flawed method.
- Another way that Christians have tried to use Halloween to spread the gospel is with what is called “hell houses“. These are alternatives to haunted houses. They are very effective in scaring the waddings out of kids and making them scared about their eternal destiny. Again, I have no beef with the reality of hell and how scary the thought of spending an eternity there is. I have no argument with people being informed about their eternal destiny without Jesus. It is just the tactic that gives me concern. If people can be scared into something, then they can be scared out of it. “Fire insurance” or “hell insurance” Christianity does not make disciples or followers of Jesus. Fear is a lousy motivator.
Engaging our culture by engaging the child this Halloween.
Instead of ranting and raving this Halloween, instead of trying to use fear as a motivator, instead of just providing some type of alternative for “Christians” to participate in, how about engaging those children that are coming to your door? How many times do you get the opportunity to have kids come right up to your porch every year? Each and every one of those kids are precious in the sight of God. Most of them will not live in a Christian home, and will know nothing about the Savior that died for them individually.
I would like to challenge each person who reads this article, to consider Halloween night a divine appointment. Look upon it as an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with kids. Make that appointment one that those kids will remember for the rest of their life. Let them remember the man or woman who loved them so much that it was a spiritual experience in their life.
Personal ways you can spread the gospel this Halloween.
Give them a Children’s Pocket New Testament. Yes, this is not quite as cheap as candy since they are $4.00 a piece, but the eternal rewards are much more than candy too. Recently I went to a Gideon’s International banquet and heard story after story of how people who started reading the New Testaments that they gave out, ended up giving their lives to Jesus. When people read the Bible, the Author inevitably shows up.
Give them a Christian Coloring Book. Again, this is not quite as cheap as candy but it still engages the child with the gospel message. For just under $2.00 a piece you are able to give them the message of God’s love for them!
Finally, and this is what I am recommending to my church this year, is something that I found out about just a couple of month’s ago and think it is an awesome idea and very inexpensive.
You can get these Origami tracts to give out this Halloween to all the kids that come to your door. They are fun, engaging and have the gospel message. And you can do so for the price of a bag of candy!
To find out more about these Origami tracts, just click here. It is not an affiliate link and I don’t get a dime for bringing them to your attention. I just believe in the product and I believe in engaging our culture and especially our children. I know that many of you will hesitate or disagree with me about using this holiday as an opportunity to share our faith. Just understand that I am not a separatist. Being in the world but not of it means to engage our culture and world. You are not celebrating the meaning of Halloween, you are using it to celebrate the life changing power that a relationship with Jesus Christ can bring.
This year, instead of being reactive about Halloween, let’s be proactive and give of ourselves, our hearts and let’s give the kids the message of Jesus!
This article was first published on my website, Taber's Truths