Halloween is complicated. To celebrate it or to not celebrate it: everybody has an opinion. You have one. I have one. Your neighbors have one. And many, many people with typing fingers also have one. 

That said, many this year are claiming in capital letters, 'YOU'RE NOT A CHRISTIAN IF YOU CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN'.

You're lost.

You aren't saved.

You're going to hell. 

But that's not exactly true. 

A person only goes to heaven when they have been born again. Spirit filled. Forgiven of their sins. That can only happen when a person realizes their sinfulness and asks Jesus to forgive them, meaning it isn't contingent upon whether or not a person celebrates Halloween.

But isn't Halloween the occult?

Not exactly. Last year, I saw a panda costume in the 18-month size that I desperately wanted to buy but didn't. Because Halloween. Because that would be sinful.

If I could time travel in my 1996 white spray-painted Chevy Lumina (because debt-free living is how I roll), I would go back to that store and buy that silly costume. Because it would make my heart sing. 

My child will never be 18 months old again.

That ridiculous panda outfit is an opportunity lost. It would not have invited the occult into my house to have done that. For the record, I have not celebrated Halloween in any way, shape, or form since becoming a Christian. 

I have a storied history with stuff like that.

'But you said it wasn't the occult?!' you say? I said it wasn't exactly the occult. 

What in the world does that mean?!

It means that motivation matters. Dressing my child up in a dumb outfit, to me, is not a celebration of anything but polyester fibers in a mock panda bear display around the chubby arms and legs of my delicious baby.

Giving out candy to establish a relationship with your neighbors instead of shutting off the lights, to others, is not a walk on the dark side. Also for the record, I don't hand out candy because of where I live, but I know many who feel called to do so but who feel judged or ashamed because of it. 

The motivations of the heart are many, and only you know what you are doing or why you are doing it. If it needs defending, then rethink it. If you conscience isn't clear, then, well, you know the answer. And if you can't tell...ask God. He WILL tell you. 

But, seriously, can we quit with the 'you're not saved if'...? That is some seriously faulty theology, and you're assuming you know what another person is doing and why they are doing it. 

Unless...

You see something flagrantly sinful, and you're warning a brother or sister away from it. In that case, carry on. But even so, the declaration about who and who isn't saved rings false to me, and I'll tell you why.

There is no gospel message or call to salvation in such proclamations. A simple, 'I'm better than you, so boo', won't get anybody saved. You may say that a person is backslidden, but you should get your theology straight about what and what does not make a person a Christian. 

I do believe that there are many practices associated with Halloween to beware of, and I will be the first one to say it. I will also say that there are many things that people do which are not a sin. Only that person knows, and it is between him or her and God. It's a slippery slope when we begin to destroy other people's salvation based on a certain practice. 

I've seen this done with regards to whether or not a person fights against abortion or believes in six literal creation days. Friends, the Bible doesn't say that.

And with regards to many of the church fathers, a great deal of them didn't believe in what we consider essential doctrine today, so we'd be throwing a great deal of our favorite theologians out the window, too.

I daresay theology is the greater casualty in our wars over whether or not to celebrate Halloween. We're not winning people over to our side in most cases, and in some instances, relationships are destroyed over it. 

As touching salvation, it's so simple that even a child can believe. Know that you are a sinner, as you have broken God's commandments not to lie, steal, cheat, lust after others, disrespect father or mother, and that Jesus paid for your sins on the cross.

Accept His sacrifice, as He fulfilled the law perfectly, and trust on Him for salvation. John 3:16 says that whosoever believes on Him will not perish but have everlasting life. 

'Nuff said. No mention of Halloween or anything else.  

Admonish people to beware the occult, but don't say they aren't saved. Admonish people to stay away from Halloween if you want to, but don't tell them they are going to hell. When we throw works-based religion as a pre-requisite for salvation, it's pretty safe to say we'd all be screwed whether we celebrate Halloween of not. 

Stay Gutsy,

Rosa
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Comments

October 23, 2017 @07:50 pm
It's weird that I should read this right after I became one of those people who goes on and on about Halloween - myself believing there's nothing wrong with it if you're just dressing up and giving out/getting candy. Um ... I'm sorry for adding to the general confusion? xD
Kellyn Roth
October 23, 2017 @02:49 pm
Thanks for sharing here— I totally agree that salvation isn't linked to Halloween (Yikes!) and that each person is entitled to make their own decision re doing the whole trick-or-treating thing. I'm your neighbour at #CoffeeForYourHeart :)
Laura Thomas
October 16, 2017 @08:28 am
Rosa, I love your gutsy post! I gotta be honest...I almost didn't read it because of the title; even though I was your neighbour at #Soulsurvival . I thought, "Oh no! Another one of THOSE people" :) I struggled with this issue when my kids were toddlers too. The pressure some put on me caused me not to take my son out trick-or-treating for the first couple years of his life. I could tell it was an offence to my neighbours, who I was trying to show the love of Christ. Then one older lady (one I greatly respected) told how she used Halloween to be the best witnessing night of the year. She gave out full-sized chocolate bars! Soon every kid in the neighbourhood and their parents knew THAT house as the good house, the one everyone wanted to go to. She invested into her neighbourhood and that lead to many opportunities to share life and faith with her neighbours. From that point on I chose to do Halloween. I gave out amazing candy and was the friendliest home you could come too :) I connected with my neighbours on a whole new level. Fast forward years and I'm in a new town. Our church runs "Light The Night" parties. We hosted one year. It was so much fun. Our church provides fun music, all the fixings for hot dog BBQ and bags full of candy, enough for the kids in your neighbourhood. All you have to do is host the party, decorate your home in fun festive ways with lots of light and make the hot dogs while you visit with neighbours handing out candy to children. I'd like to say, REAL CHRISTIANS CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN :) Praying you never lose your gutsy courage, but always temper it with the love of Christ. Have an awesome day and fun buying your child a costume! ~Sherry Stahl xoxo
Sherry Stahl
October 15, 2017 @09:54 pm
Rosa, I agree that the degree to which we involve ourselves with Halloween is a conscience issue, not a salvation one. Thanks for linking up on Mondays @ Soul Survival. Blessings!
Donna Reidland

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Rosa A. Hopkins

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