Celebrating Halloween with children (especially in a Christian home) usually focuses on costumes and trick or treating. Lots of churches and families have Halloween alternatives (such as harvest celebrations) that allow kids to dress up and play games in a safe environment. At our school yesterday, we commemorated Halloween with a 'wholesome costume' parade, fun pumpkin activities, and lots of candy. Looking at that, many Christians would say, what's the big deal? Halloween is about candy and costumes for the kids.
For you and your family, this may be true. It's not for me to determine whether Christians should or shouldn't let their kids go trick-or-treating, because every family creates their own parameters. I'm simply cautioning you to be aware: for some parties and celebrations (and Halloween has become a HUGE occasion for adults to go crazy), there is serious danger.
As believers, we know that spiritual warfare is REAL, and there is a literal yet unseen battle between good and evil raging on this planet every minute of every day. We need to always be mindful and prayerful of that. But on certain occasions, that battle is raged more fiercely. During the Christmas season, most people (even non-Christians) sense a peace that descends over our country, and the Lord reigns through an apparent presence as people more readily practice kindness and goodwill. On Halloween, the opposite is true. Darkness, death, and fear are celebrated, and an uneasy or spooky presence surrounds us. The spiritual battle is taken to new heights, but this time, the enemy's side has the advantage.
I was watching the NBC show "30 Rock" (a fairly entertaining sitcom which comes on immediately after my favorite show "The Office"), and one of the characters explained the Halloween atmosphere from a worldly perspective in a really clear way. He was trying to rile up disinterested friends and convey why Halloween is so awesome:
"Halloween is a time when girls dress in slutty costumes and drink too much! It's a time when down is up! Up is down! Good is evil, and evil is GOOD! We CAN'T give up on Halloween!"That's an unwittingly powerful statement, and a perfect explanation of Halloween's appeal to adults. The lines are blurred between right and and wrong, fantasy and reality, truth and deception. If you're used to celebrating with your kids at home, you may not be aware of the chaotic atmosphere that is created by millions of people in bars, clubs, and parties throughout the weekend of Halloween. Those people need a prayer covering that only God's people can offer up.
For that reason (and for the sake of children who are vulnerable to the dark overtones they see around them this time of year), we as Christians need to have a prayerful mindset on Halloween and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading. We need to be the light in the darkness, and pray against anything the enemy is trying to stir up on a night that was created to celebrate everything he represents: fear, deception, confusion, and chaos.
I encourage you as you read this (whether it be before Halloween or after) to say a prayer binding the enemy from doing his work, and speak the blood of Jesus over every evil intent or deceptive practice that may occur in your community. Pray that people's eyes may be opened to the light, and that any evil works conducted on Halloween in the name of fear would be undone through the power of Christ. Pray for spiritual protection over our young people in this country, and wisdom and discernment for adults. Pray that the weekend would pass with the Lord triumphant, with His people still on their path, straying not to the left or the right. And perhaps most importantly, pray that those who have experienced the darkness this weekend and do not yet know Him would be drawn even more to the light.