Ministries Condemning Halloween Less Than Ideal In Other Areas Of Doctrine & Practice
In an anti-Halloween sermon, a pastoress remarked how if those in Satanic or Wiccan covens are late for a ritual, they are punished by demonic entities. Instead of celebrating how the Christian possesses a degree of freedom not found in spiritually counterfeit systems of belief, the pastoress lamented lack of similar discipline in the ranks of the true church. If one wants to be such a ramrod stickler to detail with everything being done by the book to a fanatical degree with little room for forgiveness, what is a woman doing being a pastor in the first place?
It was argued in an anti-Halloween sermon that, if you trick or treat, you are endorsing a particular worldview. As such, if you use a light bulb, does that constitute an endorsement of Thomas Edison's occultic proclivities? Likewise, does driving an automobile endorse Henry Ford's alleged anti-Semitic inclinations?
The latest homiletical trick employed in anti-Halloween sermons seems to center around a proverbial immigrant (usually from Africa) that is profoundly disturbed and disappointed that America would have a celebration characterized by the motifs and symbolism associated with Halloween. Interestingly, seldom do these accounts tell of an individual so persuaded as to the correctness of their convictions that this immigrant is willing to forsake the delights of steady electricity, clean water, and a reliable food supply in order to return to their less-developed but more innocent homeland.
On the Internet, it seems a number of AWANA clubs are just happening to hold their costume nights in the month of October. A number of them stipulated that the costumes must be non-violent. So that would mean there are a significant number of Biblical characters that a child would be forbidden from dressing as such as King David, Jael's wife, or the bear that ate the children that ridiculed Eli?
In anti-Halloween sermons as to why Christians should have nothing to do with Jack-O-Lanterns, the eponymous Jack is often said to have been eating a turnip when Satan tossed a coal from the fires of Hell to place in the vegetable to use as a torch throughout eternity. If the Christian is to be so worked up to avoid even a hint of associating with these questionable practices, does that mean we Christians should forgo eating turnips?
In a number of sermons, Pastor Jim Staley of Passion For Truth Ministries condemned not only Halloween but Christmas and Easter as well as celebrations unauthorized in Scripture. Therefore, the sincere Christian ought to avoid them in order to maintain their testimony (the blanket excuse one invokes when one wants something to be wrong but can't really articulate a very specific reason as to why). This pastor's suggestion might carry a bit more weight if he wasn't serving prison time for defrauding a group of elderly investors of nearly $3 million. For are not the stipulations against theft and mistreating the elderly more explicit than whether or not a child spends an autumnal evening ritualistically collecting candy around the neighborhood or an early winter one putting a popcorn string around a tree?
If a church condemns Halloween but holds Trunk-Or-Treat, isn't that the equivalent of erecting a pole dancing stage in the church basement to pat yourself on the back how that keeps men out of strip clubs and nudey bars?
In a condemnation of Halloween, a Christian podcaster said that he could not imagine Paul, if the Apostle had children, allowing them to participate in a Christianized version of a pagan festival so that they would not feel left out. But in the Book of Acts, did not Paul appear on the Areopagus where, in his outreach to the Greeks, he appealed to the assembled by referencing the altar to the unknown god and by quoting classical Hellenistic literature to them? Therefore, why can't certain aspects of the Halloween celebration be utilized in a similar manner?
There have probably been more children molested by pastors insisting upon the threat posed by tampered Halloween candy than children harmed by tampered Halloween candy.
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.