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Christian Alternatives to Halloween

autumn decor with pumpkin and lights
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From the editor: The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Broadcasting Network. Leading Christian thinkers have disparate views on Halloween and how Christians should respond to it. We offer you, the reader, several different viewpoints on CBN.com so that you can prayerfully decide what is the correct response for your family.

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October paints nature with brilliant fall colors. Halloween decorations adorn yards and doors while store shelves are filled with costumes and candy. But a lot of people are not aware of the origin of Halloween or how “Trick or Treat” started.

Thousands of years ago at the end of the harvest, Celtic people thought ghosts would return to earth and damage crops (History.com). To scare them away, the Druids dressed in costumes and built large bonfires. Bowls of food were left outside doors to appease the spirits and thus the “Trick or Treat” activity was formed.

Later, Pope Gregory III marked November 1 as All Saints’ Day to commemorate the martyrdom of saints (History.com), and the day before this observation was the hallowed eve. Just as worldly practices were mingled into Easter and Christmas, they have been mingled on this day that was set aside on October 31.

We are called to be a light in the darkness and not to emulate the world. As Christians, we can seek alternatives for a day when some celebrate evil. Multitudes of churches have adopted fall festivals as substitutions for Halloween. These events are used as outreach tools to serve the communities they are a part of and to reach those who are without Christ and have no hope (Ephesians 2:12). Participation in these festivities is another way to follow the words of Jesus in John 4:35 (NKJV),

"Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!"

Another option would be to have a party at your home. Invite children to come dressed as Bible characters and give prizes for the best costume. Provide games and of course, lots and lots of sweets and snacks. A Bible-based movie for kids could also be an activity all would love.

And for those who choose to ring the doorbell and hold out their little baskets in anticipation of handfuls of goodies, we can turn this day into a celebration for good instead of evil. Kid-oriented tracts can be included with candy—not messages of judgment, but stories of a Father who loves them and doesn’t want them to be afraid.

We don’t need to hide in our homes on October 31 and refuse to answer the door. Jesus didn’t avoid places where Satan had spread doom and gloom. Rather, He went where the revelation of God’s Word was needed.

When we ask the Holy Spirit to guide us regarding alternatives to Halloween, as in all our decisions, we can be guided by the peace of God.

"Let the peace of God rule in your hearts ..." (Colossians 3:15 NKJV).

Each little voice that shouts “Trick or Treat” can be given the best treat of all. Chocolate and God’s Word. What could be sweeter than that?

Copyright © 2020 Barbara Latta, used with permission.

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