A Trick of a Treat?

By Crossmap Reporter

Yesterday, we talked about whether it is beneficial for a Christian to celebrate Halloween or not. Today, let's talk about whether it's beneficial for our children.

It goes without saying that no Christian would celebrate the Wiccan High Holy Day or any other pagan celebration. And there is certainly nothing wrong with letting children put on costumes and pretend that they are beautiful princesses or cowboys or astronauts or whatever else children's imaginations can dream up. As long as your child isn't pretending to be a witch or a ghost or a demon, you're just letting them have fun like all the other children in town, right? Maybe. to decide, let's talk about that "fun".

First, think about the "haunted houses" that are so popular this time of year. Have you visited one of them lately? They're a far cry from the "spooky" haunted houses we had years ago. In fact, they don't bear even a minor resemblance to the ones we had when I was a kid. Rather, the things one sees inside are violent, bloody and terrifying. Now, why is it that the same person who gleefully sends a child inside a haunted house with all its horror, blood and gore, will recoil in horror if faced with looking at Jeffrey Daumer's freezer filled with human body parts? As an adult, that parent might be able to distinguish the difference in the two, but what about the child? How is that innocent mind going to process these two conflicting pieces of information? How will that child distinguish between two equally repulsive piles of gore, seeing one as "fun" and the other as the evil that it is?

Okay, that convinced you not to take your child to a haunted house this year, but you still think it's silly to keep the children from having some "innocent" fun. Kids aren't thinking about all the evil involved. They're not interested in pagan religions or real witchcraft or any of the other things we've mentioned. They just want to dress up and have fun. Are we going to keep them from all the fun? Make them weirdos at school because they don't get to go trick or treating? I mean, aren't we over-playing the so-called "dangers"? Our sweet, innocent children aren't being evil by dressing up and going house to house for candy, right?

Right. But children don't have a clue about danger, and they have to be taught what is dangerous. That former Wiccan I mentioned yesterday said that we would all be amazed at the number of witches whose interest in the occult began at Christian church-sponsored Halloween parties!

Children love building "skyscrapers" and climbing to the top, never thinking about how unstable their construction project is, so we go check on a 2-year-old when he gets too quiet, and then pull him down from the third floor of his project, just before it topples and drops him ten feet to the floor. Are we stifling his creativity by doing so?

Children love sticking things - fingernail files, nails, their fingers - in electric sockets, so we buy those plastic doojiggers to plug the light sockets up. Are we suppressing their curiosity by doing so?

Children love to put anything and everything in their mouths, and subsequently swallow them, so we "childproof" our kitchen cabinets, making sure that things that would injure or kill our children are out of their reach. Are we putting off their learning to obey us by doing so?

Most children love water, and will run head-long into the deepest part of the pool, even though they can't swim, because it looks so pretty. Are we being too protective by making them wear water wings for general water play until they learn to swim well?

Just because kids enjoy doing something does not mean it is something they SHOULD do. Children do not have the maturity to think ahead to the consequences of their actions. They do not have the knowledge or experience to protect themselves. That is why they have parents.

As parents, it is our responsibility to protect our children not only physically, but spiritually. And that includes removing candy coated spiritual poison (the occult dressed up to look inviting) from their reach.

So, if we decide not to participate in the traditional Halloween activities, is it okay to substitute something else? Absolutely! Romans 12:21 (NIV) says, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." If you decide not to celebrate Halloween, tell your children why. If you choose to replace it, then replace it with something that honors God, and again, tell your children why. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV) says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Get creative! Make whatever you do loads of fun - and centered on Jesus. like a harvest party that focuses on God's provision for us. or a "video" party, where Christian music videos are played. or a Bible history party where the children all dress as a different character from the Bible. Then, play games, have fun, and honor Jesus. It's up to you to determine whether this October 31 is a trick or a treat.