When I was 13 and living in Colombia, my dad took me to the movie theater to see the Exorcist. We loved scary movies and dressing up as anything. Pirates, witches, ghosts or little devils in red suits with a pitch fork was just fun; nothing to be scared of. Even to this day, when kids go out trick-or-treating in Colombia, they sing a chant that, in English, it would probably sound like this: “trick or treat Halloween I want candy all for me, watch your nose it will grow if you hide it from me”, you don’t get any candy unless you chant that song. All of this is just temporary enjoyment, like almost everything kids do.
I never stop to think about what those things had to do with the occult or if it was something that pleased God. The truth is that children don’t think about how they please God. They just do! Remember Jesus saying “let the little children come to me”? Or, how about the one “to enter the kingdom of heaven we should be like a little child”? The reason is that children always see things from their very innocent perspective. It is later as we grow that we get greedy and want more candy, nicer costumes, more parties, better decorations and after we get all that, we are still not happy and decide to get into weegie boards, messing up with spirits and the occult. The nature of Halloween never intrigued me, nor did I ever question it. It was good for me because everyone else was into it, therefore it had to be part of my life. It wasn’t until my children were born that I looked again at the “fun” of wearing costumes. Like most mothers, I decided my kids would be angels, or pumpkins, or even the “green giant”; but they were NOT going to be witches or devils. The idea made me feel very uncomfortable.
Around that time, I found out the origins of Halloween and how many people use that day specifically to worship the devil. Colombia is a devout catholic country and I don’t know of any groups there whose god is the devil. I assume it was because of it, that I never paid much attention to the roots of Halloween. But things are different here in this culture, time and age. Do I want my kids trick-or-treating at a place where people may be paying respect or venerating the devil? Of course not! Do I know every one of my neighbors and all the people we go knocking on doors, risking to bump into a situation like that, just so my kids can have their candy? Of course not! Do I want to be part of a celebration, that although innocent to my kids and trivial to me, it’s actually a big deal for those involved with the occult? The answer to that is also no. Why? Because I’m a God fearing person and, if my God tells me to stay away from the occult and not to get involved with spirits (even on something as simple as a costume) or some other form of the supernatural such as palm reading; then the right thing to do is to obey my God and stay away from all that. Jesus said “those who love me obey my commands”. There is also a message from God to one of the prophets in the Old Testament that says: “I don’t want your sacrifices but your obedience”. If that is what my God wants, then that’s what I should give Him. I’m not always good at obeying Him, but I try.
I made the decision to stay away from Halloween affairs more than 10 years ago; when my kids were 5 and 8. I explained to them, the best I could, that we had to be obedient to God and even though I was throwing away (it didn’t even feel right to give that stuff away) all my witchy – devilish and ghost decorations, we were still going to have fun. As a family, and at the time, we had other options: fall decorations, scare crows, harvest parties at church or with friends, scary movie night, fun in the darkness, pumpkin carving night, etc. In general, I tried to stay away from devilish themes. The devil and his angels do not get any consideration from me. They are already running around loose and letting them capture our attention is just one more way to put space between us and God. This Halloween, think about the messages your kids are getting, and watch out who they are pledging their allegiance to: the world or our God. When kids are little is when we parents have the opportunity to instill in them our faith, our values and more important, we can model those things to them. The lessons we want to teach them are passed down through what we do better than through what we say. If we want them to obey us, we’d better show them how we obey our Lord and Master. My Master and Savior is the Lord Jesus Christ and it is He whom I serve. Blessings to you dear reader in this harvest season!