Willohroots


Confessions of a Halloween Hater
October 5, 2009, 14:05
Filed under: Uncategorized

pumpkin pukeMy absolute least favorite holiday of the year approaches.  I don’t think my rebellion to this particular celebration of the American Way is purely religious.  I do not think it is Satan’s birthday.  I am not sure it is a night of special demonic activity.  I just don’t like it for a lot of earthly reasons.

  • We had more nuisance calls for rubbish fires and set trash fires on that date than on  any other during the year.
  • Ask the cops about vandalism,  if your house wasn’t hit…
  • Just what we need, an excuse to extort neighbors for empty calories
  • I have never seen “Halloween” the movie, or “Friday the thirteenth” and I am all for personal freedom, but anybody seeing “Saw” more than once should be monitored by a government agency.  Tis the season…
  • Gore is not entertainment, not the former V.P. nor the display of blood and guts one sees all over on Halloween.
  • Christians look really foolish with their “Hell houses” and most Halloween alternatives are unfortunately lame.
  • Candy corn is just wrong
  • Little kids with “Scream”  masks are not funny.  They should not even know such movies exist.
  • Being “attacked”  by a chain- less chainsaw in a fun house or while on a hayride holds no entertainment value for me.
  • Pre-pubescent girls dressed like hookers is sad, just sad.
  • Pubescent girls using the holiday to dress like prostitutes just makes me wonder how many  kids are orphans , what are the parents thinking?
  • Soaping windows is bad, waxing windows is just evil.
  • Toilet paper looks bad on trees.

Putting the worst on display seems to me to be what Halloween is all about.  the occasional “fancy dress party”  or costume ball is a lot of fun, but the night has come to mean a different thing.  Our worst nightmares on display, the dark side magnified,  the nasty made normal , that is what it is today.

I have a mixture of Halloween memories, good and bad.  Panting for breath behind a Superman mask and wearing those “really cute” homemade costumes my mom made, not too good.  Bobbing for apples,  going on scavenger hunts and playing hide and seek  at the MYF  in rural America are good memories.  This blog is not the place to tell the tail of  the MYF Halloween Hayride where the minister’s daughter taught me a thing or two,[  it was innocent by today's standards] , but that was a good memory.

So am I  just a Fundamental Evangelical grouch?  Am I missing the hidden goodness of a young child with an ax stained with fake blood?  Should I  not be upset by dozens of witches walking the streets?  If you think I am overreacting, tell me.  In the meantime , I say,  “Down with Gore, Yeah Hayrides!”   Take it any way you wish.

By the way, any un-lame Halloween alternatives?  I would like to do something beside leave the lights off and hide behind the couch.


25 Comments so far
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Candy corn is just wrong

Blasphemy! I don’t care if that halibut was good enough for Jehovah, let me be the first to cast a stone of offense at glass house of this false teaching spewed from the gaping maw of hell… Mayest the gel from whence the hair of a thousand word/faith televangelists soil thine carpet; then may you finally repent of the evil and heresy thou hast with malicious aforethought brought forth in the full sight of the congregation!

Seriously, candy corn is good. Better than corn corn.

Comment by Justin

Justin, biblically, I take this to mean if you give tri-colored corn to trick or treaters, they will not return. Good.
Gen 42:26 And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence.

Job 39:4 Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go forth, and return not unto them.

I take this verse to explain, you grew up with it, so you like it, so you treat, but not trick.
Todays exegesis taken from a thousand word/faith evangelists.

Comment by willohroots

LOL@Justin
I like candy corn, but a little goes a long way.

I used to love Halloween, but not so much anymore. We just leave the porch light off. Door to door candy begging is pretty much a thing of the past around here anyway.

I still love a good, scary movie, but slasher movies are neither, and I can’t even stand to listen to one, much less watch it.

Comment by Shawn W

Ain’t life scary enough? A psychological thriller is exciting, but seriously, have you seen the costumes taken from the latest torture movies? I fear we are breeding sickoes!

Comment by willohroots

We’re breeding children with no limits. Nothing is too gross, too disturbing, too graphic… We thought Charles Manson and Ted Bundy were scary. I shudder to think what my grandchildren will have to deal with.

Comment by Shawn W

One of my favorite Halloween parties took place about 50+ years ago in our one-room school house. The older kids decorated the basement with appropriately gruesome stuff–cold spaghetti guts, rubber gloves filled with ice water with which we shook hands, skinned grape eyeballs, and lots of wet pumpkins seeds and “innards” on the floor. Then they blindfolded us and we were led through the place before being allowed to bob for apples and play party games…all with the approval of our teacher and parents. We all knew it was fake, but we loved being scared, anyway.
None of us had ever been exposed to the horrors of today’s film/tv/internet industry. We hadn’t read RL Stine or Harry Potter. It was spooky fun followed by lots of food (homemade cookies, popcorn, etc.) and real games.
Today, my grandchildren would see all of that in a totally different context. They have no innocence now, so the horrors are real.
btw–they do still like the candy corn :)

Comment by Kat

I remember church basements with the icy ruber glove!
“They have no innocence now, so the horrors are real.”
Of all the things we have lost in our culture, Kat, the innocence of childhood was perhaps the sweetest.
Thanks for stopping by, and for the memories you awoke!

Comment by willohroots

I forgot to mention that we walked through that cold pumpkin mush barefooted. Ick! Your feet turned orange and sticky.
Those were the days!

Comment by Kat

Christian participation in Halloween is a matter of conscience before God. Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, you must honor God by keeping yourself separate from the world and by showing mercy to those who are perishing. Halloween provides the Christian with the opportunity to accomplish both of those things in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s a message that is holy, set apart from the world; it’s a message that is the very mercy of a forgiving God. What better time of the year is there to share such a message than Halloween?

Comment by Ike

Ike, the message has to get out there, I am looking for something better than a chick tract in a bag of [shudder] candy corn. The “Hell Houses” I have seen are just weird! How about opening the church , offering
hot chocolate and some sort of snack? I will take what ever good thought you have, I got nothing.

Comment by willohroots

To shock an unshockable culture, you have to get pretty graphic. Graphic exhibits of sin and its consequences are unnecessary—unbelieving minds are already full of such images. What they need to see is a life truly transformed by the power of God, and what they need to hear is the truth of God in an accurate presentation of the gospel. Cheap gimmickry is unfitting for Christ’s ambassadors.

Comment by Ike

Will, like many of your other posts, this one had me chuckling. Hopefully that was a part of your intent.

Halloween has never been high on my list. Of course, as a kid I did look forward to “Trick-or-treating.” What kid doesn’t? But even before I became a Christian, Halloween was just another holiday: nothing necessarily special about it.

Now I do see the day differently. Although our house has become the traditional locale for the family to show up at for the evening, we usually just have fun hanging out and watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” DVD. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just time of fellowship with our family even though the younger kids go out and do their annual walk around the neighborhood gathering candy.

I like scary movies. Always have, although I cannot deal with movies that delve into pure evil and sadism. I used to when I was a teenager but my sensibilities won’t allow me to watch them anymore because I see them for what they are. I echo your 4th bullet down. I cannot believe (okay, I guess I can) that a new installment of “Saw” is coming out. We are a deranged nation.

Other than that, it’s fall and harvest season. I love this time of year as it paves the way for my favorite season: Christmas. I love everything about fall and winter: the change in colors, the crispness in the air, the expectancy of celebrating the birth of our Savior!

Comment by Joe Chavez

Joe, I love Thanksgiving. Prayer with Gravy! Does it get better?
I see a lot of high school kids into the dress up end of it, and again, over half MUST be orphaned. No parent .. oh I’m wrong again.

Comment by willohroots

We had a “party” for the kids a few years ago. We went on a hay ride, then had pizza, and broke a pinata. Durring the party the kids were escorted to a “secret” visit, where the Witch of EnDor told their fortune.

Maybe it was a bad thing to do, but you should have seen their faces. I talked to parents before, and then things like, “I see you, in a window, with the cold wind blowing in your face, asking, “Would you like fries with that?” if you don’t start doing your homework.”, and “I see you sweating in the hot summer sun, mowing the church lawn, because you gave your dad a hard time about getting up for church, once too often.”

Comment by Shawn W

So, not only a witch, but a manipulative witch! Sounds like you had fun.

Comment by willohroots

There’s not much that can discourage me from taking advantage of free candy. This year, to contrast my female peers who usually dress as a form of hooker, I’m going as a garbage man. Halloween is just another holiday through which the world doesn’t honor God. But at least with Christmas and Easter, it pretends.

Comment by Yur Dah Ter

I’m assuming you weren’t talking about “Al.” ;) Anywho, I must say, I do like candy corn. Okay, okay, I like pretty much anything made with sugar and/or chocolate no matter what time of the year it is. We have never celebrated halloween with our kids and they seemed to have turned out perfectly fine. Pretty much. But that’s our own personal conviction. And I hate horror movies. I saw the first Friday the 13th and the first Halloween and I’m convinced they’re at least partially responsible for my chronic insomnia today. Okay, maybe not. But I don’t see the point in them. Truthfully, I think they’re evil. Making a movie just to show how an entire house full of teenagers is imaginitively wacked just isn’t my idea of fun. Oh, I can’t wait for Thanksgiving. Pie.

Comment by Dorci

I would rather be stuffed on stuffing, than wound up on sugar from a goodie bag. I agree, those movies are evil.
I find life quite scary enough! Good to hear from you, Dorci!
Dorci, could i link your site here? Great food, for the body and soul can be found there.

Comment by willohroots

That’s really kind of you, thank you! Of course, I’d be honored.
God bless,
Dorci

Comment by Dorci

Will,
The last couple of years we have given out candy with a Bible verse attached and tried to make a point of sharing with kids about the love of God. I echo much of what you said about Halloween. I don’t care much for it to be honest, but then again, I am losing my gusto for Christmas as well(combination of studying church history and Jewish festivals I suppose). What’s a guy to do.

Comment by jeofurry

Brother, A Spurgeon thought has helped me with Christmas. I paraphrase.
“As Dec. 25th is perhaps the least likely day of all for our Savior to be born, such a blessed event should be celebrated at some point in the year, and at least once in that year. Therefore I will celebrate on that day and hope my joy reaches an open mind for Christ.”
We should celebrate Christmas every day!
I will bring it to the church, candy and a verse sounds good, even Kandi Korn JUSTIN, I repent.

Comment by willohroots

Maybe these ideas will lead to something you might try or consider in prayer and testing with scripture.

First I should note that I have studied the disturbing origins of Halloween and have made the decision to have nothing at all to do with “celebrating” it. In fact the history of it unsettles me greatly. That would be a whole other email but I will not go there now.

What we have done instead the past few years on October 31 is to intentionally be a Light in the Night. We intentionally celebrate Christ and celebrate Him by reaching out to our neighborhood through the sharing of the gospel and free gifts on that night. In the past years we have a had great conversations with the adults and kids in our neighborhood. Our kids like to help out and usually we have some friends in Christ come over to help out. Now on to the details…

Here is what we do:

1. Be Praying
Always pray and pray always. October 31 can be a darker night than most for spiritual warfare. But remember it is God who is the Light and the owner of the Night. Only He can reach the lost. We are to surrender and be willing to be used by God as He reaches them. Put all trust in God. The battle is His and it has been won.

2. Be Out. (Be in the midst)
Instead of handing out candy at the door we go outside and in front of our house in the front yard. We set up chairs and a table. There are extra chairs for neighbors to sit as they choose. We run an extension cord to provide lights for the front yard so that it is the brightest area of the neighborhood. We have coolers that have gifts in them ready to hand out. We have the whole family out to talk with people and help do the handing out. It creates an environment where it is ok to stop, sit and chat for awhile. Especially if some others are already doing it. It becomes contagious.

3. Be About. (Be Friendly, Be Loving)
As kids and people come near we invite them over for a free gift before they can say Trick or Treat. On a personal note the Trick or Treat terminology and history bothers me so we have fun intercepting that by saying “come on over we have something special for you and we are glad you are here.” Engage your neighbors before they engage you. Go to them. Make it about you genuinely reaching them for Christ instead of them reaching you for Halloween. Be about honoring God by loving the lost and by directing the focus from the darkness of Halloween night to the Light of the one true Savior.

4. Be Ready. (Be Prepared)
Know when October 31 traffic starts. In our neighborhood it gets dark just before 6:00. We set up around 5:15 and are ready by 5:30. Usually the first traffic starts at about 5:45 or 5:50.

5. Be Giving. (Be Generous)
We want to make a big impact in every way for God’s glory. We desire to do that by handing out the biggest candy bars available, the king size ones that are sold at Walgreen’s or Costco (Sam’s). We look for the biggest bars we can find and then invest in them. These are great for a couple of reasons. Kids really notice them because they are not the bite size candies. They are huge and the bigger kids 11-14 take notice of the generosity. So do the parents of the 7-10 year olds. Almost every parent will come over when I wave the “Mom and Dad” size bars and tell them that they are not left out. With a sheepish grin they are drawn over, especially the Dads!

Also, the big bars have a lot of room for adding a gospel message or tract. We use our printer to crank out labels with a gospel message on them that we “stick” to the king size bars. If you would like a copy of the text we use it is provided at the end of this message. Yes the candy is expensive but is nothing compared to the price of souls. We average about 150 pieces a year and that is what we plan for. About half the pieces are the big bars and the other half regular bars (for the little kids) but still all are bigger than the “bite size” bags. There are many ways to share the gospel and be generous so be led by the Holy Spirit according to God’s word and be obedient. You will not regret it.

6. Be Light. (Shine Bright)
In addition to the candy we also have tracts ready. They are tracts that most people “ask for” and enjoy looking at. Not the ones that people cringe at. We use Million Dollar bill tracts and Pink/Blue curved illusion tracts the most (shown below). People love these and ask for extras.

Some people hang out because we have prepared a place for them to do that. We have a chance to talk and the tracts break the ice with a good laugh. We are able to make a connection. Since we are outside there is no bottle neck at the front door. It creates an environment where there is time to talk.

If we were in the house then when parents let the kids walk up to the front door and stay on the street we would not be able to talk with them. Since we are outside we actually get to talk to these parents and they are more open to coming up to us to talk. There is no door or narrow walkway creating a barrier. Plus it is face to face time for the whole family so it is easier to remember each other in the future. And when our kids talk to their kids then next thing you know people are hanging out.

A lot of kids really comment about the candy. They are like WOW! We let them know that the big candy is a free gift from an even bigger God who created them and to read the important message on the wrapper. That can lead into conversations about the gospel.

Some big kids want more than one bar. Even with a huge candy bar one is not enough? Funny how that works. Is enough ever enough? For the bigger kids that want more I let them know they can have another bar if they pass “the test”. I ask if they would consider themselves to be a good person? And then that leads into gospel! Trust God and step out and connect with people.

Also we provide a cooler full of water bottles for people to take for free. The bottles have a “Got Thirst?” gospel label on them. We put up a Free Stuff table that has DVD’s, Gospel of John’s, etc., which also attracts attention, questions and conversations.

7. Be Humble (Be Genuine)
Look on everyone that you come in contact with as those that God loves dearly because He does. He is not willing that any should perish. Ask God that you would have His heart and compassion. Then humbly through the power of the Holy Spirit generously share His love and the truth of the gospel to those who are lost. Share the words of life either in writing stuck (to a big piece of candy) or verbally with those who hang around. It is a privilege to serve God and meet people. Be humble and loving when sharing the gospel but do not compromise the truth. God’s judgment, wrath and Hell are just as real as His mercy, grace and forgiveness offered in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Proclaim the whole gospel earnestly. Be genuine. Be real. Be a servant.

8. Be Thankful
All Glory is God’s. Not every night honors Him but every night is His and belongs to no other. Give thanks for His goodness. Give thanks through honoring Him on October 31 by being His Light in the Night. Thank Him for casting aside the darkness of night that all that come may see the light. Thank Him for using a night meant for darkness to instead impact eternity through the sharing of gospel tracts in love to reach the lost. Give all Glory to God for all Glory is His and He is worthy. As a family pray asking God that seeds would be planted, that people would read the gospel message, that people would be saved and He glorified.

Summary
In prayer and study seek after God. Allow God to use you to reach others every day, not just on October 31. May the Holy Spirit lead you to be light in the middle of darkness. Show compassion instead of apathy towards those who are lost. Ask God what He would have you do this October 31 and then ask for the strength to do it. I pray that in the sharing of this it helps you in some way to serve our King.

In Jesus name,
Rob-roy

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12

*************SAMPLE TEXT******************

What Is The Biggest and Best Gift Of All?

The best gift of all is Eternal Life through faith in Jesus who conquered the cross to pay the penalty for sins. On Judgment Day every thought, word, and deed will be exposed. All will be guilty of lying, stealing and more. Nothing will be hidden from God.

Amazingly, instead of the punishment you deserve in Hell, God in His love and mercy offers forgiveness and Heaven. He took the punishment for sins upon Himself to set free all who turn to Him in genuine repentance and faith.

There is nothing as important as your salvation. God commands you to repent and put all your trust in Jesus alone to save you. Will you receive God’s free gift of grace or reject it?

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8

http://www.juststopandthink.com
http://www.got-thirst.blogspot.com

Comment by Rob-roy Nelson

We are not too crazy about it either.

We hand out candy with little notes attached that read, “If you come back next year, we will kick your cute little, costumed behinds.” – the Martins

Comment by theoldadam

Will,

You could go to the Ozzy concert…

Comment by Steve Scott

Thanks, Steve! By the way, Ozzie’s bassist donated a bass guitar that ended up being played in our church building. That is as close as i will get! i didn’t like his music when I was working the other side!

Comment by willohroots




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