My wife is a great blessing to me for many reasons, but mostly because she has a way of surgically cutting into my legalism and exposing my religious masquerade – all for the glory of God, of course! Most recently, this evasive procedure was accomplished by questioning the missional quality of how our family approaches All Hallows Eve. Because I hate Halloween and cannot justify how any spiritually-minded person could even eat a piece of candy corn without being defiled, I have shunned the day and all who partake of its demonic pleasures. However, my perspective is radically coming more inline with what I trust to be a more biblical view of such worldliness.
Until now, Halloween afternoon would find me “fencing” my home to guard against any adolescent intruder mistakenly thinking they were welcome on my doorstep. First, I would make sure that my front porch light was in the off position and secondly that the door was securely closed. For safe measure all signs of life would be moved to the back portion of the house just in case the closed door and dark porch did not send the desired message.
But recently, I have heard God speak and say to me, “Get a life and wake up and smell the coffee!” I’m certain you can find this in the Bible somewhere. Despite the origin of this diabolic celebration, there is not another day of the year in which so many children and families come knocking on my door. Many of these chocolate seeking ghouls are separated from God and His grace and have no connection to gospel oriented families. Don’t get me wrong. They are not unsaved because they celebrate Halloween. They are unsaved because they have never heard and received, by faith, the good news of God’s marvelous grace.
More than any other time of the year I hear well meaning Christians say, “We are to be in the world but not of the world.” And as much as I want to say “amen”, I am more convinced that this has simply become the motto of those who seek to isolate themselves from people who don’t look, live or think like them. My confidence is based mostly on my own arrogant practices. But by God’s grace this changes this year.
This is not merely about Halloween. The point is that those of us who are “the light of the world” cannot afford to “light a lamp and put it under a basket.” Or in other words, we are deceived to think that blood bought sinners can close the doors and turn off the front porch lights when the world outside is dying to experience the love of Christ.
By God’s grace alone, I will grow in my ability to see how practices, such as Halloween, can become redeemable tools in the hands of the church to engage our culture and neighbors with the gospel. Some Christians may balk and ridicule, but sooner or later those of us who know Christ must be willing to get our hands dirty at the risk of being branded less spiritual or religious by those who refuse to turn on the front porch light.
So how will you approach Halloween this year? Will you ignore it refuse to acknowledge all that’s going on around you? Or will you ask the question, “How can I meet people where they are and live out the gospel in such a way that the good news goes forward?