To many in my community, Halloween is a night of small town fun. Our church will be lighting up our gravel parking lot and inviting our neighbors over to play games like glow in the dark ring toss and leaf pile scavenger hunt. There will be hot cider and fresh popcorn for the adults and copious amounts of sugar for the children (you’re welcome dentists…or, rather, sorry!). As for me, I’ll be sitting under a five gallon bucket of cold water hoping against all odds that the kids in the community don’t have accurate aim. But, I’ve seen them play baseball and softball and know they will so I’ll be wet and freezing all night long. It’s time for our annual Trunk-or-Treat carnival.
Wait a second. Halloween? Church? Really? Yep. But why? I know that Halloween can provoke different responses for Christians. On one extreme are those who embrace it uncritically as innocent fun. On the other, are those who reject it for its association with pagan origins and the occult. But is there a middle ground? I think there is and it’s somewhere between embracing and rejecting.
As Christians we don’t uncritically embrace anything. Rather, we are taught to be discerning. […]