Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Halloween Note

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God... I Corinthians 10:31-32

Just a few years ago when I was a young girl, Halloween was a big holiday in the small town I grew up in. We had a big parade down the main street with all kinds of costumes abounding. Adults took part in it too. Late in the evening, after the parade was over and kids were in the bed, it was a big thing to have some silent masked person come to your home wherein an extended "guessing game"took place. You would actually let this "unknown" person into your house! I have to admit that this holiday was a good deal of fun for me and putting together a costume to wear required a good bit of creativity--it was before the factory made ones were as readily available as they are today. Normally we would use items from around the house.


Well, those days are a thing of the past. After becoming a Christian and thinking about the true nature of this day, especially now, my husband and I made the decision that we could no longer celebrate it with a clear conscience. Our oldest daughter was four then, so it has been her lot and that of her sister not to have this day be one that was on our yearly list of celebrations. Others I knew made a different decision and I'm not here to discuss the controversy over whether we should or should not observe this day. Like everything else, it's something we should pray about and make sure that we want to follow the will of the Lord as we pray.

But I am here to make a suggestion if I could. It may or may not be useful for someone, but I thought I'd tell you about something we did in the early years of our abstention. There were lots of children in the neighborhood then, and we had a general friendliness with the people on our street and those bordering us in the back. The gospel can be an offense to the unsaved in and of itself, yet we didn't want to be offensive. So, here's what we did: A lady we knew offered pretty pencils to children who would come back on Thanksgiving (which they never did), and we decided to expand on that idea. When our many trick or treaters came to the door, we would tell them as nicely as we could that this was the one holiday that we didn't celebrate, but if they would return on Thanksgiving, we would give them a little gift for that holiday. Of course, they didn't come for their gifts, but on Thanksgiving morning, we would go to the homes of the ones whom we knew well, and take little gift cello bags of novelty toys, a pencil or bookmark, and a lollipop. A simple gospel tract with a Thanksgiving theme would be included. We'd give the gift(s) to a parent, and I tell you, each and every time there was a positive response. We felt we had made a stand for our convictions, but were still leaving the door open to share the gospel with our neighbors.

I don't know what God ever did with all of that, but for us, we firmly felt that we were serving Him. There are very few children around our neighborhood these days, at least none that we know well. I think most of the people in our area only take their children to parties or to the homes of friends. So we don't do it anymore.

I hope some of you may be able to use this idea in your situation, or think of some other way to seize the opportunity to witness for Christ, without taking part. If you have any ideas, let others know with a comment. For our family, even if we didn't take our kids out and only gave out tracts when others came to the door, we still felt that we would be taking part in it so we took this route instead. Hope this helps someone who is struggling over the whole matter. And, of course, I'm not suggesting that there's anything wrong with doing nothing at all, to the glory of God. Many folks are most comfortable with that.

8 comments:

Beka said...

Wonderful idea. I think I remember you doing this when Bev & I were younger.

Maxine said...

Yes, Beka, and I think your mom did something similar for one year at least. Thanks for responding. Hopefully there will be someone who will be helped by this post somewhere in time. :-)

sparrow's song said...

Gosh, even I miss the costumes. I love the creative side of this holiday. Too bad there can't be a holiday of just great fun without the evil endorsement that hangs over halloween.

you shared,
I'm not here to discuss the controversy over whether we should or should not observe this day. Like everything else, it's something we should pray about and make sure that we want to follow the will of the Lord as we pray.

It really is a call for grace where our participating brethren are concerned but who may not fully understand.

Maxine said...

Amen, Sparrow. That's exactly how I feel.

Beverly said...

I do remember doing this as a child -- I think it was an excellent idea.

Maxine said...

You should remember, Bev, you helped me deliver the little bags on Thanksgiving.

Daughter of the King said...

Maxine...I love how you handled this too..you have such a tender spirit(wellll except in sports hahah).....I do not want this day to be a day that would cause a split amongst the brethren....sometimes it is just where you are with your walk with the Lord..
Years ago my dh and I did an exhaustive study on the traditions of Christmas..it tooooo is not even a Christian holiday, in all reality and the only thing the Lord tells us to do in rememberance of HIM is to do the Lord's supper...
So.....in saying that..I think it is a individual decision and I choose on somethings not to make a big deal...and let the battle be the Lords...
I just love your blog and you..
Deby

Maxine said...

Well said, Deby. Well said. And thanks for loving my blog and me. It's mutual.