Do churches really condone going around dressed up like ghosts, witches, monsters, devils, and all sorts of evil characters? Is it another case of “if you can’t beat’em, join’em?” Are churches simply compromising with the world in order to attract a crowd?
Maybe. But then, maybe not. I can’t speak for all churches. For that matter, not everything that calls itself a church is in fact really a church. All I can really speak for is my church and those I’ve heard from personally on the subject. And we are NOT interested in Halloween! That’s right – we are NOT interested in Halloween!
However, the kids in our neighborhood are. Their parents and grandparents are, too! And WE are interested in THEM! They need to hear that God loves them and so do we. They need to know that in a world filled with hate, fear, and harm, there are those of us who still provide love, peace, and safety!
We don’t think that hiding inside our churches and ignoring the world teaches that. So, we line our parking lot with cars and vans filled with goodies and prizes in a fun and safe environment and invite them to come and enjoy! Poor kids get more candy than they can afford. They learn there is no difference between them and those who “have’ already. They learn the truth about God’s love, that it is given unconditionally to all who will just reach out receive it. They learn that you don’t earn love, it is just offered. They learn that our church people care about them and that they are welcome at our place. They are invited to come back and learn even more.
That all sounds like good stuff to me – not evil. It does NOT sound like we even condone the evil. It is all around us. We can’t ignore it. We must not hide from it. We don’t approve of it. We shun it. We will fight it when we can. But sometimes we fight it by just out-playing it. We overcome it with good. The only way to dispel darkness is to shine light. That’s what we do. And the world sees that with us, there are no tricks – just treats! And so it is with the God we serve!